"Tech Up The Learning"- 11/17/19
"How are you supporting Grades 4-6?"
When my principal asked me to spend more time supporting Grades 4-6 at my school, I was initially nervous about how teachers would react to me making this request. I have been wanting to get into their classrooms, but didn't really know how to approach it. Her request was my way in- my way to begin coteaching in those classrooms. So I began setting up a biweekly schedule with those teachers. I could tell many teachers weren't sure what to do with me during this time. Making my vision of how to use this time clear to them was extremely important, especially since I wanted their goals for this time to come from their interests.
This led me to look for ways to highlight how I was integrating technology during my lessons-. I decided to call it-
Tech Up The Learning
If I could share with the staff what I was doing, then it would be easier for staff to get ideas of how our time could impact instruction. Plus, it gave me a way to highlight or "tech light" all the great ways we use tech at my school.
To the left is the first Tech Up The Learning post. It enabled me to share all the things my kindergarten to third grade students were doing in the master schedule and some amazing ways teachers and I had collaborated to infuse technology.
This was such a success that I decided to continue this the following week. Not only were teachers seeing new ways to infuse technology, but now I was able to recognize teachers who were trying new things. If they could try those things, maybe others would join them.
But I was also modeling taking risks. I shared the Smithsonian Learning Lab, a new resource to me, with several classes. I was trying new ideas like creating a Google Slides scavenger hunt. In many ways, I was building my school brand. By adding these "Tech Up the Learning" pieces to our Falcon News, tweeting them out and more, I was forging my path at a new school. It was different than their previous SBTS' journey and even different than my journey at my previous school. It was so exciting:)
But Tech Up the Learning has become more than just highlighting tech tools, it is a narrative of my school's journey with technology integration. Students and teachers learning ways that technology can provide opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting.
Three weeks into this new technology integration, teachers are exploring tools like Hyperdocs, providing innovative experiences with vocabulary like PearDeck's Flashcard Factory and even rediscovering old tools that still "have it" like Gizmos.
Each week ignites new "tech lights" and adds to our school's capacity and narrative. It allows us to empower our students and activate their Portrait of a Graduate skills. Who knows where our story will lead, but I can't wait to find out!