Right on Target with Tech- 11/23/19

During this time of year, all of us get reflective. We think about what we are grateful for and pause in a way that we don't usually stop and reflect during the rest of the year. This school year has been full of lots of adjustments and new challenges, especially getting to know a new school. But as we approach Thanksgiving, I am finally feeling "at home'-understanding the rhythm and flow of my school. There are so many wonderful things happening at my school as far as technology. As much as I would love to take credit for all of this, this is a collective and collaborative effort. It has happened as my new colleagues and I work together to relentlessly improve instruction and set high expectations for all of our students.

As I reflected, the graphic to the left materalized in my mind. I was originally just going to share it with my staff. Yet as I created it, I realized that this was a blog post in the making and belonged here. It showcases four of my proudest "tech lights" this fall.

  • New Tech Learning in CLTs

  • Grades 4-6 for beginning biweekly coteaching times

  • 98% of our tech permission slips in

  • New Staff Info Center is up and running

These "tech lights" highlight how thankful I am every day to work with such amazing colleagues who are so open to trying new and innovative ideas.

New Tech Learning at CLTs

I am so proud to work at a model PLC school. It has nothing to do with the banner in the front of the school, but instead by how learning at my school is driven by 4 questions:

  1. What do we want students to learn

  2. How will we know that students have learned what we want them to learn?

  3. How will we give time and support to stsudents who don't learn what we want them to learn?

  4. How will we give time and support to students who already know or learn quickly what we want them to learn?

These questions focus our work on our students and as the tech coach, I get the privilege of sharing ways technology can enhance these practices. This fall, both my third and fourth grade teams invited me into their CLTs and participated in Power Up Your Math Workshop with EdPuzzle. Sharing with my colleagues how they could use this app to both personalize their math workshop and as a targeteed intervention during Falcon Time (our intervention time) was a powerful way to address these 4 big questions. In addition, my fifth grade team invited me into their CLT and participated in Hyperdocs 101. This session focused on sharing with my colleagues how content can be packaged inside of hyperdocs to create student-driven inquiry. We plan to use this model as we plan our next PBL in Science.

Grades 4-6 for beginning biweekly coteaching times

1. EdPuzzle: Giving students the opportunity to interact with videos using EdPuzzle is a game changer on its own, but when teachers can use that formative data to inform instruction- that's magic!

2. Smithsonian Learning Lab: Giving students access to a museum anywhere is amazing. Using this resource, students and teachers can even curate their own collections. Oh the possibilites!

3. Pear Deck: Using either the Pear Deck Add on to Google Slides or Flashcard Factory, this app allows students to be active participants in their learning.

4. Flipgrid: Giving students the opportunity to share their voice and become content creators is a gift Flipgrid gives our students every day.

5. Kids Infobits: This database allows students in grades K-5 to research using reliable sources with some pretty powerful tools.


98% of Tech Permission Slips in

This fall when I introduced Fairfax County Public School's Digital Resources Permission slips to my school, it was brand new. Helping my colleagues and administration to understand the purpose and benefits of this form was initially a little challenging. We have 1003 students in our elementary school, so this was a big task.

The permission slips went home in early October and due to the collective efforts of my colleagues, we are almost there! As of today, we have about 98% of these forms in. Making sure that students and families understand digital citizenship concepts such as COPPA and FERPA require parent consent is important. Protecting our students' data and creating an awareness of why we use the digital tools we do is not an easy task, but a necessary one. I truly appreciate my colleagues' persistence in helping us reach for 100%.

New Staff Info Center Up and Running

When I began working at my new school, I had dreams of creating a staff info center Google site. But when I met the Advanced Academic Teacher at my school, that dream was amplified. Together, we took that dream and made it a reality. That job took a lot of reflection on how to best organize the content and make it user friendly. What information needed to be included? There was a lot to consider and we took some time to get it just the way we wanted it.

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