Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What are your technology goals this year?

Welcome back to school! The 2009-10 school year is just getting underway. Each year, we ask teachers to reflect on their use of technology and to set personal learning goals (relating to technology integration) for the upcoming year. Often, teacher learning goals are "skill-based" or pertain to increasing productivity (learn to use Excel, Word, PowerPoint, or learn to manage email, or post assignments online, etc.). Although these technology "skills" are important, it is equally important to consider ways in which technology used by the teacher, will directly impact student learning, and consider what will "success" look like? For the teacher? For the student?

Once goals are set, the next step is to and locate resources to help teachers reach their objectives. Is there another teacher who can help? What is available online? What workshops or after school classes can be offered?

To borrow from a recent presentation, Information Literacy and the Internet– Managing the Change, by Lanie Rowell, here are some ideas to begin thinking about your professional learning goals for the coming year. How will you ...
Use technology to...
  • Create students who are information literate
  • Motivate students to learn 24/7
  • Provide students with reasons and opportunities to connect globally
  • Give students an authentic purpose and audience
  • Encourage creativity and passion by utilizing their strengths and interests
  • Engage the learner and allow them opportunities to become more actively involved in their education as well as develop critical thinking skills
  • Act as facilitators guiding students to choose the right tools, find answers, and make decisions
Successful integration of technology extends beyond "basic skills" -- as you plan, consider how technology can transform both your teaching and student learning.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Gear up for Back to School with an online calendar

Scott Meech recently shared this article by Jon Wittwer of Vertex42* on "Embedding Google Spreadsheets Into Your Blog or Website."

As you gear up for back to school, consider Wittwer's examples of using a spreadsheet as a calendar for your class, sport, or activity schedule. And if you don't feel like creating your own, you are welcome to use any of their preformatted Google calendars:

*Vertex42: The Guide to Excel in Everything website provides a large library of free Excel templates for calendars, schedules, budgets, project management, loan calculators, and more!