Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Teaching and Technology Cohort Takes Off

This fall, 29 teachers from Edina embarked on a Teaching and Technology Certificate program through Hamline University.
Funded through a grant from the Edina Education Fund, the teachers started the program in a course called, Creating Community for All Learners. Through the course, they worked to form their own community, gained understanding of the importance of sharing, and how technology can be used to connect and collaborate. We created a hashtag on Twitter (#edinatt), and invited participants to share with one another.

The course was delivered in a "blended" format of face to face and online, and the participants described their learning experience as:

One of the activities involved creating their own metaphor for educational technology. The examples cohort members came up with ranged from a steamroller, an 8th grade boy and running a marathon to a rainbow, rain on a farmers field and a tapestry!
A definite highlight was the final face to face session, where groups created a community building activity and "taught" it to the rest of the class. The groups created lesson plans for these activities that can be found here. Some of the activities involve Webcams, and Technology tools such as:
The final assignment involved a plan for how they would create community in their classroom. They can be found in the portfolios on our public Website.
After a break, the cohort will pick up again January 25th with a class on Integrating Technology, followed by courses in Assessment and Cutting Edge Technology later this year.. This experience is providing staff with a 21st Century learning experience that will provide them with skills to enhance their instruction with technology.

-Michael Walker, Secondary Technology Integration Specialist

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Internet update

Mike Walker shared with me this website that reviews some of the current statistics around the Internet and use.

As the the utility that Internet provides continues to increase, we must recongise how we can tap into the potential for
  • Engaging families
  • Empower Teachers
  • and most important Enleashing the passion for learning in our students.

What this also means is that continued growth means more resources will need to be dedicated such as:
  • More speed or higher bandwidth
  • More access to productivity and information tools
  • More management and security for the increased use
  • and finally more staff development opportunities in order to take advantage of this great tool