Sunday, August 25, 2013

TeachMeet NJ 13

I attended TeachMeet NJ in August which is a FREE technology unconference with sessions that are usually 20 minutes long.  It was amazing! It is always a great experience to meet with new people who have similar job responsibilities, who are using technology in their classrooms, who are willing to share ideas, provide professional development and information to others and so much more!

I met some amazing people who were from Southern Regional School District in Manahawkin, NJ, Liz Calderwood @Liz1544 and Kate Baker @KtBkr4.  Others who I met with were William King @wkingbg, a principal from Kentucky, Paula Naugle @plnaugle, a 4th grade teacher from Louisiana, Ross LeBrun @MrLeBrun, Meredith Martin @Geekyteach, Jeffrey Bradbury @TeacherCast, Alicia Mackall @AliciaMackall, Regina Schaffer @ReginaSchaffer, and so many others.  I enjoyed speaking with each and everyone of them.  They provided me with so many ideas.  If you want more information about these people, you can follow them on Twitter.  I provided their twitter name as well.

I wanted to share some of the tools and concepts with you.  Here is a list of apps/websites that were demonstrated in the Appsmack Down:

  • VisibleTweets
  • Elementary tech teachers
  • Mediacore  - makes a cleaner version of youtube without ads
  • ipevo - free whiteboard that you can save as .jpeg files
  • Blendspace - formally known as Edcanvas
  • Toonoisy app - monitors the noise in your classroom
  • Zite app - collects articles on your interests
  • Polleverywhere - gets your audience to participate in a discussion using their mobile device
  • Remind101 - allows you to send text messages to remind students about events/tasks, etc
  • 121writing - will allow you to highlight and create comments on papers, no red ink
  • Gobstopper - will allow you to post articles to your students, an e-reader 
Other sessions I attended were, Mystery Skype, an awesome idea!  The students have to guess where they are skyping to.  Programming in the math classroom, Digital Portfolios using Google Drive and shared folders, How to become Google Teacher Certified, No Red Ink, Track Evidence on your iPad, Introduction to Inforgraphics, and much more!

I also would like to thank Kyle Calderwood @kcalderw, for creating and organizing this wonderful event! 

If you are in the southern New Jersey area, I would highly recommend you attend this unconferernce.  I plan on attending and even apply to be a presenter next year!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Google Apps for Education

Over the summer, I decide to train myself and take the online training modules to become Google Certified.
Just one of the tasks that is recommended to complete before taking the certification exam.  I am about half way done with it.  They are very time consuming, but definitely worth it!  I feel more confident using Google Apps and more confident to share the information with my peers.  I am planning to complete the online training modules within the next week or two then off to take the exam!

Another reason I decided to take the training modules is because I will be piloting Google Apps for Education this school year (2013-2014) with 6th grade students.  The pilot consists of ten teachers who specialize in Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Special Education, and Related Arts and about 40 students.

I will provide the teachers with 2 half days of professional development and the students will be introduced to GAFE when I coordinate a date with the classroom teacher.  Since I am the Technology Integration Coach, it is my responsibility to introduce GAFE to the students and the teachers during this pilot.

Although the teacher's technology skills vary, I decided to provide them with the basics which include, Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive.  After that, they will setup their classroom by creating forms, contacts, and groups.

My role in this pilot will be to make sure the teachers are using and implementing Google Apps in their daily classroom routine, and troubleshooting any issues that arise during the pilot.  In addition, I will provide them with ongoing professional development in a supportive role.  One thing I already did was create a collaborative document that all the pilot teachers, including myself, can share ideas, technical issues and more.

Implementing GAFE will allow the teachers to become a paperless classroom, provide teacher/student collaboration, provide cloud storage and docs, allow students to create digital portfolios, have access to apps that are installed in the domain, allow them to have email accounts, and more!

I am very excited to be a part of this pilot!  I look forward to working with my peers, students, and with the administration.  Team work is what will make this pilot a success!