Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Technology Collaboration Begins

I think that part of the goal of this grant is to get schools not only to collaborate on monetary resources and personnel resources, but to share knowledge and help each other to become better schools. As I have been meeting with teachers and talking to them about their curriculum and what they do or what they would like to accomplish I have realized that these schools can share knowledge amongst each other. I have been working with a Math teacher at one of the schools who I am trying to show why the Smart Board would be useful in her classes. Now, I am not a Math teacher and there is only so much that I can show her. After Pesach break she will be visiting one of the partnering schools and sit in in a few math classes to see first hand how teachers are using this and how it is benefiting their practice. I think that this is what this project is all about. Our goal as schools and educators is to prepare our students for the future, for the so called 21st century that people keep on talking about and this partnership should put us in the right direction towards becoming 21st century schools. So, I am very happy that teachers from different schools will begin to work together and create Personal Learning networks within the community.

Another project I have started to work on is to create technology 'standards' or skills for one of the schools. I have formed a committee of about 6 teachers including the IT director and hopefully some administrators will join us as well, and together we will brainstorm and discuss what are the technology skills that we want students to graduate with. This will hopefully lead to the creation of school standards that will be implemented starting in September. I have a few long term goals with this project. The first is to get classroom teachers involved in having their students as well as themselves meet these standards. The second is to have the technology committee work as technology ambassadors for the school. They will be the teachers that other teachers look up to and might even want to work with when it comes to integrating technology into the curriculum. Lastly, I want the school to transition from having students in the computer lab for 'computer class' 30 minutes a week to a model where the computer lab becomes an open lab and the computer teacher is responsible of working as a technology integrator and not a computer teacher.

Overall working for three schools has been crazy. I find myself running around a lot from school to school and not feeling as though I am getting much accomplished. My current schedule allows me to be at every school once a week and when I go back to that school a week later it seems as though an eternity has gone by. I am thinking on an alternative model.

The wiki site that I created has not had much success but it is a project in the works, Hopefully as I continue to meet with teachers and play around with the site, it will become their go to site in terms of technology integration.

There are other projects that are cooking but I will leave that for another day.
In the meantime I am excited about going to a technology conference in Palm Beach this Friday where I hope to learn new things. What is even more exciting is that I managed to get a few teachers from every school to join me!

Chag kasher v'sameach!