Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Technology Collaboration Continues

Collaboration. That has been my goal as the Technology Integration Specialist for the three schools I work for here in Boca Raton. But collaboration is not always as simple as we think it can be. It requires work, time, patience, tolerance. Wikipedia defines collaboration as: "a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus."
Collaboration example number 1: Three Jewish Day Schools have come together to help their teachers learn how to integrate technology into the curriculum. That is why they have hired me. This is very simple.
Collaboration example number 2: I was hired to work one-on-one with teachers at the three schools in order to train them how to integrate technology into the curriculum effectively. This is not so simple.
Working with teachers has been the biggest challenge of my job. Without the teachers my goals are not met and my program is unsuccessful. Our collaboration relies on both parties, coming together to share knowledge, learn, implement, and share.
Even though it has been challenging, I have had a few breakthroughs.

Here is what has been going on with the Day School Cost Savings Boca Raton initiative.

After Pesach, the Math department heads from Weinbaum Yeshiva and the Donna Klein met to discuss the use of the SmartBoard. The teacher from WY came to DK to experience first hand the use of the SmartBoard so that she can better understand the use of this tool. Guess what? She loved it and we have already selected a fer teahers from the Math department that will get trained in the use of the SmartBoard.

The Technology Committee for The Hillel Day School of Boca Raton has been meeting for the past three weeks. During our first meeting we discussed the importance of being technologically literate and the meaning of that as well as the importance of educating students to be digitally aware and safe. Our last two meetings have been about identifying the skills we want the students to develop. I have started to put together a document of standards that I will be sharing with my comittee on the next meeting in order to receive any feedback as well as to move on to the next phase of the project which is to build a curriculum for the computer teacher, a curriculum that will be integrated with the regular classroom teachers.

At WYHS I have started a blogging project with a teacher and her class. Each week she will be posting a story or something about what they are learning in class, she teaches Torah She BeAl Pe, and the girls have the option to comment. We just launched this project last week so we are in the beginning phases. The girls have already commented on her first post and posted very insightful comments. The participation on the blog is not mandatory, but they do get extra credit for participating. The idea of the project is to bring the learning outside of class and to continue with the dialogue beyond the classroom walls. The girls were very excited when we introduced the project. Lets just hope the excitment continues! But that is up to how we keep them engaged with the content!

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