Saturday, November 10, 2012

Technology in District 66

    These first couple of months in my new position have been so very exciting. ...busy, too, so I haven't been able to keep up with my blog as I'd hoped. Today, though, I just wanted to write a little about my experience since the start of the school year.     I have had the pleasure of seeing our teachers in action from Kindergarten through 8th grade and have been SO impressed. Seeing these hard working professionals "do their thing" just puts a smile on my face every single day. The children in every class are highly engaged and so ready and willing to learn.
     Of course, since my job is Educational Technologist, I'm most interested in the use of technology as a tool to enhance the learning, as well as to provide learning experiences otherwise impractical or even impossible. From the outstanding use of our Mimio interactive whiteboards to the creative use of everyone's ELMO's to the collaborative learning in Lakeview's STEM class, technology permeates to the core of education in District 66.
     The, literally, daily appearance of new technologies (that have great potential to impact student learning) makes keeping up, truly, a full time job for every educator. It is my hope that I can help all teachers in District 66 to take advantage of these new technologies to their fullest extent.
      Because our District's #1 priority is ensuring our alignment to Common Core, the ways in which we use technology is SO important.
  • We need to ensure we are taking advantage of technology to make curriculum work the most efficient it can be. 
  • We need to ensure we are taking advantage of technology to reduce the time it takes for "administrative chores" to maximize teacher planning time, which in turn maximizes student achievement. 
  • We need to look at ways to maximize student teaching/learning time by ensuring that when students are using technology it is as efficient as possible. 
  • We need to consider ways to help our teachers become as proficient as possible with various pieces of software and Web 2.0 applications. 
  • We need to monitor and explore how other great teachers are integrating technology. 
  • We need to constantly be thinking of ways to engage our students to the highest degree. 
      This list is just a start. There's SO much more.   But as our work is just beginning, I am so encouraged by where we currently stand.
      I truly believe that in the end, the single most important concept that comes out of Common Core applies to both teachers and teaching. That concept is collaboration. Teachers must collaborate to have any hope of accomplishing all there is to be done to prepare to implement the Common Core Standards, and our goal in teaching has to be to find ways to make collaboration a large part of the learning experiences in our classrooms.