Wednesday, May 6, 2015

iStudent Technology Group

The instructional technology team will be taking over our student technology group for next year. We wanted a fresh start so we changed the name to iStudents. Our teacher technology leaders are iTeachers so we thought that name was a natural fit.
We sent out an application form to all of our rising 9-12th graders. Besides the basics they were asked to share an example of when they were responsible and to rate their leadership, punctuality and attitude. Applicants had to submit two teacher's names for recommendations and to create a multimedia project explaining why they wanted to be in the group and how they would contribute to the team.
This is the flyer that was sent out to the students.

After reviewing and scoring the applicants we selected 20 students from our three high schools. This is a Thinglink we put together to introduce them.

We spent one of the staff development days in March working with the group. This was the schedule for the day:
8:30 - Selfie PicCollage posted to Padlet Wall
Intro Questions
9:15  - Create Presentation for Goals for iStudent
9:45  - Share Presentation
10:15 - White Elephant App Gallery
11:15 - Introduce School Project
11:30 - Lunch (discuss school project)
12:00 - Troubleshooting with the Techs
12:30 - Group Multimedia Project
2:00  - Share Projects
2:30  - Moving Forward, Expectations, and Survey

After sharing their introductory Pic Collage to the Padlet Wall and a few icebreaker questions, students were randomly split up into group based on which tool they would be using to present to the group. The options were Haiku Deck, Thinglink, Keynote, Flowvella and Smore. They had to share their goals for the group, expectations and a few fun ideas for the conference.
Each group presented and we were impressed with their goals. Every group shared the concern that they felt the iPads were not being used to the fullest potential in the classroom yet and they wanted to help our teachers and students learn to use them in more powerful ways.
We told the group about the App Gallery planned for the conference and they used the White Elephant game to choose which app they wanted to work with at the conference.
After lunch and some basic troubleshooting with our three iPad technicians we grouped the students by school. They were asked to decide upon a project for next year and put together a short presentation to share with everyone.
My area's group decided to bring back the news show to the high school and include tech tips and apps regularly. Another group decided to create a monthly newsletter using Smore to share with teachers that would include apps and tech tips and tricks. The final group decided to create professional development to lead teachers away from Power Point. Each group had to share their idea and include the ISTE standard(s) their project addressed, how they would implement their idea and a timeline for their project.
Finally we wrapped up the day by assigning jobs for the conference such as help desk, photographer, lead blogger, app gallery tables, etc. The two fun projects they chose for the conference were a green screen booth on the morning of day one and karaoke at lunch on day one.

I'm looking forward to working with them at the conference in a few weeks, presenting at state conferences with them this summer and helping them implement their project next year.

Teacher Technology Badge Update

The instructional technology team wanted to recognize those teachers that went above and beyond in their participation in the training we offered this year. We have been giving out badges for participation. Here is the original post for all the details on the badges. We sent an email asking all of those with at least 5 badges to take a picture of their badges and tweet using the hashtag #a1techabadges
We are going to select one of these teachers at random from each of the three areas and give them a new iPad case at our conference in June. You can see the hashtag feed here:

I was very happy with the number of teachers that have already shared their badges. This is definitely something we will adapt and use again with our PD next year.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Week

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week I sent this Buncee card to all of my teachers and gave them these adorable, home button stickers from Amazon. They were a big hit! How did you celebrate?