Showing posts with label professional_development. Show all posts
Showing posts with label professional_development. Show all posts

March 8, 2014

EdCamp Maine 2014

There was a terrific energy for the third Southern Maine EdCamp, held at Waynflete school. It was very valuable to connect with innovative educators from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This event and the fall ACTEM MaineEd conference are the best times for me to connect with others and share ideas. The "unconference" model of EdCamp has become more familiar and there were more interesting sessions offered than I could fit into my day. Meal times and the coffee table were also sources of sharing and conversations that gave me many new ideas for working with students and teachers.

My notes from the day are on a shared Google Doc. One very dynamic person was the K12 integrator from the Wilmington, MA schools. Her session on CCSS Nonfiction Resources seemed valuable enough that I shared it with our K12 Lead Literacy teachers and I have referred to it for ideas for teams at YES.

June 25, 2013

Sebago Education Alliance (SEA) Tech Camp

My teaching and learning are continuing as I present and attend sessions at the SEA Tech Camp for teachers. On Monday I taught two half day sessions: Adding Media to Blogs, Wikis and Sites and What I Learned in School Today - Elementary Blogs. The links are to the plans for the sessions that include online links to help sheets and other resources. As always I learned while teaching and it was great to collaborate with other educators.

Today I am attending Alice's session on Google Certified Trainer session on using Google Apps. One of my goals this summer is to become a certified trainer taking the online series of trainings. There are a lot of people here who are not using using Google Apps for Education and I am struck by how much our district has come to rely on the interoperability and collaboration options of our domain.

June 18, 2013

EdCafe Take Away

This post was created during the Yarmouth Summer-Fall Technology course during our demonstration lesson of Katrina Kenney's EdCafe model. We introduced the EdCafe model and then presented the choices for three sessions of PBS TED Talks Education videos. My group chose to watch the segment by Geoffrey Canada, of Harlem Children's Zone.
We discussed the video for about a half an hour. One interesting component was that we had two high school students in our group and they added their perspective about their preferences for assignments and personalizing their learning.

The takeaway for our group is as follows:

How are we as teachers failing our students?
  • Not all students are engaged at all times
  • Compartmentalized learning by subject, not integrated
  • Kids fall through the cracks - how do we get students to access support? Keep on trying!!

How do we keep on innovating?
  • Students respond to choice in learning materials and project options
  • Keep talking about what "personalized learning" means
  • Pursue YEF grants for resources

July 23, 2012

USM EPC 508 - Summer 2012

In mid-July I spent a week working with a group of 14 teachers from various districts in southern Maine at USM. The course has carried the title "Integrating Technology into the Classroom: Mac" for many years, but I have been able to vary the content and update the syllabus each year. I created this site for the course: and we used a Posterous blog: as our collaboration tool. It's always stimulating to hear from and work with a varied group of teachers who represent an array of grade levels, curriculum areas and backgrounds. I enjoy the opportunity to teach this course and the teachers are usually experiencing working closely with an integrator in a way that is not available in their home district.

June 29, 2012

Exploring the Ocean through Science & Children's Literature Course

I was fortunate to join a group of educators at SMCC for three days in late June to explore the many opportunities of using hands-on science activities and children's literature to learn about the ocean. This curriculum has been developed by Mary Cerullo and others at the Friends of Casco Bay.

We were immersed in the science of monitoring temperature, nitrogen influx (which causes acidification) and the overall health of the waters of  Casco Bay. Mary has written many books about science topics that are wonderful resources for any age group. From her newest book on Giant Squid through her collaborations with undersea photographers on Sea Soup, Shipwrecks and City Fish, Country Fish Mary's books create a unique library of inviting collections of text, images and photographs on these engaging topics.

These days were a tremendous opportunity for me to revisit my interests in science, place-based education, environmental activism an the power of those who work on important causes like the health of our oceans. My friend and colleague Cheryl Oakes from Wells, Maine created this Animoto video of our trip on the Lucky Catch with lobsterman Tom and crew:

May 28, 2012

Yarmouth Summer/Fall Technology Course 2012

Registrations are building for this years summer/fall technology course for K12 faculty. The site is at: Dates: June 19, 20 & 21 8:00-3:30, September 22 8:00-12:00, October 27 8:00-3:30 at YHS.

Teachers will learn and practice expanded uses of media for teaching and learning around these questions:
  1. How will student demonstrations of learning be more innovative in my classroom?
  2. How will I as a teacher move toward more choices for students to demonstrate learning?
  3. How can I share or celebrate my students’ work?
As we develop the progression of topics and assignments the site will be expanded beyond the syllabus, dates and times.

May 17, 2012

Google Apps OnAir Tutorials

This summer one of my goals is to review these tutorials for possible use in our Yarmouth course and future faculty meetings.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

April 29, 2012

Edcamp Boston, April 2012

These are a couple of the many Diigo links that I got from EdCamp Boston that I hope to pursue. There were many conversations about "Blended Learning", iPads and learning and other topics. The "smackdown" at the end gave us many links to use with our students. Some of the notes I made are:

  • 6 word memoir in Animoto
  • Edmodo turn in for assignments
  • LittleBirds for writing and drawing
  • Fotobabble for recorded story sent to parents by email
  • Storybird make student accounts within classroom
  • Animoto accounts only last 9 months but can set up for class
  • Prezi
  • Voicethread - kids can do presentation online instead of being live (differentiation)
  • Sliderocket- in google apps marketplace- has voice record, can embed twitter feeds (latest 20)
  • Storify
  • - newspaper generator with embedded social media
Alice, Mike and I had a chance to visit with many colleagues from around New England.

April 27, 2012

New England Apple Tech Update Spring2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

It's been a few years since I attended an Apple Update. Mike, Alice and I all chose to attend this one due to the agenda items. It was helpful to hear about the development of management tools for iPads for schools adding large numbers of iPads. As long as we are adding a few iPads at a time we will be manually setting up iPads with either personal, institutional or hybrid accounts for each iPad. It is somewhat complicated as exploring apps requires access to iTunes cards or Apple Voucher provided apps. Another item on the agenda was the new option to create multimedia texts in iBooks. The limitations are that books can only be created by teachers and they belong to the teacher not the school. This is going to take some working out as we see what the potential is for iBooks and other epub options. In Yarmouth we are often looking for a tool that students can use as a multi-media creation tool. Most teachers are using sites, wikis and blogs for their own curriculum development online.

April 9, 2012

Google Docs for Teachers eBook

Many thanks to Richard Byrne: Free Technology for Teachers

April 1, 2012

Learning at edcampme 2012

Saturday was the first Maine "edcamp" sponsored by vendors and held at Waynflete School in Portland. This was a great day of connecting and sharing with other educators whose focus is using technology to support learning. I attended a session on iPads in the Elementary classroom and learned a few new apps and some management tips. The session on Digital Portfolios didn't apply directly to what we want to do in Yarmouth, but some of their methods could be useful. Alice, Mike and I presented a session on Google Apps in the Classroom with Kern Kelly from Nokomis High School. Kern has developed comprehensive digital portfolios of their older students and each graduating senior receives a gift of their name as a web domain so that they can carry their portfolio on beyond their K12 years. He also shared a great strategy for collecting student assignments when a teacher has many students in various classes. The sessions, photos and reflections of the day are archived at and the twitter hashtag for the day was #edcampme.

March 16, 2012

Yarmouth Media & Learning Day - March 16, 2012

Once again we organized an "unconference" for our spring professional development day that started with a keynote by Wes Fryer, followed by a selection of sessions by Wes and Yarmouth faculty. The site for the course is: Yarmouth Learning with Media Day. I created a summary of the feedback from the day which was very positive about the opportunity to work as a K12 faculty on enhancing the ways we use media, ourselves and with our students. 

March 10, 2012

Burlington 1:1 Summit - March 10, 2012

This summit was an "unconference" in the sense that presentations were by participants, not paid presenters. The Burlington, MA school system has been moving into mobile technology with 1:1 iPads in the high school this year, sets of iPads in the elementary schools and a review of options for the future for middle schools. Alice, Mike and I attended with Ben McNaboe (YHS class of 2011) to share our experience of 1:1 in our grades 7-12 for over ten years. Ben also presented his own session on how useful he finds an iPad to be in his freshman year of college. I attended a session with other elementary educators who are using iPads and we had a rousing lunchtime "smackdown" of app ideas.

This post from the BHS principal Patrick Larkin is a good synopsis of the philosophy and information that were shared at the summit. Burlington has many of the needed elements for moving forward with powerful learning through the use of iPads: strong administrative support and involvement, robust support for infrastructure, involved teachers developing online materials, interest in moving to a facilitated learning environment, student IT team to support teachers, supports and play a role in the new implementation.

December 7, 2011

Best of TED 2011

Check out these TED talks for 20 minutes on innovation topics.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

November 19, 2011

Leveraging Learning: the iPad in Primary Grades - Auburn - Nov 2011

This three day institute had four strands: Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment, Leadership & Professional Development,  Data/Research and Technical Project Management. It was hard to split myself between the three strands and I was envious of the school districts that had larger teams attending the Institute. I got an introduction to each of the strands and coordinated with the parent from the Yarmouth Elementary Foundation. I met people from other districts who were looking at iPad implementations in a variety of forms and I attended some sessions with colleagues who are first grade teachers in Cape Elizabeth. The most powerful piece of the three days was visiting a Kindergarten classroom and talking with students using the iPads. The apps they were using for Math and Literacy learning showed the unique opportunities that an iPad can offer for engagement, problem-solving and immediate feedback.

October 15, 2011

ACTEM MaineEd Conference October 2011

One of the opportunities I look forward to each year is the MaineEd ACTEM conference each fall. This year I chose not to present, but attended sessions on Global Learning with Lucy Gray, iPads in first grade and the implementation of iPads in the Auburn Kindergartens. My focus was on attending sessions with the many teachers from Yarmouth who attended. In a conversation with Tara Maker from Apple I became interested in attending the three day workshop that Apple was coordinating with Auburn on the literacy research being launched in Auburn. I was able to register for the conference and to gain a spot for a representative from the new Yarmouth Education Foundation. I also learned from Peter Robinson (Auburn) and Lars (Apple Engineer) about some of the particulars of setting up iPads for classroom use.

June 30, 2011

ISTE 2011

ISTE 2011 was held in Philadelphia from June 25-29. Alice and I traveled on the chartered ACTEM bus with 40 Maine technology educators. At the conference we were able to talk with many colleagues who we usually only connect to online. The conversations and collegial connections are certainly a highlight of attending this conference. The initial keynote was by Dr. John Medina who has published Brain Rules. Videos of all the keynotes are available here. While I didn't find Medina's message new (students need to learn basics and then build on them in a logical order, etc.), I think his rules make sense and contain ideas that we should be attending to in schools. I was reminded that there is very little that is known about the way the brain works and that teachers are often the experts about how to approach individual students.

One of my goals for attending the conference was to explore more uses for iPads, for teachers as well as students. I took my new iPad instead of my laptop and was able to use it for most everything I would have done on a laptop with a lot less weight to carry around. The best uses of an iPad at this point in time seem to be to use the apps for Pages, Keynote, etc. to place instructional materials on the iPad for students to use and of course the access to the Internet. There are a few apps that are designed for particular adaptive uses, but many of those being marketed are a return to skill & drill on a new machine.

I was please to hear about the upcoming mobile apps for Voicethread and I think using it on a mobile device for field trips would be a great addition to use of that site. I talked to a number of teachers who are using iPod touches in the classroom and I think that we would make use of those if we had access to them. They are smaller and more manageable than an iPad and there are apps for story creation, drawing and math practice that would be appealing to students. I'm not sure how that will fit in with our budgets at Rowe and YES.

I learned about "infographics"(e.g. from a session cotaught by Diane Laufenberg, social studies teacher at Science Learning Academy in Philadephia. I hope to follow up on the ideas of this session with student assignments at YHS next year. Like many other tools I have been exploring, infographics are a creative way for students to describe their learning in a subject area.

June 22, 2011

Yarmouth Summer Tech Course for Teachers

Once again we (Alice Barr & Mike Arsenault and me) are offering a course designed to bring teachers the most recent innovations related to using technology for learning and teaching. The course site is online and is a hybrid of classroom time and online learning on their own. The course is being attended by teams of teachers working on planning for units and ways to use our 1:1 laptops in grades 7-12 and 1:3 in grades 2-6. K-1 teachers are exploring grade level information sites, class blogs and the use of new document cameras in the classroom. The course continues into the Fall and will wrap up on October 22nd with a day long session of sharing projects.

April 3, 2011

Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Course

Our reading for the course this week revisits the ideas of "push" and "pull" technologies. For my purposes there are so many resources that I could pick up and read that I prefer to use some form of "pull" to select certain items and have them come directly to my desktop. Several years ago I set up a Bloglines account and had feeds coming in from educators, technology colleagues, newspaper columnists and others. I rarely took the time to check the results and kept looking for ways to select the ones I would really read and learn from. Then came Google Reader and I could organize and winnow a bit. I still have both accounts, but my latest attempt at seeing many headlines and blog posts at a glance is m renovated iGoogle with my Google Reader gadget coming into it. I have set my iGoogle as the start page for my favorite browser and I am making a commitment to set aside pieces of time each week to scan and read.

My reality is that I most often use Twitter at a glance during my work day and I rely on the people I follow to send and resend links so that I don't miss too many posts. Some of the people I follow are in my Gmail Buzz and I value having their posts stay there in case I miss them in Twitter. My original reason for establishing a Personal Learning Network was that I am the only one in my district who does what I do. While I'm fortunate to have two colleagues who are also Instructional Integrators, I am the only one who is at the elementary level. I have an amazing colleague in Southern Maine in Bob Sprankle and he and I have sometimes collaborated on presentations at the annual fall MainED conference. There are other people I connect with who are geographically available for occasional face-to-face contacts, but much of my professional collaboration is online in some form.

Diigo for sharing bookmarks, reading and communities of learners is a "pull" tool that I can't imagine not having. The possibilities of tags for organizing, making lists & slideshows and sharing with groups make it essential to me. While I have taught Diigo in courses I teach, I have been trying to find a chance to introduce it to all of the faculty at school. I hope to be able to do that in May of this year.

This week I expect the arrival of my new iPad2 and I look forward to that as a new tool for viewing, reading, and occasionally responding to my learning network.

March 19, 2011

Yarmouth Goes Google

On March 18th the K12 Technology Team planned and carried out a professional development day at YHS for all faculty and staff. The process of moving from Google Docs and FirstClass Mail to all Google Apps is accelerating as we plan to be using all Google Apps as of April 25th (after April Vacation). Google Education provides numerous tutorials and transition aids to all districts moving to Google Education Domains. Using those materials, and others from colleagues and Google Certified Teachers, we put together a Conference style day that is posted at this site:

The reaction has been very positive as to the differentiation that was offered for learners at different points in the transition. We offered 20+ sessions in strands that ranged from Novice to Experienced. We were fortunate to have colleagues from neighboring schools and districts as well as our own faculty offer sessions and twelve YHS students spent all or half of the day assisting presenters and offering help to faculty members. Photos uploaded during the day are posted online.

These were some comments on the Exit slips:
I was a little nervous about the Google inservice day at first, but you all did such a great job explaining everything. It was so nice to have time to work on what we learned that day when we had others there to answer any questions we may have. 
I really enjoyed working with others...we helped and supported each other in a safe environment.  
This was phenomenal. I really didn't realize how much these tools can do. Now I know more about what I don't know. This day helps me to continue with my own learning.   
A very professional day with all of the amenities that one would expect from a conference that we paid lots of money to attend. 
I thought the day was very well planned. I enjoyed learning new things and working with colleagues I don't normally get an opportunity to work with. 
I love the variety of sessions and all the extra help. Lots of energy around this transition! 
A wonderful learning experience!
I appreciated that I could leave a session anytime that I felt that it wasn't what I needed.  
I really enjoyed working with others...we helped and supported each other in a safe environment.  
After much apprehension, I am so excited about creating a website.
 I love the way you always include students - they are such an amazing resource and it's wonderful for them to see us learning, learning, learning.   
We will continue to offer informal and formal learning opportunities for faculty and staff as we move through the coming months. Over 30 Yarmouth faculty will participate in the “Teaching & Learning with Google Tools” course posted at