December 20, 2010

Flat Classroom Elementary Pilot Moves Ahead

One of my primary goals for our use of technology at school is to increase communication and collaboration. The Elementary Flat Classroom Pilot project "A Week in the Life..." is becoming a powerful experience of interaction, engagement and learning. Rosie Lenehan's 4th grade class is participating and the students are in the midst of designing multimedia ways to describe their lives in Yarmouth, Maine for students in the other schools and countries. We are working off of a page of Web 2.0 tools and each set of reading buddies is preparing a project to post to their team page in the project wiki.

The focus is on creating a media message that shows an aspect of their daily lives in a manner that is clear, interesting and if possible, interactive. Right now we have teams that are using Animoto and Photopeach which can include photos, captions, background music and selected themes. Viewers can leave comments if they are logged in. Animoto allows short videos as well as photos and "producers" are encouraged to select brief highlights which is an editing skill. Animoto supports education accounts providing me with unlimited space for videos. For both tools the students are using my school email to login with our town zip code so they can access from anywhere and I can moderate their projects. Some students are creating or responding to Voicethreads. This year we have subscriptions for 3rd and 4th grade classes to log in on their own and create projects within the K12 Education domain. This allows more students to be on at a time and group projects can be shared within classes or across the school for comments.

A few students are exploring Simplebooklet using my email and the school account password. This tool looks to have tremendous flexibility from as simple as photo and text to as complex as adding a GarageBand soundtrack or copyright free music as well as videos. The group exploring this tool has taken Flipcam movies and they are editing them to show a view of our school. This tool allows interactivity online so we may be able to use it to compile team projects into on on the final project wiki pages.

This intensive exploration of tools is also a chance to work with students on the idea of concise communication and preparing for a particular audience--other students who do not know about their school and their daily lives. Today Rosie's class will be working on their projects, viewing other projects, leaving comments and communicating with their teams on Edmodo. Gordon Chibroski, a photographer from the Portland Press Herald took these photos in preparation for an article in January about the pilot.

(cross posted at

October 16, 2010

MAINEducation (ACTEM) Conference Fall 2010

It's always a challenge to go from the rush of the start of the year to the days away from school at the Fall Maine Education Technology Conference. That said, it is always an energizer as well. I had another opportunity to collaborate with Bob Sprankle from Wells Elementary School on a Thursday afternoon session with 26 educators learning to use Flip cameras to present student work, manage student portfolios and a multitude of other possible uses. I took away many ideas from Bob and the participants. Our presentation is available online:
Flip video in the classroom

On Friday I was inspired by the collaborative keynote by Vicki Davis and Angela Maiers. Not only was it revolutionary that they were willing to co-keynote, their combined energies of reminding us of what we "can" do (as opposed to all the "can'ts") were invigorating. I hope to go back to school and think about every child as a genius who has a unique contribution to make in the world. I know, it sounds hokey, but it is one of many little things I can do to change the conversation.

September 6, 2010

Summer Technology Course

Mike, Alice revised and rewrote our annual Summer/Fall Technology course entitled
TEACHING & LEARNING with TECHNOLOGY for the 21st CENTURY. Participants were teachers in grades 2-12 including Music, Art and Library specialists. We based the course in a Google Site as that let us become more familiar with that tool and it served as a model for teachers who were looking to move from FirstClass web pages or even wikis they have used for several years.

Bringing "The Element" into the Lab

In designing the Yarmouth "TEACHING & LEARNING with TECHNOLOGY for the 21st CENTURY" Course this summer we chose to focus on the themes of creativity and innovation. The question we are asking of teachers is not, "How are you using technology?", but "How are you using technology to support creativity and innovation in our students?" Another question we are asking is, "How can students demonstrate learning in creative and innovative ways?" 

For the past few years I have enjoyed using Sir Ken Robinson's TED (Technology, Education & Design) Talk "Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity" as a discussion point in courses and faculty meetings. This summer he added another talk: "Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!" His sense of humor and the urgency of purpose in his presentations have made Ken Robinson a respected descriptor of  the changes needed in our national and international educational services. Many of the ideas in his talks are compiled in his newly published book, The Element: How finding your passion changes everything. There are many sections and scenarios in the book that I hope to revisit and discuss with others. One line in the chapter on schools that resonated for me was, "Too many feel that what they are good at isn't valued by schools. Too many think they're not good at anything (p. 225)."

In reading the book and thinking about Robinson's ideas for "transforming education (p. 228)", I found myself wondering how I could restructure the weekly computer lab sessions for 2nd, 3rd & 4th graders. Although we have added Google Earth, blogs, Voicethreads, and some interactive sites to our lab activities we are still using many class periods to go to sites that are drill-oriented or  we still ask all students to complete a similar task with a specific tool. I'm torn as in these early years we have an opportunity to introduce online activities and software tools with the goal that all students will build comfort with basics like painting, writing, reading online text and creating multi-media demonstrations of learning. I don't think we can abandon these introductory experiences entirely, but I think we can move toward more "expert groups" and individual choice even at these early grades. I want to move toward Robinson's idea of "firing up the motivations and imaginations of the students (p. 247)."

A favorite part of my role is that I collaborate with teachers when classes are in the lab. One teacher suggested that I inventory 3rd & 4th graders in the early weeks of school. The questions might be:
  • Describe a time that you had your best experience using a computer?
  • Describe a time that you had your worst experience using a computer?
  • If you could choose something you like to do on a computer, what would it be?
Once I have these responses from students I could group them and offer students a selection of learning groups. These groups will need to be flexible as students learn enough to change their minds, but longterm enough to give students a chance to learn and demonstrate learning. I envision groups that would specialize in taking photos with digital cameras and uploading them to online sites; groups that would know how to login to the class Voicethread account and add student work and comments; groups that would use math games to interact with each other and continue that use at home; groups that would be familiar with Google Maps and locating points of interest, groups that would know how to create and share Google Docs, groups that would lead others in creating digital stories using PhotoPeach, Animoto and other sites, and more.

I plan to start my classes this year asking students about what they think computers and technology are for. In that discussion I will ask how many want to be movie makers, writers of stories, poems or plays, painter/illustrators, announcers, scientists, etc. I will use their data from this conversation to report back to them how we will work toward being whichever of these they want most to be. Maybe I will be brave enough to ask them to show me something they know how to do the very first class session.

June 13, 2010

Year in Review: Teacher Web Pages

Tomorrow is our last full day of school and we have much to celebrate about the school year 2009-2010. From my perspective I am impressed by the progress we have made sharing student learning using teacher web pages. Whether the teacher is using a FirstClass web page, a Blogger blog, a WordPress blog, a Blogmeister blog or our new Yarmouth Google sites they have taken off and are helping each other place videos, student writing and digital photos online. The increase in videos is a result of student use of PhotoBooth and teacher use of our FlipCams. The resulting videos are being posted on SchoolTube or through connecting to our Yarmouth WebApps server.

We have reached the point where a teacher web page with updates displaying student learning is an expectation by parents, teachers and students. There have been many factors that contributed to this. One very important one has been time during faculty meetings and team meetings to learn some of the basics of setup and some options about what is available through a "speed-geeking" session in February. Each week when classes come to the computer lab I get an opportunity to check in with teachers about questions or support for adding media to the classroom web pages. This might be testing the new Flash uploader for sets of photos on a WordPress post, creating an iPhoto web page, a Photopeach slideshow, recording student voices on a Voicethread or finding classes to Skype with around the country.

As we start to think about next year my goals include having students use the cameras to record learning events and even help with the uploading for viewing via. a web link. I know for myself that it is a challenge to keep a blog or web page up-to-date. As we all develop and become comfortable with some simple procedures for posting it becomes easier to keep things current. A goal for myself is to continue to work on the YES Technology site and more frequent updates there about what we are learning each month.

Do we need Interactive White Boards (IWBs)?

Many times it comes up in a conversation, "Why don't you have any 'SmartBoards' (Interactive White Boards or IWBs) at your school?" I have been answering this question for the past few years with the response that when we have met the goal of one projector for every classroom then we will be ready to look at the option of adding whiteboards. Some people can't resist asking me if I had no money restrictions would I want them in classrooms. The buzz for IWBs, especially when districts are building new facilities, has been increasing for the last few years. At the spring CUE conference Robert Marzano presented data from a study that indicated better test results in classrooms using IWBs and clicker response systems. This research was funded by Promethean, a company that makes IWBs and response systems. Currently Marzano and his team are conducting workshops on the use of these tools.

Given that we operate in a world of limited resources I continue to believe that putting cameras, microphones and mobile computing tools in the hands of students along with a projector to allow students to share their work and teachers to bring the outside world into classroom are priorities ahead of IWBs. The other day there was an article in the Washington Post raising some of the questions that I have. In my professional network I recently saw this posting in Tech & Learning that struck a chord for me:
Before wasting thousands upon thousands of dollars on costly interactive whiteboards take a moment and think. Will my teachers really utilize these boards to enrich instruction in a way that justifies the cost or might my students be better served by having access to technology in their own hands? A school can start with just a projector and save thousands of dollars. You can always purchase IWBs at a later time. In fact while IWB companies fund research that shows they are effective, more and more people are finding that student achievement is no higher in classrooms with IWBs than those with projectors only. To date in five years of searching and upon visiting many classrooms, I still have not seen instruction enhanced with an IWB. It may be happening somewhere, but I haven't seen it. Smart principals should ask those teachers who want interactive whiteboards to write a proposal to justify the expense and that proposal should clearly explain and state compelling reasons explaining how IWBs will result in more effective instruction than if they used a projector alone. If they can make a case, consider the purchase. If you find, as I have, that they can accomplish most of what they are talking about with a laptop (ideally a tablet) and a projector, you may want to reconsider.
Author: Lisa Nielsen is an educational administrator and permanently certified teacher with more than a decade's worth of experience working in educational innovation at the city, state, and national level. She currently serves as Technology Innovation Manager for the NYC Department of Education.

June 1, 2010

Supporting Administrator Uses of Technology

The goal I set in the fall for my focus this year was to provide support to the building principals at YES and Rowe School on the uses of technology, especially for communication and PowerSchool. We have spent time on backing up files to the server, accessing email and contacts on their iPhones and the various ways an administrator can access student data using the online testing sites maintained by NECAP and NWEA. Some of the time has been spent responding to questions they have that come up during their work. Now that we are making more use of the Yarmouth Google Domain all administrators are learning to access shared documents with teachers, teams and other administrators.

In the last year there has been a substantial increase in the information available in PowerSchool for viewing student and class data. As students take standardized tests and participate in common assessments we are now able to view those scores in PowerSchool in a short time frame so that they can be used to inform instruction. Teachers are beginning to enter test data on their own which decreases the time and errors made as sheets of data go from one person to another. Collaborating with administrators on their own knowledge, learning needs of teachers and changes we can make to PowerSchool as we support uses of data fits with the first of our current District Goals:
 Teacher teams will improve student achievement based on their analysis of student learning results, with a specific emphasis on improving achievement in mathematics and literacy.
The observations included in my professional portfolio for the 2009-2010 school year are based on this goal as they are written about the biweekly meetings and a full faculty meeting.

May 28, 2010

My PLN (Professional Learning Network)

This diagram is by Alec Couros and  is posted here using Creative Commons share alike license for noncommercial use. How do I know about Creative Commons Licensing? Because for the past four years I have been expanding my professional network beyond the constraints of those whom I have met and worked with to those in the field of technology in education who I can contact via the social networking of the Internet. I have a Twitter network of selected educators who post links to their own work or those of others that they value. I have an iGoogle page of incoming RSS feeds of articles and blog entries I can view to see if I want to read more. Both of these are available on my phone as well so if I don't have my laptop open I can still use moments when I am waiting for an appointment or a friend to check in. I have podcasts that are set to download to iTunes on my computer when I am online. When I plug my phone into my computer the podcasts transfer to my phone so I can listen to them when I am walking or driving.

This network allows my to be in contact with others who have a role like mine in another state or country. We can try ideas out with each other,  put our teachers in contact with each other. While I still value going to conferences like ISTE the immediacy of this network and the professional interactions it creates mean that I can have conference-like interactions with colleagues without traveling or waiting for an annual meeting. I have a much larger network of colleagues and associates available to me through this network than I have ever had in my professional career.

May 20, 2010

Common Sense Student Surveys

I modified the Common Sense Media Survey for student to be more appropriate for 3rd and 4th graders and as part of a group of Internet Safety lessons all classes took the survey in May for a total of 205 responses.

The student reports of the hours they watch TV/movies on a school day were pretty similar to those of their parents. While we don't usually have homework assignments that require the use of the Internet, over 40% of students said that they spend an average of 1 hour or more using the Internet for homework. When asked if an adult knew when they were online, this was what they said:
Also, when asked a list of possible activities students indicated that they are fully participating in the commerce and social aspects of the Internet:

Fewer than half of the students said that they had had conversations with their parents in the last year about media usage. More than half indicated that they had had conversations with their parents about cyber bullying and being careful about other people when they are online.

The student responses to this survey indicate that students are accessing the Internet on their own and are engaging in many preteen activities that they are hearing about from media, friends, siblings and family members. I use the surveys as part of a conversation about Internet uses with students and I am working with the school counselors and other integrators to develop K12 materials and sessions for parents, teachers and students.

April 7, 2010

Lego Digital Designer, then Scratch

Our Building Leadership Team has been reading Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind". In the book Pink talks about a cultural need for people who exercise creativity and have an interest in design as we head into a future that has many unknowns and a reality that many jobs will be outsourced or replaced by devices. In the chapter titled Design he writes,
Design--that is, utility enhanced by significance--has become an essential aptitude for personal fulfillment and professional more people develop a design sensibility, we'll increasingly be able to deploy design for its ultimate purpose: changing the world. (p. 70)
With those thoughts in mind we have been spending time on technology applications that expect students to be creative, collaborative and original in their thinking. After a very brief introduction, 4th grade students used Lego Digital Designer to create models and characters. The next step was to move to MIT's Scratch program. Working in pairs the students used the "Getting Started" packet from the Learn Scratch site. It was interesting to observe the issues some had following directions carefully to learn the twelve introductory concepts. From there students are saving their individual or collaborative projects and heading in a variety of directions. For a more thorough description of teaching Scratch to students in the elementary grades I recommend Bob Sprankle's Bitbybit podcast #84.

Next week we will have a few 8th graders from our Middle School come to help the 4th grade students. Some of them have joined the MIT community of Scratch collaborators and have spent considerable time at home designing projects. It will be great to have their help and inspiration.

April 6, 2010

Social Media Counts

A view of the pace of social interactions online:

March 14, 2010

Parent Surveys on Student Uses of Technology

Last year I used a self-designed parent survey that gave me feedback about what parents know about their child’s use of technology at YES and what they themselves use of our electronic resources.

I chose to use the Common Sense Media parent survey this year to find out more about student technology use at home. 

The questions ask about a student’s access to media, the hours they spend using various forms of media and the Internet and the concerns they have about usage. Sixty-nine parents responded and the numbers were evenly divided over the grades and genders of the students. Almost all the households have television with cable or satellite access and DVD players. Most households also have computers, broadband access, video game devices, cameras and music playing devices. Very few students have their own cell phones (6%) and none have phones with Internet access.

Parents reported that 30% of students watch 0 hours of TV during the week, close to half of all students watch 1 hour and 20% regularly watch 2 or more hours. According to the survey over 50% of students read books or magazines for a purpose other than schoolwork while 18% use the Internet for schoolwork and 32% use it for games and/or social interactions. It’s great to see a lot of use of books by choice and due to the young age of the students I would expect more Internet use for games than homework.

I was a little bit surprised that parents reported that ¾ of the students use the Internet for online games. I would imagine that it is some of the same students who are also in the 1/3 of students who explore virtual worlds like Webkinz and Club Penguin. Parents report that about ¼ of the students use the Internet for information and research. Given that our students are 7-10 years old I was a little surprised how many students are playing online games which means they are often playing with others. Since parents are reporting this much use at home it is certainly time to be talking to all students about Internet safety principles. I am using videos with classes and sending home materials for parents.

On the question about common concerns parents may have 53% of parents are concerned about their child being the victim of a cyberbully, but 75.8% of parents are not concerned about their child actually doing the cyberbullying and according to the students only 3.4% of parents have actually talked with their kids about this topic. These responses indicate that giving kids an arena for conversations about cyberbullying is appropriate in the classroom and parents may make use of materials I send home.

We didn’t have a PTO sponsored Parent Education evening this year about Internet Safety, but I have talked to some parents about planning a session for the fall. This session could also address concerns about exposure to inappropriate content, stranger contact and privacy intrusions. Like most parents, Yarmouth parents are interested in learning what their kids are doing with media and technology, and how this impacts them. Most parents report that they are talking to their children about what types of media they can access and the amount of they can spend. They also report that they frequently address the critical analysis of media content and maintaining privacy.

It’s good to see that parents support the use of the Internet for their children to learn about things they are interested in, to learn about different cultures, and to learn about current events. As is appropriate for this age of student most parents don’t see use of the Internet as a social exploration for their children.

My next steps are to ask some similar questions of my students to compare their responses to those of their parents and then share that information with our faculty. Common Sense Media has a set of student questions that I will adapt to use. I am teaching a short series of Internet Safety lessons first so that students will know that I am familiar with their full range of uses of games and learning activities on the computer.

Three-fourths of the parents surveyed agreed that they thought it was important for media and technology to be used in schools and most of them indicated that having this access has a positive impact on their child. I will be sending out Internet Safety information via. email as I teach student lessons in the coming weeks. I am also adding more parent information to my web pages online at and

March 9, 2010

Global Awareness with Panwapa

Many thanks to Brett Pierce (Executive Director of Panwapa at Sesame Workshop) for visiting our school and teaching a lesson on "Needs and Wants" from the Panwapa Teacher Materials. The students have enjoyed our explorations with Panwapa cards as a way to discover the interests of students around the world. We look forward to the upgrades that are planned for Panwapa including links to Google Earth. Our third graders have explored continents, regions of the world and the lives of children in other cultures.

February 7, 2010

YES Student Surveys

Recently I asked the students in grades 2, 3, & 4 to respond to a survey about learning in the Computer Lab. The survey was designed to give me feedback on my teaching as well as what activities we do in the Computer Lab might be engaging enough for them to continue use at home or away from school.

The survey took the students 5-10 minutes and there have been 213 responses from three classes at each grade. Most of the students responded that they like to use the computer to learn (Yes ~ 69%, Sometimes ~ 30%, No ~ 3%). They listed a number of things they like to do in the lab, most of which were activities we have done in the past few weeks: Google Earth, Timez Attack, Clicker Paint, Math Sites, Arctic Activities, and of course, "playing games". Other short comments included that they like to "learn with the teacher on what we are learning on in class", "study stuff like science and all of the other stuff" and that "you are allowed to use very advanced technology".

The questions about whether I help them learn and whether I help if they need help had positive responses, but there were more "Sometimes" responses than I would have expected (Yes ~ 72%, Sometimes ~ 29%, No ~ 3%). I can tell from the response sheets that a few students selected both Yes and Sometimes. I am curious about the Sometimes responses as combined with the No responses because they are where I would like to improve. I may be able to have conversations with students about these. I also wonder if it would have been a clearer result if the students only had "Yes" or "No" as choices.

In response to the question about what they wished we would do more of in the computer lab the responses mirrored the list of activities they like: Google Earth, Math & Reading, Free Choice, Games, Clicker Paint, Writing, Science, Typing, and "more of what we want".

A few students responded to the open-ended option to tell me anything they wanted. Some of the unedited responses are below:
  • I like playing a game on math that is called seed ball.
  • Computer lab is fun.I also very much enjoy typing.It is very fun.
  • No. I think computer time is good
  • i also like multiplication  baseball.
  • computer lab is perfect for me and I don't think it could be better. 
  • Well  I  like  computers a  little  and that  is it.There  is nothing else really.
  • I want to do more fun things in comeputer!
  • You are a great teacher
  • I wish we could type more in AppleWorks 6
  • I love  to  be  in  the  lab. play  on  the  computer  in  the lab.
  • I wish we could play more games, and go on AppleWorks 6 and type more things cause i love typeing and writing!!!!!
  • i like computer lab
  • i have fun doing a lot of games it is so fun.
  • i like computer
  • I need you to help me more
  • You are a spaktakeler  computer teacher and you shall always stay. Thanks for doing all the thinks you do. Thanks again.  
  • I wish we could go play more Arctic Games and go on AppleWorks 6 and type more and more and more things because I love writing/typing thanks.
  • can we watch videos.
  • I think we should play more games because sometimes we only work and computer lab is a special so we  should be able to play games and stuff like that
  • your a wonderful teacher
  • I just Love computer Lab.
  • Your AWSOME.
  • dear mrs wolinsky you are the coolest teacher in the YES school.
  • you are a Great teacher
  • Computer class is fun!!! just maybe we should have more time to explore.
  • I like how you work the lab and what we do.
  • I think you are a awesome teacher and you teach me a lot.
  • Are their more thing that can help us with math?
  • I wish we did more storys were we draw then write a story aboutit and the computer reads the story we made.
  • Yes, can we do the website on the close ups on the bugs?
  • And, can we have some more free time on the school website and on multiplatin?
  • I like to play games.
  • Can we please do more art
  • I just want you 2 know that you are really good at your job and that I love being in your computer class.
  • that i like a lot  of stuff that is going on in computer.
  • Computer is my favorite subject.
  • Computer lab is my second favorite subject in school.
  • You are the best computer teacher in the whole world in my mind
  • Thank you for being a great computer teacher this year. I also think its very nice you teach us stuff about the computers and how you help us whenever we need your help. Im glad i have you as my computer teacher for these  three years. thank you for all your help.
    In all, the survey confirms my impression that most students like learning in the lab and find me available as needed. It's useful to see what students like about what we do and it's not surprising that they would like more free time and free choice. I enjoy their candid responses to the open-ended questions and look forward to more conversations with them during classes. 

    February 4, 2010

    Exploring Countries and the World

    Third graders have continued to explore the world using Google Earth for locating Journey North Mystery Classes, becoming Panwapa Kids and continuing to excitedly learn about continents, cultures and major geographic features.

    In the lab the classes have toured the world using the Panwapa site to see country names, oceans, and the Information Booths that are in several countries. Once they have completed some time touring they join the site by becoming Panwapa Kid "USA 104,_ _ _". Creating this login and using a shared password so we can prompt them if they forget are part of Internet Safety conversations we have about creating an online identity. As part of creating a Panwapa Card students create a character and a home, then they select their favorite food, music, sport, activity, etc. We created a list of all the Panwapa IDs and sent each child home with her/his own. Students can go to any country, zoom in and see the cards created by students around the world.

    February 3, 2010

    Arctic study in the second grades includes animal reports using the wonderful site ARKive for photos and videos. With many wonderful picture books in the classroom, using resource sites in the lab and reviewing the material found in the Clicker Animals of Cold Lands books. Student have been creating reports and illustrating their knowledge using Clicker Paint. 

    January 15, 2010

    What do I do?

    Recently I had an inquiry from another school district asking what we do around technology to prepare our elementary students for 1-1 in grades 7-12. After I wrote the response I realized it might be a blog entry:

    In the eighteen years that I have been in this position we have gone through many generations of equipment, but we have maintained a consistent philosophy of using technology as a tool for increased learning opportunities for all students. My own journey with technology started in the 1980s with first graders using Delta Drawing and in a staff development role with districts using the newly developed Bank Street College Voyage of the Mimi curriculum with middle school students.

    In our district the budgetary focus for new equipment for the last 6 years has been on providing one to one in grades 9-12 (this follows the state provision of 1-1 in grades 7 & 8). Until this fall we had a lab of 24 desktop computers and 2 carts of laptops for the 2nd, 3rd & 4th graders at Yarmouth Elementary School. This year we were able to move equipment from the high school to our students in  grades 2-6 so now our 300+ students have a lab of MacBooks and 4 carts of 24 MacBooks that can be used in classrooms. All teachers have a MacBook, each classroom has a set of 2 iBooks and we have a projector for every 2 teachers. We have additional iBooks that can be borrowed from the Library for small group projects. Each classroom has a digital camera and microphone for recording, some have document projectors and tablets. We also have Flipcams, video cameras and digital cameras that can be borrowed from the Library. Learning Centers have additional computers for student use. Across the district we have wireless connectivity from all learning settings and networked printers.

    Teachers plan the weekly lessons in the lab with me, either as a grade level team or individually, so that they mesh with classroom learning. We have overall guidelines based on the ISTE Student Standards focused on using technology primarily for communication, collaboration and creativity. I coteach the lessons in the lab with the teachers or I go into their classrooms when they are using the laptop carts. I maintain a set of resource pages that connect with the math, writing, reading, spelling, science and social studies topics taught at each grade level.

    I support teachers creating classroom web pages and blogs as ways to give students an audience for their learning and accomplishments. These teacher/classroom pages are posted on the Teacher Pages on our school web site. I assist the Specialists in using technology during Library, Music and Art classes and I am available to anyone in the building who needs assistance with PowerSchool (our student information system), FirstClass (our school email system), curriculum planning and other times that technology is involved in our work.

    I am at the Elementary School 3 days a week and work directly with all 15 classes. The other 2 days a week I am at our high school. We have 3 instructional technology integrators in our district. We often combine to support staff development for all teachers and administrators in the district. We teach a 3 credit graduate course in the district that meets for three days in June, continues into the fall and then finishes with individual presentations of lessons or units during an October class. Teachers receive credit which counts toward salary scale advancement and/or recertification.

    The variety of my days and the opportunities to collaborate, learn and modify instruction for students are all reasons to continue my pursuit of this wonderful vocation.