Engages in professional growth.
Artifact 1: Technology Professional Development
While at Spirit Lake one of the professional development days that I attended covered Google Apps for Education and the various different apps that are included in the package. The training itself was very useful as there are a wide variety of free and useful apps that Google has made available to educators . The training also introduced me to the ChromeBooks that were being rolled out for the upper elementary school/ middle school and high school. The training touched on many different aspects of Google and provided a great look at some of the possibilities that can be done in your classroom. I utilized the information gathered from the professional development in the teaching of the 5th grade science classroom to share files with students, create lesson plans and deliver online exams. We also covered some very useful add-ons that made using Google Apps much more streamlined and efficient. The first of these was Doctopus. Doctopus is a add-on that allows you to share and manage files with your students. You maintain ownership of the files so students can’t share the documents without your permission and permits reviewing the work that the student is doing at any time. The second was Goobric. Goobric is an add-on that allows you to easily grade quizzes that you create using Google Forms. You create an answer sheet, Goobric compares the correct answer to the answer the student gave, grades it and can send out the results. Goobric provides you as an instructor with valuable data on who missed what, and how often a specific question was missed.
Artifact 2: Team Meetings
One of my responsibilities in my second placement with a Technology Integration Specialist was to attend the various grade level team meetings to address and assist with any technology issues teachers were having in the classroom, and to provide ideas on how they could better implement technology. This was a great chance for me to work with teachers in a wide range of grade levels and to hear what they thought about the technology being used. K-2 was using iPads and 3-4 was using Chromebooks. This provided me with some great experience to know what to expect when working with a school that is starting a 1:1 initiative or working in a school that already has the initiative. I feel that the main reasons that technology is not used in the classroom (as much as it can) is that many times teachers don’t have the time or experience to determine what the best applications of technology are. Part of my job as a student teacher was to find those best uses of technology and suggest to the teacher how it could be used.
One example of this was using the iPads with 1st graders to create books. Working with one of the 1st grade teachers, we decided to have the students create books using the iPads, which were then saved to DropBox and shared with the parents. I evaluated various different iPad apps for ease of use, features and cost. The final decision was on Book Creator (free version). The classroom teacher worked with the students to create paper copies of the books, written and illustrated by the student. We taught the students how to use the app, and worked in small groups to help the students create the books. Initially we had planned to have the student type the words to their story, but due to the limited typing skills of 1st graders, and for the sake of time, we took photographs of each page of the story. The students used the drawing tools in the app to illustrate the cover for their story. The app also had a voice recording feature that we could have used, had there been enough time to allow students to narrate their stories.