Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Are you ready to blog?

Do you use form letters to communicate with family and friends. Have you thought about how nice it would be for your students to get information from you if they are absent (or just need the information again) ? Do you want to reach students that don't participate in class, but might from behind their computer...

Maybe it is time you thought about blogging with your students. When you blog, you can publish information and choose whether you would like to have feedback or not. I would encourage your students to read your blogs and post comments. It is a perfect opportunity to teach them appropriate posting; grammar, spelling...complete sentences.

Here are a couple of links to start you out in the world of blogging.

10 Tips for bloggers
blogging for beginners
blogging tips for teens

Should schools allow teachers to use outside technology tools?

I am actually copying this question from a guest blogger at Techlearning. Visit his blog to get the complete article.

So, in this world of shrinking budgets, should we allow teachers to bring in their own technology tools? I really see both sides of this issue; having been one of the support personnel to fix the problems personal equipment can cause, and being an educator who wants to provide education...with whatever tools work best.

Here is what I think - what we do is teach kids. We prepare them to be productive citizens in an ever changing world. How we do that is up to us but I think we are doing a disservice to them if we are not modeling the real world.

So...if podcasts, blogs and online forums are what is "real world"...if cell phones, mp3 players and digital cameras are "real world"...shouldn't we be allowed to use these tools in our classroom? And...if the school district can't afford to provide these tools, then we should be allowed to bring in our own.

Yes, this causes more work for support personnel but in the long run, I think the benefits outweigh the hassels.

What say you?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Technology Integration in BPS

This year we are starting a new staff development program that involves small study groups. We are focusing on technology proficiency and integration. Teachers will fill out an application if they are interested in participating. The selected teachers will receive 6 full release days to meet at a central location.

The focus of these days will depend upon the results of a pre-test, where the teachers provide their comfort level when using different technologies. In their small groups, they will work to achieve literacy in the areas they are not familiar with, and will start working on ideas to integrate technology into the classroom.