Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Looking for Apps & Websites?



Teachers often ask me and the other Ed Techs for help finding apps and digital tools they can use in their classroom. It's hard to take the time to slog through the app store or try out websites. Common Sense Media is a trusted, nonprofit source for Digital Citizenship and Literacy curriculum for schools and media awareness and advising for families.

Graphite™ (http://www.graphite.org/) is a free service from Common Sense Media designed to help preK-12 educators discover, use, and share the best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula for their students by providing unbiased, rigorous ratings and practical insights from an active community of teachers. You can filter your search by subject, grade, skill level, and Common Core.



Check out their 2 minute intro video. http://youtu.be/i1OH_S1zfNQ

Monday, September 15, 2014

Molding Young Minds


Did you know that FSUSD is considered a regional leader in Education Technology?
Well, we totally are. 
And we are because of the work and lean-forward attitude of our teachers, leaders, and district.

Because of the incredible work of our teachers, who embrace 1:1 and BYOD instruction, others are looking to us to for learning and leadership.  The Asst. Director who leads our department was contacted before the end of the 2013-14 school year by an instructor at the UC Davis School of Education.  The Education Department at UC Davis reached out to the FSUSD Ed Tech department to help them teach the Computers in Education course for these new Mult. Subject credential candidates. Several of the Ed Tech Specialists are even acting as guest lecturers for the course.

Last week, (9/8/ - 9/12/14) I got to be a guest lecturer for the student-teachers.  My topic was building a PLN.  The presentation materials are below, feel free to use, borrow and adapt them as you see fit.

I really enjoyed this experience and there are lots of takeaways. For me one of the biggest and most comical is to remember to take demographers with a grain of salt.  Not assuming prior knowledge, it turns out, is a good teaching technique always, always, always.

We have all heard about how the Millennials and the following generations are all digital natives.  I am not so sure.  Or at least I am not so sure that we should all assume that "digital native" means "is comfortable with/knows how to do everything on the Internet".  For the vast majority, they had never used twitter before, a very small number didn't want to use it at all, and there were little stumbling blocks and user hiccups that were mostly down to user inexperience/error.

To my Gen X and Boomer friends, don't believe the hype...the kids are just as lost as you...they just don't mind it as much. :-)

Dr. PLN-Love -or- How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Create My Own Professional Development