I think it’s a little too early to start planning for my course 5 final project, so I decided to expose here some of my thoughts about the two possibilities I’ve been thinking about.
My first option is to rebuild my Digital Citizenship unit with Elementary School, but focusing a bit more on 5th grade. I Already started to work on that as you can see below:
This is a work in progress and includes the whole 5th-grade curriculum, but I would love to hear your feedback and feel free to get some ideas or use it for yourself. A lot of the ideas from this curriculum I got from this course. So, definitely, COETAIL has been enriching my skills, not just as a Tech Integrator, but more importantly, as an educator.
I really think Digital Citizenship is a subject we have to explore more and has to be part of the 21st-century school’s education. It is paramount for kids to understand how to face this brave new online world. Not just because it’s new, but especially because it’s always new. The changes happen so fast that every internet user should be up-to-date on this particular subject. Differently from the “normal” or “general” citizenship, the digital one changes rapidly like any other item related to internet and technology.
That’s why I think this topic should fit into my final course project. I feel that, although I have been teaching it, I need to improve my lessons and structure it better.
My second option would be to talk about the work I’ve been doing with the teachers. The one-on-one coaching with and the general tech support offered to faculty.
I really enjoy helping the teachers with technology, whether is for enhancing their productivity or collaborating with them to support students’ learning.
I’ve been meeting with teachers for different purposes, depending on their needs. I’ve been helping them setting blog pages for their students and working on tech tools, like NoRedInk, to improve student’s grammar. We also worked together to better organize students’ albums with google photos or boost their presentations through digital storytelling.
Recently, we had a whole week of Hour of Code and the tech depart., together with other teachers, was in charge of setting a bunch of coding activities for the whole school. I worked closely with the elementary school, grades K-5, introducing them to some great coding apps and programmes, like Kodable, Box Island, Hour of Code activities and Scratch. Immediately after, I received an email from a teacher interested in continuing with Scratch projects for her class. This kind of initiatives, like the Hour of Code, are great opportunities for us to present teachers with different possibilities for kids to learn through technology. Maybe, who knows, some of the teachers will be interested in fitting coding as part of their curriculum? That’s why I find those initiatives “eye-opening”, as they can show how valuable tech integration can be for education.
I also love the challenge some teachers put on us. The other day this teacher asked me if I knew how to create quizzes from a list of questions she had on a spreadsheet. Together with one of the schools’ IT expert, we managed to find an add-on in Google Spreadsheet that converts the questions and answers into multiple choice quizzes in Google Forms (fantastic!). It was amazing to try to find a solution to something I never even thought it could be possible. On the other hand, we got stuck after we tried to print the quizzes with all the questions randomized. If students were to take the test in its digital format, direct from their computers, it would be possible to turn on a feature where each one of them would receive randomized questions. However, the teacher wants to hand in the test and it turns out that when you print the test, it loses its random function. Maybe you guys can recommend a software/app that can create quizzes and also print them with all the questions being randomized? I still couldn’t find one. Anyway, just the fact I was challenged, already excites me to go research for the solution.
Soon the school will have a whole professional development day and I, in conjunction with the tech department, will be creating different workshops to integrate tech into the classrooms.
Therefore, I can see a lot of opportunities to build a structured plan where we can better support teachers. In the meantime, we are doing it as per demand, which means, when the teacher feels the need to go deeper into technology in order to complete their task, they look for our help. Hence, I’m also thinking about sending out a survey asking all of the staff which are the main reasons they would look for tech help. Which would be their main needs connected to tech and, beyond that, how they think technology could enhance their teaching. Maybe we would find some patterns in their answers, which would help us build a programme that could tackle, at least, most of their needs. I know it’s complicated to find time to fit in their overloaded schedule, but I’m sure once they get more confident with tech, they will gain productivity and, consequently, more time.
Anyway, I’m embedding my digital citizenship unit down here. In case I decide to go this way, I’ll have something to start with for my final project.