As a former bartender, I know that religion and politics are two hot button that at too hot to talk about, so don't think that's where I'm going because it is not.
I was able to catch the Brad Pitt Netflix Original movie War Machine over the holiday weekend. Regardless of my or your opinion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the movie Pitt's character repeatedly stated that they were focused on counter-insergencey, to quote Pitt's character "a Battle for Hearts and Minds." That phrase just kept resonating within me. The character of the lead General said this over in over when talk to troops, politician and civilians both at home and abroad. He added that in order to do that He must gain the trust of the people. He knew that he had to show them that he had something of value to offer. He tried to make it plain that he was there to help the people.
As I am embarking on my first year as a Digital Administrator/ Assistant Principal those same thoughts keep coming to mind. I know that some of my new teachers will be hesitant to learn the new LMS @Schooloyg. I know that some of them will be skeptical of my age and years of experience. I know that I will be in a Battle of Hearts and Minds.
So here is my strategy:
Hopefully with this game plan in hand we will have a better outcome that of the movie that inspired this posting.
Last week we had an awesome time of learning an collaboration with teachers who voluntarily came to some Tech PD at the 2017 version of the Lowndes County School District TechCamp.
Session topics included:
Our teachers has so much fun as we all learned new things. I really enjoyed leading part of this training along with @techie_teacher1. We had teachers tell us that they kept coming back even though they had not signed up or planned on coming to all the session because they were having such a good time and learning so much.
TechCamp a hands on experience with protected time for teachers creation at the end of the session, so that teacher can have an opportunity to try what ever tool they were just shown with the confidence that some on is in the room to help them. Teachers began to practice coding. They used 3D models and learned how to build 3D objects at tinkered.com. Several teachers even took advantage of the Nearpod advanced training to build their first Nearpod lesson. There were two that even became Nearpod Certified Teacher with the lessons that they built.
We've all heard the age-old adage that the only constant in life is CHANGE. It is very true! And now it is time for a change. I really don't have the words to express the appreciation that I have for the Lowndes County School District for the last two years of experience. As a Tech Coach I have learned so much and made so many connections with some of the best teachers around.
I will be changing jobs next year. I am very excited to have been named as the 11th grade principal for Columbus High School. My experience as a Tech Coach will help in that role as I continue to help teachers integrate technology into their lessons. But now it will mean so much more, as I am tied to one specific school. I think this will make a real difference.
It's a great day to be a FALCON!
Here is a shout out to Mrs Wilcox at Caledonia Elementary who is using a Beebot from Terrapin industry to teach the first steps of coding and to review coin values. Mrs Wilcox would ask the student to find a given coin value and the student would then have to program the Beebot to move to the square that the given amount was located.
This shoutout go to a 4th grade teacher at Caledonia Elementary school. Her class was studying figurative language. They had talked about metaphors, similes, personification. When the discussed proverbs and adages, she did a little app smashing. First she took a picture of the students using the Old Fart Booth to age the students. Next she used ChatterPix to record the students saying the proverbs and explaining what they meant. finally she uploaded the videos to a Google Drive and and shared the link with a QR code so that other classes could scan the QR codes in the hall and see the videos.
Now that is a grammar lesson the students will not quickly forget. Way to Go Mrs Lee.
I love it when a teacher is willing to try something that is a bit out of his/her wheelhouse. Mrs Scott at Caledonia Highs school is admittedly a bit reluctant to try new things. However, she approached me to ask how student government elections could be incorporated into out LMS. The route that we ended up with is a Google form, that is restricted to a sign in with the school address, for each grade level. Elections are this week and we are excited to see this in action.
Often times we as educators often forget the countless number of hours and stress that goes on behind the scene as it were, especially in the realm of technology. So here's a tip of the hat to our resident Man behind the Curtain, Roger....and his crew. These guys are bombarded all day ( and all night at times) with cry for help from we mere mortals who are in the trenches with the students day in and day out. They are the first ones we call out to when the network is down, when IP address, apps and programs won't load correctly.
Thanks Rog, for all you do to keep the machine running...
As the 2016-17 school year started today a line from Bill Shakespeare comes to mind, " Once more into the breach, my dear friends" This line from Henry V evokes a spirit of self sacrifice and rightly so. Hats of to all of my colleagues who are in the classroom, giving of themselves for the sake of a child's education. We, as educator give more to our students, these children who have been entrusted to us than they will every fully know or understand. The hours of teaching, planning, grading are all worth it in the end. We have the privilege and honor of shaping the minds of those who will shape the future.
This week's shout out goes to all the teachers that have attended this weeks Techcamp at the Lowndes County Central Office. We have had 9 session so far, 3 more to go, and have had a tremendous turnout. There have been 12-30 teachers in each session. These teachers are picking up mad tech skills to in an attempt to up their tech game in the classroom next year. Here is a complete list of the session that we have had to offer. If you feel like you missed out and want to get some of that information just let us know and we will gladly book an appointment to help .
Today's shout out go to two different people Mrs. Lee at Caledonia Elementary and Mrs. Merchant at New Hope Elementary. These two teachers are keeping students engaged even during the last week of school by amping up Kahoot with Connected Kahoot. Two classes across town playing one game versus each other using Kahoot's team mode and Skype's screen sharing.
Follow the link below for a step by step on how to accomplish this yourself or ask one of these awesome teachers or myself to help you get started.