Reading Review Part A: Idea Generator

As part of my teaching assignment this year, I have been allotted one block each week to support teachers integrate technology into their classes. In the spring, I completed my Master of Arts in Curriculum and Foundation Instruction. The topic of my thesis was “Development of Teacher Expertise with Interactive Whiteboards: A Collaborative Inquiry using Grounded Theory”. My favourite part of my research was developing and conducting a series of workshops to help teachers develop confidence with using their SmartBoards.  I can’t wait to again collaborate with colleagues to see how we can explore the use of digital technologies in a variety of ways. I have always held the view that ‘many heads are better than one’!  Although I love learning new things in technology and finding creative ways to integrate these skills in my classroom, I am passionate about using technology as a tool for learning and not simply as a way to fill time. A clear purpose for the activity or lesson must be identified before introducing technology.

My school is currently a K-7 elementary school, but we are poised to begin a building project for a new high school. To prepare for this change in our physical building as well as preparing for the expansion of our curriculum to include grades 8-12, we realize the importance of providing staff training in the area of technology. At this point, my focus will be the teachers and educational assistants in grades 3-7. Through my project, I hope to create a digital resource that could introduce new ideas to staff to offer support as they seek to incorporate technology safely and effectively into their classrooms. Ideally, I see this as a working, living document that could be added to regularly by all of the staff.

A few of the key concepts I was hoping to explore include:

1. introduction to the pros and cons of technology in schools (I would like to explore a few articles that debate this argument)

2. research skills with technology

3. educational apps and suggestions for use in the classroom

4. ideas for using our school’s existing technology (Smart Boards, computers on wheels)

A link to my thesis: Yvonne’s Thesis from SFU

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3 thoughts on “Reading Review Part A: Idea Generator

  1. This is a great first start to your learning explorations. Your new role and exciting opportunity to teach and support others in your school and district in the implementation and integration of technology is no easy task, and finding useful resources, strategies and tools through this reading review can be an excellent way to prepare yourself for this new role. I wonder what kinds of shoes would work best for this, maybe a pair of rubber boots that you can go mucking around in as your search for some very valuable resources in the wild! Overall, a strong start to the search, some good keywords and a clear goal in mind.

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  2. I like the suggestion to use rubber boots to wade through the enormous puddles of possible apps and resources and “muck about in search of resources”. I have been mulling about the possible modes of presentation that would be most helpful for my colleagues. I wonder if creating a website to host staff training ideas, suggestions etc… might work. It would be fun to create a Staff Blog that we could post ideas of what we have tried in our class; what worked and what didn’t. In this case, it should probably be a more “closed” venue so staff feel a certain ‘safety’ in sharing. Thoughts?

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    1. A central repository where you can store, share, review, and link up to potential resources and apps for your colleagues is a great idea. I don’t think that having it “closed” would be that useful, as it would be a great resource for other T-Ls outside your district as well. There is tremendous value in “learning in the open”, and sharing our successes and our challenges for others to gain from.

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