Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Reflective Teaching: 30 Day Blogging Challenge Day - 1, 2 & 3

I have officially accepted the +TeachThought 30 Day Blogging Challenge for Teachers. Using their list of topics for the month, I will reflect on my practice and blog (at least a little) each day.  It is already three days into the month and I am just starting so I hope it is ok to combine the first three days into this one post.  If you are reading this, please join me and start the challenge today. Even if you are late getting started (like me) it is always beneficial to reflect on what we do as educators.

Here are the three topics for this post:

Day 1
Write your goals for the school year. Be as specific or abstract as you’d like to be!
One goal for this year is to build capacity among teachers in my district to support educational technology integration into the classroom.  I hope to train a cohort of teachers to be technology leaders at their school sites to support the use of technology to improve student learning.
Another goal is to increase blended and online learning opportunities for teachers and students.  Well designed online and blended programs provide personalized and differentiated learning environments for students.  When teachers are skilled at teaching with this format they are better able to meet the needs of all students. I truly believe that digital tools give every student a voice and creative outlet to share their learning and ideas.
Day 2
Write about one piece of technology that you would like to try this year, and why. You might also write about what you’re hoping to see out of this edtech integration.
This year I want to implement a Wordpress site with badge integration to create a personalized, online learning portal for teacher professional development in our county.  This idea came from the World of Learning platform at New Milford High School. So far,  the Wordpress site has been set up and the badge plug in has been installed.  Now, I need to create the content and then introduce teachers to it.  I am looking for ways to make this type of learning meaningful to educators and would love to hear from others who have experience with gamified or badge enhanced teacher learning programs.
Day 3
Discuss one “observation” area that you would like to improve on for your teacher evaluation.
Motivating and supporting teachers to learn to use technology to modify and re-define lessons is a focus for this year.  Just like our students, sometimes teachers get a fixed mindset about their ability to successfully integrate new technologies into their teaching.  I want to find out what those teachers need to break free from the chains of feeling fearful or frustrated by technology so that their students are able to experience learning that is relevant and builds needed technology skills.