The new year has begun with wonderful promise. I've spent some time reflecting on 2008 as an individual, an educator and as a member of E2T2. The year 2008 must go down as one of the most incredible years of my life. A daughter moves to Florida, a daughter graduates from Culinary Arts school and purchases a restaurant with her boyfriend (also a chef), planning and celebrating my new marriage to the man who is the love of my life, my eldest daughter making me a grandma for the first time. Whew... and that's just one aspect of this year.
As and educator I've needed to stretch once again to incorporate not only my love of reading, books, literature, and information literacy as an Elementary Media Specialist but also expand and update my technology skills. As I've trained the Grade 1- 5 teachers and students in the use of our new wireless mobile labs I've gained confidence in my ability to connect with adults as well as students with a wide range of computer experience and skill. I've also become as much or more of a learner of technology as a teacher. I recognize how much faster I learn when I teach the skills to others and the excitement of being looked on as a leader for the school. Most of the time I feel I am just a step ahead or slightly behind the younger teachers who are champing at the bit to get going using the 2.0 tools with the classes.
A major challenge has been the dictate of the district to stick to using Microsoft Office tools in our technology teaching at the present time. Wow, is it hard to do that! I try to remind myself and the other teachers that we are moving in the right direction and hopefully we will be able to really stretch our wings next school year. Some of the projects that the teachers and I have collaborated on have been: using online databases and search strategies with 5th grade students for biography reporting. incorporating PowerPoint as a way for 3rd and 4th graders to present science reports to their peers, second graders are learning to use the drawing tools by designing their own compass rose for geography and first graders are learning how to use Word and save their work to the school server. These may seem like very sterile, unexciting projects when you compare them to some of the things 2.0 schools are doing. They are for us a necessary beginning in order for students and teachers to become familiar and comfortable with the mini laptops and the new schedules and procedures that have been put in place. Meanwhile those who are trying to open our doors to more access to Internet tools continue to make progress.
I had a conversation with my principal about presenting to our staff some information on several of the tools that I believe will be embraced by them as tools to enhance and improve their work. I wanted to introduce them to Googledocs, delicious and show them some examples from the TIES conference I attended. She put me off and stated that the teachers need to learn to use Word, PowerPoint, Excel and possibly Publisher. So you can see where I need to press on and educate those in decision-making roles as much as possible.
There is good news! The three other members of E2T2 and I will be presenting a session at an in-service for the entire district staff in February. Our plan is to entice the teaching staff with Googledocs, Delicious and blogs.
1 year ago