Resolutions for a Technology New Year

Resolutions, which mean one wants to stop doing something that keeps being repeated, or starting a new habit that one wishes they would begin but aren’t brave enough to do so, are often laughed but not usually followed through. Your TRT has compiled a list to reflect on, and I’ve numbered them starting with areas that are the easiest to keep and not break. To whit:

1. I WILL NOT GO IT ALONE: I find it much easier, when experiencing stress or problems, to have a buddy beside me to help carry the load and share the experience together. Have you wracked your brain for ideas on how to get a concept across to your students and go blank? Are you feeling like you need to do something new with your lesson plans? Do you feel all alone within your four walls? Invite me to help plan with you, coteach, look for resources, ad infinitum. How do you start? Give me a time, your lesson plan/ideas, and we’ll plan together. The least effective way is to say, “Drop by anytime.” Coming in cold and winging it is not the best way. Mrs. Bean and Mrs. Barrett are the queens of following the proper procedure; we’ll plan ahead of time before I come in the room.

2. I WILL TRY SOMETHING NEW: Kids love NEW things! Can they predict four weeks ahead of time what your class will be like? Do they enter your room with anticipation or dread? When they see YOU learning, THEY want to learn. Do you teach Math? Use an Excel activity. Science? Use a Thinkfinity activity. I have tons of ideas.
Why not start reading blogs? Check the blog list to the right and see if there’s something that interests you. Make a comment on somebody’s blog and start a discussion. Tammy Worcester has a wonderful post about leaving comments–make a blogger’s day!

3. I WILL GIVE MY STUDENTS A FUN TEST: Do you know how your classes learn best? Give them the multiple intelligences test. You’ll be surprised how easier they will grasp concepts if you can focus to their styles.

4. I WILL PUT MYSELF IN THEIR SHOES: Have you signed up for Tech Tuesdays? Become a student again and learn the latest in technology integration. Sign up for an online class with PBS’s Teacher on Line. CII (WHRO) has classes on line that are cheap and short (we’re members).

5. I WILL QUIT SAYING “I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME”: Who does? Instead, reach out to others. See #1. What would it be like to join forces with your team and have a big cross curricular unit where you all teach together? Reserve the lab for half a day and coteach with the TRT! Change venue–what would it be like to set up the COW laptops in the cafeteria? Think big and reach for the stars.

6. I WILL GET TANGLED UP IN A WEB: Have you ever heard of Web 2.0? Wiki’s? Blogs? Join Classroom 2.0 and see what teachers across the world and collaborate together. Let me show you the possibilities.

7. I WILL CHECK IT OUT: Visit the library and try a document camera, data projector, new book, online resources, or visit a colleague’s class during my planning period.

8. I WILL STOP THE VIDEO: Oddly enough, kids don’t always get ecstatic over seeing videos in their entirety. Break the video into segments and discuss each one. Be brave and explore the teacher center in Discovery Education.

9. I WILL STOP TALKING SO MUCH: Be a facilitator and have your classes work in cooperative groups. Start with Marzano’s technology integration strategies.

10. I WILL BRING A COW TO CLASS: When was the last time you used one of our Carts on Wheels? If it’s been awhile, invite it back! I’ll be happy to train you and show you all the cool things we can do.

and finally…

11. I WILL LAUGH MORE: Science has proven laughter relives tension, stress, and makes us HAPPY. Why not try watching or looking at:
a) The 16th Century Help Desk (YouTube):
b) The Best of Sign Language (London’s Daily Telegraph). True signs seen around the world. This is a non educational site.
c) I Love Lucy- Vitameatavegamin (YouTube). This is a very famous sitcom from the 1950’s–my favorite of all times.

Need ideas for Document Cameras?

Promethean document cameraAre you a Promethean user? Schools have been provided with document cameras and the uses are endless! Need some ideas? I found this recently on Classroom 2.0:
~Make every book a big book…shared reading experience
~put a timer underneath the camera for various applications
~capture student work
~conduct science experiements with insects
~students share writing
~word sorting
~math manipulatives
~discussing and displaying homework
~any other piece of “stuff” everyone can use, but can’t gather ’round to see easily
~stick today’s paper underneath it and make annotations
~have student plot graphs using a grid you put on the screen

As for our own ideas, one of our art teachers at OB used a document camera to show light source on a still life so that all students had the same view.

If you have any other ideas, please share!