Hi everyone. This is Diane Main (pic is of my son). I met some of these fine folks at the first-ever Google Teacher Academy here in Northern California. (Okay, Will Richardson I met at NECC in San Diego.) I've been lurking a lot lately in the Google Teachers Group, mostly because with the end of the school year, life is CRAZED.
I teach Computer Technology to grades 1 through 8 at a private Christian school in San Jose, California. This past year (06-07) has been our first year in a long time of bringing our technology education back in-house, after nine (I think) years of contracting it out to companies that specialize in that sort of thing. I KNEW we could do better for our kids (whose parents mostly all work for companies here in Silicon Valley such as Cisco, Yahoo!, Intel, etc.) that just teaching and re-teaching Microsoft Office apps. (Which we still do, but BETTER and NOT ad nauseum.) We don't really have any lessons that don't culminate in a project. Lessons are done within projects now, instead of lessons, lessons, lessons and then OOH, a project once in a while. and my biggest push this past year has been for increasing our students' information literacy. All the students in grades 3-8 have a Bookmark in their Firefox toolbars to David Warlick's Citation Machine, and they cite a lot of research and image sources in their work for almost every project. I can see where in a few years, I will no longer have middle school students who do it incorrectly, because I have started them in 3rd grade with learning why we do it and how to do it right.
What I really want to see is more creation of original work by students . . . music, videos, podcasts, and more . . . but I would be more comfy teaching this on Macs . . . which my labs don't have.
In other news, by way of introduction, I live with my husband, step-daughter (soon to be HS senior) and son (soon to be preschooler if I ever get him out of diapers) in San Jose, CA in a great area called Willow Glen. I spend my summers reading the blogs of teacher fellows in the IISME Summer Fellowship Program. My first two years with IISME, I spent my eight weeks at IBM in South San Jose, and last summer I became a peer coach for the blogging group. I am looking forward to the coming summer (2007), mostly because I think the blogging I will be doing as a leader of this group will be more meaningful, more info-lit, and more Web 2.0 than it was in the past.
I am also an avid genealogy researcher (British and Irish only, as my parents, husband, and step-daughter are all immigrants from Scotland and England) and fairly new (a little over six months) geocacher. I have been doing the family history thing for over fifteen years, but the geocaching has become a bigger passion for me recently, as it's easier for me to get my fix of that. Hoping to do an elective class or two next year in our middle school using handheld GPS receivers (planning to apply for a grant through IISME to fund them).
That's about all for now. This looks like it will be a fantastic group!
Hi I'm Lesley and currently, but not for much longer, teach at a girls' school in Sydney Australia. I was a classroom teacher for about 20 years before retraining as a teacher librarian. Along with that role came technology and before long I was an ICT teacher as well. I work with a lady who is an inspiration not only to myself but also, all the other teachers at my school. Unfortunately we will be moving on as our school no longer considers us teachers because we don't teach "a class" of our own. Would love to hear back from any other people who have found themselves in the same position.
Hello everyone! My name is Kathi and I am from Salem, Oregon. I wear a wide variety of hats working for the Salem-Keizer Public School district and I'm exactly the .4 dedicated staff member to fill out the 1.4 people dedicated to instructional technology Melissa mentioned in her post a couple of days ago. I consider myself to be an instructional technology "evangelist."
I am a first generation digital native, and have been helping teachers use technology in the classroom since I was 9. I had the distinct honor of being one of 6 students trained district wide back in 1980 to be "checked out" along with the cart for computing in the classroom. To that end, I'm quite at home on the bleeding edge of technology, BUT do not believe that is the be all, end all in the classroom. I've spent the last few years battling technology as a pull-out - when was the last time you gathered your students around a pencil to teach the tool?? I've been advocating and supporting the use of the instructional tool and learning to wield it as part of the process. We were making great strides until the state-wide, high-stakes testing went digital. Since the statewide digital testing issues arose this past year and testing reverted to pencil & paper, computers are once again being used to support thoughtful, innovative, creative lessons. Whoopee!
My current favorite projects are with my cohort in crime, Melissa. We are members of the statewide PD Cadre and are trying our darnedest to infect our tiny district cadre with the burning desire to meaningfully use technology to enhance the classroom. To that end, I am very excited that we are about to wrap up our first year and will expand the cadre for next year. We are expanding this next year with teachers invited by the current members so that no person is a technological island in their school. In the future I would also like to create a small schools technology cadre focus. There is only so much you can do with an annual supplies budget of $1500. A year's worth of printing and glue or 2 computers - *maybe*...
I am always on the lookout for creative uses of new & not so new technology in the classroom. Looking forward to staying an active member of this group. I'm also looking forward to the F2F offline in Atlanta.(BTW - Steve: great idea, good job and did you notice that you have more posts than Technology & Teaching in Google? Keep up the good work.)
Hello! Kelly Kermode here... Up here in Michigan we are working towards changing our ed systems to meet the demands of the 21st century workplace... This is an interesting process to say the least :) But it is a FUN ride to be on, to be able to see the changes, to see students excited about learning, and to see renewed interest in teachers. I am super-duper happy to be a part of this network and look forward to sharing ideas with all of you! I teach HS English and Yearbook, as well as coach softball.
Currently, I have tried the following Web 2.0 technologies with students and staff members... Skype, Moodle, Meebo (as well as other chat realms), Blogging (WordPress, Blogger, and Lifetype), Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Zoho, Podcasting, etc. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! :)
Hi, I'm Jorge Blanco. I'm a professor of e-business at Guadalajara Campus of ITESM (the largest private university in Mexico). I'm a Computer Science Engineer with Masters in Business Administration and Marketing. With a group of friends I've started a company to develop seminars for professors at private schools (junior high and high school) about systemic collaborative learning and train them also to facilitate our workshops in entrepreneurship. We use a CMS platform and other Web 2.0 tools for the courses. I'm glad of being part if this community in order to make new friends and exchange experiences about Web 2.0 in education.
I'm Chrissy, a classroom teacher from Napier, New Zealand. I currently teach 11-12year olds (Year 7) at an Intermediate school. Im lucky enough to have a "digital" classroom in which I have lots of equipment to integrate IT into our everyday curriculum subjects.
Hi. I'm a new Classroom Computer Teacher for 10 schools in our school board. I travel from school to school to work with teachers and administrators to achieve technology integration goals of all kinds. I'm called on to do demonstrations of software and hardware of all kinds. Lately, everyone wants to know about Moodle and Smartboards.
I often deliver professional development for Jewish day schools in Toronto. My years teaching in those schools provided me with a passion for integrating technology into the learning of Jewish Studies.
I live in Toronto. My work is north of the city in the York Region Board of Education.
Hello. I'm from the Comox Valley in British Columbia, Canada. I have worked as a classroom teacher at every level from K to 12, but I'm now an Assistive Technology consultant in 5 school districts on the northern half of Vancouver Island. I have the privilege of supporting students who require technology to access the curriculum, especially children with physical challenges and visual impairment, as well as those with ASD diagnoses.
It has been interesting to observe that much of the technology, and many of the applications used by students with special needs, benefit virtually all learners. I have become increasingly keen to see more classroom teachers take advantage of the rapidly growing range of opportunities available to support the digital learners in our classrooms. Since so many of the very best apps are free, we have no excuse for not using the tools that are available.
Hi I am Frances Bell from the University of Salford, UK. I teach and research into information systems. I have a particular interest in the use of ICTs for learning but not surprisingly, I take an information systems slant on the domain (which roughly roughly translated means things are not always as new as they seem). I worked on a project that created CABWEB where student can collaborate online guided by their tutors who have already collaborated online to organise the student activities and generally chat with each other. My current project is a social networking project for Women who work in IT. I am not posting the url till we are ready to launch but that's not too long away.
I'm Jamey Osborne, the Director of Instructional Technology at La Porte ISD, on the shores of Galveston Bay, right outside Houston, TX. I'm an Apple Distinguished Educator and an Adobe Education Leader and I'm glad to be here, exploring the opportunities that await. I'm a big fan of the power of 2.0 and where social networks and games are going....