My middle school is so far off the cutting edge of technology we're not even on the knife. We just got computers into all the classrooms -- two per room -- last year. In mid year SmartBoards were installed in all the special ed and 6th grade classrooms, but our principal did not realize they need projectors and cables to make them work. We're promised those by September.

I work with a staff that thinks teaching students to do PowerPoint presentations is integrating technology into their lessons. I had to teach two of my colleagues how to use the school's Outlook email system last year.

Our school is refoming into a collection of small teacher-directed learning communities (its astounding how we can be so forward and so backward simultaneously). I've convinced my community of six teachers (five classes) that we need to push forward, at least into the late 20th century, and really start to use technology in our teaching and learning.

I've got a nice PLN on Twitter and they've taught me a lot, then I went to NECC and learned a lot more. There is so much I want to try (Audacity, Edmodo, Animoto, Skype and more) and get my colleagues to try, but I know I have to start off slowly so as not to scare them off from the start.

So, what should I introduce them to first? I've shown them Wordle and how easy it is. What should I show them next? Please help.

Thank you.

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I teach social studies to general education 6th and 8th graders and use Scholastic's Read180 program to self-contained 6th and 7th grade special education classes.

It is still unclear what technology I will have available to me at the start of the year. I know I will have two classroom computers, and I may or may not have a SmartBoard. I expect to have a much easier time teaching technology to my students than to my colleagues. Since, for the most part, we share students, I'm hoping my students will help push and pull the other teachers in the academy along.

In any event, it will be an interesting year.
Hello again, Deven!

One thing I did at the end of the school year was I created a Ning for the parents and teachers at my school. Our parents are very involved, so I thought this would be a great way to get them connected. What I found was that the teachers were so ready to embrace this platform, as they are familiar with facebook. In the fall, I hope to create another one just for the teachers. I think this would be a great start for you and your fellow teachers.

I think Skype and/or Elluminate would come next. I have a few ideas for using Elluminate to bring experts in to the classroom for discussion. Contact me if you would like to hear more. You know where to find me. See you in twitter!
Thanks for the ideas, Donelle. I don't think home computer use is very pervasive among the families of students in my school. We're a hifbh poverty 100% free breakfast and lunch school; many of the student families have difficulty paying for basic supplies like notebooks and pens.

I'm going to have to search for our staff on facebook. I have no idea how many, if any, use it.

And I sure do know where to fiind you if I need you. I appreciate all your support.
I wasn't suggesting that you try the ning for your families, but for your teachers. I did one for families because it served our environment (independent study students), but in doing so I found that the teachers started to really engage. So, I'm recommending trying one for your teachers. :) Then they'll have a platform to talk about the different tools and ways to teach with innovation.

Animoto is really fun too. Think more about using skype or elluminate for guest speakers. That's a great way to start.
I've just searched the whole staff on Facebook and nada. Not one other person I work with is there. That stuns me. They really don't have a clue.

I will set up two nings: one for my academy and one for the entire school staff, but I'm going to have to explain what a ning is without useing FB as an example.
Check you out! Jumping right to it. Good for you!

Tell me more about your academy. How many teachers are in it? If not too many, then you could just created a group for your academy within the larger ning. That way you aren't maintaining two separate nings (in addition to all of the other things you already have on your plate.)
Just a thought!
There will be between five and eight of us. Five will be full-time members and the other three will pass through to teach a class or two.

What I'm hoping is that if I set up two nings they will serve different purposes. The school ning will just be for the adults, the academy ning with be for anyone in the academy, student or teacher, to participate in. I'm hopeful that one student will have enough engagement to take over the administration.

I am in favor of giving students way more responsibility than anyone else on the staff. Whenever I've done it the students have risen to the occasion. I would like to set up a student geek squad to take some of the load off our one tech guy who has to teach as well as maintain our equipment and train us in its use. He and I decided to split the load this year; he does the hardware and I do software and web apps.

Fortunatelty, I have a very big plate.
The best way to make this happen is to make your class awesome and then have them watch. You can tell them, show them and train them time and time again but it will go nowhere in my experience. It wasn't until I put my stuff online that most other teachers at my site came on board.

I'm in much the same boat equipment-wise as you. I have 1 computer in my room at school and no computer lab. Everything we do tech-wise is done either after school or at home. I had 20 students coming in regularly after school last year just to be shown how I did something techy in class that week. It wasn't for a grade just for their own interest. If you can sell the idea to these teachers that injecting tech (hmm, wonder if that URL is taken...) can quickly and powerfully motivate kids maybe it will do some good.

I too teach history and you can see my site at if you're interested.
I teach in a poverty-stricken school and technology is not a major priority either. I did request a wireless Smart Tablet last year and did get one...I was thrilled. I use it each day to teach math to my kiddos and am, like you, struggling to get my colleagues on board to at least implement the technology that is available. I've had those teachers come into my classroom and watch me use the wireless tablet and they are impressed, but aren't willing to figure it out on their own. I'm so strapped for time that I can't squeeze it in my schedule to teach them everything, step-by-step like they want me to. Can be frustrating, I understand.
Apple has an Apple Distinguished Educator Program. It may be another way for your school and Apple to better connect, an hopefully introduce more technology into your school. Here is a link:

SimpleLeap Software
Cram - Flash Card & Multiple-choice testing for Mac
Cram Educator Program
I am a long-time Apple user but my school, my whole district, is bound by contract to Dell. While I would interested in the ADEP for my own development, it would not be applicable to my job. Thanks for the idea anyway.
i use both a Mac and a PC. My district is a MAC district. Some of the programs I need only work on a PC. It is really not that difficult to transition from one to the other.



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