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February 7, 2008

Posted by ashleyquark in Tech Tools, Training.
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I gave a presentation today for pre-service teachers on Classroom Websites and Blogging.  I have included my favorite software for creating websites and blog, but obviously there are many others that I have not included in the presentation.  I have embedded the presentation below.  In the session, participants had the opportunity to explore the Web 2.0 software of their choice with the following Screencasts to help them along the way:

WordPress
Setting up a WordPress Account
Changing your Page Template, Writing a Post and Writing a Page
Difference between Writing Posts/Pages & Managing Posts and Pages
Embed a video

Getting help

Wikispaces
The creators of wikispaces have created their own screencasts to give you a tour and a “how to” for wikispaces.
Get an ad-free wiki:  Free for educators! 

Class Blogmeister
Setting up an Account
 
Ning
Tour of Ning
Free Ning Accounts for Grades 7-12 Educators

21classes 

Here’s my PowerPoint presentation.  Note that all links in this presentation are live so you can go look at the examples I supply for classroom websites.

Teacher Training and Support December 20, 2007

Posted by ashleyquark in Training.
3 comments

In recent years, school boards have been urging teachers to integrate technology into the teaching and learning process.  However, there are still many teachers who have limited technologocial skills which means they don’t feel comfortable implementing it into their classrooms. I can understand this.  Teachers have very busy lives between their jobs, extra-curricular activities, families, etc, etc, etc. Taking an hour to sit in front of a computer a few times a week does not seem feasible to many teachers.  And even if they have the time, many teachers (I’ve been one of them) say, “I don’t know what I’m looking for.”

However, if we want to meet student needs, teacher training and support needs to be a priority for school boards.  From my experience working on the Digital Internship Project (a project where pre-service teachers volunteer to focus on the integration of technology in their classrooms in their internship), I’ve been tossing some ideas around in my head.  One method that I think could be extremely effective is to model the process we have taken with the Digital Internship Project with practicing teachers.  This is how it could work.  Teachers volunteer to become “Digital Teachers” for a semester.  They are each given a laptop and are invited to attend 4 one day workshops throughout the semester.  At these workshops teachers would be introduced to various Web 2.0 applications such as blogging, wikis, podcasting, digital video editing, and so on. Then they could go back to their classrooms and try some of the stuff out.  The teachers could also be part of a social network like the Digital Internship Project social network to share ideas and troubleshoot between workshop.  If the teachers approached this project with half the enthusiasm as we saw in the intern teachers, great things would happen in classrooms! And then, of course, these teachers would become leaders in their own schools!

Another model was one I heard about from a cooperating teacher who attended the Digital Internship Project. This teacher teaches in the classrom 60% of the time and then the other 40% of the time, she is a teacher-mentor for the staff in her school.  Her colleagues invite her to their classrooms so she can help them learn how to integrate technology into their classroom and she can offer support when the students are there.  The great thing about this model is that the technology mentor is a member of specific school community.  They can ask her questions as they pass her in the hall or have lunch with her in the staff room.  Teachers do not have to play email-tag with someone at the other end of the city to get support. I love this model as well. A combination of these two ideas might work well too!

I’d love to hear other people’s ideas as well as what’s going on at their schools!