Judy H. and I did an all-day training today at Listowel Central. The Principal had contacted Vince and asked if I could come out and help them with their iPads.
Judy and I met with the Primary division, and a few others, to go through a long list of questions compiled by staff. They were interested in collecting and displaying student work, organizing student data, Math, Writing, graphic organizers, a review of some primary apps, AirServer etc.
After a full day (6 hours) I had some casual discussions with Judy, Leanna McKee (STAR Coach) and a few of the teachers.
I was interested in a few points that came out of that meeting. First, teachers are ready and eager to find out about the technological tools that have recently come into education. The Listowel group kept going for six hours and kept asking all the right questions. They were curious why the kind of information we were imparting, wasn’t provided to all schools.
Second, we have a big job ahead of us, as a Board. The new technologies are just coming into education faster and faster. It is difficult for teachers to keep up with what is available. It takes time and effort to wade through the multitude of options, to select the right technology for a classroom/ teacher or student.
Finally, we have a lot of planning to do around student information online. Teachers are starting to see blogging as an integral part of moving their classrooms forward. New skills are being developed, new ways of teaching. We need a plan for how we move into the blogisphere.
And students are responding. More kids are engaged. More students are writing, problem-solving, creating and working together. This is happening throughout the schools I am visiting.
Judy has already been setting up more dates to go back to Listowel. Once we get them started, its hard to find the off switch.