Returning to school from MACUL means returning with so many ideas it can feel like a freshman-sized backpack full of books. Maybe that analogy doesn't work anymore with everything fitting on an 11" Chromebook or iPad, but it certainly can feel overwhelming.
Part of going to these conferences is returning to your district with some new knowledge to share. One of my colleagues I was fortunate of attending with this year gave an awesome presentation to the staff of Oakwood about some of the takeaways she had. She was so positive and picked a few that she knew would work in her classroom, and that she could start right away.
Her favorite quote is "You don't have to do everything, but do try something." This is a great mantra after MACUL. There are really amazing things going on in education, and technology transforms and revolutionizes that every day. We are fortunate to have the amazing amount of resources available to us through modern technology, but integrating it in a meaningful way is where a teacher can really shine. Teachers strive all the time to provide their kids with the best learning possible, and teachers are really digging deep in to educational technology as a resource for that.
Sometimes it gets tricky to stretch the few precious hours we get with our kids during the day. Something that I'm trying out is extending my efforts using Google Classroom.
We wanted to start a lunchtime coding club for a few grades using Scratch. I've scheduled grade levels to meet on alternating weeks, with some Google Classroom communication in between. We had our first day, and we got set up on Google Classroom. I was able to post some information about Scratch easily. Google Classroom will serve as a central location for our clubs. Before logging into Scratch, I've just asked kids to log into Google Classroom first. I plan on posting challenges, tips, and new learning each week onto classroom and having students check it out.
I really think Classroom will end up being a forum for individualizing learning, even in a club setting. Students will be able to check in easily and go at a pace that they feel good about and interests them. It's going to break down the walls to the the club, and make sure that their coding doesn't start and stop during lunch time every other week. I'm really excited about the way things are shaping up, and I can't wait to see how it unfolds.
Instructional Technology Coach