Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, is going to be an exciting day in the Storm Lake Community School District. All teachers and administrators will be gathering for the third full day of EdTech professional development in just over a year. EdTech learning, collaboration, and classroom planning are the work for the day. The goal of the day is increased student use of technology for learning content/curriculum. The major technology tools we will focus on are Google Apps; Google Chrome; SmartBoards and Student Response Systems; Blogging, Twitter, and Digital Storytelling; and Edmodo and Schoology. Both students and teachers are currently using all of these things in different classrooms in the district. The purpose of the day is to both increase teacher and administrator knowledge of how to use the various technologies and also to share all the ways these technologies can be used by students and/or whole classrooms for learning. Online collaboration and reaching outside the four walls of the school to learn are a major focus.
This EdTech Day is organized a little differently than the past two EdTech Days. This time the morning will be spent in the teachers' own buildings in PLC groups accessing a website created specifically for the day. It is full of resources and collaborative opportunities for the teachers and administrators. Each PLC will decide as a group what to focus on, because we believe strongly in differentiating PD to accommodate teachers with different needs. In the afternoon, teachers will gather at the high school for the opportunity to step out of their small PLC groups and work with others from all over the district who are focusing on the same EdTech integration strategies. "Expert" teacher facilitators are assigned to the various EdTech tools, and they will share their knowledge and classroom examples, but they will also just be available to assist with the work of their peers as they develop their plans for their own students.
Keep an eye out for our EdTech Day hashtag on Twitter: #sltech. We're hoping for a very active day of sharing resources and back channeling about our learning.