Just got the notification from the team that I was not selected for the Google Teacher Academy to be held in Chicago at the end of July. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. Judging from the video applications the competition was seriously fierce! I'll continue to learn on my own and from my PLN!
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
"Making Connections" is the "brand" for SCSD Media Services and I am always looking for ways to illustrate how those connections work with both students and staff. For my evaluation this year, I wanted to put a real "face" on the statistics and show who I partnered with most often and how those connections make a difference.
I really struggled with trying to find a tool that would help me do this. I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted it to look like, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. I finally settled on using Keynote and thumbnail images of staff and students, dragging them around on a blank slide to represent levels of connectivity.
For example, I had direct, consistent interaction and collaboration with 17% of the faculty, consisting of things like consulting, creating web sites, working one on one with students in the classroom, meeting to discuss resources and tech tools and staying in touch until the completion of a particular project.
For some faculty, my main role was to assist with audiovisual needs (projector lamp replacement) or to give simple help with tech tools (like where to find database login instructions). But for 26% of the faculty, I connected on some curriculum need, even if it was just via email.
I made the same kind of visualizations for each building, using a sampling of images to represent the student body. For example, my relationship (or connectivity) with students by percentage is highest at Lakeview where I work regularly with 3rd and 4th graders within the specials rotation. While at SMS, I spent several days in the 6th grade science classroom, giving me the opportunity to connect and work hands on with 100% of the students at that grade level.
Making relevant and meaningful connections to all teachers and students at three buildings is a challenge and these visualizations helped me see where I still need to make those inroads, especially with staff that see me only in the role of a technician.
Next year, I will have a schedule for meeting with all the PLC teams and I think that will be a great help. I will then have the opportunity to learn what their expectations are and how I can help them meet the needs of their curriculum.
I'm really looking forward to it.
I use the databases regularly, but I still picked up some tips. The first four days of class were virtual, using Adobe Connect webinar software and I set up in the high school library where a high school math teacher worked along with me. I enjoyed that opportunity as much as the course itself. On Friday, all the participants gathered to learn about the GWAEA online catalog and to work on their final projects. Most of the attendees admitted to being amazed by the vast wealth of resources available through Iowa AEA Online and Grant Wood AEA. Char Haddy, current (and soon to be retired) director of the GWAEA Media Center gave a little plug to the report I put together comparing local school districts and their usage of the databases.
Given that there are so many great resources, it isn't surprising that getting the word out to everyone is a challenge. I tend to operate on the "just in time" model, providing students and teachers with the resources at time of need rather than overwhelming them with a plethora of resources they might never use and might forget about anyway.