Thursday, July 3, 2014

What am I doing this summer? Party planning for teachers!

At a Region 10 conference w. my boss! Getting coffee, of course.
Ten-hour work days, Fridays off, long weekends... This is my schedule for six straight weeks out of the summer. The long weekends are great for mini-vacays (!) and a continuous flow of coffee helps me get through the weekdays. It's hard to be innovative so early in the morning. Although lately, once it starts, I can't seem to get out of the zone by 5:30! I'm lucky to have fantastic colleagues to bounce ideas off of and to keep me motivated to do great things in our district. In our Instructional Technology Dept., preparing for all of the trainings and professional dev. sessions feels like we're a party planning business! :)

It's not unusual to hear eruptions of laughter down the hallway of our office building while "party planning". Yes, we enjoy each other and can't get enough of our great ideas. Life is good here at PISD's Central Office. Our biggest project right now is planning for our first annual Educational Technology Summer Institute (ETSI) at the end of this month.

Our overall goal for having this three-day institute is to increase capacity on all campuses in our district. We asked principals to invite stand-out tech leaders on their campuses to complete an application that we provided. We then selected at least one teacher per campus to invite to attend ETSI. We wish we could have invited everyone who applied (!), but since they will be paid, we were limited by a budget.

Our plan is to discuss tech integration models, collaborate on how to overcome tech integration challenges, and teach tech tools by modeling their use throughout the three days! Before teachers leave, we will help them create an action plan for ed tech leadership on their campuses. Then we will follow-up with them throughout the year with webinars, pull-out days, expanding PLNs, etc. That's our capacity-building goal!

We have SO MUCH fun stuff planned for ETSI 2014!! Here is a sneak peek:

  • Taste of Technology - stations with tablets, laptops and table tents categorized by concept (collaboration tools, curation tools, etc.). Teachers will have the freedom to cruise from table to table to learn about the apps/websites in whatever way works best for them, make curricular connections, and then create something with it.
  • Classes covering the Maker Movement, Virtual Field Trips, Digital Citizenship, Twitter, BYOD, Augmented Reality, Classroom Flipping, Collaboration Tools, and more!
  • 3D printer and robot demos
  • Green screen playground!
  • mini-EdCamp!!
  • a gazillion tech tools! (Kahoot, Socrative, Poll everywhere, Popplet, Today's Meet, Answer Garden... too many to mention here!)
Planning for this has definitely been a mind-shift for me in terms of how to design professional development. I will share more about ETSI in a later post, including pictures and videos! Oh, and I haven't even talked about our Google Summer Camp yet!