Friday, February 7, 2014

One week since my first edcamp

So, it has been almost one week from my first edcamp and I can say it has changed some of my views in education. In my personal life I have always been an early adopter and to see other early adopters at #edcampdenver was very inspirational. As an early adopter,especially in education, I can feel alone and isolated and its a breath of fresh air to see others out there with great ideas and an excitement to try new things. So, in the spirit of #edcampdenver I have decided to try  blogging. I have never been into blogging but after reading several blogs this week I decided to give it a try. I am not sure about topics yet but from what I have read the topics will just appear. So here we go!

I can say this week has been a week of great celebration and frustration. I will begin with my frustrations and end with some celebrations. My first frustration is the technical aspects of using Google apps in education. It seems this week nothing seemed to work right , even setting up this blog couldn't be done with my DPS Google account, from student accounts not resetting to a dead charging strip for the chromebooks. As an early adopter I also get frustrated to be denied access to settings and other features that are useful. I do understand fears about things being messed up but most early adopters go above and beyond in trainings and are always continue to learn. The other part of this that early adopters to be the most willing to help and to be shut down from trying new things its hard to swallow.

Ok, now for the best part of the blog, celebrations! The first celebration is that it's going to be above 0! I use public transportation so this is a huge celebration! Also, a video that was shared by Ben Wilkoff about growth vs fixed mindset needs some celebration. It shows the power of having an open mind but also to celebrate the small success that I can admit I have not always done. As an early adopter I am usually a big picture person and sometimes I overlook the small successes.

Anyway, it's time for some more celebration! The first celebration I wanted to talk about is how a third grade teacher decided to jump in and use chromebooks. We first used them to take the star test and there was such excitement around them that the teacher decided to incorporate it into her math lesson. Yes, it was a spontaneous change to her lesson plan but there was so much excitement from the teacher and the kids that I view this as ok. I feel sometimes in education we forget about the teachable moments while can be the most powerful. I plan to work with this teacher to help better plan the use of the chromebooks but see kids fully engaged and excited with a spontaneous activity is amazing. Also, it shows what kids can do when responsible for their own learning.

A final celebration is that two teachers began using the chromebooks as a way to enhance their interventions.  This is a small victorie but its huge for me to see excitement from both kids and staff. I am trying to have these teachers blog their use. The next celebration is our math fellow coordinator created a google doc with online resources. What is amazing is that it is a living document that can be updated. If you are in DPS I can give you more information if you like. I want to celebrate all the help I got from DoTs this week. There were lots of issues and they were always helpful. A huge shout out for Nate Obee at DoTs because he was so helpful! This week has had a lot of ups and downs. I feel that my school is finally recognizing the benefits of technology and student directed learning. There is still a lot of work to be done but we are off to a good start.