Emmaus Bytes – sharing byte sized updates

With teachers in a constant state of time poor – I wanted a way of sharing ideas, tools and articles in a regular format.

I came up with the idea of “Emmaus Bytes” late last term – Michael Pate helped me out by talking through requirements of an innovation newsletter. We discussed what Emmaus staff needed in terms of the PD they have already received and how the format was best presented.

The cheeky title is derived from the unit measurement – a byte. The concept of the update is to share smaller bits of information, sourced from articles and peers with links to further reading and ideas for classroom application.

 

Too often PD is over prescriptive – it leads to specific implementation and rigid ideas of do this then that. Teachers at Emmaus (and other schools I am sure) are apt in reading information and ideas, to then make a decision about its validity in their classrooms. It is not a take it or leave it approach – this approach starts discussions. Discussions that are driven by staff & students needs – not just me.

 

Examples of this working is in the first edition of Emmaus Bytes I included info about Weebly. With ideas of implementation, examples of Emmaus Weeblys and staff that were currently using the tool – our experts to talk to. This was a great success!  We now have multiple faculties and many individuals now using Weebly. Building on that, Emmaus Bytes edition TWO discussed ways of integrating critical thinking into Weebly, success criteria for students and extension activities – not just the technology – the pedagogy.

 

We are now up to our THIRD edition of Emmaus Bytes (found here)  – it has been a positive experience to share the good practice of staff in these editions and share ideas so that together we develop as a school staff – not in a linear one PD plan for all, but with byte sized ideas.

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Guide for Twits and Tweachers that want to tweet!

Do you use or have you thought of using twitter? To get you started, here are some basic instructions and LINGO in a snapshot.

 

  • It isn’t just for “famous people” – a HUGE amount of teachers are on twitter!

 

  • Everyone has a twitter “Name”, it starts with an @ symbol, when you want to send a message or connect to a particular person, type the @ symbol, then their twitter name.

 

  • When you “Follow” someone, you subscribe to his or her tweet feed, people can subscribe/follow to you too!

 

  • If you are tweeting on a subject or topic, a # (hashtag) is a way of grouping like tweets, try searching #edtech , #ozengchat or #ozscichat and see what comes up!!

 

  • The more people you connect with, the more intuitive your account becomes. It will suggest “like minded accounts.” For example, if you follow many teachers, it will keep suggesting teachers,  or if you follow Justin Bieber, it may suggest other “artists” such as Miley Cyrus!

 

  • Tweets can only be 140 characters– YES you may have to sacrifice grammar and spelling 2 fit wot u wnt 2 say in n thts k!! 🙂

 

 

If you are after knowledge or information on a specific topic, search twitter using hashtags as search terms. TRY. . .  #literacy OR #edmodo  #gilroycc or #saidnoteacherever

 

SEARCH a hashtag, follow accounts, and SHARE what you find in turn. Another example. . .  I have found up to date info from the Board of Studies on their twitter rather than their website to be most helpful!

 

IF you found this useful – tweet me! @1moniqued OR RE-TWEET IT!!

 

Student techies at Gilroy & VoicEd 2014

TODAY I presented at VoicEd 2014 at Davidson High School with loads of other ahhhhmazing and inspirational educators who are positively moving and shaking practice and processes in their schools and classrooms.

http://www.haikudeck.com/p/JtsMmatIXV

My presentation today was all about sharing and reflecting on the use of students as leaders, when I blogged about it last year I had an idea of WHY I wanted the program to run, and HOW It was going to look, but I REALLY underestimated the positive impact these students would have on our 1:1 program.

In todays presentation I explained HOW the Students Techies function so effectively at Gilroy, WHAT they do and WHY:

  • Students had to apply to become a class techie using a google form: applicants were chosen at the end of last year based on their ability to solve examples of tech problems like “What steps would you go through to fit a Wifi connection issue”
  • All the work they do counts as community service: all the “work” they do contributes to the community service program so they benefit for doing something they love!
  • Students assist on Edmodo: year 7/8 have a “tech-support group” that the Techies (and I) monitor, they respond to questions online, between 9 of them they manage the workload of this WONDERFULLY!
  • They do not miss out on class time: these students are academic, they want to help but not miss out on class time, so the program does not EVER impact on their learning.
  • Visit homerooms twice a week: I found that most technical problems arose overnight when they were trying to do something at home, if students don’t get the help they need on the tech-support page then they have face to face access to the techies of a morning, this is prime time to solve problems before the school day starts!
  • Young leadership role: year 8’s get forgotten as young leaders! We then expect them to step up in year 9/10?! Will eventually run well with Duke of Ed, SRC and captain program.
  • Empowers clever kids in the playground: this program gives them cred! year 7’s chat to them in the play ground (not just in the library!) and they are known as being Techies.
  • THEY LOVE TECHNOLOGY!  they like solving problems, making other students as confident as them and helping out!
  • I can’t possibly solve every technical issue! even as a singular member of a big technical staff we still teach, our allocation and volume of devices prevents us from being accessible to students all the time. Between Edmodo and homeroom visits, these guys have got it sorted!

 

The concept of peer coaching is a no-brainer. I know from experience that students helping students peer-peer in a classroom or school context works. It builds confidence, relationships and in a busy classroom it can ease the demand of teacher centred assistance and keep the pace of a lesson moving forward. Some students even PREFER to have peer assistance. Yeah “there are no silly questions”, however, putting a hand up and a spotlight on yourself to ask a question can feel daunting for some – so if it wasn’t for peer support questions sometimes by shy individuals may never get asked!!

 

The program so far is a HUGE success (because our Techies are brilliant kids of course!), I have taken a few snapshots of our Edmodo group so you can see these guys in action!

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original post found here

Sings *students are doin’ it for themselves!

The concept of peer coaching is a no-brainer. I know from experience that students helping students peer-peer in a classroom or school context works. It builds confidence, relationships and in a busy classroom it can ease the demand of teacher centred assistance and keep the pace of a lesson moving forward. Some students even PREFER to have peer assistance, I know “there are no silly questions”, however, putting a hand up and a spotlight on yourself to ask a question can feel daunting for some – so if it wasn’t for peer support questions sometimes by shy individuals may never get asked!!

Based on all the positive experiences I have had with peer-coaching situations I put forward the idea to “hire” Gilroy Student Techies for 6 month contracts in 2014 to support our iPad program. This sounds all very formal, and the process was in order to be fair! Current year 7’s were asked to “apply” knowing that only EIGHT would be selected based solely on their application. The application was a Google form that outlined simple scenarios that they may encounter as a techie – asking them to respond with solutions of how they would help!

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In planning WHAT the class techies would/should do I was very cautious of them NOT losing out on class time, the students selected are hardworking and would then see this leadership role a negative experience if this was the case. A tough balance between using them efficiently and too much!

In 2014 the year 8 Student Techies will be used at Gilroy in the following manner:

  • One year 8 Techie will be in each year 7 homeroom to solve tech issues at the START of the day so as to minimise their impact on classes (typically a busy time as I have homeroom myself and site Technicians are assisting years 8-12 with laptops)
  • Support staff at the 2014 iPad training day for year 7 students
  • Help demonstrate effective iPad/technology use as a young school leader
  • Assist by being an additional member of the Year 7  Tech- Support Edmodo page to help with online questions

I am really looking forward to this initiative being a part of the reason why our iPad program will see student success – not just for those students that are Techies, but for all the opportunities that the Techies could potentially help in!