Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Friday, September 19, 2008

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Professional Development Meme follow up

At the beginning of the summer, Dennis Grice tagged me with this Professional Development Meme. The challenge was to share 3 professional development goals for the summer, tag some more educators and then return in early or mid September to share how I did n on my goals.

Since I was making a fresh start in a new position this school year, this was a great opportunity for me to reorganize, set some new priorities etc. Some of my priorities were professional, and some were personal, but that was definitely the theme of the summer.

1. Organize the structure I will use for professional development, including an online class, tutorials, a blog, hands on workshops, and classroom embedded instruction.

My first goal was basically to figure out what I would be doing in my new job and how I would do it. This is still a work in progress as it should be, but here are some of the highlights so far.

  • I learned to use and create with Drupal, a content monitoring system and Moodle, on online class creator this summer. The Drupal is still in the works, (they've ordered me a drupalwikimoodle server) but this is the piece that I am most excited about. I am creating an online site where not only can I share ideas, resources and tutorials, but I can conduct online classes, invite teachers to participate in forums, polls and even create their own blogs where they can share ideas and resources. The focus will be teaching and learning. The methods will be using technology to connect teachers. This should be up and running in the next few weeks.
  • I have polled teachers and have created a list of class offerings. Some are basic tier one stuff and others are more fun web 2.0 stuff. Classes will be offered in person at our new DO tech lab and in the schools. Plus classes will be available by Moodle.
  • I have created a fun weekly challenge activity to get teachers using different Web 2.0 tools. Web 2.0 Wednesday Challenge is part of my action plan as a Google Certified Teacher. The challenge is being hosted on Google Sites. I am introducing a new tool each week and sharing tutorials, resources and examples. Also included in a quick and easy challenge to get teachers involved. So far, this is going very well.
  • I have spent a lot of time creating tutorials and tweaking our Achievement Information Monitoring System with its creator, Duane Duxbury. This has been a huge part of my focus so far, but it fits right in with our goal of getting teachers past Tier One.
  • I am also starting to work one on one with teachers working on projects in their classrooms. I love that I am being invited into classrooms to co-teach and

2. Connect and collaborate with at least 3 others in similar positions to learn the tricks of the trade.

This goal has kind of been a no brainer for me. I have such an amazing personal learning network through Discovery Educators Network, Twitter, Plurk, and Google Certified Teachers that I always have people around to ask questions and get advice. This summer I was able to attend the Google Teachers Academy at the GooglePlex in Mountain View, California, DEN event before NECC and then NECC in San Antonio. I have participated in numerous Webinars, and listened to educational podcasts. I've had Skype conversations with many people as I have worked to learn new skills and build my resources. Ann Thorpe in Michigan is an expert at Moodle. She spent a few hours on Skype with me sharing and answering questions. This PLN is truly the most powerful professional development resource that I have.

3. Work on time management skills which include, putting appointments and schedule in GoogleCalendar, saying no sometimes, scheduling at least 2 hours a day for dog walking, exercise,, healthy cooking and time with family.

This goal was both personal and professional. I have become good at scheduling using Google Calendar. I also learned how to sync my Google Calendar to my Outlook. So I am well connected. I have a personal calendar, and then I have a professional calendar which is posted so everyone can see what I am working on. This summer, we went on an amazing 3 week road trip. When we returned, I thoroughly enjoying growing my first vegetable garden. I am still enjoying tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, zucchini, carrots, peas, beans, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. In addition to the goodies in our garden, Roswell and Erik and I made a new tradition of walking down to the farmers market each weekend to purchase local goodies that I then took home and prepared in lots of fun and new ways. Erik has been amazed at the amount of cooking that I did. Now to keep it up as the school year progresses. I went on lots of long walks with Roswell. I listened to several audio books while trekking around town. Two of my favorites were BrainRules by John Medina and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. In early August, I became the proud owner of a Wii and Wii Fit. I decided I needed more than just walking for exercise and I don't like exercising in front of people. It has now been 42 days and I have not missed a day of working out on the Wii Fit and walking Roswell.

So... looking back over my goals for the summer, I am feeling pretty successful. I think that the hardest one to keep sustaining will be goal 3. With technology growing and changing every day, it is hard to feel like you are ever caught up and now with that being the focus of my job, I need to remember, that I can only learn, explore, teach and create so much each day. Tomorrow is another day... Pin It Now!

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