Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Reflection and Takeaways - Technology Course 1 (Preliminary Admin Credential)

I started the Preliminary Admin Services Credential Program at my local county Office of Education last month, and it has definitely proven to be thought-provoking.  Most recently, this last weekend was one of the embedded "Technology" courses that is aligned with the content courses but ties in specific technological tools that will help with the course goals.

While I do consider myself fairly techy, and was familiar with the majority of the tools presented on Saturday, I still had some great takeaways and some new things I learned.

I'll start with some miscellaneous takeaways:
  • Incognito mode in Google Chrome simply gives you a "clean" Google search.  This means your search history is not affecting the results that Google gives you.  It DOES NOT "hide" what you are doing from anyone.  Ctrl-Shift-N is the shortcut to go incognito
  • When you are searching for stuff on the internet in front of students or an audience, push the FREEZE button or cover the projector so you make sure the results are appropriate before showcasing.
  • Great resource - and
  • Digital Literacy in the K-12 Classroom - amazing document that aligns Digital Literacy skills with the CCSS and breaks it down by where students should be at each grade level.  Also, check out CUSD's Educational Technology website with CCSS Digital Resources sectioned by grade level.
  • How to find free wi-fi?  Go to Yelp and type in the school's address and "wi-fi".  You will get a list of places that have free wi-fi within walking distance of the school (or any address!)
Tech Tools Presented & Topics Discussed:

  • Prezi is all about creating presentations that tell a story
  • Use their templates - which "path" will help tell the story you are trying to tell?
  • Prezi & images - when you bring in a citation for an image, you must take off the http:// part or it will automatically change it from text into the image
  • Prezi & YouTube videos - you can embed YouTube videos in your presentations (since they link back to the original source).  You can't download the video, edit or chop it, and then reupload it to YouTube as your own.
  1. When you are trying to communicate your vision, make sure that what you use (i.e. a video) does not contradict your message.  The example we were given was a video about how tech has changed.  The video was created in 2006.  It was being shown in 2008. [Here is the 2014 "Did you know" video]
  2. When new technology is introduced, for it to be successful, there must be:
    1. Trainings (initial exposure and practice)
    2. Support (follow-up) 
    3. Expectations (I'll be coming in a few weeks to see how you are using it)
    4. Modeling by Administration (using it in their meetings)
  3. Site leaders have a HUGE impact on how well technology is implemented.  We must STOP saying "The district said we had to do this..." We ARE a part of the district team.  Everyone must be on board (especially the admin) even if you don't agree with the decision
  4. Books to read: Good to Great Go, Put Your Strengths to Work
Professional development and speaking
  • "If you want to be a good speaker, watch good speakers"
  • Sometimes there is greater fear in presenting to teachers (peers) than students.  This may come from the fear of being judged or the fear that someone in the room knows more than you.  Teachers and Admin must let go of trying to be the master of knowledge in the room, especially when it comes to tech.  We must be okay with bringing other people up to show the awesome things they are doing in the classroom.
  • Resources on Presenting:
Fair Use / Educational Copyright
  • In our classrooms, we can use any picture we want on powerpoints, documents, etc... However, the moment it is posted online, you must consider copyright!
  • Discovery Education - if your district has bought a license, your students can use their images.  Within Discovery, they give you (under "details") the citation that you MUST put under the picture in any of your presentations or documents
  • Google Images (I never knew this!)
    • Once you search for images, go to "search tools" --> "Usage Rights" to filter images appropriately.  Here are the four categories (as you go down, the categories include all the images in the previous category as well) and a brief description of what they mean:
      • "Labeled for reuse with modification" - this is usually a very small number of pictures.  This means you can edit it in photoshop, and you can use it on your website to sell things or make money
      • "Labeled for reuse" - Anyone can use it, but you cannot photoshop it
      • "Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification" - Anyone can use it and can edit it in photoshop as long as it isn't then use to make money
      • "Labeled for noncommercial reuse" - Anyone can use it, but you cannot edit it or use it to make money
    • **You still must cite images even if they are labeled for reuse!  That labeling does not mean they are "free" to use without giving credit!
    • To get the citation from Google Images, you must click on "view image" so all you see on the screen is the image.  Then, you get the URL from the omnibox (address bar).
  • If they are your photos, you don't have to cite them
  • If they are your photos of your students, you must make sure they have given you permission and that is on file.  If you aren't sure, you can blur/black out faces OR take photos from the back of the room so you can't see faces.
Facebook for school sites
  • Claim your school and district facebook, twitter, instagram, etc pages even if you aren't planning on using them right now.  You don't want someone to come in and claim your school's name before you do
  • Be careful of leaving these sites open for comments; if so, you need to monitor them closely
  • *Embed facebook and twitter feeds on your school's website so it automatically updates
  • This can be very community building!
  • Don't NOT use this technology because it "could be potentially bad".  Think about the good that could happen!
Ted Talks, Ted-Ed, RSA Animate

  • RSA Animate - Takes Ted Talks and animates them to make them more understandable
Other Tech Tools Covered in the session:

  • Twitter for school sites and professional learning
  • Blogs / Blog Readers (Feedly)
  • Google Forms

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