2012- 2014: Learning Resource Teacher/Vice-Principal
I worked at George Lee School for two years. The first year I worked solely as a Learning Resource Teacher supporting students and teachers in being successful in the classroom. The second year I worked .6 as a Learning Resource Teacher and .4 as the Vice-Principal.
During my two years there I worked more with assistive technology (assistive T\echnology is specialized hardware or software that provides users with an alternative format to communicate and access information and educational resources.)and how it could support the students I was working with. I began using Kurzweil, a web-based literacy support program, with text-to-speech reading support.
I had students who’s teachers used FM systems to support hearing or sound processing difficulties and students with Learning Disabilities who were using their phones or small handhelds to access voice to text programs. EAL students were encouraged to use google translator and one student’s disability may at one point impact his ability to write so we began teaching him how to use an iPad’s speech to text program.
2003 – 2011: Integrating Technology in a Middle Years Classroom
I keep becoming inspired by articles I read, people I talk to and blogs I read. However, I continually hear other educators complain about not having enough time or support to integrate technology into their day. Instead of thinking of technology part of what we do it becomes an add on. My most successful integrations are when I keep the technology simple.
Blogging in my Classroom:
Students walk in to start the day at 9:00 am, if they haven’t come in early to blog, and get to work on the morning tasks. Each morning six students have assigned blogging time. Bloggers respond to a teacher prompt then are free to write their own blogs.
Each Friday the writing assignment is more formal. My collaborative partner and I take turns giving the students their assignment. The students read the assignment on the teacher’s blog. The first draft is written in a notebook then edited and revised. The final draft is written on the student’s blog. I respond to my partner’s students in North Battleford and he responds to mine. Two month’s ago Wendy Fisher and her class from Pennsylvania joined us in our Friday writing which has added another dimension to our collaboration. The students now receive feedback from two teachers, which is a great form of encouragement for their writing.
During the week there is additional time for reading and responding to our other blogging partners.
Great example of classroom blogs:
Dragon Blogs in Seattle
Jim Ellis in North Battleford
Wendy Fisher in Pennsylvania
Bob Greenberg In Conneticut
- I’ve created a collaborative project for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games. The project is designed as a six-week collaborative project for teachers and students to learn about then follow the winter olympics.
- My students are working on our Olympic project. Our morning starts with me streaming the CTV Olympic morning show on the SmartBoard while the students are checking stories and standings in the newspapers or online. My students then check our Facebook and Twitter accounts to see if any of the Olympic athletes we’re following have posted updates. Later in the day we’ll watch the Olympics, students will update their wikis about the sports they’re focusing on and writing profiles about their Olympic athletes.
- For the past two years my students and I have worked on a collaborative project following the Iditarod Trail Dog Race. The race begins on the first Saturday in March. The project was tied to our Social Studies, Science and Language Arts curriculum. Students worked with partners in classrooms in the United States and Canada. The feedback from the project was great. I
- Iditarod Project VoiceThread Reflections
- Completing various “Projects by Jen” and posting them on our wiki.
- Working on a partner project with our grade 2&3 classroom as they collaborate on a Dragon Literacy Project. They will be working with the Global Learning Institute whose students are children of Cirque de Soleil performers in Tokyo and Parkview Elementary School in Quebec.
- We recently completed participating in our third Blogging Challenge.
- We’re also working on a year long Global Citizen project. Feel free to join us any month
- We’ve skyping around the world with the project “Around the World in 80 Schools”