Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ed Tech Series, Part 2

My district had professional development the Friday we were supposed to come back from winter break (we had a weeks worth of snow days after).  I was asked to present about technology.  There were so many topics that could be discussed, but I reigned myself in and stuck with educational websites to integrate into the classroom.  Being very selective is HARD when it comes to all the sites I want to share with teachers.  At the same time thinking, no one is going to show up to my presentation.

I prepared my presentation during break using Prezi.  Being the overacheiver that I am, I was giving my Prezi some pizzaz.  Since one of the resources I suggest to teachers is Prezi, I figured I should show them what it can do.  I edited the Prezi multiple times and became frustrated when one of my fancy tricks would NOT work.  But, whatever...that just meant I showed the teacher what ended up being a goldmine to them (that I'll talk about later).

I have learned several things along the way about presenting.  First, technology is intimidating to those who don't use it.  It took me years to wrap that around my techy brain.  Second, the time factor.  Yes, its hard to think of "when am I going to fit this in?" Also, you need time during the professional development to play around with the new information. Third, how do I start? Just dive right in.  If it blows up in your face, reevaluate or move on to something else...mistakes are proof your learning.

I categorized my presentation for teachers and gave real-life examples of how I used the sites.  I start small and only have one grade use a site or use the same site for multiple grades, but they all answer a question on the same page.  I take the time to create accounts for my students on sites I think they will benefit from and that they can use multiple times.  I let students explore certain sites before I begin teaching how to use content on the site.  Students are eager beavers when on the computer.

I'm giving the link to the bookmarking site that has let me curate a great amount of sites for students to use.  Whenever my students need to travel someplace specific, I tell them to go to our library's Only2Clicks page.  It's been my favorite site to use for these purposes.

Here is the link to my Prezi on educational websites, too.

Enjoy!  And if you have any questions, ask away!

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