Category : Professional Development

Blended Learning, Devices, Professional Development, Teaching, Webinars
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Making the Most of One Classroom iPad – Webinar Re-Cap

Recently, Brandon Helder led a CSI Webinar and two CEA sessions entitled “Making the Most of One Classroom iPad.” This session, which is shared with you below, is a collection of some of the best tools and tricks he has for teachers with limited technology.  Check out his presentation below.

 

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Guest Post, Professional Development, Uncategorized
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Four Apps to Help You Fundraise for Your School

onlinegivingEven though educational research is inconclusive as to whether technology actually increases students’ learning, we do know that technology integration in the classroom prepares students for Christian life and service. To function in today’s world, we need to know how to integrate technology into our lives.

Technology is important in the school’s office, too. Technology improves both effectiveness and efficiency of office functions. I have found the following technology-based applications extremely useful in my job as fundraiser at the Potter’s House School.

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Blended Learning, Guest Post, IT Specialists, Professional Development, Teaching
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Introducing Coding in the Elementary Classroom

Intro Coding ImageCode is the language and grammar used to produce the apps and software we use every day. While real life coding can be complex, introducing students to coding in the classroom doesn’t have to be. However daunting it may seem, you can present coding to kids in second grade and even earlier. Best of all, there are great free resources you can use to jump in without much prep or expertise required on your part.

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Blended Learning, Guest Post, IT Specialists, Professional Development, Teaching
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Professional Development Excitement! Is It Possible?

julie-davis-1As an instructional technologist, when I’m introducing new technology ideas, I find that educator personalities generally fall into one of four categories:

  • I’m in!
  • Show me what you mean.
  • I’m not convinced.
  • Not in my classroom!

It’s not easy to meet the needs of all these types at the same time, so the way I introduce new tech ideas varies. It is my goal to meet teachers in their comfort zone and take them the next step. When I know whole-school PD days are on the horizon, I start asking my teachers what they want to learn in the area of educational technology. Our curriculum director and I then map out an EdCamp experience for our teachers that includes not only technology options but a variety of helpful authentic “take this back and make it work” ideas. Teachers are offered three or four choices of learning topics every 30 minutes. This format allows the teachers to quickly digest something they might want to learn more about and also allows them some choice in their learning path.  julie-davis-2

When we set up the day, we often ask teachers that are exceptional in different areas to share or demonstrate. This makes them feel affirmed, and it grows teacher leaders as resources as well. I’ve found teachers are much more receptive to learning from each other than from me, the technology person, telling them how great an idea is – especially when I don’t have a classroom of students with which to try these concepts. I enlist early adopters to lead sessions so that teachers see it from their real-world perspective, and anytime teachers can take an app/website/idea for a “test drive” alongside someone who has used it makes it far less scary. Setting up those opportunities during professional development days is a plus. While this is a brief introduction time, it allows me to ascertain who sees value in the concepts and to follow up for more one-on-one instruction with specific teachers.

julie-davis-3This year, we introduced some required curriculum changes to the teachers. Unfortunately, it was during the back-to-school rush. I tried to make the experience as hands-on as possible, with the goal of each teacher leaving a session with a lesson plan in hand. I often will introduce the concept with a hook that they can use in their classrooms as well. For instance, to introduce a day of project-based learning curriculum writing, we used a BreakoutEDU  game to encourage rapid learning of the basic concepts. Not only did our teachers learn about project-based learning but they also found out I had a BreakoutEDU toolbox available that they could utilize for critical thinking opportunities.

If you want teachers to try new thijulie-davis-4ngs and to teach using different methods, you have to model that in professional development opportunities! Look for ways to create small group, station rotation, flipped learning, inquiry-based, hands-on, connecting concepts to tasks type things that aid teachers in thinking outside their norm. The phrase professional development often incites moans of despair, but it doesn’t have to. Find the pul se of your teachers, engage them, and then ask for reflection to so that future professional development days will be seen as opportunities rather than a burden.

julie-davisA guest post by Julie Davis:

A former accountant, Julie Davis has been an educator for 14 years. She earned her master’s degree in instructional technology and serves as a technology coach and lower school technology coordinator at Chattanooga Christian School, the largest private K-12 school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This school is knee-deep in technology integration and a 1:1 computing initiative in grades 5-11. She enjoys helping teachers integrate technology into their lessons while giving them the support and tools to be successful. You can reach her at jdavis@ccsk12.com.

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Blended Learning, Guest Post, Online Learning, Professional Development, Teaching, Uncategorized
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The Open Source Remix

OER-banner

The Remix Culture

I love Bob Ross. I’m not sure if it’s his poofy hair, his soft voice, or perhaps his “happy little trees,” but nothing relaxes me more on a Saturday afternoon than sitting back and watching reruns of the 80s PBS sensation The Joy of Painting. Apparently, I’m not the only one. PBS Digital Studios created an homage to the painter/host by remixing clips from his shows into an uplifting song. Join nearly 11 million other fans by watching the tribute below.

The video above is a perfect example of what has been coined the remix culture, which is a society in which one is encourage to create new derivative works from the original work of others. Rather than viewing such activity as the theft of copyrighted materials, members of an open community deliberately share their work so that others can build upon and improve it. We have seen the power of this open source movement most clearly evident in the development of the software that powers many internet applications, Moodle and WordPress being two prominent examples.

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Blended Learning, IT Specialists, Professional Development, Teaching, Webinars
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Google Classroom Tips and Tricks

GoogleClassroomAn archived recording of a live webinar event presented by Rachel Medieros and hosted by Christian Schools International.

Google Classroom helps teachers and students stay organized and enjoy a supplemented curriculum. In this webinar, Rachel Medeiros, a Google certified teacher and innovator, shared San Jose Christian School’s philosophy for technology integration and demonstrate how that philosophy works with Google Classroom, a free learning management system for Google Apps for Education schools. Click on the recording link below and learn the details of how to use Classroom, best practices for using it in your school, and the many great benefits for both students and teachers.

We were thrilled to see many of you were able to join us for the live event, and enjoyed watching you network and share ideas via the Twitter chat #CSI4EDU during the presentation. If you get a moment, search #CSI4EDU and check out what others had to say.

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Guest Post, Professional Development, Teaching
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How Tech Savvy Are Today’s Novice Teachers?

savvy-teachersGuest post by: Dave Mulder, Assistant Professor of Education at Dordt College

What do we make of the Millennials? Are they digital natives, or are they “the dumbest generation”?  Now that they are graduating from college and joining the team as professional educators, how shall we—the more seasoned educators—think about them, and their use of technology?

Marc Prensky, in his 2001 article, introduced the terminology of “digital natives” (referring to the Millennial generation) and “digital immigrants” (everybody older than the Millennials). And the argument was compelling: kids growing up with ready access to digital technology seem to think differently about the tools at their disposal. Seeing students (college, high school, middle school, or even elementary students) so attached to their handheld devices and social media makes it seem that Prensky’s words were prophetic: “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” Perhaps the Millennials are better suited for teaching their fellow digital natives.

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Blended Learning, Professional Development, Teaching, Webinars
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Presentation Tools for Classroom, Blended, or Online Content

presentation tool imageWebinar re-cap of a presentation by: Becci Zwiers from Inno-Versity

Are you tired of using PowerPoint and want to create more interesting presentations? Or are you looking for ways to create instructional content for you online or blended class? There are a variety of ways to present information to students in an engaging manner. In this webinar Becci explored use of Prezi and Powtoon Slides as alternative presentation tools. She also walked attendees through at Piktochart as a tool to create infographics. Finally, we got a crash course using Powtoon to make cartoon scenarios as instructional content for students.

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Blended Learning, Devices, Professional Development, Teaching, Webinars
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Online & Blended Course Content – What Is Out There and How Can I Use It?

Blended_LearningA Webinar Re-Cap as Presented by: Becci Zwiers from Inno-Versity

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of content found online? Or certain there has to be a better way to find content for your class? There is! Enjoy this archived webinar to learn about Open Educational Resources (OER) and Learning Object Repositories (LOR) that are free and available for use in your classroom. These are items such as media, lesson plans, assessments and other activities that you can make use of in your class. The resources presented about were carefully curated to provide the most useful and well respected sources. See the list of these below.

About the presenter:
Becci Zwiers, a West Michigan native, is Inno-Versity’s in-house K-12 and Moodle guru. She’s the all-around life of the party. As a Calvin College graduate with a master’s degree in Gifted and Talented Education from Grand Valley State University, she brings a unique set of gifts and talents to Inno-Versity’s clientele. She has additional certification in Online Teaching from Michigan Virtual. Becci’s expertise morphs projects from basic concept to digital masterpiece. She is the champ curriculum writer and developer on the team. She is an experienced and impressive online trainer as well. Becci has taught over 30 online professional development courses over the past 10 years.

Becci will be teaching CSI’s online course for teachers and administrators called “Building a Blended Course.” This course is scheduled to begin mid-June through the month of July.

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Blended Learning, Devices, Professional Development, Teaching
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EdTech Team Summit – Featuring Google for Education

EdTechTeamEveryone is invited to Google Apps for Education — June 23-24, 2016!

Sioux Falls Christian Schools in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is excited to be hosting the 2nd Annual “EdTech Team Summit – Featuring Google for Education.” This two-day event (with an optional pre-summit “dive deep” sessions on June 22nd) includes two keynote presentations, eight breakout sessions each hour, a demo slam competition, and a closing capstone session. Participants will be able to attend beginner through advanced sessions on the uses of Google Apps in the classroom for iOS, Chromebooks, Macs, and Windows machines. All presenters are Google Certified Teachers, Google for Education Certified Trainers, Google Employees, or teachers with local success stories in the integration of Google tools!

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