Certified Teachers and Trainers. I remember being awed by this group of educators who seemed to have all the answers and cool schwag. I hoped that one day I would be able to include myself in that group.
Other educators, like me, put off the the certifications saying things like "I know that I know it, so why take the tests?" or "I don't have time do mess with that". For a while I was in the latter group. However, after seeing so many of my colleagues and friends from other districts take the assessments and earn Google certifications, I dedicated a few days to working through Google's training modules and taking the Level 1 and Level 2 assessments. Now I'm glad that I invested time into the Google certification exams. Here are 5 reasons why YOU should work towards Google Educator certifications, too.
I've been blogging on and off since the beginning of 2011. Blogging is a practice that I've always found to be a useful tool in reflection and in planning learning activities for students and PD for educators. Throughout the past 6 years I've gone through periods of writing often and long writing droughts. Earlier this year, though, I recommitted myself to blogging regularly reconnecting with some of the educators I met years ago when I began this journey. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I saw that ISTE's Edtech Coaches PLN was beginning a blogging accountability program called Blogging Buddies.
Recently I was talking to a group of teachers in my school district about the difference between Google Classroom and a class website as a communication tool. We know that Google Classroom is an excellent tool for creating a paperless workflow for the classroom, but that doesn't help parent communication (I know that we can send guardian summaries, but that's not the same as a website).
In my role as the Instructional Technology Coordinator for my school district, I develop and deploy technology-based PD for the 850 teachers in my district. I provide one-off PD workshops, semester-long academies, PLC collaboration, just-in-time digital trainings and more. I love working with teachers because it keeps me close to the classroom and, after all, I am a teacher at heart.
The fact that developing a communication plan is paramount to any organization's success is not lost on me. In fact, I feel strongly that one of the most important parts of my role is communication including communicating the vision for technology's role in my district, communicating with educators before, during, and after professional development takes place. I think a lot about and have the best way to communicate my message. Below are a few of the ways I connect with teachers in my district to share my message and communicate before, during, and after PD has take place.
Below are some of the methods I use to communicate with the 850 teachers I serve. My hope is that sharing these communication methods will help me reflect on my practices and help others ideas on how to increase communication with the groups they serve.
My district just finished its second annual district-wide Twitter challenge. The month of the Twitter challenge has come to be one of my favorite parts of the year because I get to peak in classrooms all across the district that I'm unable to visit and I'm able to make connections with more of my 850 teachers to develop classroom partnerships and strengthen relationships. I think that every district should try a Twitter challenge. But before you get started, here are a few lessons I have learned in the past two years about facilitating a district-wide Twitter challenge.
We've all been there: stuck in a presentation where the presenter has clearly not thought about his or her slide deck as a tool to engage the audience. Maybe the slides are all text and the presenter is simply reading from the slide deck. Maybe the presentation lacks visual appeal or audience participation. However, presentations do NOT have to be this way! Check out the five tips below to help you become a Google Slides super hero and never create a boring slide deck again!