One of the biggest comments from our last full day tech professional development day was the appreciation to learn from other teachers about what they are doing in their classrooms. This is a common comment from many teachers about how we like to learn from each other especially about what each person is doing in their classrooms. This collaboration however is something that does not happen easily due to the various time commitments we have and the lack of available time to meet and share.
One way that we can still share and collaborate is by using digital tools to do this asynchronously. We do not all have to be in the same place to be able to share and learn from each other. Starting this quarter we will be doing something new called Tech Time 2.0. In the fall we would have Tech Time after or before school where I would go over some method or tool to use in the classroom but many were not able to attend due to other commitments. One of the Tech Times that people seemed to like the most was the one where there was time to share out what we were doing in the classroom.
Using a Google Hangout, I will be meeting with at least one teacher a week to share out some effective use of technology in their classroom as well as including a new tech tool or technique. These will be Google Hangouts on Air which means that they will automatically be recorded and stored on YouTube while at the same time allowing for more than just the other teacher and me to meet. A Google Hangout on Air can have up to 10 people meeting at once so there is ample opportunity for other teachers to join and be part of the discussion.
The main focus is always going to be on student learning and how we can use technology to help create a better learning environment. We will not focus on tech for tech sake but look at those ways that technology was used to improve the learning process in the classroom. This will also serve as a great way for many teachers to learn about Google Hangouts and see how we can use them to connect with others who may be in a different building or state than us.
We will try to have a new one each week and the staff will be emailed before future ones so if they want to participate, they can. I will leave it up to the main teacher guest, who is sharing about their classroom, how they would like the privacy settings for the video set. I know that not all teachers are as comfortable as me with sharing out online and I want to make sure that we at least share with our staff and hopefully move on to sharing with the world.
The first episode is below, enjoy.