Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Techie Breakie Session 3

This morning we had our 3rd Techie Breakie session. In the first 2 we covered using Twitter and Blogger, and now that teachers have set up their own accounts it was time to help them to read about what other educators are doing. To do this I used a couple of short YouTube videos to introduce them to the idea of RSS feeds and Google Reader.

Having set up their accounts, we discussed good blogs to follow. I suggested several, some of which deal with pedagogy and some of which will give them good resources to use with their students. I think that it would also be useful for our teachers to follow and connect with other teachers in the same grade levels world-wide, so that when they start using Web 2.0 tools with their students they have other classes to collaborate with.

Now that the teachers are set up with ways of connecting with other educators through Twitter and blogging, I want to move the focus of these sessions to address Web 2.0 tools they can use with their students. We had a discussion about the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 and in the next session I want to develop this further and show them a few of the tools that we have used already with some classes this year, and some that I am going to suggest using later such as Glogster, Prezi, Animoto, ZimmerTwins, Xtranormal and VoiceThread. I'm hoping to get 3 more Techie Breakie sessions in before we finish for the summer in late June, covering Web 2.0 tools, social bookmarking such as Diigo and Delicious, sharing photos on Flickr and being able to make and share videos and podcasts.

Next year I have some more ideas for professional development. One of the things I want to do, jointly with our librarian, is to run a Professional Development Bookclub, where we choose a book to read each month. Teachers would be able to sign up for as many of these books as they want to discuss and I'm hoping we can have the school actually buy and give the teachers these books (rather than have to borrow them from the school library) so that they can highlight and annotate them as they are reading.

I'm enjoying doing these morning sessions (so much better than after school meetings) and I'm excited to see how our teachers start to use these tools.


  1. Really great Maggie! The Common Craft videos are so helpful in explaining these tools to low or non-tech users.
    I think the professional development bookclub is a wonderful idea. I am working on starting something like that here. I hope that you have great teacher and admin buy-in!

  2. This sounds really good. We've started a similar breakfast group called Big Ideas and Bagels. Last year we had two groups, one focusing on thinking & questioning and the other on tech tools. Along the way we found the two had merged. This year we are alternating between a hands-on session in the lab and a discussion group in the learning resource centre. You've given me some great ideas for future directions.