Technology is an ever-changing field which requires keeping pact with new and emerging tools. During these past two years, I have been working to further my knowledge in order to better support those around me. Professional growth is something I truly enjoy. Meeting others who are on similar journeys, talking to inspirational leaders, and reading whatever I can get my hands on has not only helped fuel my excitement in the classroom, it has also helped me provide better professional development. This is just a snapshot of how I working to further my content knowledge.
EdCamp: CLE. GCC. Leader OH.
One of my favorite ways to grow as a professional is to connect with other educators from all different backgrounds. Over the past 3 years, I have attended multiple EdCamps. EdCamp is an "un-conference" in which the schedule is built that day and the sessions are all informal discussions centering around the participant's interests. These conferences typically last 6 hours on Saturday. I have had the opportunity to attend EdCamp at Grove CIty College (2 years), Cleveland (2 years), and Ed Camp Leader Ohio in Columbus (1 year). During each of these opportunities, I was able to learn about new types of technology, win new technology for my classroom, and gather a wealth of ideas to take back to the classroom. In addition, while at Grove City College, I was able to network with many pre-service educators and encourage them in their own walk as educators.
Google Level 1 and 2 Certification
During the months of December 2016 and January 2017, I worked to complete my Google Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Educator courses. Each of these courses required multiple lessons and many hours of work problem solving through different Google programs, apps, add-ons, extensions, and resources. From these cohorts, I learned many new features which has made my life easier such as grading, communication, and efficiency tools. Perhaps my favorite new tool from these courses has been Blogger. As I continue to learn, I hope to work towards my Google Trainer Certification. Click here for Level 1 and Level 2 Certifications.
Teacher Leader Cohort
Perhaps the most rewarding professional development I have ever been part of was the Teacher Leader Cohort through EdTechTeam. This cohort reenergized me as a teacher this year. From this cohort, I have made numerous changes my instructional approaches including creating and implementing my first collaboration with the world activity with students, beginning flipped learning in math, discussing visual literacy while creating social studies presentations, engaging students with project based learning about redesigning the learning space, and integrating different forms of assessment within language arts. To view more about my work within this cohort, click here or see further pages under the Growth tab at the top of this page.
In January of this year, I began a two year cohort meant to bring coding, computational thinking, robotics, science, and math together. Through this cohort, I have begun to learn about different types of technology that I might integrate within mathematics class to boost student interest, engage students with STEM technology, and better integrate science and math. Currently, this cohort is part of a research study. However, I am excited to be able to take this knowledge I have learned about integrating STEM technology into a 3rd or 4th grade math class in the next school year.
EdTechTeam Google Summits and Ohio Education Technology Conference
Over the past year, I have gotten to attend the 2016 Google Indiana Summit, 2016 Google Cleveland Area Summit, and OETC (Ohio) 2017. From each of these events, I have not only built my personal learning network, I have also learned about new technology and initiatives that I hope to integrate in wherever I find myself in the future. From the Google Summits, I learned about bringing technology into math, evaluating writing with the help of Goobric and Doctopus, exploring a wide array of apps and extensions for Chrome, and bringing STEM technology such as Makey Makey and Little Bits into the classroom. At OETC, I have the opportunity to hear from a panel about how to bring Makerspaces to all ages. This is an endeavor I would like to explore in the future. I look forward to attending and learning more from these types of events in the future.
Interactions with PLN (Personal Learning Network)
One of the most valuable resources to continuing my professional growth has been my professional learning network which I have largely established through Twitter. Being able to reach out to others for ideas, chat with professionals from around the world, contact professionals to speak within my classroom, and connect and attend different events has been invaluable. A personal learning network is about so much more than just building a teacher's academic knowledge. It is social as well. Having others to provide new ways to attach and look at problems is key. Some of my favorite chats to participate in are #edtechafterdark and #edtechchat. Through Twitter, I have been able to connect with design experts Christian Long and Maija Ruokanen to share with my students. I have been also able to connect and share with future teachers at Grove City College, my alma mater.