Saturday, November 24, 2012


I wasn't sure where to post this ---since it is generally about me being a teacher but also specifically about my iPad I wrote it in that blog and am linking to it here. It was just so exciting to see me published for writing about something other than being laid off!

Check it out!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Day of Thanks Giving

I am taking a pause from the preparations for our little family dinner to make note of some things I am grateful for that are specifically related to my teaching with technology. I just read a quote that said "it is not what you say about your blessings that matters, but what you do with them."

I have been blessed with a loving, supportive family, both the family of my birth and my family of choice. Having their support has helped me take the courageous leap to 'retire' from high tech at 40, and embark on a new career of teaching at 45. My husband has been so patient, supportive and generous on this new path we've taken.

I am grateful to SUSD for giving me a start as a librarian then teacher, and actually, yes, grateful that I was laid off. After 5 years of annual layoffs it finally happened that I was not called back. So that year, 2011, my mentor called me from her new district and invited me to interview there. What I didn't know in my layoff despair was that my new district would open doors of opportunity for me. So yes, I am grateful that SUSD laid me off so that I could expand my horizons.

My new district, Cambrian, has a lean, mean, IT machine. There is only a paid staff of three, with SysOps teachers at each site who receive a small stipend to handle first level support issues. The vision and insight of our "magic men", as my students refer to them, as well as the leadership and guidance of our superintendent and school board have provided for an atmosphere of technical leadership and innovation.

I am grateful that my background, reputation and enthusiasm are evident enough for me to be accepted into both the iPad and Digital Media Academies, allowing my students and me access to incredible tools, information and opportunities.

I am so thankful for the parents of my students, who trust me to teach their kids, help them navigate the 21st century landscape, but above all, keep their little ones safe in cyberspace and real life.

My heart is filled with gratitude for my creative, courageous, and committed kids who are willing to try anything. Their spirit of adventure and willingness to leap in to the unknown and help each other and me find new ways to do things is inspiring.

I have many blessings, and am even more blessed to have the opportunities to share my blessings with my students.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Monday, November 12, 2012

Yes Teachers Want Tech, Let's teach them how to use it!

I just read an article tweeted to me by Edworld written by Edworld Jason. He points out how most teachers are finally ready to take on tech, and want more of it in the classroom. Buried at the end of the article, beneath some really cool graphics, is this sentence...

Researching costs for technology purchases—ranging from installation to training time—is the first step in identifying what's right for your school.

The training time has been in my experience the biggest block to anyone other than early adopters using technology in the classroom. Teachers I have worked with have dust gathering on projectors, use Smart Boards as screens for their overhead projectors and don't know what to do with laptops, iPads and PCs. I hold dual citizenship, but most teachers are digital vacationers at best. We need to find ways, and finance ways, to help these teachers learn how to use the tools to provide meaningful and authentic learning opportunities for our kids.

I have scoured the Internet for lesson plans using iPads and have come up with very few good examples. New-to-tech teachers need good and easy to find sources of information and resources to help them step across their own digital divide. In our district, where we have a growing pilot program for 1:1 iPads, we have started a wiki and edmodo group to share best practices and ideas. But it is still a challenge for all of us, we are so busy teaching, to find the time to research and learn and share new ways to be innovative in the classroom. Yet, we owe it to our kids to prepare them as best we can 'for jobs that don't even exist yet.'

And, to reward you for reading all the way to the end, here is one of the really cool graphics I mentioned.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad