Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Overloaded Mind

After a huge Student Information Management System rollout in our state and district, I am finally turning my focus back to where I feel like it belongs...seamless instructional technology integration. I find my mind so filled with thoughts and ideas that I am almost at a loss at where to start and what to do next. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the possibilities that are before us in education today?

I am sure that you guys are not ones to sit back and do the same things that you have always done in your classroom with the students today. Neither am I. Even as an Instructional Technology Facilitator, I am always reflecting, thinking, analyzing about what to do to infuse technology within my schools, make things easier for teachers, but most importantly, help our students succeed.

I just returned from EdTechTeacher's awesome iPad Summit in Boston focusing on Transforming Classrooms with iPads. I was privileged to spend three wonderful days surrounded by the energy of educators that are excited and understand how to take the focus off of a device for consumption of information and into one for creating content. Oh the possibilities! Even for our young learners in Kindergarten, we need to move away from having the iPad as a center for them to practice kill and drill apps. They can and will create some amazing content if given the chance.

I have also spent some time the past couple of days catching up on my blog feed and twitter posts within my PLN. Hence the tingling excitement and the swirling thoughts in my head that just. won't. stop.

So I thought I would talk to you guys and start to get these thoughts out, into the open, where we can share and talk and make them viable options for our classrooms.

So I will choose nuggets of awesomeness and share them over the next few blog posts. Starting today, with an awesome opportunity to connect your classroom to a teacher that presented at the iPad Summit, Kristen Wideen. Her class is studying about communities and her students, yes her students, came up with the amazing idea to collaborate with students around the world to create a book. Students are asking that audio, maps, drawings, pictures be included to answer questions such as what continent do you live on, what country are you from, what do you like to do after school, and what is the population of where you live. Ms. Wideen will collect the material from all classrooms and then share the completed project back out to all involved. How cool is that?!? And yes, I am already talking with at least two of my teachers to take the project on, hopefully one will focus on Gastonia, and the other on the little town of Bessemer City. You can find out all the information here to connect with Ms. Wideen and possibly take part in the project.

In the meantime, I will deal with the swirling in my mind. Please share your thoughts and ideas as well.

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