So I have been hooked; I have been immersed and thoroughly engaged into a new enlightened world of teaching. Over the coarse of the last few years; I put a new 5 year plan in place which was to become thoroughly involved in tech to enhance my teaching pedagogy, enhance parental involvement and most of all student engagement!
The 21 century is amazing; the tech is making our job as educators so much easier to share, present and immerse students into learning, but it also has made it much easier to enhance professional development as well! I have been part of the Microsoft Educator Community for over a year now; which has enhanced my professional growth and usage of various types of technology within the classroom with my students!
During the summer I spent countless hours immersing myself within the various courses, earning badges and certificates all of which are like scars for me; they show my growth and development, but since September I have new badges and certificates that I am honored to share; they are my students. Each of my kids (yes I call them my kids) have various entry points at which we began with in September; we have had many trials and tribulations with the Microsoft O365 Account; learning the tools and programs and how they would support / help and create more engagement in the curriculum!
This week we have explored Onenote Classroom Notebook. Now, this is a fairly abstract concept however using various analogies and lots of question / answer sessions we have a thorough understanding now in which we are going to begin branching out and continue our growth in @archer3’s into our flipped paperless inquiry driven technological classroom. Now, the next big barrier…..the dreaded ‘I-Word’ Internet Connectivity! In our rural school the speed and connection can be a large degree of frustration, but we are moving ahead and will problem solve collaboratively as we have all year to date!
Without sharing the whole story since September we have explored Sway, Office Mix / Powerpoint, Microsoft Forms, Word (lots of cool new features), Twitter, Skype (Virtual Field Trips, Guest Speakers, Author Read Alouds, Networking / Sharing with others various Math Number Talks, Mystery Skypes), Office Lens, numerous coding programs within code.org, box island, scratchjr, minecraft etc….to name a few, Onedrive and Onenote (Learning Tools) recently – we are becoming more and more fluent with the awesome tools now!
We have partaken in Skypethon, Hour of Code and networked outside the classroom and offer ‘Afterhours Parent Tech Night’ which started for OUR parents and now has expanded to OUR SCHOOLS parents….which is awesome!!
The transformation is incredible watching the trials and tribulation become less and less; and also watching the parents now partake and learning along side us and enhance their understanding of programs within the Microsoft Suite!
I have to say on the way home tonight I felted whipped, tired and exhausted (reports, IEP’s go home tomorrow too, so that may be part of it) but reflecting upon things I now feel exhilarated and very proud of my kids and even more so with the parents for trying and working so hard! I have weekly Sways sent via email / text etc….from students and get this…..parents too! Talk about powerful, talk about making one feel awesome….when I see, recieve and share what my kids and parents are doing I am incredibly humbled and amazed with their growth! Way to go everyone!
Now, looking ahead I am so very excited to go above and beyond this and expand even more into our transition to a paperless room using Onenote Classroom / Notebook and O365 Groups. The possibilities are endless within Onenote; Differientiated Instruction to the ‘enth’ degreee here we come!! The Learning Tools (Immersive Reader and Dictation Features) will help my programming become easier as my 8 of 16 students on IEP’s have the DI built right within Onenote to access materials, inquires and experiences I will provide moving ahead!
Just thought of another perk….no more carrying a large load of marking to and from work; everything is now digital and saved within Onenote or Onedrive…..no more head aches that the dog (or little brother / sister) ate my homework! So excited!!
How did we get here since September?!!? Three Words; Microsoft Educators Community….my involvement and learning within the community has brought me to becoming a Digital Lead Learning within the Grand Erie District School Board; a Microsoft Certified Educator, Microsoft Surface Expert, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert in the Digital World.
I have immersed myself into a new wave digital transformation using the O365 tools and programs; I have taken my students and now even bringing their parents along for the ride….as mentioned before the leaps and bounds in growth is awesome to be part of; as an educator this is the main goal, but as a ‘Techie Nerd’ this is so fantastic to watch too!
Reflecting is key, reflecting is so important; I share and try to instill this in my students (kids) and teaching students from (Nippising / Brock / Mohawk / indispire) – reflection is the be all and end all as I see it! Without it we only see what we do, not we will create, enhance, share and create…I honestly never thought of myself venturing into becoming a ‘blogger’, but now reflecting upon that I guess I am transitioning into one as well, possibly not sure but thinking maybe!?!?!
Anyways by writing this blog posting I am hoping MicrosoftEdu sees, hears and feel the passion that my students, parents and I have felt this year using their incredible tools and programs! I am so honored to share with others that I AM an Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, this is a fantastic thing to get behind!!
Thanks for the ride, but lets not stop here….anxious to see what the future holds for us all!!