“What exactly do you do?”

I am often asked “what exactly do you do in your new job?”  I thought about this and decided to highlight some of the “things I do!”  Here’s a glimpse of the past week or two…


I like to be a resource for teachers!  I love coming to their classes and watching them teach and allow me to help (I call it “boots on the ground”) students with their needs.  I have been known to go into a class and teach the lesson (how-tos, whys, etc) of a new tech tool and let the teacher engage with students as well.  I went into some classes (thank you Mrs. Alms & Mrs. Ashford) that were working on a Science unit developing mindmaps or presentations of the different ecosytems (pictured here).

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In this classroom we gave a brief introduction to Powtoon and really just let the students run with it.  It was amazing to see what they created in a short amount of time and how creative they are with their presentations.  Great job Ms. Lamb!  I look forward to coming back to their class for their final presentations.

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Mrs. Neal’s class usually has a STEM challenge once a week.  This week I was invited to see how students solved the “bird beak challenge.”  Students worked in teams to determine what the best beak would be to pick up beans out of a plastic container.  Earlier in the week, in their Science unit, the students had compiled a Padlet full of useful information on bird beaks and which characteristics are associated with which beak.  Some groups used technology to find the best beak and then build it, others went straight for the supplies and just went for it!  The competition was very close, as only 3 beans separated the top 3 winners.  I loved watching them collaborate with each other and work as a team to come up with the best beak for the competition. #STEMchallenge

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Next up was a little professional development for myself…and this time…I took a few teachers with me!  I am part of a Technology Integration Specialists group that meets twice a semester and after attending in September I thought, I need to bring teachers with me next time!  I took 7 others with me from across the district and it was just as awesome as the last time.  We have group Q & A ‘edcamp style’ in the morning and do “speed geeking” in the afternoon.  So valuable!!  Here are some of the teachers networking and playing with Google Cardboard!  #lovegoodPD

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I had a chance to help out at a faculty meeting and help answer questions over Google Classroom, Gmail and Google Drive which was awesome.  Our teachers are really utilizing these tools and I’m excited to help alleviate some anxiety so teachers feel more comfortable using them.  Great job CRI presenters for your great work!

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The next PD opportunity took me to St. Louis for a Google Workshop!  It was very exciting to get to learn from some Google experts as well as hear what others are doing with Google in their schools.  The best part of the session was the panel at the end, which included some great students, telling their thoughts on the transformation their schools have made using the Google platform.  It was great to hear their thoughts and expertise.  We had an opportunity to collaborate as a district too on our vision so I hope to continue those conversations as we move forward.

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Another event I wanted to share with you was the follow-up from an earlier post.  I took the Color Alive app into a 1st grade class and they loved it!  (see earlier post)  Knowing that our Kindergarten friends would also be in love with this, I presented these apps at a collaboration session for K teachers and the result was amazing!  Mrs. I’s class used the app and created their characters.  They then used the ipad to take pictures of their character in a certain place in the room or school and then wrote a story about it!  Mrs. I let us come in when the students would be presenting their stories to the class and it was definitely the highlight of the day!  The students put their coloring, their pic from the app as well as their story under the document camera and stood in front of their class and read their stories.  It was awesome!  Check out these awesome pics and stories!  #kindergartenrocks

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The last event I want to share with you is a collaboration session taught by STUDENTS!  At our HS, we have a Tech Practicum class where the students help our tech guys and learn about tech needs, certifications, etc.  This group of guys is phenomenal.  They are some of the hardest workers but also have a great personality and are very knowledgeable (& pretty funny too).  I wasn’t sure how it would go over but I had these gentlemen be resources to 2 other groups of teachers (while I also had a group) on Google Drive/Docs.  The setting was more of a “playground” where teachers could come and work and have experts in the room in case they had questions.  These guys did a phenomenal job (survery results were awesome) and we are excited to have them as part of our team!!  Kudos to Mr. Howard who also supervises and leads them, he is a great teacher!!

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So, as you can see, I LOVE my job and love working all different groups of people!  So, I guess you could say…..”this is what I do!!”