My Final Digital Educator Mentor Podcast

Although I haven’t spoken much about the project itself on the blog, I am a Douglas County School District Digital Educator Mentor, which means that throughout the year I have been leading a small cohort of 6 teachers through some conversations about teaching and learning with technology (you can learn more about the project here). For our final meeting of the year (our 4th face-to-face), I have decided to do a podcast/screencast on Google Docs, Google Reader, and Twitter and ask for some reflection in the comments on this podcast. Here are the questions that they will be asked about our 3rd and 4th meetings. If you would like to take part in this reflective process, you can as well, simply by replying to these questions in the comments:

Meeting #3:

  1. What have you hoped to achieve through this study group?
  2. What has happened differently in the classroom or worksite as a result of what you are doing in the study group?
  3. What resources are you using that have been most helpful?
  4. What impact?
  5. Which study group activities/strategies have been most helpful? (ie Article readings/reflections, hands on learning time, group discussions, project share time)
  6. What would be your advice to a beginning study group?

Meeting 4:

(Finish the following statements as your first year of being a “Digital Educator” comes to a close):

  1. We started…
  2. Regarding school/classroom or worksite/office culture changes, we see….
  3. Changes we are seeing in students, colleagues, etc are….

(as appropriate to you job category?

  1. We have made progress in…
  2. We hope to add value….

0 Comments

  1. Andrea Matott

    Okay, now I will respond to your sentence starters.
    1. We started looking at Google docs during our third session and now have a more expanded idea of the many uses of it. This will be an ongoing challenge for me to set up and get comfortable using.
    2. Regarding school/classroom culture changes, I see many more teachers getting excited about 21st Century Learning and being willing to change our methods in order to keep up with technology and ultimately, to be better at preparing our students for the future.
    3. Changes I am seeing in students have to do with them being more interested in the “bigger picture” of life – really thinking more about the world as a classroom, and understanding how to be global citizens. I think this change is inevitable as all of us on planet earth understand more fully how connected we are and can be, and how for the good of humanity, we must move ourselves beyond our own little worlds to the whole. It’s especially exciting to see this with middle schoolers who by nature are so egocentric.
    4. I hope to add value to my new teams next year as our configuration for teaming/collaborating will change quite a lot, especially for me. I will be working with teachers who have all levels of tech. experience and expertise, and I am hopeful that my year of focus on digital educating will bring new, fresh ways of approaching all of our subjects. I also know I will learn lots of great tools and ideas from my students as they seem to soak up technology like sponges. I feel more confident in my ability to relate to my students with and through technology.

  2. Holly Spurlin

    Meeting 3:
    1. Through this study group I hope to achieve a better understanding of how to engage my students in 21st Centruy learning. Most important for me, is an awareness of all the options available currently and new possible ways to use technology for 21st century learning; especially, networking.
    2. What has happened differently in my classroom as a result? I have tried new lessons with the focus on technology.
    3. The resources I have used that have been most helpful: my mentor has been extremely supportive, even visiting to observe first attempts; the online tutorial for Cover it Live made setting up my blog understandable; even fairly easy lessons like Comic Life and Photo essays of our field trip were rewarding for me.
    4. The impact of increased technology in my class is significant; especially, learner engagement and learner confidence in their ability to think critical about technology and develop a sense of ‘I can figure this out’. The students spent more time engaged in authentic learning and less time off task (no time off task in most cases.)
    5. Hands on learning is always the most helpful for me because I am new to technology; however, I enjoyed getting ideas from project sharing.
    6. My advice for a new study group: for the educator, assess the different levels of technology skills and tailor the lesson to meet the audiences’ needs; for the student, don’t panic if you don’t understand every thing, just focus on one thing at a time and try to integrate it into your lessons.
    Meeting #4 (Sentence completion)
    1. We started with meetings and learning lots of ways that technology can increase student learning and critical thinking
    2.Regarding school/classroom changes I see the biggest change in me – I’m not afraid to implement a lesson because I understand that even though things might not go as planned, it’s worth the risk and I can often trouble shoot and figure things out.
    3. Changes I see in students includes a more positive attitude in and about the subject I’m teaching. When I heard one student ask another during passing periods, “What did you get to do in Social Studies?”, I realized it as been worth the effort.
    4. I hope to add value to the teachers I work with by encouraging them to try new things in the classroom and sharing the things I have discovered with them.

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