My last 4 weeks as an Education Technology Specialist

September 19, 2009 at 10:35 am | Posted in Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, Moodle, Planning, Professional Development, Tech Integration | Leave a comment
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I have read several posts in the last month discussing the question of what an education-based technology support person does. Here is a rundown of the highlights of my last 4 weeks at work:partsj

  • Update and preparation of training for new teachers during orientation
  • A Moodle course template for all Elementary, Specials and Spanish classes was created to ensure that all teachers had a course presence online. The course template is basic, provides important links and is easy to begin use by uploading and inserting newsletters and parent information. Staff were trained how to access their course, upload and attach documents and set the enrollment key. PE and Spanish courses had to be revised to allow teachers to share pages according to their teaching assignments and every teacher is now uploading  newsletters and general class information. Parents were also shown how to log on and enroll in their child’s courses to check for information each week. Students are using their course for resources during the school day in fifth grade as well.
  • Update of our class rosters for the digital component of our math program.
  • 5 new Smartboards were installed and adjustments were made to the projectors and the connection between the laptop and the SmartBoards. They are now ready for ongoing training to make the best use of this versatile teaching and learning tool.
  • Outlook parent email distribution lists were created with teachers
  • Various HelpDesk requests related to Moodle, school database, curriculum mapping.
  • As planned and ordered last spring, Media Kits were assembled, distributed and introduced to all grade levels. Each kit is shared by a grade level and contains a digital audio recorder, digital still camera, a Flip cam, microphones, a digital microscope and rechargeable batteries with charger. (Digital Storytelling, here we come!)
  • User accounts and student rosters were established with an online math practice program for 2 grade levels.
  • Because my position is teacher-support based and I am not a scheduled lab teacher, I planned and am co-teaching with the classroom teachers 3-4 Computer Lab bootcamp sessions for each grade level and class.
    • For grades 4 and 5 this has involved walking students through the first logons to the school network, school Moodle and class course, our keyboarding program and the digital component to our math program. I used the Build a Pyramid game within a Moodle blog to allow students to sample use of a Moodle tool within their course. Another important component was a digital safety and citizenship discussion focused on protecting yourself from friends who may want to post your personal information and images online.
    • Digital safety and citizenship is also addressed in grades K to 3 as well as the parts of the computer and how to turn on/off the CPU, monitor and adjust volume for monitor speakers and headphones.
    • In grades 2-3, students learned how to log on and practice keyboarding, start a Powerpoint portfolio or project and save it to their own folder in their class network folder.
    • Kindergarten and first grade students went online to Starfall through our school LS Links portal. They also created a KidPix image and first grade students saved it to their student folder in the Class network drive.
    • With pre-school students we introduced the names of the parts of the computer followed by guided practice using the mouse while exploring letters in Starfall or creating a picture in KidPix.

These bootcamp sessions have set the tone for the year by establishing common routines, vocabulary and tasks that will be reviewed and built on as the year progresses. These sessions, built on top of the incredible background work of our tech support team, has allowed students and teachers to use our available technology tools from the first week with greater ease.

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