Building a community of learners through professional development is ongoing in our district as we move forward with BYOT. We continue to invest in BYOT by bringing together educators who share a passion for something they do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better. These educators are part of our Instructional Technology Staff working in schools. Recently we met face to face at a middle school to explore and experience BYOT with the theme, “Coffee House Chat.”
Below are the interactions that built the conversations for professional development:
- The school provided coffee, donuts and other snacks and welcomed our visit with a personal message from their administration team. The tone was set immediately as our team players relaxed and enjoyed each other.
- An icebreaker tasked the educators to create a collage using either Frame Magic or other application of available choice. Personal mobile devices included, iPhones, iPads, Androids, and laptops. The collage topics to create a story included share your passions, likes about winter, where you have lived and where you would love to travel and were delivered via a QR Code. Colorful collages were created to tell their stories in a short amount of time and a museum walk shared their creativity.
- Breaking into small groups, the educators visited a dozen classrooms to provide feedback to teachers and other ITS on how to seamlessly incorporate BYOT into an existing lesson to enhance and accelerate student learning. Classrooms not using technology were also visited as well as time to talk to students.
- After the visits, the team recorded feedback and suggestions on a google doc to share ways teachers can use BYOT practices to create more student centered, less teacher directed learning.
- For closure a Ticket Out the Door was one short answer question using Socrative. Socrative delivered an Excel spreadsheet vis email for a quick session feedback.
So much was gained building a community of practice for all learners. From collaboration and sharing and providing feedback to all stakeholders, the morning was a great success. We will continue to practice building our community. Will you afford your learners time to develop and build their communities of practice?
Building relationships is key to building a positive learning community. Spending time on social and emotional learning enables academic gains. Tweet from Dr. Justin Tarte, Junior High Assistant Principal, @justingtarte.
A Few For Friday – BYOT Guidance and Tools
An Idea Whose Time Has Come, a Huffington Post piece from Eric Sheninger, principal at New Milford High School, New Jersey, shares great lessons learned from their school’s Bring Your Own Technology initiative. Sheninger states, “providing professional development and resources to teachers so they can be successful in implementing mobile learning is one key component for the success of BYOT.”
Read Write Think shares a collage lesson on Love and War for 9-12 graders. Students explore the theme of love of war through texts on camaraderie among soldiers. They then compose a visual collage depicting their beliefs about the relationship between love and war. This extensive lesson shares many additional resources including a visual collage rubric.
Frame Magic Lite is a free IOS app that combines multiple photos into one photo. Easily add text and effects using multiple frame layouts to make a unique collage.
Diptic is another excellent IOS app to quickly combine photos to tell a story. It is currently $.99 at the App Store.
Photo Grid and Photo Shake are free at the Android Market and offer multiple options for creativity.
Photo Collage Created with Frame Magic Lite – Several Photos Courtesy Dr. Tim Clark – @BYOTNetwork