This quote ends "...yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his."
The goal of this blog is to embrace, share and refine the ideas about technology in teaching that flash across my mind.
Who Am I?At my core, I'm a teacher. I spent 11 years in the classroom, now I'm at the district level as a blended learning specialist. I started in music, moved to math and science, then ran a blended STEM classroom for a few years where we got to do the cool stuff like build robots, run CNC milling machines, create websites, and a whole lot more.
Now I'm starting my first year coaching and coordinating professional development to help teachers use technology in their classrooms.
Should You Read This?
If you're a teacher, administrator, fellow edtech coach, or possibly just a wanderer in the ever-expanding vastness of the blogosphere, my goal is to have something practical and useful for you here. But please don't stop at just reading. I need your comments and feedback, whether here or on Twitter (@NKeithBlend). Coaching and training teachers is a whole new world for me and my PLN is going to have a strong hand in shaping how well this goes.
What's the Focus? ("focuses"? "focii"?)
- Edtech Coaching
It's my first year doing this, and I want a record that shows how it went, from overzealous, upstart idealism ("Every teacher will warmly embrace new technology!") to the occasional fear and doubt ("Surely I have no new ideas worth sharing with these people...") that comes with coaching professional educators.
We're also rolling out a 1:1 pilot program with 20 teachers, 1100 students, and a bunch of Chromebooks and laptops, so I'll chronicle the insanity that goes along with that.
- Professional Development
We have all made mistakes in giving our teachers tech and expecting them to know what to do with it. But there are also pockets of innovative excellence where teachers are given choices in how and what they learn, PD is flipped or blended to make it more convenient and effective, and trainings are differentiated to meet teachers where they are. I want to learn how to be better at all of those things.
In edtech, we have an incredible amount of flexibility and creativity (far more than in the content areas) in what tools we use and how we use them. So I'm going to try some different things when I work with teachers, and I'll come back here and let you know how tremendously well they went, or how horribly they flopped and what you and I can learn from it.
- Digital Tools
Of course, every edtech coach has a bag full of tools and tricks (one of the most useful being that the Chrome dinosaur morphs into an endless runner game) ready to deploy at a moments notice. I'll be looking at ways to use tech in various content areas (probably not the dinosaur thing), along with how best to use online, blended, and virtual environments to respect teachers' time while making sure they have avenues available to learn new things.
The goal is to make tech practical and easy to implement because teachers do too much already. Edtech solutions need to specifically address the realities of teachers situations and the needs of their students.