Who am I?

Sarah Allred is the Instructional Lead Teacher at Braxton Craven School, an all 6th grade middle school. She has 15 years of teaching experience at the middle school level. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education earned at the University of NC Greensboro, National Board Certification in Early Adolescent English Language Arts, and a Master of Arts in Education in Instructional Technology earned at East Carolina University. She has taught language arts, social studies, science, and technology. She serves her school in many leadership roles. Her passion is searching for new ways to use technology to improve student learning. Additional roles she fills are mother of two amazing kids, and wife of a police officer. She enjoys reading, gardening, and digital photography.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Winter Technology Camp

With school budgets so tight, many schools are finding that dollars for professional development for their faculty is nonexistent.  Every excellent educator knows that it is vital to keep learning in spite of funding for several reasons.  First we are lifelong learners and know that the way to keep things fresh and engaging is to learn and employ new strategies.  Besides that, we are required to have a certain number of professional development credits to renew teaching licenses. (NC has recently made some changes to these requirements - see http://sbepolicy.dpi.state.nc.us/ for more info.)

With all that said, my principal and I are looking for ways to utilize the expertise of our faculty to provide high quality professional development for each other.  From this was born our idea to have a Winter Technology Camp for our teachers.  At this point all the planning is done. Let me share what this will look like.

Winter Technology Camp will be held during 2 full teacher workdays in January 2012.  All teaching faculty and other staff have been invited to participate.  Certified staff can earn up to 1 CEU toward license renewal by completing 10 camp sessions.

Technology training sessions will be presented by faculty members from our school. During the planning stages, I polled the faculty to determine who had technology expertise they could teach, and what technology topics were of interest to learn about.  From those responses, I set up a conference type schedule of topics which camp participants could choose to attend.

Each session will be 1 hour in length.  We will have 2 sessions running simultaneously in different locations to allow for a choice of topics.  On the first camp day, there will be 4 session times available, and on the second camp day there will be 6 session times available.

The session topics which will be included are:

 Intro to Geo Caching­- Learn the basics of geocaching (using a GPS device to locate hidden items) and how this might be incorporated into classroom lessons.
Airliner Tablets- Learn how to connect and use the Airliner tablet in your classroom, a cool tool which will help engage students in your lessons.
CPS- Learn how to connect and use the “clickers,” as well as ideas for how to use them in your lessons.
Edmodo- Learn about how Edmodo provides safe and easy way for  educators to harness the power of social media to customize the classroom for each and every learner.
Links to Real World Problem Solving- Learn how to embed links to a variety of online resources which will send students on a quest to learn about and solve a problem.
LiveBinders- Learn about an amazing, free, online tool that allows you collect documents, video’s, webpages, and other files all in easily accessible online binders.
Movie Maker- Learn how to create and edit a professional looking video with music, titles, and credits using a FREE program!
Promethian Interactive Board-Review  the basics of working with your Promethean Board, and learn about some more advanced interactive features which really get students engaged.
Smart Board- Review  the basics of working with your SMART Board, and learn about some more advanced interactive features which really get students engaged.
SMART Response System- Learn how to use the “other clickers” which connect with SMART software, including how to use them with the Study Island program.
Study Island and Common Core- Take a look at how the Study Island software is reflecting changes to Common Core and Essential Standards, new features available, and  ways you can use it as an assessment tool.
Teacher Web Page- Refresher on the basics of working on your teacher web page, and learn about some more advanced features.
Twitter as a Personal Learning Network- Think Twitter is just a silly social media tool for teens? Wrong!  Learn how Twitter can connect you to education experts all over the US, and keep you up to date on trends and new ideas in education. Twitter can help you create an online PLC where you can learn great ideas for your classroom.
Using Destiny to Support Common Core and Essential Standards- Learn where the resource lists for our library Common Core text exemplars are, how to use "One Search," and how to make your own resource lists in Destiny.
Voice Thread- Learn about this neat interactive online tool which can get students collaborating, discussing, and evaluating in your classroom.
Word/Excel Mail Merge- Learn how to use mail merge to make administrative tasks easier.
Writing in the Content Areas Using Blogs- Learn what a blog is, how to set one up, and how to incorporate it's use into writing activities in the classroom.

School staff were given a Technology Camp Brochure which included the session schedule and a description of each topic so they can choose which sessions to attend.

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