Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Legendary LegoLand: Sample of a Student's Photo Story Book

After spending the morning in a couple of Kindergarten classrooms today, I am taking the afternoon to catch up on emails. I received a document containing all the text chat from my first webinar on Monday (all 16 pages worth!). I have committed myself to read over every comment, and create posts either on my blog or EdWebs' blog to respond to all the great comments and questions. So far, a few people have shown an interested in viewing their completed Photo Story books. If you check out, you can find other student samples. However, after logging into my Shutterfly account, I discovered that I can share Photo Story books directly to Blogger! How cool is this! I am creating a blog post with a completed Shutterfly Photo Story book through Shutterfly for my blog!!! I selected this Photo Story to share because I absolutely love how she was able to retell her personal narrative using photos from her vacation. Hope you love her book as much as I do!

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ed Tech's Best Friend

As I ventured into the world of an Educational Technology Specialists within my district last December, I imaged working very closely with my assigned schools and teachers. I was excited to start and wanted to make a good first impression... However, my first week was also the last week before Christmas vacation, which I knew was not going to be the best week to reach out to teachers. So spent my first few days sending out more emails than I had in the weeks prior. It was like the beginning of the year packets for students, except through emails to introduce myself to my seven assigned schools. I reached out to all the school's principals and their TK and Kinder teams. I couldn't wait for teachers to respond to my emails. While I patiently awaited responses, I began creating a master schedule for myself. This schedule included general details related to each school (such as their Apple ID logins, bell schedules) and then left space to add specific details about each teacher (classroom schedule, room numbers, when they preferred to meet). 

My first week back from Christmas vacation was filled with different site visits meeting with principals and teachers. Those first few weeks were spent getting to know my teachers, their schedules, routines and goals for utilizing their iPads.... wait a second. That's not exactly how my days were spent... 

Honestly, who am I trying to fool! That was how each day started... but I soon discovered that I'd be spending much more time getting to know a whole other team of people, our Technology Support Services (TSS)These are the guys responsible for setting up and fixing our technology within the district, and without them, there wouldn't be Ed Tech. However, I ended up feeling like I was more apart of their team instead of the classroom. I worked closely with many of the site techs (yes, each of my assigned schools have a different TSS tech) to problem-solving issues with our devices and the Mobile Device Management system (MDM). Eventually, it was discovered that some how all our iPads were set up incorrectly and had to be taken back to the district to be reconfigured. However, even after this correction, some sites still experienced on-going issues with their devices. Luckily, I have become an expert in our MDM system and can usually problem-solve issues for my teachers. And for when I can't figure it out, I now have a few different TSS techs on speed dial!!!  Without a great TSS department, Ed Tech can easily become a huge frustration for teachers and students. I am thankful that our district has a handful of great TSS techs to support us!