WELCOME to my first blog!

Welcome! I am glad to say that this is my first blog. You are welcome to comment on the various educational technologies that I will post information on in the next few weeks. There are links to the various technologies so that you can view samples of how each of the technologies work. Enjoy!

I hope that this will help me and you increase the use of technology in the classroom to enhance our students learning.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January DI Work Time Session, Take 1

So as soon as the staff returned from Winter Break, a number of teachers began to ask when the next DI Work time would be on the SMART software. I had 3 returning staff members from a previous session, a different new teacher than the last time, as well as the Right Start (New teacher mentor) Advisor to help learn new items to bring the many new staff members in our building (27% of 70 staff members are new to the building, at least 5 of them are 1st year teachers).

From what I gather, one of the teachers, young, but unsure about technology, was able to complete a full lesson/ activity with the SMART Notebook technology to use on her SMARTboard in class and included D.I. techniques based upon the Universal Design Learning principles. So was very pleased with herself because after having only 2 work sessions, she has become comfortable enough to a point where she barely asked questions concerning how to use the technology.

A special education teacher stayed, that NEVER stays after school for any reason and teaches a self-contained classroom. She only has 3 or 4 students at a time and does not have the technology that the majority of the staff has (she teaches out of a space that was once a storage closet). She was so excited to set up the SMART Response Remotes to gather and collect data once I showed her personally what she could use the information for and to use it to her advantage when grading her students. Although she wasn't using the SMART Notebook software but for a few minutes that day, she was glad to finally know how to use the technology and begin utilizing the set of remotes that are just sitting, collecting dust outside of her room.

Although there continues to be a small group of people attending these meetings, I am glad that the reason for lack of attendance is because of the day during the week. Mondays appear to not be good for many teachers because of their own graduate classes or daycare issues. We had only been back for 4 days, and I was able to hold a work time session, despite the end of the marking period and benchmark exams were around the corner. Thankfully, my principal and the AYP coaches (and our Middle Years Programme Coordinator) asked for me to present a session during one of our professional development days, so I plan on collecting information from the staff thus far about using technology for D.I. in the classroom and introduce another technology that is available for them in order to differentiate instruction in their classrooms.

I think that the UDL principles are perfect to explain to the staff the purpose of D.I. and the variety of ways that technology can provide that to the students when planning a lesson.

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