We’re doing it!

Last March, I was selected from a pool of 13 to be one of five Semi-Finalists for Maine State Teacher of the Year. For the past five months I have been working on a portfolio and a lesson. It has been a grueling process and really made me reflect on my practice and hw technology fits in to good teaching and learning. It made me very uncomfortable, yet pushed me in many directions.

Yesterday, all five semi-finalists presented their “lesson” to candidates in the Masters Teaching Program at The University of Maine. Each lesson was completely different, but all of them used technology in some way. One of the evaluators told me that this was the first year everyone came with a computer. (an aside: Interestingly, the students did not have computers, an major change for me. I am used to students being dually engaged with the teachers and the computer, not just the teacher. It made me realize how much technology is around me all the time.)

While driving home, I was reminded of David Warlick’s post about technology conferences he has attended: “This is one of those very unique conferences, the quality of which I first saw when I keynoted the state ed tech conference (ACTEM) in Maine a number if years ago. It took me months to realize what was different — what that quality was, even though it was really quite obvious. It was a prevailing sense that anything/everything that was being suggested, introduced, taught, or discussed at that conference could be taken back to the schools and implemented.” ACTEM has tried to make the focus of the conference be about teaching and learning.

The work we are all doing as workshop leaders, integrators and conference presenters IS filtering down to the classroom. It’s being remixed and used for creative projects and assignments. And the results are impressive. It was great to see all the wonderful work being done in our classrooms and that the MLTI and technology is making a difference for our schools.

Original image: ‘_DSF6082
by: marco antonio torres

Summer Technology Professional Development

If you are interested in taking graduate education courses in using technology in the classroom at The University of Southern Maine this summer, here is a listing of the courses being offered:

Summer 2010 Courses

  • EDU 300 Educational Media and Technology
  • EPB 599 Digital Storytelling
  • EPC 500 The Read/Write Web in the Classroom
  • EPC 508 Technology Integration for the Classroom Teacher: Mac
  • EPB 510 Technology Integration for the Classroom Teacher: Windows
  • EPC 511 Learning to Use Podcasting and Vodcasting for Teaching and Learning
  • EPC 512 21st Century Teaching and Learning with Technology

Summer 2010 Conferences

Added May 8. 2010 Professional Development Opportunities in New Hampshire (Deb Boisvert’S Blog)

Sometimes all it takes is a handshake

Today at school, the Global Action Club introduced the project they want to work on this year. The entire school watched the movie The Way We Get By. It features three people who greet and say good bye to the troops that are serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bangor, Maine is the first and last US stop for these troops. But the story is, of course, much more than that.

One of the teachers at our school joined the troop greeters over the Thanksgiving break. He said it was one of the most incredible experiences of his life. He is the faculty advisor for The Global Action Club. It was through his experience that the club is encouraging each of our advisor groups to pack a box and ship it to Iraq. The cost is $13.00 per box. There’s a list of items that troops want. But the teacher told us that the most coveted items are cards and letters from people in the US. After watching the movie we debriefed with our homeroom advisor groups. It really has quite an impact on all of the students, they were full of questions and really want to help.

If you are looking for a great way to share during the holidays, I hope you will consider supporting this project. This film is on PBS or online. Please, if you get a chance, watch it. And have a box of tissue close at hand!

EPC 512: 21st Century Teaching and Learning with Technology Class

Course Number: EPC 512
Course Title: 21st Century Teaching and Learning with Technology
Class #: 14604
Dates: October 3, 31; November 14; December 5, 12, 2009
Times: 8:30-4:30
Location: USM Portland Campus
Faculty: Alice Barr, Yarmouth School Department
Credit: Three (3) Inservice Graduate Credits
Registration Form: Click Here (pdf) or call (207) 780-5055

In our technology-driven, globally diverse world, students are consuming and producing many forms of electronic media. How do we develop teaching strategies for the 21st Century classroom given changing ideas about literacy? This course is designed for K-12 educators looking to integrate an array of current digital technology skills with core academic subjects. The state of Maine has joined the National Partnership for 21st Century Skills (see http://www.21stcenturyskills.org) and advocates the infusion of these skills into K-12 learning.

We need a few more in this class to make it a go. Please join us!

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2009

This list came out just as I finished up with classes for the summer. I am thinking about how I might use them with teachers in the fall. What’s the purpose of your project, now pick the tool.

How would you use this list?

What’s interesting is that I only knew three of the 151 international learning professionals that chose the tools, which means there all sorts of new educators to connect with.

What’s Your favorite tool and why?