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.

Attribution:
Original image: ‘_DSF6082
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30864080@N00/849177732
by: marco antonio torres
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Summer Tech 2010

Mike Arsenault, Cathy Wolinsky and I started our summer course for teachers today.

Yarmouth teachers will learn and practice expanded uses of technology for teaching and learning. This course will be setup as sessions of discovery tasks, explorations and reflections. Class discussions and teamwork will be part of each session. Participants will be expected to complete all sessions and interact with each other as well as the instructors during the course. Individual participants or teams of teachers will design a project that involves their students and/or classes. The final session is an opportunity to hear from colleagues about projects that are underway or have been completed. On completion of the course all participants will be experienced with the technology tools learned in each of the sessions and will have used at least one of them as a part of a class project integrated into their teaching.

This year’s course will follow the themes of the article: “Orchestrating the Media Collage” written by Jason Ohler.