I had the pleasure of attending a Saturday Seminar hosted by the Hudson Valley Writing Project. The topic was called Engaging Student Voices Through Digital Learning. It was wonderful and made me think of connecting to schools.
My daughter believes that when teachers attend any sort of professional development, they should have to present their findings to the school/department and then show how what was presented is being applied to the classroom. This is a great idea. Teachers need validation for the work they do. Often when teachers are given a chance to sit and chat about what they are doing, they can benefit from the insights of their co-workers. In this environment, even the most hesitant teacher can be urged to try something new.
So, what will I apply?
Edmodo - I learned about this in Clark County but didn't use it. The presenter on Saturday showed some great applications. The bottom line: I will reconsider this when I get back in the classroom. As a teacher I don't need to be at my classroom computer to upload information. It's also set up like a facebook page so students can communicate with my supervision (thus inappropriate comments can be nipped in the bud).
Digital Essays - this is something I would like to look into. It seems that the teacher provides pictures for the students, then the students use those pictures in various ways. Perhaps the teacher wants to ask students to include some vocabulary with the pictures. There is much to use here, it's just a matter of setting the lesson up correctly.
The bottom line? Technology is a great tool to get kids more connected to learning. However, if schools want teachers to make use of the technology, it would be best to provide support and dialog to enhance the lessons for all.