Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Google Teacher Academy

Well, I just submitted my application for the Google Teacher Academy in Mountain View, CA and Atlanta, WA! It was a fun application to complete and is a step towards my goal of pursuing more professional development in the way of instructional technology communities. That particular goal was largely behind the revival of this blog, but then the instructional technology communities I belonged to only include that of my fellow graduate students in my program at UMUC and the technology team at my district. So, here's to actively pursuing your goals and throwing your heart into your passions!

They are only accepting 100 applicants (65 for Mountain View and 35 for Atlanta), so I know it's a long shot that I would get selected, but if I'm going to actively pursue my goal I've got to at least try!

As a part of the application I had to create a video that demonstrated how I was innovative in the classroom through the use of technology. I chose to showcase our on-going second grade grant project and thought you might enjoy checking out the video!

If you'd like to learn more about the grant, you can check out the full proposal here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

What are you working with?

In my second grade classroom I currently have quite a few technology resources. Some of them are a result of district initiatives and trainings while others I have procured through grants, etc. I've got a breakdown of my set-up below, but would love to hear about what you are working with to!

The main writing and projection surface in my room is a Smartboard.  In our district these were purchased through the district for those individuals who completed the Tier 3 Training Program a few years back. While the program still remains, the incentives have changed to reflect current technologies. However, it seems the program will take on a new format next year as the district moves from a readiness-model in regards to technology training to an equity model. Regardless, I have been fortunate enough to be placed in a room of a teacher who is on special assignment this year as a literacy coach and have been able to retain her Smartboard. I use the Smartboard for just about every type of projection and lesson, so be prepared for many more mosts on this technology from the sessions I have helped to lead regarding it's uses in the classrooms. There is already a few such posts on the blog regarding "Pho-Smartboard" Techniques and Young Learners and the Smartboard.

Apple iPads & Apple TV
There are currently 4 iPad Minis available for use in my classroom. These were procured through several different grants from the Oak Harbor Educational Foundation and Donors Choose. I'll dedicate a separate post to pursuing grants for classroom technology, but it has certainly been a useful funding source that has greatly added to the possible learning experiences within my classroom. Currently, the iPad Minis are used as a part of my literacy workstations, as a tool in remedial math services, within my classroom reward system, for a special community-based social studies project (A Digital City of Stories), and for whole class instruction. The two Apple iPads in my classroom are almost solely used to guide instruction using the Splashtop App when they are not being used similarly to the iPad minis in small group instruction.

ELMO Document Camera
I like to think of the document camera as a pretty standard piece of classroom technology now, but I am curious if people are starting to use other technology tools to accomplish the same goals? I've heard of and seen the use of an iPad stand as a possible substitute for the document camera through Apple TV, but I haven't seen or heard of this becoming a standard practice anywhere.

I'll do my best to keep you updated on any changes to my classroom technology outfit, but in the meantime feel free to share what you are using! Are there any particular tools you've found for those young learners?

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Well, I guess at this point I don't have followers outside of my graduate classes in Instructional Technology. So, this is a hello to those future visitors who are wondering about this blog!

As I near the end of my time as a graduate student (MEd. Instructional Technology, UMUC) I feel more and more compelled to share the knowledge and skills I have gained over the past two years with fellow educators. I am also eager to build new relationships with other educators who share a passion for integrating technology in the early childhood classroom.

As a military spouse, I already have had invested technology commitments at several different schools and know that this trend will ultimately continue as our journey with the Navy continues. I hope that this blog, in it's revival, will help me in continuing to share technology integration experiences, tools, and ideas with colleagues past, present, and future.

Since this blog began as an assignment for a graduate course and therefore, it does include some helpful tips about integrating technology in the early childhood classroom already. However, there has been a hiatus of activity for almost a year. So, let me share a brief preview of what you can expect in the near future...

- An update on my current classroom technologies and how they are being used
- An overview of my experiences introducing my class of 2nd graders to Google Apps for Education
- A look at a sample Digital Literacy Workshop created for elementary educators
- A preview of my team's work surrounding an OHEF Grant: A Digital City of Stories
- A reflection on my experiences applying for a variety of Google training opportunities
- A synopsis of my on-going acclamation to a MacBook Pro Retina from PC (1 day in so far!)

I look forward to sharing many of these posts with you and am especially excited about the professional learning community that may ensure from the discussions and collaborations that take place here!

Thanks for joining the revival!