Tech Tips

GreyEd_techGreyED Solutions is pleased to partner with SmartBrief to provide busy K-12 education technology innovators with “Tech Tips Tuesdays.” Published every Tuesday in the SmartBrief on EdTech newsletter, Tech Tips are written by educators for educators to boost their know-how and expand their skill set. Read Tech Tips here on our site or subscribe to SmartBrief on EdTech to get them delivered directly to your inbox.

 If you’re an educator and would like to contribute to Tech Tips, let us know!

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Equity does not mean replication in one-to-one programs

Source: SmartBlog on Education in partnership with GreyED Solutions

What does equity look like in a one-to-one program? Does it mean that every student has the same device?

Equity in a one-to-one program does not mean that every student has precisely the same technological tool. Other factors, including instructional model, use of textbooks, access to online resources, teacher commitment to personal and professional development and a school’s willingness to “push the envelope,” all work together with the devices to create a successful one-to-one environment.

The best instructional technology specialists say ‘Yes!’

Source: SmartBlog on Education in partnership with GreyED Solutions

Instructional technology specialists/coaches play an important role in schools today. We ask a great deal of them. To be proficient they have to coach, model, collaborate and co-teach. They act as catalysts for change, leading, communicating and promoting best practices. They support teachers with professional development, resources and opportunities to grow their own professional learning networks; they nudge their colleagues past their comfort zones. They invest lots of time and effort in their own professional growth and learning. Instructional technology coaches can’t be content in simply knowing yesterday’s tools — they need to master today’s and be on the lookout for tomorrow’s.

Are you training cooks or chefs?

Source: SmartBlog on Education in partnership with GreyED Solutions

My fifth-grade teacher, Mr. Rhoda, had a knack for taking virtually any object and creating a teaching tool that was relevant, accessible, and an instrument of enlightenment for his eager pupils. Was this an innate skill, or was he formally taught how to do this? I suspect that Mr. Rhoda possessed an inherent capacity for innovative thinking and teaching, and synthesized his formal professional development training and materials to enhance his ability to work his magic. I loved his magic, and I recall that my peers did too. He was a “chef”, one could say, creating a daily multicourse banquet of delicious teachable moments for us, and more importantly, with us. By being an imaginative teacher, we became more imaginative, involved, and engaged students – we were emerging “chefs”!

Developing a PD plan for your one-to-one program

Source: SmartBlog on Education in partnership with GreyED Solutions

Too often failed one-to-one implementations make headlines for a lack of planning, including professional development. Well planned and sustained professional development is a key component of a successful one-to-one program. Budgeting PD funding and staff not only for the initial rollout year but the years to come is essential. Better yet, begin the PD a year or more ahead of the implementation.

Taking the plunge with BYOD

Source: SmartBlog on Education in partnership with GreyED Solutions

Students and staff enter Meriden Public Schools with their personal mobile devices in hand. The days of leaving your device at the door are gone since the adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) guidelines throughout the K-12 district. This shift has transformed learning in the classrooms as well as extended the learning outside the brick and mortar walls. Teachers no longer have to address the forgotten pencil or notebook, students don’t seem to forget their device.

Checking for understanding in a one-to-one classroom

Source: SmartBlog on Education in partnership with GreyED Solutions

Checking for understanding at the most basic level in the classroom has historically included teachers observing the body language of his or her students. Are they making eye contact? Are they nodding and showing indications that they are following the concept being discussed, or are they staring quizzically at you with a furrowed brow? When instruction shifts in the classroom to a more personalized and digital approach, teachers find that they are observing and facilitating a class of heads that are bent down into devices.

Keeping student data private in the cloud

Source: SmartBlog on Education in partnership with GreyED Solutions

As the number of districts taking advantage of cloud-based services increase and learning environments move more collaboratively outside of the typical brick and mortar walls, the understanding of data use and privacy have become clouded. More computing devices arrive on desks loaded with applications from app stores managed and unmanaged from district sites. While those education apps are meant to help teachers manage their classrooms, concern is growing over the management of student data tracked by those apps. We live in an age where everything in a student’s past is captured, collected, stored and therefore, remembered.

Let instruction take the lead on technology decisions

Source: SmartBlog on Education in partnership with GreyED Solutions

The selection of software and hardware products is critical. It both augments and restricts the productivity and success for everyone in the system. In your district, how are decisions made regarding which technologies to use?

Let us for moment consider the metaphoric context of yard work. Do you decide to dig up a patch of lawn because you have a new shiny shovel… or do you buy the shovel because you need it to prepare the perfect spot for a flower bed? Do you cut a tree to remove dead limbs… or do you cut down a tree to try out your new chain saw?