Being a “change agent”

Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.  How are you embracing change to spur  innovation in your own context?

I try to embrace change every day and every way because I see myself as a change agent. Like George, I was also hired into a new position, as Director of Educational Technology & Innovation, to provide support to teachers and to help lead the way in innovating student learning at my school.

When I first started, I was assigned a teacher per grade level in the elementary division, as a “tech rep”, with whom I would meet with weekly to plan and discuss how we could integrate technology into their curriculum. Unfortunately, due to many challenges with technology and the school’s unreliable infrastructure, teachers felt very frustrated and found it hard to take risks in integrating tech into their classroom. Furthermore, most of my one-on-one meeting time turned into providing tech support and help troubleshoot issues, instead of planning.

After building trust in my team, and after several improvements were made to our infrastructure and tech support, I thought it would be a good time to refocus my team and get everyone back on track to invest their time with me on innovating their grade levels. Soon after, I changed their title from tech rep to innovation rep, to better reflect their role. Though we do discuss a lot about tech integration, I remind them that their role is to be a model of how to integrate, not just technology into the classroom, but to look at ways to innovate student learning. I constantly remind them that “Innovation can happen without technology, however technology can be used as a tool to drive innovation.”

The next step for me, in being a change agent for my team and my school was to help create a roadmap to help teachers build tech integration and project-based learning into their classroom. Over the past few months, we have been busy working all together to build our own K-12 EdTech Scope & Sequence.

As a result of having recently completed and updated grade level unit plans, the innovation reps have more easily been able to identify and link age-appropriate technology skills and projects into their curriculum.

Here is where the magic is happening: Because we have put together a scope & sequence and identified what needs to be accomplished at each grade level following the Alberta Ed ICT Learning Outcomes, those that have been more resistant to change and integrating tech into their classroom, have become more accepting that this is part of their curriculum. Also, in order to provide additional support to those that don’t feel as comfortable, my team has offered to go into their classroom and team teach. Furthermore, they have begun to model weekly, during their grade level meetings, a new innovative activity they are doing in their classroom. Little by little, the innovation reps are slowly becoming change agents for their grade level.

being-a-change-agen1

My first attempt at using Google Forms and Fluberoo

Beginners mistake:

I worked really hard last night preparing my very first online exam for my grade 9 students. I even had a mixture of questions to evaluate all the levels of Blooms Taxonomy. However… when I shared my quiz with the students today, somehow they got a copy with most of the answer’s. Luckily there were still enough questions to be able to evaluate them properly and it was a good drill to get them to verify the answers that were already there.

Needless to say, my lesson learned today: Always send myself a copy, before I share anything with me students. My students lesson today: Patience, understanding and flexibility with using online tools is key in a online course 🙂

On the other hand, I am very grateful to have learned about the application Flubaroo integrated with Google Forms. It saves a lot of time when marking your exams. However, another beginners mistake : Don’t forget to exclude your long answer questions before you submit to have your exam marked, otherwise your students marks will be much lower as it is not able to correct long answer questions. ( I had to send an email to my students apologizing for the amount of emails they may had received with various results of their quiz).

My suggestion and lesson #2 for today: Make a 2 part exam
a) Multiple choice – short answer (User Fluberoo to evaluate)
b) Long answer ( Have students share their answer’s with you in Google Docs)

I hope you will all have much more success when it comes to your first time using Google Forms and Fluberoo.

Feel free to share your experiences!

Welcome!

Hello,
I am really excited to start my new blog. Over the past year I have been learning so much about new and exciting technology tools and applications available for our classrooms. In addition, I have many friends and co-workers often asking me to share with them the tools available and what I have learned through my research! So here it is, a place to hear about my experience with these tools in the classroom and a place for me to share the knowledge I have acquired.

Enjoy!