Posts Tagged ‘pd’

School’s Out For Summer! School’s Out Forever!

June 1, 2010

As educators, we are often told how lucky we are to have two months off work in the summer.  We are told this by people who have no idea what educators do over the summer.  If you are out of school now as I am, enjoy a little time off before you begin the real work.  If you are just finishing up your year, hang in there!

For many, the end of the school year and the hot months of summer are when “the professional development” is “administered.”

As a 21st Century Educator, my professional development is an ongoing process.  From staying in touch with my PLN, working on my graduate degree online, and attending or presenting at conferences, to having departmental meetings and conducting inservice workshops, the professional development cycle does not begin or end for me in summer.

Here is a snapshot of my summer plans

National Park Community College Retreat
For three days this month I will be attending the Summer Institute for Adjunct Faculty at the Rockefeller Center.  The Winthrop Rockefeller center in Morrilton, Arkansas, that is.  This will bring together approximately 20 professionals who are adjunct instructors at NPCC to help align our efforts with the mission and goals of the institution.  I’m looking forward to this retreat atop Petit Jean Mountain!

Arkansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Preconference
I will again be presenting at the AASCD Technology Preconference.  Although I was scheduled to lead a session on Discovery Education‘s many products (streaming media, assessment tools) that are available to all teachers in Arkansas, it looks like the agreement that made the tools available will be coming to an end.  Instead, I will be introducing the participants to Prezi, an innovative presentation tool.

Go Paperless with Free Google Tools Workshop
In partnership with the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, I will work with 15 educators from across the state who are interested in integrating Google tools into their schools and classrooms.  This workshop has been described fully on this blog before.

ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock was chosen again to host the EMBHSSC.  This two-week program designed to expose middle school students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Carl Frank and I will be teaching the technology components of the problem-based, interdisciplinary curriculum.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock High School Research Program
Since 2006, I have worked with UALR on this program that aims to provide high school students an opportunity to be mentored for three weeks by UALR faculty in a research setting and to assist students in making sound decisions regarding pursuing education beyond high school.  The HSRP was highlighted in a recent edition of the Computer Science Teachers Association CSTA Voice.

In addition to attending or presenting at these programs, camps, and workshops, I will also be preparing for my first year as a Computer Information Systems Instructor at Ouachita Technical College, keeping up with my PLN, and finishing my graduate degree.

Two months off in the summer.  I hope your summer months will be as fulfilling as mine promise to be!

Arkansas Technology Institute

April 29, 2010

I got word today that the Arkansas Technology Institute has a few remaining vacancies for sessions in June and July.  I participated in the institute in 2007, and I coached teams in 2008 and 2009.  Participants work together to learn to integrate technologies including video production, web design, and other multimedia into frameworks-based lessons that are then published to the web.

Upon completion, participants return to their districts as newly-minted AETN ATI Certified Institute Trainers who lead sessions for their colleagues.  Participants are reimbursed for travel, lodging, and meals, and they receive 30 hours of technology professional development credit.  Additionally, participants can earn graduate credit through the University of Central Arkansas.

If you’re interested in attending, hurry!  Space is limited.  More information can be found on the ATI website.


Google Teacher Academy Reflection

April 4, 2010

I was asked the other day if I own stock in Google.  I replied, “Are you crazy?  How could I afford that on a teacher’s salary?”  See for yourself.

The query was prompted by the Google lanyard that I wear my school ID badge on.  It is one of the goodies I got at the Google Teacher Academy last August in Boulder, CO.  Since attending the workshop, meeting the other participants, and joining the discussion board, things have not quite been the same.

Sense of Community

I feel more connected than ever to the world-wide community of tech-minded educators.  I am recognized as my region’s conduit to this community, and I am often asked to pass along questions or concerns.  Although I had previously interacted online with several of the educators selected to attend, it’s always wonderful to get to shake hands and put faces to names.  I was in a group with Paula White.  I had drinks with Wes Fryer.  This made my day.

Sense of Responsibility

As a teacher who “gets” technology, I have always felt responsible to share what I can with others.  Now that I wear the Google Certified Teacher hat, I feel obligated to answer questions that educators ask me about the Google tools.  Google gives so much to teachers and schools.

Sense of Accomplishment

To be considered for the program, I had to respond in essay form to several challenging questions that all educators face.  Additionally, I had to produce a one minute video on classroom innovation or motivation.  Check out the competition.  I was blown away when I got my acceptance letter.

Being a Google Certified Teacher has helped me connect and grow as an educator.  It has improved the types and quantity of professional development programs I offer, and it has helped my school administration understand just a little bit better exactly what it is I do in my classroom.

Learn more about Google’s efforts to serve educators at