Technology SAMR Model for Administrators Part 3: File Management – my response

 

 

DeathtoStock_Wired3

Thanks Josh – another great way to discuss the SAMR model.  Where are we when it comes to file management and SAMR?

If you don’t already have one, you need a way to manage your files so you can retrieve them quickly.  I don’t really think it matters which ones you use, but you can consider Diigo, Pearltrees, Dropbox, Google Drive Livebinders or something that allows you to keep things organized.

Right now, I store all articles I want to keep on Livebinders.  I like this system – it is simple – all you need to do is set up categories and then each new article becomes a tab under the selected category.

Diigo is also great – you can set it up  so that every tweet you send out is automatically stored in Diigo.  Like Livebinders, you can set up categories.  You can also set up groups and share your articles with your group.  Both services allow you to tweet out the article you just stored.

I can’t imagine working without Google Drive.  All my files were moved on to Drive last year – I keep nothing on my hard drive.  Drive allows me to collaborate with staff and other administrators. Just to be careful, I have backed up my files to Dropbox too.

We set up all meeting agendas on Drive and share editing privileges with all staff members.  People can then go in and add items that need to be discussed by the group.  Drive is especially great for meetings – you can start keeping a live record of the proceedings as the meeting progresses.

So, where do I find myself on the SAMR model?

Substitution

  • Attach a document to an email.
  • Save a document to a flash drive.
  • Save a document to a school computer.

Augmentation

  • Upload to Dropbox.
  • Upload to Google Drive.

Modification

  • Share folders and files on Google Drive.
  • Share folders and files on Dropbox.
  • Upload data and use Google Analytics to analyze school information.

Redefined

  • Using Google Drive, allow others to edit, comment on, and share your documents.
  • Administrators share data and converse digitally for articulation meetings.

I have no idea what an articulation meeting is so I will start there.  Big hint – always look at the redefined category in Josh’s articles.  I checked out Nearpod after one of his posts and ended up having a great teleconference with the Nearpod people.  I would love to get this service in my school!

 

Final point – Josh is bang on when he says that administrators need to lead by example.  One of the reasons i do this is to encourage staff to try some of these tools and techniques out.  This is certainly one of our jobs as administrators!

So, lots of challenges here – where will you put yourself on SAMR when it comes to file management?

 

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Technology – SAMR for Administrators The Edutopia series

Google
Google (Photo credit: warrantedarrest)

I have started reading a really interesting series by Josh Work – a guest blogger on Edutopia.  The series is focused on what tools administrators can use to keep up with their teachers and the use of technology.  I think this will be a terrific series.  In my experience, teachers are far ahead of administrators in their use of technology.  If we are going to be good role models to the teachers on staff, we need to get much better at using technology.

My hope is that the move to modification and redefinition (SAMR) will also influence how information is delivered to us at the district level.  That is a major topic in itself!

Josh Work is using the SAMR model as the basis for all of his work.  I think it is a reasonable expectation that administrators move through the SAMR continuum from substitution to redefinition.

In his first post, Work writes about staff presentations and how administrators can improve their communication with staff.

What a great topic to start with!

There are so many great tools we can now use to communicate more effectively with staff.  Are you still stuck using e-mail as your only communication tool?  It is really time to move on.

Before moving to any particular tool, Work makes a great point – time is a precious commodity for any school staff and we need to really examine if there are other ways to convey information beyond the traditional (yawn) staff meeting.

Work concentrates on Google Apps for Education (GAFE) which, in my opinion, is certainly the way to go.

So, what can administrators use to communicate more effectively?  Agendas can be circulated before the meeting using Google Drive.  Work also mentions that administrators can get good feedback from staff by using Google Forms or by hosting a Google Hangout to enrich communication with staff.

I agree, all these tools can really help keep the flow of information moving.  I use Google Drive to post a working copy of our agenda a week before the staff meeting.  All staff have access to the document and anyone can add an agenda item to the document right up to meeting time.  The rule is, if you can post on Drive then your item will be part of the agenda.  I then try to get away from paper copies of the final agenda.  We can then edit the agenda as the meeting goes on so that we have an annotated agenda recorded in Drive by the end of the meeting.

We also use Google Forms on a regular basis to survey staff on a number of issues – some of the best information I have received from staff members has come from these surveys.

We use Google Groups as our staff e-mail conference.  It is a good interactive tool that allows staff to communicate effectively.  The membership is controlled by an administrator and it is a closed, secure system.  It is very easy to use, I am moving to a new school in September and most of the staff in my new school are already using this tool to communicate with other staff members!

Google + is an amazing collaboration tool that we have used in the past.  We are using the Communities feature to connect special collaborative teams between schools.  This tool took a bit of time to catch on, but it a terrific way for educators to keep in touch, especially when sharing information between schools.

As administrators, we need to take a lead role by trying out these tools.  It is no longer excusable for an administrator to say they are not ‘comfortable’ with the use of technology.  It is part of our job to be risk-takers and try out new forms of communication.  If we try these tools, staff members will be encouraged to do the same.

My next challenge is to try out Nearpod.  This tool is suggested by Work – I don’t know anything about it, but I feel obliged to give it a try.  It may or may not be useful, but I need to at least check it out.

I hope all administrators read this series and then make a serious attempt to adopt new communication tools in advance of the next school year.

Then we can start work on the district!

Next – Community Interaction

Week 22: Differentiation…for staff? #SAVMP Feb 10

“Supporting teachers begins with knowing that we should meet their individual needs in their own learning and growth. We no longer can be ok with the status quo, or a one size fits all mentality when it comes to PD. As the leader, it is up to you ensure that each educator has what they need in order to be the very best that they can be in their classroom.”

If you really want teachers to take professional development seriously, you have to let them set their own agenda.

This seems to be difficult for many leaders to accept.  I think it is the most basic of questions – what do you want to learn – and with that – how can I best support you.

 If we teach social skills to a target group then will we see an increase in self-regulation and positive social interactions outside of the classroom, within the target group (s).

resource teacher triad

 I have written about this before and I welcome the opportunity to do it again for the #SAVMP blog. It is more by accident than design that we started using a model that allows teachers to set their own agenda for professional learning. Three years ago the principals in our group (triad) decided to do our school improvement planning together.

It was hard to figure out at first – none of us had ever done this before, there was no model or guide to follow. I think one of the most important elements was, and continues to be the support we received from the school board. This was new to them too, but they were willing to let us try this new model out.

Over the past three years the teams have changed and we have learned a great deal. We still plan together and we have gotten a lot better at recording our learning. We have a great respect for the inquiry approach and have followed the learning stance of our board that encourages teachers to ask questions about how students learn.

If we continue to solidify their ability to communicate about math through the use of math journals in support with conferencing, then they should be able to demonstrate their learning.

grade 4,5,6 math inquiry

Teachers now keep a running record of their inquiries in a Google Drive document called Evidence of Learning. I am drawing inquiry statements from this document for today’s blog. This document allows the principals in our group to have a good understanding of what teachers are working on.  With an app called Kaizena, we can actually leave audio comments for each group in their evidence of learning section.

There nothing cooler than being able to talk about the learning plans of teachers in three schools!  As principals, we are active participants in the learning, but the teachers are in control of the process.

Having said that, I really feel an obligation to keep a careful record of what they are learning this term. I was able to do some of this last term and I have blogged about some of the really interesting work the math and French teachers were doing. Now I really need to get the rest of the groups!

Through the month of April, I should be able to meet with most of the groups and add the results of their inquiries to the blog!

Through this process, we feel we are giving the teachers the opportunity to set their own agenda.  We will continue to do this and teachers will continue to learn and grow.  I think this is the very best that we can do for the teachers we work with.

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Teacher Team inquiries

Stephen Katz emphasizes that the adult learning that takes place in a school should
be directly connected to student need – “Given that we have evidence to suggest X
is the most urgent student learning need, what does that suggest is the most urgent
teacher learning need? And from there, what is the most urgent leader learning
need?” (Leaders in Educational Thought, 2013). Student learning is the catalyst for
educator learning and “forms the essential material” of professional inquiry (Capacity
Building Series – Collaborative Teacher Inquiry).
Capacity Building Series :  Dynamic Learning

Our triad teams – three schools – St. Daniel, St. Gregory and St. Monica are starting on our second round of inquiries.  My goal this term is to do a better job of documenting the work that the triads do.  Each group was given a half day last week to review the inquiry from the first term and come up with a new inquiry for the second half of the year.


The videos here are my attempt to capture some of the learning that is happening within the groups.  I am hoping to record the work of some of the groups as the term progresses.

Triad teams working together
Triad teams working together

“If we teach social skills to a target group then will we see an increase in self-regulation and positive social interactions outside of the classroom, within the target group (s).”

special education inquiry

What is most important to the teachers and principals of the triad schools is that we are in charge of the learning.  When teachers are able to create their own inquiries, they are the ones setting the agenda, they are the ones who develop the ideas for inquiry.  As principals, our job is to facilitate this learning process and make sure that a good record is kept of the results of these inquiries. These inquiries and the findings of the teachers then become the basis for our school improvement plan.

“If we use a graphic organizer to introduce descriptive writing, then the students will be able to write short descriptive paragraphs related to various different areas of the curriculum.”

grade 1-2 inquiry – term two 

Reflect / Discern  Analysis / Assess

How does this change our teaching practice?   What have we learned and discovered? Where to next?  Now what?

It taught us to take our time and move at the students’ pace. It also made us allow time for reflection on new concepts before moving on to something else.  Allows for time to consolidate student learning in more depth than the standard 3 part math lessons.  Looking at the “proof” and “reflection” sections really shows which students are ready to move on and which are not. We are also taking the time to produce quality work with the students rather than simply quantity to get  through the curriculum.

taken from ‘evidence of learning document’ created by grade 4,5,6 teachers’ math inquiry

Over time, we have been able to reach some conclusions:

  • teachers who set their own learning goals are much more motivated to learn
  • teachers are able to clearly indicate inquiry goals and key learnings based on these inquiries
  • over time, a much wider variety of evidence is being used to document learning
  • communication tools like Google Drive and Google+ are indispensable tools that drive deeper collaboration
  • as principals, we have a much better understanding of what learning is going on in our schools

This is an important process to document, as a firm believer in this process I will devote more time this term to keeping a good, visual record here on this blog of the work that will be going on.

It will be an exciting journey!

Research shows that teachers working together to support children’s
learning is an effective means of teacher professional development.7,8,9
Professional learning communities (PLCs) facilitate knowledge sharing
and collaboration – often with experts in the area – to support teacher
professional learning.10 Features of effective PLCs include job-embedded
learning, group meetings held during the workweek and use of technology.11
What Works?  Research into practice Research monograph #46
students working on math journals - part of the grade 4-5-6 math inquiry
students working on math journals – part of the grade 4-5-6 math inquiry
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#ecoo13 session 3 Google Chromebook Implementation and Use – A View From 4 Levels: Board CIO, Principal, Teacher & Student Perspectives

This session will look at the implementation and use of Google Chromebooks in the classroom. Mark Carbone, CIO with the WRDSB, will offer a board perspective on Chromebooks, discussing infrastructure, the implementation of board wide wi-fi, supporting a system wide move and what tools are needed for the task. Ed Doadt, Principal at the WRDSB’s Huron Heights Secondary School, will then offer insight from an administration perspective, detailing the background of the board’s Futures Forum Project. He will look at how it has led to a common philosophy and approach based on common strategies, tools and language and touch on how Chromebooks have helped enable this. Andrew Bieronski, a teacher who works under Ed at HHSS in the Futures Forum Project, will then speak to the use of a set of Chromebooks in his classroom. He will look at how their use supports collaboration between teacher and student and also between students themselves. Andrew will offer a breakdown of how the Chromebook compares to similar tools, and highlight how it enables active learning through the use of Google Apps. Lastly, a student from Andrew’s class will join the presentation through video-conferencing and share their perspective on how the use of a Chromebook has supported and improved their learning. This session will be free flowing with time for questions and open discussion, and will build on the introductory session Mark and Ed offered at ECOO last year.

 

chromebook

 

Board implementation

English-Civics and Careers – Futures Forum Project

You need to have the right kind of people at the board level and at the school. You need also to have the right students – either they were picked, or at random, both worked well.  When you have the right kind of people then you can have a successful project.

Use of Chromebooks in the classroom – not a Windows platform.

advantages – everything stored on-line, long battery life (easily up to a day), 8-second start-up, very cheap

 

all programs are cloud-based.  Students can have their own login or login as ‘guest’

More popular than netbooks or iPads!

can also be managed at the board level.  IT can send out updates overnight.

Even if you lose your connection, many of the applications that still work.

Also there are many companies out there that are coming up with applications that work on the cloud, video editing for example can now be done through on-line applications.

As a collaborative tool, the teacher can create shared folders on Drive so that all assignments and work can be stored on Google Drive.

Printing – can connect to another computer to print or airprint model if necessary.

This board (WRDSB)  will be rolling out 60 Chromebooks per school.

Chromebook session

 

 

I would love to get these machines into my school!!