Garland ISD presented on professional development, and they had a very interesting take on it. They provided a series of challenges around specific tools, and divided the participants into various houses (similar to Harry Potter). Each house had challenges, and the challenges were scaffolded. At the very end, participants were tasked with creating some kind of video presentation to combine the challenges that they had completed.
I thought this was a great way to present PD, and also a great way to integrate technology while giving teachers the opportunity to learn how to use a digital tool.
Skype In The Classroom
We've known about Skpe for awhile, but it was featured in a large way this year at TCEA.
For me, the biggest takeaway was how Skype can connect our students who may have a limited view of the world around them, to places outside of Irving. There are many opportunities where we can use Skype to enhance our learning, and it's a tool we should take advantage of.
MakersSpace in the Library
This session was presented by two librarians from San Antonio that have set up a Makerspace with technology in their library. They have a website with pre-made cards and activities, along with additional resources.
Mindi Vandagriff and Amy Pratt (follow them on Twitter if you aren't already), shared the many different ways that they use Google Drive in their district and at their campus. A few main takeaways:
- Use Google Drive to take copies of student work to RTI Meetings
- Create a Student Portfolio of published work to keep track of year-to-year
- Create one file per grade level for lesson plans in Google Spreadsheets
- Create campus directories in Google Sheets and publish it to a Google Site that can be accessed by all staff.