As do other public school districts, we go through our accreditation review and take care to note the recommendations in the report and make strategic plans on how to move forward to make improvements in those areas. One area of focus that specifically relates to educational technology is that we need to put the ownership of learning into the hands of the students. Based on the progress assessment from the AdvanceEd Accreditation Report, we learned that we need to improve in the area of student use of technology for learning in the classroom. There are just not enough students using the technology we have. It's not that we don't have enough technology, but we've been so focused on getting teachers to use the tools, that we've failed to sufficiently engage the students in the learning process with technology.
This requires a shift in thinking for our teachers. One new thing we are trying in our district is hosting a technology mini-conference before teachers return to school. There will only be 12 sessions (plus an opening and closing keynote) but each 40 minute session is focused on showing the participants how to help students take ownership of their learning with the use of technology. We have some of our best district-level presenters showcasing mini versions of full workshops they do throughout the year. We are really excited about this conference! As of today, we have over 400 people registered to attend. Most are teachers who are still ON THEIR SUMMER VACATION!
So, that is one strategy we put into place, but we are on a quest to learn more about what works for other districts and classrooms. What are YOUR best practices and ideas for getting students to take ownership of their learning with the use of technology? I'd love to hear your ideas, and to motivate you to comment, I'm offering up TWO $50 gift cards from Staples for the best ideas.
As a blogger I sometimes receive free products and offers. Last week, I received an email from Staples® (excerpt below). I responded that I'd love to participate and so they sent me a few packages of pens and markers, and a gift card for $50 for me to keep, along with a promise for me to be able to give away another gift card to a reader on my blog. I'll keep the pens and markers, thank you, but I'm going to give my gift card away here on this blog, in addition to the extra one to another reader.
So, I have TWO $50. gift cards to give away. Here's how YOU CAN WIN one of them:
1. In the comment section, tell me how you help your students take ownership of their learning with the use of technology. Bonus points for adding a link to some type of evidence.
2. Be sure to leave your Twitter handle, email, or other contact info in your comments so I can let you know if you win.
Winners will be announced August 17th. Based on the best ideas, I will choose two winners.
Excerpt from Staples email:
We’d love to work with you in promoting this special offer on your blog by sending you supplies plus a $50 Staples gift card for you plus a $50 Staples gift card to giveaway to one of your readers.
Staples is helping educators save more on classroom supplies and get ready for school with their own Teacher Appreciation Week, August 2nd through 8th. Teachers can download their 40% back in Staples Teacher Rewards coupon www.staples.com/classroom
Staples Supports Think It Up™
Staples is building on its decades-long support of teachers, students and education with a $10 million pledge to support the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s new Think It Up™ initiative.
As a lead donor, Staples has teamed up with worldwide superstar and Think It Up Ambassador Nick Jonas to help raise awareness of the need to support learning projects in classrooms across the country. Learn more at www.staplesforstudents.org.