Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Conversation Among Colleagues

Each year, Mercy sets aside one day in the Autumn for In-Service.  This year, since our summer ramp-up for iPad deployment had been so intense, we decided not to burden the staff with more new.  Instead, we responded to an expressed wish for colleagues to have an opportunity to converse with each other about what they had learned about the iPad/Google Apps and what they were eager to know.

Flickr CC photo by Highway Agency
Since handing over the first iPads to staff last spring, some teachers have exploded ahead with discoveries and innovations, while others have moved more gingerly into the iOS environment.  Consequently, it is nearly impossible to design a single program that meets the needs of all.

This time, rather than setting up labs or workshops, we merely started conversations.  I asked nine staff members who had not served as demonstrators or trainers for other tech activities to sit at separate tables and start conversations on topics which the staff had identified through an online survey.  Teachers and leaders were free to drift from table to table, or form new groups or even pair off to help each other.  Below are the table topics:

iPad Apps 
Google Apps
Student Videos
Collecting/Grading Student Work Online 
Digital Methods for Group Collaboration 
Using Moodle 
Using Electronic Books 
Finding Copyright Free Materials/Fair Use
Working in a "Mixed" [iPad & PC] Environment

As I will describe in a coming post, I had my eyes opened wide to a terrific development in the way teachers in several departments were using the iPad to achieve effective paperless grading of student written group.  When I looked about during out in-service I saw teachers deeply engaged in collaborating in a wide variety of ways.

This should not have surprised me.  You will find the great strength of our technology program in our human resources throughout the school.  

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