Today I had a few minutes to do a little catch-up on our good old friend Google. I was lead to their blog and found a cool example of a mashup. The site is called earthquake.googlemashups.com and it basically mashes (or combines) data from a richter scale application with Google maps. Pretty cool!
Most people know that technology is my passion. I love to read about it, talk about it, and most of all implement it into my daily routine. As I look at the past 10 years of educational technology in Byron Public Schools, we have come a LONG way. When properly used and implemented – technology can be a wonderful thing and almost becomes invisible to all of our communications, actions, and integrations. But when technology goes wrong, it can go very wrong and be very bad, bad, bad. It is amazing what one corrupt IOS (Internetwork Operating System) in a core switch can do to an entire system.
The Bears Professional Growth Academy is now over and it was a huge success. We had 95 people attend and accumulated 836 hours of professional development time from our 18 different sessions.
The techs have developed a Wiki! It is pretty amazing how one can organize a “to do” list using this type of technology. If you are interested in seeing it – check it out here! http://jenhegna.pbwiki.com/
Today was the first day of workshops during our week long Bears Professional Growth Academy. We really had a great “round 1” of sessions. In our opening (virtual) keynote, “Preparing students for the new economy – A candid discussion about education in the 21st century”, Dr. Scott McLeod provided us with an impressive overview of where public education is heading (or as the research shows – not heading). My wheels are turning and the message was pretty clear – crystal that is. My next steps – get the word out, share, collaborate, discuss and most of all get the ball rolling! Stay tuned, you will be inundated with the message!
After the keynote, our staff learned how to use our new online computer/technology training system – Infosource. Through an E2T2 grant with the South East Service Coop, our access to this learning management system will help accomplish one common goal between all of our districts – Develop expanded 24/7 educational opportunities for teachers and staff. (How 21st century is that???)
My afternoon session, “Podcasting in the Classroom”, was also well received. Even though this technology is new to Byron teachers, I believe podcasting (whether subscribing to content or creating your own) will provide an extra resource to our classrooms and community.
I have to admit, I am very empowered by Byron staff. They are an extremely talented group! Some may feel a little apprehensive about the “tech stuff” – but for those leaders (yes you are all leaders in my eyes) to walk through my door is a giant step in the right direction!
It is the Sunday before our first annual Bears Professional Growth Academy and I have a zillion things going through my mind. Tomorrow we will have Dr. Scott McLeod provide our opening keynote – “Preparing Students for the New Economy: A candid discussion about education in the 21st century”. I am extremely excited about this opening workshop – and there will be a little surprise that I have prepared for the audience. Grin and BEAR “I.T.”