“God will put you in situations that make you stretch, make you grow, and make you spread your wings. You have too much potential, too much talent, too much more in you to get stuck where you are.” – Joel Osteen.
As I write this last post from the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge, I find myself reflecting on several ideas. I came across this quote yesterday and it seemed to appear to me at just the right time. This month long challenge has made me stretch, grow and spread my wings. Thank you toTara, Stacey, Dana, Betsy, Beth, Anna and all my fellow slicers for reading and commenting on my posts over the last month. Additionally, there are many family members, friends and colleagues who read my posts as I worked toward this challenge and spread my wings over the last month. Thank you, just hearing “I read your post…” that made so many of my days and helped to push me along on this challenge.
In addition to this learning experience there were several professional development opportunities I was involved in last week that have also made me stretch grow and spread my wings. I do believe it is important to give credit and a blog post to each event, because each one elevated my skills and thinking in different ways. I listed out these events in my day 29 post and I plan to write about each one beyond the March Challenge after which I will move to a weekly blogging practice.
I attended the Google Leadership Symposium at Comsewogue School District. This school implemented one to one devices (Chromebooks) for all high school students in the previous school year. In this school year they began using Google Classroom, this is being used in various ways from grade 3-12. The day was organized especially well, it began with a keynote featuring Superintendent Dr. Rella, building administrators and district administrators, teachers and a Google representative, but the most amazing presenters were the students who were involved in the collaborative work around this initiative. The collaborative nature that was built on trust and ownership was evident throughout the day. Everyone was a learner, and everyone was a teacher. The collaborative nature of learning was evident, as was the safe learning environment that was established by the trust and the space that was made for practice for students, teachers and administrators.
In the opening keynote, a student shared this “Everyone you will ever meet will know something that you will not.” The weight of this statement speaks to the learning experiences that I am reflecting on both as a learner and as a facilitator of learning. This is a quite humbling statement and one that we all should keep in our minds. We can learn something from everyone, when we open our minds to learning and growth.
We rotated through three different areas, each with different stations and learned from students and teachers as they showed us how they are using chrome books and GAFE (Google Apps for Education). Students from grades 5-12 demonstrated for us ways that they are learning and using GAFE. Below are some examples of the stations that we explored and learned from:
- 5th grade students presented how they use Google classroom for writing while the other half of the class used Google Hang Outs on Air to answer our questions
- 6th grade students demonstrated to us how they were learning to code Java Script on their Chromebooks
- Middle School English language learners share how their Chromebooks assist them in their English language learning in an ESL class as well as content area classrooms
- High School students demonstrated several more examples of how this initiative included collaboration
- Student Help Desk
- Workshops for the board/public
- Technology roadshow
- Clubs (Chromebook repairs- 7 Chromebooks repaired in 7 minutes)
- Digital literacy
- Digital Citizenship
- Computer Science
Check out the website that the students created along with their teacher to provide support as well as create their own digital footprint and portfolios. Students, teachers, administrator as well as anyone else can choose topics from the help desk to learn. Here a student has created a You Tube Video to demonstrate how to organize Google Drive folders.
These students and educators truly inspired me with their collaborative nature and quest for learning.