As a teacher who eagerly incorporates technology into every nook and cranny of a lesson, I find it important to stay up to date with new digital tools and resources for digital collaboration and engagement. One way to discover new digital tools and resources is to join Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) which have similar interests as your own. Joining PLNs allows for learning and sharing of ideas to incorporate into the classroom with other teachers and professionals of similar fields or disciplines.
The following PLNs are a few I am a member of; each of these PLNs will hopefully help me to meet my goals to incorporate technology into my classroom.
“Inspiring Educators- Engaging Students- Improving Outcomes”
I recently (3 days ago) discovered EmergingEdTech when I was browsing for ideas on engaging ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. I was prompted to join and upon confirming my subscription, I was sent an eBook with “Nearly 200 Free application and hundreds of resources to help you get the most out of them!” In addition to already skimming my new eBook, I have visited a few of the blog posts, including, 8 Engaging Ways to use Technology in the Classroom to Create Lessons That Aren’t Boring and Education Technology & Teaching Tweet Wrap. I am eager to learn more about EmergingEdTech and develop new ideas incorporate into the 2016-2017 school year!
I joined WeTeach_CS (Computer Science) to help develop my personal understanding of computers and incorporating technology into the classroom. WeTeach_CS provides online courses and resources to help prepare educators for the Computer Science Competency Exam. Though I am not currently enrolled in a course, I plan on joining one to become a certified Computer Science Teacher.
University of Houston Science Teaching Equity Program (STEP)
STEP is a grant collaborative that allows participants to virtually and physically connect with other science teachers throughout the Houston area. Participants meet year-round to complete inquiry based learning activities and incorporate methods of integrating technology in a science classroom.
Each STEP participant is equipped with an iPad to use in the classroom and to communicate with others about integrating technology in their personal classroom. Participants communicate through apps such as SeeSaw, Slack, and Edmodo. Participants are also introduced to a variety of science content based apps and websites covering a variety of information; from the center of the earth, to the furthest reaches of space.
STEP has helped me grow as a teacher because of the technology integration that I am able to incorporate into my daily lessons. I am constantly learning new methods of teaching hands-on and open inquiry based science activities which helps keep learning authentic. I contribute to this collaborative because I assist others when learning to use our iPads for activities and research programs to share with the other members of the science teaching community.
Each PLN has it’s own theme or idea, it is important to join PLNs that match your goals and beliefs!
Walsh, K. (2014, October 5). 8 Engaging Ways to use Technology in the Classroom to Create Lessons That Aren’t Boring. Retrieved August 07, 2016, from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/10/technology-create-lessons-that-arent-boring/
Walsh, K. (2016, August 07). Education Technology & Teaching Tweet Wrap. Retrieved August 07, 2016, from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2016/08/education-technology-teaching-tweet-wrap-08-06-16/