Sunday, February 20, 2011

ISTE11 Newbie Project

Beth Still, a passionate educator, from Scottsbluff Nebraska started the ISTE Newbie Project in 2009. She started the project to show the value and power of a Personal Learning Network (PLN). Each year for the Newbie project, Beth finds someone that has not attended an ISTE conference and organizes a fund-raising campaign to raise money to help that person attend the conference. Look at the first two selections she made: Richard Byrne and Jason Schrage. You can see she has a great eye for educators that are making a difference with kids! Richard and Jason are both social studies teachers. They are making a difference not only with kids, but they are also making significant contributions to educators’ worldwide.

This year Beth has chosen George Couros, a principal from Stony Plain, Alberta Canada. Here is what she has to say about this year’s selection:
I had a feeling I would face some tough questions about why I selected an administrator to be the Newbie for 2011 and my personal learning network did not let me down. Over the past 5 months quite a few people have asked me to defend my choice. Since this project would not be possible without your financial support I am more than happy to explain my reasoning. I cannot emphasize enough that I really believe in George and his ability to have a positive impact on education. He is a role model for both teachers and administrators. He is passionate about sharing, learning, teaching, and communicating and I believe he deserves the opportunity to attend ISTE. If you believe in either this project or in George Couros please click here to make a donation to help send him to Philadelphia this summer.
The magic equations to make this year’s Newbie project successful:

A Small Donation From All = The Project Goal

Add your support to the Newbie project by making a comment.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Tech Teacher Was A Fifth Grader

Mather cafe plus computer usersphoto © 2007 faceless b more info (via: Wylio)

I have read it on twitter and seen it in many blogs: Let’s let the students take the lead with teaching some of the Web 2.0 tools. It recently happened in a large suburban San Antonio, Texas school district, North East ISD. Each semester the district sponsors a Saturday staff development day called Super Saturday. The technology session included the GT class of Mrs. Kimberly Ball from Wetmore Elementary School. These fifth graders were very excited about having the opportunity to present to teachers. They were so pumped in fact that they spent hours on their own time during the weekends creating a web site titled “Teachers Come to Learn”. The Saturday before the Super Saturday presentation, the fifth graders held a class for the teachers of Wetmore. According to their principal, Wilbert Morgan, the Wetmore teachers increased their knowledge of web 2.0 tools and enjoyed being taught by their own students. This was an excellent ice breaker for the students and they were now prepared for the twenty NEISD teachers that had signed up for the Web 2.0 technology class that include: Animoto, Voicethread, and Weebly. During the Web 2.0 class, with coaching and assistance from the fifth grade students, teachers logged on and created their own accounts for Animoto, Voicethread, and Weebly. During the class the teachers also created a short animoto video and voicethread. They also received instruction on setting up blogs for their students on Weebly. This was a terrific day for the Wetmore GT class and they can be very proud of the quality presentation given to the NEISD teachers. This was certainly a win-win for students and teachers.
A short video from class

What are your experiences of students teaching a tech class for teachers? I would enjoy hearing from you.