Using Technology to Enhance Teaching Strategies – Elrose School (Guest Post by Jeff Kingwell)
Technology Goal: Teachers will apply innovative uses of technology to enhance teaching strategies and improve student learning.
To begin our progress towards this goal, staff at ECS were surveyed to determine their current comfort level and experience with various forms of technology, and they also identified where they would like to improve in incorporating technology.
After analyzing the results of this survey, the staff at a school PD day came together and developed ideas or places where technology could be effectively incorporated. Some ideas we developed from this PD day were to use Audacity to do voice recording activities, Scratch to animate stories, Wikis for online reports and class websites, Blogs for sharing student thoughts, and Skype to connect to other classrooms or people outside of our small community.
As a staff we identified some of the challenges that came up as a result of incorporating more technology into our lessons. One of the biggest and most obvious challenges was many staff had limited knowledge about what the various uses of technology were and would have to learn the programs themselves before being able to use them with their students.
This was solved through our Lead Teacher and also through the Supporting Technology Wiki. Staff was also encouraged to attend Live! Technology Tutorials when they came up, and they were also directed to the Supporting Technology Wiki to view tutorials and videos related to the different technology areas which was very helpful (thanks to the curriculum team and others who put the Wiki together)!
As we approach the end of the year, it has been recognized that many teachers were able to successfully incorporate some innovative technology uses into their classrooms. Some specific examples of technology integration were teachers using Tagxedo, Scratch, Audacity, Prezi, Music Shake, Mathletics, and Blogger.
Overall, I would say we were successful in meeting our school technology goal!
Jeff Kingwell teaches in at Elrose Composite School in Elrose, Saskatchewan and has served as the Lead technology teacher for a number of years/.