Hi everyone! I am Carly Lehane and I work part time at Deer Park North P.S. as eLearning Coach. This is a brand new role that I have been stumbling through this year. It has been the biggest learning journey of my career so far!
To begin my journey, I created my own blog and taught myself the basics of blogging. I then began a student blog group which met once a week. This group consisted of two grade 5/6 students from each of our 5 Senior classes. I introduced these students to class blogging and taught them how to make and administer a blog for their class. It was then their job to teach their class and teacher how to use the blog to share some of the wonderful things that were happening in their classes. They taught their classes how to comment on a blog, what posts and pages were etc..
Through our blog group sessions, these students have extended their leadership, technology and communicaton skills. They are very proud of their efforts and are now teaching grade 3/4 student leaders and teachers how to blog.
In order to expand my PLN and become a ‘Connected Educator’, I joined Twitter and Pinterest. I also tried to attend as many PD events as I could.
From the moment I attended the introductory session of our 21st Century Learning Teacher PD, I knew it was going to be another steep learning curve and more for my already overwhelmed brain to take in!
I joined the ‘Connect’ group because I felt that making meaningful connections was important for a lot of the disengaged students in my school community.
Since joining this group I have achieved the following:
- Joined Google+ and learnt to use Twitter better (still not quite there yet but getting the hang of it).
- Participated in a Google Hangout and Webinars.
- Developed this blog for the ‘Connect’ group.
- Joined Edmodo and made a group for my student blogging leaders (to trial the program for possible implementation into the 5/6 classrooms next year).
- Began implementing Google Apps for Education (which will finally allow me to create email accounts for the students).
- Made a Google Doc for my budget/program review and emailed this link to staff so they could add their comments on what worked well and future improvements. This was much more effective than going to each team and collecting/collating their feedback.
- Attended the Google Summit and met two members of this PLN face to face.
- Facilitated three 2.5 hour PD sessions with staff covering different aspects of ICT. During one of these sessions, I created a Google Doc for staff to work on. They were amazed at how easy it was and very keen to use Google Docs in the future. I think we will be using them a lot more next year!
I have enjoyed this amazing journey and am so excited to see the staff and students in my school community beginning to connect in meaningful ways!
My next goal is to further enhance home/school connections. Some of my ideas for next year include:
- Holding parent information/skill sessions showing them how to access and use our class blogs and new school website.
- Holding a ‘Family Blogging Month’ to encourage parents to comment on class blogs.
- Getting students started with Google Apps and sharing their work with their families.
- Showing staff how to use Google Apps effectively.