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Monday, May 18, 2015

TUIT: Connie Putnam and Dan Edelen (Clear Creek Elementary)

Last Friday, a principal had asked if I could arrange a tour of teachers who were doing some innovative things with technology in the classroom.  As it turned out based on test scheduling and other conflicts, the best place to visit multiple teachers was Clear Creek, so away we went.  One of the teachers we saw was Janice Bullard. I had given Ms. Bullard a #ShelbyTUITshoutout back in October, so the fact that she became CCE's Teacher of the Year for 2014-2015 was not surprising.  However, after this visit, I have to make sure Connie Putnam and Dan Edelen also have their moments in the sun for their own well-deserved shoutout.

First, we saw Janice's fourth grade classroom.  I already knew she integrated tools such as Padlet and Voicethread, but her students impressed us with their ability to do so many different digital learning experiences in the same space.  Some worked individually, some had a partner or worked collaboratively in a small group, but ALL were engaged.  We even saw some use Google Docs, which makes me have hope of how it can be integrated into the learning of younger students.

Next, we visited Ms. Putnam, a second grade teacher.  After the students worked together on a learning objective ("Today we that we can.....I'll know I have it when..."), they quickly moved into learning centers to apply and practice their math knowledge. Some students had iPads, others used pencil and paper.  At the end of the lesson, Ms. Putnam used Plickers as a way to check for understanding as well as pre-assess what students may need her help on Monday.   However, I learned two ways to use Plickers that I didn't know before (and to think I considered myself an expert after this blog entry!); both involved the Smart Board.  The first is that a student who wanted to change their answer could go up and uncheckmark their box, which would enable his/her card to be scanned fresh.   Not only was that a helpful tip I didn't know, but I like how Connie had students take responsibility to make a do-over.  Second, after student answers were recorded and while still in Plicker's "Live View," Ms. Putnam asked for a volunteer to come up to the board and demonstrate their work.  Using the Smart Board pens, he did just that, writing in the empty space between the question and the student names. It was a clever way of integrating the Smart Board into the learning of the whole class.

Last but not least, we visited Dan Edelen, another second grade teacher who just passed his KTIP.  Dan and his students moved seamlessly through several tools: they started with a Kahoot (more about this tool in a previous entry), wrote reflectively in their KidBlog, and finished by sharing their work to Mr. Edelen's MacBook Air (which was hooked up to his Smart Board) via the downloadable program AirServer.  Like a virtual cloud-based AppleTV but without any need for special hardware, AirServer allows students to simultaneously share their screen with a main display computer.  There is a PC and Mac version, and the program has an one-time cost of $7.99 to $11.99.

Mr. Edelen showing his AirServer in action. Note the multiple shared student screens.
As the year draws quickly to a close, I was excited to see so many teachers in one building embracing a digital conversion of learning.  I should add that while all these CCE teachers check out school devices as often as possible, none have a class set full time.   Despite not having a daily 1:1 experience, they are still facilitating fantastic learning with their students.  Kudos to Ms. Putnam and Mr. Edelen (and a nod again for Ms. Bullard) for their #ShelbyTUITshoutout!

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