Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Engaging New Teachers

Like many districts around the country, our district is conducting our new teacher induction week.  We've made some drastic changes considering the fact that our district, in a week's time, will be fully 1:1 with every student having an iPad or a macbook 24/7.  Our icoaches (instructional coaches), also new this year, were very instrumental in the planning of the induction week's activities.  We "flipped" some things that we gave way too much time to in the past-- mandatory training videos.  Teachers were issued their laptops before the week began so have a chance to watch the videos at home rather than spending time in the sessions.  Our icoaches structured the week so that the new teachers would learn the Apple products, iLife and iWork, Google docs, e-chalk, Discovery Education, as well has how to develop their personal learning network.  By week's end, we hope to have them connected in a Diigo group as well as following the hashtags I mentioned in Sunday's blog post, #edchat, #cpchat, #engchat, and #sschat .  Our staff presenters are ever conscious of the fact that the learner needs to be doing more work than the instructor.  So we chose to use Today's Meet http://todaysmeet.com/  to keep the questions that pop up as the participants work on sample projects.  One of us responded in real time.  All the participants can see the Today's Meet screen so the rhythm of the "classroom" is  undisturbed.  Today's Meet would be a great tool to use in staff meetings, "town hall" events, classrooms, and  PTA meetings, and maybe even school board meetings.  It keeps the "back chatter" down.

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