Monday, June 8, 2015

The veteran...the newbie

   I am what one would consider a veteran teacher. I have worn the various 'hats' of mentor, district office liaison for my department, cooperating teacher, go to person, etc... There have been handfuls of committees I either volunteered to be on or was chosen to contribute. I am not a stranger to knowing things in education and love to learn!
   My bachelor's degree was complete in 2002 and my masters in 2005. Between 2006 and 2010 I took courses sporadically and in 2011 when I had my twins, the teacher learner in me went from the hare to the tortoise, if you know what I mean. Within four years I had three children and much of my extra time is spent with my family and less on learning new things in teaching.
   That brings me up to speed with right now. Currently I find myself taking this online course about differentiation using technology. As of 48 hours ago my experience with technology in the classroom included Google Docs and Edmodo. Then my comfort level gets shaky.
   I limit my personal usage to Facebook and Pinterest. Because of this course, I have already created a Google+ account, Twitter handle, and now writing my very first blog. This is taking me to a whole new level of inexperience I have not encountered. I read other people's blogs and never pictured myself writing one!
   I am truly hoping to expand my experience and get use to some of these new 'toys' I hear other people talking about.
   If you are currently reading this, thank you for taking the time to be part of my journey!

   Until next time,


  1. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Edmodo. I'm doing a review of LMSs for a school district and personal experience with this one would be valuable.

  2. I absolutely love using Edmodo! My less outgoing kids really got into it and there are so many things we could do with it. I posted assignments there, gave quizzes, linked apps, assigned surveys. It was wonderful. Then at the start of last year our school gave all its teachers a Blackboard page and the use of sites like Edmodo were discouraged. Last school year I only used it a few times because I didn't want to get in trouble for not using our new program. Last year, Blackboard was not the big hit they were hoping for, so maybe I can get back to using Edmodo again. We shall see.

    1. I don't know many K-12 schools that use Blackboard. Interesting that your school tried it. Was it too complicated? Or ???

    2. Neither do I, Jacqui. I teach in the 4th largest district in Illinois with 17 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, and 4 high schools, 1 early learning center, and 1 alternative school. When we heard at the end of the school year that we were getting laptops issued to each teacher and websites, so many people were very excited for this increase in technology!

      The actual implementation had more bumps in the road than I think was expected. Even though each school had 2 expert Blackboard trainers and teachers went to a training, there was a lot of confusion on using Blackboard by teachers, students, and parents.

      For me, I struggled with navigating between the three pages I had (one for each class) and how things were posted to one page and not another. Updating my information got easier as they year went on, but I got discouraged as I asked my students how many of them visited my webpage to get information. Of my 86 students, I had maybe 10 of them visit and I knew of 2 parents specifically that went to the page for more information, but beyond that, I don't know how many people used it.

      I really hope that next school year there's more buy-in to it. After this year I came to the realization that things like teacher webpage success is a trifecta. If the teacher doesn't use it, the parents won't rely on it, and neither will the students.

    3. I had a similar experience with Schoology. I'm on the hunt for an LMS teachers actually say students use. Edmodo is on the short list (well, it might be the only one I know of so far).