Sunday, July 20, 2014

Technology history of my school

My school was started 4 years ago when another school had to close down because of poor performance on state assessments and poor graduation rate. In the first year of school opening our students received ipads and netbooks. In the third year of our school being in operation, our students received chromebooks. Some apps that I use with my students on the ipads are: noteshelf, doddle buddy, flashcards, I-nigma, desmos, khanacademy, iChoose, geoboard, slope slider, sketchexplorer, and geogebra. The netbook was not my favorite piece of technology, it was very slow and took for ever to reboot, so I didn't use it a lot. This past year I had students use chromebooks in the classroom. All students have google drive accounts created by our school, so we share our documents, forms and presentations with our students and they can share their classwork with us. This was nice, but very time consuming because I had to create everything from scratch.

This leads me to school year 2014-2015. This school year, using the chromebooks, students will have access to an online geometry course from  Florida virtual that my district bought this year. It utilizes brainhoney MLS system. Students will also have other blended learning classes: technology, English and music.

So far:
  - One classroom is being remodeled to create cyber cafe where students will spend some time working on their online class (pics to come)
  - I have started a professional development on blended learning through Florida Virtual
  - In terms of blended learning model - I am leaning towards rotation model, where students will rotate between teach centered learning, group work and individualized work online

How often will my students have access to the cyber cafe?
Can I add my resources, videos, lessons to the online geometry course?
How will I grade my students?
What will the structure of my class look like?
How will I manage my students work online?

We have our first meeting this Tuesday, where all the staff that will be teaching blended learning classes and technology specialists from our district will meet and discuss our implementation.
Hopefully I will be able sort through the questions that I have during the meeting.

Hello world of blogging

I have been reading educational blogs since I started teaching (8 years ago). I decided that now is the time for me to start my own, especially because I am embarking on a new chapter in my teaching career. This year we are transitioning from NYS 2005 standards for geometry to common core geometry standards. Also I was given an opportunity to teach my geometry classes in a blended learning environment. With this change, of course, comes a lot of preparation. I hope this blog will help me organize my thoughts, collaborate with others and share some do's and don't of blended learning.