What a year it has been. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly these ten months fly by. We have fifteen days of instruction left before final exams and my students are in their final push to complete their courses. On a personal level, participating in this Cool Tools PD has been eye-opening, a little bit terrifying, and encouraged so much planning for the Summer.
I feel that I am on a good path to implementing what I learned this year and hope to learn a little more next year. Having a Twitter account and Facebook login for work has really helped to build a greater sense of community for our staff and students. It’s been great to applaud student achievement and help everyone stay connected even though we don’t get to see each other that often. This is something I hope to continue and expand on throughout the next few months.
I plan to create a class blog for my English classes that will give tips and suggestions to help students for each lesson and assignment. This blog will be home to buncees, flipgrids, curated resources, and teaching scaffolds. I hope that once created and uploaded, these resources will help fill in any missing gaps from the course and provide the additional supports my students sometimes need.
This PD has also encouraged me to refine our Independent Reading Module for English I and II. Right now, students complete journal prompts, a visual presentation, a book talk, and a written analysis of their book. I would like to give students the option to use some of the digital tools from this PD to demonstrate their understanding of the book. It would be wonderful for students to create a podcast or record their book talk so that it can be shared with students across the District, which might spark a greater interest in reading or discussion about a shared reading experience.
I love online learning, but this course was difficult at times because I work best with deadlines. Earlier in the year, a coworker and I came up with due dates for our assignments, but without a hard deadline, I didn’t stick to them. It was also a little overwhelming at times because there is so much wonderful and useful content in this PD. Digital tools are constantly evolving and it feels like as soon as you “catch” up, you’re already ten steps behind again. Since this was my first time participating, I wanted to stick to the first ten tools (I will have to revisit tool ten at a later date). In a way, this was a good thing because I was able to expand my knowledge and understanding on topics like presentation tools and blogging.
Overall, this has been a wonderful experience and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity.