Technology In The Classroom Workshop

Yesterday, I attended a one day Technology in the Classroom Workshop, sponsored by Newspapers in Education. There were 8 different sessions/parts- I thought I'd recap here.

1. Time Management Dr. Emily Schwartz presented on time management.  Dr. Schwartz is a great speaker and her presentation was informative and humorous, I really enjoyed it.  Perhaps because I have such an obsession with paper planners, I'm already fairly acutely aware of my schedule and issues when it comes to time management, but I could see where her method could be really impactful to people who struggle in that area.  Two of my favorite takeaways from her session were:
  • the discussion about treating other people's time with respect {the law of time management karma}
  • the idea to "treat every class like it's your favorite class"- I'm excited to try this next semester! Last year I had two classes that behavior-wise were quite challenging, and they used to trade places being my "worst class".  I wonder if I didn't give them permission (of sorts) to misbehave by reinforcing to them how terrible they were? Very interested to see how this might play out.
2. Flipped Classrooms Amanda Dills from Oklahoma City University presented on Flipped Classrooms, specifically incorporating flipped techniques into non flipped classrooms.  It was a great session for thinking about ways to better incorporate technology into your classroom.  The best part, though, was learning a new classroom management trick! I love when I go to professional development sessions and learn something procedural that I can take back and use in my classroom. In this case, it was having us complete a task in a short amount of time (less than a minute) and playing a song to indicate the time remaining- when the song's over, time's up! {She played the Friends theme song.}

3. Donors Choose One of the Oklahoma Donors Choose Ambassadors, Lori Zehnder, walked us through the Donors Choose process and website.  I was familiar with the website, but had never used it, so I got to create my very first project: click here to see

4. Grant Writing Ashley Howard, from The Oklahoman presented a session on grant writing.  Since she is a part of numerous boards and committees that award grants, the perspective of someone that reads grant proposals versus someone that has simply authored numerous grant proposals was invaluable. We also got a very useful grant writing template!

5. Newspapers in Education Another Oklahoman staff member led a hands on walk though of the Newspapers in Education website and its resources.  My librarian (who is awesome, by the way) had previously given me this login information, but I had no idea how to really use it in my classroom.  There are print replicas and archives of every paper dating back to 1901- it is an incredible resource, that's easy to use for students.  I'm sad that I didn't realize the power of this tool back when I was still teaching Oklahoma History.

6. Personal Finance The Oklahoma Council for Economic Education presented a session about incorporating the Personal Financial Literacy Standards into general curriculum. This was my least favorite session, but don't get me wrong- the material is good and the presenter was great. The bigger problem is that the Oklahoma Legislature really could have done a much better job when it passed our Personal Financial Literacy standards.  Research has shown that more robust the personal finance curriculum, the higher impact it has on students future credit scores.  We should have a state mandated Personal Finance class for Juniors, instead of just the standards mandated to be taught somewhere, in some class, between 7th and 12th grade. It puts too much on the plate of teachers that is already overloaded.

7. Studio Tour The building that houses the offices for The Oklahoman are gorgeous.  It's all open air and glass (except for the HR offices) to reflect the transparency of the paper.  There are no printing presses, though- the paper is printed in Tulsa.

8. Panel Discussion I thought this was a great way to end the workshop, we got to sit in on a panel discussion with staff from The Oklahoman from various departments- a reporter, advertiser, marketer, and 2 of the VPs (I think I got that right, that's from memory). It was an hour long, and it really flew by, I was sad when it was over.

So that's it! I think Professional Development gets a bad rap, but I always love going and learning new things, and this one was no different- I give it 4 1/2 stars :)


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