I began by developing a professional website using About Me. About Peggy Werness
Once I had that up and running, I then began to blog. Blogging has never been something to which I have felt a strong attraction but I found that once I began, I really enjoyed it. Although I have not posted more than a handful of times, I got more satisfaction each time. I found topics that I really had strong feelings about and worked hard to articulate those feelings without being too wordy. I don't really have a following yet but I think that it will be a fun challenge to seek out people that will read my blog and comment on it. I like the features that Blogger has to help you track your following.
The next steps were to clean up my Glogster and to connect all my social and other networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and the Teaching and Technology web page.
Another on-going undertaking in my 20% project has been continuing to read and check out suggestions on my favorite technology-related teacher blog: Free Technology for Teachers (written by Richard Byrne). I think this will be really useful as I begin course number four of the Cohort, Emerging Technology and Trends.
Finally, I began a long project of transferring dozens of paper-and-pencil French reading comprehension quizzes that my colleague and I created for our Student Learning Goal to quizzes using Google Docs. I am very excited about the added benefit of using Flubaroo to do the correcting for us!
I cannot believe how far I have come since beginning the Cohort nine months ago. My confidence with technology has grown exponentially. I can see myself standing in front of my colleagues, many of whom are very tech-savvy and being able to share things that I have learned since beginning this journey. I do not consider myself an expert by any means, but I do see that I have knowledge and skills to impart that can serve to bring us all a bit further down the road of integrating technology in the classroom. It is a road which is evolving at a rate that is dizzying and sometimes even frightening and this is why we need to pool our knowledge and skills or our students who are so completely immersed in twenty-first technology will easily "lap us" as we move together on the track. I am thrilled to be able to say that I am beginning to meet standard 5 of the ISTE standards (ISTE standards for teachers 2008)
This standard focuses on Engaging in Professional Growth and Leadership
"Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources. " The Cohort has provided me with a local and global learning community where it is feels safe to explore technology to enhance my professional practice. As a Cohort, we pooled our knowledge to partcipate in shared decision-making as our district looks toward a technology referendum in the near future.
As teachers and administrators, we took time to explore available digital tools to see what might be the best fit for the learners in our classrooms.
It is incredible to see how much we have accomplished together!