A total of 25 elementary school teachers who are new to Berkeley or new to grades 3-5 in the past couple of years convened last week for a productive and inspiring instructional technology professional development training.
During each 3 hour session (½ the group attended in the morning and the other ½ participated in the afternoon), teachers were introduced to Screencastify (a Chrome extension that creates a video of one’s computer screen and their voice) and brainstormed ways it can be integrated in the curriculum to amplify student voice. Teachers also explored our Google Slides resources (introductory screencasts and tip sheets) and looked at ways students can use these tech tools together. Additionally, the group found inspiration from our collection of student tech projects from the past couple of years. Teachers spent a nice chunk of time collaborating with grade level colleagues from different school sites and they left with plans which can be implemented in the near future. For instance, Katie Campbell Lewis (4th grade at Emerson), Rebecca Goodin (5th grade at Sylvia Mendez), Janine Herbertson (3rd grade at Cragmont), and Taylor Totten (4th grade at Emerson) all created screencast tutorials for their students. Megan Abramson-Ward (5th grade at Thousand Oaks) developed a Book Club Google Slides and Screencastify assignment.
Feedback for the sessions was overwhelmingly positive. One teacher noted it was beneficial “having the opportunity to discuss integrating the tech tools with upcoming units.” Many appreciated collaborating with teachers in the same grade from different schools and the chance to learn and practice tech tools in a supportive environment.
The DigiTech team will continue to foster ongoing tech integration and collaboration. As always, please reach out to us to plan and support student use of technology for learning in your classroom.
– Mia Gittlen, K-8 Instructional Technology Teacher on Special Assignment