Congratulations to the 67 classroom teachers, instructional assistants, and guidance counselors who dedicated time during summer break to study educational technology.
Twenthy-three BUSD employees became “Google Certified Educators” by learning about Google Suite’s apps for education. They reviewed self-paced units of study online and passed a standardized exam. The others chose from a list of tech tools used in Berkeley schools and created a bunch of resources to use in their classrooms to become “Berkeley Technology Certified Educators.” While many completed this training independently, groups met in-person in June after school ended and in August before the school year began.
This professional development effort is in support of Berkeley’s 1:1 initiative (one Chromebook per student). Now Berkeley public schools are 1:1 in grades 4 – 8 and 2:1 in grade 3 (two classes share a cart of Chromebooks).
As access to technology increases, teachers can more easily and creatively infuse tech into their curriculum. Here are a few examples of the many cool, new ways teachers plan to use technology with students:
Wendy Lai (math teacher at King Middle School) explored Desmos, an interactive software often used in math classes that allows teachers to pose questions to students and see all of their work in real time. She created a Desmos activity, “Getting Positive About Negative Exponents,” to be used during grade 8, Module 1. Wendy shared, “The time we spend on this entire module is often condensed into a week – and negative exponents often get skimmed over- to the point where students start feeling a lot of negativity about negative exponents! I believe that taking the time to see the patterns and use the patterns to simplify a variety of expressions that include negative exponents, will allow students to make sense of this topic and solidify their understanding.”
Nina Ziskin (reading support teacher at Longfellow Middle School) designed lessons using Pear Deck, another interactive, engaging software. She planned on incorporating this in her System 44 class right away. Nina reported that, “In the Read 180/System 44 classes, the first two weeks are devoted to teaching students the routines and procedures for all the facets of the program. On Day 2, students learn about the software. I created three questions to see if the whole class understood and retained a few main points about using the software. This will fit in perfectly as a “Wrap Up” at the end of the period.”
Jen Antonuccio (guidance counselor at Willard Middle School) created school-wide advisory resources using EdPuzzle. EdPuzzle is a website teachers use to trim YouTube videos and add prompts. Jen reflected, “This is a great tool to help guide the discussion school-wide on our advisory topics. I will make the other teachers my class members so that they can do the assignment on the projector with their class. I am excited to use this.”
Check out the DigiTech website to learn more about any of these tools.
We are excited and impressed at the ways teachers use technology with students. Be sure to subscribe to the blog and share it to others for more stories about tech integration throughout the year.
– Mia Gittlen, K-8 Instructional Technology TSA