Here’s a snapshot of four fun technology events that our teachers and staff were involved in this past week.
1) Fall CUE Edtech Conference:
Last weekend, five Berkeley teachers attended Fall CUE, the largest edtech conference in northern California, as part of a Berkeley Public Schools Fund Strategic Impact Grant. All returned to Berkeley inspired by many innovative ideas that the group will explore and share throughout the year.
The Tech Teacher Leaders (TTLs) who attended shared highlights and lessons learned at the conference with the larger TTL group.
Holen Robie (4th grade teacher at Emerson) showed us routines using images to spark creative and critical thinking as well as speaking and listening from a presentation called “Empowering ELLs in the Google Age” (by Abby Almerido, Santa Clara County Office of Education). In one example, participants look at a set of four images and brainstorm what they have in common to determine a theme.
A tech tool for iPads that Regina Chagolla (3rd grade teacher at Rosa Parks) discovered in a Fall CUE session is Puppet Pals. Students can create digital narrative stories with ease. We watched this cute kid-narrated how-to video to learn about Puppet Pals.
Melanie Ford (Teacher Librarian at Longfellow Middle) shared several highlights including learning about BookSnaps (a way of annotating a reading using pictures to express thinking) from the BookSnaps creator herself, Tara Martin. Melanie shared the link to Tara Martin’s how-to videos to see how “booksnaps” can be created with a variety of tools available at school including Google Slides, Google Drawings, Seesaw, and Book Creator.
2) Google Certification Party
As part of our 1:1 Chromebook initiative, teachers who are new to Berkeley are completing online technology training. On Monday after school, four teachers attended Berkeley’s first ever Google Certification Party. Gathered together in good company with snacks, two teachers finished studying (then took the exam later in the week) while two other teachers took the test.
Congrats to our newest Google Certified Educators: Beth Berlin-Stephens (Teacher Librarian at Willard), Megan Schmidt (6th grade humanities teacher at King), Zack White (7th & 8th grade math teacher at Willard), and Andrea Zavala (8th grade math teacher at Willard)!
3) Digital Citizenship Week Celebration
On Tuesday, Tech Teacher Leaders celebrated Digital Citizenship Week with cake and a conversation ignited by Common Sense Education’s webpage How Tech is Changing Childhood which is filled with interesting statistics.
4) Made With Code Girls Coding Party at King
Amy Talley (7th & 8th grade computer science, film, and STEAM teacher) hosted a Made with Code girls coding party after school on Thursday at King. Young women from Cal Berkeley and the YWCA facilitated a fun coding activity and all the middle school girls in attendance had a blast creating a GIF.
Reach out to your TTL or a member of DigiTech if any of these ideas inspire you and you want to learn more. Click here for our DigiTech Directory.
– Mia Gittlen, K-8 Instructional Technology TSA