21st Century Skills in the Workplace

In the last few years, teaching 21st Century Skills has become a primary focus in education. Also known as the four Cs, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity are becoming more and more integrated into our daily teaching routines. Activities like BreakoutEDU, Hour of Code, Mystery Skype and MakerSpace have grown in popularity as our profession searches for innovative ways to incorporate the 21st Century Skills into the classroom.

In attending the Best Prep Technology Integration Workshop this week I was able to hear and see first hand how valuable these skills are to business leaders. Our day started with a panel discussion with business leaders from four large cooperations. Through this discussion we learned what employers are looking for, what young people bring to the workforce, and what skills we should focus on to best prepare our learners for success in the real world.

Employers are looking for employees who can participate in face to face communications, able to handle personal conflicts effectively and respectfully, accept and grow from all feedback, able to share the how of what they learned and accomplished not just the what, and the ability to collaborate with teams. The panel shared they find students today come to them with a willingness to be challenged, ability to flexible and agile when it's time to move on or make a change, able to quickly adapt to new platforms for communication, and a willingness to change paradigms.

Aside from today's panel discussion, all participants in the Technology Integration Workshop participated in a job shadow experience. I was able to spend the afternoon shadowing the Director of Technology at Anchor Bank. Through team meetings and a tour of the office areas, I was able to see collaboration among team members that involved critical thinking and purposeful and respectful communication. The variety in their workspaces showed how collaboration and creativity is valued when working on projects. The department I was in had a SCRUM room that is used for project planning and management. This room had whiteboard paint on the walls which were covered in writing, diagrams and post-its. The writing and post-its also covered the large windows of the room.

The panel and job shadow experience was an incredibly validating experience. I was able to see how these skills are truly valued and necessary for success in today's workforce. In addition to attending keynotes, discussion panels and participating the job shadow opportunity, we  are given time to create a lesson with support from technology integration specialist. The 21st Century Skills Project is my focus during this time. My goal for this year is to help provide all teachers with innovative ways they can truly integrate (not add) 21st Century Skills into their current teaching plan. During this week I am working on enhancing and refining the project in order to provide a comprehensive and valuable resource for our district.

For  more information about BestPrep and Technology Integration Worskhop (open to all educators) please see links below:
BestPrep
Technology Integration Workshop

-Jodi Burling



Innovation @477 This Year in Tech Integration

My first year as your technology integration specialist has been an incredible ride. I truly never imagined I would have left the classroom, but I am beyond grateful to those who suggested and supported me taking on this new role. My stepson explained it best when he explained my new job to family "she gets to do all the cool technology things she loves and help other teacher even more because she doesn't have to teach a class at the same time." I love getting to work with all of you and am really looking forward to another year of technology integration awesomeness in our district. This last post of the school year features many of the projects we have worked on together this year. Thank you for inviting me into your classrooms, PLCs and planning time.
Jodi Burling



1:1 Access

Our four year implementation of 1:1 device access for all students in grade 3 -12 started this year. The first year of implementation started with iPads for all 3rd graders and chromebooks for all students in 6th, 7th and 9th grades. For 2017-18 our 3rd graders will continue with iPads and we will add chromebooks for all students in 8th and 10th grades. Additionally, we are increasing technology access in our Early Childhood and Primary buildings with classroom carts of iPads for each grade level. Having 1:1 access has allowed our students to take  more ownership of their learning while growing their 21st Century Skills set.
     


BreakoutEDU

Several teachers jumped on the Breakout bandwagon, finding ways to review and introduce material while helping students to refine their 4 Cs (Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication & Creativity). We were able to grow our materials from 2 boxes to 7, allowing for teachers to have smaller groups of students working together and racing against other teams to solve break in to their boxes. This summer I will continue to update our 21st Century Skills website with a list of games that are prepped and ready to play in your classrooms.
 

 




Makerspaces

Through grants from the EdCamp Foundation and Century Link MN the Intermediate School was provided with a mobile maker space cart. This cart includes various items for students to explore, create and learn through play. With the Century Link grant, there are now class sets of Bloxels, littleBits and Lego WeDo 2.0. Class sets will allow teachers to teach their entire class how to use these sets for truly creative, innovative learning. Most importantly students will discover their learning style and new passions and interests while finding innovative ways to demonstrate learning.

The primary school has their own mobile creator space and Lego Lab. This cart includes Lego Learn to Learn, Lego Story Starter, Kinex and other creative products that promote learning and refining the 4Cs through play!

Makerspaces have proved to be a vital asset in districts across the county and across grade levels, which is why we will be looking at expanding makerspaces into our middle and high school media centers in the next few school years, while continuing to grow our spaces at PS and IS.
 



Co-Teaching Technology

One of the biggest parts of my job this year as been co-teaching technology with classroom teachers. Co-teaching allows for teachers to learn new apps, websites or innovative teaching ideas with their students. Several teachers had me in their classrooms this year to co-teach this school year and I look forward to continuing this practice in our next school year! A small sampling of lessons I co-taught with teachers this year include: Seesaw Introduction and Seesaw lessons, iPad apps and challenges, BreakoutEDU, Lego Learn to Learn, Lego Story Starter, Google Classroom, Assistive Technology options on Chromebooks and iPads, Standards Tracker, Virtual Fieldtrips, Google Hangouts with other classrooms in and out of our district and more! Samantha Heitke and I also teamed up to teach Genius Hour with many Kindergarten teachers and research skills with 2nd grade! I'm looking forward to helping teachers integrate more technology in their classrooms next year through co-teaching experiences!



Have an amazing summer!




Join me on edCommunities!

What is edCommunities? It is a professional practice community free and open to ALL who care about improving education and student success! Which means YOU! edCommunities is an online platform from the NEA that allows teachers to connect, collaborate and engage in meaningful discussions and groups.

Similar to other social media platforms, however edCommunities allows in depth topic conversations, file sharing and connections with dedicated and talented educators you don't always find consistently on social media.  As edCommunities grows you will also have the opportunity to take online courses for re-licensure requirements. Many groups are available to you on just about any content or professional topic you can imagine. And if you can't find the group you want, you can create it!

Once you sign up for edCommuites (see the flyer below) I encourage you to join my group, Technology Integration K-12. This summer my group is sponsoring a fun and interactive edtech contest for the summer with a chance to win gift cards and other prizes! The challenge is filled with many of the fun things you are already doing on social media and elsewhere to get ready for the next year, so check it out!

If you already joined edCommunities last fall, consider checking it out again. The summer is the perfect time to connect, collaborate and engage with fellow teachers!

If you have any questions about edCommunities, let me know!
Jodi Burling




Innovation @477 Tidy Up Technology

In my classroom, I always had a theme week for the last week of school. Things like Lego My Monday, Wrap it Up Wednesday and Tidy Up Thursday. Fun activities that kept myself and the class focused on all the end of the year things that needed to get done, while also celebrating the community we have built over the year. 

As you start your own end of the year routines, please don't forget about your technology! Here are a few helpful ways to Tidy Up your Technology for the end of the school year. 

iPads - for 1:1 and ALL Classrooms
Have students help, or take over this project entirely!
  • Clear all pictures and videos off your iPads. 
  • Clean iPad screens with an electronics wipe or wrung out Clorox wipe. 
  • In Chrome and Safari, close out all tabs. 
  • For apps requiring a login - go into each app and logout IN THE APP. 
  • Swipe apps off the screen once all apps have been logged out. 
Follow  these iPad collection directions for packing up iPads. 




Staff Desktop or Laptop
These are not required, just helpful suggestions to help keep your work organized, keep you sane and your device running efficiently. 



From the great and powerful Luke: Write down your computer login information for the fall. Recovering passwords is not a pretty picture!



Delete your downloads, they are taking up too much space. 
Rumor has it a certain tech integrationist had a ridiculous amount of downloads slowing down her computer 😳  so you're not alone!
Go to your finder and select downloads
               


Use shift and click to select multiple downloads

Go to the settings icon and select move to trash
Empty your trash

Move files into Google Drive
Your computer should be doing this already if you went through the Google Drive migration. Having your files in Google Drive makes the accessible from anywhere and safe from getting deleted or lost! Click here for Directions on Google Drive Migration or contact a building tech coach. 

Delete files, pictures and videos you no longer need.

Important information for deleting shared files in Google Drive. 

Empty your trash.