Demo Slam at North

North Elementary technology coaches Erin Franson, Erin Ryan, and Brenda Baird planned and executed a first-ever "demo slam" at their building during staff workshops.

A demo slam is like an open-mic opportunity for teachers to share what they have learned for the sake of others. Typically, each presenter gets between 30 seconds and five minutes to show something they have been working on, and take a few questions after the fact.

The North slam was held in the commons, and featured several teachers and coaches great tools teachers can use for productivity or for student learning.

Some highlights:

Chad Ruzek shared HaikuDeck, a slideshow app students love.

Nikki Walerius shared Remind, a way to safely connect with parents through texting.

Cathy Norton Shared how she uses Google Forms to help students prepare for the MCA

Diane Vrana shared how Google Forms can be used for student self-assessment

Also presented:

March Madness at PPS

Teachers in our school district have been presented with a fun challenge to stretch and grow, and many are meeting or exceeding expectations!

The first annual March Madness challenge, issued by the technology department, is a series of tasks offered to all staff members, each with their own point values.

Teachers complete challenges and turn them in for points. Points are tallied for each building and individuals are ranked as well.

The response has been great. Some teachers have fully embraced the challenge and are trying things with instructional technology they haven't before.

A few highlights:

  • Sarah Durch (HS), who once lamented that she hates Google Docs, has jumped into the Google pool and now has a fully functioning website and an online classroom through Google Classroom. She intends to be nearly paperless for the remainder of the year.
  • Chad Ruzek (NE) has used March Madness to inspire himself to try more digital formative assessments and project-based learning in his 5th grade classroom.
  • Jodi Burling (NE) has become connected to hundreds of educators around the world by building a professional Twitter feed which focuses on literacy and elementary education.
  • Dan Voce, Middle School principal also uses Twitter to communicate the great things happening in his building. He has also been watching educational videos on TED and sharing videos with his staff
  • Faith Connors (SE) has been using digital learning resources with her 2nd grade classes
  • Erin Dohrmann, Special Education Director, has used shared calendars and websites to improve communication among special education professionals.

It has been great to see so many brave educators getting out of their comfort zone. The friendly competition has been great.

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