While I could tell them I am an instructional technologist who helps to mastermind, write/coach and implement standards-based grading with a focus on student choice and voice, while co-teaching/modeling and organizing best practices for teachers including producing a weekly newsletter of ed-tech, pedagogy and inspiring articles all the while helping implement a strategy of social media usage and lending input for our administrative team on everything from simplifying teachers and students lives to how to motivate and keep all Eagles engaged….this may not be the best description and seems to have a run-on sentence effect.
With that in mind, here is a random Tuesday in the life of the Director of Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Schoolcraft Community Schools:
6:00am - Upon waking up, utilizes Flipboard (curated ezine of education/tech topics), Twitter (curated lists of leading and futurist educational experts) and Google+/Facebook Groups like “Standards Based Learning/Grading”, “Teacher Champions” and Michigan Education Technology Specialists” to both gather and share resources for my staff and build a Professional Learning Network in my state.
6:30am - Get ready for work, breakfast, quick time with my kiddos and out the door!
6:50am - As much as the decibel level in my car will allow, catch up on my Voxer Groups like “#miched”, “Michigan Ed Voice Fellows”, and “Digital Leadership” and catch a Podcast or two like “TED Radio Hour” or “Better Leaders, Better Schools”. These tools help keep me both engaged in and learning with top minds in education, technology and design to share/model with my teachers.
7:20am - After daycare drop off with my munchkins, I meet with a teacher who is working on their Schoolcraft Standards (aka Power Standards for their course) and help vet and talk through the key skills we want our students to carry into their college and career paths. We focus on essential skills like synthesis, analysis, problem solving, and collaboration.
7:50am - Swing by a teacher’s classroom who is having some technical difficulties with a collaboration app called “Classkick” which allows them to see all students on their 1:1 IPads while she works with a small group. We problem solve that she can open and close viewing by their peers who can lend a hand when learning a new concept, freeing her to do more 1 on 1 and small group instruction.
8:10am - Jump into webinar/conference call about Illuminate Education, our student data warehouse. Call centers around how to support teachers in using this service to support individualized instructional goals and small group learning target development.
9:10am - Throw a couple of extra articles/links/tips into our weekly newsletter “Convocation of Learning” that I have collected this week and reply to some teacher questions. Shared Convocation of Learning via district email, Twitter, Facebook, G+, and LinkedIn.
9:50am - Stop by a teacher’s classroom on his plan to talk about student video creation and editing with an IPad. We talk about and lesson plan for how students can shoot and edit video and what skills should be measured in the outcome. We plan for me to return to help instruct during the lesson rollout and how the rubric for student assessment will be presented on day one of the project!
10:35am - Do a quick “Show and Tell” with a student who through the “Leader in Me” leader ticket reward system chose to have time with me to show me their favorite app and in return got a cool new learning app from me!
10:45am - Stop by a teacher’s classroom to lend a hand in introducing a new app, FrontRow, which helps to give remediation/practice to both struggling students and those who need their learning extended.
11:25am - TECH HERO TIME! This group is fifteen 3rd and 4th grade students who were selected to learn about digital citizenship and basic app/hardware use. This week’s lesson is on how multitasking is not a good idea when trying to learn something new (especially with technology) and online safety (especially with passwords). Students use Digital Passport and conversations to record learning and return to class to teach their peers.
12:30pm - LUNCH!!! Also make a quick call to our legislators to express concern over recent education bill that would adversely affect our students and teachers ability to learn and teach. Aide agrees this might be a better personal conversation and a future date is set to meet in person to discuss.
1:10pm - Update our Schoolcraft Facebook and Twitter accounts sharing some awesome news and student work from the last couple of days. Track the analytics of our most recent posts to see what our followers most appreciate and like and record some notes.
1:30pm - Delivery and briefly instruct a teacher how to use a district webcam to have a virtual discussion across the United States with another classroom. Teacher is excited to have student collaborate across state lines and time zones with peers!
2:00pm - Meet with administrative team in a standing weekly conversation. This weeks topics covers topics like district strategic planning, upcoming professional development for teachers, the Reading Now Network, our Learning Management Systems and more!
3:50pm - Made a call to a local business to set up a meeting for next week to begin partnership between their staff and a couple of our teachers. The plan is to develop problems our students can solve that are authentic and still address the teacher’s learning targets. Eventually, the students will be able to present the answers back to the business for to help both the students presentation skills and the business’ workflow.
4:10pm - FAMILY TIME
8:00pm - Have a conference call with educators from around the state in planning how we can impact attendance and advocate for educational policy at the Governor's Education and Talent Summit. Cite some areas where the Michigan Department of Education as well as the legislators can support districts the size and makeup of Schoolcraft Community Schools.
9:45pm - BED TIME!
While my days can vary greatly, this random Tuesday sums up my job pretty well. Wearing many hats allows me to see education, especially in our district, through multiple different lenses. This allows me to think about teaching and learning from a ‘big picture’ as each part of my day affects all others.