Today, I went to a PD session offered during the school day with our district tech coach. I originally planned NOT to go as the presentation was about tech games to use in the classroom and I am already familiar with several of the platforms she was presenting on (Kahoot, Socrative, etc). However, I went anyway for the quick CPDU (you never know when you will need it) and I like the presenter. I was so glad that I did. Not only did she reintroduce me to a couple of programs that I had learned about but not implemented in my class, but we had the opportunity to play with Formative. Formative is a SUPER quick and easy way to get formative feedback from students. You can grade their work in real time, they can draw on diagrams (this is big for the Geometry teacher that I am) and there are plenty of well done free features. I am super excited to go and try that. Had I not gone to the presentation, I probably would’ve back burnered this application and may have missed out on a opportunity to put it into action in my classes.
The second revelation of the day was the idea to “circle back”. This is huge when it comes to educational technology. I tend to be slightly snobbish about educational technology. I want it to do what I want, when I want, and not crash in the process. I want good usable data, I want to manipulate all aspects of the software. If I deem that the product is not 1.) more efficient than a classroom traditional tool 2.) not stable enough to withstand 30 students accessing it at the same time 3.) providing me with everything I want, I typically write it off, and don’t look back. Today, on a couple of occasions I learned that the circle back is important. One of those instances happened early in the day. For kicks I decided to see if I could sync my various mail accounts on my MacBook’s mail program. In the past, this wasn’t even possible as my Apple stuff did not play nicely with Microsoft Exchange. However, today, everything seamlessly synced! This is HUGE. I’ve wanted to use the power of the search functions available on my Mac with the contacts at school. I am super excited. Only downfall is I completely crashed my computer when I synced my Gmail but I can handle that problem.