Friday, August 19, 2011

Tivy Tech Tidbits Before the 2011-12 School Year Begins

The following are a few things I wanted to share with the teachers of Tivy High::
1) Technology Training.  Thanks to all those who attended my session earlier this week. It really helped me to have an opportunity to share some things about lab use, mobile labs, tech policies, and future solutions. Your input and comments were valuable to me.  By next week, some step-by-step instructions for using room labs and mobile labs will be sent to you via email.
2) iPad Apps.  Since iPads are still very new to most of us, expect several stages of learning and training throughout the Fall.  While we have a roll-out plan in place with a few apps already loaded on each device, a very important part of this plan involves teacher input.  If you desire to use iPads for a particular learning objective, then learning apps need to be found, requested, purchased, installed, and evaluated.  I plan to be involved in every step of the process but it will take all of us to create a solid plan that we can rely on in the future.  At the training sessions, several of you expressed interest in researching possible apps relating to your teaching area.  If you want a cool place to start, consider visiting the following web site called "iPads in the Classroom" (which includes suggestions, tips, and other sites):
3) P Drive Clean-Up.  Don't forget to check the "P" Drive (public use that includes staff and students) for any folders and files relating to your class.  I encourage you to move/copy any files you want to keep for future class use.  By the end of the next week all the files (currently around 1.5 TB) on the P drive will be removed permanently.  The plan is to continue using the P drive this school year but an attempt to better organize it will take place.  Basically, a new folder will be created for each teacher so that students can easily access class-related files and also add files in their class folder.  I still consider the P drive as a "standing in the gap" approach until better solutions for file sharing/project submission are implemented at our campus. Next week the entire Technology Staff will meet and I plan to discuss future use of public drives as they relate to Tivy campus needs.
4) Classroom-Based Website.  At the end of the technology training session, I share the opportunity for teachers to learn how to create their own classroom-based website.  I promised to share the web link of some training videos I created over the summer. So, maybe you will finish your weekly goals and will have time to start on your classroom website today! Of course, there is no hurry but I hope that your will consider developing a classroom website since it may very well help you with your student communication and collaboration goals.  Even thought my video tutorials focus on using a classroom template, their are many others to choose from if you want something different or want more than one site. For instances, coaches may want to create a site of their specialty that includes schedules, forms, reminders, and photos. I look forward to seeing how creative many of you will be once you explore all the possibilities.  I have plans to create an e-Course in Euphoria (similar to my Moodle course I created last month) but for now, visit this web link for easy access to the video portion of the training course:
5) Friday Tech Help.  After a very long week (full of very long days), I am following through with my scheduled plan to be off on today (Friday).  While I still have a long list of requests that will be waiting on me on Monday, I managed to get all the critical items done this week (or have temporary solutions in place for those waiting on parts or installs).  If you are still waiting on help with previously made requests, don't worry...I haven't forgot about you (hopefully).  If you need assistance on anything new, please submit a tech help ticket so we can start prioritizing for next week (look for the link called "Euphoria! School Objects on the Kerrville ISD site).  For really urgent matters, contact the Technology Center directly.