This is the first of a monthly or more newsletter that I want to start putting out about technology in education. I'll try to make sure to include information about a particular tech topic of interest. Feel free to contact me with suggestions on what you would like to see here in the future. I want this to be a way for me to keep you up to date on useful tips and larger topics related to educational technology within our district and beyond. I have this newsletter linked on my web page at whelanweb.com. This is also located in the "teacher resources" section on our district's main page.
Tools for choosing web sites and apps
The good news is that there are a ton of apps and web sites out there that are educationally appropriate for our students. The bad news is that it is often hard to find the time to search through and find the correct options to try. The nice part is that there is content associate from K-12.
This is a terrific site that allows you to search for apps and web sites by grade level groupings and content areas. It also has reviews which are often very helpful in shrinking the list of choices down to content that is directed towards to your particular needs.
This is another community driven site that allows you to search for apps by curriculum needs, teacher use, and more. It's not as extensive as Graphite but provides another resource.
I am attaching an article from ISTE's "Learning and Leading with Technology" Magazine. It had some interesting considerations when searching for apps and web content that may be useful.
Switching to Google Mail aka Gmail
Early in this school year, we started the process of making the switch from our old Outlook Email to Google Mail. During the after school PD sessions, I briefly went over navigation of the new email system, how to make labels (folders) and also some tips for making contact groups. If you missed the session or would like to review them, I am posting them here. Please let me know if you need further help.
How to schedule a time to meet?
With this being the first newsletter, I thought it would be really helpful to give a reminder how how to make an appointment to meet. The easiest way to contact me is through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let me know what you'd like to meet about, your room number, free periods, and any other info that might be helpful to me in order to prepare for our meeting. Sometimes it's helpful to have an initial meeting to cover some of those topics and then we meet for a follow up. I try to schedule meetings with staff in groupings. Ex: If I receive 3 emails from the high school, I try to group them on the same day to make the best use of my time and to help as many people as possible. There are days where I wind up going to 2 or 3 buildings so it is helpful to group people this way. I'd love to meet with you to see if I can help facilitate any issue you might be having.