EEND 680 Artifact 2 – The Hiring Process

I’ve chosen to include my hiring process interview questions and responses that I developed during the 680 class.  I’ve decided to include these because I felt that this was a very useful exercise for me to prepare for possible interviews in the future.  I am still not completely decided about what my future in technology education looks like. I’m not sure yet whether I want move into more of a technology specialist role, or just continue on with being a classroom teacher.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages for me personally, but I was happy to at least go through a bit of an interview process in case I do decide to make the change in the future.

The most difficult part of this activity for me was trying to come up with good interview questions that would provide me with the information I was looking for.  “The ability to ask the right questions is the single most important skill” (Wagner, 2017).  Until I began this process, I wasn’t sure what exactly I was looking for in a technology specialist or what types of questions I should be asking.  I focused on many of the topics we learned about throughout the program like SAMR and the 4 c’s, and tried to think about how someone would incorporate those things into their technology specialist role.  That helped a great deal in figuring out what types of questions I wanted to ask. I relied on the same method when answering my own interview questions. It was certainly a difficult process but I’m happy with the way my questions and answers turned out.

This activity wouldn’t be especially helpful in the classroom, but it would certainly be helpful if I ever decided to apply for a technology specialist role.  I have some really great questions and responses on this document that I can look at and use to help me prepare for a real interview. Not only did I develop my own questions and answers, but two other colleagues added their questions and answers as well.  That provides even more information that can be extremely useful. I enjoy seeing how other people might answer a question differently than me and it gives me a different way of looking at a question.

As I’ve mentioned above, by taking this class I have learned a great deal about the how I might go about answering questions as it relates to the technology specialist role.  This is a topic I wouldn’t have, and couldn’t have done by myself. It was helpful to have the input from my colleagues to help me prepare for an interview down the road. I won’t lie and say that I am now a perfect candidate should the situation arise, but I do feel much more confident in my ability to answer some of the more difficult questions I may face.  I truly feel like what I have put together with the help of my colleagues can really help me in the future. I look forward to seeing what the future may hold for me.

References:

Wagner, T. (2017). Would you hire your own kids? 7 Skills schools should be teaching them. Retrieved from http://thedailyriff.com/articles/would-you-hire-your-own-kids-7-skills-schools-should-be-teaching-them-291.php

 

EEND 680 Artifact 1 – Learning Walks

I’ve chosen to include the learning walk feedback form I developed during the 680 class.  I included this because I’m very proud of how it turned out and I think it will be a very useful form that I can use in the future.  I believe strongly in forms like these. I think that administrators popping into a teacher’s classroom twice a year and evaluating them based on those two instances is not very effective.  Administrators have to be in the classroom more often, and it has be be more informal. Those visits should be useful tools for teachers to learn from and grow.  “Teachers benefit by learning to use reflection to increase their knowledge, skills, and performance; strategically aligning classroom instruction to district curriculum; and increasing student learning across grade levels” (Hopkins, 2010).  It should not be seen as a dog and pony show that teachers have to go through in order to be hired back the next year.  That is why I think a form like the one I’ve created can be such a useful tool for administrators, or other staff members, to use on their walk throughs. It is an easy way for them to quickly assess what is happening in the classroom, and it provides topics for discussion later on.  The toughest part of creating this form was determining what I thought was the most important things I would look for in a teacher’s classroom. Technology use, collaboration, the 4 C’s were all pieces that I thought were important enough to be on the form. Other administrators or teachers might think other things should be included as well.  It was hard to create a form that could be filled out quickly, yet look for all the things I wanted the walk through to focus on. In the end, I think I created a form that will work well for me and the aspects of my teaching that I think are the most important.

While working through this class, I’ve learned quite a bit about learning walks.  Things I know I would never have seen or done if I had not taken this class. It is such a powerful tool to use in the classroom that I am extremely grateful that I was exposed to it, and had an opportunity to work through it with my peers in this class.  Without learning from my peers in the discussions, I’m not sure I would have been able to create the form that I have. It would not have occurred to me to include things like the 4 C’s or SAMR before reading through the resources and having those discussions with my classmates.  I am hopeful that I can use this form again in the future.

References:

Walk-Throughs Are On the Move. (2010). Retrieved from https://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin405.shtml

 

How can and should schools use social media?

Currently, the only social media site I use in my classroom is Twitter, and I have to admit that I don’t use that very often.  I have tried to find some new ways of using it the last year or two though. One way I have incorporated Twitter was to post different handles onto my class webpage as widgets.  In this way, every time a student visits my webpage, they can see a live Twitter feed running at the top of the page. I have weather feeds for my weather unit, geology feeds for my geology unit, and so on.  I have tried to find some feeds that provide interesting posts and reliable information for my students to check out. So far, I have had a lot of positive feedback from the students. Many of them seem to enjoy looking through the feeds when they have some free time in class.  They like that they are able to explore on their own and check out what interests them without direction from me. Besides these widgets, I don’t really use Twitter in my class very often. I would like to start using it more, I just need to find the time to explore it more myself and figure out where it will fit into my class.

My school’s policy on inappropriate technology use generally covers the types of things you’d see in any acceptable use policy.  It basically boils down to students being responsible and respectful, not sharing private information, and not destroying any hardware.  Failure to follow these guidelines results in disciplinary action that ranges from technology privileges being revoked to expulsion and arrest.  I believe though, that in today’s society, my school needs to have a more detailed policy on cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is quickly becoming one of the biggest problems schools face today.  With all the technology students have access to both at school and at home, it is all too easy for them to abuse it and harm other students. I would like to see my school update their acceptable technology use contract to include more topics related to cyberbullying and abuse.  I believe having students involved in this process would be extremely beneficial to the students themselves, the school staff, and the community as a whole. When students are included in the decision making process, they feel invested and more likely to buy in to the idea of using technology appropriately.  When they are left out of the process, they are more likely to disregard rules and regulations.

As I’ve mentioned above, I believe that cyberbullying is a huge problem in today’s schools.  It is extremely important that school staff learn to recognize signs that cyberbullying is taking place.  One way that I believe is helpful for staff members to learn more about cyberbullying and how to deal with it is to undergo training on the subject.  The training can be done in various ways, but I think one of the more convenient ways is to use an online training program. My school currently uses the Global Compliance Network (GCN) for online training in many areas such as bloodborne pathogens and diabetes awareness.  It would be fairly simple to add cyberbullying to the list of trainings staff members must complete. Completing a program like this would go a long way towards helping teachers and staff learn to recognize signs of cyberbullying in the school and provide strategies to deal with it.

Introduction

Hi, my name is Adam Wason.  I work in District 205 at Lockport East High School.  I just finished my 12th year teaching, all of them spent at Lockport.  I also graduated from Lockport, so all together I’ve been at the school for 16 years.  I am currently teaching sophomore level Physical Science and junior/senior level Earth Science.  I’ve taught Physical Science for all of my 12 years, and I’ve taught Earth Science for the last 9 years.

I really do like using technology in the classroom.  I think it’s something that all students today should be exposed to as often as possible.  We currently are 1:1 here at Lockport with the students all having chromebooks that they use every day.  I would say that I’m probably one of the teachers here that uses the chromebooks most often.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve printed off a single piece of paper in the last 2 months.  Almost everything the kids work on in my class is set up through our school’s PowerSchool Learning LMS.  They have their notes there, videos, practice problems, quizzes, tests, pretty much everything.

Some of my favorite tech tools I use are things like Kahoot and Quizlet.  Those are two that I use all the time in my class for review games to make it fun for the kids.  EdPuzzle and PearDeck are others I like to use for certain topics.  They also do a great job keeping the kids involved in the lessons.

As great as all this is, I do run into trouble using technology in class the way I do.  I have many students who don’t like online tests, don’t like taking notes on google docs, don’t like digital flashcards, etc.  As great as I think these technologies are, I still have to keep in mind that sometimes these may not be so great for all my students.

Overall though, it has been fun trying to come up with new and innovative ways to incorporate more technology into my classroom.  It has been really nice teaching in a district that seems to be ahead of the curve for many of these technologies and has a lot of support for the teaching staff.  With this class, I hope to learn more about the hardware aspects of Technology Education.  I would say that this would probably be my weakest area, because I have the least experience with it.  I really am looking forward to learning more about this throughout the program here at St. Francis and to round out my learning.