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by Jane Trotter, GPAEA Instructional Technology Coach
Last Spring, 31 area public school districts and four non-public districts participated in GPAEA’s BrightBytes Survey. This survey provided valuable data that reflects the use of technology in our area schools. All data generated through this survey is analyzed using the BrightBytes framework, “CASE,” representing Classroom, Access, Skills, and Environment. For the purpose of this article, I am only looking at the classroom data. The Classroom section displays how often and to what degree teachers and students are using technology.
The illustration below is a screenshot of the classroom data aggregated from all GPAEA districts that participated in the survey. Do you see what I see? What draws your attention? My eyes jump to the gray bar – “Teachers’ Use of the 4Cs”. The 4Cs are communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. They directly align with Universal Constructs found in the Iowa Core. Does this data cause you alarm?
What does technology bring to us that will enable our students to develop communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking skills? As I have been researching and preparing to write this article I have amassed lots and lots of resources. I will share a list at the end of this article but first I’d like to share an experience I had with technology this morning. Hopefully it will illustrate the power of technology and the 4Cs.
By Seth Denney, Instructional Technology Specialist
What is Google+?
Google+ (http://plus.google.com) is a social network, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Like other social networks, Google+ lets you connect and communicate with other people. You can share ideas, pictures, videos, and websites with others. You can also find interesting ideas, pictures, videos, and websites from others. You can learn from experts in your field, ask them questions, and give them feedback. You could even become an expert in your field, and share your vast knowledge with the world!
Why should I use Google+?
I have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and several other social networking accounts. When Google+ came along, I wondered if I really needed one more social network. I now use Google+ more than any other social network. Here are my reasons:
1. It’s a great learning tool
I use my Google+ account for professional learning and sharing. Almost anybody who is anybody in my line of work is on Google+. And they seem to use it more heavily than Facebook or LinkedIn. Several people in my field have almost quit posting on Twitter and use Google+ exclusively. Continue reading
We have that for you!
Login to SNAP, and check for the name of your online database
or search under the Advanced Search under the Media Type: database links.
You will find a short description of the database along with a link to the website and a short tutorial.
The Tutorial link takes you to the direct video clip in GPAEA TV Eduvision – https://greatprairieareaeducationagency245.eduvision.tv
by Vicki Parker, Early Childhood Consultant
Great Prairie AEA staff and area Preschool teachers presented 3 sessions at the annual IAEYC conference held in Altoona.
Dawn Johnson (Kids World Day Care and Preschool in Centerville) teamed with Early Childhood Consultants, Anne Michel and Vickie Parker, to present a 90 minute session entitled, “Got Dirt?: Gardening across the Curriculum” The session, which was attended by 40 participants, highlighted Inquiry Based learning using the Project Approach to enhance learning and meet Iowa Early Learning Standards. Participants had the opportunity to observe worms and received instructions on how to make a compost bin.
Making the Shift-A Panel of Teachers Using the Project Approach Along the Continuum from Novice to Experienced
Panel members shared their experience in moving from teaching using themes to The Project Approach. Panel members also fielded a variety of questions from an enthusiastic audience. Continue reading
by Vicki Parker, Early Childhood Consultant
Each year the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC) offers the opportunity for members to develop into Association leaders through Leadership Fellowships valued at $4000-5000 per person. Leadership Fellowships are designed to support a member in earning graduate level college credits, attend an out-of-state conference, or create a special project for their own professional development. Dawn Johnson State Wide Voluntary 4 year old Preschool teacher @ Kids World Day Care and Preschool in Centerville was one of two recipients of the 2013-2014 Fellowship award. Dawn was recognized at the annual IAEYC conference held in September. Dawn is working on her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Curriculum and Instruction, and developing a cohort to support Project the Approach in southeast Iowa.