Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reflection and Planning

Every June I start my September file. As I tidy up my office I reflect on what was successful this past year and what I would like to focus on in the new school year.

When I still get requests from staff asking about a website I forwarded to them some time ago I know I need to revisit social bookmarking with them. The benefits of learning to use social bookmarking well are numerous. Socials, Science and English teachers in the district are banding together to build strong collections of material resources found online and have created delicious accounts for this purpose. I plan to teach my staff how to use delicious as a search engine to turn up useful sites.

When I read posts from powerhouse educators I know I can adapt their ideas to my situation.

Kim Cofino writes about the monthly coffee and technology sessions for parents held at her school. Our circumstances are different from those in an International School so mornings won't work for us. I plan to approach our Parent Advisory Council about doing a monthly tech evening.

Doug Johnson's post on the practice of "mini" research encapsulates the essence of good practice when it comes to teaching students how to become thoughful researchers. I plan to visit each department in September and start discussions around how to make research and problem solving an integral part of each day's lesson.

I try to use this time to create useful resources to add to the school websiste like some quick tips for using Google Docs. The more I use Google Docs the more I love it. Today I discovered that you can check the spelling of a word, look up synonyms or pull up an encyclopedia article on the word. I also discovered that you can insert bookmarks into a document that work as shortcuts to places within the document. This will be very useful for longer projects that require an index or table of contents.

What interesting projects are you considering for next year? Post a comment and tell us about them.

Image used under a Creative Commons license by Dominic's pics

1 comment:

Kim Cofino said...

I've really enjoyed those Parent Coffee Mornings and I think evenings will work just as well (in fact, we're planning to start some evening sessions for those parents that can't make it during the day too).

One of the things we've been thinking about for next year is a technology committee that includes both parents and students (not just teachers and administrators, which has been most of my experience).

Not sure if you have already started something like that, but I love the idea of actually involving all stakeholders at the ground level. Thanks to Doug Johnson and Ann Krembs for the idea while they were here at ISB last school year!