Hi Allie, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to chat with me. Let’s begin with you telling me a little about what you do!
This is a first year formy position as an eLearning coach. I help teachers and students in both the intermediate and middle school level by co-teaching and training students and teaching them about social media and digital citizenship. Everyday at my job looks different, but for the most part I work on researching resources for teachers, making connections and trying to find experts for our classrooms.
Fantastic! So, what motivated you to become so involved with educational technology?
As the teacher of a second grade classroom I started to see the power of technology and what it could do for students no matter their level. I was very impressed with the possibilities technology provided students to get their thoughts out and give them a voice.
What would you say is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is definitely getting teachers to be brave without me. Often, the process of working with a teacher begins with co-teaching technology lessons with them. However, then, when I am no longer in the classroom, they are nervous about running the lesson without me. I strive to give them the confidence to try new things.
So what are some of the things you do to give them that confidence?
First and foremost I do everything I can to celebrate teachers, which includes posting about them on Twitter and highlighting their successes on my blog. Our state has a really rigorous evaluation process too, so when teachers do well on those evaluations they can feel a sense of accomplishment. I also tell principals what their teachers are doing and encourage them to check it out and visit the classrooms. Plus, we have a feature here called Techie Tuesdays, where teachers share what they are doing with colleagues. I always encourage teachers who are taking risks in their classrooms to share with each other.
If you had to pick ONLY one instructional technology tool for your students, what would it be?
That’s hard! I would have to say Google Apps for Education though – our students are 1:1 on laptops and they utilize Google Apps all the time.
Fantastic! Thank you so much for your time Allie, it was wonderful getting to know you this way!