I have lost count of the number of hours I have spent since mid-March in trainings, webinars, online courses, and meetings. I know I have nearly 60 new hours of PD credit, and probably a similar amount that did not count for credit. So, yeah, I'm a little overloaded with information. I feel the need to pause and process and integrate what I've learned with my experiences from March-June teaching from a distance.
While there are so many amazing apps that do so many things, I cannot do all the things. It is time to reflect on what is manageable for my students and me, and to think about what to use to accomplish our goals.
I'm not all the way there yet, but here are some initial thoughts:
- Google Edu Suite is the district-approved LMS, and we have a pretty strict AUP (acceptable use policy) that limits what we can use outside of that. So, for as many things as I possibly can, I will be using Google Tools. My favorites this year were Jamboard and Drawings, will build on those with more.
- I want to limit the amount of unique logins students need to remember. Sites that integrate seamlessly with Google Classroom are huge favorites, and that allow a "Sign in with Google" option.
- I'm coming off of our annual layoff (that's right, folks, Teachers. Do. NOT. Get. Paid. Over. Summer.) and I believe that employers have a responsibility to provide the necessary tools for their employees to do their jobs, so forever free is hugely important. I will pay for something that legitimately does something very differently or much more efficiently than what I can do with Google tools, but it's gotta be as amazing as Classkick Pro. :)
- Assessment tools have been a challenge. My district has a new assessment management system that I am actually super psyched about, and plan to use that for most of my formative and summative assessments. Google forms will also be used for some checks, and I'm exploring EdPuzzle. Menti is awesome for quick, anonymous polls. Gotta keep it fresh.
- Flipgrid is a staple I do not know that I could live without for asynchronous math talks, so that will be a big one, too. I have visions of books talks and more with that, too. Peer feedback can happen well there, too, and it will give us a space separate from Meet to see each other's faces.
Good thing this is day 1 of #MTBoSBlaugust because I have a lot of fleshing out to do. However, I will say that limiting the number of tools is helping me streamline my thinking. More to come!