Last week, I conducted a couple of different Professional Development sessions in Ascension Parish. Shout out to the amazing teachers at Duplessis Primary, Lakeside Primary, and Prairieville Primary for welcoming me into your campuses with such open minds and open hearts!
Admittedly, I was a little nervous to work with these primary school teachers because my background is in secondary instruction. Also, I don’t use fancy fonts or highly themed presentations, so I was fully prepared for these teachers to rip me and my professional development to shreds. LOL The complete opposite happened, however. After an initial introductory survey about G Suite Skills, to check the pulse of the group, I realized that no one had actually shown these teachers how the technology can be used to bring engagement and meaningful feedback to their existing curricula. So, how did I choose to show them what effective technology integration looks like? With screen recordings!!
One of the most impactful integration skills I shared with the group was how the Louisiana ELA Guidebooks can be used in conjunction with Google Classroom and Google Docs to make the modules more engaging and to allow for “anytime, anywhere” feedback. For any given ELA unit, teachers are provided with a variety of PDF worksheets, graphic organizers, and texts. In the traditional classroom, the teacher is expected to print the student worksheets and somehow provide feedback as the students work. This is difficult to do with 20+ worksheets floating around the classroom. With Google and the Kami extension, I showed the teachers how they can create assignments, automatically generate a digital PDF to each student, and check the progress live from the teacher Google Drive. THIS WAS A GAME CHANGER for the teachers because with the streamlined access to student work, they are able to intervene and share student work at anytime. Absent students also no longer have an excuse about missed work.
The problem with this new skill? It was the first time these teachers had been introduced to Google and the Kami extension, so I had to find a way to make sure that they had some support to refer to beyond the day’s brief professional development session. So, I launched the Screencastify extension for Chrome, and I recorded myself actually teaching the strategies. In the recording, you can hear and see me sharing the skill. You can also hear me addressing the teachers’ questions. Because Screencastify automatically sends videos to my Google Drive, I simply organized them into a folder and then shared the folder with the teachers… ALL before leaving the school to drive home. Check out the folder of screen recordings here! Now the teachers have a personalized mini library of videos that are catered to the skills that matter to them: integrating technology into their existing curricula.