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Wow!  This year has been fantastic for me because of all the great professional development activities that I’ve participated in.  The very best include:

  • Attending the Google Teacher Academy in Washington, DC in December and becoming a Google Certified Teacher
  • Taking a recertification course with other ITS in my district with a focus on learning new Web 2.0 tools and collaborating with a teacher on the use of the tools
  • Participating in our SC State Department of Education Digital Textbook Pilot with a chemistry teacher at our school
  • Participating with our magnet director in our district iPAC initiative to infuse technology into the classroom and develop problem and projected-based lessons
  • Piloting the use of Kindles in an English classroom
  • Attending SMART Notebook 10 certification training and becoming a certified trainer
  • Becoming a SMART Exemplary Educator
  • Participating in and coordinating great Discovery Education events

I’ve talked about some of these activities in previous posts, but I want to take a little time to reflect on the great things that have happened this school year after I attended the Google Teacher Academy in Washington, DC.

Attending the GTA gave me the opportunity to network with so many wonderful teachers from around the country.  I feel connected to this group and love having these experts available whenever I have information to share or questions about implementing new technologies.  Being a part of this group encourages me to learn new things each day and to share that knowledge with my colleagues.

I posted an earlier blog about beginning the implementation of Google Apps in Education with our magnet students this year.  Since that post, I’ve rolled out Apps to our faculty and added more students and groups.  I’m amazed at how easily the teachers and students have transitioned to using Apps for collaboration and sharing.

The ability to create and share resource calendars has transformed how we schedule events at my school.  All of the key people who schedule events have access to our master calendar and are very excited about having the events appear immediately on our school website.

I’ve also been able to integrate Google Apps into all of my staff development that I’ve offered since January.  We’ve talked about Google Apps as a way to go paperless, share resource calendars, and create online classes.  The most amazing thing is that new additions to Apps come out all the time.  We’re loving the easy access to Aviary, Survey Monkey, and Google Wave.

Becoming a Google Certified Teacher has reinvigorated me this year because I was able to take time out for my own professional growth.  I spend so much time providing staff development for others, but I don’t always take enough time for my own learning needs.

As you end the school year and make plans for the summer, remember to build in time for your PLN and take time to attend conferences, webinars, and workshops.  Take time to explore all the great Google tools available and think about ways to incorporate them into your classroom. Enjoy your summer!

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