Symbaloo for Professional Development

It was the first day teachers were back today, and my professional development colleagues and I talked about tech best practices.  Professional Development Co-coordinator is one of my roles as a teacher librarian, and I have to say that being a tech coach is one of my favorite hats to wear. As we (my fellow students and myself) have learned over the course of the summer, “Twenty-first-century standards progressively call for librarians to step in as instructional leaders, connecting educators and students to materials, methods, and technology across the curriculum” (Parrott & Keith, 2015, p. 12).

So this morning, our collaborative team had so very little time, just half an hour, before the educators in the audience moved on to the next back-to-school meeting.  Which meant that we stuck with the basics.  No delving into nitty-gritty how-tos.  Just overviews. And while this works in a broad sense, as we are covering bases that need covering, I know that two things need to happen for follow up.  First, our team needs to ensure that new teachers have access to tutorials for our LMS and other applications.  They also need access to a tech FAQ.  Secondly, our team recognizes the importance of documentation. We can point back to teaching as a means to measure what teachers know.

Fellow INFO233 student Katrina Bergen suggested using a tool called Symbaloo to organize my professional developer ideas and lessons into one place, and I thought it would be a great idea to do a little trial with Symbaloo for filling in professional development gaps like the ones I KNOW must have happened this morning, especially for the new teachers.  Here’s what I’ve got so far…

symbaloo_example

Now this isn’t the real deal, in case you were wondering why the buttons don’t work. Our school uses Google Apps for Education, and while our teachers would be able to open all the links, you won’t since they’re proprietary to my school.

However, I am going to add the link to Karen Hume’s Teach Magazine article, “Managing Technology Use in Your Classroom.”   I found her points highly relevant — technology use in the classroom was one of the big points of our talk this morning.

Going back to the Symbaloo tile board, I imagine that this will go great on our PD website. I’m using the old Google Sites, which allows me to embed a widget, so the tile board will show nicely there…

Now, in terms of measuring effectiveness, I will need to talk to new and old teachers about whether the Symbaloo tile board helped them learn the tools.  I can make changes or scrap the tile board if the teachers didn’t get much or anything out of it.  To say the least, I have attempted to fill in learning gaps for teachers in an accessible, simple way.

Thanks, Katrina, for the suggestion!

References:

Hume, K. (n.d.) “Managing technology use in your classroom.” Teach Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.teachmag.com/archives/3510

Katrina’s response to my August 3, 2017 blog post, “Professional developer seeks organizational assistance”

Parrott, D. J., & Keith, K. J. (2015). Three Heads Are Better Than One. Teacher Librarian42(5), 12-18.  Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=103235147&site=ehost-live&scope=sited