My Technology-Infused Traditional COVID-19 Day
My day with technology has altered a fair bit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is how I interact with technology for most of my day. Since I am working from home my day often starts with touching base with my colleagues on Microsoft Teams. It operates as our virtual staff room. I then meet with my coordinator and the other two instructional technology consultants and we make a plan for the day to help support teachers with supplemental learning. Being a Microsoft based school division we use the Microsoft 365 online suite that contains the traditional Word, PowerPoint, Excel, but also more unknown tools such as Stream, Sway, and Forms. Often I will have tasks such as developing a guide for teachers to follow or creating a quick video that teachers can refer to regarding a certain app or feature that our division is promoting, all while searching and looking at teacher’s needs and wants. We have to be proactive in our planning to support teachers at this time. Part of my job is responding to the teacher’s specific needs. I also field a lot of questions and support requests from teachers that are looking for support with Microsoft Teams and how to best implement the program with their students. We are also currently looking ahead to the next school year and beginning to prepare our end of year technology responsibilities to continue in the fall.
Currently, our school division has rolled out online Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). These areas provide our teachers an hour a week to meet together and discuss, and collaborate in any way that they need. These areas are a great way for our teachers to connect with one another as many of them do not get the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers. Hopefully, the ability to connect with others continues after COVID-19 ends.
My Technology-Infused Traditional Non-COVID-19 Day
Prior to COVID-19 my days would consist of me going to schools and working with teachers, and infusing technology in what the teachers are already doing in their classroom. This is how I would imagine that people would think about my job.
Our Instructional Technology Team follows the ISTE standards when we are working with teachers both during the pandemic and prior to the pandemic. These standards are:
- Empowered Learner
- Digital Citizen
- Knowledge Constructor
- Innovative Designer
- Computational Thinker
- Creative Communicator
- Global Collaborator
Each one of these outcomes features a video series for each one of the outcomes and each learning goals. We try hard to use these standards and curriculum standards as the foundation for all the lessons that we use with teachers. More in-depth, I often do a lot of coding with students, through Hour of Code, and Scratch. We are also diving into robotics specifically with the Micro:Bits, Spheros, mBots, Makey Makeys, and Ozobots. Teachers will request that I come out to their classrooms and ask that I support them in these areas using these tools. Part of my everyday job is to also support and help troubleshoot with teachers during reporting times.
How do I use Technology Personally?
Personally, I use technology to connect with friends, whether it be by connecting through gaming with them. I also use many different social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. For professional growth, I use Twitter as my main platform. I enjoy developing my personal learning network (PLN), connecting with other educators, and participating in Twitter chats.
— Curtis Bourassa (@MrBourassaED) May 12, 2020
Amanda Brace posted on Twitter asking how many apps people have been using since the start of the workday. I decided to make a list of all the apps that I used on a daily basis. I am sure there is more, but I tried to write them down as I was using them. My grand total was 26 different applications that I have accessed in the past 8 hours.
Today I’m documenting how much technology I use in a day. It’s 9:30 AM and I’ve already used 20 apps. What’s your app count so far? #eci830
— Amanda Brace (@amandajebrace) May 13, 2020
My screentime has definitely gone up over the past 7 weeks, but these times have provided me to grow as an educator by participating in webinars and connecting with others. Hopefully this connection continues after COVID-19.