You know it’s August when there are lots and lots of meetings about new initiatives and trainings on how to implement, introduce those new initiatives. While the start of any new academic year is very exciting it can also be daunting as teachers not only eager to get ready for their classes are faced with new ways of doing things from Common Core to new standards, and new technologies. A great place to start to learn about Common Core, Essential Standards, lesson plans, digital resources and so much more is by using LearnNC.org.
New technologies are nothing more than tools to manage grading or classes or provide information to everyone, but still they do represent change. Change can be very good but it means a movement away from how it has been done in the past. As an educator I like change and enjoy learning new things but when faced with all that seems to come to the fore at the beginning of an academic year find it can be a bit overwhelming.
What do I do? I try to remember that every journey begins with a single step and take those first steps without trying to visualize myself at the end yet! The big picture can be too big whilst the beginning is attainable. My goal is to communicate that basic (and old) truth to teachers, along with the fact I am going to be there to help them reach the end. There will be those who embrace new technology tools wholeheartedly but there are just as many who need time, and assistance–and understanding.
Looking to start the year off with great information? Sign your self up for RSS feeds and use an aggregate like Google Reader to pull all those blogs, news stories and information you want to know about or have your students keep up with into one easy place.Then on a weekly basis go to Google Reader and read them or at least skim them.Then you decide what you want to read with careful thought and consideration.
What’s new in our world? eChalk is rolling out as well as Engrade. eChalk is a digital platform our district has moved to and we are in the initial phases with the full integration coming over the next couple of years. Engrade is an online grading tool that allows access to parents and students. Check them both out!