Last month I connect with Chris Tiday, a professor at Susquehanna University. We both teach an educational technology course to preservice teachers and she shared about this amazing resource that her students created! This was such a meaningful and authentic project for students to complete in place of a traditional final exam. I love shining a light on innovative higher ed practices! You have to check it out! Here she is, Chris Tiday:
It’s the last week of the spring semester and final projects are pouring in. Students are asking for help, great ideas are springing to life and I’m being asked if our handbook can be seen by future employers.
How is this final project unique?
Well…For the last few weeks of Technology in Education, 40+ preservice teachers have been test-driving telepresence robots, making QR codes, and experimenting with VR lessons. The students have also been submerged in the “mundane” with online grade books and LMS programs. This is what we expect from a Tech in Ed course, but their final project, the Teacher Tech handbook, will be in the local public schools within the month and there is a lot of work to be done.
For me, a 14-year veteran of the high school Spanish classroom, the genesis of this handbook was the Twilight craze. My Spanish IV students could think of nothing but vampires. I embraced the mania and we wrote a Spanish mini-novel about some handsome un-dead creatures and made it available online. The book was short and silly and we gave it away for free to over 100 schools, from Forks, Washington to the Netherlands. What I learned was that engagement can explode when the students see others interested in their work.
Building on the student-author concept, I re-designed Technology in Education at Susquehanna University to include a tech aqueduct between my preservice teachers and the local school district. I wanted my students to investigate and summarize great tech tools and, hopefully, save a few hardworking teachers some time.
Through the collaboration of two sections of Technology in Education, we came up with three chapters: Charts (comparing tools), Featured Tech Tools, and Worksheets that Feature Tech (some QR, MLA citation practice, and a great VR map). Once all the projects were in, I compiled the student work into a 50-page handbook. With the Master of Education program as our sponsor, we printed enough for nearby districts to get 2 copies in each faculty room and a QR to lead them to the free digital version.
Teacher Tech handbook distribution went smoothly and positive feedback included a local teacher/presenter commending the students on their work. As I move forward with this project, I hope to guide future classes through new ways of organizing, presenting, and sharing tech.
We are planning collaboration Grove City and exploring a Teacher Tech virtual “Lunch and Learn” to accompany the 2020 Teacher Tech release.
My goal is to engage pre-service teachers by creating practical ways for them to share their new knowledge with local educators. You can check out our Teacher Tech handbook here. You can contact me, Chris Tiday, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, Now What?
Friends, your first action step after reading this post should be to check out the handbook site. Once there you can save it to your bookmarks or print out the PDF version! Next share it out with your colleagues! EduMagicians, comment with tools that you think should be added to the next version! Remember we are better together! Stay tuned for the next edition of this amazing teaching resource created by teachers for teachers!