Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Google Timelapse

An amazing new platform that has come out recently is Google Timelapse which allows users to see what urban growth and sprawl has looked like between 1984 and the present. When you visit the site, you can search for various locations or see the suggested places at the bottom, and zoom in and out as needed.

Suggested places at the bottom, much like Google Earth
The key use for this tool is to monitor change over time. The most disturbing searches for me were not urban sprawl on the city fringe but deforestation in Brazil and Borneo. Great for any social studies, science, history, well, ANY teacher! Perhaps even our elected leaders?

A section of the Brazilian rainforest in 1984
The same picture above, 22 year later

Monday, 21 November 2016

Helping your Staff Grow Professionally

One of the best articles I read recently was out of Forbes on tactics for developing your employees. Likewise, I read one of the best questions ever asked of a potential employer was 'How do you help your staff grow professionally?'

This has been my goal this year as a Edtech integrationist. Rather than just providing professional development to staff during school hours and integration during lessons, I've been doing the following:

  • Providing after school training for certification. For instance, we offered Level 1 Google Certified Teacher Courses this fall, and will continue to do so in the spring and also add a level 2 Google Educator course as well. 
  • Encouraging staff to present at workshops internally at the school and regionally. 

Although there is albeit joy of teaching staff a new skill set, the most rewarding part of my job is helping teachers become mentors, and teachers of teachers themselves. When I'm old and gray, I think I'll look back most fondly not on the memories of dazzling others, but helping them grow as teachers and how technology can make their teaching practice, and student's learning experience, better.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons