I realize that picture may not look like much to most folks. It is JUST a Google calendar after all. What it represents to me, though, is a much bigger accomplishment. Buy-in. I was able to work with our intermediate campus staff today with a number of technology tools. The best part is that the day was pretty much set aside as learn what you want. They came to me or their peers and asked for help and got it. We covered web pages in Joomla, importing contacts in Google Apps, setting up a Blackberry to check the school email (still working on that one, sorry phone), adding attachments to emails, and more. It was great to watch the teachers going around and helping each other when it was really not that way one year ago. They are really feeling comfortable with utilizing the tools and showing each other what they are doing with them, and I could not be more proud.
Our elementary computer lab teacher decided that she wanted a better way to reserve the computer lab that would eliminate mix-ups as well. She asked about the Google Calendar that is in our Google Apps for Your Domain system that houses our school district’s email system. Perfect. I showed her how to add events with details, how to invite the campus staff so they can add their own, how to subscribe to the calendar and even receive a morning agenda in her email box, and then add the link to her webpage (Our Joomla site is not playing well with embeds for some reason right now). She was off and running. (NOTE: She even told me she needed to “Pimp my link!” That just isn’t natural coming from an elementary teacher, especially one who I have taught two of her kids over the years.) Immediately a reservation was placed by the third grade. She showed others during the day how to add the calendar to their account and edit at will. Yes! Now, if I can only convince her to go to the other campuses and share that with those computer lab teachers. Just maybe.
Thank you White Oak Intermediate for starting the school year off on such a positive note! Looking at what you folks are doing with your web pages to keep the kids and parents interested, informed, and excited is pretty cool. I look forward to even more great stuff this year!