Some teachers still feel uncomfortable bringing technology into their classrooms, and I can see why they would be afraid. A lot of teachers have been doing things one way, without technology, since they started teaching. But there is no reason to be scared of this change, it would have happened at some point, whether it were to start 3 years ago with my Freshman class, or 3 years from now, long after I am gone. It was an inevitable yet positive change that was bound to happen at some point to help move education in a more positive direction. Next year, every grade level will have new macs with them in their everyday lives, taking them to their classes for the new curriculums meticulously written for mac inclusion. There are bound to be bumps in the road. I saw many freshman teachers struggle with this new technological age and the laptops were polarizing in a lot of ways. All they had experienced with technology in the hands of students was mainly computer labs, and that wasn't even an everyday occurrence in classroom work. This confusion is what we as TechnoCats are here to do. Students being in a PD session could help teachers on their way down the path to a more successful, and more productive school year.
Here are some tools for creating a better presentation.
For those of you who are new to the Apple Computer, or just new to the idea of shortcuts, here are some common Apple Shortcuts that will help you when working on your laptops.
First of all, you need to understand the different keys on the Apple computer. Most shortcuts use a combination of Option (⌥), Command (⌘), Shift (⇧), and Control (⌃) and a letter. For instance, the shortcut for Select All is "Command + A" to copy everything you've just selected use
"Command + C".
With all that newfound knowledge here is a list of Mac Shortcuts that you are most likely to use:
This is not a complete list of shortcuts, only a good jumping off point. The more you use these shortcuts the quicker they will become a part of your Apple vocabulary.
- Jason Braddy
Wouldn’t it be great if students were active participants in their education? Most teachers would “amen” that. What if students were active participants in the education of other students? Responses to that question might range from “Amen, I guess?” to “What in the world are you talking about?” While educators are in the tall grass, searching for strategies to educate their students in ways that are simultaneously engaging, effective, and fun, the answers might be sitting in their classrooms.
The TechnoCats, McKinney High School’s student instructional technology team, have a goal: To help teachers teach better using technology. How do they do that? By listening. Answering questions. Giving advice based on their own experiences. Mostly, like any cog in a wheel, Doing Their Part. The TechnoCats have agreed to work with teachers on the kinds of authentic learning experiences that students will remember. I want our TechnoCats so engaged in planning sessions with teachers that they’re seen more as colleagues than students. They’re part of the process of designing great lessons and, therefore, designing learning.
Use the MHS TechnoCats website to schedule an appointment with the TechnoCats.
- Jason Braddy
Professionally I'm pretty much required to say yes. Class of 30? Yes. New PLC rules? Yes. 25 of the 30 kids get preferential seating? Yes. "Mr Braddy, can I go to the bathroom?" NO!
Sometimes we get to say no.
I'm happy to say yes to those things. 30 kids? Great, my program is growing. New rules? New rules means that someone is paying attention. Preferential seating? If I'm always on the move, then everyone is getting preferential seating. Better stay on the move.
It makes sense that, if I'm required to say yes so often, then everyone who supports me would also be required to say yes. I need ten new cameras. Yes! I want a day to visit with the other teachers in my field to add design principles to our lessons. Yes! I want to add this software to my computer lab so my kids can create 3D simulations? Yes! Of course! What're you, crazy?
I hear yes more than no, for sure, but there's always a no when I least expect it. The truth is, I never expect it. I always assume that everyone else has the same passion for teaching that I have. I assume that they see me as the professional teacher. Someone who's going to make miracles happen. If spending a little time with me and providing me with the support I need is all they have to do to be part of that miracle, they should be more than happy to do that. Why wouldn't they? We're making dreams come true. We're changing the world. We're.... you know... teaching school.
After 9 years in the classroom, I took a risk and stepped outside the classroom in order to work in one of those support roles. It's overwhelming, but we're making dreams come true... changing the world... teaching school. My plan? To say yes to teachers, and then figure out how I'm going to make it happen. After all, if spending a little time with someone and providing the support they need is all I have to do to be part of the miracles they're making happen, how could I say no?
- Jason Braddy