Monday, April 28, 2008

O'Neill Public Teachers @ NETA 2008

The annual pilgrimage to Omaha for NETA took place last week, April 23-25th. The theme this year was "Digital Transformers Goin' Global." Encarta defines a transformer in the following way: somebody or something that effects a transformation. The teacher participants, although only representative of the larger staff and administration of the district, truly are "transformers"-- trying to bring back ideas and strategies for continuing the positive transformation at O'Neill Public Schools into a Center for 24/7 Learning. Some of the highlights and/or positive comments from OHS teachers who attended NETA 2008 include the following:

~ "I enjoyed seeing the different ways to use iMovie with students in the areas of reading/ language arts, etc. (book talks, digital storytelling, bringing reports to life, etc. there are so many possibilities with this!)"

~ "The best advice that I heard: Don’t try to come up with really cool projects- Let the kids come up with the stuff!"

~ "I attended the Photoshop Elements: Elementary Project Ideas workshop and LOVED IT. We learned simple animation in photoshop and how to manipulate layers to create language arts projects. There were also some art projects that can be done using photoshop that I found really interesting."

~ "Keys for Managing a 1:1 classroom:
1. Set clear expectations
2. Motivate appropriate computer use by having less attractive options up your sleeve.
3. Make clear that computer use in your class is a privilege.
4. Arrange your desks to facilitate monitoring.
5. Practice proximity - move around the room a lot!
6. Read student behavior.
7. Make technology use part of your lesson - and close the lid when needed!
8. Monitor closely, but pick your battles.
9. Create activities and projects that appeal to students
10. Embrace the power of immediate feedback.
11. BE CONSISTENT!!!!!!"
~ "I am always inspired by NETA...every year in a different way..."

~ "Dr. Tim Tyson scored points with the video presentations his students share with others."

~ "I really liked seeing
how other teachers were using technology in
their classrooms, and got some good ideas
to try in mine. I'm going to have my students
make podcasts with their research papers, and
then possibly video them when they give their
presentation and turn that into an imovie."

O'Neill's 24/7 Learning Initiative was featured again as Katie Morrow represented our school in a panel discussion on 1 to 1 Learning with the following description:

"It's about teaching and learning. A 1 to 1 learning program is about creating a 21st century learning environment that engages students. Students learn better when they are engaged, and research on what engages todays students points to technology. 1 to 1 learning matches how todays students interact and learn. Come hear this panel of schools who have created their own 1 to 1 learning environments."

Let's keep right on with the Digital Transformations!

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