Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Great Things Right in My Backyard

Sometimes the best things in education are right under our noses! I have spent much of the last year engaging in meaningful conversations about student learning, and I have connected with many educators from far off places. However, last night I had the great opportunity to experience a wonderful attitude towards innovation right in my backyard when I conducted an after-school training at Tohickon Valley Elementary.

Some elements of the situation that were particularly noteworthy:
  • The principal could actually help me set up the technology. Seriously.
  • Participants in the group started helping each other during the training based on their background knowledge. It was truly a community of learners.
  • The principal stayed for the entire training and actually piped in helpful instruction-related comments.
  • People called out when they were confused. They told me to slow down. This usually means people are working hard and trying to learn something, so I LOVE IT when this happens.
  • Only 1 person forgot their password. I believe this is a current record!
  • I was able to put all the resources for the training on the building's wiki site.
  • Another principal joined the session and started sharing his google doc ideas.
  • Teachers were making connections to their curriculum as I shared each tool.
  • Instead of a thank you email, I got thank you TWEETS. Yes, TWEETS!!!!

In short, this building "gets it." They are open to using new resources to make learning engaging and relevant to students. Their leader is focused upon using technology as an instructional tool, and their teachers value technology as a resource. Tohickon Valley, thanks for the opportunity to see how schools can wrestle with new tools to support student learning!


  1. Thanks Kristen! Your presentation was powerful, and pushed our thinking. Google provides wonderful resources for educators, and these tools help us help our students learn and THINK! Can't wait to have you back!

  2. The workshop was great!!! I was amazed at all the interesting Google resources that I learned about for educational or personal use.
    Thanks Kristen!!!!

  3. Kristen,
    You are amazing at what you do! I never knew the variety of resources that Google provides. I learned so much at your workshop! Thanks so much:)

  4. Thank you Kristen! I can't wait to try some of the things you showed us yesterday. Your workshop was very beneficial.

  5. Thanks Kristen! We can't believe all the new ways that we learned to use Google. We can't wait to use some of your ideas in our Social Studies curriculum.

  6. I am a Learning Support Aide and wish I could have attended your workshop! The teacher I work with shared his notes with me - there are so many great ideas that will help our students!! Hope to attend in the future.

  7. Kristen,

    As always ... well-planned, much-learned, & much enjoyed. Your breadth of knowledge never ceases to amaze me. Well done!

    Thanks again!



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