Learning Facilitator John Calvert and I submitted a proposal to present at the 2009 National Staff Development Council’s (NSDC) Annual Conference and earlier this month we learned that our proposal was accepted!
The session will explore the opportunities available to schools with regard to providing faculty with digital tools to reflect, create, comment, collaborate, and engage in constructivist activities aligned to their professional growth. We will share the work being done here in Clarkstown that enables the district to maximize its professional growth opportunities using a low cost/no cost online learning community. Additionally, we will spend time exploring how districts can utilize many of these same tools and strategies with their students to increase engagement, learning, and achievement.
This proposal did not happen in a vacuum. Below is the process that has taken place over the past two years.
After nearly 18 months in development and review, the district’s technology committee standardized on a digital toolbox for teachers and students, and the cornerstone of that toolbox is Google Applications for Domains. The learning facilitators and curriculum coordinators have been using that tool to create an online tool for teachers that is directly aligned to our district’s curriculum work in Rubicon Atlas. While Rubicon Atlas remains the master curriculum database, Google Apps is being leveraged to present the variety of information to our teachers through the calendar function. Although it is “just a calendar” with regard to ease of use, the resources developed by our learning facilitators and curriculum coordinators are just a click away for all of our teachers. The system will be available to teachers starting April 6, 2009, and principals have been encouraged to schedule time for their staff with John anytime afterward. Taking advantage of these digital tools and human resources is just one of the many things that make Clarkstown Schools a premier learning community.