|5c. Model and promote diversity, cultural understanding, and global awareness by using digital age communication and collaboration tools to interact locally and globally with students, peers, parents, and the larger community.|
This standard is one that I would like to spend more time on in my position as a coach. We have the tools to do more collaboration and communication with parents but we have not taken advantage of them. We have discussed the possibility of hosting technology lab times for parent in the evenings so that they can come in and learn about the tools their students are expected to use but we have not followed through yet.
Our district has not had a strong focus on diversity or cultural awareness. Most like this is because our district is 78% white. That seems like all the more reason to me to take advantage of digital tools to help our students experience other cultures and work with students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. At the beginning of the year I gave webcams to all of the members of the Future Ready Teacher cohort. Some teachers have been using them regularly to communicate and collaborate with other teachers in their buildings or in the district. Some teachers have branched out and used them to participate in video conferences with NASA or experts in other fields to support learning in the classroom. We have also used them on occasion to include teachers in meetings that can not make it to our meeting location.
Next year, I was hoping to explore the possibility of using the webcams to offer technology training by webinar so that staff did not have to travel to another building for professional development. We did move our EdTech in Small Bytes newsletter to a blog format this year so that we could have more contributors and we can post when we find information instead of collecting it for a bi monthly newsletter. It has allowed us, as coaches, to communicate with staff more often and in a more timely way but we are still building our “fan base” and need to find an easier way for people to find the blog.
Last year I coordinated a local collaborative activity called The Landmark Games between 4 sixth grade classes at three different schools. It was the first time some of these students had ever participated in a video conference. It is important to start small when learning to collaborate in this way. Starting with other teachers in nearby schools is a great stepping stone toward collaborating globally in the future.