Tuesday, 1 September 2015

ProD Day #1 Tech tools

My goal for today was to play around with Canva. I wanted to learn how to use the program well enough to teach others. I also wanted to know what types of end tasks, benchmark activities and projects it could be used for. I have been using Canva all summer but only dabbling to figure out how to do Twitter posts for chat announcements and questions and I must admit I already really like the program. It is easy to use and creates really professional looking images in mere moments.

Twitter posts are lovely but I wanted to see what else I could create. I watched a great tutorial and went through the program step by step which was incredible because 99% of the time I simply do not have enough uninterrupted time to explore a tech tool. I think that we can certainly use this in a lot of projects. I can already see it being used in a poetry unit and think the potential for English classrooms is phenomenal. I am very tempted to make my own Youtube tutorial for my staff but I don't think I am ready to take that leap quite yet.

I also spent some time on Piktochart because Rachelle Poth on Twitter suggested I check it out. I can already see the value in this program as well. It's very easy to use with its drag and drop features and the free templates are perfect for school use. I am going to pester Rachelle for some of her examples as I would love to see how she uses this in a language classroom. I think I will use this for my monthly newsletter to teachers.

And I did a quick refresh of smore, and was reminded how much I like this web tool. I really like that there aren't endless choices for students because I don't want students to get sidetracked with countless fonts and forget to focus on content. I really to see if there had been any major changes to the site and I was pleased that there wasn't any drastic changes. Phew.

After spending most of the first day of pro d staring at the computer screen, I decided to turn off the monitor and catch up on some professional reading. It was nice to sit down and read the current School Library Journal. I usually am a couple of months behind. Today though, I decided to start with the August issue and work backwards which made me feel up-to-date for a nanosecond.

It was a long day of professional development but I accomplished a lot more than I anticipated. I love that I am allowed to tailor my professional development. Tomorrow - webcasts!

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