September 4, 2016
For the last three years, the Wednesday before Labor Day has been designated as a Professional Development day for high school teachers in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
As EdTech Coach at Father Judge High School, I was responsible for planning and delivering our session this year. The topic for the day was "Using Google Classroom & ISTE Standards to Engage Students." The room we would normally use is being renovated so we needed a Plan B. Plan B turned out to be using Google Hangouts to stream the session to computer labs around the school. I've used Hangouts before but not in-house and definitely not with a group this large (over 50).
In the days leading up to our first PD session of the 2016-17 school year, we had some issues getting Hangouts to work on our network. Connecting with people outside the building was not a problem but it wasn't happening in-house. I enlisted the help of Shawn Dackow our IT Admin who in turn brought in Steve Pagano, Senior Network Technician for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office of Catholic Education. Steve was vacationing at the Jersey shore but came in from the beach to lend a hand and get us up and running. Without Steve's assistance this day could have been a bust.
These are exciting times for teachers and students at Father Judge High School. The class of 2020 will be receiving Dell Chromebooks in the coming days. Our Sophomores and Juniors will use their iPads again this year as we move into year four of our Technology Vision Plan. Seniors have access to the school's computer labs, library, and laptop carts. It is important to note, year one of our Technology Vision Plan was devoted to working with our teachers prior to distributing devices to our students.
So we kicked the year off with a successful PD session like no other ever offered at Father Judge. I hope this is a sign of good things to come during the 2016-17 school year. We have a lot of work to do at five more in-house sessions planned for this year. When I am not doing in-house PD sessions, I will be teaching two periods leaving me six periods a day to work with teachers 1:1 or in small groups.
As I said, these are exciting times for the teachers and students at Father Judge High School.
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