At this point, our first two Tech Cafés have come and gone and they were a monumental success! I have received such great feedback!
At our first meeting we had almost 15 teachers show up, and our building administrators (who rock, by the way!). We talked through the basic procedures for passing out Chromebooks, getting students logged in and walking them through a couple lessons specifically about the device. If you're interested in seeing the website our district put together for this purpose, click here. The basic check list of tasks to accomplish with students was as follows:
- Pass out Chromebooks, show power button, etc..
- Have students log in and set up their accounts.
-Some teachers were comfortable with students taking this time to set up their profile pics, others weren't.
- Use the LPS Leads site and go through the lessons: AUP (and have students complete the digital signature); Device Intro, Device Care and Digital Citizenship (Digital Citizenship instruction will probably have its own post later on because there was a lot of discussion on this topic.)
At the first Tech Café, we also discussed classroom management. I offered a few suggestions, but the conversation really helped us develop procedures. Here are some examples:
- "Lids Down" - this would be an instruction that means exactly what it says - students should put their lids down. This instruction would be used when a teacher is about to give a long set of directions and wants the students' full attention.
- "Lids at 45" - This instruction tells students to put their screens at a 45 degree angle and have their hands in their laps. Teachers would use this when giving a brief set of directions to ensure that students don't get logged out of a program they're in the middle of using.
At our second Tech Café, I led a discussion where teachers were mostly able to share their experiences, frustrations and successes. It was also exciting to see other teachers step up and provide suggestions to one another. This was the first time that a "Tech PD" at our school was truly transformed into a collaborative conversation and I LOVED IT! I honestly felt that the Tech Café was serving its purpose. Not only were teachers getting answers to their questions, they began to see that they had the skills and knowledge to be able to support one another. I remember stepping back and thinking to myself, "this is what support truly is." Support with a 1-to-1 roll-out doesn't mean that teachers sit through hours upon hours of PD..it means that teachers are given time to ACTUALLY support one another! In my opinion, this was a huge break through.
As I'm writing this post, I realize that I left out a few peices of information regarding the set up of Tech Cafés. Here are a few notes regarding how I have started to run the ones that take place in my room.
- A Tech Café NEVER lasts more than 30 minutes. Instead of a 50 minute meeting before school, we limit them to 30 minutes. I find that more teachers are willing to come in a half hour early rather than almost a full 60 minutes before the students show up.
- We ALWAYS provide coffee. It's a Café afterall!
- The week before a Café, I will always email out and ask for suggestions of topics people want to discuss, areas they want support in or for suggestions of tools they'd like to share.
- Advertise, advertise advertise. I personally invited teachers by walking into classrooms and encouraging them to share the work they're doing in their own rooms.
- Stay positive and remember to not overload the meetings. It is better to help teachers get really good at one or two things, then overload with 10 things that they will never be able to implement.
If you have questions or want to talk about setting one up in your school - please comment below or contact me and I'd LOVE to talk!
Have a good one!