Wednesday, February 6th was Digital Learning Day. Students, teachers and educators were engaged in a day that shined a spotlight on successful instructional practice and effective use of technology in classrooms across the country. Take a look at the archive for #digitallearningday & #DLDay on #symchat
Comment or tweet @symbalooedu to tell us what you think about #digitallearningday
For our first Educator Spotlight of the year, we had the pleasure of chatting with two lovely ladies from Evansville, Indiana. Kimber Scarlett and Shelley Breivogel are second grade teachers at Scott Elementary School. They discovered Symbaloo early last year and are using it in several different ways with teachers, students and parents. For example, they collaborate with a few other teachers at their school and together they use SymbalooEDU as apart of their curriculum mapping each month.
This week our Educator Spotlight features one of our very own PD PRO’s Carol Mortensen. She is the Campus Technology Integration Specialist for Deer Park High School South Campus of Deer Park Independent School District in Texas. We caught up with Carol to learn more about her and how she uses Symbaloo in the classroom.
Watch this video and learn some tips from a PD PRO!
Carol Mortensen has nearly twenty-three years of educational experience. She began as a substitute teacher as she worked toward her degree. Upon graduation, Carol began teaching middle school Math and Algebra I and served as the technology liaison for her campus. She served as a teacher for 16 years and was lucky to have taught at Hillcrest Middle School, a 1:1 campus where every student was issued a laptop computer. She also worked as an Instructional Technology Trainer for her district providing training and technology integration support for campus and district staff, faculty and administrators.
Currently, Carol enjoys her position as the Campus Technology Integration Specialist for Deer Park High School – South Campus. Before taking this position this year, she served for three years as the Campus Technology Integration Specialist at Fairmont Junior High in Deer Park Independent School District. In this position, Carol provides integration support and training to the students, staff, faculty, and administrators at the campus and district level. In addition, Carol is an online Math instructor for Aventa Learning and K12.
The Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) named Carol the Classroom Teacher of the Year for her innovative and creative use of technology to create a 24/7 virtual classroom using her classroom website. Carol has presented at school districts throughout Texas as well as state and local conferences on a variety of technology integration topics. Her article on the use of websites as an instructional tool was recently published in the TechEdge Magazine. In February 2011, her article, Lessons Learning In a 1:1 Classroom, was published by TechEdge. The article was republished in ISTE’s Learning and Leading magazine in August 2011. She was named Fairmont Junior High’s Teacher of the Year for the 2011-2012 school year.
Carol is passionate about the positive impact that technology has on student achievement. Her presentations are packed with real-life solutions, quality resources, and humor. She has an ability to connect with her audience and motivate them to take technology integration to a higher quality level.
As our first entry we thought it would be fitting to share the latest accomplishment and honor those who have paved the way for us and the future of education. Mashable has kindly mentioned SymbalooEDU in their latest piece covering 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers. This would not have been possible without our early adopters, the educators who are currently paving the way in the ed tech community. We ave not forgotten you and are proud to have you experimenting with Symbaloo in the classroom and helping us to make Symbaloo better each day.
Here are some of, and not nearly all of the power users that we are proud to have using SymbalooEDU:
• PERSONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT – Educators worldwide are using Symbaloo as a personal learning environment to manage their online learning and resources. Dr. Strange (@drjohnhadley) Professor at the University of S. Alabama uses Symbaloo to educate his student teachers on the importance of a PLE for personal and professional use. Each semester students in his course is asked to make their own PLE on Symbaloo to use throughout the course. Javier Prieto (@javitecnotic) is using Symbaloo for his University students in Spain who manage an online newspaper. They use Symbaloo as their personal PLE in the classroom to manage their resources, learn more about the Periodico Aldaba Project.
• ORGANIZATION/DIGITAL LITERACY – Wendy Drexler (@wendydrexler), a former K12 teacher and educational consultant has introduced Symbaloo to many schools in the Florida area. She uses Symbaloo to foster a classroom culture of life-long learning by teaching students organization and digital literacy skills. Skills that Wendy says, teach students to be responsible for their education as seen in her “My PLE” video. These skills are also established in the NETS guidelines set by ISTE.
• EPORTFOLIO – Randy Hollinger (@randyhollinger), a middle school teacher in Florida, uses Symbaloo for his students to create their own online portfolio to store their work and share it with their parents throughout the year. He likes that Symbaloo is a tool that the students can grow with and take with them after the school year has ended.
• LESSON PLANS – Amy Cobb (@acobb), of Shorecrest Preparatory School in Florida, uses Symbaloo to create her interactive lesson plans and share them with her class.
• PRESENTATION TOOL– Ann Leaness (@aleaness), High School Technology Teacher and Edcamp Philly co-organizer, used Symbaloo as an ice-breaker assignment to have her students create and present a Symbaloo Webmix around their favorite topic/s and has now used Symbaloo to take her class completely paperless.
• START PAGE – Dan Callahan (@dancallahan), a Technology Specialist at Pine Glen School in Burlington, MA has started using Symbaloo as a start page in his school’s computer lab for grades K-5. Each grade knows their tools on the screen based on the color of the tiles. Dan’s secret identity is also a co-coordinator for Edcamp Philly, one of the most successful teacher driven “un-conferences” to date.