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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Journey to Becoming 21st Century Educators (Part 2 of 4): Lindsay

{by Gail Tolbert}

This is my second of 4 blogs about many of my friends and connections who are educators, educators at different stages in their career, educators wanting to become 21st Century Educators (Read the first one here). Since I, too, have been a teacher and a principal, they share their stories, their success and their trials with me. As a past educator, I can relate to these stories and have lived similar things. I cherish their journeys and new learning, and hold these educators in high regard. I appreciate and respect that every day they enter their classrooms to educate and teach our children and give 100% of themselves in the process. I want to share some of their stories, their thoughts and lessons and some solutions to their questions with you. Here's Lindsay:

Lindsay has been an elementary teacher for four years. She, too, grew up with technology and is looking for more ways to incorporate technology in managing her work, especially within the curriculum she teaches. Lindsay has learned that having a viable and accessible curriculum is of utmost importance to educators and she has been thinking about her “viable and accessible” district curriculum; it is stored in binders in the principal’s office and the district’s G drive. She can access the curriculum at work through the district network but the curriculum is old and outdated and it is not easy to search or find the information for which she is looking. She has really given up on this useless tool and does not have access to the current district curriculum as she prepares her units and daily lessons.

Lindsay is also on the curriculum writing committee for her grade level. She says the meetings are miserable because there is no process or tools for updating, editing, rewriting and managing the curriculum. Lindsay says the team has discussed how nice it would be to have a curriculum management system. Teachers could edit, update, share and collaborate with others. In addition, they could align their units and their lesson plans to the state standard and the new common core standards and have reporting capabilities about the curriculum and standards. She says they do have a document that is used as a pacing guide; but every time they make a change, they must remember to go in and update that pacing guide, distribute it, and then hope the new version is used. These tasks are all so laborious it is hard to keep up with these committee tasks as well as everything she needs to do for her classroom.

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