Sunday, September 13, 2009

7 ways I integrate IT...

Our COETAIL course has started again and I am going to be posting blogs a little more regularly over the next few months. Since starting the course last year I can see quite an impact in how I integrate IT into my everyday teaching.

So here's my top seven ways that I have used IT...
  1. Google Forms: These have played such an important role in how I collect data. I use the forms in such a varied way and the fact that they are so easy to custom fit, has meant I have found many uses for them: collecting registrations for a monthly run that I organise in our local school community, collecting students choices for units, gathering sports team personal data and to gather parent feedback. Google forms have saved me enormous amounts of time and allowed me to focus on more important things.
  2. Wetpaint Thai-ing in Wiki: As part of the role I shared with my wife as the new staff coordinators for our school we created this wiki to help people assimilate smoothly into Bangkok and our school. The wiki proved to be a collaborative space in which nearly 100 members came together to ask and answer questions, share knowledge and most importantly, connect. Although highly time-consuming in setting up the wiki the site answered numerous questions and the collaborative nature of the site meant that we weren't the only one's answering these questions! I used Google Analytics to track how much the site was being used and was surprised to see an average of 9 visits a day with over 12,000 page views in the past 5 months! Definitely worth it!
  3. Google Docs: In our PE department we used a Google Doc as the 'virtual white board' to review our PE curriculum. It began with us all entering our thoughts about our current PE curriculum using 6 questions guided by De Bono's 6 thinking hats (we eached typed in a different font so we knew who wrote what). This rich document was then refined to create a list of things we liked and disliked about our current PE curriculum and gave us direction for curriculum changes. From here we created a new Google Doc which became the sketchboard for our new scope and sequence. The fact the document was shared, available for all to input, change, rearrange etc... allowed for much greater collaboration than would a static file.
  4. Panthernet (Moodle): We are now using this school managed site in our PE department for information delivery, quizzes, and enrichment work. It isn't always the most simple to use, however once you know the ropes you can create a rich online support site for your classroom.
  5. iWeb: From fooling around with iweb on my mac I created a static web-page which houses all our PE department's important documents on once site (Scope & Sequence, Standards, benchmarks, philosophy) and hyperlinks to all our units on our school shared server (which can be accessed from home). I then was able to email this to all our department (we all use mac's), and they were able to save this on their laptops. The idea is that this has the most up-to-date resources we are using and is user-friendly so that our fellow PE teachers who aren't so tech-savy can access the information they need swiftly and simply, saving time in the long run! They bookmark this static page and can access it directly through firefox.
  6. My Google Reader: This has been a simple and effective way to receive relevant professional reading. I love the fact that I can get a quick summary of others blogs, read deeper if I wish, or mark as read as needed! My favorite two blogs include 'Mr Robbo -The PE Geek', a great blog from an Aussie PE teacher who has IT ideas oozing from his pores and 'Leadertalk', which sometimes provides some inspiration for aspiring leaders!
  7. My Blog: This has given me a chance to be reflective to a wider audience. It has provided a reason to write and to share and it is creating a professional learning focus for me.
At the start of the course I set a goal in my first blog post: "My goal is to use technology so that I can do the things I REALLY want to do, it has to free up my time, not suck up my time." The reality is that technology has freed up much of my time, with the above examples really making life easier. The problem is that staying up with the technology has filed some of the time that has been freed up. The more I learn, the more realise how much more I could learn. The reality is that somewhere we have to draw a line... I'm learning this and drawing some clear lines with permanent marker... so don't worry, I'll never be tweeting you, I'll be out for a run.


  1. Andy,

    What I love to see if you are at the point that you you have enough tools in your tool belt that you can adapt and use the right tool for the right task. Starting with an idea or lesson and then choosing the right tool is a what we hope everyone gets out of this course. To often we start with the tool and try to make the lesson fit, when really the tool should help the lesson not be the lesson.

    Keep it up!

  2. aNDY

    Thanks for the mention in your post, im glad you enjoy my blog. Its great to see another PE teacher playing around with ICT, there arnt too many of us around. I will certainly add your blog to my reader and keep up with what your doing. How is it working in Bangkok? I was there recently and heading back there at end of year, place is amazing.

  3. Andy, you rock! Not only are you using all of these tools for you, but you're also helping others around you use technology effectively.

    Now what about if you could use Twitter (and your iPhone/Touch) to track your run distance, time and speed. 'Cause you can, you know ;)