Honorary Tech Ninja
Name: Leah Pendleton
District: Plano ISD
School: Administration Office
Job Title: Instructional Technology Specialist
Years in Education: 10
Why do you make an excellent "Tech Ninja"?
I would make an excellent Tech Ninja because I will go to the ends of the earth to arm teachers with tech tools that battle obstacles to their productivity and tech tools to engage students in a lesson. A Tech Ninja welcomes the challenge to help nervous teachers feel comfortable with technology and provides training that empowers them to keep learning! A Tech Ninja doesn’t give up when the technology fails. A Tech Ninja simply comes at it from a different angle until it works! I feel confident in my ability to face all these challenges with ninja swiftness and accuracy. My Tech Ninja training began while teaching high school. My students were quick to give feedback about my use of technology (video and audio recording tools and Web 2.0 tools like Socrative). I learned much from my students. They inspired me to be innovative and to have fun with technology. Today, I provide training to teachers and students across the district on software and Web 2.0 tools. As a Tech Ninja, I would gladly represent how technology can be empowering AND how to face its challenges with confidence.
What are some of your favorite Web 2.0 tools or apps, and why?
Remind is an efficient and effective way to get information to students and parents via text messages! I like this tool because it literally puts information into the hands of the receiver instantly. Teachers can communicate assignment deadlines, club meeting reminders, a map to a volunteer opportunity, and parent open house dates/times via text without revealing their cell phone number. Teachers also have the ability to add a Remind widget on their website/blog so that any messages they have been sent will appear online for the students/parents. Another favorite is Google Drive. We have Google Apps for Education (GAFE) in our district so my colleagues and I have been training teachers on how to use Google Drive and Docs with their students. Teachers are excited to learn of the ease with which students can “submit” work by sharing folders and Docs with them. Teachers love that Google Docs has revolutionized student group work with real-time collaboration, research tools, translation, and convenient source citations. Not to mention how much easier it is to grade student work! Other Web 2.0 favorites are Socrative, Poll Everywhere, Google Earth, Screencast-o-matic, ThingLink, and Animoto for student engagement, creativity, higher order thinking, and project presentations.
Why is technology important in education?
Technology is important in education because it connects students and teachers to people and places around the world and to seemingly infinite amounts of information. For example, a class in Texas can meet another classroom of students across the world using Twitter, Skype (Mystery Skype is so cool!), or Google+ Hangouts to share experiences. By virtually connecting with others (taking a virtual field trip!), students can better understand what it means to live in another country that has different languages, time zones, animals, cultures, and more! Technology helps students make global connections that they otherwise might never have the opportunity to experience.
Blog - http://radedtech.blogspot.com/
Animoto - http://goo.gl/nxIgtj (Brief video to help our teachers understand how we use Google Drive in our district).
Linked In - www.linkedin.com/in/leahpendleton
Want to be our next "Honorary Tech Ninja"??? Click HERE for our application!!