Thursday, September 24, 2015

Making progress...

The past few weeks at this new job have been hectic. I'm trying to figure out how to serve the teachers in 10 different buildings in addition to creating products that will serve the district and the community. Up until this point, I've been serving as a "Mr. Fix-it" for my teachers. I've spent time making projectors work, getting students' log in information working, and struggling to get around to meeting the teachers in my buildings. I've slowly been creating tools for myself that help me organize my time and creating lines of communication between the teachers I serve and my colleague I work with. As we progress to getting our new district web site up and running (which has taken a lot of my time), I realize that that will never be completely done to my liking. But I'm hoping to incorporate all of the information that teachers are making to help other teachers, parents, and students, use and enjoy the technology that is becoming exponentially available. I lose sleep at night thinking about how to do all of the things that are floating around in my head. But I'm excited to add them all to my "to do" list, and slowly chip away at stuff. While I miss my kids in the classroom and the teachers I used to see every day, my job is allowing me to meet new people and see kids that I would have never had the chance to see in action at all levels in Westerville.

If my kids thought "Dad knows everyone in Westerville" before, they have no idea what the next few years hold for them.

Until next time, be good!

- Mr. H

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Weebly v Google Sites

Today I worked on creating a district webpage for our technology department. Since we are a Google school district, we felt it was important to use Google Sites to create the website. This would serve a few purposes.

First, it would give me a chance to work with Google Sites and learn all of the ins and outs of the tool. I used Weebly in my classroom as a teacher, and absolutely loved it. It was intuitive, utilized drag and drop technology for ease of use, and was completely free. I actually had all of my students also use Weebly to create their own websites for my class. So I felt I needed a hands on experience with Sites.

Secondly, it would serve as a modeling tool for the teachers that I work with. My new job as a tech coach allows me to work with literally hundreds of staff members, and I wanted to have our district page as an example of what could be created using the tools that the district supports.

This has proved to be much more difficult than I expected. Largely due to the complexity of the web page that I envision for our department, but also because I am finding that Sites is not as intuitive as the rest of the Google products that I have used.

This is still a work in progress, and while there was plenty of "venting" today about this product, I believe that the more I work with it, the more I can wrap my head around what a final product will end up looking like. Even though it will be limited compared to the sites I have seen created in Weebly.

We'll see how this goes...