Making Big Changes

A few years ago,  I wrote a paper for my EdS degree in which I discussed the changes in going from teaching 44 students at  one school to teaching 100 more students the next year  at a different school.   At my old school,  I taught 5 periods a day and taught two classes which were 2 periods long.   I still can’t believe I left! Obliviously things were not perfect, but I had been able to grow my program into something special.  I was looking for something different and it wasn’t going to happen at that school.  So I packed my bags moved away from family and friends and started somewhere new.  Which meant teaching 6 periods a day and way more students.

I am making another big change this year after finishing a great spring semester.  I going to a new school, teaching a new subject and working with a new grade level.  Yes, this one is going to make me question this decision for years to come, but I am really excited this change.

I wish more teachers, administrators and other staff embraced changing school.  Over the last few years, I have met a few teachers who did not last in the classroom.  I explain to them that all schools are different.   There is a big difference between leaving the profession and moving to a new location.  Just because is difficult now, doesn’t mean it will stay that way.   Every school is different. Every year is different. That thing that bothers you this year may not be factor somewhere else. I find it best to just move on, find something different. As the quote above exclaims, keep looking until you find it.

I just noticed one of my former colleagues is teaching again.  Honestly, I understand why he left.   He was a great guy to work with, he was just in a bad situation.  I am glad to see that he is teaching again.  He just needed a different opportunity.

My Changes

I finished up at my old school last week, and started professional development on Monday at my new school.  Wow, everything is going to be different next year.    Last year, I had the second largest classroom in the school.  This was a good things, but is was a lot to manage.  Next year, I look forward to having a smaller room and far less students.   The school day is going to be shorter, this means more time to plan and prepare.   I will be teaching special education.  I still love film and will stay involved outside of school.  Everyone I met so far has been really inspiring and positive.

The school is starting a 1 to 1 program.  This is what got me so interested in changing schools.   I love technology but spend most of my time with audio video.  I think there is a lot more I can do with technology.  I want to try new things.

So far so good.  I hope to share more of this adventure online.  Be sure to follow me on twitter @holcomb.ca and subscribe to this blog.

 

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Guided Access on an iPad

We posted a video yesterday about how to set up guided access on iOS devices. I figured some viewers would immediately figure it out and no other explanation would be needed. If you have worked in educational technology you probably immediately see the potential for this feature. To be honest when we were recording the episode, I didn’t stop and think about this feature. I do a little of everything for our videos, but my most prominent role for this one was recording the voiceover. After seeing the final product, I began to really understand how I was going to use this feature.

Guided access is simply being able to control what parts of the screen are available to the users. Some benefit would be using these feature when students are taking online tests or keeping special education students on task. If you are like me and have a small child, you can let them use your iPhone or iPad without the fear of them purchasing items when you look away.

child playing on iPad
Someone likes Circle Pop

I am going to be experimenting with this feature when I get my first iPad for the classroom. It will be nice to know that the students will only be able to use the correct app. Hopefully, I will have more iPads in the future. This will make managing them easier. I have walked by too many computer labs and seen the students off task. This feature would allow you to turn on the feature before handing out the iPads. At the end of the period, the students could simply turn in the iPads and they would be ready for the next class.