Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#HollistonTechPD Day Focuses on Digital Learning

On Friday, January 13, 2017, Holliston Public Schools hosted its Fourth Annual #HollistonTech PD day!  While the title highlights technology, the main focus of the day revolved around advancing students’ digital learning in meaningful ways.

The day began at 8:00 AM at the Robert Adams Auditorium with guest speaker, Kerry Gallagher.  Ms. Gallagher, an award winning digital learning specialist at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts, presented a keynote speech that demonstrated meaningful ways to engage students by first asking a compelling question, and then leveraging technological tools where students can conduct research, collaborate, problem-solve, and communicate their answers to a broader audience.  She provided educators with both inspirational remarks and tangible examples pertinent across developmental levels.

Educators then headed to breakout sessions; educators chose among a multitude of offerings during three breakout sessions held through the rest of the day.  Each breakout session was delivered by a Holliston educator with a specific expertise to share with colleagues across the district.  We even had Holliston High “PIT Crew” students share their knowledge of Chromebooks with faculty!  Some examples of topics included:
  • Students applying coding skills in projects across the content areas.
  • Student and teacher use of Screencastify to record audio/video over text.
  • Providing greater access through Augmentative-Alternative Communication.
  • Student applications of 3D Printing and Makerspaces across the curriculum.
  • Teachers ability to leverage online Professional Development resources across a multitude of topics.
  • Students accessing embedded rubrics when writing within Google Docs.
  • Online formative assessment applications in use in the classroom to broadly gauge student learning in the moment.
  • Student use of tablets in elementary classrooms during learning centers.

It was a great day of professional learning and we look forward to additional opportunities where these new skills will be applied in classrooms through the rest of 2016-2017.