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.