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Tech Teams – Students Changing the School Culture

Two weeks ago our high school student tech team met for the first time this school year. I was surprised that so many students wanted to participate. The group will keep the same president as last year, but will be adding either 2 or 3 additional leadership positions. We will be building on the reasonable momentum that was started last year and there is a lot of potential to utilize technology positively to change our school community.

Last week four students from middle school met to begin planning for the launch of our 2010-2011 middle school student tech team (SWATms). I spent about 20 minutes vision casting to them and then listened to their ideas for the team. This week we will hold our first full meeting and I am expecting around 12 to 15 students.

Our student written mission is to lead and serve a modern GSIS community by integrating technology into our learning and environment inside and outside of the classroom, connecting to each other and the world.

Throughout the short time that the high school SWAT team (Students Working to Advance Technology) has been operating, I can already see its influence on the school culture. I am looking forward to seeing that continue and thrive this year.


Facebook Groups … Improved?

One of my professional goals for this school year is to become aware of who my students are “virtually” and to build a relationship of trust with them online.  The online social media space that I am focusing on is Facebook.  I have created a separate Facebook account and am “friending” students.  Thus far it has been a positive, enlightening experience.

This week I started Facebook Groups to use with students.  I created a group for our high school student tech team and a group for our middle school tech team.  And then today came the “new” Facebook Groups!  So I re-made my student tech team Facebook groups using the new feature.

A couple of the features that I really like about the new Facebook Groups features are:

  • Group Chat  – s simple, easy-to-use chat feature for the group.  I am not sure exactly why, but it reminds me of Google Wave.
  • Docs – you can  now create a simple document that anyone in the group can edit
  • Email address – your Facebook Group can have an email address and members can post to the group wall by sending an email to the address even when they are not on Facebook

Students are already starting to post to the groups…