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March 1-13, 2020

COVID 19 is making its way down the East coast into Maryland. There’s been talk about schools closing. No one really has any idea what that means for all of the students and teachers. Some school districts have started hybrid distance learning classes others have sent work packets home with the students. Thanks to the PLN I created in ET 630, Digital Communication for Educators, I’ve been following the pandemic from it’s beginning in the Hubei Province of China. My grad school cohort has been chatting through Hangouts since we all started the Ed Tech program at Loyola. My peers live and teach in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. When taking the ET 630 class, I really did not understand the importance of having a PLN but now I see how valuable it really is. The parents of one of my private piano students are both doctors. The mother works at a local hospital and the father works at NIH and focuses on respiratory health issues. We’ve discussed what is happening with the US response to COVID. Because of the information I’ve gathered from these sources, I’ve been able to keep my principal appraised of the situation and what school districts are putting in place. 


The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for me. I knew that when schools were going to be closed we would probably have to shut down the school. I did not want to see this happen so I decided to use all of the training I have received from Loyola and step into a leadership position. I met with the principal every day and developed a plan to shift our teaching modality from face-to-face in school to synchronous distance learning. It was during these two intense weeks that the distance learning program was developed and is ready to be implemented.

March 15, 2020

I’ve created a Google Slides presentation for the two-day face-to-facer PD for training the teachers about the procedures involved in distance learning and the Google tools we will be using. I also created a Symbaloo webmix that will be placed on the school’s start page on Sharepoint. In addition, I created  Student & Parent Distance Learning Guides to help prepare the families for what is involved in distance learning and what tools we will be using. I am feeling excited and anxious about tomorrow’s PD. Staff is used to seeing me as a Music Teacher, not as a Technology Leader.

March 17, 2020

It’s been an intense two days of training and several of the teachers have pushed back at having to use the same platform for distance learning. There are a couple of teachers that don’t want to use Google Meet and plan on using ZOOM. I am totally against this because I think it will cause confusion when their students have to use Google Classroom for their specialty classes. The principal has decided to let these teachers use what they feel comfortable with. I understand how many teachers are against distance learning but if this is the only way the school will stay open, I would think they would be more open to learning how to teach online. I have to remind myself that a majority of the staff consists of older adults who may not be as comfortable using technology. I think the training itself went well but I will need to work with the principal concerning the negative, resistant attitudes of some of the teachers.

March 20, 2020

New Hope is online! Distance learning began Wednesday. The Upper School Technology teacher is handling all of the technical issues as they occur and I’ve been handling the Google Classroom and Meet issue parents or students are having. Several parents have given positive comments about the fast turn around when they call the school for help. I’ve reached out to the 2nd/3rd teacher to help with individual coaching with teachers in the lower school. She is a great teacher and used Google Suite with her class prior to distance learning. In addition, her brother is a Google Certified Educator. I have been working with parents, students, and staff, providing tech support. Teachers are starting to feel more comfortable with my new skillset and are approaching me with questions they are having. Some of the teachers are not comfortable teaching synchronously on Meet yet and have asked for a tech tool that will allow them to record more than five minutes. After some research, I found a solution so I created a video of me using Loom and sent it out to all staff.

March 26, 2020

We have been teaching online for a week and after talking with the principal, she has decided to have a two-day in-service for the teachers to be trained on using more tech tools such as Chrome extensions, recording and archiving online classes, EDpuzzle, Quizlet, Kahoot, SeeSaw, Help Teaching, tools to use in Math classes, and communicating with parents. To gauge where the teachers are in their use of technology, I created a Staff Tech Survey. Based on the responses I will be able to develop my plans for leading the PD.

March 31, 2020

The responses to the Staff Tech Survey have been extremely useful. There is still some negativity and push back but not as much as in the first training.  When we developed the class schedule for Distance Learning, we shortened class periods to 30 minutes with synchronous online teaching in the mornings every day. In the afternoons, the teachers would be available for tutoring, answering questions, or giving tests that were longer than 30 minutes. For some teachers, 30 minutes was not long enough and they struggled with trying to teach the way they had when they were in school. It’s been harder than I thought it would be to get the teachers to change their teaching style and embrace technology. The encouraging development is the number of teachers that are being positive and asking for help in using new tech tools.


Teachers are still talking about using Zoom instead of Meet. Unfortunately Meet does not have all of the bells and whistles that Zoom does but I think Google will work on adding functionality that teachers are requesting. The majority of the staff felt confident with using Google Classroom. For those that didn’t, I will schedule coaching sessions. Based on responses, teachers were interested in learning how to use additional tech tools. Some of the teachers have started using youTube videos and Kahoots in an effort to make their teaching more engaging.


Overall, I think the additional training went well and was appreciated by the staff. There are still a handful of people insisting on using Zoom and Seesaw. My fear is that they are using Seesaw instead of Google Classroom.

April 2, 2020

I have been working with the Media and Marketing team to develop and create a Distance Learning section for the school website. The Symbaloo webmix was a success with the teachers so I created one for parents and students and had it posted on a Resource page in the Distance Learning Section of the website.

Teachers are still requesting individual coaching with more of them trying out new tech tools to use in their teaching.

April 15, 2020

Several parents contacted the principal because their child’s teacher (lower school) was not providing synchronous online classes. Instead they were videorecording themselves on Seesaw and the parents felt like they were having to do too much work and siblings were being taught synchronously and they wanted that to happen in this class too. In addition, other parents were complaining about the difficulty moving from Zoom to Google Meet for specialty teachers. Needless to say, the principal was not a happy camper concerning these two lower school teachers. This is why I was trying to get all of the staff using the same tools. I wish I would have had the skills and knowledge to convince the teachers who were wanting to do it their way. I know there’s more I could have done, I just don’t know what it is yet.

May 15, 2020

Less of my time has been spent on individual coaching and problem solving. This has left me with time to work on the website update and creating the web page for our summer recreation program. We still don’t know whether this will be taking place at the school or if it will be totally online. 

June 12, 2020

To evaluate the Distance Learning program, I created a Parent Survey and distributed it via email to all of the parents. For the most part, the parents were happy with the education we provided for their children. The main complaint was difficulties that were experienced due to their wifi connections. Prince George's county does not have the best infrastructure when it comes to Internet access. Our school only has Broadband since it is in a poorer community. FIOS isn’t even offered here. Aside from the occasional access problem, the students adapted well to this new form of learning.

Overall the principal and I were extremely pleased with the Distance Learning Program that we put in place. What will happen in the Fall is still unknown but the principal wants me to stay in contact with her over the summer.

August 14, 2020

My last class during the summer was ET 662, Technology Leadership and Professional Learning. I wish I would have taken this class prior to COVID.  Looking back at the PD that I provided the staff last March, I now see what I was lacking in my presentations that would have helped quell the negativity and address the adult learner in a more appropriate way.


After the decision was made to continue with Distance Learning in September, the principal asked me to lead the PD sessions for the staff. She was so impressed with the job that I did last year that she gave me the title of Technology Coordinator. Over the summer, one of the teachers became a Google Certified Educator Level 2. So the two of us will work to develop the tech training that will occur over the two weeks of teacher inservice prior to school opening.

August 26, 2020

Eight training sessions over the span of ten days was intense! I created a Google Slideshow and added each day's presentation so the teachers would have one reference that covered everything that was presented. The Slides were shared with all of the teachers so they could access any time they needed. Thanks to ET 662 which I took this past summer, I was able to apply what I had learned about the Adult Learner. No adults are not just big kids, although they can act that way sometimes! Getting the buy in from the teachers was first and foremost, and providing the research helped as well. There was not the same negativity that was experienced last March. Also, the principal had made up her mind that everyone was going to use the same platforms of Google Classroom and Google Meet. This helped tremendously. I had two teachers with knowledge about G Suite tools help to prepare and present some of the training. This would set them up to be seen as tech leaders who could help individuals if they needed help. The presentations went smoothly and everybody was on the same page. We reviewed the concept of Distance Learning, using Google Classroom as the “learning management system” and Goog Meet as the “virtual classroom.”  The new material included introducing Google Drive, Google Forms, EDpuzzle, and Quizlet. At the end of the two weeks of training, I created an NHA Technology Google Group forum as an avenue for posting questions or sharing knowledge with each other. In the future I would add time during the training for staff to practice working on what they had learned during each session. They would work in small groups, in lower school/upper school groups, or with a partner. I would also add some fun activities to lighten up the mood and help alleviate the stress level of the participants.

August 27, 2020

Last night I held two mandatory Parent Tech Training sessions for lower school and upper school parents. I covered Google Classroom and Meet. Parents were shown how their child would receive the Class invite, find assignments, and turn in work. They also were told about Google Meet and I included a cheat sheet for them in case they needed a quick reminder. The parents were also provided with the Student Digital Learning Pledge/Agreement. The principal explained the need and importance of this document. The sessions went well.

September 1, 2020

The first day of school! I held a training session for the upper school students and covered Google Classroom, Chrome Extensions, and Google Meet. I explained accessing and turning in assignments in depth as well as scanning and submitting homework. I created  a Scanning and Submitting Assignments Google Doc and shared it with all of the students. The upper school students are pretty suavy when it comes to technology.

September 17, 2020

This year’s Back to School Night was going to be virtual for the lower school. Specialty teachers provided Google Slides presentations for the classroom teachers to present during their synchronous Google Meet sessions. This is actually quite an achievement for the Specialty teachers, none of which could have created a Google Slide presentation prior the the training sessions. The teachers were feeling much better about their abilities to teach virtually.

September 25, 2020

I have been working extensively with the preschool teachers to develop an online program that matches what they are doing in the classroom. They are teaching face-to-face with one class and asynchronously with the students that are at home. Since these teachers are on the Entry level of ACOT, I’ve been talking through design ideas and modeling what they will be doing as they learn to create the items for each days activities. The process is slow and the design phase was the longest. The teachers are now comfortable creating Docs and making sure they are placed in the correct section under the assigned Topic.

October 9, 2020

Distance learning is going very smoothly and we are able to remove some of the weekly staff meetings that we originally scheduled to be used for tech questions or issues. The principal is extremely pleased with the results of our planning and training. The individual coaching is spent mostly on troubleshooting an issue with Google Meet. A lot of the problems that we seem to experience has to do with wifi in Prince Georges County being sub par.  We have had to give students school Chromebooks to use if they are experiencing issues with an old computer at home. I’m still spending time coaching the preschool teachers and have been training them how to upload pictures into their Google Drive and explaining how Drive works.

October 23, 2020

The preschool online program is working and the teachers are starting to attempt to get more done by themselves. They are definitely feeling more empowered. There is still confusion about Google Drive but I can work on this in future one-on-one coaching. We have cut back even more on weekly staff meetings and will be meeting every other week. One student is still experiencing tech problems and the HS IT teacher and the other tech leaders and I can’t seem to figure out why Google Classroom keeps disappearing for the student and unenrolling him.

November 6, 2020

A handful of students who are new to New Hope this year seem to be having trouble submitting their work through Google Classroom. I will reach out to these students and share the Student Tech Training Google Slides with them. Completed more training with the preschool teachers centered on Google Drive and organizing their uploaded Docs and files.

November 20, 2020

We made it through the first marking period! The teachers and students are settled into Distance Learning. As we move into the holiday season everyone is ready for a break. When we return to school in January, after Winter Break, I will create and distribute a survey to the teachers to gauge where everyone is in their usage of Google Suite and if there is any interest in learning more in G Suite or other tech tools.

Ways to Improve Going Forward

Ther are several areas I would like to improve going forward.  When developing training sessions and materials, I will incorporated best practices for teaching adult learners. Creating more opportunities to monitor learners progress through small group activities, group sharing, and games and activities as review opportunities. , I My one hope is that the teachers continue to use these tools when we go back to teaching in the school building. Individual training sessions for new families needs to be scheduled and monitoring  any technological issues students may be experiencing would be helpful.

Effectiveness of My Internship

I am extremely pleased overall with the success of my internship. The school has remained open and the teachers have developed their ability to utilize technology in the classroom. Based on my presentation reviewers commentary, I met all of my ojbectives and my internship was well planned and executed. The Beginning of the process was a little rocky at times because I had not taken ET 662, Technology Leadership and Professional Learning. Knowing what I do now about teaching adult learners would have helped me work through the push back I got from some of the teachers who insisted on using Zoom and those that were resistant to change.  I would have used best practices for teaching adults when creating the training sessions and slideshows. Individual coaching sessions were very productive and many teachers are asking for more tech tools to use in their lessons.

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