Thursday, October 4, 2012

Never Stop Learning!

I have had the most exciting week!  We are feverishly putting together the new course catalog for staff at ECPS.  We started out compiling a list of courses we have taught in the past.  But our fearless leader decided we needed to take a different approach.  All teaching staff in all the schools were surveyed to find out how they currently use technology and what they would like to try to incorporate this year.  They were also asked what tools they already feel comfortable using and which tools they may need additional support with in order to successfully implement them in their classrooms.

Then we took a step back and decided to give folks what they want and need and not merely what we know and do well!  What an awesome idea!  We have tweaked the catalog, making it more user friendly to the novice technology user, as well as our pros!  But this task in itself offered me an exciting opportunity to learn a new technology skill.  I knew that you could program a Google form to perform certain actions automatically (things like sending emails), but I didn't know how to do it!

Enter YouTube and a wonderful little Google script called FormEmailer.  You see, Google scripts are programming code that makes all that computer magic happen, and most of them are open-source, meaning they are FREE!  Our fearless leader (I love calling him that!) pointed us in the direction of a YouTube video explaining how this particular script works.  (I also love YouTube!  You can learn how to do anything you can possibly think of on that place!)  Then he got out of the way and let us muddle through it.  There's nothing more empowering than figuring out how to do something pretty complicated!

Anyway, to make a long story short, we now have a Course Catalog that is about to "go live!"  Much collaborative work by Shanda Edwards, Russell Smith and myself have made this a reality.  And the best part of all is that feeling of excitement that I got from learning something new!  Not knowing how to do something should never be an excuse for not doing it!  Figure it out... and enjoy the same high I feel today!

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