Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Inquiry Sessions: Jakarta Bootcamp

Only dedicated professionals get up early on a Sunday morning to travel a potentially traffic-snarled distance in a downpour to attend an all day educational technology Bootcamp.  And two weeks ago, a contingent of Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) faculty and a similar number from British School Jakarta (BSJ) did exactly that, spending the day on the BSJ campus (thanks, Matt Harris!) at an EdTechTeam-organized event intended to prepare attendees to pass the Level 2 Exam as part of the Google Educator Certification program.

Fortunately, with educational technology experts and star presenters Jay Atwood and Patrick Green leading the workshop, it felt less like bootcamp and more like an inquiry session where everyone was encouraged to follow their curiosity and share their ideas.  And even with significant focus on exam preparation, Jay and Patrick made a point of placing tips and tricks in the context of daily practice.  There was lots of gain and little to no pain!

As a member of the JIS Professional Growth and Reflection team, I know that our school, like others, aims to invest time and money into professional development that will have a meaningful impact on our students’ learning.  While that impact can be difficult to measure, I was pleased that the Bootcamp received positive feedback and generated some immediate application from those in attendance.  Some clear takeaways for our teachers:

  • Google Maps has a lot of appeal in multiple subjects as a way to put ideas in context (e.g. showing traditions in Indonesia, sparking awareness for our recent UN day, putting our student-created videos for service learning literally on the map)

  • Small tips for the use of tools can generate conversation around bigger pedagogical ideas (e.g. how do we balance teacher/student preference and consistency for ease of use when it comes to the use of Google Sites, Docs, Classroom and legacy systems like Moodle for learning management)
  • The session raised awareness of ideas like Multimedia Text Sets for curating content and differentiating learning, YouTube annotation for blended learning, and the ability to create visuals with Google Draw and Sheets sparklines

To quote one JIS faculty member:

“[Seeing] how all the Google apps could be applied in different contexts, it really got me thinking.”

At JIS we are looking forwarding to seeing that thinking become visible for our students, because the real value of a tool emerges in the minds and classrooms of enthusiastic and innovative teachers.

Christina Devitt, Educator
Jakarta, Indonesia
Interested in Bootcamps at your school like this?
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