Monday, August 1, 2016

An Interview With Kelly Maxwell

Kelly and Colette (blog author) 
at the 2015 Calgary Summit.
A Perspective From Outside of EPSB
While the primary focus of this blog is the work of EPSB, we also like to collaborate and share experiences with our colleagues in different districts. Kelly Maxwell is from Black Gold Regional Schools. I managed to catch her for an interview before she leaves division one for division two. Kelly has been a grade two teacher for twelve years but is moving into grade five in September. You can find her on Google+ and on Twitter as @kelmax307.


The Interview

What technology skills should students have before coming into grade two?
Students should be able to log onto their Chromebook, care for the device, know how to access their Google drive, how to open and close tabs and know how to bookmark a site.


Where do you get your educational technology ideas?
I get my ideas from Google+, colleagues, blogs and FreeTech4Teachers.  Our district’s Engaging Students has become a treasure trove of ideas as they are shared locally by teachers and tech coaches in our district.


What hashtags do you follow on Twitter?


What type of technology do you use in your school?
We have Chromebooks, iPads, webcams and Epson Brightlink.


Imagine you only could keep one technology at your school. From the ones you listed about what would be the one you would keep?
Chromebooks.


Based on your response to the question above. Why would you keep that technology?
I would keep Chromebooks because they are easy to use and they meet the needs of me and my students.


What is one piece of technology would you like to try in your classroom that you haven't had an opportunity to yet?
Android tablets.  We have used iPads, but they are so expensive.  I am such a Google fan that I wonder if an Android tablet could be effective at a portion of the cost?!


How has technology changed the way you teach?
It expands my classroom to include people and information otherwise unattainable.


How do you decide what is worthwhile for students to learn through technology, given literacy and skill challenges in division one?
If the technology makes the learning more engaging and differentiated, then I do it. Also, if it makes the teaching more fun for me!


What apps or technology tools do you use? Are there any that you use for specific projects?
I use:
My focus is to try to find free tools.  I am tired of paying a bit here and there for tech tools for my classroom when these free tools meet my needs very well.


What are your hopes for educational technology in the future in your classroom? Alberta? Canada? Globally?
Wow! This is a big question. I would hope that classrooms would be more equitable in regards to technology. Not that the kids have to have Mr. So-and-So to use technology, but that all teachers would embrace the value of technology as a tool to enhance learning in every classroom. With that in mind, there also needs to be equity in regards to hardware and bandwidth so that every student and teacher has access to quality tools and the bandwidth to effectively use these tools.



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I would like to thank Kelly for taking time to do this interview in the middle of report cards, packing up her classroom and switching grades. Division one's loss is division two's gain.

Check back for the September interview with Shannon Pasma!



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