17 MORE things to chew on

Technology is a huge presence in the life of almost all Americans. RB is trying to be as up to date with technology as they can be. Library Media Specialist/Co-Webmaster Alicia Duell, thought of a program that would introduce teachers to different kinds of technology, while also making it fun and easy.

17 Things to Chew on is a self guided program that was created last year. It had a lot of success, so the school has started it up again this year. Forty to fifty teachers participated last year, though only 11 completed the entire program. This year around thirty teachers have volunteered to try the program.

This is a program that helps staff development. It helps teachers with web 2.0 tools. It’s a web based program that covers everything from blogs to wiki’s. The purpose is to help the staff collaborate, communicate, and be creative.

Math teacher Melissa Gordon, who completed the program last year, said, “I did enjoy it last year. The biggest thing [I learned about] was Google Calendar and making websites. I use it to create a web site for my classes and the math department.”

Last year, the teachers were asked to try seventeen different things. This year the program has changed and teachers can either be part of the Lite program of the Master’s Class. The Lite program only makes teachers try seven new things. The Master’s Class on the other hand has teachers try five new things, while also creating a unit to do with their class.

Duell said, “I knew from conferences that web 2.0 has educational potential. It is fun and easy. Teachers can now do it on their own time.” She also said that by completing the program teachers are automatically going to receive a prize.

This is the second year of the program and Duell doesn’t know how long it will continue. She said it really depends on how much the teachers like it and whether it continues to benefit the staff.