Greetings once again,
I'll be making weekly posts to this site but I'm in a bit of catch-up mode since I just made the TTIPS pages active this past week. Best Buy has funded about 10 Teen Tech Centers all across the USA and there is only ONE in all of Texas and it is just a block north of Gus Garcia MS. How fortunate is that! I've met with the staff at that facility on a couple of occasions since they opened their doors almost a year ago this month. I encourage you to stop by and tour the facility. It is located in what was the media center of the old HK Williams elementary school. They are open to teens and tweens in all of Bexar County and offer a variety of opportunities for youth to tinker and play with technology. This is not a game room; it is a room where games can be designed. It is very likely that one or two of your colleagues have already visited the center at my personal invitation as their after-school clubs are very much aligned with the activities provided by the Teen Tech Center. The center is open M-F from 4:00 - 7:30 PM. Students can become members for FREE after completing the required parent permission forms. The center is operated by the Family Service Association so although the funding comes from Best Buy, it is not a marketing ploy to build customer loyalty.
Stop by and visit with the staff, tell them that Andrew sent you, and then post your thoughts about the opportunities and what you liked as a reply to this blog posting.
You are reading this posting on the newly created TTIPS grant page which means that I too am working towards my grant funded incentive to complete all three phases of the technology plan to include a web portfolio. Early next week, I'll begin to collect final reports for attendance, technology phases and all the other categories. Once all the incentive category data has been collected, I will calculate individual incentives and send a report to payroll. This will be sent to staff as a separate check.
As all of you and I have undergone the process to complete technology assessments and complete our web portfolios, I think it would be helpful to our colleagues here at Gus Garcia as well as across the school district to hear what challenges you faced and how you overcame them. This is also good modeling for our students as they read how we each faced obstacles and persisted to achieve some measure of success. Please reply to this blog posting with challenges that you wish to share and what avenues, sources you used to achieve success.
Let me start by saying that I initially found the assessments challenging due to wordings used with the questions. I did my best to understand the questions and then had to watch the tutorials and videos a couple of times and really focus on word use. This might very much relate to challenges faced everyday by our English Language Learners. I am a STEM guy and have an extensive technology background but I had to learn and understand the wording used by the assessment company to demonstrate my knowledge level.
I invite you to reflect on my personal challenge and insight in addition to posting challenges you faced and solutions/sources that you used.