CMI Technology Newsletter

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By Robert Guzman
Tech Coach
California Military Institute

We live in the age of digital media. More and more, news agencies are cancelling their physical editions in favor of web accessible content. This tells us that the idea of a newspaper is not dead. It is the delivery and medium that has changed. The vision of a newspaper, whether it is print or online, is what defines it. We had a vision to create a bi-monthly newsletter for the teachers at CMI in order to get relevant information pertaining to education and technological issues that would make their lives easier.

The goal was simple: to get information to teachers that would cover multiple topics. CMI’s technology newsletter is in the form of a Google Doc. This ensures that the editor can edit or add more content to the current newsletter. This way the teachers do not have to sort through large amounts of emails about updates dealing with software or educational practices on how to best use technology in the classroom.

The plan was straightforward; to provide available resources to teachers in one place. The best place to retrieve cutting edge information is on Twitter. Following the various educational resources on Twitter, one can feel bombarded with information. Chad Shaner from Perris High made an analogy about Twitter.  He stated that “Twitter is like Niagara Falls and all you have is just a little cup to catch some of the water.” The abundance of it is quite overwhelming. For educators, it is virtually  impossible to use all of them. CMI’s Technology Newsletter saves time for teachers and gives them tools to enhance educational practices.

cmi newsletter 3.JPGThere are sections in the newsletter for the various software programs we run on a daily basis. Also, teachers know that if any updates or changes have taken place to their favorite programs they would see them in the newsletter. Since helping staff improve their use of email is a current goal, there is also a series on Google Apps For Education with emphasis on Gmail for the Spring semester of 2015. Our Gmail segment is broken up into a beginners and advanced section. This way we can reach various skill levels. In theory our staff will learn a new tip with every new tech newsletter that is published or at least review something they have previously learned.

Some of the other sections of the newsletter included segments from other Tech Coaches. One section in particular that is a regular on the newsletter is Chad Shaner’s App of the week. From time to time, how-to-guides from the other tech coaches and even other PUHSD employees are available. This promotes the culture of collaboration that has been instilled in members of Scholar plus. The CMI Technology Newsletter is a document that relies heavily on the sharing of knowledge, because sharing is caring. One of the things we tell the staff at CMI is that if someone teaches you something, then please make sure you teach that one thing to another member of the staff. This way the culture of collaboration continues.

The CMI Technology Newsletter has allowed us to send large amounts of information to all staff members at CMI. This way the knowledge is passed to all employees and we can make our school a better place for our students. If more staff members are informed about what and how to use technology in the classroom, then our students will benefit and become the best they can be. The benefit of the newsletter can be seen almost immediately. Teachers often make comments about what they learned or what they want to do with one of the ideas or tools shared with them. Technology Newsletters are a must in every school to ensure equity for everyone.