Adventures in Innovation

Adventures in Innovation: Introducing BoostEDU

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Google Innovator Academy in London.  Although I haven’t written much about my innovator project, I have spent quite a bit of time developing my project and outlining my goals for the year.  As a part of the program, I have created a project deck that is continuously being modified, refined, and developed.  In fact, if you were to view this project deck, I am pretty sure that you would think I am the craziest, OCD person you have ever met.  But, it works for me.  I tend to leave my project deck open on my computer and reflect and add to it several times a week.  Some days, I will find myself falling down the rabbit hole and spend hours developing key pieces of my project.  It’s a lot of work – but I love every second of it.  Even though the project is several months out from being released publicly, I want to introduce you to my Google Innovator Project: BoostEDU.

When I applied to the Google Innovator program, I was challenged to discover and find a solution to a problem in education.  The problem that I discovered is one that is not uncommon.  In fact, I believe it is a problem that is plaguing many teachers that work in a site or district with a high volume of technology.

Due to a massive amount of technology, a wide range of teacher ability, and lack of support and resources, many teachers struggle with implementing purposeful educational technology that supports high levels of student learning.

It’s a very common problem.  If you are working in a 1-1 school district, I am sure that you can think of the wide range of teacher ability at your site.  In addition to this, there is constantly new technology being introduced that it can become overwhelming.  To top it all off, there can also be a lack of support, time, and resources for teachers to truly learn how to use technology in their classrooms to support student learning.  So, I decided that my goal was to create a system that supported teachers in integrating technology in their classrooms – no matter their knowledge, ability, or support system.

Introducing…BoostEDU!

BoostEDU is in the (very) early BETA stage.  Essentially, BoostEDU is a program that will support teachers in transforming their traditional lesson into 21st-century lessons.  Although this could change, BoostEDU currently looks like this:

There are four steps to the BoostEDU program:

Step #1: Find a current lesson.

Teachers will find a lesson they have previously taught.  It’s important for teachers to understand that they do not have to start from scratch.  All they need to do is modify a current lesson.

Step #2: Complete a self-assessment of the original lesson.

Teachers will complete a self-assessment of an original lesson to determine their current level of SAMR/ISTE/4 C’s within their lesson.  During the survey, teachers will be able select suggestions and tech tools to “boost” their lesson based upon their response.  These results will be emailed to the teachers in an editable Google Doc.  

Step #3: Complete a guided lesson design process.

Teachers will use an online, interactive form to transform their original lesson based on their results from the self-assessment.  The form will be interactive and offer suggestions for technology integration to assist them in building this boosted lesson.  When the teacher submits the form, they will receive a digital copy of their lesson plan.  

Step #4: Receive community feedback and share.

Teachers will have the opportunity to share their self-assessment results and “boosted” lesson on a Google Plus Community.  After their lesson is complete, they can share the lesson on the BoostEDU website for other teachers to access and use.

Final Product: A transformed, 21st-century lesson.

Through this process, I hope that teachers will find their lessons transformed in a way that uses technology to support higher levels of student learning.

Current & Upcoming Goals

Being the neurotic, OCD person that I am, I have developed monthly goals for the next year.

Current Goals:

  • Create a BoostEDU: Survey of Tech Tools to gather tech tools/resources.  (Done!)
  • Create MailChimp sign-up form. (Done!)
  • Finish and send self-assessment form to a selected group of educators for feedback and modification.  (Soon!)
  • Create a slide deck for commenting feedback.

Next Month Goals:

  • Build/develop lesson plan creation form.
  • Send lesson plan builder to a selected group of educators for feedback.
  • Begin marketing “BoostEDU” by getting signups and creating a “teaser trailer”.

Over the last I have spent a lot of time working on the self-assessment and…I’m so excited.  So far, it is working out even better than I imagined and I think that this could be a great resource for teachers.

If you are interested in being a BETA tester for BoostEDU, please email me at [email protected] and I will add you to the interest list.  In addition to this, if you would like to receive updates on BoostEDU, subscribe to the mailing list below.

BoostEDU will be released in Fall 2017.

This post is a part of a series of titled “Adventures in Innovation” and focuses on the release of my Google Innovator Project: BoostEDU.


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