From the Couch

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 2.05.51 PMThis week my reflect and write notification popped up while I was away from the office.  Specifically while I was kicked back on my couch.  Unfortunately, it isn’t a holiday or a fun personal day, but a sick day for my little one.  We had to leave school early today to take her to the doc and get her home.  She’s been sleeping for a while now so I’ve been working from the couch next to her.  Sick kids in a developing, malaria having country is always a little nerve racking, but she’ll be ok.

The week was a good one and I feel like there is a positive energy in our building.  I’m learning every day and getting some good feedback from my colleagues.  I’ve had moderate attendance at my “Getting Techy” sessions and what I would consider great attendance at our Tech Thursday sessions after school.  One of my favorite things to see is that attendance has been a mix of all divisions in the school.  Yesterday’s session had at least one teacher from ECC, ES, MS & HS.  I think it is important for a school of our size to make sure we create and maintain those connections between divisions.  We’ve got between 750 & 800 students which is just small enough to still feel like a genuine community, but we have to put in some work to keep it that way.

I’m enjoying running sessions about Google.  I’m definitely not reaching everyone, but those who join my groups have been positive.  I also started my Google For Education Certified Trainer course today.  I’m looking forward to submitting that application.  The new curriculum is much improved.  I did not like the tests in the past that covered each tool specifically.  It felt like I was back in middle school trying to memorize terms and dates for a history exam.  Again, Google has found a way to improve their product that makes sense.  The new training is actually based on being a trainer, not just on knowing everything about the different tools.  Its practical, user friendly and engaging.

Oh, last week I made some goals to help me with my focus.

Ed Tech Tips
Ed Tech Tips

I actually made a card to put on my wall as well some to share with colleagues.  I didn’t have a whole lot of takers on the cards, but I’m determined to slip in some wellness with my tech tips.  We could all do better with taking care of ourselves.

I feel like I’ve got my foot in the door now.  I’m figuring out what this is all about.  I’m making connections, getting teachers in my sessions and in my office.  Next step, I need to get them to invite me into their classes.

Oh, and one more reason I love Google Apps. Helped this teacher with an issue while on my couch watching Glitter Force with my girl who’s already feeling better.😄

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 2.58.45 PM

Enjoy the weekend.


  1. Sonya Smith says:

    I like the idea of incorporating wellness goals with your tech tips. Just as we teach the whole child, it’s important to remember we work with whole adults. I’m glad your little one is feeling better.


    1. Ryan Harwood says:

      Thanks Sonya. It is something that I will try out this year. I’m working out a plan that might be sustainable and not seen as pushy. I feel it is important to at least offer the resources for teacher wellness. Especially as a Tech Coach I think it is good to share a balance of resources. We’ll see how it goes.


  2. It’s so important to share goals; way to go! I have been a Google Certified trainer for almost two years. I agree that the new structure will be an improvement! I will be taking the course to renew very soon. Take care! #ETCoaches


  3. Ryan, enjoyed reading your post. We are working on developing “Tech Tuesdays” where we teach a new tool, so far we have been focused on Schoology which is a sweet spot for me. How have you, or have you had to, encourage your “middle of the road” teacher to come to these events. Obviously the ones out in front are going to come, just wondering how you reach your middle group. I also have the feeling of my foot in the door, just trying to get to more and more people!


    1. Ryan Harwood says:

      David, I haven’t completely figured out the “middle group” yet. The sessions are strongly encouraged by our administration so that helps a bit. In the end it is optional though. I have a section in each administrators Monday memo and I send an email each Wednesday with a few tips and a reminder schedule. I’m relying on word of mouth right now to get people to come really. I do think a key is to share or brainstorm with teachers exactly how the tool might work in their own classroom.

      Our teachers are involved in so many different activities it is difficult to find a time that will work for them all. I’m hoping that offering the same workshops at 9 different times throughout the week helps with that. I also plan to start attending department meetings this week to get some feedback and find out other ways I can help. Good luck and let me know if you find a secret key to getting teachers involved!


  4. Ryan, hope your little one feels better! I have a friend from long ago who lives in Dakar, Senegal with her husband and two little ones. Malaria is a scary, scary thing, so super glad that it wasn’t that!

    I’ve started a Google Level 1 “cohort” at my school, with teachers going through the Fundamentals training course on their own time. We have check-ins every other week, just to keep every moving and progressing, as well as to allow a face-to-face time to ask questions, explore problems, etc. I’m also meeting with students and classes, showing them the basics (we’re a new-ish GAFE district in our 2nd year). My next goal is to work towards the Certified Trainer. I’ll be interested to follow along your journey.


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