Many who have read my weekly staff email often ask me how I am able to keep up with it all? Given the challenges of my position, one would think that I would take the easy way out and limit my staff emails to just information related to upcoming events or minor housekeeping matters. Well, the truth is, I would not be able to provide the type of weekly staff emails that I do without my iPhone's handy speech-to-text option.
You see, my phone has truly become more than just a device I use to contact parents or Tweet about the latest innovative things happening in the classrooms in my school. It is now my camera, my walkie-talkie (Voxer), my data collection instrument (Google Forms) and my writing companion.
So what exactly do I do?
First, I open a new Google doc at the start of each week. Once this document has been opened and saved, I pre-load my section headings. After this, I locate and open this same document, along with my classroom walk-through form on my iPhone. And last but not least, I began my daily walk, visiting every classroom for no more than 3 - 5 minutes (this is monitored by utilizing the timer interface on my Apple Watch.
With my phone in my hand and my Google Form open, I enter my first classroom. Once inside I select the appropriate teacher on my Google Form. As I walk around the room, quietly observing both the students and the teacher hard at work, I make mental notes about what I am either seeing or hearing. After my visit, I immediately stand in the hallway and reflect on what I observed and this information is recorded via the speech-to-text option right into my Google doc that will be shared with staff at the end of the week. All corrections are made Satuday morning and the final draft is shared with staff Saturday afternoon.
Until next time...