Meet a Tech-Savvy Teacher: Colette Cassinelli


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Colette is a Library Instructional Technology Teacher at Sunset High School with Beaverton School District. As an educator for 25+ years, she has taught every grade level from K-16. Colette has presented information literacy and technology workshops at various conferences throughout the northwest and nationally  In 2015 she was named NCCE Outstanding Technology Educator of the year. Cassinelli has her Master’s in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University, is a Google Certified Innovator and a member of the Oregon Association of School Libraries (OASL). Colette will be presenting at NCCE’s Tech-Savvy Teacher Google Summit this year as well as 4 sessions at NCCE 2017 this year! Session information is listed at the bottom of this post.

Name: Colette Cassinelli
Location: Portland, Oregon
Current job(s): Library Instructional Technology Teacher, Sunset High School, Beaverton School District, Oregon
Current computer: MAC
Current mobile device(s): iPhone, iPad, Chromebook, Macbook Pro
One word that best describes how you teach or work: Collaboratively

What apps/software/tools can you not live without?  

I can’t live without my Google Apps for Education tools.  I attended the Google Teacher Academy in 2008 and am a Google Certified Innovator and since then my professional and personal life is organized using Google Docs.  The ability to work on any document on any device – anytime with anyone I want is key for productivity and organization.  I’ve completely indoctrinated by entire family and we all use it for vacation planning and even Christmas lists!

What is your favorite organizational tip, app or advice?   

Outlook calendar is what is used to schedule time in our  library but I also use it for where I am suppose to be next, who I am collaborating with & what is the subject, etc.  I block out work periods on my calendar and make a few notes on what I should be working on or reminders for follow up.  When teachers ask if I am available to come to their classroom on a specific day I can check right away on my phone.

What is your workspace/classroom like? 

I love this photo of my Library.  This is what it looks like when 2400 Chromebooks & 400 iPads are delivered to your Future Ready Library!!!

If you had $1,000 to spend on classroom tools and wanted to make the greatest impact on student learning, how would you spend it?  

My school went 1:1 with Chromebooks and iPads last school year so we have plenty of technology around us right now.  Since I am a Teacher Librarian I would spend $1000 on books for my Library.  I think getting the right books into the hands of teen readers and helping them sustain a love of reading is one of the most important things we can do to make them career and college ready.  Teens today do not ready enough and they need to develop reading stamina but they also need to be exposed to all different types of writing and find the type that speaks to them.

 

What are your most valuable classroom/work routines?  As a Library Instructional Technology Teacher I work with over 100 teachers at a large high school of ~2400 students.  Its challenging to work with everyone but I do try to make myself available during different times of the day.  I eat lunch in the various Humanities, Science or World Language lunchrooms and casually ask “What are you up to these days or how can I help?”.  I sit in on grade-level or department meetings,  and I visit AVID, SPED and Computer Science classrooms.  At least once a week I pick a different time and “make rounds” and just casually walk through the school and stop by to say hi with various teachers. Oftentimes these casual encounters lead to collaborations that wouldn’t happen if I hadn’t reached out.

 

What is your favorite avenue to connect with social media?

I use Twitter professionally to connect with educators who are passionate about educational technology and school libraries.  I joined Twitter in 2007 when it was still very new and have seen huge changes with the addition of hashtags and Twitter chats but it’s still one of the best ways to keep a pulse on what’s happening in education and connect and build your Personal Learning Network.  Follow me:  @ccassinelli

When you are not living the glamorous work life, what do you like to do in your spare time for fun?

I love to read, spend time in my garden, take photos, and be creative.  I love to travel and am willing to use any excuse to see someplace new.

As a tech-savvy teacher, what everyday thing do you feel you excel with/at versus other teachers/administrators/mentors?  

As a tech-savvy teacher I like to think I am a valuable resource for educators.  My two favorite things to ask are “What are you trying to accomplish …… Have you ever considered using …..”.  I like to think I have a vast array of technology tools in my tool-kit ready to offer depending on the need.  I love to sit during the planning stages and dream up possibilities but then offer my help to see it happen in the classroom.  This is best part of being a Teacher Librarian AND an Instructional Technology Teacher is that I feel like I can support the research side of a project but also provide valuable technology ideas too.  I am also not afraid to try new things and often suggest that we should just figure it out together.

What is the best teaching advice you have received?  

The best advice I received told me to focus on what the students were doing instead of how I was presenting the material.  Its real easy as educators to focus on creating the right presentation, or finding the perfect article for them to read.  I have learned to focus on the “real work of the discipline”:  Let science students do real science — allow writers to write real books.  Our students are dying for meaningful work that is relevant and has importance.  We need to do more of that in our classrooms.

What are you currently reading?

I read a lot of Young Adult fiction so I can recommend quality fiction for my students and am currently loving titles from:  Jason Reynolds, Nicola Yoon, Jennifer Niven, Jeff Zentner, A.S King and Meg Medina.

Colette is one of our Northwest App All Stars that will be joining Jason and myself at NCCE’s Tech-Savvy Teacher Google Summit:

NCCE’s One-Day Google Summit

Wednesday, March 22, 2017—9 am-4 pm


Colette’s Sessions at NCCE 2017

Extend Learning Using Online Discussion Forums

Thu, March 23 | 9:00 AM – 9:50 AM | Room: F150

Description:
Extend learning by using online discussion forums with middle and high schools students.  Provide opportunities for your students to demonstrate their understanding of concept presented in class, have conversations with their peers, debate topics in a safe and respectful manner, and share resources using online discussion forums.  We’ll use the features of Google Classroom to see how to give every child a voice in the classroom – but the concepts can easily be adapted to any product like Canvas, Schoology or Edmodo.

Go Beyond G Suite For Education With Chrome Apps & Extensions

Thu, March 23 | 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM | Room: F150

Description:
Chromebooks using G Suites for Education are powerful tools for students for word processing, presentations, data collection and websites.  Add functionality to your Chromebook (or Chrome Browser) by installing Chrome Apps and Extensions. This hands-on session will show you how to install apps/extensions, provide reviews and examples from highly rated educational apps/extensions and give you time to play!

Got Books: Promote Reading And YA Literature Using G Suite

Fri, March 24 | 8:30 AM – 9:20 AM | Room: E145

Description:
Reach your teen audiences with creative ways that promote reading and young adult literature using G Suite for Education.   See how students, teachers and librarians can use Google Sites or Slides for books talks, read alikes, or book reviews.  Hear how high schools are using Google Hangouts for virtual book clubs.  Map out literary journeys by creating a Google Lit Trips by embedding images, video and/or text into custom Google Maps.  The ideas are endless!

Screencasting For Students, Teachers Or Librarians!

Fri, March 24 | 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM | Room: E145

Description:
Wouldn’t it be great to have an archive of your best presentations, lectures or lessons? Screencasting is great way to make a “screencast” movie of your information, upload and share online. Learn screencast options for MAC, PC, Chromebook, or iPad — please bring your own device (with the ability to install apps/extensions). This is a hands-on lesson so be ready to make!

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