• Gwen Hedden

What's new with SparkEd?

As we look ahead to the 2018-2019 school year, I have looked to find new ways to expand our involvement in the K-12 and Ed. Tech world. This past month, our little company has grown and evolved in many new and exciting ways, and embarked upon some fabulous new partnerships! Check out what we have in the works!

August has been a very busy and exciting time for SparkEd! We officially became an LLC, forged exciting partnerships with school districts, technology companies, and app developers, and are working hard to prepare for the upcoming school year!

In the beginning of August, I began working with Visual Sound Inc. and the Educational Technology Department in the School District of Philadelphia to support their teachers in the implementation of technology to enhance instruction and learning. For the next two years, I will be working closely with a team of talented instructional coaches from all over the country to support teachers in their exploration and implementation of emerging technologies. This is no small task, as the School District of Philadelphia is the eighth largest district in the United States-- serving over 200 schools! Specifically, our mission is to explore best practices incorporating SMART Technologies, G Suite for Education, iOS devices, and other exciting Ed. Tech trends that will foster engagement and authentic learning through student-centered instruction. By working directly with technology trainers, implementation specialists, and stake-holders within the district, we will be ensuring that 1800 teachers will benefit from the continual support of a dedicated instructional coach. This is an exciting partnership with an incredible group of dedicated professionals and passionate educators, and I am thrilled to be a part of it!

All of the coaches are working on getting Google Certified, and recently sat for the Educator 1 exam! In the coming months, I will be partnering with the Ed. Tech team to support new coaches in obtaining the Educator 2 and Certified Trainer credentials. It has been great working with other Certified Trainers and getting to share our tricks and tips about how G Suite can support users, and I am eager to work with these coaches to explore how G Suite can best support them!

We are also continuing to work with Springboard IT to support businesses, non-profits, and start-ups throughout the greater Philadelphia area. We continue to provide professional development, technology training, and end-user orientation for their client base.

Beyond SparkEd's involvement within Philadelphia, we are also working with Michal Finegold of Shmonster to develop a custom curriculum for her application, PuppetMaster. This curriculum will address all content areas for grades K-3, and will incorporate lessons regarding character development, community, digital citizenship, mindfulness, and the environment.

Michal recently posted this craft for one of the new lessons, using found materials and recyclables to support a green-mindset and maker culture in the classroom!

Most recently, I have been working hard to develop relevant, engaging, and thoughtful back to school lesson plans that teachers can use to incorporate this amazing creativity tool within their classrooms. Right now, our focus is primarily on grades K-3, but there are plans to transition the application into older grades in the near future. Keep an eye on her website and feed to learn more about how PuppetMaster is growing and changing to best foster learning and creativity in the K-12 space!

We are so excited to be part of all of these exciting projects and can't wait to see how they progress!


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