I LOVE learning and earning my PD credits this way. I appreciate the array of choices and even though I’ve done this three years, I still haven’t done everything. I did find the whole Canvas site a little confusing. It felt as though I had to login and register in a zillion different places, but apparently I figured it out.
As a librarian, I only have the students for about 30 minutes a week and between assemblies, field trips, testing, school pictures, and snow days, my classes are often cancelled. It is very difficult to continue a lesson 2 to 3 weeks after its been started. Consequently, I prefer lessons that can be taught/modelled one day, and students can do the following class time. Finding free, quick tech lessons that can be incorporated reasonably within library class works well for me. Tools that I have used in the library include Tagxedo, Coding, Quozia, StoryboardThat and Google Slides. I even used coding as a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) reward! I use Pocket App almost daily. I continue to use Common Sense Media year after year. Generally, I use tools that are easy to learn and limited in their choices. For example, Storybird is amazing, but I end up spending at least an hour just looking at the illustrations! (Same with Haiku deck) My students would never actually create anything! If there are too many options, it becomes a huge time black hole. On the other hand, I loved learning how to create crossword puzzles. Although creating a book specific puzzle is time-consuming, once made, it can be used year after year, and it is so handy for those students who finish early. Creating crossword puzzles is fun. I usually create one over a break when I don’t feel like working, but it gets me into the working mindset. Truthfully, if I didn’t have to do PDs I’m not sure I would take the time to find and try out all these tools. Although I’m interested in all of them, they usually seem more daunting than they actually are. Similarly, many of these tools take more me more than 2 hours, which is fine, but would I spend 2-3 hours on figuring something out if I wasn’t getting PD credit? Probably not because I’d feel like I was “wasting” time. So yes, I am glad my district offers Cool Tools and I do feel that my students benefit from the tools I learn.