Saturday, September 16, 2017

Weekly Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, September 04, 2017

August PD: Part 2

Our focus question for this year is HOW MIGHT WE? We even got temporary tattoos and stickers to help us keep this question in the forefront of our work during in-service days.



Day 2 the question was: How might we use our collective strengths to improve teaching and learning? 

Teachers often ask for time to learn new tools that have come out during the year. The team organizing professional development came up with 9 tools they thought teachers would want to know more about. Some, such as Classroom, has been in practice in some classrooms and others, such as FlipGrid were new. We also wanted to show teachers the idea of student choice. 

With our goal of using our collective strengths, I came up with a choice grid, based on a Hyperdocs template. 
There are 9 tools to choose from. Each square goes to an individual doc where a description of the tool, the room to meet in, some links, and the ability to take notes was available. Using the Edcamp model, I encouraged teachers to switch sessions if something wasn't working and to take notes so that other teachers could benefit if they missed a session. In the center of the choice grid is a link to share #onenewthing they learned or wanted to share. 

Casey Bell came out with a very timely article which fit perfectly as a take away for the activity: How to Push the Boundaries of School with Dynamic Learning. This activity was well received but we could have used about a half hour more for time. We will use it again later in the year. 

Sunday, September 03, 2017

August PD: Part 1

All teachers and students in the high school are getting new computers this fall. It's hard to believe, but this is starting our 12th year of being 1:1. I am always asked to kick off the in-service days with an update on what's new. Frankly, there are not a lot of updates anymore. I prefer to concentrate on how we're learning using the machines to help us.  

Over the summer I read Dan Ryder and Amy Burvall's book Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom. There are so many great ideas in it. They encourage remixing their activities. I also saw Lisa Thumann present #onenewthing at the EdTechTeam Custom Summit in Pulaski, Arkansas. 

Something that we have done in the past is to share a new idea using technology at faculty meetings. Either the principal or I would point out something we had seen in the classroom. The teacher would then do a quick overview. We called it "Geek of the Week" and it was modeled on the Seedlings podcast that I used to participate in. So I remixed "Geek of the Week" and a Lego activity and came up with #onenewthing. 

  • Find a partner. Decide who is one and who is two
  • Grab a cup of Lego (half filled Solo cups with random pieces of Legos)
  • Ground Rules:
    • No talking
    • You will have 4 minutes to build something which I will tell you about in a minute.
    • While building, you may trade Lego pieces with your partner, but it must be a one to one trade. 
  • You will have 4 minutes to build a representation of something new that you learned this summer.
  • After the 4 minutes is up, Turn and Talk. 
    • Partner 1 - try to guess what Partner 2 made. Partner 2 then shares what they learned.
    • Partner 2 - try to guess what Partner 1 made. Partner 1 then shares what they learned.
  • Who would like to share one of their creations?
    • Now let's think about our classrooms. What is #onenewthing you would like to try this year? Share with your partner.
    • If you would like to show your creation - leave it on the table in the back.
Instead of Geek of the Week, we are going to share #onenewthing at our faculty meetings. More to come! 















Saturday, September 02, 2017

Weekly Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Weekly Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Weekly Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weekly Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Weekly Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summer Technology Class

I recently finished teaching at the University of Southern Maine. The course, Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age, is 3 credits packed into 1 week from 8 -4. It's a grueling schedule for the students, but I am always blown away by what they accomplish in a week's time.

This year's class was new and so it always takes awhile to get in to the flow. I like to tweak and make sure I am staying on their pace. I am forever rearranging the agenda because I want to make sure I try to meet everyone's needs. The days are usually structured so that we do an EdCafe in the morning, followed by some instruction, and then work time. The EdCafe is my favorite part. I learned about EdCafe by going to EdCamp Boston a few years ago. I assign 2 articles for reading. There are 2 leaders each day (this changes depending on the number in the class). They each choose a question, topic, or wonder based on the reading and then ask others to join them in a conversation. The conversations take place for about 20 minutes. Then it's back to the classroom for a "Brain Dump". Each student has a document that's assigned in Google Classroom. They write for 20 quiet minutes about what they've learned during the EdCafe and how it relates to their teaching. Later, the Brain Dumps get shared and classmates can comment on each others ideas. It's powerful learning and process time and it makes me realize how little teachers get to do it. One student wrote in her evaluation "I loved all of the examples that were shared and the discussions that we had. Its rare that educators have the time to discuss as much as we did this week. There were lots of opportunities to ask questions and share ideas." What would our school look like if we had more reflection time built in?

I have lots of ideas for next year. It's so exciting to see what teachers create! Thanks to the wonderful class of learners!

Maine Summit 2017