I have returned from Mountain View, Ca. I am now a Google Certified Educator. Wow, but really what does that mean. For starters I am now connected to a fantastic group of inspired educators, ones that are implementing change in education as I type. They are eager to utilize the tools of today and share with others. secondly it means I am connected to the Google community of tools. Hmmm, I have been using Google tools for years. I have a renewed sense of urgency to get more educators and students connected with the tools so they can share resources and knowledge like never before. Those who make the rules in education need to come to their senses and allow collaboration at the highest levels. Finally I am almost ready to create an action plan for implementation so I can show others the great free resources Google has for education.
The two days of sharing and learning were overwhelming. I am just now, 10 das later, starting to figure out how much was actually shared. I learned that I really did not know much about Google tools. Google maps can provide so much more than directions. Google mail does a bunch of things to help get organized and searching can be done so much better if you know how. I am looking to share much of what I have learned in the next several months. The learning just does not stop… and that is how I like it.
Today flexibility is key! But how? Here is an update to the original Shift Happens video. The update was published in 2009. But how much as changed in just 3 years? Take a look and see for yourself. Do you Know.
With all of the interactive technology today resumes can take on a whole new look. Digital storytelling, visually appealing, quick information. Take a look at what I just created. It took minutes. Or here is the site you can start right away, http://re.vu/ Have fun, tell me what you think.
Several weeks ago I came across the Google Teacher Academy application through the CUE Newsletter. I thought this sounded like fun. I completed the application, many revisions until I was satisfied. Then went to work on the 1-minute video.
Hmmm how do I share my passion for education in 1 minute. Well eventually I worked it out and I was actually quite please with what I produced. But the bigger question is will the folks who review the application be pleased. I can’t worry about that… but the waiting was long.
Finally October 16th arrived, no email…no email… no email… losing hope. The day ends and well no news, but no rejection either. A friend of mind asked me if I had heard anything and I reluctantly said No. Rejected again! But at least the application process made me reflect once again on why education is important and what my greatest moments were.
Then I looked in my spam folder and guess what was waiting for me?
“You have been selected to participate in the Google Teacher Academy – Mountain View. After reviewing your application, we believe that you have the experience and passion necessary to positively impact education in your region, and we are excited to have you join us”
Yes! I have been accepted to the Google Teacher Academy. December 5th cannot get here quick enough. This group of educators has energy that could fuel a small country. My flight has been purchased, my hotel has been confirmed, I have tweated with my roommate and created a new circle on Google +. I cannot wait to land in San Jose and take this experience to new levels. Stay tuned…
I have been playing around with several tools to increase my awareness of my digital footprint. I came across a personal digital footprint calculator. It allows you to keep track of the ever growing digital footprint overtime. So of course I tried it out. it was simple enough to use , here are the results:
As you can see my footprint has increased over the last few days. Makes for a good topic to discuss. The number represents bytes of information I have added to my footprint.
Another tool I have known about but have never tried is Livebinders. I have seen many notebooks but have never created one myself. So for this experience, Digifoot 12, I am going to try to get a handle on it. It is my hope that I am able to collect some great tools and interactions from peers in this project in order to share with my own students. I will share my notebook at a later date.
So tonight we meet to discuss Twitter. I have already picked up a new tool, flipping books, because the presenter shared her information through it. I am going to make a book next free minute I get. But back to twitter, I just updated my profile and I am ready to tweet. I will let you know how it goes. Back to DigiFoot12
I have just signed up to have an online experience, a MOOC to be exact. What is that you say? It is a Massive Open Online Course. Free. You create the experience.
First I needed to join the group Student 2.0. Student 2.0 is a network for learners to connect independently with other learners and with mentors from around the world, and to have educational experiences across cultural and geographic boundaries. So I did, currently I am waiting for approval to enter. If you are wondering about the digital world for students I encourage you to join, it is a lively group.
Next I needed to join the group, #digifoot12 this will all me access to the conversation.There is a classroom presence through Blackboard and then a host of activities to complete. The neat part is you can do all or as little as you want. You are in control of the learning and interactions. Tonight is the first session, I am excited to see how it works and more excited to be thinking of a MOOC I can facilitate. I will be tweeting as I go.
I begin my expereince tonight -
Exploring Our Digital Footprints Together: An open online course offering participants the opportunity to learn about their digital footprint and social media in an inclusive, supported and networked environment.
The ISTE Conference is concluding. It was an amazing crowd, very large. Most were walking around with their iPad or tablet gathering information in many forms. There were many conversations to be had. I had a great experience networking with likeminded professionals.
Tom and I conducted a Poster session. At first I was unsure of what I should do, but then I thought people will ask me then I will know… Hmm well it worked out ok. We had a great poster (see below) highlighting some mapping tools which we wanted to share at our Model Lesson session. The people came in mass numbers. We talked to so many people about how to engage and motivate kids with these types of tools. What amazed me was their willingness to accept the ideas and try. Most were just trying to wrap their curriculum around our concepts and ideas. But through the power of conversation lots of ideas were shared.
Today Tom and I conducted our Model Lesson. We did not have a full house but we had a very engaged audience. After our short introduction the ‘students’ were put to work. They were challenged with creating a map with at least 5 points of interest using Scribble Maps. Many questions were asked and the ‘students’ did the answering. At the end of the 20 minutes we had over 30 different maps that were produced for all kinds of reasons, vacation travels, historical points, tourist attractions, just to name a few. The session turned out to be informative and engaging. I was pleased.
I have been preaching for years the importance of hands on learning and relevance to the real world. Hmm I think others are starting to hear this as well. Check out this post.
Just going through my notes and I realized my presentation thoughts and outcomes did not make it to my blog. So here is my entry from March 6th and 7th. I had a good time sharing and connecting with others at this conference.
I am on my way to the SXSW EDU conference . This is a first for me. I am excited to be leading an exception panel of educators to talk about Challenge Based Learning. The panel is represented by Sherri Brinkerhoff , Sharyn Gabriel, Kathy Craven, and me. Each one of the panel members brings area of expertise as it relates to implementing Challenge Based Learning.
I will be be sharing our adventures of participating in the 2nd CBL pilot offered by Apple. We created a Challenge with 31 educators across the country. I will share how k12 educators implemented a CBL in their classroom as well as participated in our challenge, Creating Virtual Communities.
Sharyn and Sherri brings their area of expertise to the panel. Sharyn is a middle school principal and her teachers are implementing the CBL framework throughout her school, Ocoee Middle Schoo
l. Sheri is a high school art teach who participated in my challenge but also issued a Challenge to her art students.
We are excited to share our outcomes, success stories and lessons learned. Join us on March 6 at 2 pm as we share our stories and respond to your questions.
Wednesday March 7
The conference is going well. It is a bit different than a typical educator conference. The attendees (800 or so) are more willing to participate and share their experiences than at other conferences I have attended. Some of the session topics are intriguing and more interactive.
Our session, The CBL Pilot, went amazing well. Kathy, Sharyn and I spent a few ours organizing our thoughts and preparing for possible question. We add some video and images for the keynote, and created a backchannel for questions using Todays Meet. I was not really sure what to expect. Finally we began the panel discussion.
After our brief introductions and Kathy setting the stage for what was to come, I noticed the back channel lighting up with questions and comments. The audience was already engaged! We tried to create a beginning, middle, and end as we discussed the CBL implementation. That went out the window. The questions were many but the audience was right on track with what we prepared for. They wanted to know all of the ups and downs, positives and negatives, cost, technology needs and what to do with non motivated teachers.
I now have a great appreciation for panel discussions. I really like the openness of the discussions and the willingness of the participants to ask them. It reminded me of the CBL process – let the learner drive the learning. That is what we did. We guided them through the process, in theory, created a safe environment to share their thoughts and produce a solution of willing participants. What a great hour.
This has become a educational buzz phrase, but I am always hearing many different definitions. It is a way to meet learners at their level of expertise, ie differentiated instruction. A way to allow learners to move at their own pace but still cover the required elements, ie individual learning. Seems to be some confusion on what a Personal Learning Environment really is. Going through my feeds I have come across exactly what it is. Here is the link, tell me what you think. Rethink Learning