Wednesday, June 20, 2018

InnEdCO18 - Reflecting on a great conference

Last week I attended the Innovative Education Colorado Conference (InnEdCO) in Keystone, CO. Throughout my four days, I spent most of my time learning about personalized professional development, online tools to support students, and STEAM activities. I also presented on Wednesday afternoon about 3D printing and the use of TinkerCAD for students to create 3D objects.

I used this blog to take notes about my experience. Here's a break down of my notes:

Personalized PD:
1) Sarah Thomas Keynote & Workshop during the morning of Day 1 (@sarahdateechur)
2) Session 2, Day 2: Personalized Professional Development using the EdCamp model
3) Personalized Learning with the Beacon Network in DPS for the 2nd session of Day 2
4) Personalized PD -- planning tools for all levels and types of teachers

Online Tools:
1) HyperDocs with the Denver Public Schools Digital Coaches during Day 1
2) Gamifying your Classroom during my final session of Day 1
3) ELL Toolbox - finding tools to assist our English Language Learners for the first session of Day 2
4) Shark Tank Tools -- a fantastic set of tools within one website built by Candy McGregor and Megan McQuinn

-STEAM with Eric Carle -- I love the idea of using picture books and STEAM activities

Also, on Wednesday, June 13, I offered a 2 hour workshop during the conference. I've linked my presentation below:

InnEdCO Workshop 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

InnEdCO18 - Personalized PD

Creating ways to reach all staff in the professional development opportunities offered in your building. I love the idea of personalizing PD. Every teacher has experienced a terrible PD presentation so we really need to be creating opportunities for each staff member to decide what they need and when they need it. With an online personal learning network, teachers can feel supported and have their PD needs met, but many of them don't know how to create this PLN. This is where my position as the tech teacher/librarian can help them discover tools like social media, YouTube playlists, blogs, pinterest, etc to build a toolbox for their personal professional development.

Slide Deck:


Extraordinaires Design Studio Pro

PD planning:

I loved the planning templates. We all know these types of teachers who are reluctant to change their practice and in their defense, it's scary to take a chance in an environment that emphasizes high stakes testing and heavy-handed teacher evaluations. That being said, it's imperative we can continue to grow our own practice and help our colleagues do the same. These planning templates help us think through some of the road blocks we might encounter in our building when colleagues experience anxiety around change.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

InnEdCO18 - Shark Tank Tools

 The talented Candy McGregor and Megan McQuinn built an incredible bank of tools on their Google Site (linked below). Here are some of the ones I was able to find.

Google Site of Tools:

1) I viewed the Live Webcams tools:
-great way to show students actual locations around the world
-show kids live animals
-virtual field trips

2) PDFCandy
-This tool just changed my life!
-Allows you to do anything you ever wanted to do to a PDF: convert, edit, rearrange, etc.

3) TakingIT Global
-Connect students to global issues like human rights, environment, poverty, education, etc.
-Students have access to a global community & resources to begin to solve the problem

InnEdCO18 - STEAM with Eric Carle

Session 1, Day 3: STEAM activities with the books of Eric Carle. I will have a new class next year for each grade level (elementary school) where the students can choose their elective on Wednesdays for 9 week quarters. Essentially it's a 9 day course. I'm having the students complete STEAM challenges on these days and setting these activities to Eric Carle's famous books works perfectly (I'm also a librarian 😁). I love the idea of connecting STEAM activities to their favorite books or books that they choose.

Shared Google Drive folder of resources:

Hungry Caterpillar:
1) build a caterpillar - set constraints on size & weight
     -build cocoon to hold caterpillar - materials =
     -hang cocoon
2) Bloxels Game
     -caterpillar has to grow and change into a butterfly
     -has to have one of the food for coins
     -has to have an enemy
     -background must have Eric Carle signature Smiling Sun

The Very Busy Spider
1) Sketch a Web
     -Dash and Sketch Kit to draw spider web or use Lego connectors
    -pipe cleaners to make Dash a spider
    -works with app or Chromebooks

The Very Quiet Cricket
1) Makey Makey and Scratch
    -design an activity based on the story
    -could be a game or an animation
2) Little Bits Project
     -create a chirping cricket or a character that lights up
     -make sure to setup expectations for students to work with circuits

The Very Lonely Firefly
1) Light up firefly
    -little Bits circuits to build a firefly
    -play do and paper to make firefly
    -power, slide dimmer, pulse, wire, bright LED for circuit
2) Chibitronics Firefly
   -construction paper, copper tape, LED sticker, coin cell battery, binder clip, simple circuit template

The Very Clumsy Click Beetle
1) Flip your Beetle
    -make flipping beetles
    -cut oval shape from paper or card stock
    -glue clothes pin to backside & bottom of beetle
    -keep track of landings & try different shapes & sizes

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

InnEdCO18 - Personalize Learning

Session 3, Day 2
The fine folks at Beacon Network Schools in Denver Public Schools will walk us through their  process over the last 7 years towards personalizing learning for students.

Slide Deck:

Essential Elements leading to Personalized Learning:
-Blended Learning -- online & face-to-face learning, smaller groups, differentiated
-Critical Thinking
-Extended Day Opportunities
-Character Development -- measure the positives, focus on positive culture

I'm a big fan of their focus on character development and a strong culture. It's impossible for students to grow if were not focusing on the positive aspects of our students. As a colleague of mine has stated, "You can't grow the mind without first growing the heart."

Knoster Model:
Vision + Skills + Incentives + Resources + Action Plan = Change
-if your missing one of the pieces, it will lead to confusion, frustration, apathy, or negativity

Breakout Sessions:
1) Classroom Redesign
    -giving students choice in where they want to learn
   -allow for the classroom to change from whole group, small group, partners, individual
2) Proficiency Scales
     -give students ability to work at their pace
     -once they show mastery in a standard (multiple different ways to show this) they move to the next "level" or standard
     -gives students choice and autonomy
3) Positive Rewards -- Live School
     -giving online points for positive behaviors around traits
     -app so can "catch" students in the hallways, cafe, outside & give points
     -students have access to their points
     -recognize students with most points every Friday

InnEdCO 2018 - Personalized Professional Learning

Day 2, Session 2: How do we personalized PD for every teacher to meet their needs? We've all sat through mind numbing professional development where a slide deck was read to us word for word for a few hours. It's a terrible learning environment that fosters negativity and apathy. How do we meet our teachers' needs?

EdCamps - an "unconference" where the participants decide the topics and conversations.
1) Participant driven - teacher choice & voice
2) Free & open to all
3) Not planned presentations but organic conversations
4) Rule of 2 feet - leave the session if it doesn't meet your needs

NY Times article about EdCamps

How to organize your own EdCamp? (in building or larger scale)

Roles during EdCamp:
     -start conversations (share experience or have members generate questions)
     -invite participation
     -encourage dialogue & questions
     -if conversation dies out, start a new topic
     -ask questions
     -share ideas, experiences, opinions, resources
     -make connections with other members

How could you use this in a classroom?
-choice boards -- let the students choose presentation tools, teach each other
-book talks -- let students choose books to read, create questions, lead discussions
-comment any other ideas below

InnEdCO18 -- ELL Toolbox

Session 1, Day 2 of InnEdCO 2018. I've often been curious of the best ways to support our English language learners. These are a list of tools, either web browser extensions or websites, that target reading, speaking/listening, writing, and research skills. These tools should give students access to grade level materials while learning the language.

We use Read&Write in our building now so I left that off the lists (it specifically targets reading and speaking/listening skills)

Slide Deck:

Reading Tools:
Scrible  - extension/website - FREE, collaborate using sticky notes, saves websites/pdfs
Mercury Reader - extension -- FREE, removes distractions from websites

Flipgrid - website - FREE, adding stickers/likes/ to video recording created by students, but only 1 grid allowed; PAID, free features + comments on video & more than 1 grid

Language Tool - Doc Add-on - FREE, checks writing for grammar & spelling
SAS Curriculum Pathways Writing Reviser -- Doc Add-on -- FREE, checks writing for passive voice, repeated words, sentence variety, etc.

ReadWorks - Website - FREE, search to find article by grade/lexile level& assign to classes/groups
Choosito - Website - FREE, search engine allowing teachers to choose 4 lexile levels;  PAID, students have access to search engine, citation tool, website readability tool
Rewordify - Website - FREE, simplifies complex text, copy/paste text into website
Simple English Wikipedia - Website -FREE, wikipedia in simple English
Google Docs Explore - Tools menu within Docs - FREE, research & cite within Google Docs

Monday, June 11, 2018

InnEdCO18 -- Gaming your Classroom

Session 4, Day 1: Gamification in your classroom

I've been trying to build in gamification into my tech classroom (and have a few teachers in my building who are curious).

Creating a game:
1) aesthetics
2) story development
3) mechanics
4) What type of tech will you use?

Story Tip:
-Goals, Obstacles, and Conflicts
-Simplicity & Transcendence
-Be consistent and accessible

Examples of Gamification in the classroom:


InnEdCO18 - HyperDocs with DPS Digital Coaches

Session 3 for the first day: learning all about HyperDocs and how to build them to meet our students' needs (or possibly our staff members). I'd love to create a HyperDoc for my staff to help them

Types of HyperDocs:
1) How-to Guide
2) Passive Learning Playlists
3) Project Guide
4) Collaborative Class Research Survey

HyperDoc Skills:
1) Inserting links
2) Linking bookmarks

Types of Files:
-Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drawings

User-friendly styles:
1) tables -- make it user friendly, aesthetically pleasing
    -users should be able to easily find information on your HyperDoc
2) Bitmojis


InnEdCO18 -- PBL with Sarah Thomas

Project Based Learning, Passion Based Learning, Problem Based Learning
Sarah Thomas -- EduMatch
#moonshotthinking - innovation, dream big, choosing make the impossible possible
-add your project topic
-connect with other educators with similar interests, passions
-first 6 steps completed through the Google Form linked above
-the last 6 steps will be emailed to you with a Google Doc attachment

-Fast Friends -
-great way to break the ice and get to know new people
-great starting point for teams to find commonality, passions

InnEdCO 2018 Keynote with Sarah Thomas

I'm in beautiful Keystone, CO for #InnEdCO18 and starting the first day with a keynote address from Sarah Thomas (@sarahdateechur). I'll work through the Google Learning Academy today and moving to your Google Academy Workshop from 9:45-11:15.

Keynote: Sarah Thomas
Edumatch creator (among tons of other things she's done 😁)

What is your power?
My power -- communication, sharing my story, connections

How do you use social media to connect with other educators?
-Twitter -- education chats, educational leaders, classrooms, etc.
-Voxer -- walkie talkie app for communicating with teams
    -saved conversations
    -education conversations

3 steps to taking over the world (or at least changing your world):
1) Find your crew -- Personal Learning Family #usetech4good
2) Solve a problem -- spirit influence
     -How do we solve problems within our community? school building?
3) Scale -- spread the love (@digcitkids)
     -advocate for yourself and your students -- give students an outlet to share their voice

Flourishing in education:
1) Culture & environment -- finding your place
2) Connecting/Sharing with other educators -- social media
3) Move on those magical moments -- put it out there and see what people think
     - it could be a project for students, systems for a school - seek criticism and feedback through your Personal Learning Family
     -help others with their challenges:

Slide Deck: