NINE Days of Learning Coming Your Way #DITCHSummit

Image from Pixabay

Friends, it’s almost here: The 2018 DITCH Summit is two weeks away and with that will come NINE fabulous presenters that will leave you pumped, energized, motivated, and armed with tools, tips, and ideas that you can start using right away with your students! You can sign up here.

Beginning December 14th and daily through December 31st you will receive your daily gift of learning in your inbox along with all the accompanying materials for the day’s presentation.

This year’s schedule for the 2018 DITCHSummit:

December 14 (Fri) — How Students Are Using Technology to Change the World (Ken Shelton, Disruptor, Keynote Speaker, Techquity Voice)

December 15 (Sat) — Building Relationships and Communicating with Students (Kim Bearden, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ron Clark Academy)

December 16 (Sun) — Six Practical Ways to Amplify Learning with Technology (Matt Miller, Head Textbook Ditcher, Ditch That Textbook)

December 17 (Mon) — Appsmashing Your Way to Redefinition (Jornea Erwin, Head of Educator Innovation, Flipgrid)

December 18 (Tue) — Infusing Coding in Any Class (Bryan Miller, Co-Founder, TopTechEDU, Director of Education Strategy, Wonder Workshop)

December 19 (Wed) — Fantastic Learning Activities with Google Drawings (Tony Vincent, 5th grade teacher / LearningInHand.com)

December 20 (Thur) — Using Visual Thinking to Unlock Powerful Learning (Manuel Herrera, doodler and visual thinker)

December 21 (Fri) — Sparking Student Creativity and Creation with Video (Claudio Zavala, video/creativity/storytelling enthusiast)

 If you are curious about DITCHSummit, you can read my posts from the previous years here, here, and here, and I promise you will be happy that you did!

Taking Time to Learn

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Taking time for learning is one of the ways I use my signature strength- Love of Learning. It is something I enjoy and often feel like I am missing something if I am not reading or engaging in some sort of learning whether it be a course or webinar. I recently participated in one hosted by Modern Learners‘ Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon. These webinars are thought-provoking, interesting, and leave their participants pondering things like grading, success, and questions like, “what matters” over “how”. When you subscribe to their newsletter, you get the free download of The Modern Learners Reader, a collection of essays on educational change. It is definitely worth the time to read it and would be great to read as a faculty.

As mentioned above, one of the webinars I participated in was with Scott Looney of the Mastery Transcript Consortium. In it he talked about his schools’ need for moving away from traditional grading and finding other ways of showing skills that students were learning and displaying that could not be assessed with letter grades. This recent article from Edutopia, “Will Letter Grades Survive?” offers a taste of that conversation.

“The purpose of education is not to sort kids—it’s to grow kids. Teachers need to coach and mentor, but with grades, teachers turn into judges.” ~Scott Looney, The Hawken School

As part of the Ditch Summit, Pooja Agarwal shared her research-based strategies for improving learning and retention through the use of retrieval practice. You can read about that in my previous post here. Last week Kate Jones, an educator I follow on Twitter shared her retrieval practice challenge grids that she created for her classroom along with images from numerous teachers who have adapted and shared her original challenge grid to use for spaced retrieval practice of their own content. Ah, the power of Twitter!

One of the sites to which I subscribe is the Global Digital Citizen Foundation or GDCF Ninjas for short. They have a fantastic blog as well as excellent resources on all topics including STEM, digital citizenship, formative assessments, writing, rubrics, and lesson plans (for premium users), and professional learning articles. It really is a site that has something foe everyone. One of the posts they shared is on formative assessment that includes several non-technology based ways to check in with your students. They also have a downloadable and printable pocket guide with over 70 different fun, quick, and easy ways to formatively assess your students. Pair these with or use for spaced retrieval practice as recommended by Pooja Agarwal, for a great way to ensure your students’ learning retention over time.

If you would like to find even more great articles, videos, tips, and tricks, check out this week’s Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition.

photo credit: Anne Davis 773 learning via photopin (license)

Happy New Year of Learning!

75052863082016 came to a close with an inspiring list of educators brought together in what was called #DitchSummit by Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook. As mentioned in my pre-break post, each day between December 18-24 a new video was released along with notes and relevant links.

Speakers I viewed included

  1. Mike Soskil who spoke of the importance of giving students opportunities to solve real problems and making global connections by Skyping or doing the 5-Clue Challenge;
  2. Alice Keeler who discussed homework and asked,”Does homework inspire kids to love learning?”;
  3. Kasey Bell who discussed the creative ways you and your students can be using the GSuite for Education tools (formerly known as Google Apps for Ed) and how GSuite makes it easy for parents to stay connected and informed;
  4. the HyperDocs Girls- Lisa Highfill, Sarah Landis, and Kelly Amick Hilton (while I did not watch this particular presentation, I did watch their recent presentation during Google Edu On Air and they are always worth mentioning);
  5. Paul Solarz who challenged teachers to give over some control to students for a student-led classroom, and allow our students the opportunity to learn from mistakes. Additionally, Solarz talked about beginning with the end in mind, part of The Leader in Me program.
  6. John Spencer who wrote the book, LAUNCH and discussed making and creativity using the LAUNCH cycle, a design-thinking process in your classroom; and
  7. Dave Burgess , the original Teaching-Pirate, who talked about teaching with passion, making our content sizzle, and creating a classroom our students want to enter each day.

Each speaker shared their passion for educating children and will motivate you to be the best you can be so that your students can be the best they can be.

These days I use Twitter for the dual purpose of taking notes and sharing information and then pull it all together using Storify. You can view my Storify here.

Happy New Year!