His Story, Her Story, Their Story, Our Story

11627048594I have had two tabs open in my browser for the last rotation and a half. Since my school is on a 7-day rotation, with each day being a letter of our school name,  that means this tab has been open since the previous P day. Today is E day. That is a long time to keep something hanging around but these two tabs are worth it and here is why.

The first is a blog post from the Cult of Pedagogy that got me from the title, Best PD Ever: The Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminars. At the time that I first saw this post, I was researching effective PD (which I then shared here) so of course I was going to open it up and read it. Gonzalez talked about a series of teacher seminars that immerse the teacher learners in the specific history experience during one week residential seminars. Depending on your area of study, this could be Mount Vernon for the George Washington experience, New York City for the 9-11 experience, or Missoula, Montana for the Lewis and Clark experience.

I had not heard of Gilder Lehrman so I went to visit their site. I have still not left. It is a veritable treasure trove of learning from all eras of history from The Americas and American Indians,  exploration to the present.  You can explore by era or by themes across time. There is so much here for history teachers, history buffs, students, or anyone like me who just likes to learn. There are primary sources like letters from soldiers that you can listen to while reading along, or this letter from a slave to his mother, or this one from Abraham Lincoln to his wife. They also have Multimedia like this one about Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass that I coincidently heard about during Dave Chapelle’s opening monologue on SNL, where Abraham Lincoln asked Frederick Douglass what he thought of his inaugural speech (Douglass was not allowed in to the White House because the guards did not know him. Lincoln saw him and shouted, “Let him in, he’s that’s my friend Douglass,”), or these about the Thirteen Colonies. There are Interactive features, teacher resources, video series, and so much more. The site is free to sign up and use, many things viewable without logging in. For educators there are professional development opportunities, online programs, self-paced courses,  summer seminars, teacher resources, and that is just the beginning.

To have this amazing collection of resources at your fingertips is incredible. While this post may be short, it is packed with information that I encourage you to spend some time checking out and then passing along.

Weekly Share: 7 for the Price of One (Tab)

2645519906Hello folks, this has been quite a week of learning and I am looking forward to sharing some tips, videos, sites, and more with you.

I love when I find great things to read, watch, and ultimately share and this week was no different. I had several tabs I was viewing and decided that I would use my One Tab extension and share them with you as a web page and then discuss a bit more in depth each item in the collection.

–> So here is the collection of items for you. Click please.

Now let’s take a look at what you will find when you open it up to reveal the tabs- it’s like “the gift that keeps on giving” to steal a well-used catchphrase from commercials past (but interestingly enough started with the phonograph).

Tab #1 EdTech Teacher Boston Innovation Summit is being held on November 2-4 and  will feature innovative-ways-to-use-your-device workshops, design thinking, project based learning, and more.

Tabs #2, 3 and 4 are all on personalized learning. The first is a post from Jackie Gerstein where she speaks to the differentiation that comes when you offer open-ended  learning activities like those you might offer in a maker-space. Tabs 3 and 4 are articles from Mindshift @KQED that are referenced in Jackie’s post and delve more deeply into what it means to really personalize learning for each student and then suggests step-by-step ways to do this. Spoiler alert: there are a couple very good charts!

Tab #5 features Sal Khan of Khan Academy speaking for a PBS special, “TED talks: Education Revolution” that aired September 13, 2016 (yes, that was just the other day if you are reading this fresh from publishing date). Khan speaks about students mastering a topic before moving on to the next and uses analogies like this to make his point,

Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why,then, do we rush students through education when they haven’t always grasped the basics?

Tab #6 is really fun. If you are like me and love to watch Jimmy Fallon and his games (though, I must admit that I am unable to stay up late to watch and watch it on DVR during the afternoon), then you will love this hilarious way to use and practice vocabulary in your classroom! Word Sneak is a game for two players (though I think you could adapt this for more) who are given a list of words that they must seamlessly sneak into the conversation. To make it work, the kids really need to have a good understanding of the meaning of the word– a great way to have fun while learning!

Tab #7 is from a favorite of mine- yes, PBS Learning Media. This time it’s their Back to School edition highlighting some of their excellent lessons. If you scroll down, you will see 60-Second Presidents- perfect for an election year (and President’s Day) like this one!

Looking for MORE? Pop over to the Shipley PLN Lower & Middle School Edition paper.(li)

 

 

Two Days in Bootcamp: No Sweat

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“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” ~Peter Drucker

Today was the second of two days of the Google Educator Certification Boot Camp led by Rich Kiker. If you have ever watched any of Lee LeFever’s in Plain English Commoncraft videos– and I recommend that you do because they are excellent explanations of what can be difficult concepts- you will absolutely think that Rich has been doing voiceovers and using a pseudonym because he sounds just like LeFever. But I digress. Rich made the two days of learning fun and informative and left many of us thinking, “Is there nothing that Google does not or cannot do or has not thought of!”

It is easy to get excited by the tools because Google has made it their business to make our workflow as simple, smooth, and as positive experience as possible.

Here is just a handful of things I learned today:

#1 Copy grades from Google Classroom to Sheets

If you are using Google Classroom and you are assigning points to student work, then you will want to choose the option to Copy All Grades to Google Sheets. Now all assignments, students, and grades are automatically added to a grade book that lives in your Classroom folder. Even better– this grade book can then be imported into tools like Power School and other online grade books that your school may use. Talk about ease of use and making life simpler for teachers, this one is amazing!

#2 Start a Google Hangout right from your calendar

Yes, that’s right. If you create a meeting appointment on your calendar, a link to a hangout is automatically created. If you invite someone outside of your organization, an invitation will be sent along with a link to join the hangout. You can open the event in your calendar and start the hangout when it’s time. Easy as pie.

#3 Senders Remorse or Undo Send an Email

Have you ever clicked send in an email and then realized there was a mistake, or worse- like Gloria in Modern Family you said things in the heat of the moment and wished you could un-send it? Well, now you can- within 30 seconds. In your mail settings you can enable undo send and choose from 10-30 seconds within which you will have that capability. Emails that you recall will automatically be moved to your drafts where you can leave it until you are ready to edit, send, or delete it.

#4 Right Click Your Way to Options

You may have used the right click/command click option in a window, document, or even a cell in Sheets, but have you right clicked on a tab in your Chrome browser? Try it.

#5 Step Onstage with the Orchestra

Have you ever dreamed of performing on stage at Carnegie Hall but you know it will never happen because you are not talented in that way? Google can put you on stage with their 360° experience. Give it a try!

For more on today’s boot camp, and to hear about some really cool tools you can check out my Storify of tweets. Trust me, there are things there you won’t want to miss.

 

photo credit: Tough Mudder Training Week 1 via photopin (license)

It’s Time for (#November)Change

4515043369_311a0e502b_mYesterday I had the good fortune to be an attendee at another ItsLearning webinar featuring Alan November. I pretty much jump at any chance I can get to listen to or read something by this great educator.

This week’s webinar was titled, “Putting Pedagogy in the Driver’s Seat”. The big idea and take away from this is that we need to redefine the role of the learners and as teachers we need to shift control to our students. As teachers, we are often the ones who design and deliver problems for our students to solve; we need to teach our students how to ask the right questions, how to find and design their own problems to solve, and how to self-assess.

You can view the Storify here, then we can talk about how we are going to begin letting go of control.

photo credit: Gear Shift, Seat Ibiza (2005) via photopin (license)

Get Your Learning On

All genuine learning comes through experience. ~John Dewey

I hope you are having a lovely day! I have been collecting some things to share with you that I think you will find useful, informative, and thought-provoking. I’m keeping it short today . . .

I have shared in the past about great current events sites to use with your students. This week I learned that Newsela announced “Text Sets” which are articles grouped by subject. You can create your own text sets, or use or remix other teachers’ sets. Here is the article and here is the link to current text sets.

For more sites to use with your social studies and history classes, check this out– resources for teaching current events.

You may have heard the phrase, “the sage on the stage,” well writers of anything- including tweets, texts, Facebook posts, and of course emails and docs- this one is for you! Grammarly is your grammar guide on the side!

Here is a great opportunity from Coursera to learn about Web 2.0 Tools and put them into use in your classroom.

Who says young students can’t reach an authentic audience and do something with their writing?! This article about a fellow Twitterer’s 9-year-old daughter and her food blog will show you that your students can write with a purpose and for an authentic audience reaching far beyond the classroom with their writing!

Summer is coming which means you will have time to rethink your classroom space and do some garage sale shopping to make your space “more like a nice restaurant” (said a student in this teacher’s classroom) and open and inviting to more collaboration and group work.

With summer coming, you’ll have time to get your learning on. PBS teacher line has some excellent professional development opportunities that include both self-paced and instructor-facilitated grad credit courses. They range from 1.5 hours and $49 to $335 and there are numerous options that I think are worth the look.

Have you thought about how you might like to help your students become more creative? Wednesday afternoon there was a great webinar (1 hour long but even if you listen to the first 28 minutes, that would be enough-dayenu) from @edtechteacher and the topic was How to Unleash Your Student’s Creativity so they can tell the story of their learning. I watched the recording because I was unable to attend it live,  and I highly recommend viewing and trying some of the ideas. A big takeaway- if everyone’s products look the same, it’s a recipe, not creativity. We must create the space for student choice and voice.

I will leave you with this visual on the impact of technology use in the classroom. Food for thought.

Is Opting Out an Option?

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Many people opt out of things all the time: credit card offers, email marketing, solicitations, even standardized testing. But is it ok to opt out of teaching? Is it ok to opt out of advancing your career through professional development and continued learning? When does it become ok for teachers to say, “I don’t/won’t do/try that”? Can we as educators succeed in today’s modern classroom if we don’t model learning for our students; if we don’t model trying, failing, trying again? If we don’t show our students that times are changing and we are able to adapt and change with them. Personally I don’t think we can, or rather, I don’t think we should. What do you think?
photo credit: ** RCB ** via photopin cc

#RSCON4

Only a few more hours until educators everywhere will be able to be wowed by this year’s plenaries and presenters at this year’s Reform Symposium e-Conference! See below for more information via the conference site:

Teachers now have access to free quality professional development via current online technologies. Experience this live with thousands of educators from around the globe by attending the 4th annual Reform Symposium Online Conference, RSCON, which takes place October 11th to 13th in conjunction with Connected Educator Month. Attend this free online conference from anywhere that has Internet access.

View the schedule online here. Look forward to being inspired by the following:

  • Plenaries- Sugata Mitra, 2013 Ted prize winner and instigator of the Hole-in-the Wall experiment and Salome Thomas-EL, Principal EL of the Dr. Oz Show.

  • Steve Bingham, electric violinist, and Laura Oldham, the Book Supplier, will play live.

  • 3 Panel discussions featuring Dr. Alec Couros, Ozge Karaoglu, Nicholas Provenzano,                                                            Jackie Gerstein, Steven Anderson, Silvia Tolisano, Joe Dale, Tom Whitby, Pam Moran, Lisa Dabbs, Erin Klein, and Tom Murray.

  • 100+ sessions. Topics include genius hour, the flipped classroom, global projects, mobile learning, game based learning, web 2.0 tools, integrating iPads, e-portfolios, and more. The activities meet Common Core objectives and cover all subjects and age groups.

  • Nominate an educator to receive an EdInspire Award. Takes 5 minutes.

  • Keynotes include Angela Maiers (US), Mark Moran (US), Steve Wheeler (UK), Chuck Sandy (Japan), Rafael Parente (Brazil), John Spencer (US), Chris Lehmann (US), Sue Waters (Australia), Jose Vilson (US), Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto (Japan), Mark Barnes (US), Josh Stumpenhorst (US), Nicky Hockly (Sp), German Doin (Argentina), and 13 year-old humanitarian Mallory Fundora (founder of Project Yesu)

Connect with over 10,000 educators from 100+ countries and receive conference updates via the FutureofEducation.com community,  Twitter (@RSCON4), Facebook, or Pinterest.”