Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hooked on Twitter Chats Again

This week, I was gently pushed back into a resource I used a few years ago that made a great impact on my learning and resources to share with others – Twitter Chats.  A twitter chat is a common time weekly, monthly, or whenever scheduled that people with common interests meeting online.  There is a facilitator or two who asks questions and others respond all within Twitter.  Here is a short video about Twitter Chat.  The first time I participated I was extremely overwhelmed with everyone tweeting at once, but have since discovered TweetChat that lets you get control of the chat.  I got so many ideas and added people to my network to learn from by following them on Twitter and face to face as the chat I participated in on Monday was about Alabama Education, #Aledchat.  Below is a list of other live, regularly scheduled Twitter chats that you might be interested.  I have not attended all of these, but have found them through recommendations online.  The chats are 1 hour.

Every Monday @ 9:00 PM - #Aledchat, variety of topics that Alabama educations want to talk about
Second Monday @ 7:00 PM - #TLChat, Teacher-Librarian
Fourth Monday @ 7:00 PM - #TLNewNight, Teacher- Librarian News Night Chat
Every Monday @ 7:00 PM - #EdTechChat, Educational Technology Chat
Every Monday @ 7:00 PM - #CollabED, Collaborative Education Chat: Sharing and Learning Together
Every Monday @ 7:00 PM - #musedchat, Music Teachers Chat
Every Monday @ 7:30 PM - #PSCchat, Principal-School Counselor Chat

Every Tuesday @ 5:00 PM - #MakerED, Maker Education Chat
Every Tuesday @ 7:00 PM - #PBLChat, Project-Based Learning Chat
Every Tuesday @ 7:00 PM - #2ndaryELA, ELA char for Grades 7-12 teachers
First Tuesdays @ 7:00 PM - #ASCDL2L, ASCD Leader to Leader Chat
Every Tuesday @ 8:00 PM - #gafechat, Google Apps for Education Chat
Every Tuesday @ 8:00 PM - #spedchat, Special Education Chat

Every Wednesday @ 3:00 PM - #EduCoach, Eudcational Coaching Chat
Every Wednesday @ 10: AM - #specialedchat, Special Education Chat
Every Wednesday @ 7:00 PM - #atchat, Assistive Technologies Chat
Every Wednesday @ 7:00 - #BigBeacon, Engineering and STEM Education Chat
First and Third Wednesdays @ 7:00 PM - #ntchat, New Teachers Chat
Every Wednesday @ 7:00 PM - #suptchat, Superintendent’s Chat

Every Thursday @ 8:00 PM - #Flipped PD, Flipping Professional Development
First Thursdays @ 8:00 PM - #geniushour, Genius Hour Chat

Every Friday @ 10:00 AM - #EdBookTalk, Educational Book Chat
Every Friday @ 6:00 PM - #gtchat, Gifted and Talented Chat

Every Sunday @ 7:00 PM - #apchat, Assistant Principal’s Chat

Want to find out if there is a chat for say 4th grade math teachers or Physics teachers?  Just Google it.

The learning doesn’t end when the Twitter chat is over, stay connected by following those who have interesting things to say and share to view later on Twitter.  Here is a screenshot of my Tweetdeck that I use to view who I follow and three specific hashtags - #aledchat, @altechcoach and #hourofcode.

 Follow me @aprilpc

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Got Google? ISTE 2015 does.

Google is everywhere at this year's ISTE conference in Philadelphia.  We have piloted Google Apps for Education with specific teams and grade levels.  This year, all students will have GAFE accounts so it made since for the team attending to focus on learning more in depth about the tools and how others are using them.  Our goals are to assist students and teachers to move beyond the typing and receiving of information to connecting, collaborating, creating and publish which we feel is necessary to prepare students to be future ready.  The ISTE 2015 team consists of: Laura Graves, high school Teacher-Librarian, Joy Young, high school assistant principal, Morgan Cruit, middle school English teacher, Anjell Edwards, middle school assistant principal and myself, Technology Coordinator.

We are all comfortable with organizing our work within Google Drive and sharing with others.  The connecting piece for us is Google Classroom.  I am amazed at how simplistic it is yet packs so much into it.  Laura and I previously knew about Google Classroom, but the others were experiencing it for the first time.  It was quickly decided this is the essential piece to bring the learning together for teachers and students.  We are currently working on plans which will be fleshed out with the other school Lead Technology Teachers to strategically train teachers and students.

Many sessions at ISTE have centered around Google and Chrome with extension and apps.  Several that we already knew or have been shared that we feel are great for teaching and learning are:

Screencastify - make training videos so easily
SpeakIt! - highlight text and have it read to you
Clearly - tune out the noise on the sides while reading online
Picmonkey - online photo editing
Pear Deck - send your teaching screen to all student devices through a website and code
Crafty Text - make large text to show link over website briefly
Kaizena - leave voice feedback on student Google docs
Twisted wave - online audio editing, like audacity
Open clip art - license free, royalty free, Google Docs add on
Twitter Curator - search and download all tweets to google sheets.  Great way to discuss what the world is talking about.
Daum Equation Editor - create equation and save to google drive as an image

We have spent time talking at night about how technology can be brought into the classroom and can make improvements to the learning environment.  However, if the teaching style does not change then great improvements and engagement will not occur.  The same can be said of the learning space.  If student desks are moved to create tables, the learning will not improve if the teacher still lectures the majority of the time then assigns independent learning.  I picked up a new book at ISTE Central called Get Active Reimagining Learning Spaces for Student Success.  We have been researching this topic as it related to the Libraries (will post about that later), but excited to start reading and having conversations with those in my district and PLN.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It is difficult when designing professional development for teachers because they are at different ability levels, not always available and feel overwhelmed. In the past, the greatest struggle was to get teachers to attend training. It felt like I was continually begging people to attend. Last year, designing extended PD for teachers had an impact in the elementary level but not the secondary level. However, things have recently taken a turn in which schools are calling to set up training. The questions and requests have gone from "How do you find your printer and set it to default?" to "How do I find another geometry teacher/class to collaborate with?". Leaders, beyond the TTL/LTTs, have begun to emerge with minimal face to face training. It is amazing to see teachers take ideas and run with them far beyond my hopes. I struggle with meeting the needs of all teachers so that I am not overwhelming or holding others back. How do you find that balance? I am very excited to share that Kindergarten students are Skyping with author Michael Shoulders, ABC author, to create class ABC books which will be for purchase on Lulu, a first grade class calling more places than I can remember, second grade students using ipod shuffles to improve reading and math skills, intermediate classes creating movies, middle school classes collaborating to construct a team constitution, high school students using digital documents in place of paper documents for classes and much more developing each day. It definately feels that I am on a roller coaster of highs and lows.

Lifelong Learner
I learned today about SmartArt which is within Word and PowerPoint 2007 where there are many graphic organizers to easily select on type within to construct knowledge and share. When in Word or PowerPoint, select insert and then SmartArt in the Illustration section.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

NECC 2008 in San Antonio, Texas

Recently, Shawn and I went to the NECC Conference in San Antonio, Texas. There were so many educators and sessions to attend. Some we went to were amazing and others didn't have any new information. Take a little time to attend at least one session and share your thoughts, ideas, questions, concerns, etc. here.

Program Search to virtual attend any session through the blogs and handouts

Video on Demand

Podcasts You do not have to have an iPod or MP3 player to listen.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SSA and Alan November

Last week, Shawn and I presented at the Alabama Superintendent's Conference in Orange Beach, Alabama. It was great being able to have my voice heard by Superintendents. Some were quite taken with the content of our presentations and often came up to ask questions and for our contact information. At lunch on Wednesday, Alan November spoke to the group. He is a great speaker who has a dry sense of humor where he is able to say hard things but not in a way that it feels like he is preaching to you but instilling a sense of urgency in those in attendance. His main theme was that schools are setting students up for failure. Are we focused on knowledge learned or the process? He referred to teacher's roles as coach and referee. The teacher coaches with project based lessons that have real life experiences which uses every tool available to deepen understanding. He suggests that the teacher should not grade every single paper during the coaching stages but randomly select 5 papers from each period or class to grade and analyze using test item analysis. From there, the teacher can see if the majority of the class understood or if an objective needs to be retaught in a different manner. During the referee stage, the teacher grades every single paper. I am always hearing there is not enough time to teach, grade papers, learn new things, and then try those new things in the classroom. Teachers and students become so focus on the grade of every paper instead of the learning. How many students do you know of that knew the content but received a poor grade for the class because they did not turn in the homework. He also STRONGLY suggested that teachers take a hard look at the type and amount of homework that is assigned. Is it truly beneficial to the students or just more papers to grade? When should learning take place - in the classroom with guidance or at home alone?