Recently, I was chosen to give a presentation on our district’s Act 80 day for an audience of educators who work with students in Kindergarten and 1st grade. I decided to show them some of my favorite web-based resources. Continue reading
What is Flipping your Instruction?
When instruction is flipped activities that typically occur in the classroom and at home are switched. In flipped learning, students are receiving instruction outside of class, often online, and during class time they are engaged in practice activities with teacher support as needed.
Here is a video that explains flipped instruction:
What is a Technology Innovator?
I recently was posed this question as part of my application process to become a Keystone STAR. I found out that my principal nominated as a Keystone Technology Innovator for the class of 2015, and I was extremely honored! I just applied to become a Keystone STAR and one of 100 lucky applicants that will be picked to attend the state level summit this July! (I’ll keep you posted if I am selected, eek!)
So, What did I Decide?
I spent some time grappling with this question and envisioning what the ideal technology innovator would look like, and here is the dandy little acrostic poem I came up with (geez am I an elementary teacher or what?!)
A Technology Innovator is someone who:
Transforms learning through creative use of technology in the classroom.
Engages students by focusing on student needs and learning styles.
Changes with the times and researches new trends in educational technology.
Hones their personal technological skills and devotes their life to learning.
Never is afraid of failure, and uses blunders as learning experiences.
Organizes the learning environment for seamless integration of technology.
Leads and facilitates learning by creating student-centered learning experiences.
Observes students and develops technological solutions to learning problems.
Generates lessons that encourage students to delve into deeper learning.
Yearns for the freedom to focus on projects, not tests.
Inspires students to be creative and give their best effort.
Networks and collaborates with other educators.
Never uses technology as fluff, but strives to create meaningful learning.
Offers support and guidance to colleagues with technology integration.
Validates and uplifts students by providing authentic learning experiences.
Always strives to be a better teacher and perfect their practice.
Teaches students to use technology in a safe, responsible manner.
Often collaborates for cross-curricular learning experiences.
Radiates enthusiasm for learning and teaching!
What qualities do you think a Technology Innovator should possess?
I am super lucky that I was able to attend the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C) at Hershey, PA this year! What’s not so lucky? Unpacking the car and realizing that I forgot my toiletry bag at home! Disaster! A Walmart run and trip to CVS later, and I started to mellow out a bit. Being a first time attendee at the conference was overwhelming enough, (but the whole leaving my toiletry bag at home thing definitely didn’t help!) There was so much going on! The Hershey Lodge is HUGE and then you find out you can hop a shuttle to the beautiful Hotel Hershey for sessions too! (The lovely Hotel Hershey is featured in my graphic at the top of this post. I took a panorama with my iPhone of this lovely Mediterranean style room they had there). It took some time to get acclimated, and I had a ton of information thrown at me over the course of my 3 days there! I will be sharing what I learned at PETE&C in a series of posts on some of the reoccurring themes that I explored during my sessions there: new apps, flipping instruction, and STEAM. This is the first post in the series, and it is dedicated to the Keynote speakers! Continue reading
Every year one of Title 1 Reading Specialists at my school enjoys baking gingerbread cookies with the class. I recently read the book, The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School, to my class, and I thought it would be fun to coordinate a QR code hunt (much like the previous QR code hunt I did) that would have my class chasing an elusive gingerbread man around the school!
Getting My Google On
I was blessed to be able to attend the Google Geo Teacher Institute in Pittsburgh to learn more about how I can use their Geo Tools in the classroom with my kiddos. As a Pittsburgh girl I enjoyed visiting Google Pittsburgh, and I loved how it had a Kennywood theme (a Pittsburgh amusement park) throughout the building. This was a two day training with both large group sessions and four breakout sessions where you could pick what sessions interested you. Continue reading
Easing into Easiteach
Last year was my first full school year using my Epson Brightlink Interactive Projector in my 1st Grade Classroom. I spent the year making lessons in TeamBoard Draw (word building and ten-frames for example) and using Easy Interactive tools to annotate over top old transparencies. I also found interactive websites for the kids to use, and who doesn’t enjoy streaming from Discovery Education. I also self-taught myself the software program ActivInspire, and created several lessons using this program (which are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. For more info on ActivInspire you can check out these posts: Using ActivInspire to Create a Cross-Curricular Lesson and The Top Ten Things Teachers Should Be able to do in ActivInpsire). In the spring of last school year I attended a two day “train-the-trainer” training on another IWB software, RMEasiteach, provided by an Eduscape Learning instructor, Krista Galyon, @. I loved her training, because it was very hands on! It is always easier to learn how to do something by doing it, not watching!
Apple, The Devices You Love to Hate
When I walk into the Apple Store, observing the mania, I can’t help feeling as I look around that this is what is wrong with the world today! We took a bite of the poisonous fruit and we are addicted to it like a drug. I think most of us know we have a problem, yet we can’t seem to tear ourselves away from our devices which have us hooked. Personally, I spent way to much time on my iPhone and iPad on this beautiful summer day, when I should have been doing yoga (I have an app for that) or walking my dog (there’s an app for that too). I want to hate you, Apple, but I just can’t. “Why?” You might ask, because (Ugh) they just do it better — My 3 Day Apple Training convinced me of this. Continue reading
I haven’t tweeted or written a blog post since April. I want to apologize for my absence to all of my followers, and my PLN, particularly everyone in my @EDTechTLC and the #blogamonth group. When I started this blog, my goal was to write a post weekly, and it seems I can’t even post once a month! I won’t go into great detail about why I couldn’t keep up, but I will say I had a particularly challenging school year, and I got stuck in survival mode. Teaching is tough stuff!
Just Keep Digging
Have you ever heard of the saying, “Just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, someone goes and throws you a shovel and tells you to keep digging”? There were many times this school year when I thought I hit rock bottom. Below I have compiled a list of tweets from some of my funny/sad/desperate moments that occurred during the school year. Since I was too busy to tweet these gems at the time they were happening, I present to you all of my #rockbottom moments in 140 characters or less; I hope you appreciate my witty take on the ugly reality of being a teacher. (For anyone interested in becoming a teacher, you might want to read over these well so you know what you are getting yourself into, this could be you in 8 years!)
A Bit of Background
I first heard of EdCamp from a fellow blogger, Darin Johnston
@AnIowaTeacher, in his blog post My #edcampMadWI Expereince. His blog post had piqued my interest, and I recently had been to another unconference, Pod Camp Pittsburgh, #pcpgh8, with my tech-savvy boyfriend (who is the brains behind this blog operation). We learned a lot at Pod Camp about blogging, search engine optimization and social media, so I figured trying a education-focused unconference would be a great way to learn more about current trends in education and connect with other educators.
So You Might be Wondering, “What is an “Unconference”?”
Yesterday, I attended the unconfence, EdCamp PGH, #edcamppgh, which is kind of like a professional development conference, except its not! What makes EdCamp different than a conferences is that class offerings and schedule are completely determined by the participants. At the start of the day participants jot topics they want to learn more about on sticky notes and post stick them on a piece of chart paper. Then there is another chart with a table, where the session times are listed down the side and the available rooms are listed across the top. If someone feels they are confident in moderating the discussion they move the topic from the first chart and place it in a time slot and a room. From there the organizers put the schedule up on the website, so participants can access it from our lap tops, tablets and smart phones.