Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Learning: Pinterest

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I promised that this summer my blog would look into taking summer learning into your own hands.  This post will focus on everyone's favorite quickie PD Pinterest!
Many of us have come to know and love Pinterest, but for those of us who have not discovered Pinterest, it is a free website and app that allows you to collect ideas, inspiration, dreams, things that make you laugh, and anything you may be interested in.  You are able to collect and categorize websites, blogs, images better known as 'pins' onto different boards.  You can categorize these pins in whichever manner  you would like to make all of you favorite mus saves in a manner that makes it easy for you to find.  People use Pinterest to store recipes  home decor ideas, funny pictures and of course ideas for education.  Not only can you store things that you find interesting  but you can see the items that others have pinned.  This makes Pinterest a great place to connect with other educators and share ideas.  You can choose to follow other peoples' entire collections or specific boards.
This past week I had the exciting experience of attending ISTE 2013.  ISTE is a conference for educational technology, International Society for Technology in Education.  This conference had amazing sessions and I learned a lot, but one of the biggest takeaways is the connections made with fellow educators.  One person who who I connected with was a kindergarden teacher from Texas, Matt Gomez.  Matt has an incredibly extensive collection of educational pins on Pinterest.  If you are looking for a good place to spot and inspiration for what your Pinterest page could look like, start here.   Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Apple Academy Reflections

So I just returned home from Apple Academy and I have a thousand thoughts swirling around my head.  I learned a lot of new skills, applications, and met some truly amazing people.   I feel as though I could write a million blog posts on the experience.   For now I will start with my biggest takeaway, I do we do you do.  
I am familiar with this model of instruction.   For those who are not familiar with "I do, you do, we do" it's a way to organize your instruction.  The teacher, or coach,or PD facilitator, will demonstrate a topic. Then you allow the participants to work on or discuss the skill in a small group or with a partner. Finally, the learners will engage in the task or concept on their own.  
Learning together at Apple Academy
I have tried to incorporate this into my teaching practices when I was in the classroom, and now as a coach I try to always use this model in the professional development I provide.  When I was at apple academy we experienced this method all week long.  Sometimes the we do was in discussion, sometimes it was in a small group.  Sometimes the I do was homework at night, sometimes in front of the whole group.  Whichever way we were asked to do it, the I do we do you do model really helped me to understand the skills and concepts in a deeper way.  
Looking forward to the variety of trainings I will be providing for my district this summer--shameless plug!   DPS employees check to find trainings and register!--I will be sure to not only consider what I will be including but how I will be presenting the content.  So, if you plan on attending a training of mine, be ready to work!  But also know, you will leave with a deep knowledge or what you have learned and hopefully also a deeper passion for educational technology.  See you this summer!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My PD with #edchat

After my post of professional development I decided to it my money where my mouth was.  I participated in a chat on twitter.  I knew of the twitter chat labeled #edchat.  When I saw it pop up on my twitter feed I went for it!  I went to the search tab and typed in "#edchat". Edchat are various conversations set up around different questions. Today's conversation was about the role of Direct Instruction and lecture in the classroom. 
It was awesome.  I read others' perspectives, comments when I had a thought or opinion on a tweet and people responded to me.  It really got the wheels turning, validation on some of my opinions, and I even found some people to follow.   I strongly recommend you to try out an edchat too. They are at noon and 7pm daily.  See you on the next edchat!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Learning: Twitter

If you're like me, you have just begun your summer vacation.  To my friends still with a month to go, have no fear your time will come!  This means time to relax, refresh, and spend time on things you do not have time for during the school year.  Why not make a goal to develop yourself professionally a little bit each week. There are many easy, user friendly, accessible, FREE resources to develop yourself as an educator.  My next few blog posts will give you a variety of resources for professional development, and the best way to use them. 

Twitter is an excellent place to connect with educators from around the world.   "Tweets" can be anything from a thought, to a website, a photo, really anything under 140 characters.  One of the best ways to connect is to follow people.  When you follow someone, you can see what they post, who follows them, and who they follow.  You can choose to follow their people and so on.  "Following" someone allows you to see what they tweet.  
If you follow people who are interested in education, like me (WARNING here's the shameless plug, follow me @chrissie62573), you have access to anything they have learned or found to be interesting.  I find my time on twitter reading blogs and websites, just skimming through things other people have found to be interesting.  The great thing about Twitter is that each tweet can only be 140 characters so its easy to get the gist of an article quickly.  You don't spend a lot of time reading through half an article to find out that its not what you were looking for.  
Another way to find interesting information onTwitter is to search by hashtag. A "hashtag" (this symbol #) followed by a word, phrase or acronym that groups together similar themed tweets.  For example, #edchat is a hashtag devoted to a conversation surrounding a selected topic for the week.  If you wanted to find the conversation, and participate you would search for #edchat and follow the conversation.  
When you are ready to share you can link blogs that you find, or mark your tweets with hashtags. 

I hope that you find that twitter is an engaging, exciting, influential tool that kick starts your summer PD.  Check back soon to find the next tool to continue your summers's professional development.