Showing posts from April, 2011

Blogger's Groove

Mrs. Martinez's students have got their groove on! Here's how we approached the Week 7's Edublog Student Challenge:
Review what we've done so far -- which also sparks excitement.Look at the Edublogs Student Challenge. Narrow it down to the three of activities we are most excited about. Split the class into three groups.Collaboratively work through the writing steps.Share and celebrate our posts. The Writing Steps, A Collaborative Effort We brainstorm in a think-pair-share format. Discuss and decide the outline of the blog, such as the main points of the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.Decide who will write which part. If more than one student wants to write about it, that's fine, they can work together. If nobody is interested in writing one of the ideas from their brainstorm, then that's fine too, and they leave it out.Students start writing (use paper if computers are being used). 
Collaborating on Google Apps
We let a group of students go to the 6 co…

Great Leaders Focus and Build Teams

Forbes blog post, "Suddenly Noticed By Big Investors, Kevin Tanner's RIA Is Bracing For Billions Of AUM," caught my attention as I thought about educational leadership.

Kevin Tanner focused on his strengths and passions. "He was never as interested in financial planning and spent his time perfecting his investing methodologies."

He wasn't content with running things the way others did just because that's how it's always been done.

Great Leadership

Great leaders invest in their strengths and imagine the possibilities. Great leaders see where they are going, plan for it, remain focused on the goal, and know how to develop others.

John Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, describes this as "the law of navigation." The fear of change doesn't hold back great leaders because they intuitively strategize and plan for success.

They value the strengths of others, and recognize that building other leaders and tapping into the…

Blogging and RSS

I don't want to make the same mistake I've made in the past of going all in teaching everything I know about a topic all at once. Professional development needs to be tailored to the readiness level and rolled out in layers over time.

To be honest, it requires discipline on my part to not share everything because I'm excited and want to push on to the next step. The other day I held a class introducing blogging and RSS through Google Reader. My goals were to introduce them to what blogging was, and how they play a role in education.  They serve as self-selected professional development and a way students can share with an authentic audience.

It's important to tier professional development training in layers just like I would new content for students. In a one to two hour training, less is more. That means introducing less new concepts is more effective than introducing many new concepts, especially when it comes to educational technology.

There are some who were re…

Choice Boards for Language Arts

A teacher recently asked me for suggestions for her choice board to differentiate a novel. 

Options for Choice Boards for Differentiating Novels:
Become one of the characters in your book. Decide what motivates him/her and what his/her goals are. What would that person want to achieve or need from others if this person were alive today? Using the digital medium of your choice, persuade the audience to ... Maintain a Google Form or Wiki page in QAR (question-answer & relationship) format during your reading. Act as a news anchor or reporter and publicize an event from the book. You may use the digital medium of your choice such as a digital video, Voki, etc.Rewrite a scene from the book as a script for today or the future. What would be the same/different if the setting were different? What is the author's theme? Create an original fable or folktale to explain that theme, moral, lesson, or commentary on life.

I  focus on the learning standards, and make sure it is meaningful …

Power of Vision

Changing culture requires a change in expectations of behaviors. Those behaviors will produce beliefs, which will affect culture... and it starts with the vision.

I applaud Dr. Wilson, AJUSD Superintendent, for focusing on what's best for learners. As a result, AJUSD's shared vision is “Arizona’s First Choice … Excellence In Everything We Do.” 
The plan to fulfill the vision shoots for College Readiness for All, by concentrating on one-to-one opportunities, individualized instruction, project based learning, and 21st century learning through rigor, relevance, and relationships. The decisions made in the district connect back to the vision, and ultimately the question, "What's best for learners?"

I want to thank Steven W. Anderson for retweeting -- RT @: Greatest video on power and vision. I wouldn't have found this without your Tweet. Thank you Dr. Wilson for the vision.

Creative Commons, Copyrights, and Google Images

Where are the lines and boundaries for copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons? Copyrights extend to photos, music, art, ideas, etc. Fair Use can be difficult to understand, open to interpretation, and if I understand correctly, don't extend outside the United States. So, if I'm running under the assumption that it's okay to use the image if attributed correctly, then what if the image was from contributed from outside the U.S.? 

Digital Citizenship

I try to get teachers to think outside the four walls of the classroom, and how technology allows us to connect with others around the globe. The last thing I want to do is upset someone on the other side of the world because I used an image that was acceptable under Fair Use for Educators, but not acceptable on their part of the world. Now what?

Create my Own

I love creating my own. Hey, I minored in fine art in college, so it's natural for me. Do I have the time to create my own? Not always, and others can do a much bett…

Authentic Learning through Edublogs

As the only Technology Integration Specialist in the AJUSD district, I focus on technology that fosters student learning. I spend over half my time in the classroom with students and teachers. I always tailor it to the teacher's readiness because I want the teacher to find it practical and beneficial to continue what we've started, even when I'm not physically in the class helping.

The Edublogs Class Challenge is a wise investment of time because the students learn with a meaningful purpose, and the teacher continues with the blogging. It's her blog and she loves it. I am thrilled about our success!
Today we set huge goals, and have completed many of them. 
Now that the students are used to the procedures of blogging, and how we use our time, we can dive into it more. 
Tips for Managing Class Blogging Graphic organizers help with success, by allowing them to focus on their task. Collaborating on one document in Google Apps has been extremely beneficially with time manag…

A Day of Tech P.D. for Educational Services

It was such a pleasure to provide professional development for our Educational Services team.

I loved using technology to start us off. In a Google Form, they completed a survey. The form had three sections. It had some questions to collect data of their prior knowledge. There was a section on norms where they checked the boxes of norms they thought were suitable for today's training, and an option to type a norm in. The  norms that the majority agreed on were:
Be positive. Help each other out.Be willing to try.Have fun.They also wrote three descriptions for the Ed Serv team. We then took those descriptions and created a word cloud in Wordle.

What I liked was modeling how easy a Google Form was to use. We viewed the summary of data to show what areas we should focus on. Plus, it got them thinking about how they could use this in their own professional development.

Other topics of the morning were:
Back Channel Introduction to wikis through Titan Pad -- so we could use the "cha…