Showing posts from October, 2011

#Rockstar Meme: 1 Year Blogging Anniversary

I was recently invited by an amazing woman, Joan Young, to participate in the #Rockstar Meme -- How Blogging Rocked Your World . This is such an honor, and the timing couldn't be better as I celebrate my first year anniversary of blogging . Why blogging? Blogging helps me reflect, process, and focus, which provides clarity. I think in brainstorms, adding ideas and eliminating others as I rule them out. The process I go through to write a post helps me decipher ideas and connect new meaning, leaving me with a sense of calmness and closure. Expected blogging benefits It's expected to be an organized place to keep notes on my learning. Saving time is another expectation because I spend much of my time answering emails about tech integration. So, it helps to post it on my blog. Unexpected blogging benefits I didn't realize the connections that evolve from blogging. Until nine months ago, the only blog I followed was my best friend's. The change happened when

Creating 21st Century Classrooms

Teching it Up K-12 -- Success Stories, Part 3 In Part 2 of "Teching it Up K-12 -- Success Stories," originally presented at the Arizona CIO/CTO Forum 2011 , we focused on developing a learning culture through peer coaching .  In Part 3, we focus on 21st century learning, blogging, and PLN. Pedagogical Shift There is a pedagogy shift happening in our district. Teachers are focusing on their learners . They are connecting beyond the four walls of their classrooms for an authentic purpose , relevant to their learners. Students are creating products as part of their learning, rather than it being just another hoop to jump through. As our teachers become 21st century learners , they push themselves to the next step. For us, the Edublogs Teacher Challenges and Student Challenges have been catalysts in this process. Edublogs Teacher Challenge Image attributed to Edublogs The Edublogs Teacher Challenges build teachers' skills in web

Grow a Learning Culture through Peer Coaching

Teching it Up K-12 -- Success Stories, Part 2 In Part 1 of "Teching it Up K-12 -- Success Stories," originally presented at the Arizona CIO/CTO Forum 2011 , we focused on the importance of a learning-centric vision. Our focus for Part 2 was developing a learning culture through peer coaching . Serving others through Peer Coaching With all the professional development needed to sustain one-to-one, PBL, 21st century learning, and individualized instruction, we turned to the Microsoft Peer Coaching model developed by the Peer-Ed team. The beauty of Peer-Ed's training modules was the adaptability to our district's vision. To highlight the "collaboration" role of peer coaches, we called them "collaboration coaches." Collaboration Coaching, Catalyst for Culture Shift We tapped into full time teachers as our collaboration coaches. They focused on creating a 21st century learning environment in their own classrooms, while also working

Teching it Up K-12 -- Success Stories, Part 1

We see districts who have an established learning culture, and their classrooms are filled with authentic learning experiences. How did they get there? Our story Jon Castelhano and I have the privilege of presenting at the Arizona CIO/CTO Forum 2011 on October 6th. We are going to share how our district closed the door on the 20th century and opened 21st century student-centered classrooms. Our district started teching up the classrooms with engaging, standards-based, student-centered learning, despite the financial climate we are in. The next three posts will share about our journey, and some of the key game-changers for us. The focus and the vision Our district focuses on our learners. We ask, what's good for our learners? What do they want? What can we do to improve their education? If you listen to their answers , they will tell you about our vision. Leadership Those in leadership roles in the district believe in building relationships as the foundation fo