Love this idea from Cult (and am jealous of her cute little hair flippy-do)! To my ELA local peeps–if you have ideas about books we can share with a middle level/YA book club, I think we should do some home-grown discussions. One of our issues is the…
So…how about we take some time, meet over appetizers and beverages, and figure out just what do we have, what digital resources we have, how to get audio books, etc. for our students? Our best brains work better together, and mapping out what our students need and want (even if they don’t know it yet) would be invaluable. Consider yourself tagged!
As my cutie-patootie fictional night-elf-turned-demon says, Illidan Stormrage says, YOU ARE NOT PREPARED! And if only I had listened to him when it came to ISTE. But, purpleman, I learned a lot, and had a blast. Now is the time to share the booty and swag I plundered.
Well, one word I heard over at ISTE that I adore is “medium agnostic,” which I’ve been a fan of for a long time. It’s one of those phrases that frames “I knew what I wanted but I didn’t know the name of it” idea. That is good news that our district is turning more medium agnostic — the work is more important than who makes the tools. In that light, KQUE/Mindshift posted this article this morning:
I missed a lot of the convention, but traded it for spending time with friends I hadn’t seen in years. I had hoped to meet up some folks from the district offices, but missed texts, etc. and it didn’t work out. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to share later this summer. I’ve put the invitation out there, so we’ll see. We all manage our to-do lists and idea files differently. This blog is my way of trying to collect those ideas and ‘let’s try this’ stuff. Need to start using my tags better. Put that on to-do list.
I wish our district would get thinglink for staff and students. It’s interactive: the process of putting one together is engaging and well, cool. I made a point to talk to the Thinglink rep. I tried to get the special 360 deal, but it was being weird. When I have time I’ll write to the company to say I tried to order it with the ISTE code, but it was being buggy. Now that’ll have to wait for next payday, too.
Sigh. Okay. One thing. When I tweeted about ‘both genders’ (boy/girl) being discussed at the Coding/Girl Brainpop information, a Twitterbot informed me that perhaps I meant “all genders.” I appreciated the information, to be sure, and it forced to me to think. However, the information presented was binary: boy v girl. And then this was reported this morning:
The Keynote Speakers
Michio Kaku: Overall, it was pretty good. I think he’s great. Some of the information was a bit outdated for this audience, though.
Ruha Benjamin. I don’t know why I missed her talk, but was greatly disappointed.
Michelle Cordy: I missed her keynote address because I was too busy eating breakfast burritos at a restaurant with my friend. Although the burritos were delicious, wish I could have been two places at once.
I have been playing with Twittercasting, but am not sure I love it. This ‘real time’ live feed video stuff is scary. I could see its application, or ones like it, being used for weekly communication between students and parents. No more “I don’t have any homework.” I don’t give much homework, but usually a continuation of a project that doesn’t require WiFi/internet. When parents ask if their child has homework, the answer is a dodgy no. No more. A quick live-feed cast would have the students sharing with parents what they did that week. Along with Remind, communicating with busy parents may be a lot easier. The goal is to have students take ownership and use metacognition.
Would I go to ISTE again? I’m not sure. Yearly membership is over $300, registering for the conference close to $400, and the airfare, etc. around $450. Am I glad I went? Sure! Next year’s is in San Antonio, and that’s close to my folks! So yes, maybe I will. I’ll certainly be more prepared, and curate with greater efficiency what booths I want to go to, presentations, and who on my PLN list I want to see. One lingering question I have is how did those educators get to the other side of the podiums? How do I better serve my students who are creating amazing things and show what they know? Maybe some of these apps and tools will support their thinking. Besides, it is my job to prepare them, night elf demons notwithstanding.
Ah, those last few weeks in U.S. public schools before students and staff leave for summer break. When teachers all over the nation are worried about ‘summer slide’ and for their students, and perhaps themselves: thinking about what professional development may boost spirits and lighten the soul, or thinking about how much they’ve put off to those magical summer months of repair and rejuvenation. Personally, I’m finding it difficult to soldier on through the rest of the year, namely because of content: my fanaticism for history and big, bold, brash units feels like my gate valve to flow froze. Nah, wait, it’s not that bad, is it!? I mean, who wouldn’t want to talk about the bloody mess that was the Civil War and how our current political climate parallels and is analogous to the mythically dangerous Lost Cause? I just KNOW I’ve got one more Prezi or Screen-Cast-O-Matic presentation in me SOMEWHERE…I JUST KNOW IT! As Dewey as my witness, I swear I shall never fail the end of the year again!
Personally, I’m finding it difficult to soldier on through the rest of the year, namely because of content: my fanaticism for history and big, bold, brash units feels like my gate valve of flow froze.
Nah, wait, it’s not that bad, is it!? I mean, who wouldn’t want to talk about the bloody mess that was the Civil War and how our current political climate parallels and is analogous to the mythically dangerous Lost Cause? I just KNOW I’ve got one more Prezi or Screen-Cast-O-Matic presentation in me SOMEWHERE…I JUST KNOW IT! As Dewey as my witness, I swear I shall never fail the end of the year again!
Goodness. *Sneezes from allergies: resumes typing: notices left eye is twitching a bit.*
All right: time to scribe the power of three ideas.
1. Please stop.
I am not, repeat not, criticizing any teacher. This is my personal reaction to the word “accountability.’ Accountability stole all the oxygen out of my teaching lungs for a time. I would walk two miles out of my way to avoid the bully ‘accountability.’ Accountability steals milk money, and posts smack on social media. Now, however, its cousin, ‘engagement’ and wiser auntie ‘choice’ have much better success. Right now I’m not sure how I feel about summer slide, or if it even matters. Yes, would I love it if students found those secret, delicious books that seem to speak only to them and they voraciously read all summer? Heck yes. But this notion of summer reading, once it gets the taint of accountability on it, it’s destroyed. If I have any influence on the continuity between the 7th-grade students and the incoming 8th, I plan on having our local librarian and ‘She Who Has Been Hugged Personally By Neil Gaiman’ Rebecca H. She’s coming to our school again, luring children to her library lair of fantastic books, electronic prizes, and air conditioning. Power mojo indeed.
But one of my summer projects I’ve set in stone is cleaning out multiple drives and years of old lessons. There is no reason to keep 3,000 Smartboards and duplicate Power Points. Time to clean digital house.
3. May-June Ideas
Dang, am I here again? What can I do right now for these last few weeks? My younger son is graduating, and planning for our families coming into town, etc. is taking up mental space. Our house is falling apart and financially there is nothing we can do about it.
Help, is about all I can say. Does anyone have THE cracker-jack, most amazing lesson idea ever?
Maybe ‘come clean Mrs. Love’s trashy backyard pool and see how mosquitos are born’ would be a good one.