Category Archives: Teachnology

#BrightSpot Ethnography and #Buoyancy using Twitter – Learning Together

To pursue bright spots is to ask the question “What’s working, and how can we do more of it?” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet, in the real world, this obvious question is almost never asked. (p. 45, Heath and Heath)

…“buoyancy”— a quality that combines grittiness of spirit and sunniness of outlook. (Pink, 4 pag.)

What if we broadcast bright spots of learning? What if we intentionally observe our community and culture through a lens that some might call rose-colored? How might we collaboratively and creatively tell the story of what is most important? What if we document and share small moments?

As we have seen, even the smallest moments of positivity in the workplace can enhance efficiency, motivation, creativity, and productivity. (Achor, 58 pag.)

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At the end of this 1-PLU course, each learner should be able to say:

  • I can contribute to the bright spot ethnographic data collection of our learning community using Twitter.
  • I can use the power of positivity to elevate the learner and learning in and out of school.
  • I can bright spot learning in our school and inform the larger community of the myriad of learning experiences that happen daily.
  • I can foster and develop connections with other educators and experts to expand my Professional Learning Network (PLN).

How might we learn more about our community and each other? What if we continue to develop a culture and a habit of positivity, bright spots, and buoyancy?


Achor, Shawn (2010-09-14). The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Heath, Chip, and Dan Heath. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. Waterville, Me.: Thorndike, 2011. Print.

Pink, Daniel H. (2012-12-31). To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others (p. 4). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

#TrinityLearns integrated studies (week 3)

When we have the opportunity to see what happens in other parts of our community, we begin to connect ideas and experiences.

Alpin Hong and Jun-Ching Lin surprised our 6th graders with visit and a brilliant lesson on harmony, color theory, and superhero theme music.

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It was Fitness Friday in First Grade. How great is it to combine math and fitness? Don’t you just love that two of our PE team lifted the work and learning of both the student-learners and the teacher-learners in 1st Grade?

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If you read #TrinityLearns Community (week 2), you know that we are teaching each other new ways to communicate learning.  Last week many of us learned about the app Pic Stitch which quickly combines multiple images into a collage.  (I asked Amanda Thomas, and Joe asked Jedd Austin.)  Notice how Kathy bright spots Brian’s work with our 2nd Graders.

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This week, Melissa Walker embedded her class’s twitter feed on her Haiku page.  This seems to be spreading through the 5th and 6th grade Haiku pages so that our families have another view of what happens at school. Amanda bright spots Melissa’s work.

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We’ve also seen our young learners making connections between math and science.

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Perhaps two of my favorite tweets – because they helped me connect in person – were from our 3s and Pre-K classrooms.  I could sit down with these young learners at carpool and ask them good questions.  They could describe details about their day, their interests, and their learning. I now know we need a rocket ship to rescue the balloons that got away.  I learn more and more each day about the interests of our learners.

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What will we learn about, for, and with each other as we continue to learn and share?

There were many more beautiful, rich learning experiences for all learners in our community.  A digest of our Tweets from the 3rd week of school is shown below.

Job-embedded PD: Twitter for Learning

To pursue bright spots is to ask the question “What’s working, and how can we do more of it?” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet, in the real world, this obvious question is almost never asked. (p. 45, Heath and Heath)

What if we each broadcast three learning bright spots every school day for four weeks? Will we learn more about our community?  Will we learn more about each other? Will we create a culture and a habit of positivity, bright spots, and buoyancy?

From an email sent to our community:

Several faculty and staff have asked for additional learning about Twitter.  The School Improvement Division of GADOE has approved awarding  1 PLU for completing the course Twitter for Learning: #BrightSpot Ethnography and #Buoyancy.  This course will officially launch the week after Labor Day.  However, each participant may choose a start date.  As an experiment in online learning, this course is set up to run any time from September to January.  Many of you will have accomplished the tasks in .Week 0 – Setting Up (the first two hours of this course) if you complete the Getting Started course form and the Know your School’s Social Media Policy form.  Contact Jill if you want to meet for a face-to-face session with a small group or individually.

Twitter for Learning is a series of 1-PLU credit courses designed to increase understanding and engagement in the use of social media for learning.  Each course is designed around challenges to grow learners in the use of Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter and Storify to learn and share.  

Twitter for Learning – Course 1: #BrightSpot Ethnography and #Buoyancy using Twitter

    • I can contribute to the bright spot ethnographic data collection of our learning community using Twitter.
    • I can use the power of positivity to elevate the learner and learning in and out of school.
    • I can bright spot learning in our school and inform the larger community of the myriad of learning experiences that happen daily.
    • I can foster and develop connections with other educators and experts to expand my Professional Learning Network (PLN).

Shelley Paul (Director of Learning Design at Woodward Academy), a.k.a @lottascales, and I have collaborated to design a job-embedded professional development course for teacher-learners to learn and grow together.  We offer 20 challenges (1 per day) to inspire community members to learn and lift others in our community.  Using the power of positivity, we embrace the bright spot philosophy from Switch.  We strive tweet things that are working that we want to do more of in our schools with our colleagues using the hashtags #TrinityLearns and #WALearns.

What will we learn about our school, our colleagues, our students, and ourselves if we leverage technology to learn and share?

_________________________

Heath, Chip, and Dan Heath. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. Waterville, Me.: Thorndike, 2011. Print.

Job-embedded PD: MyLearningEdu 1.5

If we want to support students in learning, and we believe that learning is a product of thinking, then we need to be clear about what we are trying to support. (Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison, 5 pag.)

Interested in e-portfolios? If we want our young learners to document their learning and growth using a portfolio, should we also have a portfolio?  Inspired by working, learning, and collaborating with Rhonda Mitchell (@rgmteach), I’ve curated a set of resources to help teacher-learners get started (or renewed) on a journey to develop a professional e-portfolio.  In her post, My Learning Student Portfolios – by the student, for the student, Rhonda writes:

Its purpose is to allow students to externalize their experiences and understanding, and then use that information to set goals, self-monitor their progress, and see themselves evolve over time.

What if we exchange the word students with the word teachers?

Its purpose is to allow [teachers] to externalize their experiences and understanding, and then use that information to set goals, self-monitor their progress, and see themselves evolve over time.

I like it.  What if we exchange the word students in the original quote with the word learners?

Its purpose is to allow [learners] to externalize their experiences and understanding, and then use that information to set goals, self-monitor their progress, and see themselves evolve over time.

What if we, the adult-learners, practiced with our young learners? What if we practice reflection and questioning to see how we continue on our journey as lifelong learners? What if we support and encourage each other as we go?  Will we learn more about reflection? Will we learn more about ourselves? Will we improve in ability and in confidence when guiding young learners through the reflection and portfolio process?

Will we try?

From an email sent to our community:

How do you feel about blogging?  The School Improvement Division of GADOE has approved awarding 2 PLUs for completing the course MyLearningEDU 1.5. This course will also officially launch after Labor Day.  As an experiment in online learning, this course is written in seven two-week chunks offering participants articles to read and videos to watch to prompt thinking and reflection.  See 01 – Getting Started as an example. The expected product is at least one blog post per week for 14 weeks.  Contact Jill if you want to meet face-to-face for a Q&A session with a small group or individually.

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The course has seven chunks with each chunk spanning two weeks.  The goal for learners is to publish at least one blog post per week and comment of the posts of others in our cadre.  Each week has something to read and something to watch as inspiration and instruction.  However, there is very little direct instruction.  The blog posts should be for the learner, by the learner.

________________________

Ritchhart, Ron, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.

#TrinityLearns Community (week 2)

What did you do at school today? Or, better yet, what happened at school today?

There are many days that I know what I did, but I wonder what else happened.  What if we leveraged technology to learn and share, to have a broader and deeper view into the learning episodes in our community?

There are many more voices contributing to the #TrinityLearns stream of information about the learning and celebrations happening daily.  At the end of this post, I’ve archived some of the tweets of the week, but I want to reflect on several that caught my attention.

I know that our 5th graders take the responsibility to raise the flag each morning, but I don’t see it happen.  Can you imagine a better way to learn about Social Studies and our country?Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 6.40.12 PM

We know that our young learners are incredibly curious about technology and learning, but what does that look like?

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How did we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech?

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How do we learn and share? How are we connected? How do we tell  stories of learning? How do we see the entire journey of a child when we experience only a short time with them?

I love my school community.

Have you signed up for EDUC115N: How to Learn Math? (it’s free)

Have you signed up for Jo Boaler’s online course, How to Learn Math, a free 8-session online course from Stanford University beginning on July 15? Do you hope to help learners enjoy and learn math? Do you wish you had more tools in your toolkit to help others continue to develop a growth mindset?

The course runs from July 15 through September 27, and learners work at their own pace through the eight concepts. From the overview:

Concepts:

  1. Knocking down the myths about math.
    Math is not about speed, memorization or learning lots of rules. There is no such thing as “math people” and non-math people. Girls are equally capable of the highest achievement. This session will include interviews with students.
  2. Math and Mindset.
    Participants will be encouraged to develop a growth mindset, they will see new evidence of the brain and learning and of how a growth mindset can change students’ learning trajectories and beliefs about math.
  3. Teaching Math for a Growth Mindset.
    This session will give strategies to teachers and parents for helping students develop a growth mindset and will include an interview with Carol Dweck.
  4. Mistakes, challenges & persistence.
    What is math persistence? Why are mistakes so important? How is math linked to creativity? This session will focus on the importance of mistakes, struggles and persistence.
  5. Conceptual Learning. Part I. Number sense
    Math is a conceptual subject- we will see evidence of the importance of conceptual thinking and participants will be given number problems that can be solved in many ways and represented visually.
  6. Conceptual Learning. Part 2. Connections, Representations, Questions.
    In this session we will look at and solve math problems at many different grade levels and see the difference in approaching them procedurally and conceptually. Interviews with successful users of math in different, interesting jobs (Sophie, film maker, Sebastian Thrun, inventor of self-driving cars etc) will show the importance of conceptual math.
  7. Appreciating Algebra.
    Participants will be asked to engage in problems illustrating the beautiful simplicity of a subject with which they may have had terrible experiences.
  8. Going From This Course to a New Mathematical Future.
    This session will review where you are, what you can do and the strategies you can use to be really successful.

Will you let me know if you register?

PBL PD: Integrating Formative Assessment, Twitter, & Brain-based Research #ettipad #ettlearns – reflection

My session at EdTechTeacher iPad Summit USA in Atlanta, PBL PD: Integrating Formative Assessment, Twitter, & Brain-based Research #ettipad #ettlearns, went just the way I wanted.  Yay!

This tweet sums it up for me:

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With a quick show of hands, I estimated that 2/3 of participants used Twitter.  Approximately 1/2 labeled themselves as lurkers.  Around 1/5 had never tweeted.  There was a note in the program description.

Note: This session will be interactive, so please have a Twitter client on your iPad and an established Twitter account prior to attending this session. “

I believe about 10 did not have an established account.  All really interesting formative assessment.  I described my conversation with Bo where he challenged me to inspire faculty to use the technology in place – the faculty wanted iPads.  We wanted faculty to use and understand more about non-graded formative assessment.  I mashed up or blended brain research, Twitter, and formative assessment.  I offered a purpose to tweet.

After giving my Ignite talk about this PBL PD for teachers, I challenged the participants to partner up, leave our session to visit another session and tweet using the conference hash tag (#ettipad) and my hash tag (#ettlearns).  Maybe a little fear waved over the 1/3 non-tweeters and lurkers.  Go with a friend; come back in 15 minutes.  We’ll understand hash tags using learning by doing. I explained the risk I was taking.  I’d never sent my participants away, but I am committed to experiential learning.  Everyone got up and left to go observe and tweet.  It was so great until I turned to see an empty room.  Wow! What was I thinking? What had I just done?

They did tweet, and they did come back. Whew!

Here is a compilation of the tweets:

We talked about hash tags and how they can be used.  I answered lots of great questions. We answered lots of questions.  It was awesome! And, the hash tag #ettlearns lives.  Wow!

Learning is reciprocal.

Don’t just absorb; give back.

Learn and share!