Sunday, April 26, 2015

On the Rise K-12 eLearning Conference

In her opening keynote address, Jessica Holmes (@happyfeetholmes) entertained, dazzled, and inspired. Woven through her comic performance were thought-provoking anecdotes from her own life that reach all of us. She asks us to question:
Is there an area in my life where I should be focusing more attention and energy?  
Find your joy
Finding balance is something that I think we can all relate to. Each of us has our own unique way in dealing with stress. For me, getting outside and enjoying a trail run or spending time in the garden helps me to gain perspective. I need to remind myself to make the time for these activities, schedule them in, to maintain balance. I think this was a wonderful way to kick-off the day as technology allows us to connect and create in amazing new ways, but we must also make time for other aspects in our lives that bring us joy,

Jessica Holmes reminds us that:
Everyone is someone's child. 
We are all born with potential for unconditional love. 
Recognize that for ourselves.  
We are far more than our mistakes. 
Be inspired!
Show gratitude!

Look for opportunities to use qualities you value in your daily life!

Session Resources and Main Ideas

Using Animation for project based exercises and teaching
Software: goAnimate 

Advantages of project based learning:
- engagement (get them to do stuff)
- assess for learning (engage in their engagement)
- self-guided and paced learning 
- DI
What does the data say: 91% preferred blended learning courses (responses to feedback)
Ideas: Create your own animated teaching assistant! Lol think good cop, bad cop. 

Physical Computing and Lego WeDo
Students as makers.
This is something I am highly curious about. Providing students with opportunities to create using hands-on materials along with coding software.
Let's play!
Creative computing (Check out website)
Lego Education

Ray Mercer's Slide Deck

Reflections on My Session: Peek Into Primary

Presenting in front of a group has always been something that I have struggled with. I love putting together slides and creating interactive components, but actually delivering the material gives me butterflies. I spend a great deal of time encouraging my students to try new things and be comfortable with being uncomfortable so I thought I better do the same. When I shared what I would be doing with my students, they gave me some great advice. My favourite was 'Meditate before to calm your amygdala'. Good advice from my young learners. I thought about them throughout the session as they are what it is all about. It really wasn't about me at all. My job was to share their journey with the other educators. 
Start-up Read Aloud
The journey is a collaborative one. Students working together on curricular inquiries, documenting our learning journey, and sharing that journey with families and each other using D2L and GAFE. 
This is something to be treasured and shared and I was affirmed by the participants at the session as it was clear that they felt the same. 

Using digital tools such as gDocs, gSlides, and Padlet we discussed the benefits of collaboration, what conditions are required to foster a collaborative environment, and the difference between cooperation and collaboration. I used the video below from P21 as our MindsOn activity.
It reminds us that we can do far more together, than apart.

 Screenshots from the session:
Collaboration involves cognitive dissonance and a growth mindset.
Reflecting and Connecting!

Trust, fun, teamwork, flexibility - all necessary conditions for collaboration.

I am grateful that I had yet another opportunity to learn from and with innovative educators. 
In some areas I can say that I'm not there 'yet', but teaching and learning is always a journey.
Attending events such as this one reminds us to value and celebrate what is happening within the four walls of our classroom, but to also continue reaching out beyond those walls. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Getting Googly - EdTechTeam Ontario Summit: Day 2

Here we go ... Day 2 at GAFE Summit!

Click on the link below to view sessions and resources. 

Day one left me feeling humble, inspired, connected, and, to be honest, mentally overloaded!
Humbled by the many educators with the courage to share their stories.
Inspired by new tips and tricks to help me 'get my geek on'.
Connected with a greater community of edtech educators both f2f and through social media.
Mentally overloaded due to the sheer quality and quantity of new information presented. 

Keynote: Follow Google's formula for innovation with #20time in the classroom
+Kevin Brookhouser

Wicked problems.
Take a minute and close your eyes. Picture images of wicked problems in our local and global communities.
We can create an environment in our classroom where students see themselves as problem solvers. Allow students to grapple with wicked problems relevant and contextually important to their lives.

Why do students love video games?
It's not because they are lazy.
Kids love video games because they get immediate feedback.
I see this in my classroom with students' engagement in Prodigy math.

Getting beyond 'Functional Fixedness' to facilitate creative problem solving.
Solutions to wicked problems can often be found in unusual places.

How do we motivate wicked problem solvers?
Daniel Pink describes how autonomy, mastery, and purpose affect motivation.
Carrots don't work, therefore grades won't either.
Alfie Kohn's work on student motivation and assessment resonate with me.

So what's the 'educational vehicle' to facilitate all this?
20% Time in the Classroom
- Have students take on a challenge of their own choosing
- The more playful we can be with problems, the more creative and surprising our solutions may become.
- Blogs to describe the action of creation.
- Get out of their way!
- "Failure is an option, failure to deliver is not."
Find a purpose!
Shift from ...
Teacher centered > Student centered > Audience centered

Session 1: Trees and Branches- Logic Branching in Forms
+Rachel Wente-Chaney
Slide Deck Link

This was a highly interactive session. No time to take notes as I was busy doing!
I created an adaptive math adventure using page breaks and branching in Google Forms. Stay tuned to check it out ... still a work in progress.

Session 2: Creating Collaborative Cultures
+Scott Monahan
Slide Deck
Focusing questions:
What are the benefits of collaboration?
What are the barriers to collaboration?
How do you know you are truly collaborating? (difference between collaboration and cooperation).

Learning is social.
Failure is a part of the learning process.
Cognitive dissonance is a necessary element of collaboration. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Use digital tools to give a voice to all stakeholders. Cultivate relationships and build a culture of shared responsibility.

Session 3:  Get More Googly!
Slide Deck
+Michelle Cordy
+Rolland Chidiac
+Jeffrey Humphries

Using Google for Education to provide and entry point for all educators.
GET (Google Education Trainer) - about the tools
GCT (Google Certified Teacher) - about the pedagogy

Ah ha's:
Be an ambassador of innovation.
Connect with PLN.
Tell your story.

Sessions come with lifetime support!

Session 4: Flipping A Primary and Junior Classroom
Jonathan So's website
Slide Deck
- learning is happening wherever our students are (need for asynchronous and synchronous learning)
- harness that learning ( think past traditional space)
- It's about a culture of learning.
- RAN model
- doctopus extension to add efficiency
Check out Jonathan's website for an extensive array of resources.

Final Thoughts ...
I feel propelled forward.
Looking forward to applying new tips and trick tomorrow!
Remembering what matters most is what I do next!