Wednesday, May 30, 2018

EOY Schoology Advice

Do you want to save your Schoology course content from this year so that it is easily accessible in your resource section for next year?  This video will help!  If you don’t save now, don’t worry, your course content will live on in the archived course section.  Saving to resources just makes it easier when designing over the summer or in August!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Summer Learning 2018

One of my favorite things about learning is that it can happen any place at any time.  That means that your summer professional learning can look however you design it.  

Will you meet a teammate to talk about an article or blog you read over coffee?

Will you listen to a new podcast by the pool or the beach?

Will you watch a Ted Talk while running on the treadmill?

Whatever you choose to do, remember that the summer is a chance for you to rest and relax, and hopefully also allow you to enjoy a slower pace.  I do my best learning when I am not stressed out and do it on my own time.  Consider your school year mantra..."If I only had more time to spend learning about..."

My team is offering several structured learning experiences this summer...some virtual, some face to face.  Check out the graphic below to learn about what is available!

Image Created in Canva by Megan Kozar
There are 2 ways to participate in the  DLC PL Conference happening on Tuesday, June 5th if you are in Coppell ISD  - as a participant AND/OR as a facilitator.  The call for proposals is now open for educators that want to share in different ways!

*limited to Coppell ISD only

*limited to Coppell ISD only

Lastly, if you are looking for other opportunities to learn this summer, check out this collection of summer learning throughout the DFW area that my teammate, Trisha Goins, curated.

How will you choose to learn this summer?  As a fellow learning nerd, I would LOVE to read about it in the comments!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Top 5 Apple Updates

Did you hear?  Apple recently hosted a huge education event in Chicago rolling out many changes to its products and software apps that have the potential to  impact education in a major way.

There’s SO much good news from this event (including new devices priced for education) that my friend, Megan Kozar and I decided to break down some of our favorite updates for you vlog style in under 3 minutes!

What devices do these work on?
These awesome features work on any devices that run iOS 11.  Don’t forget to keep your iOS updated and update your apps periodically to get the smoothest experience!

Even if your learner devices are older, you as an educator can use the updates to explore, practice and create materials for your classroom  - this is a great way to learn and explore so you are ready for when they do!

What can YOU do with these to transform a learning experience?

Need ideas?  Check in with your friendly neighborhood DLC!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Making Connections

I'm so excited to have co-written a blogpost over at my friends, Monica and Kelly's blog, Teacher Tech Tools in Under 2 Minutes this week.

Hop over using the link below to learn more about an awesome collaboration project between our campuses that proves that no matter what the age of the learner, connections help us construct meaning.  

Connecting, Collaborating, Creating

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Great iPad Challenge

I once read that in order to grow, we must learn something new everyday by getting out of our "comfort zones".

I think we sometimes make this too hard - like we have to make a big jump like changing a job or a grade level or a school placement.  But the truth is that little steps out of our comfort zones have the potential to provide just as big shifts in thinking.  

We just have to be open and take the step.

Last week, I challenged myself and my team to ditch our MacBooks for a couple of days.  It doesn't seem that big of a challenge...after all, educators in our district have been issued both Macs AND iPads in order to support learning design for our 1:1 iPad district.  But what I found was that much too often, I default to using just my MacBook.  My team felt the same.  

Now, we all tend to have a preferred device and there is nothing wrong with that.  However, I wondered what kept us going back to our MacBooks and how our perspective would change if we truly stepped into our learners' 1:1 environment.  That was how the Great iPad Challenge was born.

Day 1 of the challenge we would use only iPads.  On day 2, we would be allowed to use supplemental tools like Apple Pencils and keyboards.  We would go about our business as usual, but also try several challenges along the way.  For both days, we used the following bingo board to guide our challenges.  My teammates, Brian Timm and Brad Cook helped me brainstorm some ideas that helped with the design (Our document was created using Pages).  Sam Neal and Brooke Sims assisted by setting up reflection discussion boards in Schoology for our team.

My day 1 and day 2 experiences were very different, but I think it was less about the device/tools and more about my mindset.  Check out this video I made in Clips to share my big takeaways!

My team had some great reflections too.  We decided to share out via Twitter in an activity designed by Kelly Skillingberg and Monica Champagne. We then arranged our thoughts in a Twitter Moment, which is a great way to archive and tell a story with your tweets!

Click here to go to the Twitter Moment

Overall, it was such a valuable experience.  I can't wait to work with Trisha Goins to lead our team on some group discussion and a SURPRISE additional reflection that I will share with you in the upcoming weeks!

What do you think would happen if YOU ditched your laptop and took the iPad Challenge?  Let me know in the comments!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Apple a Week Series Wrap Up

When I started this blog series, my intent was to challenge myself to really explore how Apple can be used for deeper learning. I wanted to develop my answer to the question, “Why Apple?”  and encourage you to consider it as well. I hope it has opened your mind to some different ways that the Apple foundational programs can be used within your classroom. Though our series ends with this post, I challenge all of us to continue to share ideas in the comments, on our Flipgrid and via Twitter.  Learning, after all, isn’t ever “over” - it morphs and changes and shifts, but with an open mind, it never ceases.

I owe a great deal of thanks to my teammates who co-wrote, linked up, brainstormed ideas and recorded Flipgrid videos. Could I have written all of the posts? Maybe. But there is such power in different perspectives and learning collaboratively.  I hope that my teammates have learned from me through this process as well.

To my inspired educators who are in the trenches trying some of these ideas out - thank you.  I look forward to sharing images and videos of your classes’ music videos, book club journals, Keynote animations and more.   I am always here as a learning partner.

Lastly, I have always taken much inspiration from the Apple Distinguished Educators.  Next year, when applications come out, I hope that some of you will consider applying to be part of this collective group of outstanding educators.  Until then, our learning can continue every Tuesday night at 8 pm CST when the ADEs host #appleeduchat.  It is a GREAT way to develop your PLN and gather new ideas and resources.

So my question once again to you is this...Why Apple?  Our Flipgrid is still waiting for your answer:

What reflections can you share from your experience reading this series?  Let me know in the comments...I’d love to know how this series has impacted your design!

Check out other posts from this series here.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Movin' and Groovin' With iMovie

Open house was this week here in Coppell, Texas.  So many amazing things were shared and celebrated.  The best part is how proud our kids are when they get to show off what they have created.  What better week to talk about the selfie generation and their love of film? This week, get ready for your close up because it's time for...

I loved working to help my teammate, Megan Kozar, pen our post about iMovie.  Her perspective is phenomenal.  If you don't subscribe to her site, The Lightning Lab, you totally should!  Let's link over to her blog, to learn more about the magic of iMovie for learning!

Movin' and Groovin' with iMovie by Megan Kozar

What awesome creations have you and your learners made using iMovie? What helps you when teaching learners how to film?  Share some examples and ideas in the comments!

Check out other posts from this series here.

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