Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TMST: Back to SCHOOLogy

I have been loving spending time in classrooms this week with my buddy, Technology Ted, helping our learners start the year off on the right foot as digital citizens.  It has been awesome to have this time with educators and learners but I must admit, I am anxious to get into some deeper design work now that our Digital Literacy Overview and first logins are being completed.  I learn so much from the design process and to me, now is when the fun really begins!

That being said, this week on Teach Me Something Tuesday, let's talk getting back in the swing of digital learning design by looking deeper into some things to consider when going back to SCHOOLogy.

I LOVE that our district has made Schoology's learning management system available to elementary. It is an easy, one stop shop for our learners.  Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned user, here are some tips that could be helpful now that we are back to school!

Tip #1:  Don't recreate the wheel...Locate your Archived Courses

If you had courses last year, but cannot find them this year, don't fret!  They still exist as archived courses.  Check out this link to find out how to find them!  Once you locate them, you can copy some of the awesome experiences you designed last year, add to your new classes that have been imported in from Pentamation, and tweak as needed for your new kiddos!

Tip #2:  Work smarter not harder...Link your Google Drive to Schoology

This is a total must if you haven't done it before...in fact, this video is something I would share with learners that will be using Schoology too.  This actually makes it so you can view and create Google Docs without leaving Schoology.  YEPPERS...can you say convenient?

Tip #3:  Sharing is Caring...Using Group Resources

Why pressure yourself to do all the work when you can work as a team?  Use a Schoology group to share resources that can be copied into your courses!  Need help?  I'd love to work with you to get all set up!

Tip #4:  Parents are people too...Don't forget to get your parents involved!

Parents can access their learners' courses using a parent account.  Use this information to help bring them up to speed on how to use their CISD Schoology parent accounts!

Here's a bonus tip...did you know that if you comment me a burning question about Schoology I will create a customized answer just for you?  Let me know what YOU want to know below!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TMST: BOY Organization

Today on Teach Me Something Tuesday, we are celebrating all things beginning of the year! 

Tis the season for new school supplies, getting to know you activities and TONS of email.  No, seriously.  Not only are we getting used to early alarm clocks and brand new personalities, but our inboxes are growing at record speeds.  Parent emails, procedure emails, compliance emails, OH MY!  How does anyone keep up with all of the THINGS?

I wish I had an easy answer, but let's face it...if you've read this far, you get a gold star.  So without further ado, here are a few simple tips I have for organizing and keeping up with all the BOY stuff!

Tip #1 - Bookmark and Sync Stuff in Chrome and/or DIIGO

How often are you sent a link and then promptly lose it?  This was me ALL the time until I started logging into Google Chrome on all of my devices and syncing my data.  When you do, your bookmarks follow you.  FOR REALZ.  Click here to learn more.  If Chrome is not for you, check out DIIGO.  Not only can you bookmark and categorize links into lists, but you can annotate sites and keep the annotations saved for later. 

Tip #2 - Digital To Dos
Are you a post-it note person?  Do you lose them?  Yep, me too.  To ease my panic about lost to do lists, I started using the Wunderlist app.  Each week, I make a running list, add due dates, notes, etc. and check them off as I go.  They sync across my devices (Mac, phone, iPad, web)  AND I can share the list with other people who also have accounts!  ROCKSTAR.  I'm also a fan of the Incredible Start Page Chrome extension which includes digital post-its and bookmarks.

Tip #3 - Keep Calm and Read this Blog
Warning: shameless plug ahead...I am making it a goal of mine to make sure all things Digital Learning are communicated here.  Did you know that...
  • You can follow this blog via email by signing up on the right?
  • This blog can be searched by label?  Just click on a label at the bottom of a post and see all that apply.
  • If you click on the RESOURCES link at the top, you'll find resources that I have shared recently, like the CISD Digital Literacy Overview and login information?

What tips do you have for keeping up with the speed of August and September?  Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What is a DLC, anyway?

Did you ever wonder what exactly a DLC is?  Take a look below to learn more about what a DLC does!

What We Do / What is a Digital Learning Coach?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Feedback and Growth

Growing up, I was the kid in your class that wanted to do everything just right.  A 92 was not a high B, it was not quite good enough to be an A.  A reprimand made me want to hide under a rock.  I didn't even read the rest of the rubric - the only thing for me was the exceeds column.

I wonder sometimes if that is why receiving feedback is hard for me.  Somewhere along the way, I taught myself that if a process or work was analyzed and questions arose, that it must be wrong or not a good idea.  It is hard for me to accept help in the form of feedback from others.  My sensitive heart paired with not wanting to be seen as not being smart enough or enough in general holds me back.

They say admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Last year, I tried to step out of my critical brain long enough to LISTEN to my critical friends. I tried to separate any attachment I had and just grow.  I watched and noted how others handle receiving feedback, using processing time and reflection as part of the process.

And what I learned is...

I am still working on it.  Isn't that all we are anyway?  One big work in progress?

Perfection doesn't make a good coach.  Being a learner does.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

TMST: Amazon Music

I may be late to the party, but I have recently discovered the beauty known as Amazon Prime Music.  For years, I have been a tried and true Pandora fan, but after several weeks listening to commercial free music on Amazon, I think it is safe to say I am a convert. Yes, you heard that right...NO COMMERCIALS.

Amazon Music is a streaming service that comes with an Amazon Prime subscription.  In other words, if you are paying for Amazon Prime, you already have access to it. Not only are you able to stream music from Amazon's stations, playlists and albums, but you can save your own favorite stations and curate playlists too.

Amazon Music would be great in the classroom because you can pick and choose your own favorite songs to go into different playlists.  This means musical transitions, reflection music and brain breaks can be designed the way YOU want.  

I love that I can listen to my music on the web at https://music.amazon.com and through the Amazon Music App on my mobile devices.

What's your favorite classroom jam?  Try out Prime music and let me know in the comments!

This post is part of the Teach Me Something Tuesdays series.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hello, My Name Is...

Teach Me Something Tuesdays

I'm so excited to try something new on the blog this year!  Hoping to blog more frequently, I am going to try to start a weekly post that teaches something new.  It will be a new strategy, idea or tip that either I am learning about or something I think you might need to know! If you want to see something specifically addressed, feel free to comment because I take requests!

To easily find these kind of posts on Tuesday or any other day you want to learn, simply search the blog for teachmetuesdays OR click the Teach Me Tuesday link at the top part of my blog.

I'm looking forward to learning with you this year!  


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