Connected Educator Month

October is Connected Educator Month. I have put together some resources about being a connected educator for teachers to explore. Click here for Connected Educator Resources.

Check out some older posts that I have written about being a Connected Educator.

Connected Educator Month Post 1 – Overview

Connected Educator Month Post 2 – Edutopia Connected Educator Resources

Connected Educator Month Post 3 – Connected Educators to follow

Connected Educator Month Post 4 – Twitter Chats

EdCamp Home 2.0 – Wow!

14 - 1

EdCamp Home badge created by Kevin Ashworth.

I am a huge fan of the EdCamp model for professional development. I was able to attend EdCamp Philly last year with three colleagues and it was an amazing experience. For those of you that don’t know, EdCamp is an unconference or open space style conference for educators. Unconference style conferences are unique because the content is driven by the participants. There are no pre-planned sessions.

I first heard about EdCamp Home from Markette Pierce, whom I know from Twitter. EdCamp Home is an online version of the conference, meaning all of the attendees would participate from home. It was held on January 4, 2014. Each attendee registered and was then invited to a private Google+ Community. The day before the conference, attendees generated topic ideas. There were two sessions. During each session multiple topics were being discussed in different Google Hangouts. There were a total of 47 different sessions at EdCamp Home. It seemed a little crazy, and it was. It was crazy awesome.

The first session I attended was the “EdTech Coaches Meetup.” We had fun connecting and sharing ideas about how we work with teachers. All the notes from that session can be found here (thanks to Markette for creating the document). Here are the videos from all of the different topics held during session 1: EdCamp Home Session 1.

The second session I attended was called “Helping Teachers Build a PLN.” (I am passionate about this topic and even presented on it at NYSCATE with colleague Amy Oliverihere is a link to our presentation.) There were so many good practical ideas shared in this session. Here are the videos from all of the topics held during session 2: EdCamp Home Session 2.

Here are some links from EdCamp Home 2.0:

  • Snagit – an awesome Google Chrome extension and app for annotating any image you can take a picture of on your computer.

  • Atlas Learning – Too hard to explain but cool, click the link.

  • Lucid Press – Awesome templates that link to Google Docs, available in the Chrome Web Store.

  • Haiku Deck – A new innovative app and online presentation creation tool.

  • PLN Yourself – Great personal learning network resources.

For more ideas check out the EdCamp Home Slam!

You can also catch up on the entire Twitter conversation via the TweetChat link#edcampHome

Experiencing EdCamp Home 2.0 has given me some new ideas for delivery of professional development with the faculty at my school. I was part of the organizing committee that introduced the unconference style of professional development to our faculty for our Professional Day last Spring. It was a huge success. If the EdCamp Home 2.0 organizers can create a robust online environment for collaboration on such a large scale, why can’t I create something similar on a much smaller scale with the faculty at Allendale Columbia School? Why not create Google Hangout PD sessions for faculty? The sessions could be based on faculty interest. Expert guests could attend the hangouts to chat with our faculty in small groups. Would you as a teacher attend a scheduled PD Hangout in the evening? I can’t wait to give this a try.

Kudos to the organizers Karl Lindgren-Steicher, Kelly Kermode, Shawn White and David Theriault, for putting together an amazing event. I can’t wait for EdCamp Home 3.0!

Tech Tuesday 11.26.13 – How to Build a Personal Learning Network (PLN) You Can Manage

Guest post by Amy Oliveri:

In preparation for our presentation at NYSCATE 2013 we practiced with our faculty. You may remember last weeks post encouraged any available AC faculty to join in on a PLN conversation. If you were there, we thank you for your time and feedback. We also apologize profusely. Our presentation, in our eyes, was a bit of a FAIL. You gave us amazing feedback and we got right to work to fix and update it with new information. On Sunday, we presented at NYSCATE. Our presentation is called Building a Personal Learning Network You Can Manage and it was a huge hit. We engaged both brand new users as well as sharing new information with intermediate and advanced users. We have included the slideshare of the presentation below which is filled with links that you can interact with. Let us know if you have any questions and we hope to present this content to you soon.

[slideshare id=28557057&style=border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px&sc=no]

Thanks to Howie DiBlasi for suggesting Slideshare as a way to share our presentation.

Tech Tuesday – 10.08.13 Connected Educators Month (CEM)

Edutopia is one of the best resources for educators. They have put together a great page of Connected Educators Resources.

Resources for Connected Educator Month 2013 | Edutopia.

I hope you find it as useful as I did. Check out Connected Educators.org. The have a great tool for helping you connect to other educators called edConnectr.

Still not sure what it means to be “Connected”. Watch the video below.

Pinterest In My PLN

Illustrated by Peter Grundy From Scholastic Instructor

I would consider myself to be a heavy user of social media maybe even excessive at times. I have written a blog post about using it as a PD (professional development) tool and presented on the topic of connected educators. I actively use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. I used Google Reader, now Feedly (a post for a different day) to keep track of blogs I follow. I use a variety of different apps, Zite, FlipBoard, Feedly, Pocket, WordPress, Evernote, HootSuite, and Summly to keep track of my content.

Notice I didn’t mention Pinterest? Pinterest just didn’t seem to fit into my workflow. I didn’t understand at all how I could jam one more social network into a very busy, sometimes messy flow of information. Colleague, Amy Oliveri, a member of my PLN (Personal Learning Network) and high end social media user has been bugging me for at least a year to start using Pinterest. I just didn’t get it. How do pictures of somebody else’s stuff help me? I was somewhat hesitant given the concerns related to image copyright. I want to be an example of appropriate use of copyright and the web (another post for a different day).

Finally, something clicked. Amy and I manage social media for Allendale Columbia School and she sent me a post from Brendan Scheinder’s blog about using Pinterest as virtual viewbook. Amy insisted that we start doing this and she would manage the entire page (click here to see what she has done so far). So, I decided to give Pinterest another look for professional use. I had to be missing something.

I now understand how Pinterest fits in my workflow. I have started using Pinterest as a place to store important information. I don’t use Delicious anymore. I “pin” everything I want to keep, articles, blog posts, inforgaphics, TED Talks, education sites…I keep adding boards as new ideas pop into my head. It’s also an amazing place to find information. There is so much information available from top resources like Edudemic, Edutopia, Richard Byrne, Eric Sheninger…there are too many to list. Unlike Twitter, Pinterest is easy to browse and search. Everything displays in a nice organized format.

As with all social media, you can’t force it on people. I remember back when I first realized how powerful Twitter could be as PD tool, and how wrong I was about it’s use. Pinterest too has it’s place in your PLN.

To read more about Pinterest in education, check out our Tech Tuesday blog post titled, What is Pinterest?

Spring Break + PLN Time + TED Talks

Spring Break week is a great time to catch up on some things (check out my short post for some Spring Break ideas). For me, that means getting serious PLN (personal learning network) time. One of the goals I have for the week is to watch at least one TED Talk a day. I thought this would be a great way to share what I have watched.

Allendale Columbia School computer science teacher Kristen McKenzie tweeted this talk to me the other day. Every educator should take the 16 minutes to watch this.

After watching this talk, I was incredibly inspired and depressed. Here are some of the questions I have. Can education change? How can we change fast enough to help our current students? What is stopping education from changing? Do we need to change at all? I think education does need to change do, but I also think it’s an important to answer that question. Why change?

Answers, comments, and any other questions are always welcome!

This is a topic I feel very strongly about! Tom does a great job articulating the importance of professional development and how Twitter has become a crucial part of the process for educators to move forward.

My Island View

Twitter has been a topic for educational Bloggers for several years now. I believe that those educators using Twitter are drawn to those posts, while other educators, not using Twitter, are driven away. Maybe the problem is the emphasis, or focus of the blog posts. Maybe the focus should be on relevance and no mention of twitter. Are educators relevant in our technology-driven society?  The obvious answer is that some are, and some are not. A more important question is which of these two groups is growing?

I earned an advanced degree in Educational Technology over 30 years ago. From the day that I received that degree, things have evolved at an unbelievable pace, driven by technology. Not one piece of the hardware or software, that I used to earn that degree, existed five years later. How does any educator keep up with the changes not only in technology and…

View original post 617 more words