Digitizing Your Favorite Lesson

I hear from educators all the time that they cannot find the time to practice using all the new technology tools available, let alone collaborate around ways to utilize these tools in the learning environments they support.

black and white photo of clocks
Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

As educators, we are masters at making the most out of  ‘our 24’, but for time and sometimes sanity we revert back to using the same lesson we know works year after year. Yes, we want to use the new technology, yes, we know it will help our learners prepare for the 21st-century workplace, no, we aren’t out of touch with the realities of the digital revolution. Educators I know you are all planning, grading, coaching, teaching, communicating, for your students each and every day. I designed my 90-minute workshop for The ISTE 2020 EdTech conference with you in mind.

New systems, tools, and strategies of education have always excited me. I remember when a math teacher once shared with me how she removed all her desks and chairs. Students had to move around the room and work out math problems on dry erase boards. At first, the students gave her a piece (or two) of their minds when the test scores came back no one questioned her system. Her students were doing all the work in the math class, they were moving bodies and brains and guess what, the math stuck.  I love when a teacher comes back to me after trying a new strategy or tool with a sparkle in their eye. I have been known to literally jump with joy when a flipped classroom brought about deep student engagement others through would never happen. The digital tools in my workshop are meant to engage and support learners authentically. The digital tools in Engaging Your Learners Through Digital Tools  (YouTube video submission link) is designed to support teachers as they facilitate learners to collaborate, communicate, and create within learning communities.

This submission is designed around the ISTE Coaching Standard 3a-3g Digital Age Learning Environments. These standards are specifically connected to the learning in the workshop by:

  • 3a: Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.
  • 3b: Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.
  • 3d: Select, evaluate and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning.
  • 3f: Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.
  • 3g: Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers and the larger community.
    • During the workshop, all participants will be exploring and practicing with different digital tools. They will collaborate in Face-to-Face and digital format to expand the learning while taking into account the learners they have in each unique setting. Digital communication and collaboration outside of the 90-minute workshop will be encouraged. 
  • 3c: Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators.
  • 3e: Troubleshoot basic software, hardware and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments. 
    • As the facilitator, I will be focusing on the coaching of teachers to use digital tools as a way to maximize the learning objectives for all learners. By anticipating the common problems of a digital environment and communicating how these problems can be solved with ease,  I will empower teachers to take risks and use these powerful tools. 

Participants will move to between three stations in 15 minutes increments to foster engagement while taking on a collaborative learner role.  

Soine and Lumpe (2014) provided a researched anchor in Characteristics of Effective Professional Development that grounded the creation of this workshop.

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This workshop supports active and engaged learning that can support the assessment of student learning. The tools support students who learn content in different ways; student choice opens up when these tools are used. By providing time to get your hands dirty during the workshop educators are able to start connecting the tool to lessons quickly. To meet the teachers’ needs and circumstances, time is spent on the exploration and application of the tool, not listening to how someone else used it. Collective participation is at the heart of this learning opportunity. Participants will collaborate with each other in stations as well as intentionally during reflection. The duration of the 90-minute workshop can be replicated with different tools and learning objectives during short and longer professional development opportunities. This workshop system is easy to replicate at other locations and with different digital tools to maximize the learning of educators at the workshop and beyond.

In short, your time is valuable. Trust me when I say that we appreciate a polite group who pretends to be listening at yet another conference. Thesparticipantsts are comfortable clapping politely and leave with a kind smile but I would rather you make a connection to the learners you support today and give you some time to practice using the tools we all know are important. I promise to jump for joy when you share how the shift towards using digital tools engaged your students and flipped your classroom.

woman jumping above stairs wearing graduation gown and a hat
Photo by Matthew T Rader on Pexels.com

References:

Soine, K.M. & Lumpe, A. (2014). Measuring characteristics of teacher professional development. Teacher Development: An international journal of teachers’ professional development. DOI: 10.1080/13664530.2014.911775

Tools Used in the 2020 ISTE Submission as of September 2019*

*modifications will be made to this workshop to meet the needs of digital educational support as technology tools emerge and evolve.

Community Engagement Project: Connecting with Parents Digitally

Background

For my EDTC 6104 Digital Learning Environments class, I choose to create a workshop on Connecting with Parents Digitally for my Community Engagement Project.

During my presentation I will be helping teachers improve their parent teacher relationship by learning the different ways they can digitally connect with parents. Some of these ways are:

  • Reminder apps such as Remind
  • Digital Portfolio tools such as Seesaw
  • Microsoft tools such as Skype Video Conferencing and Microsoft Translator

Workshop

Audience

Professional Development Workshop

Location- My Private School’s Main Campus

Date- Friday, August 30th, 2019

Attendees- All Pre-K Teachers, Directors, and Founders of all four campus’

2020 WAEYC Annual Conference

Location- Lynnwood Convention Center

Dates- October 22-24, 2020

Attendees- Early Childhood Educators

Length

  • Ideal length will be between 45 minutes- an hour for both my schools PD and the WAEYC conference.
  •  I will be taking time during the first part of the conference to do a poll everywhere which should take about 10 minutes for them to watch the video and answer the questions. 
  • The remaining time will be spent focusing on the presentation and showing them how to find and use the recommended tools from the presentation.

Digital Tools

One of the following will be required for the technology workshop:

  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Smart Phone

Goals

The goals of the workshop will be to teach and demonstrate how to use technology to:

  • Keep Parents aware of the happenings of the classroom and/or school events
  • Build a home-to-school connection with parents
  • Bring new digital communication apps into the classroom

Active Learning

  • I have planned a flipped classroom activity for when the participants enter my workshop. Participants can find a link to a video they will watch as well as a poll everywhere questionnaire I would like them to fill out. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
  • At the end of the presentation they will get to collaborate in a Padlet on how the digital apps they learned about today affects the home-to-school connection between teachers and parents. 

Addressing Teacher Needs

I will provide all attendees with a link to the powerpoint presentation, the padlet, and the poll everywhere results for them to access after the presentation.

FAQ:

  • How do I help parents create accounts on the apps presented?
  • How do I set up my class on the apps presented? I.e Remind, Seesaw
  • How do I record videos and send photos through the apps?
  • What payment is needed for these apps?

I will also be providing links to the FAQ’s found on the apps website that can help give them a step-by-step guide to answering most of these and other questions.

Collaborative Participation

  • We will have a group discussion on the Poll Everywhere results which will help determine where everyone stands with incorporating digital communication in their classroom. 
  • Attendees will also be working together to set up accounts on the digital apps presented and test run some of them with one another to get a feel for how they work. 
  • Attendees will also comment on a Padlet near the end of the presentation and we will share ideas and feelings on how digital communication can help build a strong parent connection.

ISTE Standards

Educator Standards

  • 1. Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning.
    • 1a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
    • 1b. Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.

My workshop meets ISTE Educator Standard 1 by allowing educators to explore different technology communication applications and tools. During the workshop educators will also participate in a professional learning network where they can be actively learning practices that can be implemented into their classrooms.

  • 2. Educators seek out opportunities for leadership to support student empowerment and success and to improve teaching and learning.
    • 2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.

My workshop meets ISTE Educator 2 by offering educators an opportunity to identify and evaluate new digital communication applications and tools for educational settings. Educators will also get a chance to explore and adopt any of the new digital resources/tools for their classroom/school.

  • 4. Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems.
    • 4a. Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.
    • 4d. Demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.

My workshop meets ISTE Educator 4 by presenting educators an opportunity to collaborate with each other and improve their relationship with parents digitally. Through our collaboration, educators are discovering new apps/tools, sharing ideas with one another, and ultimately solving the problem of how to achieve effective communication with parents.

Coaching Standards

3. Digital Age Learning Environments

  • 3a. Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3a by introducing educators to digital communication tools and resources in a collaborative learning environment. Educators will collaborate in a hand-on workshop that will prepare them to implement digital communication apps to create a technology-rich learning environment within their school.

  • 3b. Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3b by allowing educators to add new and effective digital tools and resources for parent communication to their tech libraries. Within the apps/tools presented, Seesaw allows students to be active learners within a technology-rich learning environment and promotes student voice within the classroom.

  • 3c. Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3c by providing educators with an opportunity to come together and collaborate in a learning network environment. Within the workshop educators will collaborate on ideas and choices to better integrate digital communication into their classrooms. This is a great way for educators to get a hands-on experience in a professional development setting.

  • 3d. Select, evaluate and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3d by introducing educators to a variety of new technologies that will assist in building strong parent relationships within their classrooms. Among the apps presented, Microsoft Translate is a great assistive technology to help support student learning by providing a way for educators and parents to communicate with their native languages effectively.

  • 3e. Troubleshoot basic software, hardware and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3e by incorporating a hand-on experience for educators to explore and dabble with the new digital apps presented in the workshop. This gives time for me to evaluate and assist any problems that may arise within the programs being explored.

  • 3f. Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3f by presenting a variety of digital communication apps/tools that educators can choose from to adopt within their classrooms/school. I have chosen apps that I have used before in my classroom and have found to be effective tools when connecting with parents. All tools presented within the workshop can also be found within common sense media’s database as effective communication tools for the classroom.

  • 3g. Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers and the larger community.

My workshop meets ISTE Coaching Standard 3g by teaching educators different strategies and apps that help build effective communication and collaboration with parents. The workshop focuses on 4 different apps that provide educators an opportunity to build a strong effective relationships with parents within their classroom/school.

Supporting Documents

PowerPoint Presentation/Video:(Click Start Slideshow for Voice-Over) :

https://1drv.ms/p/s!AhUaoqeEVJkEiFTGkOlSeM3EUUOq

Poll Everywhere:

https://pollev.com/brittanybump776 or Text BRITTANYBUMP776 to 37607

Padlet:

https://padlet.com/bumpusb/7ak24e42g5aa

Reflection

Throughout the process of creating this community engagement project, I have gained many skills and knowledge that will help me grow further within my career as an educator and a digital coach. I will be presenting my workshop during one of my school’s professional development days and submitting my workshop as a proposal to WAEYC’s 2020 annual conference. Even if not accepted for the WAEYC conference, I feel proud of the knowledge I have gained throughout this project and hope others can also benefit from my hard work.

6104 Community Engagement Project Reflection

Background

Our school started the 1:1 computer program ten years ago and extended to lower grades after five years of this program and initiated the digital citizenship class in the kindergarten leverage iPad as the digital tool.  I have worked as a tech teacher in kindergarten for three years. In these three years, my students experienced many Apps to create digital stories, innovative videos, and posters in collaborative groups or independence set. Their favorite learning activity is the one related to their routine life in the real world and shares their digital artifacts with parents, teachers, and peers. I started to think about to collaborate with other classrooms teachers when classroom teachers asked me how they can integrate iPad as the innovative learning part and what Apps students have learned in my tech class can be used in their classes. And also, I want to build a connection between the digital world and the real world for students to demonstrate reflections and learning outcomes of the knowledge they learned in different classes using digital tools. 

Retrieved from https://sites.psu.edu/

About the Workshop

I have explored some digital platform for collaboration, and I want to introduce Edmodo as the recommendation in my workshop. Within this strategy, classroom teachers can provide opportunities for authentic learning for tech class; Tech class can provide support on digital tools for classroom teachers. They are going to build a reciprocal relationship through Edmodo collaboration platform to share recourses and ideas for seeking the connection between tech class and regular classrooms to help students to lead effective learning. In this workshop, I will introduce Edmodo features to audiences, including groups, small groups, library, and message. Thinking of the limited time, I will implement blended learning in which audiences will receive a concise instruction about how to join my provisional group for this workshop. We will use the group for practicing most of the features in the real-time and keep this group as a small PLN for sharing experiences for the future. At the end of the workshop, I will introduce two digital tools, which are my kindergarten students’ favorite as a reference for audiences. 

Conclusion

In the digital world, classrooms should be not isolated anymore. Teachers need to break the wall to collaborate and build a community to seek opportunities to enhance student motivation and engagement.

For the tech class, it will not be the learning goal for teaching digital tools and skills. Tech teachers need to provide opportunities for the student to leverage digital tools to have deep and authentic learning and gain digital competences for the 21st century needs. 

For the homeroom classes, teachers have a responsibility to provide productive technology environment for young age students to cultivate their digital competences to benefit their future life in the digital world. Teachers have limited time in the class to manage digital tools and also need technical support to encourage them to move on.

Collaboration between tech teachers and classroom teachers can be the reciprocal way to engage and motivate students to leverage the digital skills they learned in the tech class to demonstrate their learning outcomes in their home class. Students can choose different ways to use a digital tool to express themselves to different kinds of audiences to lead student-centered and culturally relevant learning. 

Building Collaboration, Communication and Independence with Padlet

For the final module of our summer EDTC 6104 course, we were focusing on ISTE coaching standard 3. More specifically performance indicators e and g:

 

E – Troubleshoot basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments

G – Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers, and the larger community

 

As a teacher, a goal I have is to empower my scholars with strategies they can use to solve their problems. Not only does this help things run smoothly in the classroom but it also lets scholars know they are in control of their choices, and learning. Performance indicator G emphasizes using digital communication and collaboration tools to do some of this work. I began thinking in terms of my own experience in the classroom and how digital communication and collaboration tools empower scholars. There are many tools designed to do such things. Some I use are Flipgrid, SeeSaw, and Google Classroom. One tool that I have dabbled in is Padlet. While working with another 3rd-grade teacher in Pennsylvania on a collaboration this upcoming year for Global Read Aloud we were discussing which digital platform to use. She has been doing the GRA for a couple of years and mentioned that Padlet had seemed to work the best for her scholars; stating that is was organized, easy to use and understand by 3rd graders, and had many options for how students could enter the conversation or add to other’s thinking.

Introduction to Padlet

Padlet is an online virtual “bulletin” board, where scholars and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links, videos, pictures, and ideas in a secure location. Teachers and scholars can use Padlet in a variety of ways. One way I want to explore Padlet is as a curation tool, which can then also lend itself as a collaboration and communication tool to be used within the classroom and with families. 

Padlet for Curation

As I began exploring more of the capabilities of Padlet my ideas shifted more from collaboration globally and thinking about it also in terms of our classroom. Specifically, as a way for scholars to access resources or ask for/ share help with others. 

 

As a teacher, you could use Padlet to post pictures of anchor charts from your room, helpful videos, links, documents, and other resources. You could have the Padlet link available for kids or print off a QR code for students to scan and pull up the resources. For example, here is a Padlet you could use if scholars are doing a research project on animals or this resource you could use to send home to families to support multiplication. Another advantage of using Padlet to curate resources is that you can also share these boards with families and keep them as reference for upcoming units or years. 

 

To shift the focus on scholars’ taking ownership of their own learning you could also embed an area on your Padlet for scholars to post their names when they feel they have mastered the learning objective and are willing to help or answer questions from others. Additionally, you could have a Padlet or place on the Padlet for scholars to post questions or think about embedding Classroom Q.

 

Padlet could solve another problem I have been grappling with which is limited physical space. This past year in class I had a scholar who expressed to me that too much visual stimulation in the room distracted him from his learning. My classroom is pretty well organized and I try to keep only relevant anchor charts up around the room. However, at times I felt like there just wasn’t enough wall space in my classroom for the material we were covering and all the student work. This made me wonder if what I thought was helping my scholars (anchor charts + student work) was instead be having other more negative effects. 

 

Edutopia’s article: Dos and Don’ts of Classroom Decorations cites research suggesting that, “Classroom walls should feel warm and lively but not overcrowded—keep 20 to 50 percent of the wall space clear, and fill the rest with student work, inspiring pictures, and learning aids.”  When thinking about the pace of which teaching and learning occur if I were trying to abide by the 20-50% rule this means that anchor charts or other visual stimuli would be constantly changing. For scholars who need review or who may need further assistance, it would be helpful to have a place to go to.

 

Keeping in mind the research suggesting that classroom stimuli can become distracting, I believe the same can apply on a Padlet board. Michael Hubenthal and Thomas O’Brien in their research Revisiting Your Classroom’s Walls: The Pedagogical Power of Posters found that “the visual complexity caused by an abundance of text and small images can set up an overwhelming visual/verbal competition between text and graphics for which students must gain control in order to give meaning to information.” (2009). Thus, if applying this research when creating your Padlet board, being mindful about what and how you organize/ present the information or resources is important. 

 

Additionally if using Padlet as a tool to bridge independence and facilitate independent learning remembering to balance it with teacher support is important. Clear modeling, guidance, and in-class support will enhance student independent learning (Hocking et al., 2018). Research, also showed that when working on building students autonomous learning scholars preferred, “dependency ‘weening’” meaning that teachers start the year with clear, structured and direct approaches and as the curriculum or year continues the scaffolds and support begin to lessen (Hocking et al., 2018).

 

Whether or not you are using Padlet to curate resources to share with scholars and families or using it to collaborate with scholars from around the world Padlet has the potential to shape and maximize the learning of our scholars. If you are looking for some ways to try Padlet out in your classroom these blogs are some helpful places to start:

 

20 ways to use Padlet in your class now

30 Ways to use Padlet in the classroom

Using Padlet in the classroom

Educational ways to use Padlet 

 

References: 

Hockings, C., Thomas, L., Ottaway, J., & Jones, R. (2018). Independent Learning–What We Do When You’re Not There. Teaching in Higher Education, 23(2), 145–161. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.spu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=eric&AN=EJ1167712&site=ehost-live 

 

Hubenthal, M., O’Brien, T., (2009). Revisiting
 your 
Classroom’s
 Walls:
The
 Pedagogical
 Power
 of
 Posters, 1-8. Retrieved from https://www.iris.edu/hq/files/programs/education_and_outreach/poster_pilot/Poster_Guide_v2a.pdf

 

Terada, Y. (2018, October 24). Dos and Don’ts of Classroom Decorations. Retrieved August 15, 2019, from https://www.edutopia.org/article/dos-and-donts-classroom-decorations 

 

Using EDMODO to its Fullest Potential

This week, we are focusing on ISTE Coaching Standard 3 Indicator G: Using digital communication tools to communicate locally and globally with parents, peers, and the larger community. Instead of finding a brand new shiny tech tool, I thought that I might dust off one of the ones I use already and see if it can apply to this standard. So let me begin by telling you how I have used it in the past and then follow up with how I can use it in the future.

Learned Helplessness

In my classroom, I got a lot of excuses like: I didn’t write down the homework, so I didn’t know what to do. I forgot my book at school. I didn’t have so and so’s number to work on our project. I wasn’t home to work on my project with so and so. And every time, I replied, “Did you try to solve the problem?” Usually they gave me a blank stare. Then I found Edmodo. Edmodo was a huge solution chamber created for the students to solve their problems. It was really helpful for me as well, because I wasn’t in charge of all of the information- they were.

How I Used Edmodo in My Class

Everyday, I had a student take a picture of the homework and upload it to the site. I posted digital copies of all our work books and links to audio readings of our chapter books. If students were stuck on a topic, I usually posted videos to help them and trained students to post videos that they found helpful. Students used the interface to schedule meet ups or share tips with each other. As far as creativity, the students got to create their own avatar and post about their vacations and share photos with the class. These resources seemed to help the students overcome most of their issues, when they used it. So this is how I have used Edmodo for the last few years. It has been a great tool at getting my students to be self-directed learners.

This is an example of my class folders in Edmodo for the students to click on to find information.

I have done pretty well at using this collaboration tool locally (in my classroom), but can I go globally? Let’s find out.

Global Classrooms

As an extension of the more commonly used term of digital citizenship, global citizenship is about conversations and connections that will help students and teachers collaborate on shared outcomes. (Lindsay, 2019) Teachers can connect with each other through PLN’s (Professional Learning Networks) and create a special class in Edmodo that can connect your students with another classroom. I look at this like instant pen pals. Students could be researching a topic and working with a counterpart to solve a problem. Students become aware of what life is like in other countries and cultures and find out what they have in common. This is a safe way to communicate because everything is visible by the educators. In the video below, a school in Florida was able to connect with a school from Argentina, both through Edmodo and in person.

Globally connected classroom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=190&v=17mKHFki6MY

International Book Club

Teachers and Librarians can connect with other educators and read a book together. While browsing the Edmodo blog, I found out how a librarian from Alabama was connecting her students to students in France over the love of reading. Through Edmodo, the students were able to learn about each other, practice the language, and see what real-life is like in Alabama and France, bringing them closer together.

Connect with Educators through a PLN

A lot of educators connect with each other on Edmodo. It is a great way to share content and files with like-minded individuals and meet new people. Edmodo has a “search teachers” bar where you can connect with colleagues that you have met at conferences and professional development classes. My teaching team also connects our classes together so that if a student has a question or needs to be moderated, any of us can handle that.

PLC’s

I think using Edmodo as a way for you to connect with your PLC is a great idea. You can add your administrators and support staff so that communication is seamless. Files could be stored and shared in this area for grade level teams. What is extra special about Edmodo, is that you can directly connect your Microsoft Office 365 and/or Google Classroom to the platform. What if your grade level across the school district started sharing what they are doing in the classroom? Teachers could collect and curate lesson plans. How powerful could the learning be then?

Additional Highlights

Edmodo is web-based as well as an IOS/Android mobile platform.

All users have FREE access to Microsoft office. This is great for students, many of whom do not have traditional access from home. In the past year, Edmodo has undergone a redesign and they are tackling SEL (Social Emotional Learning) using an app called Discover. The goal of discover is to empower students to be mindful as they navigate socially-connected educational games, newsfeeds, and meditation activities. Another benefit of this redesign is that parents can sign up for Edmodo easily when the students sign up and teachers are now made aware of that fact. Parents can see the folders that the teacher has created for students as well as what their child is posting.

Some examples of activities you will find on Discover. https://medium.com/edmodoblog/announcing-discover-on-edmodo-e96387a6c4fc

These are just a few ways that Edmodo could be used to collaborate globally with parents, peers and the larger community. For more ideas and resources on how you can use Edmodo in your classroom, check out the Edmodo Blog.

Sources:

  • Blogger, G. (2016, August 03). How to Encourage and Model Global Citizenship in the Classroom. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/global_learning/2016/07/how_to_encourage_and_model_global_citizenship_in_the_classroom.html
  • Miller, A. (2015, May 11). Avoiding Learned Helplessness. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/avoiding-learned-helplessness-andrew-miller
  • Teachers. (2019, August 13). Retrieved from https://go.edmodo.com/teachers/
  • Edmodo. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://medium.com/edmodoblog
  • /@edmodo_staff. (2019, May 22). Announcing Discover on Edmodo. Retrieved from https://medium.com/edmodoblog/announcing-discover-on-edmodo-e96387a6c4fc
  • Schools, O. C. (2013, October 25). OCPS | Glenridge Goes Global. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=190&v=17mKHFki6MY
  • ISTE Standards for Coaches. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Community Engagement Project: Pair Programming in K-8

For my Digital Learning Environments Community Engagement project, I chose to develop a workshop on Pair Programming in K-8 classrooms. I picked this topic because I am excited by the research behind pair programming and its potential for making students, and in particular girls, feel more engaged and confident in computer science classes. Pair programming … Continue reading "Community Engagement Project: Pair Programming in K-8"

Professional Learning Networks: Connect, Relate, and Create

The digital world offers many ways of connecting with fellow professionals beyond your typical day and location. Instead of waiting for the weekly professional development meeting or your planning period to connect with your school bestie, educators can access Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) and get suggestions, answers and numerous perspectives within a few minutes. Innovating Pedogogy (2016) states, “Where the pedagogy is successful, social media can give learners reliable and interesting content, as well as opportunities to access expert advice, to encounter challenges, to defend their views and to amend their ideas in the face of criticism”. Within the PLN we connect, relate, and create at any hour and within the constraints of school and district guidelines. How does this way of learning support our students and our practice?

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PLNs are different than the yearly Professional Learning Community (PLC) teachers often participate in for one main reason; they expand beyond a community and are accessible by an often uncontrolled group of professionals who vary in buy-in from curiosity to experts. We are now connected to each other by our professional digital identity.  The theory of connectivism explains this new way of learning. According to (Mattar, 2018), “Connectivism or distributed learning is proposed as a theory more adequate to the digital age, when action is needed without personal learning, using information outside of our primary knowledge”. Within the PLN teachers are able to access knowledge that from educators who have similar questions, roles, and hopefully answers regarding what you want to learn about. You can read more about how PLNs can be supported by PLCs in Vicki Davis’s Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLCs With PLNs

ISTE Coaching Standard 3.G states that coaches should focus on the “Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers, and the larger community”. The PLN is a prime example of The Tripple E in action. “The Triple E Framework, developed in 2011 by Professor Liz Kolb at the University of Michigan, School of Education, was created to address the desire for K-12 educators to bridge research on education technologies and teaching practice in the classroom”.  Educators are able to extend their own learning, enhance the experiences of students through the shared perspectives of others while engaging with like-minded professionals from all over the world. 

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So just how should we use digital communication and collaborative technologies in professional learning? It is as simple as joining and responding to the Facebook group, or as complicated as participating in the live Twitter Feed discussion. These experiences are better when they have someone to set the tone of the collaboration, monitor and manage the material posted when conversations get heated and play digital housekeeping from time to time.  

“In a recent survey, Teachers Network found that 80 percent of teachers said network participation encouraged them to remain in the classroom, while 90 percent said that networking improved their teaching practice”. Edutopia expands on the PLN possibilities in Resources for Growing Your Professional Learning Network. These opportunities have been around for years are full of knowledge if you know how to access it. PLNs have the power to support you and your school bestie as you design that next unit, or offer support as you take a big risk by using new technology to support the learning in your classrooms. The power will feel endless; I encourage you to experience some of the positive consequences of this digital world we live in.

A few final words of advice based on personal experience:

  1. The power is in the collaboration, and quality collaboration is based on respect. 
  2. Ask clear questions so others can help you find quality answers and solutions.
  3. Do not judge someone who takes a moment to vent, instead offer solutions and perspective. Kindness always wins and sometimes it is easier to turn to a social network platform than people you have to work with every day.
  4. 4. Give back! Take a few moments to share your thinking when someone reaches out. It is important to fill the bucket that you are willing to take from.

Enjoy the endless opportunity to Connect, Relate, and Create.

References: 

Creative Commons. (n.d.). Triple E Framework. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.tripleeframework.com

Davis, V. (2015, November 11). Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLCs With PLNs. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/modern-professional-learning-plc-pln-vicki-davis

ISTE | ISTE Standards for Coaches. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Mattar, J. (2018). Constructivism and connectivism in education technology: Active, situated, authentic, experiential, and anchored learning. RIED. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia, 21(2), 201. https://doi.org/10.5944/ried.21.2.20055

Sharples, M., de Roock , R., Ferguson, R., Gaved, M., Herodotou, C., Koh, E., Kukulska-Hulme, A., Looi, C-K, McAndrew, P., Rienties, B., Weller, M., Wong, L. H. (2016). Innovating Pedagogy 2016: Open University Innovation Report 5. Milton Keynes: The Open University.

Teachers Network – Free Lesson Plans, Educational Resources & Videos for Teachers, Educators & Instructors. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2019, from http://teachersnetwork.org

Implementing Global Experiences into the Classroom

While taking Seattle Pacific University’s EDTC 6104 Digital Learning Environments course, we are asked to investigate the following ISTE Coaching Standard:

3. Digital Age Learning Environments:  Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.

Within ISTE Coaching Standard 3: Digital Age Learning Environments, I focused my research on the following indicator:

3g. Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers and the larger community.

What digital resources and technologies can teachers use when implementing global projects into the classroom?

In the past I have researched how to build diversity into the classroom by using Skype as well as conducted my own global project using Skype Collaboration. Feel free to go read more about my research and experience with using Skype in the Classroom; for this blog post I choose to focus on other platforms and/or technologies that can assist educators in implementing global projects into their classroom.

When beginning my research I found this wonderful article written by Julie Lindsay called, “5 levels for taking your classroom global”. In the article Julie introduces 5 different levels of how educators can implement global opportunities in their classrooms for the students. I decided to go along with the 5 levels and find resources that will help educators implement global learning into their classrooms.

Level 1: Online interactions 

This level applies to asynchronous communication and involves sharing online learning via digital platforms for others to interact with. Examples include class and individual blog posts as well as digital artifacts posted online for others to view and comment on.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 1 Apps

Buncee – “Create and share projects or participate in the global pen pal program.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Padlet- A virtual cork board for sharing projects.” (Asia Society, 2019)

SeeSaw-Platform for digital student portfolios” (Asia Society, 2019)

Level 2: Real encounters 

The goal of this level is to connect in real time using whatever tool is available to those connecting. Synchronous interaction means learning is instant and participants can ask questions, share media and build understanding of each other in a very short time.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 2 Apps

ePals“A community of collaborative classrooms engaged in cross-cultural exchanges, project sharing, and language learning.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Empatico“Is a free online tool that connects students aged 7 – 11 to
classrooms around the world using video conference technology.”
(Asia Society, 2019)

Global Nomads Group“Videoconferencing, virtual reality, and other interactive technologies bring young people together across cultural and national boundaries to examine world issues and to learn from experts in a variety of fields.”(Asia Society, 2019)

Level 3: Online learning 

“The aim of this level is to encourage learning through digital interaction and sharing of artifacts. It applies to the development of online communities to support curriculum objectives and may be localized (between classes and schools in the same geographic region) or be more global. The learning focus is asynchronous interaction, although some serendipitous synchronous communication may take place, such as a chat facility for participants.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 3 Apps

PenPal Schools“A thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that builds global awareness and collaboration skills by facilitating authentic, cross-cultural PBL experiences.” (Common Sense Media, 2019)

Level Up Village- “STEAM curriculum that connects students to partners around the globe.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Level 4: Communities of practice

“This level is designed for specific learning objectives as a global community of learners. Communication can be both synchronous and asynchronous. The community of practice would normally have a shared objective, such as a global collaborative project and probably a set timeline that dictates workflow and communication patterns.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 4 Apps

Global Read Aloud“Pick a book to read aloud to your students during a set 6-week period and during that time try to make as many global connections as possible.” (GRA, 2019)

Hour of Code– “The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.” (Hour of code, 2019)

Level 5: Learning collaboratives

The purpose of this community is a little harder to grasp, but it’s basically about fostering learner autonomy for online global collaboration. Each member of the collaborative (educator, student, community partner) has the confidence and ability to initiate collaborations and co-creations within the collaborative. The learning paradigm is redesigned to encourage students to take leadership roles and, in doing so, co-create solutions to global problems and challenges.” (Lindsay, 2016)

Recommended Level 5 Apps

Global Kids– “Using interactive and experiential methods, the program aims to educate youth about critical international and foreign policy issues. Through its professional development program, GK also provides educators with strategies for integrating a youth development approach and international issues into their classrooms.” (Asia Society, 2019)

Taking It Global- “A global online community that seeks to inspire, inform, connect, and empower youth to take action in to improve communities locally and globally. “ (Asia Society, 2019)

Resources:

Asia Society. Technology Tools for Global Education. Retrieved from https://asiasociety.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/technology-tools-for-global-collaboration-edu.pdf

Common Sense Education. Pen Pal Schools. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/website/penpal-schools

GRA. The Global Read Aloud. Retrieved from https://theglobalreadaloud.com/

Hour of Code. (2019). What will you create? Retrieved from https://hourofcode.com/us?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-b7qBRDPARIsADVbUbXNYZXmUVzHJlKNdHLXPrCTk6KtwuY9Xvsg3OEEnwwlUxf78jaNqa8aAqgrEALw_wcB#

ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches

Lindsay, Julie. (2016, July 19). 5 levels for taking your classroom global. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/In-the-classroom/5-levels-for-taking-your-classroom-global

Building Independent Learners

As any parent or teacher knows, children learn best when they solve problems on their own. In this week’s module of our class Digital Learning Environments, I chose to look at how ISTE Coaching Standard 3e, which calls for  troubleshooting “basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments,” could be applied in … Continue reading "Building Independent Learners"

Be a Troubleshooter to Transform Your Technology Integration

ISTE Coaching Standard 3 Digital age learning environments

Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.

E – Troubleshoot basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments

Question: How can coaches best support teacher and student stamina when learning how to incorporate new technology into their classroom?

Throughout the Digital Education Leadership (DEL) program at Seattle Pacific University, I have noticed that my own learned helplessness when using new technology was much more ingrained than I had realized. When our cohort was asked to use Coggle to create a Mindmap from our readings during the first quarter, I became frustrated and told myself multiple times that I am just the type of person who is better at using pencil and paper for this task – more specifically, “that is just who I am”. The rigidity around the idea of “that is just who I am” morphed into a learned helplessness that I could not do it well because it wasn’t suited to what I was already proficient at. I am incredibly thankful that throughout learning the Coggle tool and being a part of the DEL program, I realized that by tapping into a growth mindset, I eventually saw and appreciated the value of expanding my skills and not stopping as soon as I had to put effort into something new, uncomfortable and challenging. Luckily, the DEL program coached me through these challenges by having an atmosphere of support and patience with what it takes to learn these skills. This is exactly what I expect and hope my students will aspire to every day in my classroom.  How unfair not to grow with them and this had led me to expect it of myself, first and foremost.  Coaches and the educational environment we are all part of needs to have this same patience and perseverance in order to gain the stamina to succeed in the always evolving technology rich culture we all live in.  

Many of the issues that surround implementing technology in the classroom result from a fixed mindset from educators, administration, district demands around testing, parent fears and students who have been exposed regularly to one ‘right way’.  When connectivity and basic hardware/software issues pop up, it is easy to sweep away what you were attempting to implement in the name of needing to teach a standard. This challenge becomes not worth the time, effort and resources. Sure, time may be spent differently than you anticipated but in the long run, you and your students will learn critical life long skills that our students need to learn for the 21st century and beyond. Our stamina around implementation of new technology, as coaches and educators, is critical to the success of these skills for our students.

When looking at the Life and Career column of these 21st century skills, these are the skills that will help all the other skills take root, grow and maintain footing in all contexts.  Each one of these has been critical in my own growth with implementing digital education and technology and to grow with my students while moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. While researching ways to inspire stamina for other educators as a coach, I came across a great article about common issues that arise when using technology.  This list can help coaches teach educators what to do with common problems while using technology in their classroom. I would also extend this idea into creating a living document (a document that is always changing, being added to and being updated) style list with the classroom community adding to it as issues arise. The classroom community, as a whole, is part of problem solving the issues that are sure to come. There have been many times that a student shows me how to solve an issue occurring in class…what an invaluable opportunity for students to become leaders and mentors and this has the opportunity to create a safe environment for solving problems and collaboration between students and adults. In addition, this can help students and teachers to move past learned helplessness and into an eagerness to solve problems as they arise.  

In the Edutopia article, Avoiding Learned Helplessness, Andrew Miller lists out ways educators can shift students into a growth mindset. Miller states, “We, as educators, are often responsible for learned helplessness, and we have a responsibility to change it. How can we empower our students to be self-directed learners?”

  • Curate and Create Learning Resources (Wakelet if a great resource for this!)
  • Using Questions to Drive Learning
  • Stop Giving Answers
  • Allow for Failure

“We need to take responsibility for empowering our students, and to scaffold the process of self-direction. Self-direction doesn’t happen overnight, especially when many of our students have been trained through specific structures of their schooling to be helpless. Although we can take steps as individual educators to avoid learned helplessness, we need to reexamine the systems of schooling, from curriculum to assessment and instruction, to allow for empowerment rather than always getting the right answer.”

~ Andrew Miller

Miller reminds us that specific structures of schooling trains students to be helpless.  In order to counter these structures, consider the idea of Productive Failure (Maun Kapur) as a way to shift from learned helplessness to seeing challenges as an opportunity for authentic learning and a more engaging learning experience that frees students up to wonder, problem solve and have multiple opportunities to try out ideas.  This applies heavily to how teachers can view troubleshooting technology issues, as well, and showcase this pedagogy to students.

“This pedagogy [Productive Failure] requires students to manage an open-ended process of challenge and exploration, so they may feel less confident in the short term. The approach helps them to become more creative and resilient over time.” “For productive failure, the order is reversed, so students try to solve ill-structured problems first, and then receive direct instruction.”

https://iet.open.ac.uk/file/innovating_pedagogy_2016.pdf
https://sites.msudenver.edu/sips/sip-6-4-productive-failure/
A peek into Manu Kapur speaking about Productive Failure

Throughout researching how to build stamina for teachers and students, I keep coming back to the idea that we as educators need to model a desire to approach challenges.  The more we run from using digital resources and technology because there are bound to be issues, the more we are modeling learned helplessness for our students – exactly what we are trying to steer them away from! At the heart of this ISTE 3 Coaching Standard 3E, is the word troubleshooting. The Marian Webster definition of a troubleshooter is:

a person skilled at solving or anticipating problems or difficulties

Coaches have the opportunity to inspire the stamina it takes to implement new ways of teaching by providing resources that give educators the skills to anticipate problems or difficulties rather than focusing on how to do it ‘right’ the first time. Solving and anticipating problems and difficulties are key aspects to be ready to grow as an educator and meet students in the educational world they are growing up in.

How have you lost or gained stamina when using technology in the classroom? When have you given up? When have you pushed through? Who have you seen rise to technology challenges and who has helped you to push through? Have you seen students push through issues/challenges with perseverance and stamina and what was the sequence they went through? In what ways have you been successful or not successful with teaching growth mindset to students? Have you tried approaching learning from a Productive Failure pedagogy? Learning from each other, connecting with the challenges of stamina, perseverance and growth mindset for students and ourselves and being inspired by each other is how our community can become stronger and more supportive. I would love to hear your perspective!

Resources:

Diplomatic Courier. (2017, Jan. 29). Interview w. Manu Kapur at GTS 2017. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fosOJ_4Fqxk

ISTE Coaching Standards. (2019) Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches 

Kapur, Manu.  Productive Failure.  Retrieved from https://www.manukapur.com/productive-failure/

Metropolitan State University of Denver. (2018, Feb. 07) SIP 6.4 Productive Failure: Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?  Retrieved from https://sites.msudenver.edu/sips/sip-6-4-productive-failure/

Miller, A. (2015). Avoiding Learned Helplessness.  Edutopia blog: Teaching Strategies. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/avoiding-learned-helplessness-andrew-miller

Murray, Jacqui. (2013) Solve Those Tricky Classroom Tech Problems. Tech Hub. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/how-solve-tricky-classroom-tech-problems

Famularo, Lisa. (2011, April 29). Developing 21st Century Leaders: Creating Paths to Success. National Partnership for Educational Access.  Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/NPEAConference/integrating-21st-century-skills-into-teaching-and-learning-preparing-all-students-for-success-in-college-career-and-life

National Institute of Education: Singapore. (2016) Innovating Pedagogy 2016: Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers. Retrieved from https://iet.open.ac.uk/file/innovating_pedagogy_2016.pdf

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