Updated Map for Teachers Leaving Oklahoma

I continue to work on my research about Oklahoma Teacher Flight.  You may remember the survey that is available at http://bit.ly/okteacherflight 

I am preparing to present my Research Findings on Thursday, October 5th at the Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in Lawton Oklahoma.  http://www.cameron.edu/rockymountain

As I am working on my data, I created another map showing where teachers left.  It is embedded below. Click on a marker to see where they came from (Oklahoma Town) is the label and the marker location is marking their new home.  Data also shows their difference in Salary.

All teachers that responded that stayed in education are making more money than they did in Oklahoma.  (I removed one response where they were now a graduate student) I had 240 of the 250 provide full salary information in a usable form.  (The ones that were not excluded, provided most information but either were those that said they could not remember what they made in Oklahoma or provided non comparable amounts – ie.. I made 2,000 after taxes in Oklahoma but now make 56,000 etc.. ) I coded those 10 as not sure or non compatible amounts.

For the 240 respondents that gave salary information for both Oklahoma and their new jobs.  Just looking at base salary, no extra duties, it amounts a total difference of $4,582,626.00!!!!!!! (an average of around 19,000 per teacher!) 

Wow..  Wow .. Wow..  I continue to work on my data to present it as a post on Thursday morning..   but perhaps we should think of this..

Imagine what your community would be like if there was even a few people who had 19,000 more to spend. What would that mean to the restaurants? Car Dealerships?  Grocery stores?  Banks?  

As we talk about budget shortfalls – just those numbers sink in. 

Teachers are Paid too much, right??

So as we speak, the Governor has called a special session to require legislators in Oklahoma to fix the budget that is more messed up due to the Cigarette tax debacle.  https://www.sanditepride.com/local-news/170922-legislature

So one of the items on their agenda is a teacher pay raise.. and I definitely agree .. that it is long overdue. As we have fallen quickly to last in the nation for teacher pay, and far below our region, we needed to act on this years ago..

However, one of the arguments is that teachers are paid too much.  they only work 8 to 3 and they have the summers off..

Seriously?  Then they must not know teachers…

So let me show you what I see right now in my @OUeducation College of Education. There are about 50 teachers in our building today who have already spent 5 days in summer and many who have

driven 3 hours or more to learn about teaching coding using the Code.org curriculum. They will meet one weekend every quarter for the rest of the year to continue their learning.  They are not being reimbursed, but they are are here because they care about the future of Oklahoma and want to learn more to be better teachers.

This is not the exception to the rule, this is what teachers do, they do professional development, often on their own dime to make themselves better teachers and advance our state forward. 

Our lunch conversation was not idle chitchat, it was how can we move our state forward and keep us from falling behind.  These educators are concerned and working hard to do whatever they can do to make it a reality at least in their own classroom or school.

So let me say, if that is the conversation that teachers are having when they give up their weekend to learn more to advance our state,  I better be hearing the same kind of conversations by our  Oklahoma legislators. What decisions do we need to make now to advance our state and keep us from falling behind further??!!

Legislators, if you are unsure what are some things we can do, then go to a local school and ask a teacher. They work every day to ensure Oklahoma’s future – no matter their politics. And they deserve to be paid appropriately since they are future of Oklahoma.  

Quit Insulting Teachers

I am pretty unimpressed with some recent articles from the New York Times on Education, and this one is not an exception: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/02/technology/silicon-valley-teachers-tech.html 

This article outlines how teachers who participate in ambassador programs are as a bad as doctors that prefer drugs that were promoted through free lunches. How Insulting!

I was insulted by the article on multiple levels.   First, teachers are intelligent professionals and they can make intelligent choices (I know this is the doctor argument).. but how they came to the technology they promote is not accurately represented.

For example, I am not a FlipGrid ambassador but I could see doing it.. Why, I explored a free trial of the software and it filled an educational need.
Have I told other teachers about it? You betcha!!!
Did I need someone to give me a t-shirt to promote to others – No.. because I am a professional that understands how people learn and the transformative power of technology, so I made an instructional choice that I am jazzed about.    I tell others about it because it works for my classroom and I am excited about what it does.

There are lots of programs that I tell people about:  Flipgrid,  Twitter, Explain Everything, BookCreator, Clips, Adobe Spark Suite, Canva, CoSpaces, Remind, Doink GreenScreen, Code.org. Swift Playground, Botball Robotics and Badgelist etc..  Am I member of any of these promotional programs? No, because I am lucky enough to have the resources of a University and I am not starved or completely reliant on my own funds to get tech for my class. (But I do spend a bunch of my own money – for example I paid for Flipgrid because the paperwork was not worth my time).  I have rejected technologies and do it all the time – because I am a knowledgeable professional and can make choices.

But here is the big point of this- I care about the education of children and college students – and you insult me to think that I quit being a professional when someone gives me a sticker and all judgement flies out the window when someone gives me an endorsement.  I am a professional, a thinking and  ethical professional.   Educators are professionals.

We are starving our teachers, so yes, some of them are pimping themselves out for t-shirts and stickers so that they can get access to the tools that they know work well with kids and helps to supplement their curriculum.  I would consider being an ambassador for access to some of the free professional development they get.  Some of these ambassadors are great member of my professional learning network – (PLN) and they show me things about these tools that help me be a better teacher – things they sometimes learned through the access of the ambassador programs.

As far as being an Apple Distinguished Educator – the article has it backwards.  It is not an ambassador program, and I did not join it to get free Apple stuff.. I was doing Apple stuff and I joined it to get the ability to make the Apple stuff I was using better, interact with the development teams, and work with other educators that are doing amazing things. (They do talk about this)  There are Apple fanboys in the group, but honestly there are real conversations about workflow and what works best.. (which is not always Apple products). I know there are Apple people who tire of my criticism and critique.   I am insulted that the article infers that by being part of this group I have lost my ethical compass. Let me be clear,  I am part of this community to make my teaching and student experience better – through my learning and advanced knowledge.  This was a very ethical choice!

The way that we fund our schools has created this ethical dilemma. If we continue buying devices and then said – you can’t get any apps or programs for them, we force our teachers to be creative and try to get what their students’ need in different ways. From the Tulsa teacher panhandling for school supplies to the constant barrage of teachers asking for copy paper on Donors Choose – we have cut these professionals off at their knees. They know what is best for kids, because they are trained educators, and in our deficit educational economy, I too would get a free program if I wore their t-shirt a few times. If you don’t want teachers to have hustle and be scrappy- then fund them fully and provide them with a rich environment where they continue to learn and are free to innovate themselves.  Right now we are not doing that.

We need to trust our teachers to use their best judgement and we need to allow them to explore the professional tools available to them – like any educated career. Back to the Doctor argument – we don’t keep Doctors from prescribing other drugs, but they may not have the time to fully explore them.  What we see with teachers, is that they having to hustle to provide the basic classroom resources, if we supported them appropriately,  with both the tools, resources and time – they too could have more tools available in their pedagogical toolkit to help all learners learn.

In the end, the ethical dilemma is ours as a society and community.  We have the power to support and fund teachers and they deserve our respect, support and thanks -each and every day!

 

Using Apple Distinguished Educator Books in Preservice Teacher Education

So I have been asked by local schools to quit teaching smartboard.  I am on the fence about this because my ed tech classes are a mix of Early childhood, elementary and secondary students.  So this semester, I instead made smartboard a choice, not a requirement and we will see how that goes.

Instead I made interactive whiteboard apps a requirement.  (they have been for several years) but I have always struggled to think of a way to have students use them in a meaningful way and not waste important content time.  Also, slimming smartboard bought me more coding time, a chance to visit our connect ed school in OKC, and more time for interactive whiteboards.

  • Previous Attempts:
    I have had them make tutorials (snoozeville) and then it also only focuses on the tech not content.
  • Last year I tried to have them report on Horizon report and the National Ed tech plan – and that was problematic for two reasons. Dry content and then they tried to use the IWB as powerpoint -which they are not..

So I had to redesign the assignment again.  Additionally, on my evaluations, I always have complaints about not doing enough allow enough content choices (ie.. secondary want to do secondary, early childhood want early childhood etc..) And all my students have iPads so how do I do it?

This summer I realized I was not using a great resource – the Apple Distinguished Educator Books available in the iBooks store.  They can be hard to search for but there is way to link to them.
https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewMultiRoom?cc=us&fcId=1107473595&mt=11

This listing gets you to all the books that have been published by Apple Distinguished Educators where they associated it with their account.   These are stories from the classroom,  of how they are using Apple tools in the classroom and different Apps.

So to teach interactive whiteboards, I divided students up into groups and assigned them a interactive whiteboard ish app (Baiboard, Notability, Explain Everything, Educreations, ShowMe,  Paper by 53, and NearPod)  Then I let them pick any book from this list.. It was great because they triaged the books for me and could share with their classmates a few that are really good.

Lessons Learned
I am pretty happy with the assignment, they picked things they liked and were able to demo the apps well. I learned some new tricks in different apps and students were creative in using the tools.   They also had strong opinions which is what I wanted them to have so they can influence choices as a teacher by their school.

They needed more than 10 minutes for sure to present though.  I need to also add a youtube tutorial watching requirement (I could tell the groups that knew the apps better than others). Finally, I need to make a dibs google doc. ( Ie.. I need to have people call “Dibs” on a book), because after three classes, Bea Leiderman, I love ya, but if I see the Aphid story one more time, I am going to wig out.  So not allowing a duplicate book is more for me than anyone else.  Also, I could have directed them towards some that I really like – for example no one read Peter Esperanza, Brendan Kelly, Letty Batista or Dustin Carlson,(to name a few there are so many  more..)  and those are some good books for my preservice audience.  However, in the end their choice was important for me both to learn what mattered to them and to give them ownership.   Also it seems there are books that I know that are out there do not show populate the ADE directory in iBooks – different Apple ID maybe?  (For example Letty, Samantha and Jim ‘s heart book which is published under UGA – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-heart-lungs-corazon-y-pulmones/id1047843039?mt=11 )

Here are some of the books
I did not get an exhaustive list,(and I fudged the titles a bit as I went – my apologies but use the links)  but here are some of the good ones that students really liked.. If you are not checking out Apple Distinguished Educator books on the IBooks store, you should be.

Mary Kemper is a Math Rockstar !  I have had several students create reviews of two of her books. what I really liked that is that elementary and secondary math minded students found stuff they liked.
Patterns – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/patterns/id1195763478?mt=11
Photo Walks
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/photo-walks/id1193098306?mt=11

Bea Leiderman – Great story books with her bug photography My students really went to the Lady Bug and Aphids – They loved the independent nature of aphids – cuz they don’t need no man!
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-lady-and-the-aphid-a-tale-of-two-bugs/id898064625?mt=11

Rabbi Michael Cohen -Students Teaching Students  This sparked a good discussion on how to group students.   https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/student-teaching-students/id1081721908?mt=11

Mat Pullen – Engaging Parents – students liked this because they feel not especially well prepared.  They also loved Mat’s son in the pictures. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/how-schools-can-engage-with-parents-using-technology/id1024718761?mt=11

Jodie Deinheimer -Middle School zoo book.  This was a favorite among all three classes. They liked that the students had made the book themselves and found it appropriate for elementary students as well.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/through-their-eyes/id1105593599?mt=11

Cathy Hunt – IPad Art – I had three really artsy students – all different majors and they loved trying out the apps and getting inspired about how they could incorporate art in the regular curriculum.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ipad-art/id706608032?mt=11

John Neal Augmented Reality – This book was great because it made it seem approachable (which it is) and the students had ideas about using it AR right away and they tied it into IOS 11 and how you will be able to use AR tool kit.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/augmented-reality-a-teachers-handbook/id1074499012?mt=11

Joe Allen – this book was very popular because students were hungry for ideas to help students. While it is Aussie, it had some great overviews for the students to think about accessibility and easy to use apps. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/technology-to-support-students-literacy-difficulties/id1068322814?mt=11

Jenny Graibec – Jenny is well known as an expert for kids with learning differences. Many of my students reviewed this book and she took the air out of my accessibility lesson. happy to have that happen.  Students were excited to try out the tools she talked about. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ican-with-ios/id1057967830?mt=11

Natalie Woodward  This is an international book and I don’t think I know Natalie.  but the book was called iFlipped and it really had students debating if flipped learning was a good or bad thing.  Fruitful discussion for sure. Many were unsure what flipped was.. so definitions were great.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/iflipped/id1097347389?mt=11

David Wingler – Gamification for Math.  This book was chosen often for a great cover and gamification. Students explored using this app and liked the idea.  It will be food for thought. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gamification-made-easy/id1052413867?mt=13

April Requard Keynote for storytelling. Students really enjoyed this book because of the showcase of student work and the creativity. It allowed me to talk about the updated vector shapes in Keynote which was a great teachable moment.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-key-note-to-storytelling/id1058989829?mt=11

Students used Educreations with screen shots to show assistive tech settings. 

Students used vending machine cheese its to show counting patterns. 

 

I flipped had students explore if flipped learning was “good’ 

Students Baiboard as a group presentation with questions throughout.

ISTE Stds for Admin Leaders Working Group

So this summer I got asked to be part of the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) working group to write the new administrator standards.

Honestly, I figured i was invited because I had been a bit of a pain over an older set of standards but I really thought it was a great opportunity so I decided to go with it..   I am so glad that I did..

First a shout out to Carolyn Skykora and Sarah Stoeckl from ISTE who organized the group and eat, sleep and think Standards all the time.

The group was diverse in background, experience and perspective. There were only two higher education people on it, an experienced school superintendent, principals, professional development leaders, and classroom teachers.   The mix of leaders was really great to represent urban and rural schools and different levels of technology adoption.

The whole group is comprised of the following educators:  https://twitter.com/DrTerriC/lists/iste-working-group/members  

(May I suggest if you are a twitter person, this would be a great list to subscribe to)

The process was well structured, ISTE had already done a lot of work to gather preliminary information at the conference and other visits and this combined with the group, we started to refine them into larger buckets.

Later in fall, a refined draft 1 will be available for public comment. Currently you can comment on the existing standards here.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Admin1A  

So here are my thoughts on the process so far:

The refresh process – is a year long process.. so much public comment and experts – it emerges from the field.  I had thought it was more crafted, but from my experience so far, it seems to be very crowd sourced.

ISTE walks the walk,  I was impressed how we were using Google docs in a model style of work flow and an important part of our process.

I saw a lot of the themes I saw at the ISTE conference in San Antonio.  There were lots of conversations about equity, and adequacy, and the want to better involve higher education.   They also were very committed to the themes in from the Department of Education Office of Ed Tech prior to January 20th of this year..  if you are on board with those ideas – ISTE is worth paying attention to right now.  (Their new CEO and CLO are both former DOE Ed Tech leaders).

This was my first foray into national standards work and I was impressed that ISTE is interested in heaving an adequate shelf life and represent key ideas and not current trends or buzz words. This is both a blessing and curse – because we were engaged in a lot of forward thinking.. not today, but 5 to 10 years from now.. what will we be talking about?

Overall. even though I feel incredibly behind for being away from Oklahoma for 3 days, I feel that my time was well spent, I made some great connections, and I am excited to see where this process goes.

The most important thing that I can say is that I hope you will weigh in the standards discussion and contribute.  These standards can only represent the reality of the 20,000 members of ISTE if you make your voice heard!  I will make sure to share future opportunities for public comment.

The future tool kit for review can be requested from:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScYlxo3oho2ECcm1AoTeBC593WcjuBUB3bLcE3yjyls7hcBZQ/viewform  

You can lead the review in Draft One in your own community.

 

 

Twitter and the Power of Connectedness

Today I had a great coffee and breakfast with someone who should be a total stranger to me in Georgetown in Washington DC.

Today I got to meet Tammi Gaw in person, a person who I regularly interact with on Twitter but I have never met before.

Such is the power of social media – that beyond dodging the person you hated from high school, you can meet really new amazing people.

So she was trying to trace it back to how she followed me on Twitter and it was fascinating.   She heard that OU, (her undergrad alma mater – but she has a masters in sports medicine and a law degree) – had opened a campus in Italy and she was looking into it. I had a group of students there in 2016 and was tweeting up a storm so she started following me.   I noticed that she had progressive ideas and liked what she posted.

In fall of 2016, when I started to fall in love with the idea of the Wayfinding Academy – she responded that she knew about it from the World Domination Summit (WDS).    We exchanged some ideas about education and she supported my Cap and Gown challenge to raise money for Wayfinding.

So at our 2 hour breakfast with some amazing avocado toast – I found what I had surmised by her twitter profile to be very true.  Tammi is super crazy intelligent and really making it happen with diverse interests and backgrounds.   She is a feminist and a realist and really cares about the state our country and the future of both sports and higher education.

Tammi is not someone I would have met from anywhere but Twitter and having people like her in my professional learning network is super important for my professional development and to make sure what  I am teaching at the university is relevant and timely.   Not to mention, I would totally put Tammi in that kind of networked friend who would tell you like it is.. which we all need in our personal and professional networks.

So here is my challenge to you today… are you on twitter? Is there a person that you follow that you like what they say? You like what they post? You feel like their tweets have influenced your thinking and helped you grow?  Reach out them to them and let them know today.   Send them a DM and let them know, their presence on your feed makes a difference and makes you think.

In this crazy time in the US, it is important to both surround ourselves with people that are intelligent and that cause us to think.  It is important to respect and raise up other people with hustle, it is only through community – both virtual and face to face that we will continue to advance and innovate.

Reach out today maybe you will be lucky enough to meet over Avocado toast and have a nice morning somewhere in the world.

 

 

Bringing Wayfinding to OK

So for those that know me, you know I have been totally jazzed by the ideas of Wayfinding Academy..  http://www.wayfindingacademy.org 

This is a small startup College in Portland Oregon where students focus on finding their way in their first two years of college through a well scaffolded series of courses that focus on themselves, their community and their goals.   They have the support of mentors and job coaches and are supported in exploring and finding their path – whether that be completing a 4 year degree or doing something else after two years.

Maybe being 42 (almost 43) in the middle of a bit of a mid-life crisis has me thinking – but does college do this anymore?  We spend a lot of time with degree plans and helping students progress but where do we really have them stop and say – what do I bring the world? What do I offer the world?  What do I want to do with my life? And how do these choice impact me, my community and my world?

I know this kind of personalized learning is not scalable to the 1450 freshman that we have this year, but some features are..  So as the final session of my Center for Teaching Excellence Fellow from last year, I am bringing Dr. Michelle Jones the Founder of Wayfinding Academy to come and talk about what she learned. I have three events scheduled.

Thursday night -September 28th –  7:30 is open to the public and will be a general overview of Wayfinding. Room 334 in Collings Hall (College of Education)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/redesigning-higher-ed-starting-a-new-college-tickets-37765380269?utm_source=ALL+CTE+-+2017+Fall&utm_campaign=969a9bff85-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_08_28&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a64c99c505-969a9bff85-109029393

 

Friday Morning – September 29th – 9am -10:30 – The Library Community Room – (the one with the glass by the Bookmark) This will be a special session for faculty on Lessons Learned in the first year of Wayfinding.  There are things that we can learn and use for retention!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reaching-students-in-their-first-year-of-college-lessons-learned-from-wayfinding-year-1-tickets-37765571842?utm_source=ALL+CTE+-+2017+Fall&utm_campaign=969a9bff85-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_08_28&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a64c99c505-969a9bff85-109029393

 

Friday at 4:30 -6:00  We are having an informal meet and greet at Yuyu’s Cozy Cafe (408 Main street – used to be The Screen Door (parking is easy in their own lot and we are using the private room in the back) We will sample their new food too.

Here is the facebook event with more details:

https://www.facebook.com/events/273842419780212/?acontext=%7B%22action_history%22%3A[%7B%22mechanism%22%3A%22bookmarks%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22bookmarks_menu%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22[]%22%7D%2C%7B%22surface%22%3A%22dashboard%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22calendar_tab_event%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22[]%22%7D]%2C%22ref%22%3A46%2C%22source%22%3A2%7D

Thursday night  and Friday afternoon is open to anyone.. I hope some people from K-12 and higher education and maybe some interested parents will take the opportunity to join me in learning more.

 

Jacob’s Educator Award Application Extended to Sept 30th, 2017

I know a lot of great tech using teachers,  you should consider going for the Jacobs Award at Indiana University School of Education.

I sat on this committee for several years and some really amazing teachers have won it.  In addition to classroom money and a stipend, you get to spend a day teaching future teachers about what is meaningful inquiry based teaching using technology.    If you look at the past winners you will see that many of them are well recognized teacher leaders.

 

The application process is not daunting.. give it a try.. Often when we we apply it helps us to reflect on where we are, and where we are going!

Let me know if you have any questions..

http://education.indiana.edu/license-development/development/jacobs/index.html

 

 

Switched at Birth

So my latest binge on Netflix was Switched at Birth.. Wow..  really well done..

So here are a few revelations from watching this show.. *snark*

People with disabilities are people and have complex lives like everyone else.

People with disabilities have relationships and even have sex as teenagers like regular teenagers.

People with disabilities face struggles but they are not the same as people of color and the experience is not universal because a group is “othered”

Family is difficult for everyone.. disability or not..  and everyone has challenges and we need to work through them together.

I really suggest people watch it.  The one thing is, since there is signing and subtitles you can’t just passively watch, you have to engage with the show to follow.   But it is definitely worth it.

 

 

My Comic Book Syllabus got Mentioned in a BookCreator Blog

So I shared my Bitmoji laden syllabus on twitter and I was asked last week if they could refer to it in a Book Creator Blog.. this is fun..

First let’s read how they included it.

Building classroom community and culture with Book Creator

So here is my take on my syllabus..

I expect students to use Book Creator throughout the semester. Currently they are using StoryCubes to create a story with Book Creator.

I started this project, because I saw talk of Comic Book syllabi being using in K12 on Twitter and I thought, oh I could do that. I love Bitmoji and being able to laugh at myself a little.  Also, BookCreator has just come out with the Beta Version of their Chrome Editor version of Book Creator and one criticism, I get from my alumni is that I don’t do enough Chromebook integration so I wanted to try it out.

here is my syllabus!

I found the online system really easy to use the only thing that was not as “good” as the iPad app was the speed at which images were added.. but remember you are uploading to the “cloud” . I had one piece of functionality that I lost, I could not do a pdf of the book – so i downloaded an epub and then put it on my iPad and one page did not transfer. but overall it was good..

it was fun to do, and it made me feel like I could be more personal. However, my students did not love it..  I made the regular syllabus to copy and paste to the book. and some students really did not like the comic book syllabus and kind of rejected it.  We need to work on being more flexible for sure. All of the same information was there.

Back to what Book Creator wrote – did it help me with classroom culture?  Absolutely..  I think it started day one by showing that I was using the tools and it also helped me to better talk about Chromebook integration with students. I also embarked on it because of some twitter talk about referring students to services related to the book Paying the Price.  No matter what you do, as a comic or not..  its great to let students know you are there for them and make yourself a person to them.

I would highly recommend it to faculty, make yourself a person and make yourself accessible to students.   In the future, I will add a video welcome message, maybe made with clips! (for captioning).

 

Tool, either iPad or the Chrome version at http://app.bookcreator.com  is great tool to use to make it happen. It produces an epub that is readable on all devices – android, Mac, IOS, or windows.