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Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma.

We got interviewed on BadgeChatK12

So I got interviewed on BadgeChatK12 broadcast about our use of badges in our preservice technology integration classes.

You can see it here:

 

We did it a little on the fly – I asked if any of my students in the morning class wanted to participate and I got 1 yes – From Brody Smith.. We were far from rehearsed but it is an interesting conversation.  We will practice more in the future so we share the time better!

Noah Geisel – is a badge pioneer who organizes BadgeSummit right before ISTE (day before). It was the highlight of my conference last year so I definitely encourage you to consider going in Chicago. http://badgesummit.weebly.com/ (here is last year’s link)

Noah interviewed us about using badging in preservice teacher education and the who what when where and why of it.. I am proud of what we are working on and how using badges allows busy working students to create flexible learning experiences.   the chat really helped me see where we need to go.

Participating in this chat was a very reflective process for me.  First, It got me to think about how we can bolster the project by involving administrators from local schools in the process as endorsers.  Second, it helped me to think about how I should be teaching more about badging in general – ie.. I have not been getting students to consider if they will use badging themselves and more about the equity side of badging.   Third, I see that we need to provide even more choice – so students pick 16 badges from a list of 22 or so.. versus having to do all 16.   After the interviewing, I will look for outside endorsers of the badges and increase readings.

it was a little scary to talk about what we are doing – because I know that we are newbies in the badge process.  People like Rick West have been doing badging for a long time. However it is important for all levels of implementation to have a voice..  Hopefully people who heard us talk about badging which is about a year old -will be willing to investigate it and consider trying it themselves.

 

Please comment on this post with your ideas after you watch it.. How could we better use badging in Preservice teacher education.

 

Celebrating PreService Teacher Questions

This week the @oueducation students in my technology integration course took over the #OklaEd Chat. I moderated but a lot of my students attended and asked so many questions. They are hungry to know more about being a teacher and twitter provided a good forum to get those questions out and facilitate class discussion.

How did we pick the questions?

We used tricider to have all questions suggested and then we used the top 7 (we combined a few to get most of the questions out)  Tricider is a tool for brainstorming that I learned through some of my work with ISTE.  it worked well in this context. Students put up their questions and then had a few days to vote on top questions.  The key to using tricider is time to vote and formulate orginal ideas – and those two times being separate.

Here is our tricider page:   http://www.tricider.com/admin/2U6wQfYb9mN/8ImVNecpgeP

The OklaEd Chat

The chat was frenetic..so many side questions.  Our students had a bunch of questions, and wanted them answered – and Oklahoma educators were great at doing that.  To see the actual chat transcript visit:  https://www.participate.com/transcripts/oklaed/5e8404ef-1988-4c62-98df-1c31b225c885

Also it was featured on OklaSaid by Scott Haselwood and Erin Barnes.  This podcast dives deeper into the issues.  http://teachingfromhere.com/podcast/episode-37-future-teachers-want-to-know/ 

In addition, we did a follow up activity that was a bust at first, but now has seemed to be valuable for those that got replies – I created a @Flipgrid for our students to post questions and then to have teachers answered. I had a few rock stars that answered a bunch, and they made it work.. but overall it was a bit of a bust because teachers are busy and I did not have that many answers.

https://flipgrid.com/32585d

I loved how the flipgrid showed a little picture of who had replied.

So here is what I learned from this experiment.

  1. Giving students forums to ask “real life” teachers questions is great and necessary.
  2. Find a group to get more engaged in answering – if I did this again – i would get up front agreement and not spring it on them.  (ie.. maybe a graduate class or a teacher organization).
  3. I got several several alumni to engage – which was great and helped me to foster greater alumni connections (which can be important for placement, recruiting, and to support projects as well as the alumni themselves).
  4.  Pay attention to the questions preservice teachers ask, it tells us a lot about their fears and what we project.  Most students asked about work life balance, workload, and getting a job.  This is what is on their radar and we should consider this in student teaching and first year supports. And also know that they are hearing how terrible teaching is, we need to celebrate the great parts of the job, like #TeachLikeMe and other movements.
  5. I got replies from all over the country, even people I did not know. I love how supportive the teacher community is.. but I wonder if my students get that just yet.
  6. I need to better define student roles and have them do more of the leg work in the future..  I still moderated with student created questions/tiles  but I think next time, it will be better to have a committee of students to run it.
  7. The class discussions after the chat were great. We shifted through answers that concerned them…(like stay away from Pinterest) and helped make sense of them.  It was a valuable discussion for students who participated and who did not.

Not all of the students appreciated it, but those that “got it” really made great direct connections to teachers. I have to remind myself that not all students are developmentally ready to truly participate in the teacher community – but that for those that are, its a wonderful experience.  For many others, it is an early exposure to the field and teaching community and as they grow, they will know places to find it in the future.

For the future, I may reach out and see if we can do this as part of the #TeachLikeMe movement in spring.   This would be a great way to involve Preservice teachers in the recruitment of future teachers and give #TeachLikeMe involved teachers a way to communicate their message.

 

 

 

What Will Students Look Like in 5 Years: Summarizing CTE Fellow

For the 2016-2017 academic year I was chosen as a CTE Faculty Fellow and given the ability to offer workshops and learning experiences for faculty regarding how students would be different in the next 3 to 5 years.

Looking Ahead!: What will students be like in 5 years! How is higher education set to change?

This faculty learning series will focus on what we can expect from students in the next five years.  This would be tied to new employment and technology focuses in common education, which is meant to make students successful and employable and how they will be bringing these experiences and soft skills to higher education.  We will also focus on the new emphases on creativity, entrepreneurship, and problem solving and the skills that students may be bringing to your courses in the near future.

It will focus on a few key areas:

  • How will students use technology and learn differently than they do today?
  • What federal initiatives and programs are being instituted in how students are using technology and being prepared for college?
  • How is higher education changing as to these needs and requirements?
  • How are student expectations of higher education changing?

For my Fellowship, I organized one book club that met four times, had three different speakers and planned one event in September 2017 for a speaker that was not available in Spring.   I worked to partner with different spaces on campus to increase attendance and encourage faculty from other colleges to mingle.

I was impressed by the variety of people from campus that I had attend, and I met a lot of new people that I found attended other events and increased my campus network. Thank you for the opportunity. I learned a lot from the experience and I believe we have enhanced the education environment for our faculty, University students, and community members.

Extended Reach

My philosophy for guest speakers were for any speaker that we used funds to bring to campus, I had events that were more public (could be attended by community members and students) and those closed only to faculty and graduate students at OU. This allowed us to increase our reach and better utilize the limited resources available. We had people attend some sessions from as far away as Clinton Oklahoma.

Additionally, as we were planning the events, I was asked to assist University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) in Chickasha, Oklahoma to assist with their innovation and technology grant focused on improving education for Native American Students. They received that grant in Fall and had personnel participate in several of our workshops to provide additional support to other educators in the state, especially those servicing Native American students and thus supported part of the mission of the University of Oklahoma.

Event Title Date
Overview of the Program – What will students look like in 5 years Presented by Dr. Theresa Cullen overviewing trends in both K-12 and higher education related to Technology and 21st Century Teaching and Learning. 9/26/16
Most Likely to Succeed Book Club – Mondays

Lead by Dr. Theresa Cullen – we spent 4 weeks reading the Most Likely to Succeed Book and discussed the use of Problem and Project Based Education in K-12 schools and 21st Century Skills.

10/10/16
Supporting Innovation in a Mobile Device World:  The possibility of App Development in XCode

Speaker Provided by Apple and presented in concert with the OU Innovation Hub. Attended by student and faculty form CS, Education and faculty and staff from OU IT and the Innovation Hub.

11/1/16
Everyone Can Code Initiative

Speaker provided by Apple overviewing how coding is being taught in K-12 and colleges and universities and the resources available. This was a high level overview for faculty held in the Peggy Helmerich Community Classroom in Bizzell library.

11/2/16
Writing Apps Using XCode An Introduction and Resource Sharing

Speaker provided by Apple to have students and faculty learn about App development in the curriculum. Students in both undergraduate and graduate Education and Journalism courses encouraged to attend. 

11/2/16
Tap Into YOUR Creative Mind

Rabbi Michael Cohen did a workshop on sketchnoting and engaging students in creative pursuits as part of teaching to encourage creativity and engagement.  We had many students, USAO faculty, OU faculty and teachers from local schools attend the event.

1/24/17
Design Thinking Workshop

Rabbi Michael Cohen facilitated a Design Thinking workshop that encouraged faculty and graduate students to redesign a part of their course taking student needs in mind. Faculty were very happy with this workshop and felt they had gotten work done that they could apply to their classes immediately. This workshop had a great cross section of campus and people worked with faculty they had not worked with in the past.

1/25/17
Stand by Me  Collaborating and Making as Acts of Empowerment

This presentation offered by Bill Rankin it was open and promoted to the public and talked about how online collaboration enhances education and promotes a global view point.

3/28/17
Lecturing is [not] Dead: Teaching in the Third Information Age

This workshop with Bill Rankin encouraged faculty to think about how they could use technology to enhance engagement in traditional courses.

3/29/17
Learning Outside the Box: Growing an Ecosystem for Learning

This presentation by Bill Rankin  encouraged faculty to think about new ways to engage students. It discussed several theoretical models about levels of engagement including the importance of Community, Content and Context in curricular planning. This was held at the Faculty Scholarship Lab conference room in the Bizzell library.

3/29/17
Redesigning Higher Ed: Starting a New College

Michelle Jones, President and Founder of Wayfinding Academy in Portland Oregon explained how she designed a new college to help students find their purpose.  In this mixed crowd of students and faculty, she also gave ideas of how some of the activities could improve the experience for current students even at a much larger university.

9/28/17
Reaching Students in Their First Year of College: Lessons Learned from Wayfinding Year 1

This presentation by Michelle Jones encouraged faculty and those involved in student services to think about how we can scale up the lessons learned from Wayfinding to better support our students and grow their satisfaction so they will thrive.

9/29/17

Thoughts on the Series: 

I am so fortunate to been afforded this opportunity to work with faculty from across campus. I found the discussions greatly enhanced my view of the University and our mission to serve our students.  I also made connections that I am pretty sure will turn into future collaborations across campus.

Additionally, it allowed me to share what I was reading and thinking about with a larger audience beyond my scholarship and better connect with faculty and staff in student services.  Several students attended the public events and it has allowed me to cement some student relationships which I find very fulfilling..

If I were to do it again, I might engage in a project approach and have faculty showcase their own work. I had wanted to do a faculty, K-12 educator, parent, potential student and current student listening panel to discuss these ideas at the Annual TSI (Teachers Scholar Institute) but due to scheduling and budget cuts, it never materialized.

I hope to have opportunities in the future to do more work with faculty.  I would especially like to do a series on how we can use distance technologies to increase our presence and service within our state.

 

 

Get FIT Handouts

So I am bit behind, so all of my handouts for Get FIT are found here:

 

Using Clips to Accommodate (1-42) Learn about Apple Teacher  (3-39), Content Creation to Mix up Literacy (4:42)

I hope you enjoy these one page handouts and use them to launch your students into new projects.

Congrats on going 1 to 1 and Look forward to learning with you.

Here are the handouts:

GetfitCullen

Here are each handout by itself

literacy only

Clips Only

Apple Teacher Only

Spending Time in the Schools

So Monday and Tuesday I cancelled class and took my students instead to local schools.  I am so thankful to the relationships that I have with local educators to be able to do it.  I have to say arranging these kinds of group visits -gosh logistically it is hard! but totally worth it.

Students spent their class time during the week attending a school and observing how they were using technology.  On Monday we went to Norman North High School and Tuesday we attended the Showcase at Arthur Elementary in Oklahoma School.  Arthur is a Connect Ed School who received a grant from Apple so all students were given an iPad and teachers received a ton of Professional development.

Here are some pictures and some of of what the students did..

Chris Kalinsky – Apple Distinguished Educator and iTeam leader for Norman North High School  lead our tour of the new beautiful school.       

About 20 students attended.

Peter Leisenfeld spent a lot of time talking to students about preparing for their jobs.

The Norman North faculty and staff were amazing in supporting our students. Several teachers took time out of their day to talk to us including the librarians and Principal Dr. Pete Leisenfeld.

On Tuesday,  we took a group to Arthur Elementary – This a ConnectED School.

Students were proud to show us their work.

Principal Dr. Rhonda Schroeder took time throughout the day to talk to students to both get feedback and share her leadership philosophy.

The special education team took time to talk to your our special education students during her prep time.

 

We got to see our 2017 grad  Tessa Turnbull teaching which was great for my students. 

Carrie Price, a current graduate student in our ILAC program, taught how to create presentations in Keynote using shapes.  Something I had just seen THIS week in the Apple Teacher newsletter.  They are doing things quickly there.

 

So why is this sooooo important? 

I am finding more and more that we need to get our students into schools more.  By attending as a large group, yes, we don’t get an authentic experience but we get a shared experience that we can talk about for the rest of the semester.

My students got to see schools in two different stages of technology integration.  Norman is starting a new initiative, Arthur is 3 years in – those are very different an provide great opportunities for discussion and comparison.

The most meaningful interactions were between teachers and administrators with students. They got to see different philosophies and what they shared gave “street cred” to my curricular choices.  This is especially true when students saw the different technologies we use in use in the classroom.

So what does it do for me as a professor? 

Spending more time in classrooms helps me to keep my technology skills limber and relevant.  Let me give a great example. Many of the teachers were using Classroom app to control the iPads at Arthur.  When Classroom first came out, it was not compatible with how we do not manage our iPads.  So Barry took a few minutes to show me the update and get me up to speed. I am changing what I am teaching next week to demo this in class.  It is also really important for students to see that I have relationships with teachers and administrators.  I work really hard to make sure what we do is relevant and updated and I think this visit helps to establish that..

I really wish I could spend more time in schools.   I have often been jealous of friends who work at PDS schools and get to embed in the K-12 environment.  Interacting with teachers every day, is a lot of fun and we need to do more of it in Higher education.

 

I got to sneak peek at a new book and I liked it!!!

So I know Monica Burns as a speaker from our iPadpaloozaOU conference in 2016 and 2017 and through the ADE program.  I generally know her in only a professional capacity.

She recently asked me if I would be willing to do a review of her book coming out next week, no pressure but if I would be willing to write a review of it.  And honestly, I felt no pressure and approached it as if I were looking at for use with my preservice teachers.

First, let me say that I was complimented.  I have reviewed books before in the pre-publication phase but never been given an opportunity to endorse a book or not..   I have copies of some of Monica’s other books and I find them to be very practical and applied, which can be a great compliment when paired with more empirical readings as part of teacher education or professional development course for current teachers.  Students seem to be really motivated by these hands-on books because they are wondering how it is done in the real world and inservice teachers are looking for ideas that are well justified and tied to curricular goals.

Much like when one is asked to review someone’s tenure dossier and you realize they are “good” .. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the pre-publication copy of Monica’s Book Tasks before Apps and realized it was REALLY GOOD!  So I was comfortable endorsing and could see using it with my preservice teachers or in my spring graduate course where I always have students read one professional book in addition to research articles.

So the book is called Tasks before Apps

https://www.amazon.com/Tasks-Before-Apps-Designing-Tech-Rich/dp/141662466X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507250532&sr=1-1&keywords=tasks++monica+burns

This book deals with a problem that I have long felt in Ed Tech. The idea that we have to keep chasing the new popular app and forget all about what we were wanting kids to do in class.  Tech without content or without a sound rationale for using it.. (ie.. is it assessment? will it help students to explain? Will it engage additional communication channels or ways of explaining?)   A perfect example of this problem is whiteboard apps.. I see teachers all the time that really have mastered something like Educreations but then hear that Explain Everything is “better” and abandon their workflow and process to use the “better” app.  Both of these apps have their pros and cons but the most important factor is a teacher who knows them well and uses them comfortably with their students –  and even more importantly has their students create things with them to achieve a meaningful classroom task (explanation, assessment, presentation, communication, etc..)

Additionally, Tasks before Apps  focuses on having students using tools in content creation – which matches my philosophy and is where I see educational technology needing to go.. We need to get past teacher productivity and move to concrete examples of students creating things with technology to show their understanding.  We also need to make more examples available to teachers of how this can be done to both generate ideas and opportunities to discuss and critique actual use cases.

Finally this book has real example of how you could use different tools in the classroom in a meaningful way. I especially liked that it dealt with different grade levels. I love teaching an educational technology class, but sometimes wish my early childhood, elementary, and secondary students were in different sections – because rarely are there examples for all grade levels.

I am going to consider using this book as the practice book for my Teaching with Technology graduate class this spring (I always pick one book that is under $30 that might be read as a book group for PD)  and perhaps in the future for my undergraduate course.

When we think of our service role to our field, I think looking at new books and helping to curate content is an important role for us as professors to play. We have the opportunity to review resources both open resources and affordably priced resources that could help our future teachers generate ideas, critique and feel supported in the classroom.  I enjoyed this opportunity and look forward to other opportunities to share my expertise in the future.

So I think I have an endorsement on the book, (haven’t seen it yet, but Monica Tweeted my comment out) but happy to endorse. I think this would be a good book for preservice teachers or for a book study in a district. You might want to check Tasks before Apps out.

Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom

 

 

 

 

A new Approach to a Research Poster

So on Thursday, I am presenting at the Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in Lawton and I am presenting my work as a poster on the Teacher Flight Project.

So I will be honest, when I heard I got a poster, I swore a little and thought, dang it now i have to make a poster. And on conferences where I need to fly, I often leave them at the site and after all that work only a few people see them.

I am trying something new, for this conference, I made a series of 4 Infographics using Pictochart. This an interactive infographic maker that will allow users to interact with my data.

Why did I try this new approach? 

Since i am studying teachers leaving Oklahoma and I recruited through social media, I want to share my results in these same venues. I also want to create ways to share the research with leaders in our state.  Infographics are the way to do that. Also the data is more interesting, if you can interact with it, rather than a static image – so the Piktochart graphics allow me to do that.  I can also print out the graphics and place them on the poster board like any other poster.

I think this is the best of both worlds, so I will be able to share my results at the conference and with a wider audience through social media.

I will be sharing my graphics as I present on Thursday so please come back to it. The direct link will be http://bit.ly/okteachers  but it will be on this blog.

Looking forward to interacting with you and the conference attendees later this week.

Teacher Exodus Update

I am really excited to share some more results from my study of the teachers who have left Oklahoma.   I am still analyzing some of the open ended responses but I have analyzed enough of the results that I feel confident sharing some of the results with you as I continue to add depth to the study and its results.   Normally in research, we would not be able to share results within the a month of starting a study – however this is such a current problem, and we need to be talking about what I am learning from this study.

To remind you, my research questions were:
Why are teachers leaving Oklahoma?
What is the cost to Oklahoma by this exodus?
What must change for teachers to return?

For each graphic, I am embedding the graphic from Pictochart so that you can click on the graphic and see the data and interact with it. If the format of the blog is too hard to do this, I have included a link that will open in a new window.

Method of the study

What OK loses by teachers leaving

Why are teachers leaving? 

Hope for the future

So after looking at all this, what are my thoughts as a researcher related to the Oklahoma teacher exodus crisis?

1)Most of the teachers left recently, they miss their families and 31% would be willing to return.

2) The problems they are talking about make sense – They are not making enough money as teachers to pay down their student loans, have a reliable car, and achieve benchmarks of success like buying a home.

3) It is about more than money. Teachers want to feel respected and valued as part of their communities. Their community is their local community but also their state as a whole.   They are committed to building their communities and they want to feel supported by them.

4) Teachers are important members of our communities.  We need them in our communities as members of neighborhoods and institutions.  We need to create an environment where they can be afford to part of them.

5) More than 50% of teachers who left had degrees beyond their bachelors. These were highly trained teachers. Replacing them with emergency certified teachers is not an equivalent trade.

6) Here’s the big one: if we think that we are feeling the effect of this teacher exodus phenomenon right now.. just wait.  If we don’t fix it quickly, 5 years from now, we will see the effects in the education of level of our next generation.  This will affect our economy, and our future as a state.   THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!!!

 

Feel free to browse my most updated map with Salary Differences.  Each marker is set to the new city and titled with the Oklahoma City if available salary difference is shared

 


 

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.