Category Archives: higher ed

Reflective moment.. Having it all come together

So this year, I have been working on myself a little..

I had a job coach in fall and took a class on emotional reflection .. (both of these made available by wayfinding academy connections)

So some things that I noticed about myself that is good for those of us in higher education to think about.

We live very segmented lives…. we make it through the day or to the weekend, but we don’t really take the time to think like we should any more..

I was asked several times in the last few days about how I like to think.. and you know the answer was, I like to think in big pictures and think ahead.  but I found myself asking, if that is how I like to think – why I am just crossing things off list.. and how does it make it me feel?

Every experience makes you feel something, but given some meetings I had this week, and a project I am working on public speaking, I am realizing that reflection is important and it is okay to decide what we love doing and pursue it.

I think I am close to breakthrough (note: not breakdown) where there are a bunch of ideas that I have been thinking about are coming together.  I have had some amazing experiences in the last 5 years since we started the iPad project at OU. I have learned so much, changed how I learn, networked with some of the most amazing people in the world, and changed my views about expertise and educational change…  but where can I take those ideas? How can I combine them together? Research? Service? Teaching? or something else.

So I challenge you, my higher education friends,  have you reflected on where you are, where you have been and where you are going?  It is both scary and fun..

Join me on the rollercoaster and lets see where it can go!!

 

Teaching Ja’Corie about OU Create

So today in my EIPT 5513 class (yes the Saturday of spring break!)  I was showing Mr. Maxwell how to use OU Create.  I realized I have blogged a lot in the last year and while it is not peer reviewed publication, it has served me well and I would encourage someone else to do it. It helps for informal writing, and also connecting with others on social media.

OU uses the create system to allow students to start their own wordpress blog and transfer the content when they graduate.

For this graduate student, it will help him meet his own personal professional goals.  Isn’t that the purpose of higher education?

EdCampOKC is This Weekend!

So this Saturday is EdCamp OKC but it is in Norman at Irving Middle School!   I am super excited because I love to see our students and grads and hear what they are up to.

Check out what an EdCamp is all about

 

They still have seats left, I really hope that you will join us!

Registration

Why to EdCamp as a Professor:

  1. it helps you build connections with local schools!
  2. It helps your students network and find jobs.
  3. You learn new things!
  4.  You get ideas for your classroom.
  5. Even if you don’t teach teachers, it can help you know what is happening in K-12 schools and improve your way of reaching Freshman and underclassmen at the University.
  6. You can learn about the Unconference Model.. (we should do more of this in Higher Education).
  7. It is Fun!

How do I Edcamp?  I am more a hallway person,I may not go to many sessions but I talk to everyone. Also, I always do a session about what future teachers want to know.  My students are usually too nervous to run their session, but I can lead them and model for them.   In this session, I invite teachers and administrators to come and answer our preservice teacher questions.   It is a lot of fun, I get to know my students better, and I love how administrators that I don’t know come to meet potential employees.

If you are a professor, there may be an EdCamp near you and this would be a great way to connect with your community.

https://www.edcamp.org/edcamp-locations

 

Snow Day.. NO WAY

So it is an unexpected ice storm..  The worst kind.. They said it would not reach OKC and south in the morning but then today (10 minutes before my class) nonetheless they cancelled.  Yikes..

So my undergrad class, integrating technology into teaching meets ONCE a week.. and to make matters worse, the other section had already met!

So scramble – what to do?

Make a video and push on..  That is what a K-12 teacher might need to do.. and is this showing flexibility? sure?

We were supposed to explore robots and AR and VR technologies in class.  Totally hands on. but I was going to assign my badge on critiquing Donors Choose and reading about digital equity!  The readings are still there.

Next week we planned to talk to about using books on Technology to teach about Tech – and luckily i did a webinar on this topic for Oklahoma State Department of Education and its Archived..

So what will we do..

We will watch the video! https://vimeo.com/243202001

How do I tell students what to do, a screencast video made with Quicktime.  https://youtu.be/tuABFZux3Io

So is this Ideal.. No way.. but is it a way to not lose instructional time.   This happens in K-12 classroom too.. So this is a great opportunity to model what real teachers can do..

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

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.