Category Archives: innovation

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.

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.

 

 

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.

 

I hit my 20 blog posts

So one of my goals for summer was to blog more.. and while I thought I would blog more than I did.. I did hit 20 posts today that I  am counting (this is 21)

I was blogging for for a few purposes

  1. To get in the habit of more regularly daily writing again.
  2. To create content that could be used to promote our IPT programs like the 21st Century masters http://bit.ly/21stcenturyteaching 
  3. To interact more deeply with my followers on Twitter and in the ADE Community.
  4. To better communicate the issues that I care about online.

So those were my intended purposes and here are the unintended benefits I found.

  1. More meaningful interaction with alumni – I have had several reach out to me after a blog posts and without advertising the blog, people are liking what they read.
  2. Better interaction with people at OU – There are several people at OU who regularly blog  including Adam Croom, Keegan Long Wheeler, Laura Gibbs who I have had longer conversations and interactions with since I have blogged.
  3. Documentation of my time.  For example – i spent a lot of time in the innovation hub – the posts that I made on the innovation hub have been great for me to document my time and show what I have been up to.
  4. Sharing my learning – the blog has provided me with a great place to share my learning that I will use with my students.  It allows me to be more vulnerable to them and share where I struggle.
  5. It has helped me work out some ideas in a rough form.  Next week I am doing a Ignite session at IPadPaloozaOU  (http://ipadpaloozaOU.weebly.com) This 5 minute talk is based on a blog post called A file called Dammit.

Overall, I am finding that blogging is an important part of my practice and something that I will be continuing. Much like research though, there are more things that I want to blog about than I have time to.. I have a list of to do’s and a few drafts hanging out.

Just like any creative practice, we have to learn how to manage our time and do it.. but overall this has been a valuable experience.

I want to give a shout out to OUCreate – because probably if the tool was not provided and I did not feel guilty about developing mine more as I ask students to.. I would probably not have done it.

 

Excited to work on the New Administrator Standards

I am excited to announce that I have been invited to part of the new working group for ISTE’s new Administrator standards. (many hope they will call them Leader standards.. but who knows)

ISTE is the International Society for Technology in Education and they write the standards are used in most US states and many other placed in the world for Students, Educators, and Administrators. They are used by districts and organizations like CAEP to assess the quality of education and technology use in an educational setting, and guide the curriculum on technology integration in places like Colleges of Education.   The many uses of evaluation and also in making a case for funding, makes these standards very important for educators who care about utilizing technology in their teaching.

Every 5 years or so they do a refresh – starting with the Student, then the following year Educator, and then Administrator.

The new Educator Standards are quite good – https://www.iste.org/standards/standards/for-educators  and are well aligned with the student standards  https://www.iste.org/standards/standards/for-students  There is a lot of talk within the members I know that they hope that the Administrator standards are equally well aligned to help leaders create a full vision for technology within their units and be encouraged to be both a participant and servant leader when it comes to technology.

This year, I got the chance to attend the kick off for the Administrator standards at ISTE – which marks a one year process where a working group will meet twice during the year and other times online to draft the new standards.  Throughout the year ISTE staff will be working to get feedback both online and face to face to make sure the standards are relevant.

I have also been asked to be part of the working group that will meet to help craft the standards and gain input. I am excited about this national opportunity and in supporting an innovative vision for technology integration into the future.

This post is just sharing that I will be part of the conversation, as the year progresses, watch this blog to see what opportunities there are for you to also be involved.

 

#edumatch #edcamp how I spent my Saturday morning

So how does a nerdy ed tech professor spend her Saturday morning on August 5th. (before school starts)..

Well she first goes to a garage sale, but then at 9am she participates in the Edumatch EdCamp.  http://www.edcampedumatch.org/

This is an online Edcamp that lasted from 10 to 12 eastern time and consisted of 3 sessions and an opening and closing.  It was run by the group #Edumatch which is group that helps educators connect via social media.

I heard about it when Sarah Thomas posted about it on Twitter and I joined for a few reasons.

  1. They were using the Unhangout from MIT which was a platform that is open source and designed to do things like online conferences. I wanted to explore it as a user for maybe use with our online masters. (btw.. it worked really well)
  2. It was a chance for me to better connect with #EduMatch who I first met at #Badgesummit and now that I know to look for them, I am really impressed with their group work..(I followed many members individually but did not get the big picture). Read more about it here:  http://www.edumatch.org/
  3. It is a good way to reconnect and get my head in the fall semester.

So it started at 10 am EST (9 CST) with an opening session..  In this session the organizers introduced the event and also the side events going on.  There is a badgelist page where people can earn badges  https://www.badgelist.com/Edcamp-EduMatch-2017  and a google classroom where people could share resources as well.  They did a really good job modeling using technology to support learning.  And as someone who has trouble not multi-tasking the multiple modalities kept me engaged for the full two hours.

In the lobby while the welcome was going on and in between sessions – there was an chat room that people could leave messages.

Then at the top of each session, people could propose a session (just like EdCamp) and then people could join.

This is what the main room looked like.. See the one session being proposed under the group video.
This is what the main room looked like.. See the one session being proposed under the group video.

In the first session, I attended helping reluctant ed tech teachers, the second I lead was on what Preservice teachers should know, and the third I attended on Makerspace Events.  I learned from all of them and they are relevant to my job and my students.

So you left the main room and then went to a small room with up to 10 participants.. They asked people to record if they could.  When time was up we were asked to return to the main room or lobby.

This is what a breakout session looked like.
This is what a breakout session looked like.
So you can see in this window I proposed a session but but no one had joined yet..
So you can see in this window I proposed a session but but no one had joined yet..

 

I will focus on my session (The video will be here https://youtu.be/aCyttPAC7Gk   but I did miss the first few introductions)

We had a few themes come out in the session that were super important.. What is it most important for new teachers to know: Relationships and Planning and that hit most things.

If you are using technology or not – it all comes down to planning. Having a plan, archiving materials,  and having a plan cuts down on classroom management issues.

For relationships – it is all about relationships with both teachers and understanding the chain of command in a school and following.. Ie.. even if you really excited to get started, you can’t burn up the chain and have to respect it..  Also, in a relationship sense – students all have issues – and behavior management is easier if you have a personal relationship with kids. Finally, in the last few minutes one participant shared that being culturally responsive is so important.  This too is a manifestation of good relationships and being able to understand students as people.

This was a very enlightening session and I loved all the voices I heard – new and experienced teachers, other people who work with training new teachers, and technology people as well. In the end it was never about the tech, but more about the planning and relationships.. A good take away.

Overall I really enjoyed the format. There are  few things that I would have changed.. ie.. had a place to share social media addresses, being able to boot someone out if they tried to hijack a discussion – but overall it was a great experience and I could see using it in the future with my students both graduate and undergraduate.

I hope to participate in more Edumatch sessions in the future. This group has great positive energy and a wonderful collaborative vibe..  Funny in that getting the full edumatch picture was probably one of the best things I got from #Badgesummit (completely unrelated really).

by the closing session we had 38 people in the main room.
by the closing session we had 38 people in the main room.

 

A file called Dammit

So today is the last day that OUInnovation Hub is open this summer so I was hurriedly finishing up a project  I need for the first week of school using the Laser printer.

So last night I made a series of things I was making for a future event, (No pictures cuz a surprise) and I realized I forgot to make a piece I needed..  Dang it.

So last night I stayed up and I created a file to fix to project and get the missing piece. I also printed a few more “just in case” pieces to solve a problem later.  I called the file missingpieces.ai.   I got up early and headed over the innovation hub to use the laser cutter.

I printed the pieces and then I realized that the pieces were not centered properly and while done, they were not done right!  So I had to print them again!! This time, I called the new file Dammit.

These pieces were were printed on a Acrylic (very expensive but I had bartered for it) so I did not want to waste a inch.. So I asked if I could flip the media over.. and print on the side that still has paper on it.. Normally, the laser burns through paper like masking tape, but it turns out, this paper was thicker. so what did I get?  I got the missing piece, now perfectly centered, on a piece of paper that I would peel off,  so once I pulled the paper off – it was blank..

Dammit..

A student noticed the name of the file as it printed- and I said – “Hey every project has a dammit file – it shows we are learning, right?”

So I had to print it again, use more of my acrylic and finally got the job done right.

So let’s talk about the file called Dammit, the extra trip to print, the extra prints, and the extra media.

There is a need for  file called Dammit – and we need to expect to have moments of redo, moments of failure, and moments of frustration..

When we really work, on things that we care about, don’t we expect to have times to pause, regroup, problem solve, so that we get it right?  Also, sometimes feedback is part of our learning process.

Throughout the process, I talked to the people working in the lab, I asked their advice. They were also shocked that I was left with blank piece.  (We all learned something about this new media that we had not used before).  They gave me solutions, Turn up the laser power, pull back the paper but in the end I had to redo the pieces.

I had extra media – why was I so concerned?  Why I can’t I accept that learning and practice has a price?

I was concerned because I wanted to get it right the first time and I wanted to be an expert right away – but honestly, that is not possible.

Ericssons work on Deliberate practice is often cited when talking about expertise  (read the article here http://projects.ict.usc.edu/itw/gel/EricssonDeliberatePracticePR93.pdf  )   you will often see the statistic that it takes 10 years to be an expert in anything. that is from his work on developing expertise.

However, honestly, to be proficient at something does not take 10 years – but it does take practice, and mistakes and files named Dammit.

So as I have had it mission this summer to learn how to make stuff in the Innovation Hub so I could encourage my students- I have improved, increased my skill, and had a lot of do-overs and projects that I have had to do multiple times. What I learned were nuances of the equipment,  functionality of the software,  human resources available to me, and a much better understanding of scale.  I am also learning to trust my instincts and to let go of the perfect on the first run expectation.   I have looked back at the some of the projects that I made early on.  The 2nd and 3rd iterations are much better, but the earlier ones are not bad and they contain the marks of my learning and the growth.   I am able to communicate my learning, share my projects with others, and give hints to help others be successful. Going through the process has increased my empathy and also made me a co-learner with students.

So Dammit! – in reflection on my summer spent making at the Innovation Hub I learned a lot and I actually put 21st Century Skills to practice- and it only took a few files named Dammit.

 

PS.. Once I finished the project, and chilled out, I used some extra acrylic to make myself a custom message board.  Sometimes when we release the perfectionism then we can play. 

ADE = MY PLN

So I am sitting in the airport about to leave #ade2017 – this is Apple Distinguished Educator Academy.. This was my first time attending as an alumni and got to welcome a new class of amazing individuals as well as interact with others from my class and those before me.

It is hard to encapsulate the experience in one post – and I may have other things to say about the community in the future.. but let me blurt out a few first thoughts..

These are the most creative and impassioned individuals I know..  

What do we share in common – a few things.

  • We are creative and impassioned
  • We all have technology knowledge – each of our expertises are different – but we share that as a baseline.. (ie.. you don’t have to explain what you know with these people or why technology matters).
  • We come from many different backgrounds but are all committed to education and innovation.
  • We are able to develop their additional areas of expertise – so if you passionate about PBL or Challenge based learning – this a space where you can make a name for yourself on things that you care about (i.e.. I feel as though I can be more than an ed tech teacher, they get that those are just tools)

The Apple Distinguished Educator Community is hosted by Apple Inc of course – but have been a fundamentally important community to my professional development, fueling both ideas and renewing my relevancy to my the future teachers that I teach. We talk about all kinds of tools but more important the pedagogy behind them and the fundamental supports they can provide to all learners.

It has provided me with resources when I struggled, but motivationally and technically and a safe space to excel. I know that where I go personally and professionally is influenced by this dynamic network.

Apple Distinguished Educators for me is my Professional Learning Network (ADE=PLN) 

This is what a PLN (Professional Learning Network)  is supposed to be.. a ZPD – a Zone of Proximal Development where we can be more together than we can by ourselves.  Being in a good one, makes me examine all the PLN’s to which I belong and consider the criteria or bar that I can use to judge their effectiveness and value to me.

I found this blog post from 2011 about PLN’s and what they should provide? Is your PLN providing this to you? and if not, what can you do to change that? or is the PLN worth your time?

5 Reasons Teachers Should Create a PLN Now!

Michael Mills uploaded a picture of me from ADE2017 – I think this picture is worth a 1000 words.. my last two favorite pictures have both been taken at ADE events. They leave me feeling energized, full of ideas, new connections, and opportunities – how do you feel when you finish interacting with your PLN?

Thank you to the community for your support, your opportunities, and challenging me to be better than I can by myself.

 

 

 

On my Way to Apple Distinguished Educator Academy

So this is my 3rd ADE Academy and I am so excited to be part of it again.  I am excited to see my friends, get new ideas, and refresh.

ADE – stands for Apple Distinguished Educator – which is a group of educators who are focused on using technology to improve and innovate in education. Yes it is sponsored by Apple Inc.. but it is a collaborative community where we leverage lots of technologies along with our creative ideas to make a difference for students at all levels.

There are few ways that I benefit from a meeting like this..

  1. It keeps me aware of trends in K-12 education so that I can best improve our teacher candidate’s preparation.
  2. It helps to me test out ideas that I am having with peers and work out details.
  3. I get to see what peers are doing and think about how I can match, improve upon or contribute to our collective successes.
  4. I can investigate new technologies or new approaches. For examples, I will be seeking insights on iPad Pros. How are K-12 schools using them and are they worth the added expense for our faculty and/or students.. (It is really a tipping point analysis).
  5. It causes me to stretch my own skills, learn more, and meet people who are different than me. While challenging,  its a great way for me to practice to being open and vulnerable in my own learning.
  6. Finally, it is a place where, even though I am somewhat uncomfortable because I am surrounded by so many exceptional individuals, it is a place for me to mentally relax knowing that I am among like minded mission focused individuals.

I was so happy to put my Out of Office for this week. 

Something that will be new for me is to welcome the new class of 2017. While ADE Class of 2015 is the BEST CLASS EVER! I am energized by the excitement and new ideas of the class of 2017 and can’t wait to make new connections, collaborations, and friendships..

I leave in an hour, let the fun and learning begin…