Posted in EdTech, Education, Professional Development, Sketchnote

EdCampLakeCounty 2017

I attended EdCampLakeCounty over the weekend.  EdCamp is a voluntary, free professional development opportunity, for teachers, by teachers.  I love how you have the choice to attend whatever suits your needs that day and if a conversation isn’t helpful to you that no one takes offense if you move somewhere else.  I’ve attended several of these in the past and always walk away with SOMETHING to use in my class along with a new energy for my classes.  This weekend’s experience had that same effect.   I am excited to share some of my favorite takeaways from the day.

Hyperdocs

I learned about hyperdocs through a Twitter post recently so when I saw this session get proposed I jumped all over it.  Hyperdocs are just Google docs, such as a doc or slides, that you can use to push out content to your students.  They allow you to change parts in real time if something isn’t working out and allow you to reuse lesson/unit plans from year to year.  One teacher commented that she uses them so much that students automatically know what to do when students come into her room each day however, she does not like that predictability.  I liked how it seemed like hyperdocs would allow students to self-direct their learning and that I as a teacher could be more like a guide-on-the-side.  There appears to be a nice Facebook community to support this idea along with an entire book, Twitter account, and website devoted to the resources.  Since I start next semester with trigonometry, I think I will wait to try to employ this strategy until the next unit in my classes.

My Favorite Four Letter Word: MATH

I guess this might be my EdCamp “thing” to do is propose this session.  I recommended this one and had a turn out of about 4 people.  With a group this small it is AWKWARD to leave the session, luckily I liked the conversation we had.  We talked about improving mindset and how Jo Boaler has some great talks and resources available for teachers. I’ve been super hyped about using Polygraph, so I showed the others how it worked and they seemed to like the platform.  When we got to talking about numbersense and how to build it we discussed using Clothesline math and Estimation180 to get at those skills.  Someone mentioned the idea of a student created Kahoots and I liked that idea, however, sometimes our students are over-Kahooted so I don’t know if I will utilize this idea very soon.  My biggest takeaway is that I want to use student mistakes better in class.  Similar to My Favorite No.  I think that second semester I want to incorporate a better strategy into my bellwork that includes a whole bellwork day of the week for “my favorite no”…maybe My-Favorite-No Mondays.

I’ve also got to work on getting more math people to these conferences – they are such a rich place to gain PD.

My Best Tip, Trick, or Hack

To be honest, I didn’t go to this session but I lurked during lunch and ended up with some great takeaways even though I wasn’t privy to the conversation.  I need to do some more research on Amazon’s contribution to the teacher community, Amazon Inspire.  It has the familiar Amazon search engine but is related to worksheets.  I did not get any hits from the #MTBoS community on this resource so I am skeptical that it is ALL good but some of it might be useful.  For lesson planning or rubric making it appears that Themespark.net might be a good option.  I liked how it was linked to the standards and already had descriptors in place.  If I ever make that jump to standards based grading/learning/reporting this might be a good resource for me.  My BIGGEST takeaway was the One Tab app for Chrome which takes all of your open tabs and collapses them into a single tab that you can name and reopen.  I think for future EdCamps that this extension could be super useful especially for my blogging after the event (like how I am using this today).

Flipped Learning

I am not new to this idea, however, this was a reminder that it is a great option for my class.  The teacher who was using the format was doing so with an AP Stats class so I am confident that this would be a great place to start if I wanted to flip an entire class since I would have the most control over that class.  I like the idea of having more one-on-one time with students and that they can control the pace a little more.  Coupled with some Hyperdocs we could do some amazing things here.  I am concerned about my students ability to connect to the internet at home but I think that I need to work on a Donors Choose Project that would fund hotspots to be checked out of my classroom for a year….hmmmm….wonder if that is even possible.

EdCamp for PD at Your School

I love the EdCamp experience so much and would LOVE to bring this concept to an institute day at my school.  The person who spoke about the concept said that the following happened after their institute EdCamp:

  • several committees were formed that day
  • several committees were able to act on the steps discussed such as student surveys and discipline
  • most teachers were invested in the process
  • 100% of the teachers participated at the beginning of the day

Now I just have to figure out the people at my school that I can talk to to make this a possibility.  I love the choice, the opportunity for everyone in the room to feel empowered, and the opportunity to grow.  Maybe if I apply it to a lesson in my own class I could ask an administrator to come in to see and hopefully they could see the potential as a school initiative.

Overall

Huge props to the organizers of the event.  Loved the breakfast and lunch offerings.  I loved the conversations I had with others during the event.  The facilities at Carmel High School were fabulous and the internet connection was flawless.  The student helpers were great!  (Side story: as we walked to our first session students pointed out the way and one student said “Go down this hallway and then…take…a right…aaaattt….Jesus?”…with all of those pauses – so cute and authentic – I loved it).  I highly recommend this EdCamp to others who want to give it a try.

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Posted in EdTech, Education, Math, MTBoS, Professional Development, Sketchnote

NCTM Regional Conference in Chicago

Who loves being around math people?  Well I do and I had the great opportunity to be with a whole bunch of them (3,000+) at the Regional NCTM Conference.  I should mention that I was able to attend the opening presentation virtually.  Huge thank you to the people who posted live video and tweets that night so that I could put my kids to bed AND learn from the session.  The session really spoke to me so Thursday morning I attended a presentation on equity that was hosted by one of the speakers from the previous evening.

8am Hidden Figures by Dina Williams

I was unaware that when I chose this session based on the idea of equity in our classrooms that it would be led by one of the speakers from the previous evening but was pleasantly surprised when she began singing a song similar to one she did the previous evening.  During the piece she sang on Wednesday evening the quote that stuck out to me was “no need to wonder why, just write it down”.  I think that quote can come out of anyone’s mouth in utter desperation to “get through” things or “cover” topics (speaking of “cover” have you ever noticed that that word “cover” can mean to hide or conceal something, I realize that teachers don’t MEAN that when they say it but it is another meaning, but I digress).  I really liked Dina’s songs and it made me think of how powerful a force music can be.  I’ve been using “bumper music” in between classes lately and it has been a great addition.  Parts of her talk that really spoke to me included:

  • the use of pictures from our students’ world to teach the content of my class (she showed the image below, overlayed a grid and talked about having students estimate which was more and by how much)

I loved her use of math talks to get at some very important fraction skills.  First, she talked about using money.  IMG_7153

I remarked to someone near me that idea was all fine and good but what about thirds and Dina happened to be standing right there and she was excited about how that was the next portion of her talk.  It was awesome.  I do question on whether my students would know that 1/6 of an hour is 10 minutes but I believe it would be worth teaching if necessary

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I really liked this session and I hope to incorporate these number strings soon.  My biggest issue with these ideas is thoughtfully incorporating them.  I find that I get these great ideas and if I don’t use them the next week I lose them, however, this doesn’t always work well with whatever I am teaching in my curriculum.

Volunteering

Sendhil got me to volunteer for this event.  I didn’t know what to expect but it was a worthwhile experience.  First, I was privy to the wi-fi access from before the event even started.  Second, when I checked in for my assignment I was introduced to the layout of the hotel which was good because the only way you could get to one side of the hotel to the other was on the second floor.  Also, I became VERY familiar with the rooms on that side of the building which made my own experience of finding rooms much easier. During the lulls in the crowd I was also able to make lunch plans for my crew which was amazing because about five minutes after we were seated we saw a line forming outside that was down the street a bit. I LOVED getting to help people where they wanted to be and I even got to see some people that I haven’t seen IN AGES in the process.  It’s crazy when you see people you know from outside of the context of the conference you are attending….for instance, the picture below is of one of my former students who is now an administrator!  I barely recognized him but was so glad to see him.

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Coteaching with Tech by Allen and Eutsler

It was so amazing to see this team of teachers work together.  You could tell that they truly shared their responsibilities in the classroom and had the utmost respect for each other.  That kind of relationship is amazing to watch in action and gave me so much to think about my own co-teaching relationship.  They even named their classroom as a combo of their two last names.  Maybe we could be Janicone or Staniki.

TI Rover/Programming 

I walked in late to this session but am soooo glad I made that move.  I loved doing a little programming with TI’s new product, the TI Innovator Rover.  We got a quick lesson on how to do the basic code commands in TI’s menu system and then were set loose to get the rover to move through a short course.  I have a little programming experience (three courses in college, writing SHORT TI programs on my calculator, and dabbling during the hour of code every year in my classroom).  I was able to capture a short video of my second to last trial run with the rover (I’m mad I didn’t get my last run as I got the rover to basically parallel park which was pretty sweet).  I was saddened when I was running my last run and I overheard someone questioning the application of this activity in a math classroom.  The TI person was caught a little off guard and I stepped in a little to talk about how I loved how this activity really spoke to the attendance to precision and measurement (I would make my students measure the course in order to do the programming) and discussion possibilities of area versus perimeter and I could keep going but you get the point.  I will admit that this changed my mind about TI.  I have been a little down on TI products with the advent of Desmos and Geogebra as those products are FREE and it is hard to argue with FREE.  However, this product made me reconsider their products.

Team ASAP

This session intrigued me as I know that my school would like to improve AP offerings, increase the number of students enrolled in AP, and get students to achieve scores of 3+ on the exam.  They mentioned that their school has both regular and honors taking the same curriculum which I LOVE that idea because think everyone deserves to be challenged and get high quality instruction.  I was intrigued by their Geometry in the summer program as I wanted to know if the topics dealt with in the summer were to the same rigor as a typical Geometry course.  It definitely gave me food for thought.

Standards Based Grading with Darshan Jain

I just loved this presenter from the beginning.  He was so welcoming and I felt like I wanted to learn right from the start.  He was very interested in the story of the people who attended his 8am on a Friday session.  He talked about the difference between assessing and evaluating a situation which is slightly nuance but an important idea.  I loved that he took time to discuss why teachers get into teaching because I believe that SBG/SBL really speaks to who you are as a teacher.  He talked about a process of asking some vital questions to structure the standards assessed:

  1. What do I value?
  2. How can you show this value?
  3. How well can you show this value?
  4. What helps to show this value well?

Check out my sketchnote on the session below.  I had other sketchnotes from the conference but spilled water on them :(.

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I loved some quotes from this session like the idea that 21st century illiteracy means someone who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.  This really spoke to me as I know plenty of people, myself included, who struggle to unlearn something even if it is not a correct understanding.  I loved that the idea of SBG/SBL does not mean that we forget everything that we as teachers have done to get to this point – hence the house quote of “don’t tear down the whole house, just rearrange the furniture”.

#MTBoS

I volunteered to work at the #MTBoS table during this morning for an hour.  I loved getting to meet some of my #MTBoS fangirl favorite people.  I always struggle with how to explain the community to people ESPECIALLY when they don’t have Twitter.  However, I usually say something like “well I was you once, where I thought Twitter was only for celebrity gossip and couldn’t possibly offer me anything”.  Working the table made me highly aware of all the great things that the #MTBoS has exposed me to, the fact that I love this community and that my teaching practice has improved because of it.

Side note to working the booth is that I got to play with Mannifold which I LOVED. Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 8.58.02 PM.png

I couldn’t put it down so I promptly ordered my own stackon Amazon for my playtable at school.

Math Games with Susan Chadaz

I felt like I learned some things through this session (even if they were not my personal intended goals of attending this session).  First, she incorporated sign language into talking about the common core math practice standards.  We learned one sign for each of the 8 standards.  Additionally, she showed us how to tie a string without letting go of the ends which was comical to see a whole ballroom of people attempt to do.  She showed us a couple of her games.  I don’t know if I will use them in my classes but others seemed interested.

Tech to Increase Conceptual Understanding with Annie Fetter

I was so excited to meet Annie when I was volunteering at the #MTBoS table.  I liked her applets for this session.  The triangle applet was fabulous as I hope to use it the next time that I introduce triangles in my Geometry class.  I loved how she modeled the Notice/Wonder routine for this activity.  Notice/Wonder has really been a game changer in my classroom this year and I hope that I can continue to do it justice in the future.

Chicago

I could probably go on an on with this post but I am going to just #hitsend or in my WordPress world hit Publish on this.  But before I do, I will mention that I am thankful for Chicago.

IMG_1480.JPGI love being so close to a metropolitan area that attracts great events like this one.  I love all of the food, culture, and unique opportunities that this city affords.

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I am grateful for the AWESOME weather during the last two days and just so proud that this is my home.

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Posted in MTBoS, Professional Development

Webinar on Visual Patterns

I attended this week’s Global Math Department’s weekly presentation about visual patterns given by Michael Fenton.  I loved how simple it was (low floor) but how how you could go mind blowing (high ceiling) as well.  People shared their images using a hashtag pretty easily and I loved the questions posed that I plan to use in my own classroom like:

  • What comes next?
  • What comes after that?
  • What comes way down the line?
  • What comes before?
  • What comes in between?
  • What comes at stage 1.5?
  • What is in the middle
  • What is stage 1?
  • What is stage 0?

I loved the idea of allowing students to be creative and get them out of the idea that they could be wrong.  One of my favorite tweets of the night highlighted this idea of being right.  I think that I need to focus my classes more on being able to see multiple points of view as opposed to the fear of not being right.  I know that if I asked students to draw stages 2 and 3 that they would be fearful and I need to try to break down this fear.  This webinar really has me thinking and I am excited about what I will do with what I learned in class this week.

Posted in Blaugust, Professional Development, Sketchnote

Institute Day 2 #blaugust

My school went outside of the box today with the Professional Development, literally out of the box that is our school and held sessions on the football field, courtyard and practice field.  IMG_7344.JPG

It was nice to be out in the sun.  I wish that the technology would’ve worked for them but I give my administrative team a ton of credit for the effort to make it happen.  Even with the tech fails, they still seemed united and excited about the upcoming school year which was awesome. Selfie below is me, no filter, but it was hot so not much of a smile either.IMG_7343.JPG

Here is my sketchnote from this afternoon’s session that was mostly about business.  I am on cycle for getting evaluated this year so you can probably tell that my ear was open to that part of the discussion. ALSO should note that the “Late Arrival Sherrie Birts” is a note to self that if I see that on a schedule, I need to send those students to the auditorium (not that Sherrie Birts is a late arrival).

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Overall, a productive day but I still have a number of things I need to attend to before I am ready for the first day of class on Wednesday.  I’m just going to get plenty of sleep tonight so I can be 100% for freshmen tomorrow and welcome them with the most Rocket Pride I can.  You only get one day to be your first day at Rich East High School and I want to be a part of theirs and be a blessing to everyone I encounter.

Posted in EdTech, Education, Formative Assessment, Professional Development, Uncategorized

goformative.com and the circle back #MTBoS

Today, I went to a PD session offered during the school day with our district tech coach.  I originally planned NOT to go as the presentation was about tech games to use in the classroom and I am already familiar with several of the platforms she was presenting on (Kahoot, Socrative, etc).  However, I went anyway for the quick CPDU (you never know when you will need it) and I like the presenter.  I was so glad that I did.  Not only did she reintroduce me to a couple of programs that I had learned about but not implemented in my class, but we had the opportunity to play with Formative.  Formative is a SUPER quick and easy way to get formative feedback from students.  You can grade their work in real time, they can draw on diagrams (this is big for the Geometry teacher that I am) and there are plenty of well done free features.  I am super excited to go and try that.  Had I not gone to the presentation, I probably would’ve back burnered this application and may have missed out on a opportunity to put it into action in my classes.

The second revelation of the day was the idea to “circle back”.  This is huge when it comes to educational technology.  I tend to be slightly snobbish about educational technology.  I want it to do what I want, when I want, and not crash in the process.  I want good usable data, I want to manipulate all aspects of the software.  If I deem that the product is not 1.) more efficient than a classroom traditional tool 2.) not stable enough to withstand 30 students accessing it at the same time 3.) providing me with everything I want, I typically write it off, and don’t look back.  Today, on a couple of occasions I learned that the circle back is important.  One of those instances happened early in the day. For kicks I decided to see if I could sync my various mail accounts on my MacBook’s mail program.  In the past, this wasn’t even possible as my Apple stuff did not play nicely with Microsoft Exchange.  However, today, everything seamlessly synced!  This is HUGE.  I’ve wanted to use the power of the search functions available on my Mac with the contacts at school.  I am super excited.  Only downfall is I completely crashed my computer when I synced my Gmail but I can handle that problem.

Posted in Education, Math, MTBoS, Professional Development

My Experience at #ICE16 – Friday

KeynoteTom Murray

I loved this presentation.  Tom is a gifted speaker and I really felt like I walked away with energy to take on the challenges of technology integration.  Here were some of the ideas from his presentation that resonated with me:

  • When so much has changed, why do our classrooms look the same?
  • “The Cemetary Effect” – equidistant tomb stones in rows all facing the same direction.  Is this how we want our schools to look.
  • We need to create schools that are “future ready”.
  • We don’t want to create schools that don’t just parrot back what we say.  Robots will replace 5 million jobs.
  • UPDATED version of Maslow’s needs hierarchy:

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  • updated UPDATED version of Maslow’s needs hierarchy:

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  • When we are measuring seat time we are measuring the wrong end of the learner.
  • We need to personalize our education and professional development.
  • When you have a group of people we shouldn’t just talk at them for sixty minutes.  We want our students to own their learning – how do we get teachers to OWN their own learning.
  • We need to connect to others so we don’t become stale.
  • Periscope could really be leveraged in a school environment
  • @kjarrett EdCamp  founder…used the idea with 8th graders.where-the-magic-happens-your-comfort-zone_daily-inspiration.jpg
  • Sometimes what we have communicated to our families and what they hear are two very different things – song lyrics that Americans get wrong.
  • How are you branding your school?  What are you doing to tell your school’s story?  What is our vision?  Someone is telling your school’s story, is it you?
  • One of the biggest problems we have is EQUITY.
  • Plan for Technology at a national level.
  • OSMO <- check it out
  • Do you know who has access to wi-fi at home?  Many of our schools do not have the wi-fi that even mount everest has.
  • We need to ask about access (if and how) at home when students come to school.  Let’s curate places that offer wi-fi to let our students use…ask businesses if they can offer it…then make a Google map of those places.  Coachella Valley Unified School District – 100% free and reduced lunch – put wi-fi on the busses.  Put the parked busses in the poorest areas – what if they get stolen but what if students learn.  Build wi-fi in the ENTIRE community.
  • Your attitude more than your aptitude will determine your altitude
  • Rube Goldberg monster trap audri clemmons
  • Digital Use Divide
  • A Shining School -Kleenex ad video

 

Session I: What’s New in Office 365

Didn’t realize I get a free download of the new Office.  I have avoided getting this as I dislike the ribbon HOWEVER, maybe I should at least give it more than just a cursory glance and make my decision from there.

The presenter talked about Sway.  A cool thing that it does is that it will reformat the presentation based on the device.  Again, I am curious about whether Google does it better.  From what I could see, only if you have Sway can you edit them.  Still worth a look.  The Office Mix also seems like a tool I might use because it does screen casting and you can upload the video to the website so it is viewable by anyone.  Office 365 Video – can access your files from any device.

I guess my biggest complaint is that all of the software just seems clunky.  What you give up in customization allows for collaboration when you use Google products that do the same thing.

Session II: How to Discover and Integrate Great Tools for Learning

@sgarton121 – Steve Garton – Common Sense Education

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http://www.yummymath.com/?s=%22HSS.ID%22 you can search for problems based on common core standard

Graphite.org allowed me to find this: https://www.graphite.org/lesson-plans/measures-of-arcs-and-sectors which might be applicable RIGHT NOW in my Geometry class

 

Session III: Do You Have A “Student-Led” Classroom

David Karnoscak

Making the shift

  • what are your core values?
  • what is the culture like?
  • team up with your students to make it a good learning environment
  • StarStudent of the day – gets a rolly chair for the day 🙂

I felt bad leaving this session early but Medela awaited me.

 

Session IV: Chrome…The Browser Battle

Type in FunFacts into the omnibox and you will get a random fact

MoveNote is an app that allows you to voice over your screencast

Google Drive Quick Create is an app that will allow you to quickly create a Google Drive file

Incognito – when you do that it masks your computer like you aren’t signed in

GAFE 101 Chrome

Session V: BreakoutEDU

Now I am OBSESSED with this game.  I want a box.  Totally need to check out how to make one.

General Notes

I need to check out Graphite since it seems to help with my cutting the clutter idea.  My To-Do list is growing by the second at this conference but this seems like a great source

The Rule of Two Feet should be in effect at all times. 🙂

 

Posted in Education, Professional Development

My Experience at #ICE16 – Thursday

Keynote – Adam Bellow

I LOVED this speaker (even though I came in 20 minutes late).  Some of the quotes/ideas from his presentation that I really enjoyed were:

  • There are no apps to fix the eduproblems
  • I can go into any coffeeshop in america and get wi-fi but can’t do the same in our classrooms
  • Integration of technology is like a sink filling with water.  We need to be wise about integration or we will drown and overflow.
  • Innovation does not equal iteration
  • We should not use technology for technology’s sake
  • What’s the best device? The one you will actually USE!
  • Date the device – marry the abilities
  • Consumption vs. Creation – the difference between kids that can eat versus those that can cook – we want kids to cook!
  • There is an app for everything INCLUDING:
    • Track all of the Places I’ve Pooped – LOL!
    • Canva for design
  • Anyone can download an app…but not everyone can upload one.
  • Super Mario Maker – make your own Mario level and share
  • F words – fear of failure

OMG I want to use this video in something (note: might evoke tears and probably not appropriate for students :(.

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  • Tickle app on ipad and parrot rolling spider drone.
  • Fear of starting
  • Live your life in BETA 🙂 love that quote
  • respecting failure allows you to embrace curiosity
  • check out Periscope
  • smule – karaoke with anyone in the world
  • French Girls – take a selfie and upload it and people will draw you
  • 1:1 doesn’t mean one size fits all
  • BreakoutEDU.
  • Technology does not drive change – it enables it

This was TRULY the highlight of my day and I hope that I can see him speak again at some point.

Breakout Session I: Snapshot Sessions & Exhibitor Area

Not impressed with this format.  Way too many people in a small space.  Ah well.  Toured the exhibitor space a little.  That was overwhelming as people have projectors going and giveaways but I am reluctant to check anything out as I know my school cannot afford it.  I guess the best part of this session was getting to hang out with Brad since I feel like I don’t know my department much these days – I guess being on maternity leave for three months will do that to a person.

Breakout Session II: Free and Cool Tools from Microsoft   psheren@Microsoft.com – Patrick Sheren

Sooooooo I actually went to a Microsoft session.  I had a feeling that the presenters had not spent much time in real classrooms which is a let down to me when I attend conferences for educators.  They mentioned Skype in the classroom, but I could tell that they did not have personal experience with it so I didn’t press them for information.  What I am interested in is learning more about Sway and MicrosoftMix but need a windows operatingh system to try it.  I’m sometimes overwhelmed and sometimes underwhelmed by what Microsoft has to offer.  I feel overwhelmed by the amount of clutter at times – AKA the dumb ribbon. I feel underwhelmed by what you have to purchase through them to use when free options are often available through places like Google.  For instance, if you can give up on some of the bells and whistles of PowerPoint, Google slides is an awesome option.

Breakout Session III: Less Grading, More Learning

This session focused on ways to minimize the take home grading and maximize the learning in your class. Of particular interest to me was the use of University of Texas Online question bank – alternative is WebAssign – to get students to complete homework.  They used this for some points in their class but it didn’t make or break grades.  The cool part is that the numbers change in EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM so it is virtually impossible to copy answers.  Additionally, they mentioned the use of EDPuzzle which I really need to put on my short list of things to try (probably more like next school year).

 

Breakout Session IV: Date Your Chromebook

LOVED the three minute question and answer session like as if you were actually speed dating.  You can set a timer by typing “set a three minute timer” in the search bar

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Google Tone – allows you to send out a webpage to anyone else who has the extension up

Move Note – record your presentation and it makes a video of the presentation (could be a good flip your classroom tool)

YouTube Creator – you can make YouTube videos right from your Chromebook

Some take aways from this session included that I don’t need my Chromebook to do EVERYTHING.  I need to stop using Excel abilities as my gold standard of what I want my device to do.  Instead, I should use the devices available and the applications available to the best of my ability.

Breakout Session V: Ditch That Textbook

Make a slide deck, give each student a slide, they go out to the internet and make whatever they want on the slide.  I loved seeing the part about Stop motion animation with Google slides.  I think that some of my students would really respond well to that particular classroom activity. Although the idea of an Interactive white board through opening up a drawing to the entire class seems scary, I also like the possibilities.  I think I might try this in my statistics class (they are a smaller class with a more manageable level of maturity compared to my sophomore Geometry students – I can try it with the upper classmen first to work out some of the kinks).

Breakout Session VI: Beyond the Brain Break

I was proud of my self for sticking around the conference this long.  As I was walking to this session, I could see plenty of people make their way to their cars.  Like the fact that this session focused on getting students away from so much screen time (including and ESPECIALLY big screen time – AKA PowerPoint).  The presenter showed a PowToon which is a free online movie maker and also advocated using things like a JustDance on YouTube to get students up and moving to break up the monotony of class.

Some General Thoughts

I think that I am going to have to write a whole other post on why I was late to the keynote – long story short, the bathrooms at Pheasant Run do not have enough outlets for my Medela needs 🙂

Anyway, after about a month or so of KonMari-ing everything in my life I think I know why educational technology has been problematic for me.  So much of it is clutter.  So much of it doesn’t “spark joy” for me for a variety of reasons (high learning curve, applicability to a math classroom, will it work when the network goes down as it does often in my district, is this tech better than a more traditional method, etc) and cutting through the clutter is hard work.  I believe I need to KonMari the software, extensions, and apps in my life before adding any more. Although piling it all up in my living room as the book suggests for clothing is not really an option, I do believe that this process might be worthwhile.  If I can cut through the clutter and really explore the apps, extensions and software available I *might* really utilize more of it more thoughtfully in my classroom.

As always, whenever I go to a conference and fire up my WordPress I realize how much I learn through the blogging process…I vow to do more…I do more for a week and then fall off again.  I am wondering how I can continue my momentum this time and continue the blogging process as I know I am a better teacher when I take the time to reflect in this way