Friday, July 30, 2010

Leadership Day 2010 - My Take

Today marked the fourth annual Leadership Day hosted by Scott McLeod. My post for last year's Leadership Day asked leaders to examine the tools in their technology toolboxes. Then I wrote extensively about how I had added Web 2.0 tools to my toolbox since 2004. I had planned to add to that post each year and basically offer up the same challenge again this year to all the leaders out there.

Well I'm choosing a different slant on this topic this year. Another year has gone by and we have entered the second decade of the 21st century. So many edtech leaders are tired. They were part of the first wave of digital pioneers. They have been evangelizing for technology integration in their districts or schools everyday, some for more than 20 years. They want to know when everyone else is going to get aboard the train. When are all of the leaders in education going to get with the 21st century in terms of technology?

So my post for this year asks this question: As a leader what are you doing to integrate technology into your staff development?

Most school districts in the United States will begin the 2010-2011 school year in the next few weeks. Many districts or schools kick off their year with staff development. As a leader who wants to see technology integration taking place in your district or school here are some ideas on how to deliver your staff development in ways that show you can "walk the talk".

Things to Try
1. Try a different presentation tool - Instead of PowerPoint try Prezi.
2. Try a different way to brainstorm - Instead of using chart paper to gather ideas, try Webspiration or Wallwisher.
3. Try an online storage system - Instead of running off lots of handouts, put all documents on Slideshare or upload them as resources to the school website.
4. Try a different projection system - Instead of an overhead projector or a computer and a screen, try an interactive whiteboard.
5. Try a video camera - Instead of relying on teachers' memories or tons of handouts, capture your staff development sessions with a Flip cam and upload the videos to TeacherTube.
6. Try to use the expertise of others - Instead of being the facilitator of all technology staff development, let members of your staff led a session on a tool with which they have expertise.
7. Try a different voting method - instead of using charts and sticky notes to vote on ideas, use Poll Everywhere or student response systems (clickers).
8. Try a different evaluation method - Instead of passing out an evaluation sheet, create an online survey to be completed using SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.
9. Try a different way to share an expert's advise with your staff - Instead of hiring a budget busting expert to present at your school, use Skype to "bring" the expert to you for free.
10. Try a different way to gather ideas for further staff development - Instead of writing ideas on a piece of chart paper use blog or wiki and encourage your staff members to post a comment to your blog or collaborate on the wiki.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Want Every Teacher in My Building to Read This Post

I kept seeing this being tweeted for about a week now and finally had time today to click on the link and read the article. Every teacher needs to read the post "Top 20 Websites No Teacher Should Start the 2010-2011Year Without" by Samantha Smoke. She has written about tools that every teacher should know about and be adding to their toolbox. 

I know that using Web 2.0 tools can seem overwhelming, but I encourage every teacher to try out one new tool each month this school year. Remember that you don't have to be an expert with the tool to begin using it. Just play around with one at a time and have fun. A strategy I use is I use the tool a little bit and then introduce it to my fourth graders and challenge them to learn more about it. I give them time in class to demonstrate their expertise and we all benefit.

Let's start 2010-2011 off on the right foot by learning together.


Posted via email from Paula's posterous

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reflections on ISTE10

I am finally recovered from a very eventful week in Denver. I went to Denver early to spend some quality time with members of my personal learning network (PLN). We had a great time at the cabin and in Estes Park. I wrote about that part of the trip here. I also attended my first EduBloggerCon on the Saturday before ISTE10 officially began. Read my reflections on EBC10 here. I even got to attend the TEDxDenverEd event and I won an Eno board. Read all about that experience here.

I have spent much of the last couple of days reading others' blog posts, reviewing session materials that are being tweeted out, and just chatting with my PLN (old and new) on Twitter. I was so mentally drained when I arrived home that I slept until 11:00 my first day home. I haven't done that in ages. Also during this time I've been trying to get my ISTE reflections solidified. So here they are -

What Did I Learn?

I am an innovative educator. I use many tools, not just for the sake of using tools, but because they help my students create, collaborate, and connect.

I have created quite an online presence. I was looking forward to meeting members of my PLN and I thought I would have to find them. I didn't think that they would be looking for me. When Peggy George come up to me and said she was so glad to finally meet me face to face I was floored. Kim Caise did the same thing, and so did so many people I know online. It was great to hear someone say, "Oh I follow you on Twitter", as I introduced myself to them.

I can't do it all. I struck a nice balance this year between attending sessions, looking at the vendors' exhibits, and spending time in the Bloggers' Cafe. I got to attend some great TweetUps and vendor parties, and I even had some alone time. Yes, there are things I wish I had done, but overall I'm happy with the things I got to do.

I learned that reaching out to newbies was fun and easy to do. I had written a challenge on the ISTE Ning before going to Denver about helping newbies connect. I also wrote about the challenge on my blog. I was successful in meeting my own challenge and hope that others did the same thing. It was great to get to know these newbies on a more personal level - Tami Thompson, John Shoemaker, Dorie Glynn, Karen McMillian, Tim Nielsen, and Donna Dennis. Hope their first ISTE was memorable.

What Are My ISTE10 Take-Aways?

I found that this year it wasn't so much about cool tools for me (except the iPad) as it was about reflecting on my use of those tools in my classroom. Jeff Utecht made me reflect on the projects I have my students do. He took us through a 15 minute engaging project that hit all levels of Bloom. Thanks, Jeff, for a great session.

I learned that it is important to do some training for parents. I plan to schedule a session at the beginning of the coming school year to help parents learn about online safety, creating a digital footprint, and "crap" detection. As a teacher and a teacher trainer I have covered these topics, but I never reached out to the parents. It is important for them to learn about these topics as well.

Having connections to a PLN is very important for helping me stay current and continue my learning. Members of my PLN are the people I will turn to first when I want to work on collaborative projects in my classroom. I am glad that I was able to make so many new connections at ISTE10 this year and I am looking forward to the next school year with renewed energy.


I know as the days continue to pass by I will think of more things I learned while at ISTE10 but these are the ones that are foremost in my mind at this time. Attending this conference was worth every cent I spent to attend.

Photo credit: Melanie Holtsman

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I Attended TEDxDenverEd (6/28/10)

Have you ever watched a TED video and wished you could attend one of their events? Well I have many times and I was one of the lucky people who received an invitation to attend TEDxDenverEd. TEDx events are locally organized independent events that follow the TED format. I had to fill out an online application and then wait anxiously to see if I'd get invited. When my invitation hit my inbox, I could hardly contain my excitement. A while later the speakers were added to the website and I started reading up on those I did not know. I exchanged tweets with Dafna Michaelson and Brian Crosby and told them I couldn't wait to meet them in person at the event.

Monday, June 28 finally came and I headed from the Colorado Convention Center and the ISTE convention to the Denver Performing Arts Center. While we waited for the doors to open, you could feel the buzz of anticipation. We were given a metal water bottle with the TEDx logo on it filled with ice cold water which came in handy because the theater lobby was hot. I met up with my friend, John Shoemaker, from Palm Beach, Florida so we sat together for the event.

As each speaker took to the stage, I was amazed at how calm their voices were while they were delivering such powerful words. My personal favorites were Brain Crosby, Adora Svitak, Dafna Michaelson, and Sarah Elizabeth Ippel.

Brian told about how he gets his disadvantaged fourth graders connected globally. He doesn't let their lack of money or background knowledge stand in their way of accomplishing amazing things. He dazzled the audience with the videos of their latest science project The High Hopes High Altitude Balloon Project.

Adora Svitak used her mighty vocabulary to remind of all that we can learn from children. At twelve years old her stage presence outshines most adults. She is sassy and possesses a great sense of humor. You can view one of her previous TED talks here.

Dafna, a single mother, took on a remarkable tour of the country last year. She traveled to all 50 states in a 52 week period to find average people who are changing things around them. She told us how she encouraged her own third grade daughter to be a change agent at her school. During the break people in the audience were encouraged to add ideas to the towers being created to showcase ideas on how to change a problem in their area. The winning idea with be awarded $1,000 to help get their idea off the ground.

How tenacious are you? Well Sarah Elizabeth Ippel told us about her tenacity. She had to present her idea for the Academy for Global Citizenship three years in a row before it was finally excepted. Imagine having a school in the middle of Chicago that has it own garden and serves organic food at breakfast and lunch. That is what she built in a old barrel factory. Now it is a school that others would like to see emulated in their neighborhood.

As each presenter delivered their talk, Janine Underhill was onstage creating a visual representation on a PolyVision Eno whiteboard. I was fascinated by her work during the first part of the evening. During the break Ashara Ekundayo said it was now time to give away the board. I couldn't believe when she said, "Is there a Paula Naugle in the house?" John had to just about push me out of my seat.

What an evening it turned out to be. I got to attend the "hot ticket" event in Denver, heard great speakers who pushed my thinking, and won an Eno. Thank you to the TEDxDenverEd organizers, speakers, and sponsors for a wonderful evening I will never forget.

ISTE10 Sunday's Events (6/27/10)

Well it has begun. All of the excitement leading up to ISTE10 has brought me to this opening day. I got up early at the Pearl Street mini-mansion, as our place has been nicknamed by members of my PLN. Paul R. Wood and his group are staying at the ISTE mansion in Cherry Creek, I can't wait to visit it.

I called John Shoemaker (@showee) and arranged to meet him for a late brunch at his hotel. John didn't find out until about two days ago that he would be attending ISTE10 from his school district. He and I have developed a relationship on Twitter and we definitely wanted to meet each other face-to-face. We had a great visit and realized that we were attending a lot of the same events while in Denver.

Brenda Smith talked me into attending the opening ceremony. I'm really glad I went because the skit by Mario Armstrong was great. He talked about battling the "Locked Net Monster", "Dollar and Cent-atur", "Medi-Orge", and "Abominable No-Man". I also managed to get one of the ISTE metal water bottles.

Next, I spent some time in the Bloggers' Cafe and watched the opening keynote from here. Pretty sad to watch that unfold, but I won't dwell on it. Other bloggers are having a field day with it, but I don't want to go there. I'll just say it was very sad to witness the feeding frenzy.

My next activity took me over to the Hyatt Regency to attend the Glogster Ambassador meeting. Jim Dachos greeted all of us and handed us a Glogster bag full of goodies to help spread the word. I saw John Shoemaker, Ann Leaness, Patti Duncan, and Traci Blazosky at this gathering. I love and feel very comfortable telling others about this great tool.

Finally I attended a TweetUp at the Hard Rock Cafe. We were packed into the bar area like sardines but it was fun. Had wonderful conversations and enjoying meeting people from all over. Headed back to Pearl Street tried but happy after a long day.