Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 5 - Connected Educator Month

Today I am the official tweeter for @ConnectedEd. Each day during the month of August one person will assume the profile of @ConnectedEd and send out tweets about their connectedness. Here is the link to the list of tweeters for the month. Thanks, Karen, for setting this up.

1. I began my morning at 8:00 and sent out my first tweet after I got logged in and changed the profile to reflect that I was the tweeter for today.

2. I was lead to a YouTube video of Jarrod Lamshed and George Couros (to whom I am already connected -we presented on a panel together at ISTE11) singing karaoke to Justin Bieber's "Baby" by my friend @wmchamberlain's tweet. I decided to check out Jarrod's blog since it is titled "Connected Learning". Loved following this journey and I am now connected to Jarrod. 

3. I didn't get many takers when I tweeted about filling out this survey. Either people don't like filling out surveys, or they aren't sure how they are going to work on flattening their classroom walls.

4. I saw my friend @ncarroll24 had written a new blog post entitled "Schoolmares" so I hopped over to her blog, read the post, and left her a comment. Later in the day Nancy sent out a tweet thanking me for the comment.

5. Discovered Ellen (aka @play@cre8) because she retweeted (RTed) that I was the @ConnectedEd tweeter of the day. I saw her RT in the TweetChat stream and clicked on her avatar which led me to her blog. Funny thing is Ellen, whom I did not know until today, and I were in the Google Power Searching MOOC together this summer. She wrote about an interesting happening in that class here. I left a comment for her and am now following her on Twitter.

6. I spent part of the afternoon working on lesson plans and things for the beginning of school. I start back tomorrow and the students come on Thursday.

7. Unfortunately, I have a terrible head cold, so I took some medicine after I ate dinner and it knocked me out. I woke up and realized I had missed one of my favorite chats. I am a member of an Edmodo book club and we are reading Tony Wagner's Creating Innovators. Jeff McCouch set up the book club and moderates the #cistudy chat on Sunday evenings at 7 CT.

8. I read through the #cistudy tweets and RTed several as @ConnectedEd. One of the teachers who joined the #cistudy chat tonight was Dana Sirotiak, a 7th grade teacher from New Jersey that I connected with face to face last week.

I was presenting for the 21st Century Community Education Conference being held in New Orleans. A Twitter buddy, Bill Krakower, told me Dana would be attending the conference. So Dana and I and her traveling partner, William Diaz met and had dinner while they were in town. I love making connections like this.

9. So as I wrap up my day as the voice of @ConnectedEd, I think all in all it was a good day. I wish I had been feeling better because I wanted to host a Google Hangout or two today and connect with members of my PLN. I believe I sent out over 50 tweets and have others tweeting with the official #CE12 hashtag. So I'm off to bed to get a good night's sleep on the eve of the beginning of my 2012-2013 school year.

10. I am glad I had this opportunity and I am looking forward to the rest of the Connected Educator Month.

Day 4 - Connected Educator Month

I am spending this Sunday catching up on my posts for Connected Educator Month (CEM).

Saturday got off to a slow start as I slept in and nursed my head cold. Yuck! I spent the morning adding links to a Google doc that I will share with teachers at my school next Tuesday during one of our PD days. I have been gathering Common Core State Standard (CCSS)sites that I think will be helpful to them as we transition from our state grade level expectations to the CCSS.

 In the afternoon I went to school. I saw Brenda, my principal, and we chatted about what I would be presenting to the staff on Tuesday. She was so grateful that I have put together the Google doc to share with others.

 Tracy, the other fourth grade teacher, who will also be teaching math, science, and social studies to two classes of fourth graders and I did some brainstorming. I went over some Kagan structures with her, showed her how to log into our BrainPOP subscription, and set up her eBoard note. We created a 4th Grade folder in Dropbox so that we can easily share files.

Again due to not feeling well, I took an afternoon nap. I was supposed to attend a bon voyage party for friends who are moving to China for the next four years. I decided I was in no condition to party, so I dropped off dessert at Janet's house (the hostess) and said my good-byes to Vicky and Dwayne. Vicky and I talked about her Skyping into my class after she gets settled in in her new home.

Day 3 - Connected Educator Month

I am spending today catching up on my Connected Educator Month posts.

I hate having a head cold. You know the feeling - your head feels like the biggest bowling ball in the world and your neck aches from holding it up. I usually get a cold shortly after school starts each year. I always blame my students for giving me one. LOL  Well, maybe it will be over by the time I get to meet my new students for the 2012-2013 school year on Thursday, August 9.

Today my connections were on the local level. I went to school on the last Friday of my summer vacation to meet with the other three teachers on my fourth grade team. We discussed our schedule, the start of our transition to the Common Core State Standards and worked on setting up our classrooms. Since I will be teaching science along with math and social studies this year, I have reached out to several other fourth grade teachers in our district who have taught science to share any resources they might have to get me going. (Thank you Patti and Amy for sharing with me.)

After going home and taking a nap through an afternoon thunderstorm, I attended the Tim McGraw - Kenny Chesney Brothers of the Sun concert at the Superdome.
Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw

Picture Credits - Cold; Tim and Kenny 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 2 - Connected Educators Month

I was invited by Michael Graffin (Australia) to join the Hello Little World Skypers in May of this year. Since joining this group I have really expanded my global connections. There are over 100 educators from around the world who are members of this group. They use the IM feature of Skype on a daily basis to connect and collaborate. They share links to things they are working on, offer help with web tools to anyone who needs it. and share stories of what they are doing to integrate technology into their classrooms. Here is a map showing the location of the members who added themselves to it. You can get more information about them on their wiki.

Today I was and will continue to be busy being a connected educator.

8:00 - I did a Google Hangout with Theresa Allen (IL) and Janet Barnstable (IL) to work on the virtual PD we are presenting to Theresa's faculty on August 20. Steve Sherman joined us from South Africa, where he was presenting to a group of principals.

9:00 - I attended a session of the TxVSN virtual conference on blended learning. It was called "Preparing for Blended Learning" and the presenter was Lisa Fraine from the Florida Virtual School.

10:00 - I had a phone conversation with Tracy Zelden, a new teacher, who is joining our 4th grade team at my school this year.

10:15 - I did another GHangout with Dana Racanelli, in Texas, as she presented at a workshop to her teachers. We were joined by Lorraine from MA, Jose from Honduras, Jose from Spain, Steve from South Africa, Theresa from IL, and Janet from IL.

1:30 - I am doing a presentation with my buddy, Jan Wells from Kansas, for the TxVSN Virtual Conference. Our topic is "We Flatten Our Classroom Walls, Do You?"

6:00-8:00 - I will be doing a podcast with Jeff Bradbury of TeacherCast to discuss how teachers who participate on #4thchat on Twitter collaborate in our classrooms. Kim Powell from MI , Bill Krakower from NJ, and Nancy Carroll from MA are scheduled to join us.
** Update - Due to scheduling conflicts, our podcast interview had to be rescheduled. I felt a head cold coming on so I went to bed early. **

Okay, I off to continue my connected journey.

What are you doing to be a connected educator?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Choose2Matter - Day 1 of Connected Educator Month

I am glad that I was invited to join the Facebook group Choose2Matter. (Was it created by Angela Maiers?) I received an email on July 26 notifying me that Paula White had invited me. At that time there were a couple of hundred people, mostly educators, in the group. Today as I was checking out the latest activity from the group, I noticed there are now over 4,600 members.

Today is August 1 and it is Day 1 of Connected Educator Month. Being a member of Choose2Matter is a great way to be connected. I know that I will learn much from the people in this group. 

As I was reading the posts about how members of the group choose2matter, I came across the imagine above posted by Donna Baumbach that she created here

Here is how I choose2matter:
1. I will ask my principal to make Choose2Matter our school's theme. 
2. Print and proudly display the above poster in my classroom.
3. Continue my journey as a lifelong learner everyday.
4. Learn alongside my students everyday.
5. Tell and show my students each day that #youmatter.

I hope you Choose2Matter every day!