edchat

#IMMOOC: What If?

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Recently I described my Fluco Game Designers club to someone else. I can’t recall if I mentioned if it was a club at the time or not. I was then thrown this question: How does it tie to the SOLs? (aka, Virginia’s standards of learning). I sort of bristled at this, but then realized I couldn’t recall if I mentioned it was an after school program, rather than something during the day.

I answered honestly. Fluco Game Designers is an after school club meant to help students learn about the video game design industry. While the beginning focuses on getting the basics down, the time after that will focus on imagining, designing, and creating. Yes, I am sure I could easily tie ELA standards to it, as there is reflective writing, feedback, and storytelling. However, I’m more focused on showing and letting students discover how those things apply to the video game industry. I want them to see the real world application.

I have quickly learned that SOLs are a huge target in Virginia. Part of me is glad I am not teaching in a classroom because I don’t think I could handle the constant assessment that goes on through testing. I don’t like it, and I’m sure I wouldn’t like my job much if I had to do that. I’m used to being able to do all types of assessments, not just pencil and paper or computer tests. I digress though.

The list of What Ifs in Chapter 7 of The Innovator’s Mindset got me thinking about all kinds of possibilities. However, the one that struck the biggest chord with me was What if schools operated as if we should all be “learners,” as opposed to students being the only learners? I am only in my 8th year in education, yet no matter where I’ve ended up, I’ve always found small pockets of educators who want to learn more outside of what the school day entails. It doesn’t matter if that’s book study, professional development, Twitter edchats, or personal research.

What if…. instead of a handful of people attending voluntary PD, the room was packed full?

What if… teachers shared the educational books they’ve read or found helpful?

What if… teachers attended a session run by students to learn something new?

I love when I can find educators who are eager to talk and share and discuss. I love edchats for this reason, though typically can only find time to participate in one per week. I love doing the #IMMOOC book study. What makes it fun though is finding others to talk to and share in the study, whether through blogs or the Facebook group or even Twitter. In fact, I’d love to see more book study groups like this one for other books.

It seems like it’s time for educators to show and model to the students that we are learners too, that we never get too old to learn something, and that we *gasp* fail and make mistakes. We are not invincible and we are not perfect. We are all human, and we all struggle from time to time. It’s only natural. A teacher does not have to stay on the pedestal to earn a student’s respect and admiration. There are other ways to do so, and it all starts with being a lifelong learner.

Positive Post Friday: 10/7/16

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another Positive Post Friday! I didn’t post one last week because things got hectic at work and my parents visited that weekend so I was kept very busy.

Fridays mark the end of the work week. Fridays mark the start of the weekend. Fridays should end the week on a positive note. Therefore, I’m going to share 5 positive things that happened this week:

  1. Thursday was the first of Fluco Game Designers, the new club that I started at the middle school. I had 66 kids signed up before I capped club off. I had 55 kids show up yesterday and despite a few issues with pickup at the end, we had a great time! I had 2 great parent volunteers to help me out and we got a lot accomplished on Gamestar Mechanic. Ready for next week’s meeting!
  2. Social media is starting to really take off in our district. I have worked this week to gather the rest of the accounts that staff members run for clubs, activities, and the schools in general. I have a good list, so now it’s time to plan my next steps, which will include meeting with each person who manages an account.
  3. #IMMOOC has been a great activity for me, and I have loved participating with everyone on both Facebook and Twitter. I don’t always get my readings done in time, but I do try post each week. I have had some great revelations this week, and I’m so glad the book has given me so many opportunities to reflect!
  4. Today I had training on Classflow, and even got to try a Promethean board for the first time. The main part of the training was on Classflow, but we did take time to look and explore a Promethean board. I have further training on it on the 18th, so I hope to learn a lot more.
  5. #wvedchat had another successful chat group this week, this time on growth mindset. I decided we needed to do something fun with the group, and so took the idea of doing a meme challenge from #IMMOOC and applied it to our chat. I decided to do a book giveaway as well. We have had some wonderful responses, and I cannot wait to sit down and judge them all.

Your turn: Share your Positive Post Friday.

Until next Friday! Have a great weekend!

Twitter Transcript: #wvedchat on Growth Mindset

Last night was another successful #wvedchat, and led by Rebecca Recco (@beccarecco). She wanted to focus on growth mindset, something she greatly enjoys and loves learning about.

Shortly before the session began, I had the idea to host a Meme Challenge. It’s something we’ve been doing with #IMMOOC, and I wanted to see what our crew could come up with. Their meme had to focus on growth mindset. The rules are thus: 

Any person from #wvedchat is welcome to participate. All entries (one can submit as many memes as they want) are due by 11:59 PM this Friday, 10/7/16. Submit your entries on Twitter using the hashtag #wvedchat, or to our Facebook page, WVEdChat.

The winner will receive a copy of the book “The Growth Mindset Coach” by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley.

Check out our chat from last night:

Transcript here

#wvedchat meets every other Tuesday at 8 PM. Derek Oldfield (@Mr_Oldfield) is one to follow for notices about the chat itself.

Positive Post Friday: 9/23/16

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another Positive Post Friday!

Fridays mark the end of the work week. Fridays mark the start of the weekend. Fridays should end the week on a positive note. Therefore, I’m going to share 5 positive things that happened this week:

1. Today I am at a training for NWEA-MAP. We are ready to learn more about effective uses of the program. It really makes the training better when you have colleagues with you who are excited and love to share and discuss.

2. I met with more teachers who are part of my Connected Educator team this week. Both of them were interested in blogging and ready to learn how to share their stories. I really cannot wait to see where this professional development leads.

3. This week began participation in #IMMOOC, which is this massive book study group reading and responding to George Couros’ Innovator’s Mindset. Each week begins with a Youtube Live video, required reading, and possible ways to respond to the material, including quick video reflection. I was a little late in getting started, so I didn’t get my stuff finished until Wednesday night. I can’t wait to read more blogs and see what others thought.

4. I hosted #wvedchat’s biweekly chat this week and had a blast. I got a lot of comments and remarks about the topic. It was very fast paced, but oh so worth it. I love being able to host things like that.

5. I spent two days this week helping a MS student during Genius Hour with his project. He did his on video games and wanted to make his own game. His teacher contacted me and asked for help. He and I have been discussing his plans, as well as working on Gamestar Mechanic. He’s excited and eager ot figure out the program!

Your turn: Share your Positive Post Friday.

Until next Friday! Have a great weekend!

Twitter Transcript: #wvedchat on Summer PD Lessons

Last night I hosted #wvedchat’s biweekly edchat. Originally, Dr. Rikki Lowe was to be the main host and I was to be the 2nd moderator to assist. However, she had a family emergency, and so I took over the chat. She had all of the images prepared, so I only had to make sure they got uploaded at the proper times. Well that, and encourage the conversation to expand.

If you’ve never hosted an edchat, it can be a bit daunting. Being a participant and watching things move quickly is one thing, but watching as a moderator and replying/liking others’ tweets is a whole other ballgame. My fingers were left flying across the keyboard as I participated, but in the end, I was pleased with how things turned out. 

We focused on lessons from summer professional development, and the things that were learned. Many of us shared edtech tools or workshops that we attended. If you weren’t there, what was your favorite summer PD opportunity, and why?

Transcript here

#wvedchat meets every other Tuesday at 8 PM. Derek Oldfield (@Mr_Oldfield) is one to follow for notices about the chat itself.

Twitter Transcript: #wvedchat on #SuccessTogether

#wvedchat has been working to relaunch itself this past week. A few of us got together on Saturday to discuss the future of #wvedchat and how to improve the community. Myself, Rikki (@DrRikki908), and Derek (@Mr_Oldfield) spent over an hour last Saturday morning discussing the possibilities, which I will explain in a future post. Suffice to say, the result of our effort was visible last night.

#wvedchat uses Participate for it’s host, which means we have stats to track each chat. We switched over to Participate in April. Last night was our best chat since that switchover. We had more participants, more discussions, and way more activity. Rikki and I took on a side moderator role in which we made sure to engage in conversation, retweets, and liking of others’ posts.

The chat itself was hosted by Remind’s Sarah Dougherty (@sardougherty). It focused on communicating and connecting with not only educators but parents and families. Of course, Remind is one of the many ways to accomplish this. Read the transcript below to see what transpired during our hourlong chat!

Transcript here

#wvedchat meets every other Tuesday at 8 PM. Derek Oldfield (@Mr_Oldfield) is one to follow for notices about the chat itself. 

Positive Post Friday: 9/2/16

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another Positive Post Friday!

Fridays mark the end of the work week. Fridays mark the start of the weekend. Fridays should end the week on a positive note. Therefore, I’m going to share 5 positive things that happened this week:

1. I have scheduled my first professional development sessions that I’ll be teaching this month. I am starting with Kahoot and Google Forms. I already have people signed up too!

2. I sent out an email about getting teachers on board with becoming connected educators. I have around 10 set to learn about blogging and Twitter. I’m going to do it as a 1:1 training, rather than whole group so I can easily tailor the material to the staff member.

3. I spent today working on my training materials for Google Forms. I decided to go with doing tutorial videos and my usual Google Classroom setup. I got most of the screencasting completed, and have just a few more videos to create for it. Hopefully I will be finished next week.

4. #wvedchat is working on getting better at its schedule and moderating teams, so we have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10 AM. It should be interesting and hopefully a big step in the right direction for building up this edchat.

5. Not educational, but exciting nonetheless! Digimon Tri is getting a special 1 day limited screening on September 15 in 300 select theaters. I got lucky enough to see that one was ten minutes away from me. I’m excited to see the English version for sure!

Your turn: Share your Positive Post Friday.

Until next Friday! Have a great weekend!