My Next Three

February 24, 2015

I’ve just finished #ASTE15, the annual conference for the Alaska Society for Technology in Education.  One of the best parts?  Hearing Vicki Davis, aka CoolCatTeacher, speak about teaching in the 21st century inspired me.  One thing she says is to “innovate like a turtle” as to not take too much on, but always have your “next three” ready to go so you are always moving forward.

My next three:

1.  Add more accountability to Genius Hour through rubrics, organizers, and planners.

2.  Mystery Skype with another Alaskan classroom.

3.  Start blogging for real.

I have more #ASTE15 thoughts, of course, and will kick a new blog off with those ideas.  Education is wide open right now, yet pressed in on every side.  It’s time to add to that conversation.

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Code Word: Programming

December 11, 2014

I’m feeling a little sneaky using Hour of Code this week:  do my students know they are building logic skills?  Do they know they are in a competency-based learning environment?  Do they have the rush of adrenaline when they finally get it right at the end?  I’m sure I do.

Hour of Code is part of a week to promote computer science in schools.  The premise is to get students programming.  Why programming?  I’m going to stick with the logic of it.  IF…THEN from my BASIC days.  Or maybe that was FORTRAN.  I learned both in high school.  Do remember them?  No, not really.  In fact, there’s a third language we had a class for and I don’t remember.  COBALT?  C++?  Regardless, it was a hands-on class with immediate results:  if it worked, it worked.  If it didn’t, you figured it out.

This is a skill all of our students need:  figuring out why something doesn’t work.  Asking questions, trying again and again and again…not giving up, not surrendering to the idea that failure is a bad thing.  (It is, but only if you stop there.)

Here’s my Hour+ of Code product.  I love learning alongside my students.

My creation.  I worked for it!

My creation. I worked for it!



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#GRA14 is on!

October 7, 2014

I’m enthralled by the Global Read Aloud.  Tens of thousands of teachers, hundreds of thousands of students, all reading the same book at the same time.  All around the world, and then connecting about it.  This example of how technology expands the classroom should be extended to all sorts of content.  But there’s something about the reading aloud bit that takes this technological masterpiece and turns it into magic that’s not the same as a world-wide Skype session with a scientist.  And I think that is a good thing.

You can still join in!

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Breaking Out the Blender

August 25, 2014

Blended Learning Infographic

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

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September 6, 2013

Blogging is an interesting endeavor.  On the one hand, anyone can do it…just put your ideas out for the world.  On the other, anyone can do it…put your ideas out to the world.  The key is to just doing it.

We’ve started an amazing year at my school…three weeks ago.  I went to Chicago all by myself for co-teaching training…six weeks ago.  I attended ISTE…three months ago.  You would think that I could have found some time in between to blog about these things.  We are doing a 6 Word Story in my elementary language arts group which has turned out to be way more difficult than expected.  That needs a blog post, but did that motivate me to start typing?

No.  Instead I walk past the lab and see a student looking at my static website and I’m a  little embarrassed that it is in the shape it is in. (How old is it?  My son’s pic on it is from the summer before he turned one.  He’ll be in Kindergarten next fall.)

I rave all the time about how great technology is to connect with others, yet this poor blog spins stale.  Let’s see what I can do about that *this* year.

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#ISTE13 Take Aways

June 26, 2013

Seeing as I am creating on my phone, this will be a list of my #ISTE13 take aways.  More to come when I can get to a keyboard since I am sooo Old School like that.

1.  I know what I am doing with edtech.
2.  I have plenty more to learn.
3.  That is a good place to be as an educator.
4.  I have things to offer others, therefore…
…I will do at least one project with my students via ePals this school year.
…I will do a short term project with Australian and/or Coasta Rican students this school year.
…I will help organize an #edtech for Kenai by June 2015.
…I will answer ‘yes’ to the setsig and epicyen ISTE special interest groups.
…I will rejoin ASTE.
…I will blog more.
5.  I will help my students own their learning and work hard at what it takes to ‘level up’ because that is how they will learn.

Thank you, ISTE13.  You weren’t the game changer for me that ASTE11 was but I know now that you are the team I want to be a part of as we play the same game.

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June 21, 2013

I’m 40 hours from attending the International Society for Technology in Education’s annual conference in San Antonio.  I’m attending courtesy of the school district’s professional development grant and the loving support of my family as I couldn’t attend with kids in tow. 

As much as I love technology, I am going to be completely outclassed.  I will be challenged and my brain is going to hurt.  I know this because I’ve attended the Alaska version of this conference and it was amazing. This is a video I made reflecting on that conference:

ISTE is going to be ASTE on steroids, I’m sure.


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Happy New Year!

January 9, 2013

Happily having survived the end of the Mayan world, I welcome you to another year and another semester!  I need to post my progress on my personal paperwork goal…I need to look at the standards…I need to plan for the semester…I need to organize my teacher table.

I also need to be blogging more.  Maybe not for you, dear reader, but certainly for me.  Being a connected educator is one of my values and I need to express that more often.  This blog post expresses very good reasons why I should work at continuing to build and use online connections.  Check it out…and Happy New Year!

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