Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Staying Focused

Recently, I read Mike Schmoker's Focus. In the text, Schmoker insists that educational leaders must be "laser-focused" on practices that really matter. He believes that leaders gravitate towards complexity, and this impedes implementation and progress.

For the past year in my department, I've focused on one primary goal: implementing an effective, data driven system for users when they need technical support. Stated simply, the goal has been to get teachers to "put in a tech ticket." I cannot tell you how many conversations, emails, and meetings have included that simple saying.

Today, I received a gift from my team: a broken record with the saying "Put in a Tech Ticket" on it.

I'm finally getting through, but this is only the beginning. Progress feels good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Make Your Own Mobile Games

During my experience at EdCamp Harrisburg, I attended a fantastic session on making your own mobile games. The site is called Aris Games, and you can create a geo-enabled game using a WSIWYG editor. Students can drop items and people all over actual locations. Then students go to the locations with their iPhones or iPads and learn, answer, or collect items. (If you don't want the students roaming all over town, you can use QR codes to play inside your classroom.) In less than an hour, I felt that I had seen enough to make one of these games myself. I plan to try it sometime after the November holiday. The site is completely free, and it seems really engaging. Check it out!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

EdCamp Harrisburg Smackdown

We had a great SMACKDOWN at EdCamp Harrisburg last weekend. I learned about several new tools, including Storify and Smyface. Check out the embedded widget below for a full list. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

EdCamp Harrisburg Reflection

On Saturday, November 12, 2011, I attended EdCamp Harrisburg. I took away a few tools. More importantly, I was reminded of a few key elements that must be in place for successful professional learning.

Top Ten Ingredients for Professional Learning
10. Quality Content
9. Time to Play
8. Venues for Open Discussion
7. References to the Research
6. Ways to share
5. Built in Reflection
4. Productive Conflict
3. Food
2. Follow up
1. Trust

Thank you EdCamp Harrisburg for providing me with an enriching space to learn!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Come to My Global Education Conference Presentation: Occupy PD

Please join me, Marybeth Hertz, and Kevin Jarrett on Wednesday, November 16th at 7pm to talk about the future of professional development. We will be presenting a free online session at the Global Education Conference that is organized by Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon.

The session will be called Occupy PD: Taking Control of Your Professional Development. We will be talking Edcamp, grassroots learning, and creating opportunities for learning connections. I hope to see you there!

Here is the link for the session:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

EdCamp Recap by Kevin Jarrett

Listen to this fantastic description of Edcamp by Kevin Jarrett, one of my fellow Edcamp Philly Organizers. Go Kevin! Stay tuned for more exciting Edcamp news on Thursday!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Scoop It: Loving this Curation Tool

As you know, I am a heavy Google Reader user. I read many different blogs and use the service to bookmark and tag helpful resources. However, my curation has primarily been an individual effort. However, I was just introduced to Scoop.it and I am really liking it. You "curate" resources from any source you like (Twitter, RSS feeds, searches, etc.) and you create a public page that people can access and contribute to. Also, the Scoop.it community seems very vibrant, and I've found several really great resource pages there. My first page is related to my dissertation: Asynchronous Learning Environments. Stay tuned as I begin to curate different types of content!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Interesting Game Creation Site: Zondle

I was checking out some links, and Zondle seems like an interesting place to create games for students to use. The game formats appear to be recall-based, but you can place a single game in many different types of formats. This would certainly keep students interested. It might be a helpful tool for your classroom. Enjoy.


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