Sunday, July 14, 2019

9 Platforms & Techniques for Successful Team Learning

The logo for our buttons
and hashtag for the work.
There are many benefits of attending events as a team and learning together. Doing so successfully takes preparation, planning, and the right tools. If you are coordinating an event for you and others, the strategies, tools, and platforms below may help you do so successfully.  

Facebook event

A Facebook event allowed those across New York City schools to find and/or inspire other colleagues to attend.

Face-to-face proposal writing session

Educators came together for a one-day session to create proposals to submit to the conference. More than a dozen educators presented as a result of the presentations submitted at this session.  

MS Teams for planning and collaboration 

Educators used an MS Team to share files, discuss how to volunteer to cover the cost of registration, sessions, and more.  

Facebook group chat

During the conference we used an ongoing group chat to share what was worth seeing, events folks may want to attend, thoughts about the keynote, etc.  

#NYCSchoolsTech buttons

One of the educators created a logo for our group and another turned them into pins that we all wore proudly during the conference. 

Friend locator 

The Friend Locator app enabled us to easily find each other throughout the conference.

Google Maps

We had customized Google Maps that indicated where we were all staying as well as important points of interest for conference goers.

Google Sheets

A Google spreadsheet enabled us to easily coordinate travel, accommodations, attend each others sessions, etc.

Twitter

Everyone was on Twitter. We used the hashtag #NYCSchoolsTech to share our learning.

Your Turn

If you've attended events with others you may have experience with some of these strategies and platforms. What has worked for you? Have you tried something that is not listed here?

Friday, July 12, 2019

Quick Guide to Accessible Social Media

Responsible social media use means being a good digital citizen. Good digital citizens know the importance of sharing inclusively. When you share inclusively, what you share is accessible to everyone. Not sure what that means? 

Mindy JohnsonDirector of Digital Communications & Outreach for AEM Center & CAST, created a useful graphic that explains how to share accessibly.

Social Media Accessibility: Plain Language represented by a speech bubble, CamelCase Hashtags represented by a # symbol, Image Descriptions represented by an icon of three people, Captioning & Audio represented by closed captioning & audio description icons, and Link Shorteners represented by the WWW abbreviation. | Mindy Johnson @min_d_j CC-BY-NC-ND
You can learn the specifics and find resources for each by visiting "Best Practices for Accessible Social Media."

Monday, July 8, 2019

Better Together: 9 Benefits of Team Learning

A collage of group photos of the educators who attended ISTE together.More than two dozen educators from across New York City schools experienced the benefits of team learning when they descended upon Philadelphia, PA for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

You can read the insights of these attendees below to discover the benefits they realized as a result of participating in events as a team. If you like what they shared you can click on their name to learn more about them and follow them on Twitter.


Better Together

Being together as a NYCDOE team made such a difference. The discussions went on all day and night about how we can all be better. I loved being part of our team. It made ISTE 100 times better.

Overall the level of support, technical assistance, and collective knowledge made us all more effective.

Supportive Environment

I felt supported and welcome in the group. The conference was not isolating or overwhelming like I imagined, I had a group of people I could turn to when I needed help, directions, advice, session ideas. ISTE with #NYCSchoolsTech inspired me more than anything else in my teaching career.

It was powerful and energizing to know that we have each other for support, collaboration, and good conversations. 

Having a team there enabled us to attend one another’s presentations and provide a supportive environment for colleagues. 

Deeper Discussions

We discussed what we learned, what we shared, what help we might need, what we will do when we get home. All of those discussions happened in Philly when they couldn't have happened anywhere else.

We had in depth discussions that I would not have had with strangers- the tech trends we foresee in NYC, different ways to foster community among teachers, and how to implement more digital inclusion in our practice.

A Part of Something Bigger

In my school I often feel very isolated, an island struggling to make connection with the mainland classroom. The group always give me a sense of being part of something bigger. 

Making District-Specific Meaning 

It was most important to turn to my colleagues and say ”what do you think of this... in nyc?” To grow we need to collaborate on a level beyond the day to day. Being there as a group helped us to do that.  
--Clay Smith

This atmosphere allowed for conversations tied to relevant and current content which we could discuss in terms of how it relates to or work at the NYCDOE.  


Conferences are a chance to learn from others and bring back actionable practices to your school, but attending as a group is so much more fulfilling. At one point I mentioned something I was considering doing at my school and was given advice and model schools in NYC to look to for inspiration and best practices.

Attending ISTE as a group meant being with like-minded and bold educators with a vision to prepare students to be future ready. 

Benefits to Non-Attendees

Attending as a group allowed DOE members to record my sessions and allow DOE staff not in attendance to benefit from being able to view the material. 

Strengthen Relationships

Meeting colleagues/collaborating from across the NYCDOE from our online PLN (#NYCSchoolsTech group) in person helped me feel closer to the community, gave me a sense of who to seek for crowdsourcing. There are so many incredibly talented educators within this group each with a unique skill and experience.  

Awareness

The group helped me find sessions that I might not have considered which benefited me greatly (I even sprinted to a session!).

Being a part of the group enabled me to be aware of sessions and learning opportunities I didn't have time or the availability to make.

A Sense of Belonging

I attended the last ISTE in Phili years ago, and felt very detached. This year, it was the opposite. I felt closer to the whole Network of NYCDOE Tech people, and to EdTech as a whole.  I came back so much richer than I went.  It also helped me clarify what I want to do with the next phase of my career. 
--Eric Kollin

his was my first ISTE and being a part of the group made this experience non-isolating and helped expand our network to share ideas and resources. 

Your Turn

What do you think? Have you attended a learning opportunity with others? If so, did you realize any of these benefits? Anything missing? What are some strategies you’ve put in place for successful team learning?

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Best of #ISTE19 Podcast from @SoundTrap. Great for Those #NotAtISTE

As the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference ends and summer begins, Soundtrap provides us with a great learning series. It's called #BestofISTE.  Each of the 20 episodes highlights the best of what is taking place at ISTE from the perspective of accomplished leaders at ISTE. 
Dr. Jennifer Williams records podcast with Dr. Rod Berger
 at the Soundtrap booth at #ISTE19

Podcasts include experts discussing topics such as accessible technology, digital equity, digital portfolios, inclusive classrooms, and podcasting with students. 

Each episode was taped, edited, and uploaded directly from the Soundtrap booth at ISTE.

You can check out the series which is available for free on Spotify at www.soundtrap.com/iste

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

#ISTE19: What's Your 6 Word Story?

I came across a laptop at the International Society for Technology for Education conference that had a sticker on a Discovery Education laptop asking: What's your six word story

I spoke to the Discovery reps about what it meant. They shared that you can use it for anything really. 

Having students watch a video? Ask them to be ready to report their six word story about it. Wondering about prior knowledge when introducing a topic? Ask participants to share their six word story. 

Attending ISTE with a bunch of brilliant colleagues? Ask them their six word ISTE story. That is what I did over lunch with some of the #NYCSchoolsTech staff who were attending ISTE.  

Here are their six word stories in a video.
Visit the six word stories from #NYCSchoolTech educators.

You can also read each story below. Some had two.


Six Word Stories from #NYCSchoolsTech educators at #ISTE19

Collaborating to predict the future world.
Perpetually ten minutes from your destination.
- Jenny Foxe


26000 people getting better together. 
-Eileen Lennon


Nerdy educators sharing stories in Philly.
Deeper dive into edtech. Infinite possibilities. 
-Cindy Wong


An experience that invigorated my being.
Sharing #JackiesShoes yearly at #ISTE19.
-Jackie Patanio

Where serendipitous connections can change everything. 
-Lisa Nielsen

Your Turn

This is a cool technique to do at a conference or any event or activity. If you were at ISTE or if you know someone who was, use the six word story technique to share reactions to the experience. It is a fun and meaningful conversation starter.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Next Big Trends in #EdTech from @ISTE CEO Richard Culatta at #ISTE19

Innovative educators understand the importance of being in touch with the latest trends in ed tech. Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) helps us by sharing what the organization sees as the next big trends. To bring this to life, he had the global leaders in each area explain what's in store for us.


2019/20: The Year Of...


Artificial Intelligence

Culatta explained that AI is so important that General Motors approached ISTE with their concern that today's students won't graduate prepared to work for them. They need students who are immersed in and knowledgeable about AI on their team. But most teachers aren't doing that.

Fortunately, teachers like April Keck DeGennaro who teaches at Peoples Elementary School in Georgia is. She shared why AI is important in her SCREAM Lab. SCREAM stands for science, computing, robotics, engineering, artificial intelligence, and math. Her students use technology to interact with others around the world to solve real-world problems in their community an beyond. She has used empathy-based engineering and AI to solve these problems. April also was a participant in the ISTE U Artificial Intelligence Course.


Educator Voice

Patricia J. Brown, a tech specialist for Ladue School District explains why we need to start hearing more stories about education from educators. She knows first hand. When she first enlisted in the ISTE and TED masterclass, she didn't know what story she had to offer the world. It didn't take long for her to figure that out and then share her powerful story on the ISTE stage in 2018. You can check it out in the video below.


If you want to find your story to share, check out the ISTE and TED masterclass. You have until July 2 to apply.


Digital Citizenship: Student Style

Curran Dee explains how to be a digcit kid: 1) share your voice with the world 2) solve problems and create solutions 3) empower other kidsDr. Marialice B. F. X. Curran and her twelve year old child, Curran Dee explained the importance of including students in the digital citizenship conversations, lessons, and use even before they are 13 years old.

Dr. Curran explained that she and her son have a joint social media account. They use social media side by side so that when he turns 13 he will have the tools and guidance necessary to be successful. 

Curran Dee, Dr. Curran's son, explained that to learn about the digital world, kids need to be in it. He says instead of telling us what not to do, adults should help kids change headlines by turning negatives into positives. Curran provides advice for how kids can be responsible digital citizens by sharing their voice, solving problems and creating solutions, and empowering other kids. 

Dr. Curran explained that what should be trending in social media is the learning that happens in the classroom.

This duo serve as the global connectors behind DigCitInstitute, DigCitSummit and DigCitKids. You can check out their mother and son story, DigCitKids: Lessons Learning Side-by-Side, to Empower Others Aroundthe World.

Keep an eye out for their upcoming joint campaign with ISTE: #DigCitCommit


Digital Equity

The importance of digital equity was explained by Dr. Nicole R. Howard, assistant professor at the school of education at the University of Redlands and Dr. Sarah Thomas, regional tech coordinator in Prince George's County Public Schools. Both are members of the ISTE digital equity network.

They explained the importance of hearing from the voices that need to be heard and the power we now have to share those voices. A useful resource is the COSN Digital Equity Tookit.

Dr. Thomas shared some strategies to provide digital equity such as:

  • Homework hotspots
    • Have a map of internet hotspots around the community
  • Low-cost broadband programs
    • Search for ones like EveryoneOn that exist in your community
  • Mobile hotspots and devices
    • Search for programs like the 1 Million Project that provide mobile hotspots and devices.
  • School bus wifi
    • In communities where students spend a lot of time on a bus, consider using a company like Kajeet to provide internet access during the commute.
  • Schools as wireless hubs
    • Some schools are using LTE technology to push internet access to their community.
  • Digital Equity PLN


Your turn

What do you think? Is Culatta right? Are these the trends of the year? What do you think is missing?