Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Creative Commons

I've known I wanted to put Creative Commons licensing on my stuff for several years now... but every time I went to creativecommons.org I just got a little confused and overwhelmed and didn't really understand what it all meant.

I stumbled across this infographic on flippedlearning.org today and it really broke it down and made it SO SIMPLE!  So... if you haven't yet put CC licensing on your "stuff" yet, do so today!

You can grab the HTML code once you make your selections at "Add a Gadget" to your blogspot to add it wherever you want.  You can also screencapture the CC licensing image to include on any of your other documents.

See the infographic here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Opportunities and Exciting Changes Ahead!

This has been quite a busy week.  I spent two days moving out of my classroom and another day signing paperwork and having conversations...
Goodbye to my classroom for 7 of the last 8 years!
That's right, I'm exploring new ventures next year.  I am moving schools - and moving districts.  And, the biggest change is that I will no longer be a classroom teacher.

My one and only school (I even student taught here!) ... until now!
My journey has led me to become a "Digital Learning Coach" at a nearby high school that is going 1-to-1 with laptops across the district at the high school level next year.  My role will be in working with, supporting, and coaching teachers in effectively integrating technology in their classroom to improve and deepen student learning.  This will range from simply helping teachers to be more efficient and effective by using tech tools (gathering formative assessment data, soliciting student feedback, etc) to supporting them in completely transforming their classrooms to more student-centered, higher-order thinking, active learning environment by utilizing the power of technology.  I will be working closely with a selected group of "fellows" (teachers who have elected to be "coached") as well as supporting the entire staff as needed.

Being a "coach" takes me back to my actual coaching days, when I was the girls JV basketball coach at my high school for 3 years.  My job as a coach was to work with and support my players in furthering their skills both as individuals and as a team... to take them from where they were and model for them, provide them opportunities for practice, and celebrate their successes as they improved and saw growth.  My players were all at different levels when they came to me, and it was important to meet each player at their level and build them from that point - not expect them to all start as high-caliber players, but knowing and believing that each of them could get to that point with hard work, dedication, and desire.  It was also about building a collaborative team environment, where my players trusted each other, pushed each other, encouraged one another, and wanted each other to be successful.  Good coaching was also about building relationships and trust - my players knowing that I asked a lot of them and always pushed them to be better, but that I was always 100% supportive of them and there for them in whatever ways they needed.

Here is an article about the new positions... this makes me so excited!

It is bittersweet leaving the classroom, leaving my students, and leaving the only school and district I have ever worked for.   However, I am so incredibly thrilled for this new opportunity!

I received a really uplifting email from one of my students a few days after I let them know I wouldn't be back (I had already left for the year, so I did not get to tell them in person)... I asked her if I could share it on my blog as I shared with all of you my transition:

Hope you've been having a great summer! Everyone is so sad that you're leaving us. It's been a fantastic year, full of fond memories and lots of fun...sorry i'm not very good at this sort of sentimental stuff. We hope you all the best luck for the future and that you'll remember all of us. I'm sure everyone will be spamming you next year for help in AP Calc and begging you to come back. I think everyone has been affected by your enthusiastic personality, your obvious passion for teaching and math, along with your lessons on integrity and your integration of technology in the classroom. You are one of the best and favorite math teachers that I have ever had, even if I had to go through the torture of climbing up Kirch mountain everyday. (And when no one laughed at your jokes, it was just because we were all too tired to, not because the jokes weren't funny)

So, what is my plan for this blog?  Well, it will definitely always be here and I hope it continues to remain helpful. I haven't decided if I am going to continue updating it or if I am going to start a new blog for my Coaching Reflections.  I will definitely post here if I decide to make a new blog so you can follow my new adventures.

I want to thank all of you for joining me on this amazing journey of transformation.  I could never have envisioned where a simple decision to start "Flip 101" would have taken me and the amazing people I would encounter and deep relationships I would form due to our common passions.  I know my transformation is not over, but is just taking a different road for the time being where I will be able to take my experiences and knowledge a step further.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

FlipCon14 Reflections - The Sessions Day 2 (Wednesday)

You can also see the collaborative session notes from other attendees here.

Wednesday was my crazy presenting day.  I had a session, one off, a session, lunch, a session, one off... I am looking forward to being able to check out the archives of all the ones I missed!

Session C - Showcase for Sophia Learning - Free Resources for Flipped Classes
  • Resources - Playlist and Slides
  • I had a great time working with about 10 teachers and teaching them how to make a Sophia tutorial and make/embed Google Forms.
Session D - 
Will have to catch on the archive. It's a little crazy trying to deal with escrow paperwork while at a conference!

Keynote #3 - Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams
Jon and Aaron shared about how flipped learning is really about the intersection between content, curiosity, and relationships.  You really need all three.  Content is still important (some people believe that students should have free reign over what they learn, but I believe that most students don't necessarily know what they don't know).  Curiosity is also important - sometimes we get so stuck on keeping students in a box with our "prescribed content" and not letting them explore.  But most importantly, good teaching is about relationships and that is the glue that will help make everything else more meaningful and rich.

Six of us also got to share for a few minutes each.  The focus of the stories were on the intersection of Content (Steve, Kristin, April), Curiosity (me and Tom), and Relationships (Delia).

Session E - WSQing your way to #FlipClass Success
I had an amazing time sharing with everyone about the WSQ.  We survived a few technical difficulties, including my #cheesebucket "forgetting to make the collaborative GDoc public and the computer being too slow to change it during the presentation".  We started off with Kahoot! which worked fairly well (I was a little worried with the network and the virtual) and gave the audience an idea of how I might start off my class.

I hope what stuck out in people's minds was that the WSQ is just a tool that I have created that helps me to:
  • Organize content and materials
  • Hold students accountable for actually watching
  • Give structured processing time
  • Gather feedback from students
  • Prepares for and facilitates discussion among students during class time

There are a lot of different ways you can achieve those goals, and the WSQ is what I've found works for me. Most importantly, those five purposes allow class time to be a more effective learning environment, more engaging for all learners, and more enjoyable to be in. I hope that everyone who attended is able to take a slice of what I shared to use in their classes.

Touchcast interview 
You see mine here.  Go "back" and "forward" to see lots of others!

Session F- Student created videos
I was able to catch the 2nd half of Stacy and Eric's session on student-created videos.  I am still in awe that Eric's students make these videos purely out of choice, with no extra credit given.  I'm not sure why my students make such a big deal out of them (still)... it might simply be because it is so new to them and that = scary.

I asked Stacy how many videos her students make and she said about 8 per year.  So, that's about 1 per month.  I think that's a good amount to not get overwhelming but still have students do them enough to improve in making them and see the process getting easier so they can focus on the content.

Closing - FlipCon15 is in Michigan!

I wanted to archive the tweets from my session on WSQing, so here they are.  You can see the full archive of tweets (thanks to Brian Bennett!) at bit.ly/searchflipcon14

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