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ISTE 2018: Where I’ll Be Presenting and Joining in the Learning #iste18

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 8 hours 20 min ago

My schedule for the Edtech Event of the Year!

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

ISTE 2018 is here again. I’ve been going most years since 2006 and while it overwhelms me, it is truly an awesome learning experience. This post is full of resources to get the most of your ISTE 2018 experience whether you are there (or not.)

ISTE 2018 hashtags

Remember to follow (and use) the official hashtag of #ISTE18 and #NotAtISTE18 so you can see what needs to be seen!

Lots of PD for those Not at ISTE

Remember that if you’re not going, there are lots of events including the Not at ISTE Ignite and other Events. The folks over at Edublogger have created an epic remote participation guide for ISTE 2018

Places to Join:

 

If You’re Attending ISTE Live or Online

If you’re attending and you want to help crowdsource the notes, check out Tzvi Pittinsky’s crowdsourced ISTE Notes and join in with the Google sheet where you can add your notes.

I’ll also be taping quite a few ISTE 2018 episodes for the next season of the 10-Minute Teacher. If you want to know how to get the most out of ISTE, check out this podcast I did last year with Terry Freedman from the UK.

Where I’m Presenting at ISTE 2018

I’ve tweeted with Peggy George and I think she’s going to ask the #PasstheScopeEDU folks to join the session as well (and I hope they do!) Say hello and if you join the session, tweet me @coolcatteacher – I’m always happy to help with your questions.

Students Won’t Stop Fact Checking Me: Teach Kids to Read News Critically (Panel)

Monday, June 25, 8:30 – 9:30 am CDT
Type of Event: ISTE 2018 Panel Discussion on Location and Streamed by ISTE
Location: W196C
Panelists: Scott Bedley, Amanda Dykes, Bill Selak and me!
Program Link: https://conference.iste.org/2018/program/search/detail_session.php?id=110831195

It’s more important than ever to teach kids how to read news critically. We’ll cover strategies for evaluating online resources and discuss media fluency to make sure students know which sources to trust and which to reject. We’ll also address fake articles, fake photos and fake videos.

Live Q&A: Using Technology to Stay in Touch with Parents (Facebook Live)

Monday, June 25, 11:15 am – 11:30 AM CDT
Type of Event: Facebook Live Stream and in the Exhibit Hall Booth 685
Location: https://www.facebook.com/events/190681735103549/
Panelists: Christelle Pasteals (Instructional Technology Coach) and me

Join us for a live conversation from #ISTE2018 where we’ll be chatting about ways teachers are using technology to stay in touch with parents. Joining us will be blogger Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) and Christelle Pastelas, an instructional technology coach. Vicki and Christelle will be sharing their experiences using parent communication tools, as well as tips for making it go smoothly.  Bring your questions and we’ll try to get as many as we can during this exciting live event!

ISTE Bytes: a 2 Minute Overview of the GoogSmacked Panel (Presentation)

Tuesday, June 26, 10:15 – 11:15 am CDT
Location: W181a
Type of Event: Listen and Learn Multi Presentation
Presenters: Gayle Berthiaume, Jeff Bradbury, Jessica Cabeen, Rico D’Amore, Jen Giffen, Dr. Randy Hansen, Carl Hooker, Jennifer Hehotsky, David Lockart, Jenny Mgiera, James McCrary, Kim Polishuke, Diane Powell, Dr. Julene Reed, Dr. Mike Ribbel, Kenneth Sheldon, Beth Smith, Sean Wybrant, Mike Yakubovsky and me
Program Link: https://conference.iste.org/2018/program/search/detail_session.php?id=111014077

Join an ISTE Bytes session to get a preview of future presentations from the ISTE program. Enjoy 2-minute presentations on upcoming sessions.

Get Goog-Smacked: An Epic Smackdown of Gsuite Tools and Teaching Tips (Panel)

Wednesday, June 27, 10:00 -11:00 am CDT
Location: W375/Skyline
Type of Event: Listen and Learn Panel on Location and Streamed by ISTE
Presenters: Kasey Bell, Eric Curts, Matt Miller and I’ll be moderating!
Program Link: https://conference.iste.org/2018/program/search/detail_session.php?id=110856258

Join a high-energy panel of Google Suite pros to learn about best practices and tips from K-12. During this smackdown, panelists will share at least 50 tips and examples of how to use G Suite tools across all subject areas and grade levels, including some of the latest innovations.

Other Places I’ll Visit and Chances for You to Win Even If You’re Not at ISTE PowerSchool School of the Future

I’ll be visiting the PowerSchool School of the Future booth #1209. Last year, their classroom of the future was really cool but this year, they are leveling it up.

Link for information: https://www1.powerschool.com/iste-2018/

Acer

Booth 2002. I’ve been partnering with Acer to promote their STEAM Lab Makeover contest. Whether you’re going to ISTE or not, you’ll want to enter this contest!

Excited to announce the #STEAM Lab Makeover giveaway with Acer and @MicrosoftEDU !
TO ENTER: Tweet @AcerEducation and tag #AcerGivesBack and tell us why your school should win! T&Cs: https://t.co/yxsSbC11iD #Windows10Pro pic.twitter.com/sE7DISWeNQ

— Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) June 23, 2018

SMART Technologies

Booth 1203. I’ve been partnering with SMART promoting their Give Greatness program designed to recognize educators with classroom equipment. Nominate an educator who inspires you to give greatness and you can both win!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the companies mentioned have sponsored blog posts or podcast episodes with me in the past including: SMART, Acer, PowerSchool and Bloomz. The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This post, however, is not a sponsored post and this schedule is my own.

The post ISTE 2018: Where I’ll Be Presenting and Joining in the Learning #iste18 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Autonomy, Motivation, and Teaching Computer Science

Of the several courses I teach, my favorite course is call Honors Programming. Its a one semester course that is the first real programing course for my students. Its my favorite course because it is the one I have the most autonomy teaching and because I am very prepared to teach it. I extend this autonomy to my students as much as possible. I find that the end of year semester wrap up project is the best learning experience of the course. In large part that is because the students select their own projects and seem very motivated to learn what ever they need (and somehow missed during the semester) to get their projects to work.

My biggest frustration with the course is that students get a solid base, do one pretty interesting proj3ect and then they are done. At least for a while. Many take Advanced Placement CS (some AP CS A and some AP CS Principles) but both of those courses tend to be pretty constrained. They don't really allow for really big projects that as self selected.

What I really want to do is teach a follow on course that is purely project based. I want students to pick a major project that they are really interested in and commit to learning, on their own, the things they need to know to complete it. Yes, I want a whole classroom full of students learning different things and working on different projects. I've seen amazing projects come out of classrooms run this way over the years. I am tired of grading simple easy to create programs that are only mildly challenging.

I'm working on a proposal for this sort of course. My friend Doug Bergman runs some serious project based courses and is partly the inspiration for this. As are a couple of other teachers I have learned from over the years. It seems that students really get motivated to work on big projects, even scary projects, when those projects are meaningful to them. A motivated student will really put in a lot of work. They also pay attention when a teacher points them in a direction.

One plus about Doug is that he has written the book on this sort of thing. I'm learning a lot from Computer Science K-12: Imagining the possibilities!: Bringing creative and innovative Computer Science to your school  It really has me excited. (I recommend Doug's book BTW for anyone looking to create or expand a computer science program. Lots of good stuff there.

I'm looking for more ideas as well. Grading is a concern especially for administrators and parents. Doug has some stuff on that in his book but I'm always open to more ideas. I know that giving students too much autonomy scares some people. Keeping them on task and making steady progress can be an issue. Students often think they can goof off now or change priorities for what they think will be temporary needs and still get everything done at the end. They often guess incorrectly so keeping track is important.

In the long run, I think that this sort of opportunity with motivated and interested students can result in a lot of learning. It can also help build interest in computer science, help students learn to learn, and result in benefits for all concerned.

BTW, earlier today I heard an interesting, and I think related, report on NPR. A Lost Secret: How To Get Kids To Pay Attention

One key quote.

“Many studies have shown that when teachers foster autonomy, it stimulates kids' motivation to learn, tackle challenges and pay attention, Deci says. “

That’s what I am talking about!

Categories: Planet

Dare we disturb the universe?

Bluyonder Greg Whitby - 18 June, 2018 - 14:31

If you’ve been following the musings on bluyonder, you’ll know I’m no fan of the traditional model of schooling. The reason is pretty simple – the structure as it stands drives the learning. Those who have worked in schools will know the timetable controls everything – who learns what, when and with whom. Often in schools, the person who wields the most power is the one who is in charge of timetabling. Get that wrong and the system ends up coming to a grinding halt.

I’m often puzzled as to why we continue to prop up a system that constricts teacher autonomy and limits student choice. I recently heard of two examples that illustrate this point. The first was a Year 9 student who had to put in an expression of interest to take photography as an elective. The school would only deliver the subject if there were a minimum number of students. Needless to say, there was no photography this year. Similarly, at another high school, almost 40 students put their hand up to take a software development class. The school wouldn’t run two classes so they selected 30 students based on grades alone. So much for cultivating interests and passions!

It reminds me of the line from T.S Eliot’s Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock, do we ‘dare disturb the universe?’ As educators in today’s world, we are obligated to disturb the universe. If not, then our learners will never have the opportunities to discover new ones. It is difficult to fathom, in an age of connected technologies, that we are still afraid to step outside the square in pursuit of learning. All of this at a time when we want students to be risk-takers and creative thinkers.

As I’ve said so many times, this is a fundamental challenge to the teaching profession itself. A new age requires a new mindset and a new approach that inspires us to think outside the square.

 

 

Categories: Planet

Thinking in the Wild - Thinking routines beyond the classroom — The Learner's Way

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 17 June, 2018 - 20:55

Comments:

  • Despite this being a ‘thinking’ conference, despite us all being advocates for structured and scaffolded models of thinking, not one group had applied any thinking routines, utilised a collaborative planning protocol or talked about applying an inquiry model or design thinking cycle. It wasn’t that we didn’t know about them. It wasn’t that we don’t know how to use them. It wasn’t that we don’t value them. We had all the knowledge we could desire on the how to and the why of a broad set of thinking tools and anyone of these would have enhanced the process, but we did not use any of them. Why was this the case and what does this reveal about our teaching of these methods to our students? - Nigel Coutts

Tags: thinking, classroom, learner, routines, education, teaching, learning

by: Nigel Coutts

Categories: International News

Congressional App Challenge 2018

One of my students won for her district last year. She found it a very valuable experience. I highly support this challenge. Share it with high school students you know. What is the Congressional App Challenge?

The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is a congressional effort to encourage high school students to learn how to code. Last year, 200+ Members of U.S. Congress in 42 states conducted an App Challenge in their respective districts. Nationally, the contest inspired 4,956 students to code in 2017, and over 8,800 students cumulative in past 3 years.

Students (in teams of up to 4) code applications for the chance to:

  • get recognition from their Member of Congress,
  • win prizes,
  • display their app in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

How can your students get in on it?

Here's a 3-minute "explainer" video:
https://youtu.be/cnM-Bb3TmCU

We would love to see a diverse range of students shine on the national stage!

Website: www.CongressionalAppChallenge.us

In the first 3 years of the Congressional App Challenge, the program has yielded 605 App Challenges across 42 states. Over 2,400 apps have been created by nearly 9,000 students, and participant demographics surpass all industry diversity metrics, with young women representing 30% of all competitors. This year, the CAC initiative aims to reach even more constituents.

Categories: Planet

Inside the Mind of a Teacher Who Reads Body Language

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 16 June, 2018 - 08:24

Microexpressions and Relationships Matter

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

No one ever said I was omnipotent. I can’t see into the minds of the children I teach nor can I understand them sometimes. But I can figure out how to make them laugh while they learn.

I read the thousand tiny microexpressions that reveal the little things that make a big difference in our bondedness of being teacher and student.

I don’t need to know why they didn’t sleep last night to know they are tired from it and might have trouble concentrating.

And therein lies my gift.

Some people read books. I read people.

And for better or worse when I bounce into a room, I open the book of your face and take the plunge.

A note to the reader: Microexpressions matter.

 First, microexpressions are an important part of reading body language. While you could watch some episodes of Lie to Me (warning not for kids, some episodes have adult topics), you can learn about microexpressions other ways. While I was at the Army War College last week, I met someone in security who recommended the book What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People.

(In case you’re wondering, the week at the Army War College National Security Summit is non-attribution. That means, I can say I learned something AT the War College but I’m not allowed to use names.)

Writing journey. 

Second, this summer as one of my personal learning curiosities, I’m going through The Write-Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer. It is full of 400 writing activities. The blog post above is one of those activities and it opened up something I’ve been wanting to talk about for some time — microexpressions. (See 5 Ideas to Help You Grow to help set up your personal growth plan this summer.)

Relationships matter. 

Finally, I do truly think that an ability to read people can be used for great good (and for harm.) However, as a teacher, I’ve found that learning about body language and reading books like Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities that Make Us Influential by John Neffinger give me things to consider in my mind to help me understand the relational aspect of life including the body language I observe and others see me do.

In another book I’m reading, Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Henry Cloud, Dr. Cloud shares that as we go through life that we leave a wake. That life wake consists of the tasks we accomplish and the relationships we form. Both are important.

Some people complete a lot of tasks but nobody wants to be around them. Other folks are really nice people but you’d never ask them to organize a birthday party or lead a transformation team. To be successful, we need to have both.

Happy summer! It is nice to clear my head and start thinking after living through the madness of May.

Side Note: I’m sending some of these topics related to excellence also to my 80 Days of Excellence mailing list. If you want to join, click below. I may have to rename the list now that the 80 days are done, but I got such great feedback from them.

The post Inside the Mind of a Teacher Who Reads Body Language appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

WHY KIDS CAN’T STOP MOVING: THE NEUROSCIENCE BEHIND A STUDENT’S NEED TO MOVE

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 16 June, 2018 - 02:45

Suzanne Cresswell in the Top 10-Minute Teacher Show of 2018 (so far)

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Students have reasons for how they behave, particularly if they have learning differences and learn in unique ways. Occupational and physical therapist, Suzanne Cresswell, helps us understand children and why some of them just can’t stop moving. We’re counting them down! This is the #1 Episode of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher.

 

Sponsor: Advancement Courses has more than 200 graduate level online professional development courses for K-12 teachers. You can take these courses for continuing education, salary advancement, or recertification. They are practical courses that have teachers developing tangible resources to use in their classrooms immediately. Go to advancementcourses.com/coolcat and use the code COOL20 at checkout to get 20% off any course. With this coupon, a 3 grad credit course is only $359.

The #1 Show of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

This week we’re counting down the top shows of the season! Enjoy!

Want to know how to make your own podcast? Check out Podcasting Equipment Setup and Software I use on the 10-Minute Teacher for help!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The post WHY KIDS CAN’T STOP MOVING: THE NEUROSCIENCE BEHIND A STUDENT’S NEED TO MOVE appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

My GDPR Statement

Chris Betcher - 15 June, 2018 - 10:42

Like you, I have also been inundated with updated privacy policy emails lately in the wake of the new GDPR rules (General Data Protection Regulation). Everyone wants to tell me what they are doing to protect my data. To be honest, it’s not something that’s been bothering me, but thanks for clogging my inbox anyway.

It gets silly… I’ve heard that some schools are using GDPR as an excuse to avoid having things online, such as refusing to post photos or student work, not allowing students to use online services, etc. I’ve even heard it suggested that you can’t read blogs anymore as it infringes on the GDPR rules! I am pretty sure that was not the purpose of GDPR (and we certainly should not allow some rule designed for the European Union to be affecting schools as far away as New Zealand!)

I also heard that some bloggers are adding GDPR compliance statements to their blogs for fear of breaking the rules. Which I think is ridiculous, but here goes…

This blog does not, has never, and will never, use your personal information in any way. I don’t collect it, and if I did I wouldn’t share it.  The only time you “give” me your data is if you leave a comment here, but that’s entirely up to you and you can be anonymous if you want.  The full privacy policy is here.

If you have privacy concerns raised by the GDPR about leaving comments on this (or any other) blog, then here’s my advice. Don’t leave comments.

In fact, if you have privacy concerns raised by the GDPR about simply reading blogs, then here’s my advice. Don’t read blogs.

Of course, if you don’t like paranoid Europeans telling you what to do, then do whatever you want.

 

Header image CC BY-SA: GDPR and ePrivacy on Flickr by Dennis van der Hiejden

Categories: Planet

Free Virtual Mentorship for Emerging Leaders #AspiringLeaders

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 14 June, 2018 - 21:30

Jodie Pierpoint in the #2 Episode of 2018

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Emerging administrator leaders and administrators are participating in an emerging leadership virtual mentorship program created by Jodie Pierpoint and many volunteers. Learn about this program, how you can join in, and how you can become a better mentor. We’re counting them down! This is the #2 Episode of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher.

Sponsor: Advancement Courses has more than 200 graduate level online professional development courses for K-12 teachers. You can take these courses for continuing education, salary advancement, or recertification. They are practical courses that have teachers developing tangible resources to use in their classrooms immediately. Go to advancementcourses.com/coolcat and use the code COOL20 at checkout to get 20% off any course. With this coupon, a 3 grad credit course is only $359.

The #2 Show of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

This week we’re counting down the top shows of the season! Enjoy!

Want to know how to make your own podcast? Check out Podcasting Equipment Setup and Software I use on the 10-Minute Teacher for help!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The post Free Virtual Mentorship for Emerging Leaders #AspiringLeaders appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Choosing a Music Streaming Service

Chris Betcher - 14 June, 2018 - 15:19

It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that the music industry was still resisting any attempt at allowing consumers to access music in any way other that buying CDs. So many other industries have been disrupted by digital technology, and while a few notable ones stuck doggedly to their “principles” until they literally vanished (I’m looking at you Kodak and Blockbuster), most industries either embraced the disruption or eventually waved the white flag and gave in.

One of the industries that probably should have most logically embraced the opportunities of being digital was the music business. After all, with a product that is essentially just a collection of digital bits, the decision to move those bits directly to consumers via the Internet should have been a no brainer. Yet the record company cartels fought the inevitable digital transition for years.  Rarely have I seen such a group of people with so little vision for the future be so obstinate about protecting their incumbency.

Thanks in large part the disruption of Apple and the iTunes Store in popularising the idea of moving music off plastic disks and making it into downloadable files, the door was opened to companies like Spotify to avoid all that messy iTunes syncing nonsense and just let you listen to music directly on your device as a stream of bits.  And of course, without the pirate attitude of early filesharing services like Napster, it may have taken a lot longer to get to that point.

So here we are in 2018, and we are now almost spoilt for choice when it comes to streaming music services. Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Music seem to be the popular choices, but there are plenty of others to explore like Deezer, Pandora, IHeartRadio, and more.

I’ve been using Google Play Music for a while now, and I quite like it. While it was a bit rough when it started, it has definitely improved it’s recommendation algorithms over the past year or so (although sometime the stuff it serves up based on my apparent listening tastes still seem quite bizarre).  As a paid subscriber I also get access to YouTube Red, which apart from access to special YouTube Red limited content (which I don’t really watch anyway) it’s nice to not have ads appearing in YouTube.

My biggest gripe with Google Play Music is that it’s tied to a single Google account (my Gmail account), so it’s a nuisance when I’m logged in to another account, like my work account.  Yes I know can have multiple windows open, I understand that, but I think this idea that my content (files, music, photos, etc) is tied to an account and not an identity is ridiculous and a major problem with the way Google handles these things.  I am still me, and my content is still mine, regardless of which account I am logged into.

Like many people, I also have a free Spotify account.  Because it’s free I have to put up with ads, so I’ve tended not to use it as much as Play Music. But the predictions and recommendations of Spotify seemed to be quite good, and it’s a great way to discover new music or hear old favourites. However, what I really like with Spotify, is that I’m allowed to be just me. I can log into Spotify completely independently of any other accounts I may or may not be logged into. I like that a lot.

That independence carries across to devices as well, with Spotify also playing nicely with most major hardware platforms.  It plays nicely with Chromecast, which is important to me, but also with many other services and devices. And of course, because it’s so widely used by so many people, it’s pretty easy to share and access playlists with friends. I signed up for the three month trial and am digging it so far.

That said, it’s not perfect. For example, there is no option to upload your own music. I have a number of files that are simply not available online because they are not commercially available.  Old singles, obscure bands, recording of my kids when they were little, songs recorded by my musically talented daughter, and so on.  None of these are available online. Spotify has a Local Files option, so I could theoretically access these things from my local drive, but the files don’t sync across devices, so I’d have to copy them to every device I own, which not an ideal solution.  With Google Play I can simply upload these tracks to the service and access them via Play, so that’s a definite benefit.

I’m trying to decide which of these pros and cons are most important to me as I think about which streaming music service I want to continue using going forward.

I also need to factor in that Google Play Music is going away soon and is being replaced with a new service called YouTube Music.  I have been given an early look at YouTube Music and I’m not sure it’s grabbing me yet. The new pricing model removes the Ad-free YouTube option unless I pay more. I also don’t have the option to upload my own tracks (although I hear that feature may be coming). And while it can be used just an audio playing service, there’s also a focus on music videos which I don’t particularly care about. The interface also seems a little unintuitive (although maybe I just need to get used to it). Overall I haven’t warmed to YouTube Music yet.  It’s possibly another case of Google being too late to the music party – a party that is well and truly being led by Spotify at this point in time – with yet another confused strategy of multiple semi-great apps all competing for our attention.

There are other services I could consider, like Apple Music, but to be honest I am actively avoiding getting sucked into any ecosystem that Apple runs simply because of their proprietary approach to most things.  Deezer has the biggest library of music, and works on my Fitbit Ionic (if you consider the way Fitbit expects you to get music on the device to be “working”). And Amazon?  Meh. Probably not.

Right now, given that Google Play Music is going away, I’m leaning towards a switch to Spotify. Although if the New YouTube Music service adds the ability to upload my own files, then I could be swayed to stay in Google land, even if they do want an extra $2 a month to remove the ads from YouTube.

Wikipedia has a good comparison table of all the streaming music services if you’re interested.

Decisions, decisions!  So tell me… what do you use? And what advice do you have for me?  I’d love you to take the poll about your choice and leave me your thoughts in the Comments!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Header Image CC BY-SA:  Ian Hunter Rant Band on Flickr by bobistravelling

Categories: Planet

5 Free Tech Tools to Try in Your Social Studies Lessons (#3 Episode of Season 3)

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 13 June, 2018 - 21:30

Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Richard Byrne, author of Free Technology for Teachers, was a history teacher. It shows. In today’s show, he talks about top free tech tools to try in social studies lessons. This is one to share with your history department. We’re counting them down! This is the #3 Episode of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher.

Sponsor: Advancement Courses has more than 200 graduate level online professional development courses for K-12 teachers. You can take these courses for continuing education, salary advancement, or recertification. They are practical courses that have teachers developing tangible resources to use in their classrooms immediately.

Go to advancementcourses.com/coolcat and use the code COOL20 at checkout to get 20% off any course. With this coupon, a 3 grad credit course is only $359.

The #3 Show of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

This week we’re counting down the top shows of the season! Enjoy!

Want to know how to make your own podcast? Check out Podcasting Equipment Setup and Software I use on the 10-Minute Teacher for help!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The post 5 Free Tech Tools to Try in Your Social Studies Lessons (#3 Episode of Season 3) appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Reflections on Programming and Teaching

Mark Guzdial has an interesting post called Reflections of a CS Professor and an End-User Programmer in which he compares end-user programming and professional programming and how.if/what we teach for the two. I started a comment but decided it didn’t really fit there.

I'm pretty much in the same boat Mark is in. While I have been a professional programmer, these days I mostly write code to use as examples or to solve my own little problems.

I like to think that I bring some of what I learned and did as a professional into my little projects but it's hard sometimes. I was talking to another teacher today about a program that he wrote that we both use to track our course schedules. He gave me a new version and said to let him know if I  found anything weird because he was so used to it that he probably subconsciously ignores some things. That is why a lot of end user programs are only usable by the programmer. I know that some of my projects are the same -  not usable by anyone but me.

I'm starting to think that is a problem. But do I really want to spend the time to make them usable by others when the problems they solve are so personal and individual? Perhaps the best I can hope for is that they don't embarrass me too much if someone else sees the code.

I teach beginners. Real beginners who usually have no prior programming experience. I am not turning out professional developers. Oh sure some of them go on to internships with what they learn in my classes but I would not call them profession ready. I can’t teach them all that in a semester or even three semesters of high school. That doesn’t mean I can afford to teach them to be sloppy.

The basics I can deal with. Good naming, planning ahead, top down design, breaking down problems into small, manageable chunks, and some good error handling. I’m pretty careful about the code I show them. Some of my personal code I wouldn’t show them while others I would. I remember showing a game I was working on to some students once. One of the students remarked to the other “look at that! He’s already coding preparation for expansion.” That I can teach.

So where do I come down on this? Well, I think I can lead by example if I am careful. And maybe I should take my own code more seriously.

Categories: Planet

5 Ideas for Writing with Technology (#4 episode of Season 3)

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 12 June, 2018 - 21:30

Jacqui Murray in the #4 episode of the year so far

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Jacqui Murray shares how we can encourage an improvement in writing using technology. These creative ways will help you think about how to help children, particularly those who struggle with handwriting and typing. We’re counting them down! This is the #4 Episode of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher.

Sponsor: Advancement Courses has more than 200 graduate level online professional development courses for K-12 teachers. You can take these courses for continuing education, salary advancement, or recertification. They are practical courses that have teachers developing tangible resources to use in their classrooms immediately. Go to advancementcourses.com/coolcat and use the code COOL20 at checkout to get 20% off any course. With this coupon, a 3 grad credit course is only $359.

The #4 Show of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

This week we’re counting down the top shows of the season! Enjoy!

Want to know how to make your own podcast? Check out Podcasting Equipment Setup and Software I use on the 10-Minute Teacher for help!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The post 5 Ideas for Writing with Technology (#4 episode of Season 3) appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

School Year is Over, Time to Get Ready for Next Year

It is teacher wrap up day at Bishop Guertin. The warning bell for homeroom just rang but of course the students were done on Friday so there are no students coming into my room. It feels a bit off.

I started planning for next year already. Over the weekend I got about half way through creating my day by day schedule for Advanced Placement computer science principles. Oh who am I kidding. I got a lot of it done but probably not half way. And I'll spend a lot more time reading through all the lesson plans and will probably make more adjustments. I learned so much teaching it this past year.

I've got to do the same for Mobile Application Programming and I have less to start with there. At least I have last year’s experience to build on. I didn’t really have that last summer.

Honors Programming is probably the easiest to plan for but I have work there. I have already organized a lot of that but want to write some new things. This is my favorite course to teach so I may leave working on it as my reward for finishing the others.

I feel like I have plans better laid for my summer organization than ever before. We'll see if I can follow the plan. I really want next year to be the best year of teaching ever.

Categories: Planet

5 Formative Assessment Strategies to Help with Classroom Management

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 11 June, 2018 - 21:30

The #5 Show of Season 3 with Mike Roberts

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

We need more strategies than fist to five or thumbs up thumbs down. Teacher Mike Roberts give five strategies that can help us with formative assessment AND classroom management. We’re counting them down! This is the #5 Episode of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher.

Sponsor: Advancement Courses has more than 200 graduate level online professional development courses for K-12 teachers. You can take these courses for continuing education, salary advancement, or recertification. They are practical courses that have teachers developing tangible resources to use in their classrooms immediately. Go to advancementcourses.com/coolcat and use the code COOL20 at checkout to get 20% off any course. With this coupon, a 3 grad credit course is only $359.

The #5 Show of Season 3 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

This week we’re counting down the top shows of the season! Enjoy!

Want to know how to make your own podcast? Check out Podcasting Equipment Setup and Software I use on the 10-Minute Teacher for help!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The post 5 Formative Assessment Strategies to Help with Classroom Management appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

The trouble with Twitter — The Learner's Way

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 11 June, 2018 - 08:25

Comments:

  • Twitter is a great place for educators to share ideas. It has become my go to place when I am looking for something to read, a new idea or some inspiration. It is a great avenue for sharing practice, asking questions and building a community. 
     
    But . . .
     
    . . . Twitter has some problems and these seems to be growing. To get the most out of Twitter a degree of caution is advised. - Nigel Coutts

Tags: education, learning, tools, teaching, resources

by: Nigel Coutts

Categories: International News

The educational blogosphere

Bluyonder Greg Whitby - 9 June, 2018 - 10:03

This blog is more than a decade old and some 500 posts later it is easy to ask what’s the point of blogging? Prolific blogger Seth Godin explains it this way:

Other than writing a daily blog (a practice that’s free, and priceless), reading more blogs is one of the best ways to become smarter, more effective and more engaged in what’s going on. The last great online bargain.

Good blogs aren’t focused on the vapid race for clicks that other forms of social media encourage. Instead, they patiently inform and challenge, using your time with respect.

For me, blogging has been an important avenue for shaping ideas, clarifying thinking and hearing from those with a vested interest in education. The fact that people take the time to read and comment reinforces two things for me. The first is that we are part of a connected community. The second is that learning is a collaborative process. I couldn’t begin to list the number of educational blogs written by teachers, leaders, students and even parents. Each person gives us a different perspective and makes a unique contribution to the broader discussion, which as we know, is global now.

What impresses me most about the blogosphere is just how generous people are with their time and ideas. Their intent is never about personal gain but how small contributions can lead to transformational change. We can all make a difference somewhere through our circle of influence (see Stephen Covey).

I feel privileged to be part of the educational blogging community. Thank you to all of those who continue to push the boundaries for today’s learners and importantly, choose to challenge and educate the rest of us.

 

Categories: Planet

The Push and Pull of Leadership

The Principal of Change George Couros - 27 May, 2018 - 23:24

Ugh…I love this quote so much from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“:

Look at the weaknesses of others with compassion, not accusation. It’s not what they’re not doing or should be doing that’s the issue. The issue is your own chosen response to the situation and what you should be doing. If you start to think the problem is “out there,” stop yourself. That thought is the problem.

This reminded me of a conversation I had years ago with a principal who was complaining about their teachers not coming along. As he complained, I asked, “If you are the leader and they are not moving forward, could the issue be with you and not with them?”

The comment was not to lay blame but to remind the principal that leadership was about leading.  How good of a leader can one be if no one is ready to follow?

Instead of laying blame on others on why they won’t move forward, ask questions, get to know where they are coming from, and go to them.  Leadership is both push and pull.  It is not about getting someone to jump from A to Z, but finding out where the point A is, what that looks like, and sometimes walking beside them to help them build confidence and competence along the way to get to that point B.  After that, point C doesn’t seem so bad.

Of course, this is not to say the individual doesn’t have a responsibility for their growth either.  But understand, you cannot change anyone. You can only create the conditions where change is more likely to happen.

Just remember that the next time you get frustrated with someone seemingly not moving forward, don’t try to figure out what is wrong with them or their attitude. Figure out what you can do to support them on their journey.  Complaining about what is wrong will never make it right.

Categories: Planet

4 Reflection Questions for the End of the School Year

The Principal of Change George Couros - 25 May, 2018 - 10:23

Recently, I wrote the post “3 Reminders for the End of the School Year“, and asked for suggestions from readers. Joann Merrick sent me the following thoughts via email:

Some thoughts about the end of the year…

To me this is a time to reflect…Whatever your position in education, think about your successes and areas that didn’t work out so well. This is also time to gather feedback from those you serve. Teachers could ask their students for ideas on their programs and their teaching. Principals could ask the same of their teachers…I have always found I gained so much valuable feedback by asking a few questions.

With her permission, I wanted to build on her ideas, especially on the importance of reflection.  We move forward not by only looking to the future, but learning from the past.

With that being said, here are four questions that I think would be helpful as you go into the summer break, but also as you start a new year.

  1. What did I do well this year? Too often when reflecting our work, we start with what went wrong as opposed to what went right.  I am a huge advocate of always starting with strengths, which doesn’t mean neglecting weaknesses but starting from a positive place. When asking went well, ensure you ask why it went well.  Take those lessons and apply them to the places where you need to grow.This leads to question two.
  2. Where do I need to grow? Although starting with strengths is crucial, we need to identify what are areas of growth and how you will address them. Instead of picking on several spaces that you can improve on, try to pick one, at most two, and think about ways you can adjust them.  If you focus on every weakness you have, none of your deficit areas will improve.  Find a point of emphasis and build on it.    For both questions, I would encourage you to look at the “8 Characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset” image.  Many educators have used this as a space to focus on places where they would like to grow.
  3. What things will I challenge myself with next year? Setting some goals based on questions one and two are where looking back meets moving forward. If they see you taking risks in your learning, they will be more comfortable making their own. What are some of the things that you will try next year that will push you out of your comfort zone?  Not only would it be powerful to find those challenges yourself, but share how you are promoting your growth with colleagues, and more importantly, students.
  4. How will all of these answers impact the learners I serve? None of the previous questions matter if they have no impact on the learners you serve. Why I do not use the word “student” here is that these questions should not be reserved for teachers specifically, but administrators and central office people as well.  The importance of each person in education is that their growth should lead to the improvement and development of the learners around them.  If it doesn’t impact the learners you serve, we are spending time on doing things that do not give us anything in return.

Too often, teachers are asked to do something without watching administrators do the same.  If any school administrator is looking to use any of these questions or a modification of them, please be willing to share your answers as well to lead the process by example, not authority.

Categories: Planet

3 Reminders For the End of the School Year

The Principal of Change George Couros - 23 May, 2018 - 09:54

The end of the year can be a stressful time for educators, both work wise and emotionally.  As a principal and teacher, there was always this “I forgot to pack something for my trip” anxiety that I had at the end of the year. What did I forget to do? What needs to be done?  What am I missing?  Add that to a million things teachers seemingly have to do during that time; it is a tough time of year.

As you go into the end of the year and have that break, here are a few little reminders:

  1. Not all students look forward to the summer break. Although many students celebrate summer vacation, some miss the routine of school and the relationships that school provides that they may not receive to the same extent elsewhere.  That time away from the routine can be daunting so try to check in with students to give them some extra attention before they get into the break.  This leads into the next suggestion.
  2. Find time to connect personally with each student you teach. For many schools, the end of the year means “awards season” (I have some strong thoughts about that), and although some students feel they get some special recognition, for many, this time leaves them dispirited.  Little conversations with students to let them know they are appreciated can make a huge difference. I still remember in grade 4, as a student, our teacher Miss Butler, wrote a personal note to every single student in her class, that I can still remember to this day.  I had won some awards as a student, but I have cherished nothing more than I did that genuine show of appreciation.  That was the only time I had received something like that as a student, but it shouldn’t be an anomaly.  Writing cards for every student, which would be especially hard in high school, is not necessarily the only way this can be done, so take the time to show that appreciation.  Some may see this as a waste of time, but I see it as an investment into your students. You might not see the payoff, but believe me, it will happen.
  3. It is okay for you to take a break. I always see tweets on Facebook posts getting on educators for looking forward to summer break.  Things like, “don’t look it as 20 days until the break, but 20 days to make a difference”, are fantastic in spirit, but they already add to the pile of teacher guilt that so many have.  I don’t see any profession guilt people for having a break more than I do in education.  People always need doctors, but rarely do I see Facebook posts guilting them about holidays.  Maybe we can see it as 20 days to make a difference AND until you have a break.Education is taxing emotionally, mentally, and even physically.  If you do not practice self-care, eventually, there will be nothing left for you or your students in the future.  Spend time with family, do fun things, or whatever. Just be okay with recharging batteries. I promise you that the students at the beginning of next school year will need you at 100%.

These are just the suggestions that I have in my head, but I would love more reminders from educators around the world on how to make the most of the school year. If you have any suggestions that are positive and lift people up during this hard part, it would be greatly appreciated if you shared in the comments.

Again, to every educator out there, thank you for all that you do. You work is NEVER appreciated the way it should be, but your impact is immeasurable.

Thank you!

Categories: Planet
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