Monday, May 1, 2017

Off to a Fresh Start with Blogging Buddies!

Looking back on my previous posts, you'll notice 5+ years have passed since I've been blogging here. Time and time again I've been tempted to jump back in, but something always seems to divert me. No longer, however. Now is the time to start again.

Why now? What was the spark that ignited my blogging aspirations again? Enter ISTE's Ed Tech Coaches Blogging BuddiesWe're a group of 50 people signed up from 8 different countries and 19 different States in the U.S. who are blogging about education, educational technology, and coaching. We've been arranged into smaller groups to to connect, network, and learn from each other via blogging. We just received our buddy lists and I can't wait to get started learning with Katie, Leslie, Rahila, and Knikole!

This community of edtech bloggers reminds me of another wonderful blog sharing community, Quadblogging. Quadblogging was the brainchild of @DeputyMitchell, whom I met at the 2010 Google Teacher Academy in London. With Quadblogging, classes sign up to be blogging buddies. Students at my former school found this to be rewarding as we connected with other classes from around the world through our student showcase blog

Interested in jumpstarting your blog? Or maybe your blog is flourishing, but you'd love to continue to build your PLN?  Consider joining us - it's not too late to sign up and learn with a group of like-minded blogging buddies.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Screencasting is a SNAP

I gave a training today to a group of teachers on the topic of screencasting. The response was terrific! All teachers seemed to walk away with ideas for screencasts that both they and their students could create. They agreed with me that student created screencasts were particularly powerful. Inspired by, we have begun to build our own library of math tutorials (to be shared soon).

Until now, I have always used Jing for screencasting. I decided to try out Screencast-O-Matic for this training and was pleased with the result. Getting started with Screencast-O-Matic was a SNAP!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Learning I LOVE to see!

As I walk around my school, I notice a variety of learning taking place. Sure, any learning makes me smile, but when I see students engaged in the following activities, my heart is truly warmed:

1. Blogging - reading, writing, sharing ideas, making connections. So simple, yet so powerful.
2. Content Creation - students demonstrating their understanding in new ways, in their way. I especially love the pride you see on their face when they realize the amazing talent they have and the quality of work they can produce.
3. Getting Lost in Exploration - such as using Google Earth to explore our amazing world just for fun, wondering what it would be like to live on the other side, curiosity.
4. Collaboration - because we learn from each other and together we are better than alone.

Happy Valentine's Day to all learners!
Photo credit: Flickr user qthomasbower

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Maps are Like Documents...

View Our Holiday destinations in a larger map

After seeing Tom Barrett present at Google Teacher Academy UK '10, I'll never forget that Maps are like documents: we can collaborate on them... We did just that when a class of our students in Virginia worked with Ian Pratt's students in the UK. The topic was Holiday Destinations. It is interesting to compare the travel locations on the map above. All the blue placemarks are from the students in the UK. The red placemarks were created by Kay Conners' students here in Virginia. What a great way for our students to connect experiences with each other, even across the pond.

Next up... Mapping the Olympics!

Monday, September 27, 2010

...and then I met Maps

I’ve been a Google Earth geek for a number of years. I used to think Google Earth was the be all and end all... and honestly, I still do. After all, what could ever rival a breathtaking view of Victoria Falls? Or the opportunity to create your own placemark, customized with embeded images, links to Discovery Education videos, and text that looks just right only after manipulating html code? And who could deny that touring within Google Earth is out of this world? Fascinating!

But just don't forget about Maps, boasting its own spectacular attributes. Similar to the nature of Google Docs, you can collaborate on Google Maps! Ever try Google Maps street view? Here's one well worth a look (courtesy of Mr. Pratt, innovative educator) Now that’s the next best thing to being there! Sure, Earth has its own street view capability, but I have to give this one to Maps!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Just the Beginning...

It has already been six weeks since I attended the Google Teacher Academy in London. What a day - filled with incredible information, amazing networking, and all taking place at Google London, right down the road from Buckingham Palace. It was definitely the best professional development event I've ever attended.

You may wonder how I could possibly consider this one day a main turning point of my career. The day itself was so much more than the 12 hours we were there. Although every minute of those 12 hours was amazing, it was just the beginning...

The beginning of what? The beginning of a rich collaborative network, opportunities to connect classrooms, worldwide friendships, and the inside scoop on all things Google. This all began on 7/29/10. Thanks to technology, the learning and relationships will continue and will strengthen.

And that's the greatest power of technology in my opinion: the power to connect ideas and to connect people. That will be the focus of this blog.