In the beginning of this year, I started a new job as a Reading Coach for a K-8 school. I asked about how PLC's ran, what worked, what didn't work, etc. During that discussion, my Principal asked how we could improve the communication between administration and the teachers asking questions or needing feedback during PLC's if they weren't able to attend.
In previous years, the Reading Coach had a great PLC agenda/notes template, but knowing when they were filled out or even if there were questions was hard for administration to keep up with. Our Principal really wanted to know if she could get a notification each time a PLC was held, but using a Google Team Drive, she'd have to just check the folders every day or watch the activity panel. We all know that is a time consuming task and not very productive. I knew we could use our GSuite tools to do it, just needed to figure out the best way to use them effectively! I'm sure there are add-ons and extensions for this, but we needed to keep it simple to be productive.
I racked my brain and searched for easy solutions, I knew there had to be a way!
I guess I never really stopped thinking about it, then it literally came to me first thing the next morning as if I was still working on the problem in while I slept! Here's what I did...
Thanks for coming today! Here is the link to my presentation in case you missed something or want to do some research on your own. Keep the conversation going on Twitter using the hashtag #GSuiteUDL and show us how you implement technology and UDL in your classroom this year. There will be a follow up blog post for those who weren't able to attend the session in person. #sharingiscaring
Click the image below for more information on UDL and CAST.
What is #FOMO? Fear of Missing Out!
I have it bad right now since I think everyone I know is in Chicago for #ISTE18!
But that's okay... I have already learned so much just by using the online resources available during the conference. This post is a guide to reducing your #FOMO and look at the positive side of things!
2. Save Time & Money
For a minute yesterday, I actually started checking flight prices and single day pass prices since a friend of mine was staying in a hotel all by herself. Really, I wanted to jump on a plane to go for at least one day. Being that it was going to cost about $600+ to go, I decided I would just hang at home with my family and learn from afar. Not to mention the amount of time I'd have to spend traveling from South Carolina to Chicago.
3. Try These Online Resources!
Here's the best part! SO many of the presenters are well aware that many people can't be there, so they share their resources for free!
This is the best way to keep up with Twitter chats and other things being shared at #ISTE18 and #NotAtISTE. As you can see in the GIF here, it's always moving. If you've never used it before, it can be a little overwhelming, but you'll get used to it! I just scan the feed and click on it when it's something I want to explore further. I do suggest searching as I did with #ISTE18 OR #NotAtISTE18 so you can see both in one column.
On Monday night, Tara Martin @taramartinedu hosted the #TLAP twitter chat from #ISTE18 and this is how I kept up with the conversations. It felt like being there even if just for an hour. If you've never tried it, now's a good time!
One way you can enjoy the sessions for free is by using Periscope. I didn't fully appreciate this site until Sunday when I started watching some of my Twitter friends recording presentations for the Twitterverse. Love you guys BTW!
PassTheScopeEDU is a site created to share some of the great periscopes from #ISTE18
You could also just search Periscope for ISTE sessions and watch them live or after they've ended. Just make sure you search #ISTE18 to get the appropriate videos to populate, there are some weird ones out there!
How Can I Get the Most of a Conference without Going?
I started by creating a Google Keep list and titled it #ISTE18 so it would create a category. I use Google Keep because it's easy to add quick links in a checkbox style list. If I want to transfer my list to a Google Doc, I can open a new document and use the Keep Notepad (found under the Tools menu) and add it all in a quick second!
Next, I went to the ISTE website and looked at the Schedule at a Glance so I knew what I wanted to check out. You could also use the program search by clicking the "attend" tab and add to a digital tote (if you are a member) or just save the links to the presentation resources. It may take some time to scan through everything, but it will be worth it!
The most important thing is look for the resources you want to learn more about. You could get into information overload if you save everything just to have it.
Share, Share, Share!
Whatever you get from your #NotAtISTE experience, share what you find! #SharingIsCaring
Enjoy your PD in your PJ's! If you are still really sad about not going to ISTE18 you can start planning now to attend next year in Philadelphia!
I'll get there one day, for now I'll see you on Twitter and Google+ sharing the goodies I find. See you soon!
Relaxation & Rejuvenation
Everyone thinks of relaxation and rejuvenation a little differently. My preference is to turn off my alarm clock and spend as much time at the pool or beach as possible. Netflix binge watching is also at the top of my list, especially after a long day in the sun with friends or family.
Since summer does go quickly, I like to create a "Summer Bucket List" in the beginning of June and add something different to my calendar each day. Since I have kids, my husband and I let them help with our selections too.
If having plans every day is too much for you during the summer, plan just a couple days a week so time doesn't get away from you. Pinterest has lots of ideas to search through if this is something you'd like to add so you start back to school in August relaxed and rejuvenated!
Recommended reading for more ideas:
The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom by Dan Tricarico
*This was my favorite pool reading last summer!
Last summer, I joined Kasey Bell's Teachable course to prepare myself to become a Google Certified Trainer. I figured if I was serious about it, I may as well prepare well the first time so I didn't have to apply more than once. It's not free, but it's worth it! I was able to apply and get accepted on the first try thanks to Kasey and her amazing resources. This summer, she has lots of courses available!
You'll have to act fast for the best deal, enrollment closes at midnight CST on June 10th.
Click the button below to join today!
Here are some of the other online learning options I've looked into:
If I wasn't already signed up for 3 of Kasey's courses, one virtual course through College of Charleston, and one week of being a counselor for Engaging Creative Minds... then I'd sign up for one of these for sure!
Looking for other reading ideas? Just search Amazon for Dave Burgess Publishing and you'll have plenty of amazing books to choose from!
It's almost the end of my Spring Break, so now's a great time for catching up on some reading! As I was Reading Matt Miller's Ditch That Textbook I had an idea for how students can write Blogs without using a blogging site. This may be a way to get the same results without stressing teachers with learning a new program just by using Google Slides (which most of the students already know how to do) instead. I have to remember that not all teachers like technology as much as I do. 😉
"Blogging" with Google Slides
In his A-to-Z list of ideas, Matt says, "Turn student writing into a digital and collaborative activity. Students publish blog posts and classmates read others' work and add comments." When I think digital and collaborative, I think of the amazing power of GSuite for Education.
If you want them to be able to print them or save as a PDF book at the end of year, change the slide size to be paper size. I usually change it to be 8 x 10.5 inches so it fits nicely on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper. You can change this setting by going to File Page Setup Custom then type in 8 and 10.5 in the boxes making sure it says "inches" after the measurements. The GIF below will walk you though the steps.
Note: If you want to make a GIF yourself, using Gyazo GIF is an easy way to do it!
Google for Education Certified Trainer
Google for Education Certified Trainer!
This journey started in April of 2016 when I decided to start the process to become a Level 1 Google Certified Teacher. I began the online tutorials through the Google Training Center thinking it would be really easy to get through those. I was wrong! Going through those training modules taught me so much more than I thought they would. Apparently, I wasn't nearly as good as I thought I was. 😉
Keep in mind... When Google gives you 3 hours to take a test, make sure you give yourself 3 hours of uninterrupted time to get it done. I actually had to take the Level 1 test twice because I tried to take it the first time on my couch with 2 kids and my husband watching TV... I didn't even get through all the content! Well, I learned my lesson and locked my family out of my office for 3 hours to take it a second time. It still took me 2.5 hours to get it done. I learned so much through that process, I jumped into the Level 2 Google Certified Teacher training. This time, I knew better and locked my family out of my office again for the test and passed it the first time.
Google Teacher Tribe Inspiration!
Kasey mentioned having a Google Certified Trainer Course during one of the episodes. I've always loved attending and providing PD, so I figured it was worth the time, money and effort to jump into the course and see what I could do. I joined at the end of the school year so I could work on it during the summer. I found it really helpful to create a Bullet Journal spread to keep me on track during the journey!
Do What You Love!
Thanks for reading!
A Standing Date with FETC
I've been going to FETC for as long as I can remember. I really don't know how many times I've gone since I started teaching in 1997.
I started going when it was the Florida technology conference since I lived in Orlando at the time. Once I moved out of state, I decided I would still make it a standing date every year.
It's All About The People
It doesn't have to be this way!
The first time I saw this, I thought it was hilarious, because it's often not far from the truth.
Professional development is one thing I'm very passionate about. I've always been that teacher that purposely signed up for sessions to make teaching easier and more fun. Once technology conferences were an option, I was hooked! That's what made me pick this book ... to help teachers feel the same as I do.
Inspiration from "The Four O'Clock Faculty"
" A ROUGE guide to revolutionizing Professional Development"
Here are some of my favorite thoughts from Rich Czyz's book!
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina.
I have experience teaching K-8 special ed. and General Ed. as well as instructional & technology coaching. Since I enjoy technology more than some, I started this blog for educators who love it too. Thanks for visiting!