Wednesday, February 8, 2012

TCEA 2012 - Day 2

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It was a very inspirational day and I am ready to CHANGE THE WORLD!  Are you with me?!  Don't be alarmed or overwhelmed by the amount of information I share each day during a conference like TCEA.  Browse, bookmark, cut, paste, skim, steal...  Do whatever you need to do to get a little something out of my experiences.  I put it all out there - take what you want and enjoy!!!

The best part of my day was at the TEC-SIG luncheon where I listened to one of the most dynamic speakers I have ever heard.  Kevin Honeycutt inspired me, made me laugh, made me cheer and WOKE-ME-UP.  He said some things that are going to be hard for teachers and administrators to hear.  He said some things that might ruffle some feathers.  Here were some of my favorites...
  • Teach brains...don't get distracted by the package.  (Which SO MANY OF US DO!)
  • Technology isn't a threat - it's an extension.  (Which means QUIT FIGHTING IT!  EMBRACE IT!)
  • Have a good idea?  Have another one!  (Quit complaining about people stealing your ideas.  KEEP CREATING!)
  • Your name is your brand!  (Kids need to know they are already building their brand - anything you put "out there" is with you FOR LIFE.)
  • If the leader doesn't do it, the leader can't lead.  (Administrators - we're talking to YOU!)
  • Don't create a prison.  Create a playground.
  • We have new spices.  We don't have to make meatloaf anymore!  (LOVE this!)
  • Make yourself rewindable.  (Record yourself teaching a lesson that is historically tough so kids can rewind and re-watch again and again to "get it.")
  • When kids passed paper notes, we didn't ban paper!  (in response to teachers complaining about laptops in the classroom...can't see what they're doing in the back?!  THEN GET UP!)
  • Don't ask your technology department if they can...ask them how they will.  (Love this!  BISD teachers - USE ME!  You know I rarely say no!)
  • We have to teach our kids how to L2L2L - learn to love to learn.  (powerful!)
  • Go digital dumpster diving.  (Ha!  You have to get your hands dirty!)
  • And my personal favorite...
    • I could change education in one night if I could break into every classroom and burn every file cabinet.  (Can I get an AMEN?!)
Another session I attended touched on a topic that I am really interested in right now - Project Based Learning.  I have posted a few things about PBL but am really looking forward to exploring this teaching method and modeling some lessons at my campuses.  (After the test, of course.)  The presenter for this session was actually a rep from Verizon and here were the best things she shared...
  • With Project Based Learning, you have to start with a "burning question."  This is a REAL WORLD problem that the kids are going to work to solve.
  • Let the students research and brainstorm to determine what social problem they want to address - they need to OWN their learning.
  • Have a clear sketch in your head how this will look - timelines, assessments...
  • PBL is intellectually messy.  (I LOVE THIS!)
    • You have to let go of a quiet class.
    • You have to accept organized chaos.
    • And you have to think past a one-class period lesson.  Think cross disciplinary, get other teachers involved, meet periodically... (What?!  Work TOGETHER?!  I know...crazy!) 
  • THERE - HAS - TO - BE - A - SHIFT - IN - THE - WAY - YOU - TEACH!  (Did you get that?!)
  • Check out these sites to get pumped up...  :)
Did you know Facebook has over 845 million users.  WOW!  I attended a session titled "Get them in your Facebook."  It's a controversial subject - allowing the use of Facebook in schools.  In fact, it's a hot topic of discussion right now in BISD.  I have created a Facebook page for EdTech Chic.  Click here and Like my page - this is a new endeavor for me and I am looking forward to letting you all know how it goes!  A few key points made in the session today...

  • This tool is not for use with students under the age of 13.  But, it is a great tool to communicate with parents and colleagues.
  • Meet the parents where they are - and they're on Facebook! 
  • "Connect the classroom and the dinner table!"
  • Create a fan page - this does NOT allow access to your personal account and you can still set privacy settings.
  • Here are some ways you can use Facebook professionally...
    • Share classroom news.
    • Announce classroom events.
    • Display classroom projects.
    • Remind parents of upcoming events or assignments.
    • Post examples of students learning.
    • Immediately post pics of field trips.  (with parent permission of course!)

Last but not least...Project Share.  Project Share is an online learning community that the state of Texas has rolled out with little to no explanation, training, background, or vision.  We've all just kind of been waiting to see who's going to tackle it first and when they're going to show us how to use it.  Today I attended a session that opened my eyes to the possibility to using project share with students.  You can create courses, assign students lessons, create blogs & wikis, comment, email, make announcements, and even administer online tests and quizzes.  Stay tuned for more on this...I have a feeling this could be BIG!

Check back to see what I learn tomorrow.  It's going to be another full day and you won't want to miss it!!!

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