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Showing posts from 2018

EdCamp Elmbrook 21

  We had out 5th annual EdCamp this past Saturday and it was a very different PD experience. Due to the pandemic, we help the EdCamp virtually. That meant that anyone across the globe could attend. While we usually only have educators from out region attend, we had educators across the nation and in some in Canada attend. In addition, we had an attendee from Turkey! The conference was conducted using Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms for the sessions. The team did a great job of organization and management. I could go on, but this is my first blog post in a while and I'd like to keep it brief. Below you'll find the session board for the day with notes docs linked. We had some wonderful sessions and the notes documents house some wonderful thoughts and resources. So, I recommend checking them out. Although this EdCamp was only for the morning, there was a lot of learning to be had. We had no technology issues from our end as organizers but I can imagine participants may have had iss

A World of Learning in 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, I think of all of the great resources that have helped me reflect on and improve my practice. Although the year is over, I know these will continue to be wonderful resources to come back to in 2019 and beyond to continue growing. Ive inserted single slides so that the links would be live unlike a static image. So, please click on the names to access these amazing resources! Blogs Whether I read them on my phone or laptop, I always love reading the stories of bloggers. Blogs are the number one way I've grown my PLN starting with the first IMMOOC run by George Couros and Katie Martin back in the day. BTW I'm still looking for the best way to curate the blogs that I follow on a mobile device so that I can keep up to date rather than relying on bookmarks and email newsletters. Who's got a good tool for that? Presentations I was lucky enough to attend several conferences this year. I heard some great presentations and had lots of great

Thank You for Amplifying My Voice

Student Voice is a major buzzword in educational circles. A primary use of educational tools is to amplify student voice in the classroom and broadcast it to the world. As educators, I feel we need to not forget the importance of our voice. We all have stories and lessons we have learned. Just like a classroom can benefit from hearing the voice of every student, the educational community can benefit from hearing the voice of all educators and their experiences. I have been publishing this blog for 4 years now. It has been great for reflection. Although it doesn’t reach a very large audience, it has allowed my voice and story to reach others across the globe. This year, I have been extremely lucky to have my voice further amplified. But, it has not simply been due to technology. It has been due to a number of wonderful people who thought what I had to say could be of some benefit to a larger audience. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those individuals. It has probably

The Fast & The FabLaburios

I’ve got a brief reprieve tonight to write this post so I’m taking advantage of it. Otherwise, it won’t happen until 2019. In our physics classroom, one of the goals is to have students use maker projects to practice the design and engineering process. Some of these projects have included LittleBits powered cars and boats. Most of these projects have been created using materials students brought in by students like plastic cups, CDs, popsicle sticks, and the like. So the ultimate construction process tended to be fairly imprecise. This year our school has a new Fabrication Lab with a variety of different tools which students can use to create. These included (but are not limited to) 3D printers, laser cutter, video production room, and lots of CNC tools for use on woods, plastics, and metals. There are so many possibilities in this space. As this is a new space, our Tech Ed department was looking for classes to be guinea pigs in the space. So, my co-teacher Andelee Espin

UDL Smackdown

This week a team of teachers from my school presented at the Convening on Personalized Learning. Our presentation was on UDL (Universal Design for Learning) strategies and tools we use in the classroom. The format of our presentation was inspired by something we saw at ISTE 18 called Get Goog-Smacked: An Epic Smackdown of G Suite Tools and Teaching Tips which was presented by Kasey Bell, Eric Curtis, Matt Miller, and Vicky Davis. The Smackdown structure was high energy and introduced a lot of different resources in a limited amount of time. So, we appropriated the Smackdown structure for our presentation All Means All: An Epic Smackdown of Tools to Increase Equity for All Learners. The team included Special Education teacher and department head Andelee Espinosa , english teacher Shannon Maki , special education teacher Stephanie Radomski, special education teacher Ryan Milbrath, associate principal Matt Schroeder , and myself. In organizing our presentation we categorized our t

110 Lab Reports in the Queue

This year I am teaching an overload. That means I’m currently teaching 4 out out 4 blocks each day. With all of this work, my blogging has had to take a backseat. Luckily, they are all the same class. That means that I don’t have to set-up different labs for different classes without a break to do this. The downside to having all the same class is that when students do turn in a lab report for me to grade, I have 110 to grade. In a week where we do 2 labs (not unusual in the block), the amount of work to correct can become quite daunting. I can’t just leave these labs sit in the cloud ungraded because they will pile up quickly. Also, I am all about timely feedback. I want to have labs corrected within 2 days of them being turned in. This post in not monumental, but I wanted to share out how I’ve streamlined my practice to become efficient at grading and feedback by leveraging Google Slides and Canvas LMS. At the start of this school year, I had the intention of incorporating 1 poin

Closed Captioning in Pear Deck

When I learned about Closed Captioning in Google Slides from Kasey Bell & Matt Miller , I was excited but realized I wouldn't be using it much because I use Pear Deck for my Slides presentations. Well, it turns out that we can all use Closed Captioning in our Pear Deck Presentations as well! If you're not aware of the new captioning feature in Slides , it can be turned on from the presenter menu in presentation mode. You do need to have a microphone either external or internal turned on for the feature to work. It presents live text of what is being heard by the mic to the screen. Now to access this same feature in Pear Deck, it's pretty simple. You just have to click at the right time. In the video below, you'll see that if you click on the CC in the Slides Presenter bar that pops up as the presentation loads into Pear Deck, you'll get the lived closed captioning! As you can see the CC is not yet perfect and I was using my internal computer mic. But i

Portfolio for Progressions

This is the 5th school year I’ve been having students work with online portfolios. With the help of my co-teaching partner Andelee Espinosa , I have been changing the model up a bit every year to have it make more sense with what what we’re looking for students to communicate in class and to the outside world. This year, I’m working with a new curriculum aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. The unit design is focused on starting with an initial observation we are trying to understand. Throughout the course of the unit, students gain understandings that better help them describe what was occurring in that initial observation. This new unit framework has led me to rethink how we structure our content specific pages in our portfolio. I used to have students separate content pages by overarching outcomes and provide artifacts demonstrating each. With the new unit design, I’m trying out having students create unit pages which track the course of their work in that unit. The uni

To Template or Not to Template

After school last week, I was lamenting to my co-teacher Andelee Espinosa that there still wasn’t a way to deliver copies of a template of a Google Site to students. She responded that it wasn’t a bad thing. She said that the creation of a website from scratch was actually the kind of skill all of our students should have. The ability to show them how easy it is to create the site was the power of the tool, she said. Andelee was right. That revelation has caused me to think a bit more about how quick I am to make and distribute templates of documents for all of my learners. There is clearly a trade-off I make when I make templates. I need to be a bit more reflective when I make an assignment if I should or shouldn’t distribute a template. When I first learned of Doctopus years ago, I couldn’t get enough of it. It allowed me to make a copy of a template of an assignment for all of my students that was already shared. There definitely are benefits giving students a template to work fr

Flipgrid + Canvas LMS BFF

This is an updated post from December 2017 that includes grading in Speedgrader! I am really loving the Flipgrid app in Canvas. Why? It allows students to access class grids right from Canvas without having to share out links or codes. It allows me to create a Flipgrid response as a Canvas assignment. Students can turn in assignments as a Flipgrid response. With Speedgrader in Canvas, I can quickly see who has and hasn’t responded to a Flipgrid just like any other assignment submitted to Canvas. With Speedgrader, I can score assignments from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Part 1: Set-up So, I wanted to share out how to easily add it to your canvas course. If the GIFs are too small for you, I created a quick video below. From Setting in Canvas, go to the Apps tab. This sets up a specific Flipgrid for your course. The Flipgrid can then be accessed via the side navigation by you or students. Part 2: Create an Assignment You can ea