Skip to main content

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

5 Mo Years

5 years ago I published my very first blog post. 

It was a post highlighting my very first ever conference presentation. Detailing my first attempt to redesign my physics course to put students closer to the center of their own learning.

Both the presentation and the blog post were really my first time putting my practice out for a large community. Both of these were steps that I took on my own. But, over the past 5 years many people have given me the opportunity to refine my practice in the classroom and share my work with a larger audience. So, I wanted to take a chance to thank them for making me feel more confident in every risk that I take.
All of the changes I’ve brought to my classroom have been with the help of my co-teacher Andelee Espinosa. It’s interesting to look at the presentation we just gave over the weekend highlighting strategies and tools in our fully inclusive physics classroom.

All of these changes wouldn’t be possible without the support of my administration. This journey all started with the support of my then assistant superintendent Dana Monogue (now superintendent of another high achieving district in Wisconsin). Yes, she helped provide funding. But more than that, she provided the freedom for changing my practice as long as it was in the best interest of learners. It was important to know that she would have my back if I was being questioned by others.
A blog is great for self-reflection, but it means even more when it connects you to other educators. So, I need to thank George Couros and Katie Martin. Their MOOC on the Innovator’s Mindset was the first place in which my blog began reaching an audience beyond my own district. In #IMMOC, I also met many other educators who would go on to influence and amplify my voice like Annick Rauch, Tara Martin, Tamara Letter, and Kristin Nan.  

Here's a sample post from one of the 3 cycles I participated in.

As I’ve connected with a greater community, I’ve been able to do a better job of using Educational Technology to increase the opportunities for student access and expression in my classroom. I’ve learned so much from Kasey Bell & Matt Miller. Without them, I’d be lost in the world of Google! Especially my use of Google Slides! 

Here's a post about some of the ways I love Slides.
While I’ve learned from many, I’ve also been given the opportunity to share out thanks to Pear Deck and Flipgrid. I have never had any desire to compose a full length book about my practice. The ability to create short guidebooks for Getting Started with Pear Deck and Flipgrid Camera, were right up my alley and I loved the opportunity!

My blog and these eBooks have allowed me to publish digitally over the years. But since that day 5 years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to present many times locally. But, my biggest presentation opportunity was afforded to me by Barbara Bray when she asked me to be part of a presentation team with herself and Kerry Gallagher at ISTE! The presentation was wonderful as was the entire experience. 

ISTE, which I had never really known about 5 years ago, has given me the opportunity to meet so many of the people who I admired, including Katie, Annick, Tara, Tamara, Kristin, Kasey, and Matt.

I may not blog as frequently as I used too (only about 2 times per month) but, I look forward to continuing to share my experience and opinions via my blog over the next year and beyond!


Popular posts from this blog

That's a Bingo: Rethinking Assessment in Virtual Learning

In this new landscape of Virtual Learning, I've lost many of my favorite activities and labs. But thanks to ideas from my Professional Learning Network and the support of my administration, I feel like I've been given the freedom to think differently. To not simply retrofit activities and assessments into a virtual model, but to try something different and leverage the change in instruction and environments. In a recent podcast, Kasey Bell presented 12 practical tips for remote learning that forced me to rethink what I was trying to do . It was a fantastic episode that moved me to question my current practice and try something different. So, I took a tip from another one of her episodes on Choice Boards . As we finish our energy unit, I wanted to create a more unique opportunity for learners to demonstrate mastery. So, I created an Energy Bingo Board. I would not consider this a true choice board for a couple of reasons. But, I'd like to discuss the design of the ass

Becoming a Matchmaker

My goal in the class is not only mastery of course outcomes.  I really want learners to find some connection to physics. When they hear the word physics, it won’t not something unattainable. It is directly connected to who they are. If I plan to help students make these connections, it is not enough for me to just learn my students names and faces. As the content expert, I bring something essential to the table. I know what physics is beyond a narrow or incomprehensible definition one might find online. Students on the other hand have topics they are passionate about.  If they are going to find a connection to physics, I can’t expect all learners to find that attraction on their own. I am the one who needs to show them that physics can be connected to their passions. I am the matchmaker between the student and physics. In all of my teaching career when first getting to know students, I basically looked at a their faces on the roster and their names and played a little game

Pear Deck 101 + Q&A

  Last week, I presented as a part of Pear Deck’s Pear Fair 2020. My presentation was Pear Deck 101 for Google Slides. During the presentation, there was a live chat. Many people said it went too fast for a 101 Session. Luckily, it was recorded so it can be rewatched.  Also, many said that they wanted to know how to build a Pear Deck first. I structured the presentation to show what Pear Deck was before showing how to make one. Perhaps that wasn’t the best structure. But, I’m going to stick with my philosophy of showing what something is before showing how to make it. The presentation, which can be watched below, was structured in several different sections What is Pear Deck? Providing an overview of the experience from the Teacher and Student perspectives. How do you build a Pear Deck in Google Slides? How do you start a Pear Deck presentation? How do you end a Pear Deck presentation? Here is the Slideshow I shared during the session Time really flew in the sess