Techconnects

Celebrating Connections – Ed Tech In Schools

June 26, 2013
by ncara
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9 Resources for Attending ISTE13 Virtually

For the second time in 10 years, I will not be attending one of my favorite conferences -  the ISTE conference.

Like many others though, I’ll be learning about ISTE from afar. ISTE attendees are by nature prolific tweeters and love to collaborate and share.

In exploring ways to connect and learn along with passionate educators far away at ISTE you may ask:

What are the best ways to follow? How can I connect virtually? What resources can be shared with my colleagues so that they can connect with some of the ideas at ISTE13? How can this learning benefit my students?

7 Resources for Attending ISTE Virtually

  1. Hashtag #ISTE13 - Follow the hashtag for the conference. You will see results from anyone using the hashtag.  If you use the application Tweetdeck to access Twitter, you can create easy to follow columns for any list, search term or hashtag. To connect with others attending virtually use the hashtags #iste13 N.B. Hashtags are not just for twitter Check out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram for the #iste13 hashtag
  2. Hashtag #notatiste – A new hashtag has cropped up this year for talking about not being there. Those following virtually are sharing, posting and adding some humor too
  3. ISTE SocialFacebookTwitterNing
  4. Pinterest: Pinterest added regularly
  5. Full Program Guide - Go to the conference website. Read about the sessions, posters and events. Shared presentation materials are linked too. At the main site, you will also find news feeds, video clips and other updates. Be sure to stop back later as many sessions are video archived for later viewing.
  6. ISTE Unplugged - View the ISTE Unplugged site. It is the unconference or unplugged version of ISTE gatherings and view resources
  7. Rss/Blog Reader - Set up a Feedly RSS reader account to follow bloggers at ISTE. By following via twitter you will be able to find blogs to add to your reader. ISTE has a blogger list you can access or join too.
  8. Mobile Apps - ISTE Mobile App has a list of standards and the ISTE Connects Blog, ISTE Conference App lists sessions and more.
  9. ISTE Remote - ISTE has a pay option which provides access to certain sessions - Schedule

About the ISTE Conference

Sponsored by the International Society of Technology in Education, the ISTE Conference draws close to 20,000 people and is the gathering place for scores of educational technology enthusiasts. Every possible  vendor is there so if you have questions or want to see demos you can connect with them. The vendor floor is full of product samples and representatives ready to answer your every question.

Educators gather to discuss challenges, trends and solutions. Sessions explore successful practice and new ideas.

Connecting with the people though is the real charm of ISTE. That is what makes it great. ISTE is about the people – the passionate educators who bring the best of innovative and tech supported learning to students and willingly collaborate with other educators is what it is all about.

Happily you can explore it before, during and after virtually! Taking advantage of virtual learning is more doable than ever before. As you explore resources and make connections virtually, you are experiencing that connected learning for yourself as well. Here are a few resources. What other resources would you add?

This is cross posted on School CIO – a division of Techlearning

March 7, 2013
by ncara
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5 Educational Sites for Learning about the Papal Election

As the Papal Conclave gets underway, the web is rich with sites and resources for teaching about the process.  Sorting through the sites for the most accurate and education ones can be quite a challenge. A number of good sites were shared recently in the weekly twitter chat #CatholicEDchat. In this post, I explore some sites and offer a few suggestions for those looking to use them in the classroom.

I recently worked with teachers from a local Catholic school on a professional development day. We explored the of the links below.

How Do They Choose the Pope

This video from Busted Halo explains both the tradition and the process involved in the papal conclave. It tells process succinctly and in an engagingly, interesting way.

 

Adopt a Cardinal

www.adoptacardinal.org - This site allows visitors to randomly generate the name of or ‘adopt’ a Cardinal. It gives facts about the selected Cardinal such as age, location and more. Thanks to @barbinnebraska for this one!

Visual Papal Conclave

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/come-si-elegge-il-papa/ -This interactive by the Vatican Insider provides a visual tour of the Vatican along with the conclave process included. It is beautifully done, concise and informational.

 Electing a Pope

http://electingthepope.net/ - This is an educational site created by a group of bloggers, writers and educators. This site is both comprehensive and informative and is a valuable resource for those exploring the topic.

Cardinals Active on Twitter

This list of Cardinals on Twitter is set up by Fr. Roderick. It is an easy to ‘follow’ list which is broken down by country.

Sadlier Prayer Cards -

Classes can download these prayer cards and use them in prayers supporting the Cardinals in the conclave.

As we explored the sites, teachers creatively shared many ideas on how they could use these sites. Also, thanks to Dave M for telling us about the video above!

Ways to Use Papal Conclave Resources in the Classroom

1. Younger Students – Share the Visual Papal Conclave on a large screen or smartboard. Students can listen and learn visually. They can generate questions and explore answers as a class.

2. Teachers can work with a classroom students or groups of students ‘adopt’ a cardinal. They can then do further research on that cardinal and the area he is from. Students can pray for their selected cardinal.

3. Teachers can use the How To Choose video or the comprehensive www.electingthepope.net to use as a springboard for further research. Students can fill out a KWHL chart to check their knowledge and explore questions they may have.

4. Students can role play or re-enact the process to form a deeper understanding and connection. Any of the above resources can inform their work.

5. Students and teachers can follow twitter accounts of cardinals. Although media updates may be at a minimum during the conclave itself, these tweets can prove a valuable resource going forward as the new pope is elected and takes his place in Rome.

I hope these sites are helpful. Please share any sites or lessons that you have found for this purpose.

 

February 15, 2013
by ncara
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Digital Citizenship Lessons

One topic that continues to be of interest and importance for schools and families is Digital Citizenship. How can we interact safely and appropriately online? The topic of citizenship comes in to play in a very big way. Are we being considerate of others in our words, deeds and actions? Looking out for others both locally and globally online is the trademark of a good ‘digital citizen’.

Today, I spoke with a group of teachers at St. Bernadette School on the topic of safety and digital ciitzeship. The goal of the time we spent together was to explore the many types of resources online for teaching digital citizenship. The school is proactive in aims to educate parents, teachers and students on the topic. They had many great ideas for supporting teachers and parents with online safety and citizenship.

I used a web 2.0 tool called Mentormob to create a playlist of sites. This is an effective tool to use because it allows you to easily add resources. These resources display the webpage and from there you can easily show the site and return quickly to the playlist. It is a nice and interactive way to present various websites.

What resources should be added to this list?

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!
Related Posts
Getting Started with Digital Citizenship – TechConnects
D is for Digital Citizenship – TechConnects

January 16, 2013
by ncara
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Educator Use of Social Networks

When I first began to use twitter, I thought it an unusual concept. What could I say and who would I follow? What would communicating openly look like? What could it possibly have to offer educators?

That was September of 2008. I found out quickly that it was an incredible and powerful tool.  Once I began to use it, I quickly realized the immense benefits in terms of professional learning, building community and shared ideas.  A study I came across this week underscored those benefits and caused me to reflect on what drew me in.

Making a Social Network Meaningful

What was really beneficial to me in this shift was how I happened upon Twitter. It was in a workshop held for 20 of our high schools in the Archdiocese of Phila. We had 5 people from each school including administrators and teachers. In looking back what got me hooked was knowing I’d be connecting initially to people I already knew.

The fact that others in our schools were getting onto Twitter meant a lot to me. I wanted to delve into it myself. The fact that our workshop was being led by others well versed in using twitter did too. (Willrich45, snbeach)
It was:

  • Social
  • Professionally Enriching
  • An Place to Connect with Like-Minded Educators

What Does the Research Say?

In reading this article posted in Edweek, I recalled what drew me in and still does! – connecting with like minded individuals who shared the same interests.

The article highlights data collected by MMS Education noting a trend towards private social networking and online communities. Though open and public social networking is here to stay, private communities have a solid base and that base if growing! Private communities allow for both a more targeted and seemingly safer way to connect with others for educators.

26 percent of teachers said they would join a new social network tailored to educators in the next year, while only 5 percent said they would join a new network for personal use

Social networks are now an integral part of the lives of many. Perhaps this study reflects your own practice. If so, what do you find to be most beneficial to you?

As school leaders and teacher leaders, will you encourage others to join a social network for educators? Will you build a social network of your own?

 


 

August 17, 2012
by ncara
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Connected Educators A-Z: F is for Face to Face

Conferences and meetings have always been places where people could go to learn. At conferences you hear of new concepts, design new strategies, learn a skill. In today’s web enriched environment though, we can do all of those things online. We attend webinars, tweet, and Linkin. We email, Facebook, skype and chat. We can learn online easily and explore topics in depth.

So why attend conferences face to face?  To meet people face to face, to hear their stories, to build relationships. To quote this piece by Sr. Geralyn in the VFLR blog. If we are to provide well for the learning of today’s students we need to

Broaden their vision with your understanding of their world. If that world is way beyond your knowledge, leverage some assistance from another educator.

Just listen to these young adults as they discuss the benefits of Face to Face talk below.

As educators, it is important for us to discern how to best support all new and innovative venues for learning – to make online learning, educational uses of technology AND face to face learning the best it can be!

As powerfully as the tools of today can provide learning and forge connections, face to face gatherings

 can deepen our learning and partnerships.

An upcoming conference is planned in Philadelphia and is hosted by Powerful Learning Practice. The agenda is packed with inspiring speakers and collaborative opportunities for educators. This can be just the place to talk with connected educators from all over the world.

Having the opportunity to meet and greet innovative and passionate educators does not come along every day.  I’m happy to be part of the planning team for this conference. I look forward to connecting with other educators there – face to face!
PLP Live 2012 - Friday September 28 - Philadelphia

August 9, 2012
by ncara
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Connected Educators A to Z: C is for Connecting

C is for Connecting

Connected Educators Creed

“Be both a leader AND a follower, teacher AND student. Learn from people who inspire you AND inspire others with your boldness. Lead with conviction AND be prepared to change direction. Walk an authentic path AND inspire others to walk theirs. A leader is anyone willing to grow and change and live out loud.”

 

 

 

I saw this quote online today via communications specialist Randi Thompson. It really struck me as a quote that applies to connected educators everywhere. Whether twittering, in online forums, webinars, or any number of venues I see this is a great mantra for connected educators!

In order to allow people at all levels of your organization to lead, they have to be empowered to do so. Allowing new forms of learning and connecting is key to any school or organization today.

  • Do teachers have access to tools for connecting?  Computers, tablets
  • Is the internet connection free of overblocking of sites?
  • Does professional development time allow for learning and exploring new web tools?
  • Is mentorship encouraged?
  • Are successes shared regularly?
  • Do policies support collaborative tools such as Twitter, Wikispaces and more?

The more we can empower educators to connect online for their professional benefit and for that of their students, the more we are the light that is needed in education today.