Techconnects

Celebrating Connections – Ed Tech In Schools

June 20, 2012
by ncara
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7 Resources for Attending ISTE12 Virtually

For the first time in many years, I will not be attending one of my favorite conferences –  the ISTE conference.

During that week, on the opposite coast, I’ll be teaching a one week course in an Educational Leadership graduate program locally.

In exploring ways to connect and learn along with passionate educators on the opposite coast at ISTE I wondered:

How can I connect virtually? What resources are best for others wishing to do the same? What resources can be shared with my classroom so that they can connect with some of the ideas at ISTE12?

This year’s theme for ISTE is Expanding Horizons. This theme is a perfect tie in for connecting virtually!

 

7 Resources for Attending ISTE Virtually

  1. Twitter – If you are not on twitter, sign up for a twitter account. If you are new to twitter, access this Twitter Handbook for Teachers created by those at Powerful Learning Practice.   It contains ‘how to’ resources, basics guides and a list of twittering educators which you can follow and also join. My virtualiste12 twitter list will be located here.
  2. Hashtag #ISTE12 – Follow the hashtag for the conference. Lists will connect you with a certain group but following the hashtags will give you a wide range of results and resources as 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 #iste12 #virtual or #virtualiste12
  3. ISTE Ning – Join the ISTE 2012 ning. Create a group there or join a few.
  4. Full Program Guide - Read about the sessions, posters and events. Shared presentation materials are linked here. At the main site, you will also find news feeds, video clips and other updates.
  5. Google Reader – Set up a Google Reader account to follow bloggers at ISTE. By following  ISTE Unplugged you will be able to find blogs to add to your reader. ISTE has a blogger list you can access or join too.
  6. Mobile AppsISTE Mobile App has a list of standards and the ISTE Connects Blog, ISTE12 Conference App lists sessions and more.
  7. ISTE Remote - ISTE has a pay option which provides access to certain sessions. See the schedule here http://www.isteconference.org/2012/program/participate_remotely.php

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.

Educators gather to discuss new trends, to talk about what works what does not. Sessions explore best practice and emerging trends. The vendor floor is full of product samples and representatives ready to answer your every question.

Most importantly, it is a fantastic place to connect with people. That is what makes it great. ISTE is about the people – the passionate educators and educational supporters who bring the best of today’s learning strategies to our classrooms.

Though you may feel like a fish out of water not being at ISTE in San Diego, happily you can explore it before, during and after virtually! Taking advantage of virtual learning is more doable than ever before. Connecting with educators around the world is a lesson in 21st Century learning in and of itself!

This list is a beginning. What other resources would you add?

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.” Carl Rogers”

 

Related Posts

Online Options for Professional Learning

This post is cross posted at SchoolCIO a division of Tech and Learning Magazine.

March 15, 2012
by ncara
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Leadership Communication Tools

Communicating in today’s world requires both a new mindset and a new toolset. Like a maestro conducting a symphony, savvy leaders pay attention to the sound, the effect, the and the instruments needed to strike just the right notes.

Image by Peter Shanks

http://www.flickr.com/photos/34081640@N00/758143313

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some schools have a full time communications person. Others have none. Regardless, a school leader can set just the right tone with a good strategy and a 21st Century set of tools.

New media adds new avenues for communication. These can enhance the mode and the message yet effective communications can still be a problem. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Ron Ashkenas pointed out that even with new communications tools at hand, good communications can still be a challenge. He notes 3 areas where communications may be lacking:

3 Areas Where Communications May Fall Short:

  1. Lack of Context – People need to know why something is important
  2. Lack of Questions and Dialogue – People need to be able to question and discuss
  3. Lack of Connections – People will focus largely on how news affects them

Clearly, Communication aims, encouraging discussion and feedback and relevancy of your message can help you hit just the right otes. Technology today can help!

10 Tools for Leadership Communication

  1. Microblogging – Create an account on Twitter. Follow other administrators. Tweet out information about your school Explore use of twitter for conferences or meetings for sharing ideas.
  2. Blogging – Write frequent news updates. Follow other school leaders. Encourage and read comments. Use Google Blogger, Edublogs or create your own.
  3. Podcasting – Create audio messages for playback on web and devices. Use tools such as Audioboo, Audacity
  4. Electronic Surveys – Use Zoomerang or Survey Monkey for advanced functionality. Make quality surveys with Google Forms which is free
  5. Email – Yes email. It is still a common tools used by many. Regular timely updates seek responses and give responses in a timely fashion. HTML newsletters can be pre formatted with a consistent design to add appealing design.
  6. Learning Management System – Post easy to follow information on organization or school site to reach out to teachers and students. Google Sites and Wikispaces provide free places for sharing school or classroom information.
  7. School Website – Consistently post updates that are both engaging and informational
  8. Facebook – Use Facebook to update school community on latest school news, photos and videos
  9. Video – Use Youtube or other video sharing sites. Broadcast videos about school events
  10.  Google alerts – Set up Google Alerts to stay on top of mentions of your school and other topics of interests to school community.

If you’re a manager, part of your job is to strengthen the communication pathways to, from, and between your people. To do this effectively, take the time to provide context, encourage questions, and stay sufficiently connected to the different ways that people respond and react to messages. Ron Ashkenas, HBR

This is a list you can start with. Many effective tools exist for this purpose. Please add comments  or other suggested tools in the comments below. If you wish to tune up your School Communications Strategy, sign up for my 5 Week E-Course ‘School Communications Toolkits for School Leaders‘ offered through Powerful Learning Practice.

Related Resources:

National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators – Nets – A

Communications Checklist for School Leaders - TechConnects

Social Media As Listening Tool for School Leaders – TechConnects

One Minute School Website Check – TechConnects

School Websites with Pizzazz – TechConnects

7 Ways for Leaders to Stay on Top of Tech – TechConnects

Connected Principals – Blog

 

Excerpted on SchoolCIO by Nancy Caramanico

October 9, 2009
by ncara
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Teacher Leaders: Sharing, Shaping, Inspiring

Teacher Leaders inspire.  168832715_f9674d59b4_m

Teacher leaders share.

Teacher leaders make a powerful and meaningful difference in our schools.

Meaningful Professional Development days can inspire teachers creatively.  However, a professional development day infused with excellent teacher leadership makes all the difference in the world and can impact students exponentially. Friday was one of those days for our teachers. What stands out most is that this day was a day for Teacher Leaders.

As I look at the Ten Roles for Teacher Leaders, I know Friday’s professional development day for our teachers and administrators was led by the best of teacher leaders.

Teacher Leaders Are:

1. Resource Providers

2. Instructional Specialist

3.  Curriculum Specialist

4. Classroom Supporters

5.  Learning Facilitators

6.  Mentors

7.  School Leaders

8.  Data Coaches

9. Catalysts for Change

10. Learners

Excellent keynotes and demos by Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum Beach set the stage for a fantastic day. We had the kickoff event for our PLP (Powerful Learning Practice) cohort.  Will and Sheryl lead teachers worldwide in forming 21st Cenutry learning environments  and passion based learning communities with their PLP Cohorts. This is the 2nd year for our cohort and Will and Sheryl continue to amaze and inspire us with their future focused insight and practical advice.  We were privileged to meet Robin Ellis , PLP’s Community Leader. The day was held at Villa Maria Lower School.

What was new about this year’s kickoff was that our teachers and administrators presented on topics ranging from Web2.0 strategies to faculty enrichment to reaching out to the school community.

Teacher Leader Sharing

Teachers Steve Kirwin and Sandra Young from Bishop Shanahan wowed other teachers with their examples of their use of Nings and wikis and online sites. Catherine Glattts Vice principal at Mercy Vocational and teachers Marty Corcoran, Christian Arment and Mary Ruskey shared their fascinating student trip to Biloxi and the online connections shared  via Wikis and Ustream.

Administrators led by example with innovative web2.0 based strategies for providing school leadership and curricular support for technology infused learning. A team of administrators from Hallahan(Mary Kirby, Mickey Beachy), Cardinal O’Hara(Ed Allen) and Father Judge(Jim Greene) shared success stories from their schools.

Jim Meredith, Assistant Principal at Archbishop Ryan shared his use of Facebook which included excellent internet safety strategies, quality teaching strategies and resulted in increased AP scores.

What a great way to kick off the school year!  These teachers will be connecting through our online sessions and our ning throughout the year. Teacher leaders can ’shape the culture of the school’ in powerful ways.  Supporting teacher leaders in our schools is so very  important.

Teacher leaders share, inspire and can make a meaningful positive difference in schools. I know that they inspire me with their enthusiasm and creativity. How are teacher leaders supported at celebrated at your school?