Education & Tech News to Use 08/11/2014

Today, there’s a mishmash of links that are definitely loosely related! They are three really good links though, so take a look at all of them! I love the last one–it (almost) makes me wish that I still had my own class to try it on! I think you could learn a lot–and take care of a lot of social problems before they got out of hand! Love it!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Education & Tech News to Use 08/10/2014

Flickr CC Image by mhall426

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech News to Use 08/08/2014

Flickr CC image by Frederik Hermann

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Summer Learning…Still!

It seems that I was just #NotAtISTE14 but it was really a couple of weeks ago! I’ve been busy with family summer fun for the last week or so, and haven’t even gotten IMG_1373all the links and learning checked out from that conference! But here I am soaking up some more learning at #RSCON5 (Reform Symposium Conference–through The Future of Education). For the last few years, summer has become my most favorite time to learn and connect with my “imaginary friends” online–my PLN! (see previous post) This is where I spend a lot of my learning time in the summer!

That it is possible to sit at our computers/devices in our own homes, cars, at the campground, etc. and still connect and learn with each other is simply mind-blowing. Take a moment to really think aboutthat! What a cool time to be a part of this amazing, connected world!

#RSCON5 goes on today and tomorrow (I missed yesterday’s sessions), but if you miss any presentations that look interesting, the recordings will be up very soon if they’re not already there! Previous years are found in the archive as well. Check them out! The learning is free and there to share!

Learning and Connecting, and I’m #NotatISTE14


This weekend, I’ve been part of one of those experiences that just cements my idea of how crucial my PLN and online learning in general are. As usual, I didn’t scrape up the funds to make it to ISTE in Atlanta, but knew that there would be some sort of online opportunity for learning.

This is where I was #NotatISTE14 most of this weekend!

This is where I was #NotatISTE14 most of this weekend!

Gone are the days of yesteryear though, when ISTE webcast their keynotes and shared out sessions for those educators not able to be there in person. THOSE days are over! I even considered paying for the virtual pass so that I could participate a little bit–but that seemed fairly expensive, and I wasn’t convinced that it would yield that much learning.

Then came Jen Wagner’s tweet, the hashtag and a G+ community! Now, I’ve not yet made complete friends with G+, but I figured as long as Jen was there, she would help me if I needed it! From that community has come a wonderful weekend experience of learning and connecting with a completely different set of folks than I usually run into online!

We all joined a Voxer community, which is a tool that I’ve used just a little bit personally, but haven’t ever used in a group. I was ready to see it in action with a large group, and it has been an interesting experience! I’m wondering if I could talk some of my colleagues into participating with me in one next year. Sometimes I feel like these tools are a hard sell for busy teachers, even if they might make their lives easier and richer! Anyway, now I have an example of how it worked. So that is a big win! After the nitty-gritty of setting up the community, Jen (being Jen) got down to the fun stuff and we all created #NotatISTE14 name badges, complete with ribbons. She set a list of challenges to all who wanted to participate. The weekend was off to a great start!  Vicky Sedgwick posted a  (much better) overview of our #NotatISTE14 experience, and did Ann Oro’s reflections from today are insightful too.


The real learning piece came in with Jeff Bradbury’s TeacherCast Live webcast. For three hours each morning, he’s interviewed amazing and inspiring leaders in education and tech, like Angela Maiers, Todd Nesloney, Steve Hargadon, Adam Bellow, Steve Dembo, the EduVue ladies and Paula Naugle. And there’s more tomorrow! As always, his interviews were easy going and fun, but filled with great information for all of us watching. He even surprised everyone’s favorite mentor, Peggy George with a tribute honoring her for her uncanny ability to make all of the Internet (educators, at least) feel welcome and empowered and ready to learn! Glad I was “there” to take part in that!


I know that, among the people that I’ve spent my weekend with, I am far from the most adventurous online learner or leader out there! I’m a real outlier! However, this type of learning is so valuable to me, and it recharges me in a way that I wonder how I did things before online communities! Among the  teachers that I know in real life, so many of them have no inkling that this kind of community learning even exists! I’ve had little success in spreading my enthusiasm to my own local colleagues, and it is such a frustration to me! This situation is, of course, complicated by the roadblocks….oops….I meant safeguards…that our district employs on our network. It is very difficult to encourage professionals to even begin seeking a rich online PLN when the very tools that are required to do that can’t be used at school. The audience is lost before we begin! But that’s another rant, I guess.

Today, I’m just thankful that I’ve been at home #NotatISTE14 , and that I’ve had the opportunity to learn and play online with such amazing and dedicated educators! It’s been an experience that I know I will draw on in the months to come. Thanks friends!




Education & Tech News to Use 06/13/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech News to Use 06/04/2014

We have so many devices

Today’s post is a good old fashioned link dump! No rhyme or reason, just a few links that I’ve found interesting in the last few days!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech News to Use 06/03/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech News to Use 06/02/14


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech News to Use 06/01/14

Embed from Getty Images

More and more, I’ve come to think that professional learning in the world of education is broken. Broken in a big way. I do my most meaningful and usable professional learning online with the PLN that I have crafted over the years. Professionals from all over the world: librarians, professors, IT directors, authors, teachers in international schools and rural schools and Canadian or Kiwi or British schools. None of it do I get “credit” for. And by the same token, the PD that I am required to take “for credit” is rarely meaningful, useful or profound. I live through it–sometimes more easily than others–and turn to my phone, iPad or Macbook–you know, where my PLN is–to learn and grow as a professional.

A few of my colleagues have played around a bit with Pinterest, and many, many of them have learned to buy items from sites such as TpT and illegally share them with everyone they know. But very few of them have explored the true power of an online PLN. In fact, I suspect that I am the only one in my building that has heard of a PLN. I fear though, that I have talked about these resources for so long without being able to really share the exact process (due to draconian filters on our network), that no one can hear me anymore. I also wonder if maybe this online learning thing, and connecting with a virtual PLN, is simply not for most people. Maybe I’m the outlier–me and others who were early adopters of this method of connecting.

It also occurs to me that, as it is June 1, perhaps I’m just a little tired and grumpy and need to take a break to refresh my attitude!:)

It’s not that I think learning with a virtual PLN is the only way educators should be learning. It’s that I see such a rich mix of expertise, creativity & willingness to share here, I hate that the people around me haven’t found that resource. It reinvigorates and encourages. It’s been immensely important to me over the years, and I’ve failed to effectively share it locally.

At any rate, here are a few useful resources for teachers who want to reach out to other professionals online and begin to create their own learning network.

  • Why would educators want to use Twitter? And how to use it in such a way that it’s helpful and not just a time-waster? These questions and more are addressed in the Cyber-wise Learning Hub for Twitter. And where do you suppose I learned about this site? Twitter, of course!

tags:twitter pd 4tchrs pln

DIY is a good metaphor! The days of “sit and get” are over.

tags:pln pd 4tchrs

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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