I was asked to participate in Jim Knight training held at Kuna school district. The speaker introduced us to coaching and training the teachers in respective buildings. It was for 2 – 8 hour days. I learned about using coach speak when working with teachers in the buildings. I also learned about how to build the trust first in those buildings to be able to get into them to work with the teachers. The partnership aspect of coaching is extremely important. If your peer/teacher is not a “partner” in the plan the teacher will not feel valued. We all know where this type of partnership ends…. The teaching by modeling aspect of coaching is a plan that I had not thought of before. It makes sense that if you model exemplary teaching then the teacher will walk away with new learned behaviors and tactics for the teachers toolbox. I plan to employ this method. I met many people from other districts and made some good connections in my filed of expertise.
Created a Mondo tutorial for all Mondo teachers to access their data. The video is on YouTube and is set to unlisted.
I have been learning about using Star Renaissance as a data collection tool for first time instruction. I have helped Dax and Michelle present to HS and middle schools. The data that can be culled is amazing. I have also learned how to admin on the back end. The teachers seem to be willing to use this as well as look at the reports compared to the standards and where their students fall. Great tool!
I created my first site for the district called Mondo. The intent was to ease the use of paper and keep track of the data collection electronically. The creation of the site was fun and a good creative outlet. I learned a great deal of how to to set up a site using Microsoft sites and their verbage. The “sites” that Microsoft created are not intuitive to the user. The tech coordinators that are wanting to use them need to be tech savvy and willing to learn on a steep learning curve. Devin has been fantastic about answering all questions and directing me in the back end structure. I will continue to create sites for any department that needs internal storage of documents with a professional look.
I have been helping create tutorials for using the grade book in PowerSchool. The technical aspects of the use of PS seem to be easy for the teachers but the learning curve for standards based grading seem to be more difficult.
I have started training the district employees on using Office 365. Office 365 is a cloud based platform that allows you to collaborate and access information from any platform. It is an easy learning curve because of my knowledge of using Google docs, and Gmail. Most employees in our district tend to use the desktop version of all Office products. The shift to using a web based platform is a large task, but has many benefits from there online features. The benefit I like the most is the access to any document at any time from any computer. I have been creating many word docs to aid our peers in the use of this platform. The docs are housed in OneDrive for anyone to access. We have also shared them with all the tech coordinators at each building. We have trained the tech coordinators to look in these docs for aid in training their peers at the building level.
I was encouraged by our director of elementary school principals to train our computer teachers in our district. The principals in turn would allow me to come into their classes and help teach the students about digital citizenship. I began my journey by researching and building lesson plans about digital citizenship for grades k-5. I began this process in Oct. and then began designing and creating an online course for professional development. I wanted to introduce the online learning platform for our busy teachers. I built the course inside of Brainhoney and obtained credentials to teach the professional development course through NNU. The process of designing and creating an online course if time consuming but exciting. It took me approximately 80 hours of work to create the course! I had to make sure the materials used in the course were not copyrighted. I received permission from many sources. Teachers are a wonderfully creative and collaborative bunch. I look forward to creating more courses.
I participated in the ARVEL SIG social network meeting through Adobe Connect where Sabine Reljic was our host. Sabine is managing the ARVEL SIG because of her interest in the SL community. She took over the position from another member in hopes of expanding the community. What I also found fascinating is she had no prior experience in managing a PLC but was determined to jump right in and take a chance at building a very respectable community. She does have vast experience educational technology, SL and SLED.
One of the first questions I asked her was to explain the strategies she uses to get participants interested in participating.
Sabine uses quite a few techniques to garner participation from her community including open forums, resources that are interesting, photos, videos, and tries to keep the focus specific to the community. According to Howard (2010), managing a sustainable online community must avoid 3 cardinal sins:
• If you build it they will come.
• Once I’ve launched it, I’m done.
• Bigger is better.
Sabine is doing everything right thus far to sustain and create a vibrant community for SL. As I look at her community and through her interview she is in the mature stage in her community- it is clearly established, where little or no supervision is required while she is maintaining a credible participant status.
The second question I was interested in was about how she manages her workload and network.
According to Kanter (2010), “Social media does take time even if you are efficient.” Sabine stated that she manages the network alone, approximately 5+ hours a week. She monitors but also participates in discussions that interest her. Sabine clearly wants the network to be organized and have an ease of use throughout her community. She discussed her struggles to make the community more efficient to the wants and needs of the participants. Sabine also reflected on the fact that this is not “work” to her because she is also learning and growing professionally from the other participants.
Lastly, I was interested in what Sabine would do differently from experience she has gained.
Sabine reflected on restructuring her Ning PLC to make it more streamlined and uncluttered. It is her hope that this will also make her participants more aware of new resources to be tried and shared. She regards her community as greatly rewarding and personally satisfying. Through her hard work the participants she is now attracting from Harvard and other well-known research establishments. I noticed that she uses every available social source (Linkedin, Facebook, SL, SLED, and Twitter) to “advertise” her community and get the word out about her PLC.
I enjoyed listening to Sabine and found it very good experience learning from her experiences. The work at first will be large but after set up will be manageable. The benefits seem to outweigh the frustrations. This is something I will consider in the future. Maybe I will create my own PLC and just “jump in”!
Howard, R. (2010). Mashable/Social Media. Retrieved October 15, 2010, from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/07/30/sustainable-online-community/?utm_source=TweetMeme&utm_medium=widget&utm_campaign=retweetbutton
Kanter, B. (2010, September 16). Social Media: Who Will Do The Work? [Web log comment]. Retrieved October 15, 2010, from Beth’s Blog: http://www.bethkanter.org/social-media-who-will-do-the-work/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bethblog+%28Beth%27s+Blog%29