Friday, January 24, 2014

Article Reading Tech Tip for the Busy Admin

BEFORE you start driving. Open Settings, General, Accessibility, Speak Selection On
Highlight all the text in the article (like you would copy/paste), now you’ll see the option Speak
Tap & listen

Monday, January 20, 2014

iLearn PD in D100

Professional Development should be by teachers, for teachers as +Raul Babolea once said. +South Berwyn 100 has done just that.

Today's 1.20 iLearn Institute Day was one of the most rewarding days I've been a part of in my 9 1/2 years in d100. We started the day with a welcome from Dr. Stan Fields, Superintendent of South Berwyn. Next +Jim Calabrese took us back in time to our August Institute Day. We were all reved up and excited for those students who were about to walk into our classroom doors. He reminded us the reason WHY we were here today, for the students.

We then moved on to an incredible set of presentations given by D100 students who are now D100 employees. +Bill Jacklin+Brittany Baldassano, +Joshua Cole, +Melissa Kwiatkowski, +Michael Belcaster, and +Zach Pros. These teachers shared their stories of what their lives looked like growing up in Berwyn, which school(s) they went to, and how they got here today. Each presenter brought up 1-2 teachers who made a difference in their lives years ago, and who are still working in d100. Tears were shed by all, and I will forever be changed. We never know just what kind of impact we're leaving on students. I hope that one day all teachers will have an experience like I had today.

After eyes dried out, we split our 300 staff members into 2 groups- elementary and middle school. There were 6 Ignite presenters for each group. We originally came up with the Ignite idea from the 2013 ISTE Conference. Watch the Conference Welcome & Opening Ignite Session & you'll want to try this in your district too! The presenters prepared 2 slides via Google Presentation prior to today. They were then each given 3 mintes to share a particular app they were using in hopes of igniting their colleagues. Be sure to view these incredible South Berwyn Ignite Presentations.

One would think that day would be over from here, but the learning just started! Presenters rushed to their assigned classrooms and learners followed. Teachers attended 3 breakout sessions of their choice (everyone signed up for their sessions before Winter Break). If you weren't able to attend a specific breakout session, you had access to ALL the presenter resources. iCoach +Jordan Garrett put together a Presenter Bio Interactive that linked to presenters PLN's and resources.

After the breakout sessions teachers went back to their buildings for lunch, reflection, and other agenda items. At +Freedom Middle School teachers walked a lesson "up the line," and posted that lesson on the District Google + page. Colleagues can now comment on each other's lesson, helping with the reflective assignment.

EVERY aspect of today's Institute Day was by +South Berwyn 100 employees. From the planning, to the logistics, the set up, sign up, evaluation, inspirational speakers, the presenters, the learners, and the photographers/videographers. We are incredible. We are changing lives. We are transforming teaching and learning. We are +South Berwyn 100 and I couldn't be prouder to say I work here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Scoop. it! SAMR

In preparing for a SAMR presentation at our elementary schools I've curated some of my favorite SAMR resources via a SAMR Scoop It Topic. Please check it out!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Teacher, iCoach, Coordinator, iDirector

4th grade Teacher, Instructional Coach, 1:1 Coordinator, Instructional Director: What's in a title anyway?

Has your "job" title changed? Do you find it difficult to describe what your role is? 

For 7 years, people asked me, "What do you do for a living? 

"I'm a teacher."

"What grade?"


"Oh, it must be nice having your summers off."
For the past year and a half here's how the conversation went.

"What do you do?"

"I'm a teacher." (Who would know what an iCoach does?)

"What do you teach?"

"Well, actually I'm an Instructional Coach. I travel across 8 buildings to help integrate technology in the classrooms. So, I teach all grades."

"Oh, that sounds fun." 

"Yes, I love my job. I'm actually the 1:1 Coordinator too. All our students K-8 have an iPad or MacBook."

"What?" Proceded by remarks how students should or shouldn't be given a device for learning. 
On December 18th I was approved as the Instructional Director of South Berwyn. A lady asked me on Tuesday, "What do you do?"

"I'm an admin." (Who would know what an Instructional Director Does?)

"Oh, what kind of school?"

"Actually, I lead a team of Instructional Coaches and the 1:1 Program for my district." 

"Oh." Followed by a confused look on her face. 

No matter my title, I'm an educational enthusiast, passionate about teaching and learning.  Check out my updated About Me Page