Laying the groundwork for effective teaching teams

Or, What to Bring to the First Staff Potluck

#everydaycourageOpening up to fellow educators can be hard. We all know we’re doing the best we can, but many of us also feel like we could be doing better for our students. We want to do the best we can and sometimes we get terrified that it’s not enough. What if none of the other teachers feel this way?

Except: they do.

And that’s why it’s important to be brave enough to connect with the other teachers on your team, to really get to know them as people — and to let them get to know you in return. They can be some of your most important resources during the school year.

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4 digital identity exercises for students

Introduce a student-centered tech-rich year

#ready2launch student identityLooking for ways to explore digital identity with students? Here are 4 student-centered, tech-rich digital identity exercises for working with students. As a bonus, all the exercises produce media that students can add to their digital portfolios. Let’s watch!

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Use Thinglink to explore identity

Creating and sharing digital selves

identityI’m participating in Thinglink’s Summer VR Challenge, and the first exercise in the challenge is to design your Digital Self, a visual representation of yourself with embedded links to things you feel are important people know about you.

A key component of the exercise is to share your Digital Self with your PLN. But I warn you: you’re not ready for this jelly.

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Leonardo da Vinci’s Smartphone

History from the Inside Out

how does professional development affect technology integration?Every two years our team does an interdisciplinary unit on the European Renaissance. I’m a big believer in learning history from the inside out, by asking students to really look at individual people. I also wanted to do something that connected things that kids were interested in to this time period. To get them to really feel as if they were some of these people, it just made sense to connect modern technology using the smartphone, since many of them are on their smartphones a lot of the time anyway.

So what would happen if you found Leonardo DaVinci’s smartphone?

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Act 77, Flexible Pathways and best middle level practices

Grappling with implementation

personalized learning in the middle grades vermontIn my current work with a number of Vermont middle schools, we have been trying to grapple with ways to tell the story of, or create a better understanding of, what our state’s Act 77 Flexible Pathways legislation looks like in action.

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Augmented reality and student identity

Students explore the geography of self(ies)

augmented reality and student identityAn innovative way for students to explore who they are happens in Lori Lisai’s classroom at Lamoille Union Middle School where she works with them to craft an interactive biography through her Geography of Self project.

A bulletin board houses the student self portraits; 8th graders include their 7th grade portraits side-by-side: a visual representation of growth-over-time.

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R is for REAL Reflection

Getting real about student reflection

getting real about student reflectionAh, reflection. It may bring to mind an introspective moment, perhaps gazing into the still waters of a mountain lake and seeing a slightly puzzled person staring back. That’s not the kind of reflection we are talking about here.

Reflection in a 21st Century learning sense is a key component of personalized learning.

Reflection allows students to construct knowledge, make personal connections, and ultimately become self-driven learners. More like a trailside break on a wilderness trek than a lazy lakeside afternoon. Continue reading

3 ways to use Chatterpix with maps

Thinglink, augmented reality and gaming

ways to use Chatterpix with mapsAlert reader Lucia Hoegeveen asked a question about our suggestion that you create a map of a country and give each state it’s own voice. Now, as she pointed out, each Chatterpix you create can have only one mouth. So in order to make our Chatter-map, we’re going to need to app-smash Chatterpix in one of a couple different ways.

Or maybe we’ll just put them all together in a blender and hope for the best. I’ll let you know after I finish this delicious coffee.

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Tuesday Links Round-up

What We’re Reading

  • A ton of things, that’s what! Because we’re participating in the 3rd annual #summerthrowdown reading challenge! How many books can you read in July? More to the point, how many books can more than 100 librarians read?

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Tuesday Links Round Up

What We’re Reading

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