Muddling through the blogosphere

March 22, 2020
by blogwalker

#RemoteLearning – Resources and Reminders

As of this week, the need to “shelter in place” is now being widely practiced across districts, states, and the nation. I greatly appreciate my district superintendent, Governor Newsom, and all the organizations that took the threat of the Corona Virus seriously from the start.

Last week, colleagues within and beyond my district were seeking resources for kids to use at home for independent learning. I’ve started building the Resources for At-Home Learning /#RemoteLearning Google Doc for that purpose, keeping student data privacy in mind.

Part of my district job (technology integration specialist) is to promote best practices in digital citizenship. I have the privilege of collaborating on this responsibility with my talented colleague Kathleen Watt, who keeps our Digital Citizenship website updated, designing new graphics as needed.

As more and more organizations and companies offer students free access during this time of school closures, this post is, in part, a reminder about protecting student privacy.

We include more tips and resources on our EGUSD Student Data Privacy site, with links to Common Sense Education tips and tools and this short video (2 min 30 sec) from iKeep Safe:

Enough on privacy.

This post is also a HUGE shoutout to Common Sense Education, iKeepSafe, PBS/KVIE, and all the regional and national organizations listed on the Google Doc that have shared amazing free resources for students and their families.

If you live in the Sacramento (Calif.) region, I hope you know about the Sacramento Cable Consortium (SECC) Call to Action: Share Your Story.

If you live in California, you might enjoy taking a virtual field trip to a state park, via the California PORTS Program. Through their FaceBook page, the PORTS teams will be hosting special events three days a week (Tuesday-Thursday) you can access from home. Here’s the schedule:

  • 9 am: K-2nd grades
  • 10 am: 3-5th grades
  • 11 am: 6-8th grades
  • 12 pm: 9-12 grades

If you live anywhere – inside or outside  of the United States – I encourage you to read – and then share with your children and/or students – Kelly Gallagher’s Building Better Readers and Writers: CoronaVirus Unit, “an extended lesson plan designed to encourage students to capture this moment in history.”

I know many of our students are enjoying some at-home time for pleasure reading. On my morning hike, I walked for a while with a mother and her children – social distancing by keeping on the other side of the trail.  One of the daughters, probably 13ish, shared that she had just finished reading a wonderful book: The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Kidd Monk. I loved that book too and I agreed with her that the book was better than the movie.

I recommended Jerry Craft’s New Kid.  Wish I had mentioned all the authors who are doing online read alouds, such as those listed on Kate Messner’s site and the We Are Teachers site. I hope our paths will cross again so we can continue our book talks.

When it’s finally safe to return to work, I’m pretty sure, I’ll still be checking in on Wellington the penguin and rereading Lockdown, a poem written by Brother Richard Hendrick (and read by CNN’s Anderson Cooper). Hope all of you are keeping safe, enjoying family time, and never taking a beautiful sunrise or sunset for granted.

CUE2020 logo

March 8, 2020
by blogwalker

On Hold in California – Awaiting Corona Virus Updates

Like so many California residents, it feels like my life is a bit on hold as I watch news updates on the spread of the Corona Virus.

Until last week, much of my March calendar involved travel, starting with a flight to Monterey for the 2020 CENIC Conference, then on to Palm Springs for the CUE Conference, and ending the month with a weekend flights to visit my daughter in Seattle and my son in Dallas.

On Thursday, CENIC sent out an email to all who had registered for the conference: Conference Cancelled Due to Covid-19 Corona Virus.

CENIC Conference cancellation notice

My initial reaction was disappointment, as my colleague Cathe Petuya and I had been looking forward to attending and to also presenting our session on Bringing the State Parks into the ClassroomBut in reading through the email, we agreed with CENIC’s justification:

 “The price of over-reacting is disappointment; that of under-reacting, potentially catastrophic — to individuals in our community (and their families), to our staff, and to the organization.”

We were also relieved to receive United Airlines’ notification that due to Corona Virus concerns, they would not be charging the $200 cancellation fee.

Yesterday, my district superintendent made what was clearly a difficult decision: To close schools and cancel student-related activities effective March 7 to March 13, 2020:

My daughter just called and recommended cancelling my flight/visit to Seattle and rescheduling for April, when we have a better sense of the actual risks to those over 60.

Looks like the CUE Conference is still on. It’s hard to imagine March without a trip to Palm Springs. I love this conference and have been blogging about it since 2008 through last year’s CUE 2019 Conference. Twelve years later, I always know I can count on inspiring speakers, connecting with colleagues (new and old), and leaving with innovative ideas and thought-provoking conversations to be continued over the next school year.

…but maybe Cathe and I should cancel our flights to Palm Springs and instead make the long drive (about 500 miles each way) … just because  sometimes “over-reacting is a better choice than under-reacting.”

Skip to toolbar