BlogWalker

Muddling through the blogosphere

November 5, 2015
by blogwalker
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Fall Cue 2015 – Some awesome takeaways

Fall CUE 2015

Loved the energy, innovation, and conversations shared at last week’s Fall CUE Conference. Definitely two jam-packed days! Below are some of my takeaways:

Writing in the ShedLisa Nowakowski shared a wonderful resource for English Language Development (ELD) students: The Literacy Shed, a collection of short video animations with no narration. Lisa has her students collaborate on developing a storyboard for what they think would be a logical dialogue. To narrate the videos, students use the record option available through SnagIt. What a great (and free) strategy to motivate students to put their language skills into practice!

Teaching with YouTube – I first heard Lisa Highfill speak at the 2012 Google Teacher Academy (Mountain View, Calif), where she inspired all present with her integration of R.J. Palacio’s novel Wonder into her elementary classroom. I’m pretty sure all who attended her packed Fall CUE session left equally inspired with Lisa’s approach to YouTube video in the classroom: Find It, Playlist It, Pair It, Package It. Such a fabulous listing of videos to get students moving, thinking, doing! EX: Try pairing Daniel Cui, a soccer video, with a KQED DoNow question, What can you do to be a change maker? 

Key Principles for Digital Tools for EL Instruction: I regret that I arrived late to Martin Cisneros’ session (got caught up in conversations out in the quad). His knowledge and passion for teaching ELs left me wanting to delve deeper into the topic, starting with California’s ELD Standards (which do not replace the California Common Core Standards, but help with with meeting them).

So how can technology help ELs gain proficiency in English?

  • Social media provides opportunities to practice literacy skills.
  • Google Translate is a great starting point for teachers to make connections with their EL students.
  • Blabberize makes it easy for students to practice their speaking skills. It’s way less intimidating to have a character speak for you.
  • Padlet allows for voice recording
  • Screencasting with tools like SnagIt or Screencastify
  • Blogging!
  • Need instant curriculum for your ELs? Head to Pinterest!

From Blog to Book: Rescuing the Writing Process’s Neglected Step, Publication – As a long-time blogger and supporter of student blogging, I was thrilled to see this session listed in the program. David Theriault and Sean Ziebarth are awesome presenters and an awesome team.

In one very fun, fast-paced hour, they’ve inspired me to ramp up my district blogging workshops. Somehow, with all the focus on all things Google, I haven’t really been promoting blogging. Yet in all my Google workshops, I tend to start with the SAMR model as way to generate conversations on taking technology integration beyond “substitution” and “modification.” Blogging is often the tool that takes a project up the SAMR ladder to “redefinition” by providing students with a platform for publishing – to an authentic audience.

The gap I need to help bridge is helping teachers move from blogs (noun) as a website for simply posting assignments to blogging (verb) as a shared conversation and step into publishing. I know in my upcoming blogging workshops, I’ll be referencing David’s post Shop Talk: The Nuts and Bolts of Student Blogging.

The Life Aquatic: This is Adventure – Closing Keynote

It’s rare that I stay all the way through at a two-day conference to the closing keynote (I’ve usually reached the saturation point by 3:00), but I’m glad I made the exception to hear David Theriault’s keynote.  I’m hoping CUE will post a link soon to the recording of his keynote as the slideshow below is not narrated. If you read the keynote description and then go through the slideshow, I think you’ll have an idea of how intriguing, fun, and thought-provoking David’s delivery and content both are.

The Life Aquatic: This is Adventure

Nobody knows what’s going to happen. And then we “try it, share it, and reflect on it.” That’s the whole concept. -Steve Zissou

The stories that define us, that we share with others, are built of memorable moments. Create
meaningful, memorable moments for your learners, and the world by stepping off the yellow brick road and diving into the deep sea of pedagogy. Steven Zissou, Harry Potter, Kenny Shopsin, Frederic Friedel, and Lynda Barry are just a few of the deep sea creatures we will meet on this adventure.

Bring your wetsuit and diving equipment, no one is staying on the boat in this keynote.

And one more great Fall CUE “session” – dinner at the Dead Fish Restaurant (just across the Benicia Bridge in Crockett) with Cathe Petuya, Mary Barelson, and Barbara Bray.

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November 16, 2014
by blogwalker
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Fall CUE Take Away

fallcue

I had a great time at the 2014 Fall CUE Conference. In two jam-packed days, I attended some wonderful workshops, with Will Kimbley’s Google Forms workshop, Gene Tognetti and Karen Larson’s Discovering Student Voice with Chromebooks,  and Trevor Mattea’s Intro to Google session at the top of my conference take-aways list.

Two hours with Will flew by! Wish this engaging session had been recorded. I’ll definitely spend some follow-up time touring his website resources.

One of the challenges I face in my district job is bringing teachers on board with Chromebooks in a one-hour workshop. Gene and Karen nailed it with their Discovering Student Voice Through Chromebooks session! The trick is to select up to four awesome apps to showcase – and then build in 5 – 10 minutes for participants to play with each one. Check out their session slideshow to see how smoothly they introduced Powtoon, Little Bird Tales, Lucid Press, and Google Slides.

From Trevor, I am still in awe of such a simple yet powerful tip: Have elementary students share their Google Docs projects with classroom parents. What an incredible idea for providing students with feedback and, at the same time, providing working parents who would like to help in the classroom with a virtual way to do just that.

Next week, I’ll be sharing Trevor’s tip with an amazing group of elementary teachers in my district who are part of an action research project with Chromebooks and Google Apps. Can’t wait to see how parent volunteers working within Google Docs impacts student writing and communication skills.

October 29, 2012
by blogwalker
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Back from Fall CUE

Image from http://www.cue.org/fall

I’m back from my first Fall CUE Conference. Two wonderful, jam packed days of connecting with colleagues and attending great sessions!

Here are my Friday take-aways:

The Personal Is Political: Remix and Fair Use – KQED’s Mathew Williams gave an awesome session on “learning opportunities for creating remix videos using found video footage online with an emphasis on fair use and critical thinking skills.”  Mathew presented remix as as  research method – and a critically important skill.

It’s been a while since I last visited KQED’s website, but I plan to make time to explore their awesome Quest page.

Designing Online Communities of Practice with Brokers of Expertise – I’m a huge fan of Brokers of Expertise (have even given a few BofE workshops), but couldn’t pass on an opportunity to hear Jon Knolle present. News flash: If you’d like to provide the California Department of Education and State Superintendent Torlakson’s Task Force with some feedback, here’s your chance, through Brokers, to share your vision for Education Technology in California Schools, share your vision for visual and performing arts and creative education in California Schools, and share your vision for STEM education in California schools.

Prezi Primer – Christine Olmstead and Randy Kolset did a great job of touring the newest features of Prezi to both those familiar with or new to Prezi. I really like the greater variety of themes as well as the option to easily upload PowerPoints.

KQED Do Now: Engage Students with Topical Issues Using Twitter – My second workshop with Mathew Williams was equally excellent. Check out the rich ways KQED’s Do Now program engages students with current issues using social media tools such as Twitter.  I’ll definitely be including this site in my upcoming district Twitter workshop for administrators.

Saturday Take-Aways:

Feedback Machine: Using a Mail Merge with Google Spreadsheet for Student Communication – If you’re impressed by Flubaroo (as I am), then you will be in awe of how Alice Keeler takes instant online feedback to the next level with her Google spreadsheet tips and tricks.  She’s posted the session links and tons of extras to her tech page.

Licensed to Drive … Google Style – Loved Mark Hammon’s humor, injected throughout the hour.  Glad to know that when inserting images to Google Drive, the citation is automatically included. Cool.

Do You Flubaroo? How to Use the Auto-Grading Script Effectively – I’m pretty familiar with Flubaroo, but I really liked presenter Roni Habib’s suggestion to use it at the beginning of the school year to build online communities – and take it to a Wordle.

Digital ID Project – My project co-creator/curator Natalie Bernasconi and I were at first a little bummed to see our session was scheduled at the end of the conference. That soon changed, thanks to the opportunity to spend our session with some pretty incredible teachers:-).

Will definitely plan to attend next year’s Fall CUE Conference. It’s not often that a fabulous conference is within driving distance of Placerville;-)

 

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