I got an excellent list of resources the other day and will just share the DM I received:
THANK YOU for your ongoing support of our mission: to engage and empower every classroom on earth with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Many of you have asked for the best resources to help you get started.
Here are our suggestions… and they’re all free!
If you would like to serve the @TeachSDGs movement even more effectively, consider turning on your notifications if you haven’t done so already. We are only as strong as you are active. Please continue to share and celebrate how you #TeachSDGs and, again, THANK YOU!! Wishing you a wonderful and well deserved summer break, The #TeachSDGs team http://www.teachsdgs.org
The amazing Alice Keeler has put together a great set of videos on how to get the most out of Google Slides. Check out her post here.
I was happy to catch Michelle Luhtala's webinar a week or so ago on Data and Data Literacy. I was kind of thinking that this was going to be more fake news kind of material, but she really took it in a different direction which I hadn't looked at in a while. Those of you who teach middle and high school social studies or science, probably know these sites, but if not- check them out. Even if you teach elementary students, some of the basics are also highlighted- check the scale of the graph, etc. I simply find Hans Rosling and his data visualizations to be pretty amazing.
This site was new to me- Social Explorer. As you might expect-lots of maps and data visualization. There's also a youtube video to demonstrate how to add your own data. She also shared some of Mark Liddell's work on statistics.
The other two links that I really liked were Lea Gaslowitz' How to spot a misleading graph- which can easily be used across both grade levels and disciplines, and David McCandless' Information is Beautiful site. Check out his visualization of Snake Oil Supplements and so many more!
Please check out Michelle's webinar recording on edweb.net or her Pearltrees links. If you have never explored Gapminder... check it out either link. I couldn't decide on my favorite Hans Rosling video... but put one below. The world certainly misses Hans, but we are so fortunate to have so many videos available to view and review.
Googlepalooza in Western Mass
Don't miss out on special pricing- only $45 thru June 30. A full day of PD and breakfast and lunch! I know I always end up driving for hours for PD- this one is just over the hill with some great presenters.
Gateway Public Schools and MassCUE are looking forward to hosting its first ever Summer Googlepalooza on 8/8/18 in western MA. Register today for the special rate of $45 for a full day of learning and breakfast and lunch! (Regular registration rate of $65 will resume on 7/1/18.) Extra bonus: any educator who attends will be able to purchase a MassCUE membership for half-price.
Hope to see you at the Summer Googlepalooza at Gateway Public Schools in Huntington, MA.
Seems like I'm always talking about PD. I used to love professional development. I enjoyed having choices, getting to learn about lots of things to improve my practice. Although I actually still enjoy PD, I now see the "dark side"- required professional development that someone else seems to think will improve my or other teachers' practice. We all know that some things are necessary for all to stay on top of, but so many PD sessions are so boring, that even if it's good material, I stopped listening a long time before they got to the "good part". I recently read an article by Dean Shareski, entitled Bad PD is Sometimes Your Own Fault. And yes, I agree that we can also substitute staff meeting for PD. I have met Dean, listened to him present at various conferences over the years and have a lot of respect for both the breadth and depth of his knowledge. However, he is looking at this from his perspective as a PD provider. I also agree with some of his statements about factors of time, community and context that are often problematic. But- they don't have to be! Here in Hadley it's a pretty darn small community. We can pay attention to context, to what the needs of our community are- if we take the time to listen to the teachers and staff. If we actually ask for and use their input, I think we could serve the "needs of the district" by meeting the needs of the teachers and students. Give them a voice and a choice, please.
Along those same lines, I also read Keith Westman's article entitled, " I Can't Ask Our Teachers to Do One More Thing". Funny, since it seems like although I have heard that sentiment, I know that almost every teacher and staff member I know is asked to do one more thing on a regular basis. Again, we hear about voice and choice. We have all seen new initiatives come through the doors- on an annual basis. What makes them stick? Time, price-ROI, usefulness in the classroom? What role does the administration take in this? What is the role of the educator?
What Makes a Good Teacher Great?
This really resonated with me. Is it a love of teaching? A love of learning? Most of the best teachers I have had, teachers that I know, are people who listen, who love to learn and to share with others. They have a voice; they choose how to present the content. They have learned to listen.
If we could take Azul's concluding statement and transfer it to teacher PD issues...teacher voice and choice- "And can you imagine if we took the time to ask those students, "What would make a good teacher great? And then we actually listened, we could transform schools and education.
Google Tour Creator
When I saw the announcement last Wednesday that Google has created a really cool, easy to use tool to make VR tours right on a chromebook, I envisioned using it for a current 4th grade project on regions. Well, we're still waiting for it to roll out for our district. But, I do have access on my personal Google account and will keep checking the domain settings to see when it lands out heah. Essentially, you start here, then you go to Google Maps, street view (grab that little peg man and plop him where you want to look around), use the images found there or upload your own 360° images. So, I decided to test it out by looking around on the Kenai Peninsula where my son is doing some forestry work. Guess what- no roads= no Google street view- duh! But I did check out Yellowstone and found some good street view images there- although of course not everywhere I wanted to see.
But, if you want a couple of really good tutorials- turn to Richard Byrne's blog and learn more. I will put the 1st tutorial below, but he has another one to add even more detail. Check out his second tutorial here.
Applied Digital Skills
I posted a video about this back in March, and although I signed up to try it out for Digital Skills Week, life intervened and I didn't get back to it. Since then, I have talked with other educators and some are using pieces of this all the way down to 3rd grade- or at least upper elementary. EdTechTeam hosted a couple of half hour webinars that you can check out on YouTube. There is so much to explore in this well organized system that is already made for you. I loved the clickable pdf that Heather Sanders made. If you have a few minutes, check out a tiny piece of the curriculum- theIf-Then adventure stories are great for all ages.
I know- too early to even think about... let me get through the year... BUT I just wanted to let you know that MassCue is sponsoring yet another PD opportunity in Western Mass! This one will also be at Gateway- over in Huntington. Their IT director-Chris Parker- is a Hadley native and I have to say, having met him all of one time at #EdCampWesternMass - he's kind of awesome. Lots of ideas, runs a great program in his district. So- this will be in August. My all time favorite Google Guru to learn from- Jenn Judkins will be there. Honestly, I can sit in her sessions all day long and come away with something new every time. She actually uses these tools, has incredible work flow ideas, and she's funny. It's $65 for the whole day. I can pretty much guarantee that you will come away with ideas that you can use in the classroom, as an admin, etc. Check it out here.
Those of you who know me, know that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality both make me feel seasick. I can be sitting down, I can hold a 3D image way out away from me, but I am the Dramamine queen. But, that does not mean that I don't see the value in this for some of our students. I have a whole box of Merge Cubes that I picked up when they were on sale at Walmart for $1/each, but haven't had the time to mess around with them. If you have time, stop by- I'll share. I love the Merge Cube educator group on FB. The ideas being shared every day are really amazing.
I was fortunate enough to catch Michael Fricano's webinar on Saturday. It went long- so you can watch the whole hour plus if you have time, or just check out the resources he shared in the Livebinder. He is also consolidating all of the AR/VR stuff into a nice new website- check it out here.
Click here to open this binder in a new window.
I have written in the past about SDGs- Sustainable Development Goals, but before the school year ends, wanted to remind everyone that it is not too early to figure out what you'll be doing to help your students understand the concept and come up with real plans to achieve these goals. The video below is an invitation to do just that. Visit the project web site and learn more about it. Everyone can participate- preK on up...
UDL: Great collection of Assistive Tech and OT sites
A friend posted a link to an excellent collection of sites for assistive tech and OT related strategies today. H/T to Leslie DiChiara for sharing these links! The one that I really enjoyed checking out was this one on speech recognition, but you are sure to find something of interest here.
One thing that really stood out to me on Saturday when I attended EdCampAccessBoston was the continuing gap between "Our Kids" and "Their Kids" - between special educators and general educators. I know that everyone cares about all of their students. I know that everyone is busy. Sometimes we don't cover all the bases. Working together, truly working as a team- to provide what is best for all students is our goal, but it's hard sometimes!
These links- all kids can benefit from many of these strategies- not just a student on an IEP or a 504 plan. Karen Janowski, one of my friends, one of my teachers, and an amazing educator shared a few websites during these sessions that, again, almost all students can benefit from. She showed teachers how to use Lit Charts, Insert Learning- (great blog post by Caitlin Tucker), and Common Lit. I hadn't seen Lit Charts- very cool site. Think Shmoop- but way better. The guys who created Spark Notes created this tool. Read more about it here: About LitCharts, or Why LitCharts are the Best Literature Guides on Earth
What is #MADPD?? It is "a virtual “unconference” with one goal: to make a difference for the greater education community. On May 6, 100 educators from across the globe shared one idea that makes a difference in their classrooms!
It was actually pretty amazing, and the great thing- you can still access all of the presentations- free, on your own time schedule. How? By using the Awesome Table, of course.
Here's the link: https://awesome-table.com/-LBnE8hn7NBBTPOjM2Qo/view
There are 94 short presentations- bet there is something that interests you.
Alice Keeler- Google Forms- Branching