Sunday, March 24, 2013

Random notes from #Cue13

So much of what I learned at CUE was ad hoc, a hallway chat, a Cue Tip, the second half of a presentation after leaving an unproductive first half elsewhere and visits with vendors on the exhibit hall floor. 

Here are my highlights:
 Writing for the Digital Age by Rebecca Lowi,Amy Woods and Amy McMillan from Santa Barbara. I liked the essential questions, how might digital writing change how and what we write? and what are the best ways to use digital writing tools in our classroom? On things they included which I thought was important was having students write reflections on growth and learning.  I appreciated the links to teacher resources and student work.

I sat in on a Cue tip on Edmodo- Great info for Edmodo beginners - new tidbit-  Use polls as quick check. +David Ross  and +Todd Teetzel  which inspired me to go see my friend at Edmodo - +Jill Florant who suggested I check out the Edmodo apps instagrok which is a super cool research tool.  She also showed me Study Sync which looked  very interesting for upper grades but I wanted to know what they were doing for 3-5th grade so I popped next door to their booth. Although she said they were looking at piloting for lower grades, she was not very enthusiastic so we walked away disappointed.  

Intrigued by magican’s wands and top hats, we worked our way to the very back of the hall where we found entertaining and informative reps from CollobosThey provide mobile printing from iPad to almost any printer. $20 a shot. – Yes, it’s like magic!

Near the Collobos booth was the Subtext booth. I had heard of it but didn’t quite get it. After 20 minutes talking to a real teacher who uses Subtext in her classroom I couldn't wait to get startedI'll report back once I start using it with students.

Finally I found my friend +Martin Cisneros  who I first met at CUE about 5 years ago.  We chatted about using configurator at a district, not classroom level and he has had much success with that approach.  Maybe we shouldn't have given up so soon but it is super frustrating to use for classroom iPad management. Martin's blog has been a great resource for me. 

I have used blogging in my classroom for a few years but feel like I could do more. I got some great ideas from Linda Yollis.  Her wiki provides some great ideas and examples.  Her classroom blog is so engaging and inspiring! We can do this!

Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter!
This was a great session and Leslie Fisher is incredibly engaging and entertaining.  In elementary school I don’t think I would use twitter with my kids, but I certainly do see its uses in my own professional development. 
  • She recommends setting up separate teacher account vs personal account. Don't even use name and face for personal side so you can get crazy (well, in theory, one could)
  • Choose advanced then you can filter etc.
  • Helpful hint: If I start a tweet with @ then only the person I sent it to will see it unless they are searching for it

Although this is from last year, it is an interesting article supporting the idea of Twitter as a PD tool.

Visual Storytelling, Digital Storytelling, Cinematic Narrative: Literacy Across the Curriculum. By Ken Shelton - Cue13

+sheila monger and I attended this inspiring session at CUE last week  I was actually in another session and she text-ed me to 'get over to Primrose A now!' I was so glad I did! Our world is surrounded by still and moving imagery. In many cases these are used to provide directions, information, or even tell stories. The most vital element to all of these is Literacy. This session examined ways in which we can incorporate visual learning to support literacy across the curriculum.  +Ken Shelton is a wonderful, creative storyteller with amazing ideas and examples. I am still waiting for him to post his presentation which was just stunning. (Once I see it, I am sure I will have more to say about the session!)
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
This picture of +Diane Main   was annotated in thinglink , a tool for annotating/adding story to digital photos. You can click on places on the picture and get more information, more of the story.

Here are some other resources he shared: 
A presentation by +Michael Hernandez, Cinematic Storytelling which gratefully included some practical information and lesson plan ideas (something I found generally lacking at CUE this year)

Shelton also had a great idea to get kids to do a more thorough job with Storyboarding. Tell kids their grade depends on how well someone else does our movie based on your story board! 

Remember to include reflection part!!
Pixar’s rules for Storytelling  - I want to make a poster out of this for my kids!

 Shelton recommended the book : Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by  +David Weinberger.

If you every get a chance to hear Ken Shelton speak, you'll be glad you did!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Last Lecture, by George Manthey

Notes from George's Last Lecture Manthey is my cousin and Assistant Executive Director at Association of California School Administrators. He is retiring this year and gave his 'Last Lecture' at the Classified Educational Leader's Conference in Emeryville, CA on Feb. 28 of this year. His speech really touched my heart and I wanted to share some of his "GEMS" for those of you that don't want to sit through the full hour speech. That said, the ending makes it all worthwhile!  Where I couldn't resist adding my comments, they are (in parentheses).

George's GEMS
  1. People meet up. People we connect with are there for a reason.
  2. Steal the best stuff, share it, and give credit!
  3. Leaders need to simplify, not complicate - Doobie Brothers -I may be just a boy but I am not a fool, Our leaders need to simplify instead of complicate. There is an inverse relationship between size of SIP and the improvement.
  4. Don't underestimate your influence - make the most of every single opportunity! It is through creating change that we have a lasting influence.  Here he tells a wonderful story about a struggling 2nd grader who came back to him some 30 years later, an extremely successful lawyer and father, and said, roughly, 'all of my accomplishments are your accomplishments, too.' (What teacher doesn't wish for that impact?!)
  5. Leading is a dance. Dance joyfully. When you dance, sometimes you teach, other times you learn. At times you are fronts and center, other times you are in the background. You have to take risks. Dancing is more powerful when you include everyone. (Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.)
  6. Often you need a commitment to just go halfway.
  7. It isn't good enough to have a goal, if your goal doesn't have truth, beauty and goodness. Seek what is beautiful, right and good.
  8. Sometimes you won't know, there are other times you will (think Vincent Van Gogh)
  9. Include and transcend. Live in the world of What's Not. Lao Tzu said 'Hollowed out, clay makes a pot. Where a pot is not, is where it is useful.'  Our imaginations are not big enough when they are not expanded by others.
  10. one word - NOTICE. Pay attention. Live whole heartedly. Brene' Brown reported in her TED talk, 'people who notice have things in common: Courage. Compassion. Connection. Vulnerability.'
  11. End Abruptly when the time is right.
  12. There are no accidents. In everything there is a purpose.
  13. Love the ones you're with.

    George Manthey's Last Lecture from ACSA on Vimeo.