Monday, January 26, 2015

People's Choice in February!

We like to incorporate a few People's Choice Topics throughout the year for our #INeLearn network. Our first People's Choice for 2015 is next week. We need to hear from you! What is a topic or question you would like to see the #INeLearn network discuss? Use this form to share your ideas:

#INeLearn is about improving student outcomes through the intentional use of technology and all that relates to this goal.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Digital Leadership Strand of #INeLearn Chats Welcomes Our New Moderator!

With the New Year falling on a Thursday, January's schedule was slightly altered. Normally our Digital Leadership Topics occur on the third Thursday, but we bumped the schedule back a week. Kim Hendrick, our moderator, just finished leading a powerful series that took a deep look at the ISTE Standards for Administrators. With recent job changes, Kim has handed over the responsibility of leading the third week chats. We congratulate Kim on the new position as Coordinator of Connected Learning for Center Grove School Corporation and know she will continue to be a regular participant in our #INeLearn PLN! Now, we are thrilled to welcome Amy Heavin, who has co-moderated with Kim in the past, as our moderator for Digital Leadership. Amy has planned a series of topics based around Eric Sheninger's Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times. If you are not familiar with this book, check out this list of resources. Make plans to join us on the 22nd for a chat around the first of seven pillars outlined in the book.

Friday, December 5, 2014

December and January Chats 20-25% Off!

With the holidays upon us, chats are reduced in half for the next four weeks, but that's not a bad thing. In fact, taking a break from our normal Thursday night routine can be healthy.

Before you disconnect, we do have two weeks of collaboration ahead of us:

December 11: Michele Eaton, who moderates our virtual and blended strand, is planning a chat around the often debated question, How do we prepare students for online/virtual learning? Join us in determining what needs to be in place so that virtual learners are getting their instructional needs met.

December 18: Say it isn't so! This is the final chat in a series focused on the ISTE Standards for Administrators. Back to co-moderate with Kim Hendrick is Amy Heavin. They made quite the team last month and we are sure to gain new perspectives in this discussion on Digital Citizenship for leadership.

After you are recharged (we decided everyone deserved New Year's Day off), we'll resume chat on January 8th. Our topic that night will be student voice and we are encouraging Hoosier Student Digital Leaders to be a part of this special chat. This will put a little twist on our regular weekly order, but since January is a 5 week month, we can still fit in all our strands. The 15th will be our blended/online learning focus, the 22nd will be all about digital leadership and we'll wrap up January on the 29th with a emphasis on 1:1 and coaching.

If we don't catch you in the next two weeks, happy holidays! We look forward to continuing to learn together in 2015!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Archive of 11/13 Chat

For November 13th’s #INeLearn Twitter chat, the group discussed designing and delivering online professional development.  It was a great discussion full of lots of productive brainstorming.

What does your self-directed online professional development look like?

Twitter and Pinterest were of course on the top of many self-directed online PD plans.  Matt Miller (@jmattmiller) loves finding ideas and links on Twitter to help him curate the vast number of resources and articles online.  Ms. Worthman (@CAMMediaCenter) uses Pocket to keep track of these links.  Following various hashtags on Twitter (especially conference hashtags when you can’t physically attend) were great ideas shared.

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The #INeLearn Voxer group is a new tool for informal professional development.  Contact Michelle Green (@mrg_3) to get added!  It’s a great way to add a personal touch to your PLN.

In addition to social media, our group shared they valued reading blogs, articles, research organization publications, and webinars to further their own learning.

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What are the benefits and potential pitfalls to creating structured online PD for teachers?

To start us off, JD Ferries-Rowe (@jdferries) reminds us that online PD should not be used as a shortcut.  Relationships are still important.  This can be accomplished online, but must not be overlooked.

Susie Highley (@shighley) encourages us to think about why we go online for PD.  We value the lack of structure and the choice it gives us.  Something to keep in mind when designing personalized online experiences for other staff.  Kelly Scholl (@SchollHouseRock) agrees that this platform gives us the opportunity to provide flexible, individualized support for teachers.  

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Seth Ponder (@SethPonder) said that online PD would be a great tool to connect teachers from various school districts.  This is especially relevant for smaller school districts.  Scholl agrees that this is powerful regardless of the size of your school.

Ferries-Rowe reminds us of another potential pitfall to keep in mind when designing professional development opportunities.  He says that “PD by Social Media can lead to a lot of confirmation bias. Need some skeptics to keep it real. Keep the focus on learning.”  

Many shared that a good starting place for online PD is the rote learning that happens.  If it is a repeat of information or something that just requires memorization or understanding of content, start by trying to put it online.  Green suggests that we “keep F2F (face to face) for culture building.”

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Nancy Ellis (@naellis1202) understands that engaging PD that models good online instructional time takes time and skill though.  She says this type of PD “must be interactive, engaging, and collaborative.”

Considering the benefits and pitfalls, what does online PD look like to you? What form can/should it take?

Scholl suggests starting small to not overwhelm the designer and to ensure that there is not a negative reaction from participants.  

Regardless of where you start, Jason Bodnar (@APJasonBodnar) emphasizes the importance of differentiation.  He says to “ask teacher what they want to learn and provide them resources and time to get there.  Teachers have different needs.”

When asked if they imagined starting with synchronous online professional development like webinars or with self-paced PD opportunities, the responses varied.  Worthman is interested in self-paced PD because of the convenience and flexibility.  I (@lyonmi) like this approach too, because it’s nice to be able to share that PD over and over with a simple link.

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We generated some interest in flipping PD.  We would love if you could comment below or share on Twitter with #INeLearn of any resources you have on this.  

When blending your PD, what situations are best for F2F, webinar, asynchronous virtual learning, flipped PD, etc.?

Many of our tweeters like to do F2F when teachers are learning something new.  Human interaction is still very powerful.  Tim Kasper (@TimKasper) prefers face-to-face “for sensitive/social issues; virtual may be best for technical skills.”

Ferries-Rowe breaks it down like this: “F2F- new material, discussions with emotions/support; Webinar - the details from experts who are not around; Asynchronous - Follow-up.”  Sounds like a good plan!

Others use webinars for scheduling conflicts.  Sometimes the best time to meet is at 8:00 at night.

We discussed how relationships can be maintained and grow online, but if that culture is not in place, building in some F2F time to a blended approach could be a good starting point.  

What tools and resources are essential for creating engaging and meaningful online PD?

Here are the tools and resources that we discussed:
  • Voxer
  • Twitter
  • IMs
  • Email
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Google Docs
  • Google Hangouts
  • Screencasts
  • LMS (learning management system)
  • Blendspace
  • 3D Printed Coffee (still working on this one)
  • PD hashtag for your participants
  • Anything collaborative!
  • for quick feedback

Are time requirements the most ideal way to measure and credit teacher training?

We agreed that while convenient to measure in seat time, we know that measuring completion via product or reflection is better for this type of professional development.

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Shout out to Matt Miller for creating a great sketchnote while participating in the chat.  This is a wonderful visual depiction of our conversation.  
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Thank you again to all of the #INeLearn participants.  We would love for you to share any additional thoughts on designing and delivering online professional development on Twitter.  Please tweet your ideas using #INeLearn.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Introducing #INeLearn Voxer Group

The INeLearn network is claiming another social media tool in addition to our spaces on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Blogger. (I think I got them all! ) This time it’s in the form of a productivity app, Voxer. The Voxer group is a new way to extend the conversations that take place on Twitter.

If you are not familiar with Voxer, Matt Miller provides a comprehensive look at the app in his recent post Trying professional development “walkie-talkie style” with Voxer.

I had been playing with the idea of starting a Voxer group since my Google Teacher Academy experience this summer. Although, it wasn’t until #EdCampKY a couple of weeks ago, that I was confident enough to put the plan into action. Here are the notes from the session I attended. You will find a lot of ideas that were shared in the session as well as how-to resources in the Google Doc. It’s collaborative, so if you have something to add, please feel welcome to do so.

Our INeLearn Voxer chat is beginning with a Question of the Week. Depending on how the conversation goes and the size of the group, we may raise the stakes to a Question of the Day, but it’s early yet. I am looking forward to seeing where our responses take us over the course of the week. I don’t really expect to end up where we begin given the complexity of most technology integration topics.

Our first question was taken directly from a Tweet that Alec Couros sent out to #edchat #TLtechlive (see screenshot). One tip I learned at EdCampKY was to create definition between discussions by entering a Vox text message as a visual marker. This way you will be able to see where new topics begin with a quick scroll through the group list of posts.

I won’t repeat all the tips that I learned as they are in the notes, but another one of the other key suggestion made was to try and use the voice option as your primary means for sharing. This enables group members who want to listen to Voxs while commuting or multi-tasking to hear everyone’s responses. An added bonus is that we get to know each other on a new level by speaking. It’s like characters in a book you’ve been reading have come to life. For example, I’ve met Matt Miller on a number of occasions and recognized his voice right away. On the other hand, when Amy Heavin introduced herself, I learned that I’d been mentally mispronouncing her last name for months! I’m really looking forward to getting to know my INeLearn PLN in a new way.

If you are interested in being added to the group, simply Vox me at mgreen1204. I will add you as a contact and as a member in the IneLearn Voxers group.

I can’t wait to hear from you!
Michelle Green

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Indiana boasts a number of school and district wide Twitter chats. For the final week of Connected Educator month, we are inviting everyone to come together on #INeLearn and share local collaboration as a means to build capacity across the state.

We will be applying the National Center for Literacy Education's framework for capacity building to our discussion. You can check out their very short (reader-friendly) literature review on the topic here.

If your school or district is collaborating via a hashtag, please retweet this invitation to them! We will include a little friendly competition to see which school, district, and region are contributing to this massive effort to build capacity through our state edchat.

See you on #INeLearn, Thursday night at 8CST/9EST.