Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#EdCampAwesome

Today I'm at the 2nd annual #EdCampAwesome.  I'm so blessed to be an organizer of this event again this year.  We have so much fun getting it ready and so far today it seems like the participants are having fun too!

We started the morning with the Royse City High School drum line.  Wow! Those dudes can play!

I was able to lead a discussion about getting started with Technology Integration. I started off by sharing my philosophy: We have so many things the state expects us to teacher, we don't have time for a 'project'.  We must start with what standard (TEKS) we need students to master or demonstrate mastery of THEN we start looking for a tools.  We started talking about challenges to integration.  We had a great discussion, solving problems and sharing tools.

During lunch I relaxed on a lovely, squishy bean bag in the RCHS.

After lunch, I attended a session on Flipping PD.  Don Jacobs and Julia Robinson lead this discussion.  Don stressed the importance of having a digital presence where the flipped PD lives.  I think this is so important to so that teachers consistently know where to go for help.

I had to head home after that session. My son had his first dance and I was on momma duty! I actually went home, helped him get ready, dropped him off with his friends for some pre-dance fun, picked up with rest of the family, went to my middle son's basketball game, dropped off the family then headed to the dance to chaperone.

This was the 2nd year for #EdCampAwesome and it was just as much fun as last year.  We rained swag down from the 2nd floor.  We put out a huge thing of chips and salsa (what I had for lunch). I missed my favorite part - the prize giveaways - but pictures from Twitter did not disappoint.

What I really love about #EdCampAwesome is the buzz.  Everyone is excited to be learning on a Saturday.  Everyone is ready to learn and share.  There's no hierarchy of experts and attendees.  We are all learning together. Everyone sharing what they know to make each other better.  Celebrating wins big and small.  Making each other's days.

a small group of our awesome organizers!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

#TCEA15

I am so pleased to be presenting at #TCEA15.

Get Organized.  Go Paperless. Lose 20 pounds*
*weight loss results may vary
Thursday, February 5
12 pm
Room 18B

Evernote and it's suite of apps will change your life.  Keep everything in one place - notes, web clippings, calendar.  If you love to write, you'll love Penultimate.  Edit and annotate pictures with Skitch.

I'll also be demonstrating how you can present directly from Evernote.  This is the public link to the Evernote notebook I'll presenting from: https://www.evernote.com/l/AEGO6w99YuJMV51HbduMUA8pgOcsAqDWmIQ

I hope you see you there!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Rules of Improvisation and Education

After reading Amy Poehler's book and gaining some incredible insights, I decided to move on to Tina Fey's book, Bossypants.  I loved the book and discovered that I am more like Tina than Amy.  She used a coupe of words in her book that I thought I had made up.  Imagine my disappointment.

Anywho, Tina talks about her roots in improv in the book.  She has an aside titled "The Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat*  *improv will not reduce belly fat".  My session at this year's TCEA conference is "Get Organized. Go Paperless. Lose 20 pounds*   *weight loss results may vary".  I SWEAR I haven't read this book before!

Back to the rules of improv, it occurred to me that the rules of improv and the rules of education are very similar...

Rule 1 - Always agree and say YES - this doesn't mean that you have to agree with everything but you have to "respect what your partner has created".  In education, your partner could be your teaching partner, your principal or your district.  You may disagree because you don't think it sounds like a good idea.  Give it a shot anyway.  You may disagree on principle, give it a shot anyway.  Sometimes you have to respect that other people know more than you and have a different perspective on the problem.

Rule 2 - Not only say yes but say YES, AND - here's where you contribute.  You've said YES, you're being a team player but now you add your thoughts, perspectives and ideas.

Rule 3 - MAKE STATEMENTS - I can't put it any better than Tina "Whatever the problem, be part of the solution.  Don't just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles."

Rule 4 - THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, only opportunities - we talk a lot about our kids needing to learn to fail.  But what about us? How often have you put yourself out there? Offer up your solution.  Take a risk.  Try something new.  It might now work but you probably wouldn't die either.  And you'll have learned something that will make you better.