The @BlackboardK12 Fall Innovative Teaching Series

I've partnered with Blackboard to help get the word out about their Fall teaching series. These are weekly webinars around several different types of topics including visions for digital learning, using badges to personalize learning, effectively leveraging 1:1 technology, flipping and more! The webinars are all on Mondays at 3:30pm EDT (however there are just a couple that are at a different time.) so you can go ahead a plan which ones you can attend. Can't be there in person? Not to worry! Everything will be archived so you can come back to it later.

The series kicks off on Monday, Sept 15 with a great conversation with Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. The dynamic profusion of emerging technologies, both in school and out of school, is propelling today’s K-12 students to make new demands on their schools for a dramatically different kind of educational experience. Enabled, empowered and engaged, our students have a unique vision for 21st century education that reflects their desires for social-based learning experiences that are un-tethered to the traditional classroom, and rich in digital media and content. The annual Speak Up National Research Project provides an exclusive window into the views of students on personalized learning and new classroom models. In this webinar, we will share the latest Speak Up national findings from over 403,000 K-12 students, parents and educators with a special emphasis on the how today’s students want to be engaged with mobile learning, online and blended learning, and e-textbooks and digital content. The discussion will provide new insights into the digital disconnect between students and educators, and stimulate conversations about how to effectively leverage new classroom models of innovation to drive both increased student achievement and teacher productivity.

I will be doing a session on Sept 22 on Curation. Going digital has made all information available at our finger tips. From research to consumption it is easy, however, to get lost in the rabbit hole of content. Join us as we will look at curation from start to finish. We will answer questions like how to find reliable information and tell its actually reliable and how to save this information so you can get back to it when you need it. We’ll examine the tools, sites and skills necessary to be a Master Curator. It's sure to be a fun time filled with lots of information and resources.

Check out the website and sign up for one, a handful or all the webinars!

Becoming A Better Digital Coach With @FI_DLC and #CDL_MOOCEd

As more and more digital devices are being introduced to teachers and students, the need for school leaders to understand how to help teachers through this transition in learning will be critical. In my former life as a Director of Instructional Technology one of the aspects I emphasized with my team was the need to be more of a coach. Help teachers and other leaders understand the digital integration process while equipping them with the skills to lead on their own and reflect on their practice.

For many, this transition to more of a coaching role, especially when it comes to technology can be a challenge. Understanding how to guide teachers and leaders can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be, thanks to the Friday Institute and the Coaching Digital Learning MOOC.

In this Massive Open Online Course you will learn with others to deepen your understanding of what it takes to coach teachers to integrate technology effectively, explore relevant frameworks of technology infusion and create an action plan for your school or district.

The course takes place all online over the course of 6 weeks. You can participate as an individual but teams from schools or districts are encouraged to take the course together.

The course starts on Sept. 15 and ends Oct. 27. And the best part? The cost is free!

You can learn more about the MOOC by visiting the site There you can see the course outline, intended outcomes and what your expectations are.

I took this course last year and was amazed at the depth of content and the connections I made with other participants. It was valuable for me as learner and I think you’d find the same.

The #SPRK Project From @SpheroEDU

I have been a big fan of the Sphero for a while now.
What is Sphero It's a robot you program and control from your smart device. There are apps that allow you do everything from just learning the basics to how to control it to deeper programing skills, to augmented reality games. My 5 yr old daughter and I really enjoy to take ours out and just play with the programming language to see what we can do.
Sphero's make a great edition to any classroom too. With many having a focus on STEM and Robotics education, Spheros are a simple (and super fun) way to introduce those concepts to kids.
As part of the Sphero education initiative they have created SPRK (Schools, Parents, Robots, Kids) Program. Aimed at helping teachers integrate Spheros into their curriculum, the program has loads of lessons on programming that equip kids with those essential skills. They also have STEM challenges which are multi-lesson activities that expose students to STEM concepts while using their Sphero to accomplish a task or reach a goal. I really like these. They have kids doing practical and real-world tasks that they would encounter in their world while showing them how technology, science concepts and mathematics are all interconnected.
Check out more of what Sphero can do for you and your classroom!

Innovations and Conversations-Episode 2 Featuring @KleinErin

My Innovations and Conversations series features the leading thinkers and doers in the world of Education.
In this episode of my Innovations and Conversations series, I talk with the one and only Erin Klein. Her work on classroom design is having an impact on classrooms across the globe. During our talk she explains what good classroom design looks like, offers some tips on how to create a brain-friendly classroom on a budget and how being a connected educator has impacted her success.
Be sure to subscribe to our playlist so you never miss a conversation!
Our next Innovations and Conversations will feature my good friend, the one and only, Tom Whitby. We will talk about our book, The Relevant Educator, why connected educators are important to teaching and why he wears those Hawaiian shirts. Sign up on our Hangouts On Air page and drop a question you've been dying to ask Tom and I!

Team Up For Technology With @TeamJJF and @JimmieJohnson #TeamUp4Tech

Anyone who knows me, knows that my weekends are spent following NASCAR Racing. Living in the heart of racing world, it’s kinda an expectation that I am happy to take part in. And anyone who knows me know that there is only one driver I pull for, and that’s Jimmie Johnson.
Not only is Jimmie an amazing talent, he also has a foundation that does so much for kids and schools. And right now they have a contest to provide a $48,000 (cause 48 is the most awesome number) technology make over to one public K-12 or charter school.
Entering is so easy!
  • Send a Tweet to share why your school needs a technology makeover.
  • Your Tweet must include the hashtag #teamup4tech.
  • Enteries are limited to a single tweet message of 140 characters.
  • Your tweet can include a photo but the photo link must be contained in the single tweet.
Don't do Twitter? No problem! There is an online form you can fill out.
But don't wait! The contest ends Sept. 5!

Themes For Connected Educators Month #ce14

As a member of the planning team for Connected Educators Month I am excited for October to get here. Connected Educators Month is a time to show all the benefits of being connected and helping all educators grow in the profession. There are webinars, book studies, chats and other events to celebrate and tools for districts and schools to use to show the power of being a connected educator.
As part of Connected Educators Month there are themes and tracks to help focus your learning. The list of themes was huge and had to be whittled down to the core themes below.
  • Blended Learning
  • Collaboration and Capacity-Building
  • Diversity, Inclusiveness and Global Connected Education
  • Educator Professional Development and Learning
  • Leadership for Change
  • Student Agency, Student Voice and the Maker Movement
  • Whole Community Engagement (Parents, Teachers, Students, Community Members)
As you can see there is something for everyone. Check out the Connected Educators Website to see all the resources and the events that have already been added to the calendar.

Get Ready For The Connected Educators Series! #CorwinCE

A proud moment for me. The book The Relevant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learning is finally published tomorrow. In it, Tom Whitby and I argue for the need for educators to embrace connected professional learning and how they can do it. It’s full of our stories and experiences along with the tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way.

It’s part of a more awesome series from Corwin called The Connected Educator Series. It’s humbling to be published next to authors like Peter DeWitt, Mark Barnes and others.
Releasing tomorrow are titles on topics like Edcamps, flipped leadership and teaching the iStudent. Amazing topics and titles with only more to come.
Check out the entire series and the website has tons of resources too!

Innovations and Conversations Featuring Amanda Dykes

I’ve started a new series of conversations with some top notch folks to get their ideas of collaboration, creativity in thinking and to hear what they are doing in their world.
In my first conversation I sat down with Amanda Dykes to talk about STEM, the effects of social media on professional learning and why Middle School kids are so awesome!

You can join me for the next Innovations and Conversation chat where I talk classroom design with Erin Klein.