Initial ISTE Reflection

Global Exchange

      Just like last year two of my favorite days are the pre-conference offerings of HackEd and the Global Education Day. The Global Ed day reaffirmed what I already knew, students need and want to make connections that extend way beyond the classroom. We have done random Great Mail Race letter exchanges in the United States, but students last year expressed interest in writing to students beyond our borders, especially since our class covers geography of the entire Western Hemisphere. It seemed so practical for me to utilize my time at ISTE to reach out to teachers around the world. I repurposed a Google Form to collect information from teachers I met from around the world while at ISTE. I have a group that my students will send letters to first. Instead of random questions, it will be connected to the five themes of geography. I’m still working out the details in my mind, but I’m confident it will work, which is thanks to the enthusiastic support of @JoAnn Jacobs from Hawaii. We talked for the entire hour of #coffeeEDU and she contributed some great ideas. I might have my students practice short geography writing prompts with the ‘Out My Window‘ project. I loved the round table discussion during the Global Education Day when people were able to describe their project creation process, which works out nicely since there will be a Great Global Project Challenge through the VIF. I have until September 15th to figure out all the details.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 3.48.18 PMEdcamp Mentality (rule of two feet and vendor-free*)

This is almost a lie. This year I presented for Amazon Inspire (right after the article was published in the NYTimes announcing Amazon Inspire, no pressure or anything) and Flocabulary, so I did spend time at their booths. So much time with Flocabulary that the song Types of Rocks Flocabulary has been playing in my head on repeat. I learned much more about all the features, especially new ones to be released in the near future.

*compared to the average person in the vendor hall.


However, I probably only stopped by 10ish vendors. I don’t have purchasing power or influence and I don’t need random objects that wouldn’t fit in my suitcase. I did visit: Amazon Inspire, Flocabulary, Nearpod, Minecraft Edu, Canvas (still don’t get the costly appeal), Edmodo (just to say hi to Liz and Kate), Google, Net Smartz, and Remind. There might have been something else, but it wasn’t memorable. I do not go to conferences to spend hours talking to vendors. I go to learn.  I get much more out of talking to actual teachers during the poster session. Which I did more than anything else; I would guesstimate that I saw over 200 posters over the three days. I’m still trying to dig through all of the specific resources that were shared. That will be a separate post, with an annotated list. I originally was hoping to get random stuff in the Expo Hall to give away at Edcamp Hershey, but it was not even worth the time for that. Instead, I’m just asking the edtech companies I have a meaningful relationships with.


Professionally Developing

     I did approach ISTE knowing that I’m on the Professional Learning committee again next year. Sometimes I feel like we have stagnated with offerings since our district was innovating years ago, yet the PD hasn’t kept up. The middle school teachers were fairly active for the different Twitter chats and Twitter challenges throughout the year. A tool that could help with #dtsdchat is The website organizes resources shared in a chat as well as easily curates the conversation and participants.

     I found the next books I want to read for professional development, and thanks to the Corwin Focus group they will be free for me. I wish the district would bring back the robust professional development library we used to have. It was interesting to see what other people wrote, since writing in the margins was not frowned upon. Maybe we can do something similar at Edcamp Hershey.

     One of the best ideas was using students for professional development. The school had a Mouse Squad made up of students that would not only troubleshoot, but come in during teacher in-service to run trainings based on teacher surveys of what they wanted to learn. It started as a middle school group and morphed into a high school class.

     Students can also be used to get teacher buy in. At HackEd someone shared the idea of giving badges to an entire class. Teachers would learn something then actually apply it to their classroom. It would not have to be perfect or complex, but they would need to try. It would be presented to the entire student body so they could encourage their teachers and even plan some things. Ideas for badges: contacting a content area expert with social media, global collaboration, digital story, publishing a collaborative eBook, digital test, creating a formative assessment game online, posting on an online forum (like padlet), using an LMS, sharing student work with parents digitally, etc. The options are endless – and they could be general or specific. I have not discovered a platform for digital badging that I like best yet.

     IMG_5068Almost related to this is parental involvement. There was a great presentation from a school district in Maryland about how they get parents involved and train them. They hold a student technology competition in the middle. They offer short sessions providing tech help. They also have outside agencies that provide free services for students, like summer camps, clubs, library, etc. An idea for the competition is a digital creation mash up challenge, which was inspired by the Apple Playground and the PD dice. There would be two dice that have 12 different apps that are commonly used in class. The third dice would have the subject area. Each student would roll the dice and take a picture. They have to create a mash up about something related to the subject using a mix of both apps. This would get the students excited to share what they are using with parents and get the parents in the door to learn more.

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ISTE GlobalEd

Just like yesterday, these are the highlights of Global Education Day, not the detailed reflection. At the end of the day I presented a poster session.

General Information about Global Education

– #globaled16
– Global Education Project
– VIF will give prizes for best in categories
– Global Collaboration Day Sept 15th
– Global Education Forum Oct 13-15, 2016
– What global events and experiences have shaped our lives?

– Google Research for skills that students need
– The presentation has link to full report from Google
– Education majors tend to study abroad in the smallest numbers
– VIF offers professional development online
– How do you make global studies scalable?
– VIF acquired @participatelrn
– After school program that focuses on global connections
– David Young @dyvif talked from VIF

– TabLab helping transform rural education.
– Box with iPads or Android tablets that are pre-loaded with apps that do NOT need the Internet to use.
– Big focus of TabLab is also providing tech training since they haven’t been exposed to technology themselves.

– Books of positive words about classmates. Write compliment and find image. Send it to the student: they can add it to their book of nice using Book Creator.
– Have a lone nut free environment

– micro-credentials with digital badges, will have 8 global competence badges

Round Table One – the Great Global Project Challenge
– How do we hook other teachers into doing things with global Ed?
– “If you learned here” Project. It was simple and multiple steps. After they learned about each other, they created pages in book creator. The lead teacher combined it then sent the completed books back to all the contributors.
– “Out My Window Project” take a picture and create art or poetry based on picture. It gets posted online with hashtag. #ccsshare
– Buy journals. Have students share addresses of family and friends around the world. Ask people to write a letter, pictures, etc and then mail it forward. Teacher who does this: Thomas Keene.

  • I’m developing the Global Geography Exchange to have students share the Five Themes of Geography for where ever they live. I already had some teachers sign up on a Google Form at my poster session.

Round Table Two – Environment Issues
PenPal Schools and Time for Kids collaboration (topics: poaching, ocean, ecotourism, etc) for a new free course, it will run 6 weeks. August 8th is the goal date for them to complete the module, so it will be available for the upcoming school year
– There are also courses that match Spanish and English students learning the other language. There are multiple levels, so it would be appropriate at a beginner level.
– Complex matching algorithm for matching students based on things like age, gender, sign up activity, etc.

  • There are more resources and notes posted on the Google Doc.

Poster Session: Not Your Grandma’s Maps, Refreshing Geography so Students Crave World Knowledge.

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Pre-ISTE Learning

These blog posts are not going to be long, thoughtful reflections. Instead they are the quick snapshots of the sessions/resources so that I can remember them later. Saturday included #HackEd16 and the Mobile Learning Mega Share, as well as casual conversations in the hallway that also resulted in some ah-ha moments. Since I was up by 4am, I figured ‘why not?’ be part of the HackEd/ISTE unplugged planning crew, aka scheduling guru or happy minion.


  • Personalized, voice and choice, true passion based projects
  • Differentiated, different pathway to same goal
  • Individualized learning, student choice to hit standards, like freedom in project
  • Students don’t know what they don’t know. Hard to give them complete freedom for personalized learning, especially if you are also required to hit all the standards.
  • Misnomer that personalized means you can do anything. Still have to hit standards.
  • Students don’t have agency to know what to expect. They are used to being told exactly what to do.
  • “Teacher for Hire” based on a pre-test, some students will be the ones students go to for help, not just the teacher.
  • “What are your options?” Don’t just give them the answer.
  • Teach them that failure is an option.
  • The behavior issues go away as the learning was personalized.
  • learning badges – using it in Chicago and Philly. Makes learning transparent even when students move frequently.
  • Karen Lirenman teaches at an AWESOME personalized learning environment that spans multiple grades. She will be presenting more about the experience on Wednesday from 11:45-12:45.


  • Post positive messages around the school. Failure is not the end.
  • It’s not about fitting in, but moving beyond to be successful.
  • Admin need to give teachers permission to do things, remove barriers. Teachers need to model it for students.
  • Two year study/classes on innovating and coaching led to a successful growth mindset culture, but it took ten years for the pockets of innovators and people with the fail forward mindset to transform the entire district.
  • How can we inspire teachers to try? Set up badging system for class goals that require teacher advancement (like trying a new tools/strategy), sell it to the students instead of the teachers alone. You will know who to ask. Don’t just check off boxes, you are really changing the experience for the students. This is something they are developing at Excelsior Springs School District. Christy Harris (@teacherharris), it sounds like it has amazing potential.
  • Lubbock Texas SD has been doing badging for professional development. Everyone earns them and displays them, even the superintendent.
  • Do we make too many assumptions? Are we willing to dive deeper and see if it works even if we think it will fail? Do our assumptions prevent students from being able to try on their own?
  • How do you get a cultural change where you can celebrate failure?
  • We need to empower students to have a growth mindset.

SMACKDOWN (many of these I already use, some I heard about at last year’s ISTE but forgot about it in the craziness, and some are new hold potential to explore)

  • Write Our World, multicultural ebook library of stories written by students. Awesome idea! Another resource I will be sharing with colleagues.
  • Formative… The teacher explained his process “inspect, redirect, and reflect”
  • The Wonderment – how could I forget about this since last year?
  • questily – team based quests in small groups to further understanding
  • Google street view app, +, create own 360° image, can toggle over to Google Cardboard
  • Quizizz
  •  open source social annotation. Share an article and read together. Similar to Diigo. “Annotation flash mobs”
  • Voxer, text or voice conversations, on either phone or laptop
  • Pobble 365, daily photos with writing prompt inspiration
  • free video conference, don’t even need to sign up
  • CS unplugged
  • Write About
  • Switcher Studio, free version gives you four iPads to record together. Fifth iPad is the director mixing the videos into one.
  • Peekapak – social and emotional learning


  • Organizing Flow Chart Template via @DenverUbow
  • Virtual BreakoutEDU puzzles 
  • After you have done some Breakouts in class, have students demonstrate mastery of content by creating a couple of their own clues.



  • @ProfeEdTech and @JenWilliamsEdu
  • Virtual Handshake, create padlet and have people add their names, faces, etc.
  • Padlet has a built in QR code creator on the website to easily have people find the Padlet you want them to add to.
  • EDpuzzle + YouTube
  • Symbaloo curation device
  • Feedly + blogging = collections of topics for blogs, shows source and title of new blog posts
  • In Feedly you can create your homepage and people can follow you and your followers
  • One hundred day challenge on Twitter #100days
  • TEDed + sketch notes. Initially just write major concepts. Afterwards she draws the images and adds colors. By having them sketch note it is reflective and demonstrates understanding. @edtechamber 
  • Paper 53, drawing app
  • Apple Pencil, only available for the iPad Pro, something to check out for the future. The fact that it will recognize handwriting and turn it into text could be huge for some of the learning support students who are better writing on paper but need the supports offered by editing with technology.
  • Participate Learning, like a Pinterest for education topics.
  • Participate Learning curates all Twitter chat content. This looks awesome!
  • Canva has a digital “design school”. On the home page, scroll down to ‘learn to design’
  • Take quotes from sessions and find an image to capture. Combine on Canva.
  • Adobe Spark 
  • Buncee – they are really cute when emailed, the animations
  • It would be cute to have an invite with RSVP for ice cream social or back to school night, which can easily be emailed to homeroom families
  • Buncee now has an iPad app
  • SoundTrap gives lots of collaboration options to create music. Paid website, but cheap for teacher account for a year. Must share with my music colleagues! 
  • Bubbli takes 360° images. You create a bubble.
  • Pixel Press Floors allows you to draw a video game on graphic paper and the free app turns it into an actual game.
  • Bloxels – Love this! Also from Pixel Press, but there are physical colored boxes that added to the grid to build the game and the graphics.

Today brings the Global Education Day, so there are sure to be many more resources.

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My favorite discovery at PETE&C was BreakoutEDU. I heard two different educators talk about them and how it works for their age groups, both late elementary and high school students. There is a great Sketchnote from @SylviaDuckworth describing the greatness of breakoutEDU. The concept of BreakoutEDU:

Creates ultra-engaging learning games for people of all ages. Games (Breakouts) teach teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting participants with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem-solve.

There are pre-created games to teach those skills. Or you can create your own. At PETE&C Traci (@tci_traci) shared how she created her own version based on content in her curriculum that she wanted students to explore more deeply on their own. The BreakoutEDU website offers either a kit to purchase or links to Amazon to buy each of the pieces yourself. I thought I ordered the exact items from the ‘Do It Yourself’ kit, but I got creative with colors. I would have just ordered the full kit, but my enthusiasm did not allow me to wait the full 6-8 weeks. So while my locks initially looked like twins, they are closer to cousins. One of the locks is not reprogrammable, so I had to get creative with the predetermined combo. Another lock is changeable, but the letter options are different, which also changes all the clues available.

It’s ok. I wanted to get creative anyway. The presentation by Traci demonstrated how she created her own BreakoutEDU experience for students that mixed content with the problem solving challenges. She incorporated things through QR Codes, Aurasma, SoundHound, as well as locks and invisible ink. I was inspired to present Canadian culture in a self-created BreakoutEDU scenario.

Last year the students loved writing the Canada Letter, but they felt the cultural components were stifling. I want students to be interested in the culture and to search for deeper understanding on their own. So my breakoutEDU is a hybrid: scavenger hunt, webquest, and breakoutEDU. I utilized locks, song lyrics, invisible ink on maps, Aurasma Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 8.49.13 AMAugmented Reality, QR codes, physical puzzles,  brainteasers, quotes, cryptic hockey schedules. There are also red herring QR codes on other cultural topics around the room that I want them to learn about, like food and holidays. Some of the ones that look obvious require students to read the entire thing because the clue is hidden at the bottom, so if they dismiss it as non-important, they risk missing the clue.

Another untraditional element of my breakoutEDU: team contract and extended game play. I know my students. I knew they would get frustrated by the complexity of the task, but if they persevered, they would learn a lot. I wrote a team contract that would set the expectations:Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 10.01.50 AM


  • A good backstory sets the stage for buy in or failure. My Canada backstory earned giggles and a willingness to try to save the Liberty Bell. To really, really sell the story, I purchased a small metal replica on Amazon that is now hidden in my room. Locked Backpack copy


  • A book bag is a great alternative to a lockbox as log as the item inside is not too small. A sixth grade hand can bypass the double lock on the zipper and sneak their hand inside. They accidentally discovered what I was using to weigh down the bookbag, so I had to modify the ending to include the random plastic dinosaur. Luckily Alberta, Canada has one of the best dinosaur finds in the world.
  • Augmented Reality might be more of a headache than it is worth. The Aura worked fine one week but stopped working when students actually got to that clue. Even using the exact trigger image did not work for me. Instead the students showed me the trigger image and I AirDropped the next clue to their iPad.
  • I added a couple clues as the students have been working, especially when their search for ‘Fake NYC’ only brought back search results for buying a fake ID to get into New York clubs. If you mentioned Canada and films you get the correct answer.
  • StaplerStudents are missing some of the obvious clues. Some of them notice the clue but do not act on it, like seeing a note that says ‘This stapler is not filled with staples.’ My natural curiosity would force me to open the stapler, but less than 5% of my students feel compelled.
  • Initially some of the groups struggled with the unstructured nature of the breakOUT and group collaboration/problem-solving. They asked more than once what they were supposed to do. One group even asked what the learning objective was hoping I wouldn’t have an answer and they could get out of it. However, their attitudes have changed. They were upset the days they did not have any time to work on it.
  • My homeroom students start trying to figure out clues as soon as they arrive and want to use the study hall time too. I like them during study hall because it only includes a portion of the group, which takes away from the group collaboration aspect. Obviously they are further along than the other groups, but it is nice to have a beta test group. I can fix some common errors or issues without it negatively affecting all the classes. Like a misunderstanding with the lyrics of the first song or the Aura not recognizing with Aurasma.


  • By putting many of the clues on my website (named randomly and hidden), they can be updated on the fly to help students be successful. My website isn’t blocked, but for some of the students was, which takes away from the lesson if they can’t learn about random Canadian celebrities.

QR Puzzle


  • If there is a hint that requires students to put it together, like a puzzle involving parts of QR codes, you need more than one set. I have six groups in each class, so I have three sets of the puzzles. Twice there were four groups ready for the clues, but the one group just had to wait until the first group finished. Luckily I have a parallel clue set, so I sent them to try to find the second path while they waited.
  • One thing that I will definitely change next time: expose them to the apps ahead of time. They are very comfortable with a QR code reader, but they have never seen Aurasma nor SoundHound. While having a description on the back of the contract is good, it does not guarantee that they will take advantage of the app during a time sensitive window, like using SoundHound during the normal duration of a song.

When I have explained my lesson concept, the first question people ask is how long it took to set up; honestly, I don’t want to be honest. There were many, many mornings I drove to school and brainstormed some of the clues. Once I had the series of clues, it still took at least 20 hours to create everything, both the online hints, the QR codes, the culture matching game, adding hints to the maps in invisible ink. With all the work, is it worth it? Absolutely. I will not create a breakoutEDU for every unit, but I’m already brainstorming where to add another one next year.

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Resolutions 2016

There are two inspirations for my New Year’s Reflections and Resolutions: the sketchnote from @SylviaDuckworth and the hashtag on Social Media for #OneWord.


Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.33.10 PM.png Things I do well and will continue to do

  • Actively attending conferences. This means I go out of my way to make connections expanding my PLN and I submit proposals to present. It is not passive.
  • Create & Curate. I love creating resources for my classroom. I will continue to create and share my creations with the world and with my PLC (who benefit directly since we teach the same content). The only thing that would tempt me away from teaching would be to create digital teaching resources full time.

dont.jpg  Something I want to stop doing

  • Gossip. I have a strategic classroom location, so I hear rumors from all parts of the building. But I want to stop being part of the gossip mill. It will be hard to resist, but I realized that it is having a negative impact on the environment and the sense of community. Our building doesn’t feel like a family anymore.

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.33.19 PM.png Person you want to improve your relationship with

  • My childhood best friend. After working so hard for the past ten years, I realize the success I have had in education has come at the expense of some of my long lost friends. I want to reconnect with people who used to bring me such joy and laughter. I might be a teacher, but I am still allowed to have a life, if only on the weekends.

 Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.33.26 PM.png Things you will do to set outside your comfort zone

  • Share more of my personal life. I have always tried to keep my personal life and my professional life completely separated. My students know very little about me outside of travel stories or educationally relevant content. However, the student demographics are changing, and I think they would benefit from knowing that other people survive struggles growing up and thrive. I might not have faced the same challenges as them, but life was not always easy for me, but it does improve with hard work and growing up. Dressing Up for a Good Cause.JPG
  • Be ridiculous for good causes. I have dressed up twice in the past month in ridiculous outfits: once as an incentive reward for students donating to the food drive (they brought in the accessories that I sported all day) and the other was for an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. Students who rarely smile were very excited to contribute to my ugliness. It was almost team building. In February I will be going outside of my comfort zone and potentially letting them cut my hair for charity.
  • Stand up to adult bullies. There are many adults who have bullied their way through life. No matter how uncomfortable, at work and in my personal life, I need to stand up to them. This is especially true at school when students hear us telling them that bullying should not be tolerated, but they see the adults being cruel in a joking manner with each other. The xenophobic feelings that have increased in our country need people to stand against the targeted negativity towards people who are different.
  • Ask the students how they feel. This sort of connects with my first bullet. In the past I have wanted a division between personal and professional, but what if letting the two mix a little improves them both? I will ask students more about their lives to help them make personal connections to the lessons. I will listen to their random stories and genuinely care.
  • Publicly admit failure. I will blog more about the lessons that were a disaster and not just the ones that are brag worthy. For example, the week before winter break my students created a project. But one disaster led to another. The solution by the IT Department was to delete the app remotely and re-install it on all the student iPads. Of course, that means all my students lost their work. They still learned and created, there is just not evidence. This is why student choice is important in the medium for creation. If I didn’t tell them which app they had to use, the problem would have only affected a few of them. Also, backing up work is necessary.
  • Run in races. I run for fun, but this will challenge me outside of my comfort zone. It might also motivate me to take running and my health a little more serious for this year.

My #OneWord for 2016

Challenge. I want to challenge my students to achieve even more. All of the students will benefit from more challenge and less rote thinking, as long as I am there to support them when they might feel frustrated. I also want to teach them (by modeling myself) to challenge the assumptions and bias that is so prevalent in the media today and with stereotypes that have been ingrained in American thought. The world will be a better place with a little challenge.


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How students sold me on the joy of learning with Nearpod

nearpod logoI will admit that I knew about Nearpod for years (like four of them) before I had my ah-ha moment. This week provided multiple concrete examples of why I am thrilled that my district pays for my premium Nearpod account. So here is my Nearpod journey:

When I initially learned about Nearpod, I like the idea of guided presentations; however, lecture style presentations with PowerPoint are not something I do often. The Q&A and drawing answer feature was nice, but I was already using other tools successfully for formative assessment.

Earlier this year I had a series of images that I wanted to share with students. Just looking at the through the Apple TV would have worked, but it would have dulled the intricate details and discussion prompts. I quickly turned the images into slides on Nearpod. The students were able to view and zoom in on the parts of the map image that interested them most. The students drove the lesson discussion and I secretly accomplished all of my teaching objectives. This was done with the free version.

Then the school purchased the premium version for many teachers in our building. To encourage us to use Nearpod, they demonstrated the Note Feature for students. It allows students to save and annotate a PDF with each slide. This is perfect for any students who want to go back and review, especially the learning support students. Within a week of learning about the feature, students were taught how to do it and they were saving notes without being prompted. They took ownership of their learning.

My next unit was on thematic maps. Each subtopic had a Nearpod (or plural). Initially it took some work to create the Nearpods, but I was selfishly motivated. It was flu and travel season; it felt like I was missing 15 students a day to either illness or vacation. It was much easier to give them a homework code for Nearpod instead of personally gathering work for each student. Even the class readings could be embedded on Nearpod as a PDF.

Nearpod FieldtripThematic Maps was when I started to use the FieldTrip feature, which are incredibly engaging 360° images that students explore by moving their device around. For physical features, there are many Field Trip choices for landforms and bodies of water. During the first Field Trip exploration, a student said “Whoa this is the most amazing lesson like ever.” The Body of Water Nearpod with the reef  Field Trip was the student favorite. I thought this would be the end of my Nearpod journey of discovery, but I was wrong.

This week I figured out how to create my own Field Trip experiences using and Nearpod. This gives me thousands of options; when you look at the world map more images appear every time you zoom in. So many amazing possibilities. My personalized Field Trips will be a great introduction when I am teaching new locations for geography, and so far each new Field Trip still produces student awe and wonder. Students do not have to just read a boring textbook passage about a place, they can visually explore it themselves.

Nearpod Fieldtrips

The final step in realizing the joy that Nearpod adds to the learning was yesterday. Students could choose whatever medium they wanted to present their project. Two students selected Nearpod. They not only like to learn with Nearpod, but they wanted to teach others through it. I can’t wait to see their final product next week.

For all these reasons, I will continue to invest the time to create engaging Nearpods that go way beyond being just a presentation.

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The Art of Sharing

This school year has been a year of sharing, even if I have been slacking with new blog posts. With so much negativity in the press about teachers and education in general, I feel like it is my responsibility to share the great things I know are happening in my classroom. Unless we as teachers share our stories, the world will only have a single-sided, negative narrative of public education.

Last year I favorited a tweet with powerful images to share at a faculty meeting. A quote from George Couros about teachers in a district sharing what happens in their classroom using a shared hashtag really stood out. I was proud this year when my district set up a school hashtag to share student learning #hmslearning. The lesson tidbits do not have to be life-changing, but honest insights into how the students really learn in my classroom. I have also enjoyed seeing what other teachers have posted to the hashtag, but I wish more people would participate and less pictures were staged … yes, I can tell when students were just told to randomly raise their hand.

Another hashtag I have been sharing my classroom lessons with is #tweetlesson. Alice Keeler originally came up with the idea for teachers to share their lesson plans with the shared hashtag. There are not many people who do it, but I have enjoyed sharing my weekly lesson plans. It is interesting that within minutes of posting the tweet I can see 10-15 people viewing the Google Doc. That is motivating for me to continue sharing and I hope other teachers find resources or learning activities that would benefit their students. I use the same GoogleDoc to post to a Google Calendar for my class, so students who are absent are able to see what they missed. Sharing the lesson plans has many benefits and I have nothing to hide.

I created a hashtag for my class that I also use whenever I share student learning, classroom finds, or things I create for my students. Parents have followed the hashtag and commented that they appreciate knowing what is going on in the classroom. It is vastly different than the classroom that they would have attended; without concrete evidence of how technology is used to enhance learning opportunities it can be confused with just fun. By using a consistent hashtag on Twitter and Diigo I am easily able to go back to see previous resources. In previous years it always felt like I rediscovered digital treasures the week after it would have been best.

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