Counting Down to ISTE! Join Me and Learn About Effective PD

Stephanie Chan photo

My bags are packed. I’m ready to go…to ISTE 2013! I am looking forward to joining everyone in San Antonio soon. This will be my first time at ISTE. I am incredibly excited about learning with passionate, skilled and knowledgeable educators and students, and having a ton of fun while I’m at it!

I am also excited to be presenting the results of research that I conducted, along with focuses that I have undertaken as a result of my findings. During my research, I followed a group of four diverse high school teachers and experienced a year in their work as they used technology with their students. I learned so much from what they did, what they said, and what they thought. Their incredible openness and honesty has directly influenced my approach to support and professional learning around educational technology.

My presentation will be targeted, fun and full of useful strategies and resources. Here are the details. I hope you will join me! I also invite you to stay connected on Twitter @TechPudding

Topic: Experiences of High School Teachers in their Use of Educational Technology 

Monday, June 24, 2013 – 4:15-5:15 pm, SACC 101; Table 2
Format: Roundtable research presentation
Presenter: Stephanie Chan, Educational Technology Specialist
Calgary Board of Education, Alberta, Canada 

iste_2013_logo

What Makes Effective Professional Learning?

Providing effective professional learning is a complex challenge. How can we make the most of tight budgets and limited supports? Join me as I discuss a yearlong case study that profiled the everyday challenges and experiences of four high school teachers as they used educational technology with their students. Then learn about strategies and resources that can support effective PD engagement and design. Walk away with:

  • Insights into what works for edtech coaches, school leaders and PD providers
  • Strategies for planning and implementing successful edtech professional development for individuals, teams, schools and districts
  • Examples of district-wide professional learning initiatives that emphasize flexibility, choice, scalability, collaboration and informal learning
  • Access to free professional learning modules and templates that you can use to design professional learning to suit your needs and the needs of your staff

Presentation Resources

I am all about sharing! If you’d like to use and share my resources with others, please do! (If you do, please link back to techpudding.com so that we can all continue to expand our learning connections.)

Now I just have to get through this week. See you there!

And by the way, if you have questions or comments about my presentation materials, please write me a comment! You can help me improve them and perhaps I can answer some questions about it! Happy to learn with you.

12 Reasons Why I Use Twitter

TechPudding on Twitter

That’s me. On Twitter.

It’s been a long time since I last posted. In between, I (finally) discovered the power of microblogging on Twitter. I freely admit that I am late to the Twitter party and a beginner in many ways. It took me about three weeks to discover the elements of microblogging that appeal to me. Like any new innovation, you need a reason to use it, and to stick with it for a little while in order to see the potential.

12 Reasons Why I Use Twitter

  1. I have suddently discovered thousands of inspirational educators, creative ideas, and thought-provoking resources
  2. Sending out my thoughts into the great beyond is empowering and makes me think (for real or otherwise) that some people want to hear what I have to say
  3. I can find people who think like me
  4. I can find people who think differently from me
  5. I have discovered local (and by local I mean people in my community, city, province, and country) who are doing amazing work and I can actually connect with them – may I mention among many, Astronaut Chris Hadfield @Cmdr_Hadfield as part of my Professional Learning Network (PLN)?
  6. I can be a part of the massive network that influences what ideas, opinions and work gets shared across the world, and who it is shared with
  7. I can always find something fun, interesting, and useful in my network
  8. I sometimes get lost in Tweets, from one link to another, from one person to another. It’s like wandering through a forest wherever your feet take you and discovering everything along the way
  9. It’s really easy to set up an account and participate
  10. When you don’t have time to fully reflect by engaging in a deep discussion or writing a blog post, Twitter allows you to do a mini-reflection on the go or star interesting items to use later
  11. I hear local and world news not just from corporate news sources, but from real people
  12. I can Tweet about what interests me: communications and marketing, change management, edtech, and good television @TechPudding

Many tips and tricks have been written, shared, and yes, Tweeted about Twitter and microblogging. Here are a few of the best that I have found.

For New Tweeters

For Pro Tweeters

Tweeps I Follow

Here are just a few Tweeps out of the 1,300+ that I enjoy following. I try to follow people with a variety of viewpoints and expertise. There are so many–it’s best to start with a few by searching for terms that you are interested in or people that you already know about. I will feature some local Tweeps in a later post!

  • @MobileSyrup – An independent resource on mobile technology in Canada connecting to those who are mobile enthusiasts, professionals and shoppers
  • @web20classroom, Steven W. Anderson – An incredible educator and speaker with an excellent blog http://blog.web20classroom.org
  • @LDRB – LDRLB (pronounced leader lab) – An online think tank that shares insights from research on leadership, innovation, and strategy
  • @tomwhitby Tom Whitby – Prof of Edu (Ret). Founder: #Edchat, The EDU PLN, Edchat Radio Linkedin Tech-Using Profs
  • @oldaily Stephen Downes – A Canadian researcher and educator on the cutting edge of MOOCS, e-learning and new media
  • @gsiemens George Siemens – A Canadian professor and educator, also on the cutting edge of MOOCS, connectivist learning and edtech
  • @ChristensenInst Clayton Christensen Institute – A nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation
  • @ThisIsSethsBlog Seth Godin – Founder of http://Squidoo.com, author, and blogger
  • @Flocabulary Flocabulary – Flocabulary produces educational hip-hop music and some of it is free to use! There are a variety of themes from language arts to math

If you haven’t yet, will you give it a try? If you’re a microblogging fanatic, what’s the best part for you? Any tips to share (or Tweet)?

I invite you to try it out! And I invite you to follow me @TechPudding if you’re interested in communications, edtech, and leadership!

Why Do Online Discussions Fail?

Over the past few months I have been re-designing online courses that help to support teachers as they integrate technology into blended and online learning environments.

I am going to try to make more time to share my insights with you, beginning with this post about using discussion boards in learning.

Many educators use online discussion tools to facilitate conversations with students, colleagues, and other contacts. Educators often find that the quality of the responses are poor and/or participation is low. Here are some possible reasons why students may not fully engage in discussions:

  • Students have been provided with too little scaffolding and support. 
Is there a response rubric for the discussion? Have students had the chance to practice quality responses? Has the facilitator modelled responses that provide illustrative links and resources, ask further questions, or provide examples to fuel the discussion?
  • The discussion came from, and leads, nowhere. 
What happens before the discussion that led to an online conversation? What happens after the discussion? How do participants and facilitators draw and share conclusions based on their discussion? Like any well-planned lesson, students need scaffolded instruction and activities that build on previous learning and help them to build understanding over a sustained period of time.
  • Discussion questions are unclear. How have discussion questions been worded? What is the purpose of the discussion question? Is the question too open- or closed-ended? Here are some examples to consider:
    • Poor example: Have you ever been in a blended classroom? 
(Problem: The question has a “yes” or “no” answer; the question is too “closed.”)
    • Better example: What do you consider to be the difference between blended learning and face to face instruction? 
(Problem: The question is asking an opinion without the need for examples or references; the question can have a very broad interpretation.)
    • Great example: Explain what you consider to be the three key elements of blended/online learning and the three key elements of face to face instruction. Include links, examples, and resources to illustrate your ideas. Respond to two other posts with links, examples, ideas, and resources.
      • This great example would be even better if participants built upon their first round of posts after additional lessons and/or application. Example: Add to your original discussion thread and include one example of how you applied an element of blended/online learning in your environment. Highlight two elements that you feel were most successful in your example and two changes that you would make next time. Respond to two posts with feedback or resources that relate to your colleague’s example.
  • Discussions are used only to share opinions.
Discussions can also be used to:
    • Share and gather feedback on in-progress work
    • Hold reflective conversations about learning progress
    • Share resources, materials, and links
    • Spark or follow up after f2f conversations, review concepts, and more.

There are many tips around using discussions as part of a dynamic learning environment. Do you have more to add?

(Image: Pacman, by Fenix_21. 2008. Available under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0) License.)