Friday, July 25, 2014

#SummerLS Challenge 8 w/ Todd Nesloney

So we are coming closer to the start of another school year. Dr. Bright and I started back to work this week and I love seeing some of the changes our summer maintenance crews have been working on during the summer.

Before I share Todd's challenge for this week, I've included the list of staff members who have completed the Summer Learning Series so far. Be sure to complete each challenge for full PD credit.

It's not too late join to start the Summer Learning Series, just simply go back to Challenge #1 now and work your way through each challenge. The challenges are short and simple to complete. Here's a list of each #SummerLS Challenge posted to our blog. Let me know if you have any questions.
Can you believe it? We're already at the final full week of July! I'm really excited about sharing the challenges with you this week.

As you know, since I started doing this Summer Learning series 8 weeks ago, I've constantly wanted to show the power of connection. The power of social media. Every week I've brought you challenges and videos made by my friends. And the coolest part? Every single challenge, every single week, is by someone who I met online through Twitter.

This week is a 3-parter! Don't worry, it's not a ton of work :) There's just so much goodness to share this week! And remember TWEET out your learning using the #SummerLS hashtag!

Part 1:

My good friend Erin Klein (the author of Kleinspiration) is the educator bringing you the first challenge for this week. It's all about Classroom Design!! You can watch here challenge video HERE.

The first part of the challenge is to sign up for Erin's FREE Webinar happening this Tuesday at 2pm CST. You can sign up for the Webinar HERE.

The second part of Erin's challenge is to visit Classroom Cribs and sign up for the email list serve to know when the website launches!

Once you've signed up for Erin's webinar and the Classroom Cribs email list serve fill out THIS Google Form.

Part 2:

Two weeks ago, Chris Kesler made you a video teaching you about Google Forms. Well this week my good friend (and fellow Tech Ninja) Stacey Huffine has created you a video teaching you some tips and tricks about Google Docs. If you haven't used, or aren't using, Google Docs, I can't express enough how much easier my life has become since using all the great Google Drive tools!

You can watch Stacey's video HERE.

Your challenge this week is to create a Google Doc, share it with someone, and use some of the tips/tricks Stacey has shown you! Once you've done that fill out THIS Google Form.

Part 3:

About a year ago I read a post that Angela Maiers had shared, written by Arin Kress. Before I share with you Arin's post, I wanted to first share with you the video she has made for you for the third part of this week's challenge. You can watch Arin's video HERE.

The post that Arin wrote is HERE and that is where you can read the letter she sent out to her students.

In Arin's video she also mentions Angela's #YouMatter TED Talk. You can find that TED talk HERE.

I can't express enough how much this part means to me. I myself wrote a letter like this to my students last year. The last day of school I had a very tearful exchange with a parent about the huge impact that one little letter had. You can read about my experience HERE.

Once you've completed Arin's challenge and wrote your own letter to your future students fill out THIS Google Form.

Thank you so much for joining us each and every week! Have fun learning this week and remember TWEET out your learning using the #SummerLS hashtag!

Monday, July 21, 2014

#SummerLS Challenge Week 7 w/ Todd Nesloney

We're starting back to work this week and getting prepared for you to join us later next month... Yes it takes about 4 weeks to prepare for the teachers to arrive :) Before you know it, the first day of school will be here again. I'm forward to another school year with this crew!

Here's the next challenge from Todd Nesloney, who I will be seeing again this week because we're presenting at the same conference tomorrow in Denton ISD (you can find details here). It's their version of our Revolutionizing Learning that we will be hosting next month (August 6-7).

Week 7 is upon us! What an exciting journey this has been so far. It's so much fun as I travel around the country this summer and find people who are completing the #SummerLS with us! To see this movement of teachers, passionate about learning, is such a great feeling!

I know many of you are behind a challenge or two, so this week is going to be a fairly easy week to give you a little time to catch up, but also still give you a challenge!

Part 1:

About a year ago I learned about this "walkie-talkie" kind of app called Voxer. It took me quite a while to understand the value or how to really use it, but now I'm addicted to it!

My good friend, Ben Gilpin, has made a quick TouchCast video to explain Voxer a little more with some ideas on how you can use it! You can find that video HERE.

So your challenge this week is download Voxer and start a conversation with someone in your PLN. Ben shared his Voxer contact information in the video and mine is tneslo811. And HERE is an entire list of people in education on Voxer.

(Don Jacobs ID on Voxer is djacobs3439)

Once you've completed this challenge fill out the Google Form HERE.

Part 2 (optional):

Last week's challenge included learning about MakerSpaces. You may have heard a book mentioned called "Invent to Learn". Well there is now going to be a weekly book study/twitter chat that will be happening (#itlchat)! It's a great opportunity to connect with and learn from others. Emily Swenson and Michael Medvinsky are leading it and you can find more information HERE.

If you participate in the chat and read the book please fill out this Google Form HERE

Here's to another great week of learning!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

#SummerLS Challenge 6 w/ Todd Nesloney

Here's the next challenge...Enjoy!!


Wow, can you believe we’re already on Week 6 of our Summer Learning Series? Time has just flown by!
I am absolutely loving watching the #SummerLS Hashtag and seeing the great learning and connecting that is taking place!

This week is another two-parter!

Part 1:

Every week you’ve heard me talk about filling out a Google Form after you were done completing a challenge. Well my good friend Chris Kesler has created an AMAZING video teaching you all about Google Forms and some great things you can do with them. So your first challenge is to watch Chris’s video, tweet to him one thing you learned, create your own Google Form, and then fill out the Google Form below.

Chris’s Video

Part 2:

Jessica Allen is one of the smartest people I know! We actually interviewed her on this week’s episode of EduAllStars, which you can watch HERE. But Jessica has done a lot of work with Makerspaces. So your challenge for part two is to visit Jessica’s blog and learn all about this INCREDIBLE idea! Go HERE to see Jessica’s challenge (and make sure you tweet her about what you’re learning)

When you’ve completed Jessica’s challenge fill out this quick Google Form HERE.

So there you go! There’s your challenge for this week! Happy Learning #SummerLS crew! (and all previous challenges are listed below :))


Monday, July 7, 2014

#SummerLS Challenge 5

Below is the challenge for week 5 of the Summer Learning Series (#SummerLS). This was emailed to me on Friday, but I wanted you focus on your families this weekend... hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Welcome to Week 5 of our Summer Learning Series! I wanted to address a few common questions before we get into this week’s challenge.
- It’s ok if you’re behind on some of the challenges! Catch up as you can!

- YES, anyone can fill out the Google Forms - If you need to see the other challenges, scroll under this email. Every time I email out I include past challenges.

We are now up to over 1,500 people taking part in the Summer Learning Series. It’s been really amazing to see the conversations and tweets happening over on the #SummerLS hashtag!

This week’s challenge is a fairly easy one.

One great way to continue learning is by listening to Podcasts. I drive 30 miles one way every day to work and to make it go faster I listen while I drive!

So your challenge this week is to listen to three episodes of a podcast and tweet about each one as you listen to them!

Listed below are some of my favorite podcasts!

EduAllStars- I have to of course mention this podcast specially. This is a podcast that I co-started and still cohost. We interview people in education who inspire us. My co-hosts Chris Kesler and Keegan Waid are amazing. We’ve interviewed Olympic Gold Medalists, 15 year old inventors, company start ups, Principals, Teachers, Librarians, Instructional Coaches, Superintendents, and even the US Secretary of Education. We air an interview a week and plan on our next one being this Sunday at 8pm CST. You can watch them live by checking out or you can listen to/watch any of the recordings! We interview someone different each week and you can get updates by following @EduAllStarsHQ on twitter.

Here are some other great podcasts

The 2 Guys Show

Instructional Tech Talk
Every Classroom Matters

So spend some time this week learning through audio and video from others! Did I not include a podcast you love? Tweet out your favorite!

And after you listen to 3 episodes fill out this Google Form.

I personally started learning about educational technology through podcasts. It started when I attended a workshop about using iTunes in the classroom with students (this was being YouTube was unblocked in my district). I was amazing by all the educational videos I could use with students. Beyond that, I discovered podcasts created by teachers FOR teachers. This is were I learned about Twitter and began creating my Profession Learning Network (PLN).

This is so far my favorite way to learn and grow professionally! There's something about hearing a teacher describe their classroom instead of reading a blog or tweet.  It's real, authentic, and loads of fun. I don't have a 30 minute commute to work anymore, but I do listen to them while working on other things.