Microsoft Innovative Educator

Microsoft Innovative Educator

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

EdCamp Global Classrooms

This year is my first time participating in Edcamp Global Classrooms and I am super excited. My students have been working hard to gain new knowledge in technology and we enjoy the chance to share with others. This Blog Is Why...little EdTech experts? Who? Us?

First, I must share that I am truly thankful for the Microsoft Educator Community. There are so many great resources and connections there. It makes it easy for someone like me, who is not the most tech savvy (but not the least either) to bring new, innovative experiences to the classroom. The training videos with quizzes are helpful. So far, I have completed sessions about Sway, Hour of Code, and the MIE Trainer Academy. For two years, I have participated in Microsoft's Hack the Classroom event.

Another resource that has been beneficial for me is social media. I know that social media can have a negative stigma at times, depending on its use, but there are many ways that educators can take advantage of it to break down the walls of the classroom. I feel as though I am constantly going through self-selected, professional development that is valuable to teaching and learning. My time, my terms, my choice. Growth Mindset: that's what it's all about! Two new ways that I have to reflect, learn and share have been Voxer and Facebook Live. In the Voxer group, I am learning from administrators and/or aspiring administrators. I have been motivated to incorporate social media into the college level classes that I teach, but most of my EdTech experience is with my elementary students.

What have we done this year that you can try in your own classroom? Here is the rundown:
Seesaw-As a Seesaw Ambassador, I have trained and recruited teachers to use this resource that is a virtual portfolio. What attracted me to Seesaw was the option to blog. As a blogger, I want my students to have the same experience.

Skype-I was the most nervous about our very first Skype session. But after our third one, I am now ready to venture into some Skype field trips that will allow my students to travel across the world. My students have been to Georgia, Missouri and Kentucky without leaving the comfort of our South Carolina classroom.

Hour of Code-My students LOVE coding and so do I. When I first introduced it last year, I did not have very much knowledge. What I loved, is how the students took the small pieces that I gave them and took off with it. They began to teach me. This year, I worked with other teachers in the school, our community, and school leaders to allow students to teach them. I hope this opens the door for some career opportunities that students have never imagined before.

Scratch Jr and Kodable-These are the two apps that we use for coding. They are student friendly and allow students to progress at their own pace. My favorite part is that students can be independent thinkers while learning problem solving and critical thinking skills.

What will we share at the EdChange Global Classrooms session? You will need to register to find out. I look forward to collaborating!

You can register to participate in the event by clicking on the following link:
EdCamp Global Registration

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Blogging Tribes

This first week of January has been busy, yet motivating. I want to thank everyone that shared in the journey of my Blogs A-Z. It was hard work, but so much fun. Now, I have a new challenge: The 30 day blog challenge. One of my goals for the new year is to keep the momentum going with this blog and continue building my audience. This Blog Is Why I think I have found a new blogging family (or two) and I am excited for the journey.

If you want to participate or learn more about the 30 Days Blogging Challenge with A. J. Juliani, click the link below. In a nutshell, you will set a goal for yourself to write a certain amount each day and pledge to post X number of blogs per week. There is also a list of other bloggers who are participating (check out #52) so you can read and comment on their blogs for some support/encouragement.

30 Days Blogging Challenge

I will also be a blogger for EdChange Global Classrooms, an online conference. You can register to participate as well. The conference sessions run from February 28th-March 1st (24-hour event). I am excited for the opportunity to share with the #EdTech world about the exciting work in my classroom. Be on the lookout for my blog post in February.

EdCamp Global Classrooms

Last, but certainly not least, I am ecstatic to join the #CompelledTribe. From my initial interactions with this group of educators, the vibe that I get is extremely positive. I have joined and tried some other groups or "tribes" in the past with little success. The group members did not seem to be as dedicated and eventually just fizzled away. You may have heard or seen many people talking about their #OneWord2017. My initial word was "driven" because I am more driven than ever to accomplish the goals that I have set for myself. My discussions about the topic made me think about my runner-up word and "vulnerability" (I stumble over saying this word, even in my head!) was a great candidate. I am looking forward to being more vulnerable in 2017. Not only sharing my successes, but also sharing my stumbling blocks. Those events in life that have made me stronger, more determined and even more DRIVEN. With this new tribe, I am looking forward to sharing ideas, learning from professionals who have a variety of experiences, and of course blogging!