Monday, November 24, 2014

#bikewitbike Part 2!

Congratulations to @BikewitMike who has completed his Virtual Reality training video!

A recent story I am exceptionally proud about is a continuation of my #bikewitmike #berwyn #apple blog post. You can now follow @BitWitMike on Twitter and check out his completed "D100 Virtual Reality Bicycle Interval Training Video." Here are a few quotes explaining why Mr. Belcaster spent hours on his training video. “Through this I wanted to gain community, togetherness, and involvement." “Overall I created this Virtual Reality Interval training video for the students… I want students to know that I care about their needs and wants, and also how interested I am their city.”

Look out for future posts about #bikewitmike and his above the line, inspiring movement!

Friday, November 7, 2014

EdCamp, Apple, Brenthaven, Oh My!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where there are SO many exciting things to blog about, yet before you can even start to blog something else amazing happens that you want to blog about? ... And then it happens again... all in the same week?

Tuesday, November 4: iLearn EdCamp Institute Day

The heading says it all, right? South Berwyn School District 100 has come so far over the past 5 years. We're transforming the way we teach and the way we learn, and I believe Professional Development has almost everything to do with the change. (Thank you +Marilyn McManus/@D100PD Director of Professional Development and your PD team.)

Marilyn meets with a ruthless team (we all have our own ideas!) to plan & coordinate our Institute Days. We literally sit around the new learning space at Pershing and brainstorm ideas. We focus on what our teachers' needs are and then how we can meet those needs. "What if we hosted our own version of an "EdCamp?" Teachers can choose their own pathways of what they want to learn about on that day. This is exactly what we did, with some slight modifications. +Jonathan Palles is our EdCamp expert in D100, so we had him introduce the day and explain to staff what an EdCamp was and what was expected of them. Check out #ilearnbsd100 for tweets about the day and our Professional Development webpage for more info.

Wednesday, November 5: Innovative Classrooms: An exclusive event for Apple Distinguished Schools and Apple Distinguished Programs 

Apple hosted an event downtown Chicago for Apple Distinguished Schools and Programs to connect, collaborate, and learn from one another. We had the absolute privilege of listening to Dr. William Rankin, probably one of the smartest educators I have heard speak.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "What happened to the traditional way of teaching? I turned out just fine and I didn't have a laptop or iPad in school." Well, Dr. Rankin says if we want to go back to "traditional times," then we'd actually have no books (as he showed an image during the medieval times). He shared that everyday kids are carrying around production studios (ie iPhones) in their pockets. However, we are teaching kids content they need to memorize or comprehend for the "test". It takes 10 years of constant repetition in order to remember something forever. These facts students are memorizing are most likely being forgotten  So, why are we teaching facts that kids can just Google? He talked about using devices at higher levels. These included experiences where students will remember what they learned because the lessons had value to them and because students had to create something. Dr. Rankin sparked our minds and encouraged educators to transform the future of learning.

D100 ALT, iCoaches, & Admins
The remainder of the day consisted of breakout sessions and small group content creation. I led a session on The Impact of SAMR in an Apple Distinguished Program with ALT teacher +Kristin Richey. (Prior to the event +Jordan Garrett +Mary Havis +Michelle Thorne+Christina Betz+Sarah Larson+Todd Bittorf +Ramona Towner +Sue Butler and +Lindsey Lahr created the Keynote together in iCloud.) 
Apple connected everyone along with resources from the day by sharing a private iTunes U Course. At the end of my session I challenged attendees to get our group of Distinguished Schools and Programs to continue to collaborate, but at the Redefinition level by walking the objective up a Blender Ladder. We concluded with continuing the collaboration with a broader audience to connect, share and reflect on... Twitter!

Wednesday, November 5: Brenthaven Education Webinars: Above the Line Teaching and Learning 

Being a presenter for a webinar is not an easy task! I'm constantly talking in front of groups of people, I enjoy presenting, and I get nervous each time I present. BUT, speaking to a laptop and not seeing your audience was quite the challenge! During the Webinar I talk about the transformation of teaching and learning that I've seen throughout District 100. Examples are shared from each category of the Apple Education Recognition Program: Visionary Leadership, Innovative Learning and Teaching, Flexible Learning Environment, Compelling Evidence of Success, and Ongoing Professional Learning. The overall message is that 1:1 is a journey and SAMR is a journey, but it's important to constantly be pushing students, staff, and administrators above the line.  If you're interested in hearing specific examples, please watch the Webinar hosted by Brenthaven.

We actually ran out of time at the end of the webinar for questions, so Brenthaven send me the list of the questions. Rather then emailing the answers back I recorded myself in GarageBand answering the questions and Brenthaven sent them to all registered attendees.  #abovetheline

It's exciting to think about my broad range of influence from our District 100 staff, to educational leaders from Apple Distinguished Schools and Programs across Chicagoland, to educators on the webinar from 15 states that I will likely never meet.