Several District 117 staff members and administrators attended the ICE conference in Schaumburg the last week of February. Here is a list of their top takeaways. Contact the individual if you would like more information.
Learning Spaces - Kellie Piekutowski
These no- to low-budget tips about about updating learning spaces are from Robert Dillon, Director of Innovative Learning, School District of University City. Even though I come from the ILC perspective, they apply to classrooms, too:
Quizizz - Donna Corcoran
Similar to Kahoot but you can select no timer to allow students to process at their own speed, thus a more self-paced and individualized experience. Numerous pre-made available. Generates data based on responses. Try it and Kahoot, then ask students for their thoughts (voice).
Using the screen as a mirror: Technology and the reflective learner - Jaclyn Orlov
Organization and reflection promote deeper understanding, engagement, self-efficacy, and ownership. If we make learning meaningful, it will go further than the intended content; instead, it will become a measure of skills and be a tool to connect students to the larger world.
Growth Mindset - Jori Bowen - Not a tech tool, but a revisit to a common educational phrase.
With a Growth Mindset, you believe you are like a plant. You can grow your abilities and intelligence. Growth Mindset requires skill building, not just effort. You can practice shooting a layup 25 times, but if you miss all 25 times — you didn’t grow. You have to MAKE THE LAYUP 25 times. Many students endlessly review what they already know. If you want to grow, study what you DO NOT KNOW.
Sketchnoting - Kellie Piekutowski
In general, Kathy Schrock is a genius. One idea she shared during her session, “Find Your EdTech Passion,” was sketchnoting. This is when students takes notes by writing words and drawing pictures. Kathy says, “Sketchnotes are for no one but yourself. They engage the whole mind, improve memory and recall, and keep you concentrating on the task at hand.” Visit her website for resources about sketchnoting and so much more. Examples of sketchnotes by Jen Giffin, @VirtualGiff.
Google’s Applied Digital Skills Curriculum Google Slide Deck - Nick Aguina
Google's Applied Digital Skills Curriculum is a free curriculum designed to create a self-paced blended learning environment in schools. This curriculum targets students 13 and older on practicing life skills while building projects using the Google Suite of Apps. Each unit focuses on a variety of practical and digital skills (i.e. storyboarding, group decision making, conducting research while verifying source credibility). The Applied Digital Skills Curriculum has the benefit of offering a personalized learning experience as well as ways to adapt this curriculum within a variety of subject matters. In addition, the curriculum highlights the importance of digital literacy, problem solving, and creativity.
Healthy Grading Practices - Anne Eichman
We need to constantly reflect on what is “necessary," “nice to have,” and “trash” when it comes to the components of our grades. Some questions to guide our reflections: Should grades reflect a process or an end product? Should we be asking students to be a more active part of the grading/evaluating process by having regular assessment conversations with them? Are we substituting a grade in the gradebook for meaningful communication with students and parents?
Healthy Grading Practices with Google Suite - Donna Corcoran
Follow Alice Keeler! Provide feedback as students are still in the process, not as part of the grade. Return assignments (Classroom) as they’re submitted so you still have access but so do the students. Use Private Comments on a shared doc (with all students in the class - have them put their names in Notes (Slides) or on a tab (Sheets)) to have a private conversation. Challenge students to continue to dig deeper, providing direction rather than answers.
Merge Cube - Brad Hubbard
They cost $1. They’re cool. Learn more here. I can show interested peeps, but so far, my kids love it!
MiMir - Ryan Miles
Computer Science A complimentary curriculum toolset. Enhances the ability to do coding on any device. Web-based coding framework for Java + 60 other languages means Computer Science A can be 100% accessible from a Chromebook, too, not just a laptop with a Java coding application. Best thing about this for teachers of the CS curriculum is that grading is so much faster! MiMir has code plagiarism checks built in as well as auto grading with coding standards. Teachers can focus more on good coding instruction vs. labor intensive grading.
Equity Considerations for D117 - Brad Hubbard
Staff Feedback Notecards (Digital or Handwritten) - Brad Hubbard
Noticed…, Wonder…, Great Job…
Be mindful, be deliberate, be bold - Donna Corcoran
SCHEDULE time to investigate new information. Take the five-day teacher challenge: Try something new for five days and reflect on the results.
Unlock Thinking with Questions - Donna Corcoran
We need problem FINDERS, not problem solvers. Brains and minds change when thinking in questions. Try having a conversation all in questions. I have the “rules” for anyone interested, as well as a number of activities to use in the classroom now. Use strong question stems: how might we, what else, what if, can you explain the steps to me as if I’m 5 years old? Ask WHAT (or what’s next) not why (becomes defensive). Perspective: have students respond to a question as someone else.
(BTW - did you know the stickers on fruit are edible … but not gluten free?)
Unlearning Leader - Michael Lubelfeld, Superintendent District 109, #Engage109
and Nick Polyak, Superintendent Leyden 212, #LeydenPride
Google Slide Deck - Nick Aguina
Educational leaders need to work on unlearning past practices that don’t fit into today's education system. School systems need to move past the TTWWADI - “That’s the way we always do it.”
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