Sunday, March 24, 2013

Edtechkit Weekend Report 3/24/13 - Ch...Ch...Ch...Changes

Links of the week

I took a few weeks off from my Weekend Report series to prepare for and embrace new changes in my career (see below). Now I have so many amazing resources I've bookmarked and favorited I hardly no where to start. So I'll begin with this Prezi that tells the tale of Mission Hill public school in Boston, MA through beautifully documented video and exploratory tasks for the viewer. I've only skimmed through this brilliant edustory but figure this is a must view since it inspired me to fire this post up.

I know I mention the #miched hashtag and twitter community quite often. That's because it's an amazing group of educators that are committed to sharing and growing as professionals. Last week Brad Wilson (@dreambition) put the final touches on the second #miched podcast focussed on designing learning spaces. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart because my dad was an architect who spent most of his career designing schools in rural Wyoming. He loved talking to teachers and students about how the design of a building and the learning environment influence learning and the challenge of transforming these conversations into physical spaces he designed. I was honored to skype with Brad to discuss my dad's passion and my own experiences with designing learning spaces. You can hear part of our conversation as well as some other amazing educators from Michigan who are looking deeply at this topic.

Like I said, a month off from sharing great links can lead to quite a back log but here are a few more that you may want to check out.

Upcoming events in Michigan

April 20, 2013 Jackson ISD will be hosting an innovative conference that plans to be half edcamp half brain trust (bringing in the REMC Connected Educators from around the state). It's sure to be a can't miss.

How about attending Michigan's unconference jugernaut, EdCamp Detroit, on March 4, 2013. An unconference empowers educators to facilitate and/or participate in spontaneous participant driven professional development. It's the kind of event that leads to quotes like "This was the best PD EVER!"

In January I was fortunate to have attended the Educon 2.5 conference at the Science and Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. It was an amazing "conversation" conference and quite different from any conference format I had ever participated in. Great news! NovaNow promises to bring this innovative conference format to Michigan September 27-28 in Grand Rapids. It will be hosted by Kent ISD at Kent Innovation High. 

Roll your own professional development

For this year's MACUL conference I put together a series of videos and slide deck on using the iPad as a tool for Universal Design for Learning. I enjoyed sharing the UDL framework with participants and showing them how the accessibility features of the iPad and a variety of apps can be used to support all learners in the classroom.

I love working alongside teachers and with students to design and implement dynamic and meaningful opportunities for learning. I like seeing what works, what doesn't work, and iterating over and over again until a workable model emerges. I love building relationships and having the opportunity to see the impact of conversations and in-class support coming together successfully in a lesson. I'm passionate about making our schools a great place for students and educators. And I've been fortunate to be doing this my entire educational career. 

Starting this week, I'll continue to do this in my new role as the Education Technology Specialist for Marysville Public Schools. Leaving my position with our local RESA was not easy. Working with eight different school districts was amazing and helped me to grow in so many ways. Now, by focusing on one school district that is already working very hard to innovate and evolve, I look forward to growing even more. This is an exciting time in education. One also fraught with challenges. Here's to new horizons and new opportunities. It's all about the journey.

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