Tag Archives: edcamp

5 Common 1:1 Teacher Mistakes

Putting Tech Before Content– New tech is exciting.  Students (and teachers) will be focused on the new devices.  It is easy to get sidetracked by the excitement. I spent so much time trying to front load all of the setup, sign up and procedure that I lost something essential to my class.  While they were fired up about technology, I had not gotten the students excited about history. Keep your focus on your content.  It is your content that defines your class and it is your content that will drive the way you use your device, not the other way around.

Too Much Too Fast– It is hard for students to get comfortable with a new piece of technology unless they have time.  Requiring too many new tech competencies to quickly upsets students.  They need time to build upon past skills and integrate them with new ones.  I buried my students in accounts and passwords.  I set up everything I thought I would be using for the year within the first week. It was too much for many students. Focus on fewer more important skills and Scaffold early assignments to build to more complex ones.  Think big picture.mistake

Lack of Tech Focus- There will be times where a new technology is AMAZING and perfect to generate more learning and deeper understanding. But there will be times where it is nothing more than a shiny distraction.  I am constantly asking myself “Why use this? What is the benefit? What is the loss?”  Choose your essential technology carefully. Choose things that support your lesson goals and allow productivity.You can’t do everything and be distracted by every new technology you learn.

 No Recovery TimeStudents have grasped a new skill and they need time to absorb it, apply it, and use it effectively.  When lessons go well and students succeeded I can be too quick to move on the next big idea.  I quickly learned that I needed to provide some recovery time for students to get proficient before I could focus on the next tech competency.  Stop, and allow them to understand before you present new technology. Beyond just taking it slow (see above) I learned that sometimes you have to take a break. Don’t over complicate this though.  Sometimes knowing the right time to proceed is as simple as asking.  Trust your students in this process.

Limiting Students to What the Teacher KnowsWhen given a choice students are going to choose tools that they are comfortable with and that allow them to express what they know. You may not have the slightest knowledge of them or how they work. It is impossible to be proficient at every web tool, app and program available. I have poured myself into learning as many as I can. There are many where I would consider myself an expert but that in no way means that they are the best resource for every student.  Don’t be afraid to let students use technology beyond your knowledge base and understanding.  Accept that you are student too. Learn.

See the previous article in the series here.

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Edcamp Organizer On Air Hangout: Sponsors and Finances

Tonight I had the opportunity to do a Google Hangout with the some great people who are part of the EdCamp movement.  The goal of the video was to provide advice to people who might want sponsor an EdCamp of their own.  I was honored to be a part of the discussion.  EdCamps have a special place in my heart and have helped me to grow as a teacher.  Watching teachers plan their own learning has also encouraged me to offer the same chance to my students.

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Reflection on EdCampss

I am fresh back from #edcamppss in Philadelphia.  I am a bit tired, a lot proud, and really energized to make what I have learned tangible in my classroom.    It’s satisfying it was to meet people who are working hard to make their classrooms a better place.  It was surreal to see an event so long in the making become real and to get the other organizers again.

I wish that I had more time to talk to all of the other attendees.  That is the downside to organizing.  You miss many of the chances to stop, chat and know the people beyond a 140 character limit.  This is my one regret from the day.

I must offer my thanks to @nesticos @dontworryteach @becky_ellis_ @irishteach @gregkulowiec and @ron_peck for all they did to make the day happen.  They inspire me beyond what they know.

I want to thank so many of the others who attended, too many to list , for sharing their work and ideas so freely.  Together we make a difference.

I really want to thank @mseideman who was for me the #edcampss rock star.  Her clearly articulated and well thought out ideas were exactly why I go to #edcamp’s .  I will follow here more closely on twitter and I really think she should moderate an #sschat in the future.

I also want to thank @jharaz for sharing a story that makes the working on #sschat and sharing on twitter worthwhile.

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