Friday, September 15, 2017

Differentiated Instruction in a 1:1 Classroom

Image credit to Luisalvaz
When an educator differentiates instruction, she provides multiple modalities for students to learn the content, the processes they use to interact with it, and the final products they turn in. According to differentiation guru Carol Ann Tomlinson (2001), as teachers begin to differentiate instruction "they move away from seeing themselves as keepers and dispensers of knowledge and move toward seeing themselves as organizers of learning opportunities" (p. 16). Because of this, a differentiated classroom will likely include more student-centered, active learning opportunities.

When differentiated instruction is combined with a 1:1 Chromebook environment, 21st century skills can be practiced and applied.

On her blog post 10 Ways to Differentiate Instruction with Technology, teacher Heidi Raki writes, "Let students follow their passions through Be the Teacher projects, student-led inquiries, passion projects, Genius Hour or 20Time [projects] to get them more engaged in their learning." These projects are a way "to differentiate by bringing in each students' individual interests and level." Google's suite of online productivity tools makes integrating these types of projects easy.

For example, students can use Google Docs to organize their research. Within Docs, students can find more resources related to their topic using Doc's 'Explore' feature. Students can create a folder within Google Drive to house all of the artifacts and components generated for their project including videos, Slides presentations, research Docs and essays, and visuals made in Google Drawings. Collaboration and communication between students can be facilitated by the communication features in G Suite and a class Padlet.

When teachers differentiate instruction, they should group students based on their skills, interest, preparedness, and choice. Check out our Differentiating the Learning Experience with Technology article for inspiration on using a graphic organizer to increase student choice and leverage individual interests, skills, and readiness. The graphic organizer can easily be modified to allow groups of students with mixed-abilities to choose their methods they would like to use to demonstrate mastery of the content.

Be on the lookout for an article next week on how ongoing formative assessments are an important part of the differentiation decisions teachers make.

We also have an upcoming professional learning opportunity starting October 1. Learn more about Leveraging Online Tools and register for the eCourse here.

Chris Justus
Las Vegas


Sources

Raki, H. (2016). 10 ways to differentiate with instruction. Retrieved from http://blog.whooosreading.org/10-ways-to-differentiate-instruction-with-technology/

Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Differentiating the Learning Experience with Technology

Google's suite of online productivity tools makes differentiating students' learning experiences fun and easy. For example, leveled groups of students can design class presentations by sharing a Slides presentation with one another and work on them collaboratively. 

Another way to differentiate in the classroom is to give students a choice in how they work on their assignments. Check out this Tic-Tac-Toe Choice Menu. When you open the link, click 'Make a Copy' to add it to your Drive.

With the Tic-Tac-Toe Choice Menu every student starts with the center square, which should include background information, content, and/or links every student would need to successfully complete the assignment. Using the center square as their jumping off point, students then create a tic-tac-toe line by completing the tasks in the green and blue sections. Each blue and green square should offer students differentiated tasks they can choose based on their level and abilities.

The Tic-Tac-Toe Choice Menu can make learning relevant and can ensure teachers are reaching all students, regardless of their level.

Inspiration: Shake Up Learning

Chris Justus
Las Vegas

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunity

One of our first professional learning opportunities we are offering for the 2017-18 school year is our brand new Leveraging Online Tools eCourse. Check out the course details, the link to the syllabus, and the registration form by following this link.

The course is unique in that you will have more control over your learning. We have worked a badging system into the course and you can choose which EdTech badges you would like to earn and which tools you would like to integrate into your curriculum.

Successful completion of the 15 hour course will earn you 1 continuing education unit issued from the Nevada Department of Education. This credit can be used to renew teaching licenses.

This optional course starts October 1, 2017. Please register by September 24 here: https://sites.google.com/nv.ccsd.net/lotools/home

Chris Justus
Las Vegas

Friday, August 25, 2017

What's New in Google Classroom?

Google Classroom has become a popular service teachers can use to get digital artifacts, assignments, discussion prompts, links, lessons, and videos out to students. Google adds new features to their products all the time and Classroom has a couple new bells and whistles you can try out for the 2017-18 school year.

One of Classroom's newest features is the ability to see all of a student's submitted work. To try this out in Classroom, first navigate to "Students" then click on an individual student's name. All the assignments they turned in throughout the year can be accessed from this single view. You can even filter the assignments down to assignments turned in, returned with grade, or missing.

Organized teachers rejoice! Classroom now lets you organize your different classes in any order on the Classroom homepage. Imagine you have 5 sections of an ELA class. Before you would have to create those classes in the exact order (Period 1, Period 2, etc) to make them appear in the correct order. Now with your mouse you can "grab" each class and reorder any way you want!

Other new features include the ability to give decimal grades, display the class code to join in full screen, transfer class ownership from one teacher to another, and use the app launcher directly from Classroom.

Curious how Classroom has changed throughout the years? Check out all of the changes to Classroom since 2014 here.

Chris Justus
Las Vegas

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Use Keep as Your Student Planner

If I was a student, I would be using Google Keep to help me keep track of my different assignments. Keep allows students to easily write notes to themselves, collaborate on other students' notes, and add pictures of assignments written on white boards. Students can even set reminders for their notes so when they get home from school, they will be reminded to work on their group project.

Take a look at the video below and share with your students!


Chris Justus
Las Vegas

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The "Inbox Zero" Mentality!

Using Gmail? Have hundreds or even thousands of old emails clogging your inbox?! Watch the video below to learn about the Inbox Zero Mentality and change the way you do your work email!


Chris Justus
Las Vegas


Monday, June 19, 2017

HyperDocs Across Nevada

The HyperDoc movement began with Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis. With their collaborative and innovative nature, HyperDocs has taken off like wildfire.

This year teachers across the state of Nevada have been joining in the HyperDoc movement by participating in the HyperDocs course and creating and sharing their own HyperDocs.

While participating in the course, teachers learn how to transform their teaching while empowering their students as learners by engaging in the use of the 4 C's, SAMR, and DOK. HyperDocs provide a digital delivery tool that replaces the worksheet method of delivery of instruction. HyperDocs are much more than just some links on a document. They improve collaboration and instruction between the teacher and the students and allow students to be creative and critical thinkers. In the course, teachers were able to engage in conversations and share strategies with other teachers for creating a blended classroom, including designing lessons that are engaging, interactive, multi-layered learning experiences for students, and packaging web tools and improving workflow.

You can click on the link to this Padlet to see the HyperDocs that are being shared across Nevada. Please continue to post and share HyperDocs that you create by adding them to this Padlet.

NR21 HyperDoc Gallery Wall





Wednesday, April 12, 2017

EquatIO

Are you looking for an easy way to add equations and formulas into Google Docs and Forms? Your search is over. Check out EquatIO, a Chrome browser extension by TextHelp.

Within Google Docs, you can type or handwrite any expression, and EquatIO will convert it into accurate digital math. If you aren’t sure what expression to use, EquatIO will help. When you type 'sq', it knows you mean 'square root'. When you dictate a formula aloud, EquatIO will ignore any “umms”,  “errs”, or other non-math words. EquatIO has a built-in library of ready-made formulas, equations, and other math expressions.

Creating a digital math quiz for students in Google Forms using EquatIO is seamless. EquatIO allows students to add sketches, diagrams, and other notations allowing them to show their work to their teacher.

You can try EquatIO free for 30 days with unlimited access to all the features. After 30 days there is a licensing subscription for Premium features.  There are three types of licensing: single, group, and unlimited. Check their website here for more details. With the free version you have access to Google Docs Integration, Speech Input, Handwriting recognition (2 per day), LaTex, Math to Speech, and Resizing Images.

Check it out! Watch this video showing how easy EquatIO is to use.



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Leveraging Online Tools in SoNV


The Four Cs of 21st Century Learning are skills students need to develop to successfully navigate middle school, high school, college, career, and beyond.

We have two different professional learning opportunities focusing on the Four Cs coming up in May and registration is happening now! Both sessions are face-to-face in the Greenspun JHS library from 4:30PM to 7:30PM on May 9 and 10. Here’s the map to Greenspun: https://goo.gl/maps/nJSyd1Sxgqq 

This opportunity is available to all NR21 educators in Southern Nevada.

Check out the flyer and registration form: bit.ly/LOTools. On May 9 participants will learn how to use digital notes, Animoto, and Lucidchart to foster communication and critical thinking in the classroom. On May 10 participants will learn how to use collaborative digital notes, Padlet, and WeVideo to foster critical thinking and creativity.

Learn more about the sessions and register here: bit.ly/LOTools 


See you at the trainings!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Attention Southern Nevada NR21 Teachers!

The Southern Nevada Digital Learning Summit is fast approaching! Join us Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 8:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. at Bob Miller Middle School for a day of EdTech and Professional Learning.

Register for the event here: http://ctl.li/S-NV-Digital-Summit (password: Nevada)

We are planning engaging sessions on:

  • HyperDocs
  • Latest Google Apps
  • WeVideo
  • Canvas Training
  • EdTech Lesson Planning
  • PocketLab
  • New Google Sites
  • Choose Your Own Adventure with Google Forms
  • Latest Chrome Extensions
  • And more!

Space is limited, so register for the Summit today!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Combine Edits in WeVideo

Collaboration within WeVideo is easy because the program allows teachers to create both collaborative and shared projects. WeVideo has made it even easier to allow students to collaborate on a project with its "combine edits" feature. Now teachers and students can combine many edits into one finished video with the click of a button.

The combine edits feature works with any type of WeVideo project including collaborative, shared, and personal projects. All you need is two or more video edits and WeVideo open in a browser window. Here's how to do it:

  1. From the project menu, open the project.
  2. Select all the videos you would like to combine.
  3. Right-click on the selected videos. Click "combine edits."
  4. Select the order of the clips.
  5. That's it! A new window will open with all of the video edits combined into one.
Watch the video below for a tutorial on how to combine edits within a WeVideo project then work the move into your next lesson!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Increase Your Use of the Four Cs with Concept Maps

How are you incorporating collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity, or the Four Cs of 21st Century Learning, into your lessons?

Slides and PowerPoint presentations are classroom staples used to transfer knowledge from the teacher to the student. This "sit-and-get" style of information input, however, can be very teacher-centered. But note taking doesn't have to be so one-sided! You can increase your use of the Four Cs by having your students create concept maps of their class notes.

Concept maps help students organize their thinking, and are made up of a series of terms or concepts linked by connecting phrases. The concepts are enclosed within a rectangle, which are called nodes. Students draw arrows and create connecting phrases between the nodes. See the yellow graphic, made with Lucidchart.

I teach my students to build simple concept maps by imagining the two nodes and the connecting phrase are parts of a sentence. Node 1 is the beginning of the sentence and node 2 is the end of the sentence. The connecting phrase links the beginning with the end. Look at the green graphic for an example of a simple concept map. Note how the direction of the arrow tells the viewer which direction to read the concept map.

From there, students can begin to add more nodes and connecting phrases to their concept map. I tell my students to add interconnections between nodes so their concept map looks like a spider web rather than the spokes of a bicycle tire. Teachers can use the number of interconnections between nodes as a type of formative assessment. The more interconnections between nodes and the more web-like the concept map, the deeper the understanding of the content.

Concept maps can be used as a pre-assessment tool, too. Instead of creating a K-W-L chart, ask students to open Lucidchart and create a concept map on everything they know or think they know about the topic of your upcoming unit. Reading students' concept maps before teaching will reveal misconceptions the students may have. Since Lucidchart is a digital tool that allows students to easily edit their work, they can go back and correct their concept map as their learning grows throughout the unit. Because concept map creation allows students to be active participants in their own knowledge construction, concept maps are often used in constructivist classrooms.

Concept mapping will increase your use of the Four Cs because your students must use their critical thinking and creativity skills to create their concept map throughout a unit. Students will collaborate and communicate with one another when they use Lucidchart to create and share their concept maps.

Practice making a couple concept maps in Lucidchart first and then try it out with your students for your next unit.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

When Chrome Extensions Go Bad- "Extension Viruses"

Who knew extensions could be bad or turn bad? I actually never really thought that much about it until yesterday!


While attending a GAFE Summit, one of the presenters showed off the "Web Paint" extension. Of course, I always like to play with new toys so I immediately installed the extension from the Google Web Store. A box popped up with permissions asking me to allow them. I usually never really read these (but after this experience I will.)

Yesterday, I turned on my computer and it freaked out identifying a virus. My anti-virus software nailed it down to the "Web Paint" extension. I immediately disabled and removed the extension from my machine and did some virus clean-up.

This morning, while checking my Twitter feed, I came across an article titled "When Chrome Extensions Go Bad" written by John Sowash on his blog. It specifically mentioned the "Web Paint" extension, which in my early morning hours before a Chai Tea, helped me to begin to connect the dots between my experience yesterday and the threats of extensions causing security risks.

Read the blog post to learn more about how best to protect yourself and what to do when you have an extension virus.

Out with Venn Diagrams! In with Comparison Tables!

I have a problem with Venn diagrams. 

Not only do they not translate very well in a digital classroom, but they are also hard to use! 

I remember in my classroom I'd ask for students to create a two circle Venn diagram in their notebooks. Some of my more careful students would ask me to borrow something round so they could make perfectly linked circles while other, less careful students would create something that looked like two linked circles...

The intersection of the two circles of a Venn diagram, the almond-shaped vesica piscis, arguably is the most important part because this is where students would find similarities between the two concepts. Regardless of how the student created their Venn diagram, they often made this area too small to write in.

"There has to be a better way?!" you ask yourself.

"There is," I reply.

Enter the comparison table.

The comparison table allows students to easily compare and contrast two concepts without having to know what a vesica piscis is. Even more, the comparison table is a perfect digital replacement for the Venn diagram when teachers use Google Docs to create them. And since Docs can be shared between students, comparison tables increase collaboration and communication, both 21st century skills we should be incorporating more of into our lessons.

Open this comparison table that describes the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells. Note how students are asked to identify the general similarity between the two cell types like "organelles," and explain how they are similar: "both types of cells have ribosomes, mitochondria, ER, Golgi, and nucleus." Likewise for the differences. Students differentiate in what regard plant and animal cells are different and explain their reasoning. 

Make a copy of the comparison table and start identifying similarities and differences with your students today!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Los 5 @ Pinecrest St. Rose

Ralph Krauss, digital coach at Pinecrest St. Rose in southern Nevada, organized a concert for his students starring the popular band, Los 5. One of his teachers assembled about 20 students to film the concert using the webcams on their Chromebooks. The plan is to edit the footage from the concert later in WeVideo.

This event impacted more students than just the ones at the St. Rose campus. The concert was live-streamed to the three other Pinecrest campuses so students there could be part of the fun.

Check out some of the photos from the event below and check back to the Water Cooler for a link to the student-produced Los 5 concert film.

If someone from your staff is planning an interesting lesson or a big event and would like to share it with the Nevada Ready 21 state team, contact one of the Professional Development Strategists.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

HyperDocs and the 21st Century Learner NR 21 Course-Multimedia Text Sets


Teachers across the state are participating in the HyperDocs and the 21st Century Learner Course that is being offered through Nevada Ready 21. One of the assignments in the course allowed teachers to create multimedia text sets around a topic they teach.

Multimedia text sets are usually Google Docs where teachers collect all of their different forms of media around a common topic in one location. This allows students to access all the different forms of media from just one document. Multimedia text sets usually have two columns. The first column links the students to the media and the second column allows students to reflect on what they learned as they viewed that multimedia source.

We would like to share the various multimedia text sets that were created by our very own Nevada state teachers in this course. You can access these on this Padlet.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Technology Resources from Adobe Middle School

Allie Eckert is the digital coach at Adobe Middle School in Elko, NV and she has assembled a comprehensive technology resource website for her teachers. Eckert's website covers topics like the 4 C's of 21st century learning, foundations of technology integration, technology tools for the classroom, and digital citizenship, among others.

The 4 C's of 21st century learning include collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication and Eckert has curated information on these skills. For example, Eckert links to a 67 page document that discusses the strengths and weaknesses of various online collaboration tools!

Eckert's website is a work-in-progress, too, so you can count on her website's information, resources, strategies, and tools to continue to grow with the Nevada Ready 21 program.

Check out the Adobe Middle School Technology Resources website and continue transforming your 21st century classroom!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"HyperSites"? A Google Site Take on the HyperDoc...

The New Google Sites allows anyone to feel like a professional web designer and build an easy-to-navigate website. The user interface is intuitive and simple to use. In fact, teachers are harnessing the power of the New Google Sites to create website-based HyperDocs.

If I had to nominate an education buzzword of the year, it would have to be "HyperDoc"! Nevada Ready 21's own Susan Neal and Tearra Bobula built and are currently facilitating an engaging HyperDocs course on Canvas for teachers, coaches, and faculty in the program. So, what are HyperDocs?

A HyperDoc is a stand-alone packaged digital lesson designed to be interactive. The lesson can include content that is not normally included in a paper-based worksheet, for example, and can include links, videos, question prompts written within Google Forms, and opportunities for students to collaborate with one another.

Scott Hensley, librarian at Bob Miller Middle School in Clark County, has married HyperDocs and New Google Sites to create a new type of lesson he is calling a "HyperSite."

"You are going to want to see this," says Wayne Lawson, digital coach at Bob Miller. "Google Sites is amazing for integrating a full blown collaborative experience for students."

Hensley's HyperSite was made using New Google Sites and includes tasks, embedded Forms, links for students to research content, a YouTube video, and a quiz to assess what students learned. View his HyperSite example here.

HyperDocs, and now HyperSites, allow teachers to move their lessons up the SAMR Model scale to redefine the tasks we ask our students to complete. We teach 21st century skills to our students when we provide opportunities to our students to communicate, collaborate, be creative, and use critical thinking skills. HyperSites can help teachers do just that.

If you have an example of a 21st century lesson you would like to share with Nevada, submit it here!

Monday, February 6, 2017

EdTech Toolkit


Keeping a head full of EdTech tools, tips, resources, and strategies can get confusing! Is it "Quizlet" or "Quizizz" or the "CUE Conference"?!

To help her teachers keep it all straight, Coach LaRenda Norman of Greenspun Junior High School, has created the EdTech Toolkit, pictured at right. LaRenda has bundled informational cards for her teachers, each one printed with a new tool, tip, resource, or strategy. Teachers keep their cards organized on a ring and hung on a classroom wall close to their teacher Chromebook.

LaRenda writes, "They received about 20 cards at first and then I give them a new one every Monday to add to their kit. It's been pretty successful."


If you are a Nevada Ready 21 coach and would like to get started on a set of EdTech Toolkit cards for your teachers, download this template. Check out the list of resources LaRenda has already curated and download this Slide deck.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

SoNV Opportunity: Face-to-Face NCLab Training


NCLab offers powerful web-based coding language courses and is available to students and teachers in the Nevada Ready 21 program. The most popular course, Karel Jr, is a set of introductory programming lessons in which students write code that robot character named Karel will enact. The course starts out easy as each lesson builds on the one before. Other courses include training in Python and 3D modeling.

CTL and NCLab have teamed up to offer a training opportunity for teachers, coaches, and teacher-librarians in southern Nevada. Become an NCLab-certified educator by attending a full-day training. Learn how to use games as a strategy for learning, find ways to bring coding into your school, and explore NCLab's course offerings in person.

Check out the details below or by downloading this PDF >>.
  • Who: Teachers, coaches, and teacher-librarians from Nevada Ready 21 schools. The opportunity is available to only around 30 people.
  • What: Introduction to Game-based Learning with NCLab
  • When: Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 8:00 A.M to 4:00 P.M.
  • Where: CCSD Curriculum and Professional Development Building (map)
  • More details: The training opportunity is offered at no charge to Nevada Ready 21 schools. Lunch is included!
LINK: Register for the training here >> (password: Nevada)

Friday, February 3, 2017

New WeVideo and the 21C Learner Course Added!

Are you a teacher, coach, or faculty member at a Nevada Ready 21 school who wants to learn how to move your lessons up the SAMR scale? Do you want to learn how WeVideo can increase students' use of the 4C's? Do you want to take your lesson design to the next level?

Nevada Ready 21 is offering another online section of WeVideo and the 21C Learner from March 8 to May 16, 2017. Registration is free. Check out the flyer for a list of the modules and their dates. Please note we worked in a break in the middle of the course to accommodate the spring break for many schools involved with the grant.

The course has been approved by the Nevada Department of Education and will earn participants 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) they can use for license renewal. In addition, Clark County School District employees will earn 15 contact units to be used on their professional growth plan.

Don't wait, register now! Enrollment is limited to 24 participants!

Register for the class here: https://goo.gl/LA9YCC 

Read more about the course here: https://goo.gl/m8Cqad

Together we can move the needle and increase communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity in Nevada schools. Enroll today.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Get the Basics on the New Google Sites

Now anyone can make a professional website with very little web design experience! The New Google Sites allows teachers to create a dynamic web experience for their students that could include embedded Slides, YouTube videos, and even quizzes made with Forms.

If you need a little jumpstart to navigating through the Sites user interface, check out the self-guided tutorial below. The tutorial includes videos and instructions on how to create a new Site, link to new pages within your site, add pictures, and publish your new site.

Open the tutorial in a new window >>

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Looking to Engage Your Students in Real Time?

This is perhaps one of the coolest tricks I have learned utilizing "Poll Everywhere" and Google Slides! You can now create a Google Slides Quiz to engage all of your students. You create the questions, your students respond simultaneously, and the results are update live in Google Slides.

Click on the link here to learn how easy it is to get Poll Everywhere and Google Slides working together to engage your students, and in real time collect data to make instructional decisions from.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Crafting a Vision for Empowered Learning and Teaching: Beyond the $1,000 Pencil

Alan November, November Learning, has just published this article about redesigning and redefining the roles of the learner and educator.  In his article, Alan poses two questions to leaders to assist in defining the problem technology brings to learning. From there, he offers a framework of six questions education leaders can use to assess whether "technology has brought transformative value to instruction."

Friday, January 27, 2017

Carson City Google Summit

Carson City is hosting a Google Summit on February 18-19th at Carson High School in Carson City, Nevada. There is still time to register if you are interested in attending. Register here.

Some of our very own NR21 Digital Coaches will be presenting sessions:

  • Allie Eckert, Digital Coach at Adobe Middle School, will be presenting a session at the summit on "Using Google Classroom to Enhance Formative Assessment"
  • Nate Waite, Digital Coach at Churchill Middle School, will be presenting a session at the summit on "I Screen, You Screen" (Using screencasts is an effective way to demonstrate online process or work. Students and instructors can use screencasts to save time and share knowledge.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Classroom Management Tools

Allison Eckert, Digital Coach at Adobe Middle School in Elko, NV, saw a need for a Chromebook violation tracking tool for students. According to Ms. Eckert, each student has a copy of the Minor Violation Card in their Chromebook case. If a student violates one of their rules, the infraction is recorded on the card. Three minor violations result in 3 lunch dententions.

Violations can also be recorded on a shared Google Sheet, in case students lose card (intentionally or not!) This spreadsheet can be accessible to all teachers at a site, who could easily add a running tally of students' infractions.

Finally, Ms. Eckert made an online quiz for Adobe Middle School to keep students accountable for their Chromebook. The questions help students identify and understand their responsibilities with the use and care of their Chromebook.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Structural Adaptations Tech Directions

Thanks to Justin Clark, Carson Middle School, for sharing his lesson plan, "Structural Adaptations Tech Directions". His lesson makes use of  Google Classroom, Google Docs, BrainPop, Read and Write for Google, and Google Draw. To make a copy of his lesson plan, click here.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Transforming PD through an unconference

The thing that makes an unconference unique is the agenda and schedule is set at the unconference. Participants build the session board, the official schedule of the event pictured at right, by brainstorming discussion prompts, big ideas, questions they might have on a process, and resources and strategies they might want to share.

To spark participants' creativity with developing session topics, Charles Sebek, coordinator for Clark County School District's Equity and Diversity Education Department, gave an inspirational keynote speech. Some participants were apprehensive about facilitating sessions and Mr. Sebek focused on this unease in his speech. He had participants write their three E's on a notecard. He asked us:
  • "What are you excited about?"
  • "What are you an expert at?"
  • "What would you like to explore?"
In our opening circle, participants shared their thoughts. From there Mr. Sebek asked us to reflect on these questions:
  1. "What might the ideal unconference session look like?"
  2. "What would be the benefits, to us, if we engaged in that way? What could we accomplish?"
  3. "What behaviors or obstacles might stand in the way?"
  4. "What is one thing you are willing to do to help us all achieve the ideal unconference experience today?"
The keynote speech lit a fire under everyone and we were able to come up with more than enough session topics to easily fill our session board. Each participant used small stickers to vote for the sessions they would like to go to. The session topics that received the most votes were chosen and moved onto the session board. Check out the session board we made by following this link.

Because not all participants could attend each session, one person at each session took notes on a collaborative Doc. This record was an important document, as participants could draw from the information after the unconference.

During the unconference, each session incorporated honest collaboration and communication between the participants.

The unconference ended with a closing circle led by Robert Jones, project manager for the Nevada Ready 21 program in Clark County School District. Each participant shared their insight and detailed what they took from the event and explained how they were going to share this with the teachers and staff at their school site.

If you would like to run an #NR21 unconference at your school, download the materials using the links below.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

The Paw Print, created by students from Bob Miller Middle School, is now out! They have put together a terrific newsletter using Google Sites. Find out what students think of Snapchat plus much more. Check it all out here.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tech Training in Nevada

There are quite a few tech training opportunities available to Nevada educators in the coming months!

CUE Nevada is sponsoring a tech event at Douglas High School on January 28, 2017. Check here for more details and registration information.

CUE Nevada is offering up a symposium in February that will focus on the G Suite of apps from Google. Register for the event here.

CUE Nevada is also offering themed training throughout the spring. In March, CUE Nevada will showcase a training on iPads and Chromebooks, in April a training on 21st century learning, and in May a training on digital literacy and citizenship. Head over to this link to find the event nearest you and to register.

CUE Nevada is sponsoring the Reno Spring Tech Camp which will be held April 28 and 29.  Click here for more details regarding this fun event.

Finally, the Instructional Technology Department at Clark County School District is offering both online and face-to-face BlendED trainings now through the end of March. Check out the flyers below to register and for information on dates, times, and themes:



Friday, January 6, 2017

Digital Learning Sessions

Athena Walker, Digital Coach at Pinecrest Inspirada, has shared another great method to disseminate information to her staff and students.

"I create Digital Learning Day videos that teachers show in their homerooms. I use these to communicate important information to students and to ensure every student has the same knowledge base regarding topics such as Chromebook care and functionality, technology expectations, procedures, digital citizenship, and technology contests and after-school clubs."

View Digital Learning Session 1, Intro to Chromebooks, here.