Inspiration for Innovation #1

Welcome to my latest effort to encourage my colleagues to try new things! As our school’s STEM coordinator, I’m trying to support our staff with their professional development goals for the year. They are either focusing on PBL and our newish magnet theme of global health, increasing technology use in the classroom, and building relationships with students (mine).

I’m calling it “Inspiration for Innovation.” Each week, I’ll include a current event with curriculum ties (PBL inspiration), tech tool, teaching strategy, and positivity piece. Please let me know if you have any suggestions! I’ll definitely attribute them to any contributors. If you have a Twitter handle or other identifying professional account, send that to me along with your suggestion. In the future, these posts will stand alone, but for this first one, if you are interested, please read more!

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Tech Tools for Student Products

It’s been a while, but I made a thing! This is a menu of technology tools that students can use to create digital products. All of these items have free options, if not being entirely free to use. If you click on the image or link, you’ll be taken to an interactive ThingLink version of the Mindmup that I created below. Add some student voice and choice to your projects by sharing this with them! If you need further ideas on how to curate these items for your own portfolio, refer to this post!

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5 EdTech hacks that changed my life

Sometimes things on the Internet change society…

Take the Rick Roll for example (or just Rick Astley, in general):

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The following Internet-based things (in no particular order) have changed my life as a teacher. Maybe they’ll do the same for you.

  1. Hotkeys that open the most recently closed tab in Chrome
  2. Google Docs Explore Tool, formerly known as the Research Tool
  3. Canvas SpeedGrader
  4. YouTube videos at 1.5x speed
  5. Symbaloo

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(so keep reading!)

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No Blog Love, but YouTube is growing

Let’s be honest… While I maintain this blog as a personal portfolio, I do have secret aspirations of becoming internet famous. However, I don’t promote it because, frankly my dear, I don’t have the time. That being said, I recently ran across a surprising shout out for my How-To-Flubaroo videos. Sadly, I don’t remember corresponding with the author, but I think that’s because it was from a few years ago. That playlist is up to a couple hundred views.

However, I have one video that continues to garner views, even though I made it three years ago. I made a three-part tutorial on setting up a Google Site as a teacher’s webpage. Ironically, I don’t even use Google Sites anymore, having opted for the improved aesthetics of Weebly this past year. For whatever reason, that video now has over 13K views. I don’t get it…

 

It’s a major award!

I am quite honored to have been selected for the district staff excellence award. My school district has over 10 thousand teachers and 19 thousand employees. I am even more excited about it because my husband got it a couple of years ago and I think it’s awesome that we have both been recognized for our efforts. Most of all, I appreciate the colleagues and students that have congratulated me on it when I least expected it. The greatest award as a teacher is always when you feel appreciated by your students.

Artifact Curation for BTs

My district takes mentoring new teachers seriously. Mentors must go through a multi-day workshop and continuing education to stay updated on strategies and initiatives that are valued by the district. We also meet in larger groups to learn more practical knowledge for managing the day-to-day struggles of a new teacher. This is my contribution for teachers that are a bit stressed about our evaluation process.

This infographic shares strategies for teachers seeking to maintain artifacts 
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Creating Business Connections

I am so lucky to live and teach in Raleigh, NC.  We have so many large corporations and small businesses that work in STEM-related fields. RTP is a proverbial plethora of industry experiences. I have had the fortune to conduct a two-week externship as well as four day-long immersion experiences in our community. An important aspect of maintaining business relationships is making sure that they are aware of the impact that they have had. This was a video I made to try to explain and thank BASF for the two-week experience.

BASF Thank You Video