Learning Leader Session 4 (April 24 or April 25)

As the session begins, please sign in using this form.


1.  Please take a look at the “Evernote” app.  This is a great app to be used for assessment, voice notes, and can be easily shared.

Group Discussions

1.  What have been your favourite apps that you have used during this project and why?

2.  Have you had any “A-ha” moments in connecting with others through social media?

3.  Discuss some of the sessions that you have delivered to your staff.  What has been the impact in school?

Final Video

This is an extremely powerful video on education and the way our world has changed.  Please share any of your thoughts to the #psd70 Twitter hashtag.

By May 10, you will need to finish your final assignment for this project.  Please go through the requirements located on this page.

Session one

Being able to bring technology into my classroom is something that I am always excited about.  After the first session my excitement grew as I knew there would be countless ways that I can have my students get immersed into technology in a school setting.  They all know about video games and what input to put the tv to in order to start playing, what I hoped to do was harness that excitement and knowledge and bring it into a classroom learning setting.  After the first session I was able to fool around with the iPad and come up with some cool ways to use it in my class getting my students into it right away.  This only confirmed that it was a great decision to join this project, to benefit my students in many different ways.

I had joined Twitter a while ago and to be honest wasn’t that taken with it.  I kind of felt it was more for letting people what you were doing.  I didn’t (and still don’t) think anyone cares that I went to the grocery store and then the gym, so I didn’t use it.  What I failed to realize is that it is a great way to communicate ideas and gather resources from other educators around the world.  After the first session I tried to put up articles that I had read and found interesting to see what other people thought, and it was awesome to get some conversation going, especially with our new report card and the article that I found denouncing the report card as a whole.  It was perfect timing.  I also posted a couple questions to the twitter world with regards to some resources I was hoping to use.  Within minutes in both cases I had an answer.  It was incredible. Even though we are all so busy with report cards, parents, sports teams, etc I know that I am going to try and utilize this tool more and more.

As for moving on and what I hope to gain from this experience, I think that I am trying to keep an open mind and roll with the punches to use a cliche.  I am interested in what there is to learn and excited to implement it into my classroom as much as possible.

Learning Leader

When I first read the email describing the learning leader project I knew it was something I wanted to do. I have always believed in technology as a learning tool but have never really known how I could incorporate the iPad as a learning tool as well.  In saying this, I will be the first to admit that I have never taken it upon myself to search for ways in which an iPad can be used other than a personal device. However, over the past month I have found that not only have I been using the apps we were asked to download, but I have also been looking for more that would be beneficial to both my students as well as myself…I am going to attribute this to having my interest peaked at the first session back in October! I guess to summarize, I could simply say that I am really looking forward to using my iPad for more than just surfing the Internet and can already see all the possibilities with it!

I knew coming into this that Twitter was going to be a big part of the experience. I signed up for Twitter last year with the intention of using it all the time, but I quickly turned into a “lurker” and then essentially stopped doing anything with it. In reflecting about this, I think the reason for this is because overall I am a very private person and I wasn’t sure how I felt about having my thoughts and questions all over the Internet. I know that Twitter is a great tool for connecting, sharing resources and so much more as I have seen the power of it through people I know. Here is where I need help (and am willing to admit it)…my goal is to open up and start using Twitter on a regular basis, but I am going to need to continually be pushed to do so until I begin to be more comfortable with the whole idea of it! So, please push me to use it…I know I will thank whoever does later!


Response to a Tweet

I feel grateful to be involved in a group that believes we as educators need to always be learning and discovering.  I love that I am working in a school division gives us the time to connect and learn to continue being life long learners.

Yesterday was my second introduction to Twitter, and thankfully it is starting to really make sense, I am beginning to see the value in Twitter for me as an educator.  I opened up my Twitter account today, and there right in the column “Mentions” was a comment to me from someone I didn’t even know, someone I wasn’t even following (thanks @gcouros), about something I had tweeted! We had a little debate back and forth about whether obedience belongs in the classroom, or whether a classroom should operate based on mutual respect.  I still believe what I initially tweeted, but I love a good debate, and I am an optimist, maybe he sees it my way now:).

Initially I tweeted because I was encouraged to do so, but with the amount of reflection I have been doing since that one reply, I am certain Twitter will be a valuable tool in helping me as a learner as well as an educator. @NealleDickson


I am reflecting on what I think is a pretty cool idea.  Well, at least for me it seems pretty cool. Being pretty new to the profession of teaching I have so much to learn and am so excited that I have been soaking up every tidbit of information about education I can get my hands on. I am lucky enough have some amazing mentors in my corner.  I am connected to some great professional learning communities online through sites like Twitter, Ted Talks, Zite, and Pinterest.  I have deep philosophical discussions with friends and colleagues that are just as passionate about this stuff as I am.  I have read articles and blogs from some of the best educators in the world.  I share the really good ideas with my friends or on twitter or in emails.  Once and awhile there is even a heated debate on a topic that gets me pretty fired up. All these things engage me, they create an incredible learning environment for me and they fuel the passion I feel for my profession as an educator and as a lifelong learner.

In fact, the more I sit here and reflect on it, the more its seems pretty simple and why I never made this connection until today is beyond me. Why are we not engaging our students, our communities and our families the same way?  Sharing knowledge and skills will make huge impacts on our students’ learning and the only way to share is to connect to someone.  Sharing what happens in our classrooms by connecting with families will create discussions at home that are similar to the ones students are having at school. Making our students’ work public and connecting them to a real audience will provide purpose, engagement and excitement.  Creating communities of student experts and connecting them with their peers builds leaders and mentors. It all boils down to connecting learners with each other.  It really does not matter how they connect its just important that connections are made; the more connections made the faster and deeper the learning will be. It is this exact reason why social media is such a great learning tool.

The biggest reason I am starting to blog is to find another way to connect.  I want to connect with other educators so I can learn and share with them, I want to connect with students so that they can see how and what I have been learning, and I want to connect with parents so they can see why their child is so excited about a school project.  The connections I have made with people over the last few years have taught me so much and I am so grateful for what I have gained. It is only fair that we connect our students to this way of learning as well.

Twitter Handle: 


Learning Leader Session 1 (October 25, 2012)

As the session begins, please sign in using this form.

Welcome to the Learning Leader Kick-Off, Session 1!  We want to make this useful to your learning and the year is going to be focused on developing in the three areas:

  1. Personal Learning Networks
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Using Mobile Devices

The focus in these sessions is not foremost to become a better teacher, but to become a better learner, in the way that many of our students will learn in this time.  As you become more comfortable with what is being taught, please remember the requirements of this project:

  • 6 separate blog posts on this site over 6 months.
  • Teach 2 sessions on what you have learned to colleagues.
  • Attend all 6 sessions.
  • Use Twitter to learn and participate.

This exemplifies the old adage of “…teach a man to fish..” We want to use technology to focus on how we learn, and how we can connect with one another.

Here are two visuals that are guidelines for the work that we will be doing:

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by gcouros

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by gcouros

We will look at how we share and create information over the next few months.

Here is the agenda for today’s session:

1.  Using Twitter – As you all have have completed your pre-work for today’s session, we will be using Twitter to connect and learn.  Please refer to this Twitter Tutorial for the first part of the morning.

We will also be looking at the “Hootsuite” app and how it can be used to manage multiple streams of information.

After completion of the tutorial, we will watch this Ted Talk by Seth Godin.  Please tweet out any thoughts that you have to the #PSD70 hashtag:

2. Blogging for sharing ideas – As a component of this professional development, each participant is expected to blog at least once after each session (6 in total) minimum.  All of you will have received a blog username and password if you have not already use the psdblogs site.  Below is a tutorial on both classroom blogging and blogging as a portfolio:

Blogging Tutorial

Please go to the psdblogs site to logon and you will be shown how to write your first post.

If time permits…

3.  Sharing and learning using ZiteZite is a great app to help find more information while also being able to share your learning.  It is simple yet has a far reach.

Blogging ideas for your first post:

As you are required to blog after this first session, here are some ideas of what you can write about (or a combination of any):

  • Big questions that you have moving forward
  • What did you learn the first session?
  • Apps that you love.
  • Any “pushback” to “why do we need to learn this?”
  • Anything related to learning, either yours or your students.

Looking forward to your first posts!!!!

Prep: Learning Leader Program: Session 1 (Year 2)

We are looking forward to our first cohort session for the Learning Leader program starting on October 25, 2012.  Please ensure that you have the following completed:

  1. Set up a Twitter account. (Download the “Hootsuite” app on your iPad)
  2. Set up an “Evernote” account.   (Download the “Evernote” app on your iPad)
  3. Download the “Zite” app.
  4. Read the following blog post: The Blended PLC.  This will be the model of this group.  There is a mandatory blogging component.
  5. Fill out this survey when you are done the above 3 steps: Learning Leader Survey

As the focus of this program is to build towards becoming a networked teacher, a lot of our time will be spent creating our own digital identity, and having an opportunity to connect with educators all over the world to build a Professional Learning Network (PLN).  Below is a diagram of the “Networked Teacher”:

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by courosa

Although some of our work will be using the iPad, it is not the “focus” of the program.  With that being said, please bring both your iPad and a laptop to the first session.

Below is the (planned) agenda for Session 1 (October 25, 9AM-1PM)

    1. Introductions
    2. Twitter
    3. Using Evernote (iPad)
    4. Writing a blog post on the “Learning Leader Blog”

You will be sent some information prior to arriving to the session to login to the Learning Leader blog.  Please ensure that you keep that email so that you are able to contribute to the blog.

I am very excited about this opportunity. If you are interested, I encourage you to look at this Dean Shareski video on “Sharing” that has made a huge impact on my own learning. Again, this is optional, but it is definitely worth the time to watch.

If you have any questions that you feel may be applicable to the whole group, please feel free to write them in the comment section.

See you soon!

Endless Possibilities

I consider myself decently proficient when it comes to technology; however, when it comes to the amount of tech tools and ideas and the rate in which change in this area occurs, I realize the possibilities are truly endless. The amount of knowledge and skills I possess in this area is minuscule in comparison. I think that is part of the reason why I am so intrigued with tech stuff. There is always going to be something else that surprises me. My learning will never end. I was reminded of this again as I attended an iPad for administrators session led by @nlakusta where I learned about a number of new apps, tips, and tricks with the iPad.

One of the cool resources she shared was a collaborative Google presentation called 103 Interesting Ways To Use Ipad In The Classroom. Check it out!

Flipped Classrooms

“Flip your instruction so that students watch and listen to your lectures… for homework, and then use your precious class-time for what previously, often, was done in homework: tackling difficult problems, working in groups, researching, collaborating, crafting and creating. Classrooms become laboratories or studios, and yet content delivery is preserved.” (http://www.connectedprincipals.com/archives/3367).

This reminds me of university.  When professors handed out reading assignments with a timeline and would just move through the material whether you read it or not.  I was responsible, enough, to do my readings.  I have some students who struggle to bring enough food in their lunch, never mind listen to a 20 minute video on Capacity.  I work hard to keep everyone’s attention during discussions, using cues to listen, proximity to refocus and strategies to maintain good classroom management.

Questions I have:

  • Who will be making sure the students are actually paying attention and are engaged in the video?
  • What ages are kids expect to do this at home?  Is this a high school or Jr. High or even elementary?
  • How can we expect or what time expectation should each student be doing at night?
  • How can we plan a lesson if students do not do their homework? Do they just fall behind?
  • What if the technology fails, dial up is still in use, or some kids do not have access to the computer for a long time?
  • How do families with many children share the computer when everyone needs to do their homework before the next day?
  • What will parents think of this?
  • What roles do teacher play? Can the teacher then become replaced?  Couldn’t we just buy a video?
  • Would classroom size change?
  • Are teachers ok with being viewed by parents and anyone with access to that USB stick or website?

There is a lot to think about.   Perhaps we could have a flipped teacher?

Flip your teaching so that students watch and listen to your lectures……from the comfort of your own home?  Lol ok a little sarcastic but the technology isn’t really that far off.  With Ipads we can use Apple T.V. to watch and write on students Ipads from a remote location.  Would a flipped classroom end up being a threat to teacher jobs? Even with the technology we have,we are not there….. Yet.