Tag Archives: Education

Explore Flipped PD, Empathy, Memes, and More at #FETC19

21 Jan

I am so excited about this year’s FETC. Not only will I be connecting with some of my favorite people in edtech at one of my favorite events in edtech…. but I will also be digging in with amazing educators through 6 workshops and two concurrent sessions!

And this year, I’m not just presenting alone. Joining me for current session Teach All the Memes! is 18 year old social media guru, Laney Blair, whose #IAmMyBeautiful body positivity campaign was recently featured on BuzzFeed. And in Cultivating Empathy with Film and Other Media, award-winning feature filmmaker Kevin O’Brien will gift us with his insights on the power of media and how even 3 minute short films can transform perspective and inspire action.

This is definitely a year of workshops and sessions at FETC you won’t want to miss!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Flip Your PD: Top Tips and Tools for PD Videos
A perfect FETC kick-off for administrators, tech coordinators, and coaches!
Room: SOUTH 220B; Workshop Number: $W005
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Create the Ultimate Technology Project — Today!
Room: NORTH 220G; Workshop Number: $W072
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

From Student to Author: Writing Instruction for the Digital Age
Room: SOUTH 330H; Workshop Number: $W089
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Monday, January 28, 2019

15 Keys to Effective Classroom Management With Mobile Devices
Room: NORTH 220G; Workshop Number: $W122
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Powerful Instructional Strategies That Cultivate World Changers
What if your everyday class activities could also build a better tomorrow? Would you do it? Come learn practical ways to cultivate world changers!
Room: NORTH 220G; Workshop Number: $W172
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

How to Turn Your Technology Initiative Into an Educational Movement
An interactive sessions to support school and district leaders in aligning decision-making with an edtech vision for systemic change.
Room: SOUTH 330B; Workshop Number: $W195
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Teach ALL the Memes!
with 18 year old social media guru Laney Blair
Memes permeate youth culture. Learn to understand, create, and teach with these powerful media tools.
Room: NORTH 330CD; Session Number: C148
2:00 PM – 2:40 PM

Cultivating Empathy With Film and Other Media
with Award-winning Filmmaker Kevin O’Brien
Gain strategies for selecting and teaching with media that can transform students’ ability to understand and act of the the experiences of others.
Room: NORTH 220G; Session Number: C209
4:00 PM – 4:40 PM

Arts-Infused Charter School will be a Game-Changer in Florida’s Glades Region

4 Oct

I am so excited to share about this school opening with you all!
Last summer, my consulting team worked tirelessly (literally several all-nighters pulled) to help write a charter school proposal for an arts-infused elementary/middle school in Florida’s Glades region, a more rural and underserved community in western Palm Beach County.
We took on this project because we believe Covenant Arts Academy’s unique, holistic approach to education will increase engagement, academic performance, graduation rates, higher-ed participation, JOY, and HOPE for students in this area… results that were already being seen through the school founders’ arts-based after-school program, Street Beat (http://streetbeatincorporated.org/about-us/).
 
This morning, we learned that the charter was approved unanimously! I am thrilled for the Glades community and for the students that will benefit from this innovative curricular model.
My biggest takeaway from this experience: If you have a vision for helping students in a unique or innovative way, share it, explore it, build a team around it. Diverse students need diverse solutions… maybe you’ll be the next one to bring hope to students who need it most!
 
“The [Palm Beach County School Board] considered a third charter, Covenant Arts Academy, vital to filling a need for some of the county’s most remote students.
 
“The nearest arts middle school option for students in the Glades region is 39 miles away and is an audition-based magnet school,” the school wrote in its charter application. “These geographical and access challenges significantly limit potential access for interested students in the Glades region.”
 
Board members agreed, approving the school unanimously.
 
The combined elementary and middle school is expected to open in Belle Glade and promises to integrate arts into all of its classes . It aims to enroll 590 students by its fifth year and would instruct students in music, dance and drama.””

Will I see you at these Summer 2016 Education Conferences?

14 Jun

I am so excited about three upcoming conferences that I will get to be a part of this summer!

As you may know, I’ve done a lot less travel this past year since the arrival of my (totally adorable) baby boy. It’s been a wonderful year and true delight to have the opportunity to spend a lot of time home with him. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to get out to connect with and support my fellow educators more over the next two months!

So, in case you’re out and about, here’s where you can find me. And if you’ll be attending any of these conferences, let me know and be sure to say hello. 🙂

Superior Tech for Teachers: Education Technology Conference
June 15-17, 2016 in Clearwater, FL
More info: http://superiortech4teachers.com

CjoboeaXEAAPa_V.jpg-large8 Ways to Maximize Learning with Mobile Devices
Friday, June 17 @ 9:00 – 10:00 AM, Room: Protagoras C104

It’s a Small World: Elementary Global Collaboration
Friday, June 17 @ 12:30 – 1:30 PM, Room: Sapho A201

ISTE 2017
June 25-29, 2016 in Denver, CO
More info: https://conference.iste.org

Powerful Technology Centers for Elementary Students: Workshop
Saturday, June 25 @ 12:30–3:30 PM, Room: CCC Mile High Ballroom 2A

Innovative Elementary Writing Activities for the Digital Age: Workshop
Sunday, June 26 @ 12:30–3:30 PM, Room: CCC Mile High Ballroom 2C

Taking Your Mobile Learning to the Next Level: Interactive Lecture with ISTE Faculty
Monday, June 27 @ 2:30 – 3:30 PM, Room: CCC 601

How to Turn Your Technology Initiatives into Educational Movements: Workshop
Tuesday, June 28 @ 4:30–7:30 PM, Room: Hyatt Regency, Capital Ballroom 2

ISTE_2016-Digital-Badge_presenterIt’s a Small World: Elementary Global Collaboration: Interactive Lecture
Wednesday, June 29 @ 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM, Room: CCC 401

I will also be with the 3D Network Leadership team at the
Networking Fair on Sunday from 3-5 PM in CCC Lobby D
and the
3D Network Gathering on Tuesday from 10-11 AM in the PLN Lounge.

NAF Next Conference
July 18-20, 2016 in Orlando, FL
More info: http://naf.org/event/naf-next-2016

Take Your Mobile Learning to the Next Level
Monday, July 18 @ 9:45 – 11:00 AM

Effective Classroom Management with Mobile Devices
Monday, July 18 @ 1:15 – 2:30 PM

A Coming-of-Digital-Age Story

13 Mar

A Coming-of-Digital Age Story
By Nancye Blair Black
Performed by Laney Blair

Used to be, learning at school was a bore.
Textbooks and textbooks and textbooks. Snore!
In class, teachers would talk, students would hear.
It was the same old story year after year.

Until one day, our principal suddenly appeared
With a class set of computers. The students all cheered!
Our teacher showed us what these new tools could do.
We played fraction games. We Skyped with the zoo!

And then it was our turn. She turned us all loose
To research and learn about a topic we choose.
I tried simulations. Collected data, too.
I emailed an expert. Read cutting-edge news.

Next, it was time to share what we’d learned,
To demonstrate knowledge and mastery earned.
In front of my classmates, I started to doubt,
But then all of a sudden, the words just poured out.

I showed them my slideshow with media galore.
My friends clapped and asked questions and begged me for more!
My teacher joined with them. Could this really be?
That along with my teacher, now a teacher was me?

It was hard to believe, but the message seemed clear;
My work mattered enough to see, read and hear.
And if sharing my ideas could matter to you,
All this work would actually be worth it to do!

So, I darted online to blog on my day.
Would the rest of the world really care what I say?
I posted my project as my global debut.
Other teachers and students were soon commenting, too!

And now, I can’t count all things I can share;
I’m an author, filmmaker and scientist extraordinaire.
My voice makes a difference. I now know it’s true….
And technology helped me to share it with you.

Sept 11 Reflections: Democracy, Citizenship and Education

11 Sep

CC License: Photo by Flickr @North Charleston

What should a good citizen do?

The question of “what a good citizen should do” in a democratic society begins with an assumption of a universal ethical imperative within democracy.  Perhaps this follows from the concept of democracy itself.  At the onset of American independence, the writers of the Declaration stated that it was self-evident that “all men are created equal” and that with that equality of nature comes unalienable Rights, such as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  A democratic society could secure these rights through a government that derives its just power from the “consent of the governed.” 

Consent of the governed.  Perhaps, too often we overlook this essential democratic freedom, the Freedom of Consent.  The idea that democracy requires consent of the governed supports an imperative for the people of the democracy, the good citizens, to actively give a say, to give a consent or descent – through speech, voting, the practice of beliefs or religions, exercising their other freedoms – on the positions and actions of the government.

More than ever, it is vital that American citizens actively exercise their own rights and freedoms, while also working to promote the rights and freedoms of others.  Through both speech and actions, we must declare our consent or descent and encourage the equal participation of other citizens to do the same.  Howard Budin stated that “the heart of democratic action is collaborative decision making,” making “decisions with their fellow citizens to improve their lives and the life of the community or nation.”  In this way, all democratic citizens are benefited by the increased voice and involvement of others, even of those with whom we disagree.  To asymptotically approximate the ideals of democracy, citizens must have equitable opportunities, freedoms and rights to participate… and must actively exercise these opportunities, freedoms and rights within the collaborative society.

Too often in education, we speak of citizenship simply in terms of being honest, neighborly or kind.  Joel Westheimer and Joseph Kahane call this the “personally responsible citizen,” though they warn that this concept of citizenship alone does not necessarily foster equality, justice and democracy.  “Indeed, government leaders in a totalitarian regime would be as delighted as leaders in a democracy if their young citizens… don’t do drugs; show up at school; show up at work; give blood; help others during a flood; recycle; pick up litter; clean up a park; [and] treat old people with respect,” they write in “What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for Democracy.”

Somehow, the concepts of participation and activism are missing from much of today’s education on citizenship. In fact, when I asked, “What should a good citizen do?” to my twelve year old daughter at the dinner table yesterday, she responded with “don’t kill people,” even though she is active in community service and often engages discussions about social justice at her Montessori middle school.  She did not automatically associate those participatory practices with her responsibilities as a “citizen.”  Perhaps this is because what is often considered “good” behavior or citizenship at schools is not always aligned with the promotion of justice.  Frequently, the “good” child in class is the one who follows the rules, even when those rules are enforced in unjust ways.  It is important, especially in education, not to confuse the promotion of personal responsibility with that of standardization, compliance and obedience.

Instead, the good citizen needs to have the ability to transfer the qualities of personal responsibility to critical reflection, active participation (participatory citizen) and the promotion of social justice (justice-oriented citizen).  The good citizen must go beyond personal responsibility to participate in giving consent or descent, in effecting change and in encouraging equity.  In this way, the rights and freedoms of all citizens can be maintained and expanded in order to improve the quality of life for citizens and the collective life of the community or nation.

As educators, there are many opportunities to exercise our roles as citizens and to promote participation and social action in our students:

  • Register to vote, vote, and encourage others to vote, too!
  • Investigate educational issues being discussed in politics, not just in the Presidential race, but also at the local and state level.
  • Call, email and write letters to your School Board or Congressmen, supporting funding for education.
  • Provide community service learning opportunities to your students – serve meals at a homeless shelter; coordinate a canned food drive; raise funds to support cancer research or the creation of a local park.
  • Engage your classes in student-driven action projects and competitions that focus on solving real world problems, like Heifer International Education Programs or the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge.

Today is September 11th.  Yes, we mourn and remember the lives lost and the bravery of so many Americans eleven years ago, but we also celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in this democratic society.  Freedoms that we shouldn’t take for granted.  Freedoms that were earned with blood, sweat and tears.  Freedoms that we should exercise and should harness to advocate for equal rights for all people… here in the United States and around the world.