In the #EdTech world, there are some heavy hitters and all stars. Kathy Schrock is one of those rockstars that is on another level. She has an amazing website and is constantly in the know. I’ll probably write about her more in depth later, but today I wanted to get out a resource that she remixed to make it a must have for any teacher.
May 21st – Periodic Table of EdTech
This post should actually be about multiple people. The Periodic Table for Educational Technology (below) was the work of multiple individuals that all have a say in EdTech and a really great resource. The website Daily Genius put out a call and created the Periodic Table for Educational Technology and then the above mentioned Kathy Schrock created a clickable PDF version (below the picture). A lot of the tools have been mentioned here and I was planning on talking about most of them, but a few were new to me.
Online “ePortfolios” are the new hot thing in education. Tracking student work through a semester or multiple years is all the rage and everyone wants to do it. With the introduction of cloud based storage systems it’s much easier to accomplish this (you used to need to have a network specialist on hand to manage the server). But how do you actually collect and display student work? There are now a dozen or so websites that offer services, but being the (wannabe) Computer Scientist, I wanna create and teach the students to create. But you need to start somewhere and general rules seem to be a good place.
April 10th – ePortfolios
Today is another cop out post, basically guiding you to a great article posted almost a year ago but floated to the top of my twitter feed with the year somewhat winding down. Edutopia is a blog devoted to, well, education and I often find myself getting lost clicking on article after article with plenty of good, useful information. 11 Essentials for Excellent ePortfolios is a great article by Vicki Davis that has an excellent website on the side. So enjoy the article and click around a bit on Edutopia, it’ll be well worth your time!
Today feels like cheating – but it’s a great article so I’m passing it on. Medium is a great online publishing magazine and I subscribe to the daily digest and usually end up reading one or two. Since my job is to introduce Computer Science to students, this article really hit home for me. Enjoy!
March 8th – Medium Article
Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Learning How To Code by Cecily Carver is a great meta piece about coding in 2016. People have developed these skills in different ways for decades and unlike English, Math or other subjects – there is not a lot of formal education to create a basic knowledge base for everyone to have. A lot of the things in this article are the exact conversations I find myself having everyday. So read on, and remember these as you are programming your first thing (the second and third times too).
***Caution: Has a few “naughty” words – but we’re all adults here… right?***
Trends in the education world aren’t the first thing on everyone’s mind. Typically a teacher is more concerned with their students, curriculum, changing legislation and the other more pressing issues that come with the job. So when digital trends come around, it always takes a few years for teachers to “get hip” (that’s what the kids say right?)
Facebook can be made into a page to follow and some teachers have their classrooms setup with that, the philosophy being “if they are on it anyway”. Gif‘s are no longer just for Meme’s and cat pictures, many educators use it daily to aid in instruction. Twitter is finally being used to connect with people, but still used to comment on social issues and subtweet #SocietyToday.
January 11th – Twitter
I’ve always been a bit hesitant to jump on social media. Maybe it’s my generation, but I’m not used to writing about what I’m doing all the time (ie this blog being a few – 10 – days behind) so twitter was never a first priority. But this year I’ve been trying to get more involved and “tweet” at least once a day. What’s really great is being able to follow who you want and get great resources from them (two favorites: @thegooglegooru and @alicekeeler). Both can help in the day to day and help you moving forward. Progress!
Newsflash! I’m not the greatest. Tough for me to admit but there is NO WAY I could be the only source of information for people. I’ve found this as a very interesting shift (for some people to understand) from the one source to all answers (sage on the stage model) vs the newer “resources abound” model (this wacky internet thing). As a technology coordinator I get random questions all the time about home internet, printer ink cartridges and cybersecurity. Most I can answer on a surface level, but 5 minutes into the conversation I’d be out of ideas. People continue to lump all “computer” type things and it’s really not that easy.
The Google Gooru has been a great resource for the little tips and tricks to help out in making my way through Google products. Most I understand, but the Gooru(s) always have a nice little post for me to watch briefly that can help (the 6 things from Excel is a great one). Honestly the Gooru has been a great help to refer people too instead of feeling like I have all the answers – which I don’t and I’ve finally come to terms with that (good thing too before I start having kids!)
My official job title is “K-12 Technology Specialist” so I help all teachers and students with technology and how to use it to become more efficient. In my work I’ve noticed the gap between adult and student learners (which is as vast as the Grand Canyon) but also a huge gap (think Black Canyon of the Gunnison) between what students know for school and what they can do in their free time (Instagram, Snapchat and everything else that I only know about when it makes the news). There is so much to know about protecting ourselves and although Facebook and MySpace are over 10 years old, people are still making the same mistakes and putting themselves at risk everyday. Another important to Computer Science education is to educate ourselves about what we are doing and creating rather than just doing it.
January 3rd – Tech Today Practice
Other subjects can live in a vacuum, but with Computer Science you want to create a website/program for everyone to see/use. There is a whole different mindset to teaching in that environment, “how do I help my students progress, but transparently and for the world to see and interact with?” The Beauty and Joy of Computing is an up-and-coming CS curriculum (that I love and will talk about multiple times throughout the year) and they encourage the daily discussions of “tech today” and making connections to what we are doing and how it effects us all. I modeled this for a few weeks and then assigned students to find articles (some asked for help which was fine). Students found articles from the New York Times, and countless other technology publications out there. I directed many students to the news section of the Association for Computing Machinery and they’d read, develop some questions to lead the class and we started everyday like this. It was amazing. Students that struggled in class, shared opinions because they finally had a voice. Other students found articles that related to their passions and connected CS to music, art, robotics, AI and more. I sat among the class and they first started talking to me, but soon that structure was lost and they addressed the entire group. It was very powerful to see students exercise their voice regardless of grade level. It was great to see so many students involved and even one asked to go twice because he found an article he wanted to talk about, as a teacher – thats when my job is done.
It’s January 1st and everyone is trying really hard to stick to their resolutions. The organic food section is packed and you can’t find an empty treadmill in the gym. My favorite running paths are full of people in new gear and shoes so bright and shiny they’ll blind you if they catch the sun. Every year this happens and every year come January 21st, treadmills are available, those shiny shoes have only a few scuff marks and everyone is back to burgers and fried foods. I’ve never really bought into the New Year Resolution thing (making this blog adventure quite ironic wouldn’t you say?).
As my educational journey has had a very meandering path, I feel like I’ve found something I’m truly passionate about (besides education in general) – Computer Science Education. Computer Science is the hot new trend and everyone is (and can be) doing it! With an internet tailored for me (Thanks Google!) I can’t get away from all the new programming websites popping up and new languages/programs available to help you learn how to code. I’ve been following for a few years and it seems to have grown exponentially in the past few months.
As I continue to learn more in this field, I want to explore and share with others – building a network and sharing information. I work weekends with Code.org as a Exploring Computer Science (ECS) facilitator and really enjoy that work – so I wanted to take it digitally (this is where this blog comes in). Each day I aim to post something about Computer Science, Computer Science Education or technology that can help all teachers (with a Computer Science spin).
Medium is a great publishing website that a few connections recently have posted on, so I signed up and get daily digest of articles. Come January 1st, a bunch were on coding in the new year (part of the reason I started this blog). The above article is an obvious promotion for FreeCodeCamp which is another online coding academy, which will work for some and won’t for others – you just have to find the right fit. I really enjoyed the first paragraph – learn to code by coding. Just Do It (thanks Nike), applies to more than just sports. As I obsessively talk about CS, I try to show people little things all the time and it’s do-able! So I start with the article that helped spark this idea.