Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Spring Brings Refreshing

It happens every spring. In Alaska our snow starts to melt, and we discover all kinds of things left, lost, and buried in different layers from the winter snow storms. I feel this is the same thing that happens to myself as a teacher as we approach spring.

I begin to wrap up projects, self-assess on a larger scale, reflect upon the year and different events. Like items lost in the snow, I discover different projects or ideas started and forgotten, some probably a good idea that they were forgotten and some will be put on the slow cooker for next year.

Blogging Buddies LogoMy poor, little blog is one of them. Every year, I dig it back out and tell myself I will return to blogging to share some of the materials, activities, ideas that I always have stewing. This year, I came across a lovely post from ISTE community to join Blogging Buddies. Timing was perfect! I have been clamoring all year (many referenced sticky notes and conversations) about the need for constant refresh from a PLN, but a gentle nudge to get back to my blog and share, in hopes of refining ideas of how to be a better EdTech Coach, and not feeling that sense of being "alone" or stifled without outside invigoration (you know, like when the snow is warmed by the sun, and reveals that hidden treasure!)

So, I was so excited when I discovered that I was part of a wonderful group that is stretched across the U.S., literally!

Meet my blogging buddies:
Jessica Mercado from Georgia 
Mike Phillips from Michigan
Sydney Musslewhite from Texas
Bonnie Birdsall from Vermont

So, here is to the start of another wonderful tech adventure!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why not Break-Out of a Virtual Classroom

Breakoutedu has hit my virtual learning networks. I have become infatuated with the idea of providing professional development in the format of escaping or breaking out of a room while learning content.
So, why not have a session to help virtual learning teachers do this same thing in their virtual learning environments.

Our school district provides videoconference classes that are available to all of our high schools. In addition to this, many of our teacher are also online teachers that instruct students that attend a brick and mortar classroom to work on their online coursework, also known as the "E-Learning Classrooms."  Though these same teachers are teaching regular classrooms during the day, and in the evening they work on their asynchronous classes.

Both sets of teachers, as well as coaches and e-faciltiators, must be trained to use a variety of web tools to help personalize and meet students needs in a virtual classroom. Often these training sessions are intense and can have a steep learning curve for new virtual teachers.

I have found that one of the best methods for supporting virtual teachers is to help them discover the need and then identify the tool that best fits the job. This requires a time and place for teachers to make this discovery, often times while they are in the midst of teaching.

This is where Breakout of the Virtual Classroom comes into play. By presenting participants with many of the same problems/ puzzles that our teachers have faced in the last 4 years, participants can quickly identify a need for a tool, practice using the tool and then quickly assess it's effective nature based on whether they have solved the puzzle to escape that section of the virtual room.

Here is the general description for the session proposal that I will be giving at conferences and trainings within my district.

"Ready to "break-out" of a virtual learning classroom? Participants will solve puzzles to escape the virtual classroom using proven web tools for communication, assignments,  online and synchronous (video conference) classrooms. 

In a 2013 iNACOL “Keeping Pace Report,” it was stated that the top reasons school districts use online learning is to provide courses that otherwise would not be available. 

Come join this fun, unique session to investigate how one Alaskan school district uses blended learning in videoconference classes to solve this problem in a geographically diverse district to provide equal opportunities for their students. 

Participants will walk away with a set of tech tools and methods for a virtual blended learning environment based on several years of implementation, assessment and review. " 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Infographic Philosophy 2016

Philosophy of Education

It is that time of year. The time to resubmit our Philosophy of Education. I like to think it is a good time to reflect on how my philosophy has changed over the year.

Ms. Hum’s Philosophy of Education

What guides my teaching?
I strongly believe that every person has the ability to learn. We may be different types and rates of learners, but we all possess the ability to learn.  My goal is to reach every student and help them to be successful, independent learners, striving to become so engaged in their learning, they grow the skills of being passionate life-long learners with hopes that they will in turn give back to their family and community.
So what are elements that guide this philosophy?

Children are individuals and therefore should be taught as such.
Every person is unique, in their personality and learning styles. Therefore teaching all students in the same manner does not help each person to be successful. Instead, as a teacher I provide a variety of modalities for learning, giving content in the form of varied multimedia or tactile experiences that are contextual to their environment. I build connections with my students to to help each individual make the connection to the content through their areas of interest and passion. In doing so, we as teachers help the learner to make sense of the skills and content, allowing it to become life-long learning. 

Every child has a want to learn, with some hidden passion or talent, regardless of disabilities, race, gender or income.
I believe that every person wants to learn and should thus be given the chance regardless of any disabilities, race, gender or income. Such things do not determine if a person wants to learn, nor if a person can learn. These only determine a person’s opportunity to learn. As a teacher, I believe it is my job to provide every opportunity I can to help a person learn and become successful.  Doing so also provides a person with a variety of experiences to learn from and about, opening new doors to new opportunities in which he/ she has many chances to discover hidden talents, and passions. Once these passions and talents are discovered, the learner becomes driven to learn more and inquire more, thus creating a life-long learner.

Inquiry is part of our learning process.
I believe that at a young age we are naturally curious and inquire about our environment and how we should interact with our environment. Fostering and growing this inquiry in persons allows for them to make connections with new concepts and skills. In addition, inquiry allows for persons to be constantly seeking knowledge and skills to help better understand themselves, others, their environment and community. Hence, using Inquiry as a method for teaching means I present scenarios and situations that require students to inquire or ask questions, and thus seek the knowledge or skills naturally and independently, rather than being the “sage on the stage.” This will result in all learning community in which all are learners and teachers. What inspired me?

Zone of Proximal Learning, Community and Collaboration
In the process of learning, a student learns new content or skills, and then requires feedback from the teacher or community to determine if they have the information or skills correct. Though this is done in many different ways, the most important aspect to this cyclical process is that it is a constant and consistent feedback loop done throughout the learning process with many chances for correction. Having a community of learners can provide more opportunities for new learning, correcting learning or help to deepen the learning process. This means that students outside of the Zone of Proximal learning can be adjusted back into this zone, not only from the help of the teacher but other learners in the community. Such a community, whether online or in person, must be developed early in the learning community and it must be positive with guidelines and structure. Adding in collaboration amongst teachers, students and students to teachers, invigorates the community and maintains the process. All of which produces skills for the work force, community and eventually bettering our world. Read MoreCollaboration & Community

Technology is a medium to support our learning.  

As a teacher we need to be aware that our students are 21st   century learners, requiring 21st century skills, and therefore 21st century teachers. Such skills include communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, information and media skills, and life and career skills. Technology has become a rich medium to support the growth of these skills. From digital communities for problem solving and collaboration, to creative solutions to problems kids and teachers can share with the world, technology has become a universal tool for learning and teaching. But like any skill, it must be taught so it is used effectively to extend and enhance our learning. Despite what hardware, software or application that is used, learning should always focus on the learning objectives, and the technology should support or enhance the meeting of these objectives.  Finally, media literacy is often referred to as the invisible fourth “r” in the reading, writing and arithmetic mantra. As technology becomes more of a medium for conveying information, we as teachers need to be more aware of using media to convey information and skills to our students, as well as helping students to create their own media to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. This is especially critical since we are moving into an era of information, and students now must be able to sort and analyze the volumes of accessible information on the Internet to identify what is most useful and accurate and safe for learning. Learn More,

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Interactive Videoconference Student Traits Rubric and Checklist

A teacher requested that I put together a rubric that her students could use to grow the characteristics and traits for being a strong distance delivery student in an Interactive Videoconference Class. This is the first version of the rubric and checklist.