Monday, October 30, 2017

Canvas Basics

This month has been about working with teachers to help them get set-up in Canvas. After I finished a training on Friday I realized that one of the things teachers needed was a checklist for launching a course with students.
But I also realized that the checklist needs to be different for new users and advanced users. This will not be too hard, because the beauty of Canvas is that they provide detailed support pages, so I can link to all of their how-tos and focus on the best set-up process and steps.
Below is for beginners:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

2016-2017 Reflection


Well it is way past time for my reflection. I have already decided that next year I would like to plan a bit earlier to maintain a weekly teacher reflection based on the goals that I am setting. 

Perhaps my biggest issue is planning in the beginning of the year, reflecting more often and then by the time I hit Christmas, we are on a massive rollercoaster to the finish, and I have completely forgotten to stop and reflect. 
I believe by adding events into the calendar to pause a reflection and refer myself back to my plan, I believe I will have greater success. 

In the mean-time here are some thoughts from the 2016-2017 school year. 
This year I had planned to focus my attention in the direction of 3 major projects: IVC Distance Delivery, Online Learning, and IT. The outcomes for IVC that I had set were to: 
  1. High quality IVC classes, extending CTE classes to all HS
  2. Targeted SSP and PLC Trainings: IVC Checklist focus (based on Danielson Framework) 
  3. Training in how to use IVC for T & L and H.S. staff 
  4. PD via IVC (ex: Canvas) 
  5. Virtual Field Trips for Schools to extend CTE Pathways
  6. Cross-school student collaboration projects (ie Student Techs) for CTE Pathways extension.

Of all these set, I was very successful at building the cross school Student Tech Program with the starts of building it into CTE or internships. We provided some PD via IVC, and unfortunately provided no virtual field trips. We did spend time during SSP for targeted PD, but quickly realized we needed more time to do anything deeper. Next year I will be developing a plan to implement a monthly PLC via DD. Finally, the training for others to use the IVC equipment occurred more informally then formally. People are becoming used the idea of having it in their schools, but I would like to build an easy how to use guide in Canvas and our school district website. So others can just connect during their PLC’s. I hope to build a campaign in the fall to share with principals to encourage use, along with providing Virtual Field Trips via Nepris. 

Outcomes that were created for online learning included: 
  1. Beg & Adv Canvas training courses for teachers in-person and online (personalized PD, Badging, CE Credits) 
  2. Support for Apex and Canvas (Trainings for teachers and students) in-person and online
  3. Support use of Canvas for OER Curation Process
  4. Personalized/ Blended Learning & BYOD Canvas Modules Examples for training and PLC’s 
  5. Alaska Studies Canvas Course
  6. ConnectEd Canvas Course based on Blended Learning models. 
  7. Support/ Training for T & L to build their own Canvas Courses

It feels like I spent the majority of the year building resources and training materials for Apex/ Canvas teachers and lab facilitators, which I greatly enjoyed. These need to be formalized and moved into a Canvas Course for teachers to take as an independent training. In addition, I had great success in building the Canvas OER Curation course, and the 3 day training that was provided went well. The groundwork has been laid for this to be very useful and dynamic next year, which will be heavily used for Personalized learning. Another huge success was the building of blended learning modules and examples for training and plc. These will be placed into Canvas Catalog this summer so teachers can add them into their Canvas courses as templates. 
We also made in-roads to preparing the Alaska Studies course, and a Canvas template has been made for teachers to build the course. Finally we provided a ConnectEd/ StudySync course that wasn’t well attended but built framework for future trainings. As for the support and training for T & L building their own course, I believe I did poorly here. This summer I will be putting together a Canvas training course for Admin center folks, and then offering a training to them to build better courses. 

Outcomes that were created for Instructional technology teacher were: 
  1. Help with Communication process for tech support, with librarians as first contact for tech support. 
  2. Support plans for technology refresh in HS and MS
  3. Support plans for Software Support in HS and MS
  4. Provide tools and training to support the transition to personalized Learning (train the trainer for librarians) 
  5. Provide New Teacher Basic FNSBSD Tech Canvas Modules

Of all the areas on this planning document, I feel I did the poorest here. I felt that I did not get to spend as much time in schools as I would have liked, implementing and modeling lessons with teachers and students. However, I consider over and over again how and where this now fits into my new position, and perhaps it should be blended more into the other two outcome goals above. I did, however, work with my supervisor to build communication processes for tech support with librarians and student techs. I look forward to really seating it and reinforcing it for next year. The model suggests that teachers, students and staff go to their school librarian for tech support. The librarian decides if she will provide support, or if it can be done by a student tech, or if requires contacting me. In turn, I will work with librarians to train them and give them model lessons to share with teachers, a train the librarian model. This year I also encouraged librarians to work with their principals and teachers to create a refresh plan for the next 5 years. But it would have been better to build a template plan and offer it to the librarians. Finally we are slowly building capacity for software support through Canvas courses, PD trainings and training librarians. Student techs also worked to provide 4 Google Playground events to have people learn about Google Apps. And in addition to this, we have planned for a process for providing tech support for personalized learning for next year, in addition to summer work for building resources on our district website. And for goal number 5, we did have an excellent start at this but just ran out of steam and time to get it done. I will continue to work on it over the summer and offer it in the Canvas Catalog for the fall. 

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,