Edmodo-Con V3.0

 

Flashback to 28th July, 2011 – a copy of my very first blog post. . . .

 

hmmmm, so, what am

I thinking???

Well, I do have my own private blog for journaling, but since being whisked away on this amazing EdmodoCon journey I feel like the only teacher that isn’t expressing their thoughts, pedagogical practices and lesson plans via a blog!
I did sign up for for a twitter account about an hour ago, but THEN the first suggested person I followed was Justin Timberlake???? it really just irked me out! hahahaha!
So I’m having a go at journalling my journey. As both a teacher and a student.
*insert twitter name here later
On the 20th July, 2011 – Betsy Whalen from Edmodo emailed me to let me know that I had been successful in my application to be a part of the FIRST EDMODO-CON, at this point in time I had been using Edmodo since late 2008 – the news sent me into a complete fan-girl state. There were a few requirements, like start a blog, get a Twitter account, install Cisco WebEx and there are three other Aussies that I was to present alongside. 
Betsy connected me with Henrietta Miller, primary teacher local to the Northern Beaches, Bianca Hewes, Secondary English teacher who lived around the corner from my place on the Northern Beaches and Jess Melkman, Secondary art teacher ALSO local to the Northern Beaches?  We met up at the local McDonalds to plan our Edmodo-Con presentation and laughed at the fact that Edmodo had selected four women who were alike in passion, ideas and lived in the SAME AREA?
Look at these four Edu-dorks . . .
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The FIRST Edmodo-Con was a whirlwind – we presented at about 4am Australian time from our respective workplaces, homes (I was in my PJ’s eating vegemite toast and drinking tea). Bianca Hewes Mc’d the hour session – it was surreal. There were 11,000 people listening to us online, and they loved Edmodo as much as we did.
*** For flashblack – here is the Edmodo Blog update for the FIRST Edmodo-Con: https://blog.edmodo.com/2011/07/25/edmodocon-2011-presentation-schedule/ 
*** AND – I dug up my powerpoint presentation! edmodo_dalli2011
POST EDMODO-CON 2011 – I fell in love with the online collaboration of Twitter and began networking with teachers outside of my school, diocese and subject area. The possibilities for my PD were now limitless.
In 2013 I was lucky enough to present at ISTE in San-Antonio, during this time I did a short workshop at the Edmodo booth with Jess and Bianca. I got to meet Lucia Giacomantonio in person and thank the Edmodo team IRL for powering technologies in my classroom. The second photo below is really pretty special to me as it has Bianca’s husband Lee, her boys and Andy McKeil – a Canadian edu-geek I met and connected with via twitter.
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At the same time as this Edu-Adventure, Jess and her husband Mark got married. Bianca, Lee and their boys and I got to attend. . . special Edu-family.
Who have thought that 3  years later, I would have the opportunity to present at Edmodo-Con for the SECOND TIME, THIS TIME LIVE IN SAN FRAN??!!
Jess and I talk shop alllllllll the time, tech tools, project ideas, Edmodo uses. . . all this teacher banter eventually turned into an application for Edmodo-Con 2014. . .
We had 7 days off work – with 2.5 days of travel there/back we were in San Fran for 5 days? – It was a jam packed schedule. Highlights were visiting the Edmodo office and shaking the hands of those that respond to our help queries and honour our development ideas!
*** Our presentation was about how our Edmodo use had evolved and like an onion it had many layers!
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This year, I am not presenting formally – I am not travelling abroad, I am a “Chat facilitator” – I will be working the backchannel in between speakers and connecting like minded educators together over their common love, Edmodo.

In thinking of my up-coming role in Edmodo-Con 2016, I have been really sentimental for the opportunity and the spring board that the Edmodo team gave me back in 2011.
Today, I bought a book that Bianca and Lee wrote together and spent the day playing with Jess’ daughter Lottie who is ONE on Friday. The opportunities, learning journey and friends that emerged from my 2011 experience is what I hope to give back to others.
Oh Edmodo, since 2008 you have been making my classroom a connected online learning space, you started my first blog post, my Twitter account, connected me with edu-nerdy friends . . . . you will always have a place in my heart.
If you haven’t registered for Edmodo-Con 2016, you really should!

Emmaus Bytes – sharing byte sized updates

With teachers in a constant state of time poor – I wanted a way of sharing ideas, tools and articles in a regular format.

I came up with the idea of “Emmaus Bytes” late last term – Michael Pate helped me out by talking through requirements of an innovation newsletter. We discussed what Emmaus staff needed in terms of the PD they have already received and how the format was best presented.

The cheeky title is derived from the unit measurement – a byte. The concept of the update is to share smaller bits of information, sourced from articles and peers with links to further reading and ideas for classroom application.

 

Too often PD is over prescriptive – it leads to specific implementation and rigid ideas of do this then that. Teachers at Emmaus (and other schools I am sure) are apt in reading information and ideas, to then make a decision about its validity in their classrooms. It is not a take it or leave it approach – this approach starts discussions. Discussions that are driven by staff & students needs – not just me.

 

Examples of this working is in the first edition of Emmaus Bytes I included info about Weebly. With ideas of implementation, examples of Emmaus Weeblys and staff that were currently using the tool – our experts to talk to. This was a great success!  We now have multiple faculties and many individuals now using Weebly. Building on that, Emmaus Bytes edition TWO discussed ways of integrating critical thinking into Weebly, success criteria for students and extension activities – not just the technology – the pedagogy.

 

We are now up to our THIRD edition of Emmaus Bytes (found here)  – it has been a positive experience to share the good practice of staff in these editions and share ideas so that together we develop as a school staff – not in a linear one PD plan for all, but with byte sized ideas.

EdmodoCon 2014 – an international edu-venture !

I am back home, have had a full nights rest and have a pile of marking and cup of espresso awaiting my attention – all is normal post EdmodoCon 2014 !!!

Still feeling totally overwhelmed by the enormity of it all and how far EdmodoCon has come since the first one in 2011.

I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone in the Edmodo office that made EdmodoCon happen – technical staff – arranging the logistics of presentations, files and making me look/sound good live, the marketing team, staff that picked us up of the mornings and made sure we had coffee and breakfast when we arrived, people that organised accommodation and travel, engineers that listened to us chat about our Edmodo experiences. . . you are all amazing, the hospitality and support was wonderful away from home, thank you!!

Was so cool to meet such passionate and talented presenters that had so much to share! – what luck to be a part of the 2014 presenter team!!

. . .AND to everyone that participated in our session, tweeted us and was a part of the backchannel, Jess and I were humbled by the response from you – we feel very lucky to have such supportive teacher friends all over the world!
Looking forward to continuing our journey of learning together!

 

OH, of course, a huge thanks to JESS! – how lucky am I to have met a mate that I learn so much from, one that takes me to amazing places – like out for dumplings and of course, EdmodoCon.

 

Copy of presentation: Edmodo_is_like_an_onion FINAL

Edmodo Blog interview: https://blog.edmodo.com/2014/07/22/meet-monique-dalli-jessica-mccarthy-edmodocon-2014-speakers/

Video archive: https://edmodo.mediacore.tv/media/edmodo-that-unique-ways-to-connect-and-learn-by-mo

 

 

Reflecting on the whirlwind that was ISTE 2013

 

Random thoughts and reflections fill my head most moments of every day, sitting on my couch with my morning coffee on this sleepy Saturday of our school holiday break is no different. The thoughts that are buzzing by are making me smile and deserve a post of their own. . .

 

A year a ago I traversed the globe to embark on my ISTE adventure, it was a whirlwind 10 day USA trip that at the time was marred by the inefficiency of United Airlines to make a flight arrive or depart on schedule. As time has gone on, the pain inflicted by the travel has passed and these are the memories that I hold close to my heart as having a greater impact on my teaching practice and perspective as an educator:

 

  • Students are the SAME everywhere!

ISTE was full of queues. . . for coffee, food and entry to keynotes – in each and every one I had rich conversations with people who I shared much in common. We teach students! I spoke with LOADS of teachers from all over the world while queuing for stuff- we shared laughs and stories about what we have common, the time then flew in the queues!

I learnt that students are the same in all places, they forget homework and attempt to make the same silly excuses no matter what city they live. We solved problems of the edu-world in these queues, promising each other to abolish the monotony of homework, grades and useless feedback. Students are the same in all countries, we laughed at how they are grubby, annoying and can push every button of ours all at once! We discussed strategies for engaging difficult students, how to spark a passion for words in those that don’t like reading and giggled at stories of that time/s when technology failed during that epic lesson we had prepared.

 

  • Passion is contagious

I was ridiculously TIRED during the three days of ISTE, the heat was brain melting and traveling hard! Each morning I awoke to tweets about the day ahead – speakers, workshops and places to meet with new and old friends to share.

My fave place for catchy-passion at ISTE was the bloggers lounge, it became both a planned and impromptu place for deeper discussion. I spoke further with friends from queues here, eaves dropped on interesting convos and arranged each day of sessions based on the feedback and chatter of others. A fave moment on shared passion was at a TeachMeet that was set up in the downstairs lounge, we tweeted the plans for the place/time, brought friends, made a crowd and shared ideas. I had skipped out on a session to attend, opting to learn from loads peers rather than the research of one. In the 40mins of being there I witnessed this osmosis like effect of passion, it spread through the TeachMeet crowd like a fever, we “oooohed” and “ahhhhhhhed” in unison over new apps, resources and ideas for projects.

 

  • Friendship and fandom has no geographical boundaries

I met international edu-friends for the first time at ISTE, it was wonderful to spend the time face to face talking with like minded edu-nerds; Andy McKiel, Liz Castillo, Lucia Giacomantonio. I had fan moments chatting to Dean Shareski, meeting the Edmodo crew, listening to Andrew Miller talk PBL and watching Jane McGonigal conduct an epic thumb war! Communication mediums like Edmodo, Twitter and Blog stalking makes having an entourage of fans easy for these edu-super stars!

I became bigger fans of my Australian travelling friends; Jess, LeeBianca and Ashleigh. I watched them present, share and shine. The opportunity for me to present internationally with Leanne Cameron was unforgettable and humbling.

 

  • Education is not  for making money

I am not in this vocation for the purpose of money making and I had never fathomed the opportunity of enterprise that I would witness at ISTE. I understand the need to sponsorship and can appreciate the funds required to make an international conference run, but the point I am trying to make here is not to whinge about the profiteering but a reflection on the SHARING.

Thank you, to the connections that I made at ISTE that shared ideas, resources, twitter handles, hashtags and all the things that cost NOTHING but reward greatly.

 

 

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In the year since ISTE, the biggest change I see in myself is perspective. I have a greater perspective of  my influence and impact as  part of a bigger community of passionate educators that share the same motivations as I do.

 

Student techies at Gilroy & VoicEd 2014

TODAY I presented at VoicEd 2014 at Davidson High School with loads of other ahhhhmazing and inspirational educators who are positively moving and shaking practice and processes in their schools and classrooms.

http://www.haikudeck.com/p/JtsMmatIXV

My presentation today was all about sharing and reflecting on the use of students as leaders, when I blogged about it last year I had an idea of WHY I wanted the program to run, and HOW It was going to look, but I REALLY underestimated the positive impact these students would have on our 1:1 program.

In todays presentation I explained HOW the Students Techies function so effectively at Gilroy, WHAT they do and WHY:

  • Students had to apply to become a class techie using a google form: applicants were chosen at the end of last year based on their ability to solve examples of tech problems like “What steps would you go through to fit a Wifi connection issue”
  • All the work they do counts as community service: all the “work” they do contributes to the community service program so they benefit for doing something they love!
  • Students assist on Edmodo: year 7/8 have a “tech-support group” that the Techies (and I) monitor, they respond to questions online, between 9 of them they manage the workload of this WONDERFULLY!
  • They do not miss out on class time: these students are academic, they want to help but not miss out on class time, so the program does not EVER impact on their learning.
  • Visit homerooms twice a week: I found that most technical problems arose overnight when they were trying to do something at home, if students don’t get the help they need on the tech-support page then they have face to face access to the techies of a morning, this is prime time to solve problems before the school day starts!
  • Young leadership role: year 8’s get forgotten as young leaders! We then expect them to step up in year 9/10?! Will eventually run well with Duke of Ed, SRC and captain program.
  • Empowers clever kids in the playground: this program gives them cred! year 7’s chat to them in the play ground (not just in the library!) and they are known as being Techies.
  • THEY LOVE TECHNOLOGY!  they like solving problems, making other students as confident as them and helping out!
  • I can’t possibly solve every technical issue! even as a singular member of a big technical staff we still teach, our allocation and volume of devices prevents us from being accessible to students all the time. Between Edmodo and homeroom visits, these guys have got it sorted!

 

The concept of peer coaching is a no-brainer. I know from experience that students helping students peer-peer in a classroom or school context works. It builds confidence, relationships and in a busy classroom it can ease the demand of teacher centred assistance and keep the pace of a lesson moving forward. Some students even PREFER to have peer assistance. Yeah “there are no silly questions”, however, putting a hand up and a spotlight on yourself to ask a question can feel daunting for some – so if it wasn’t for peer support questions sometimes by shy individuals may never get asked!!

 

The program so far is a HUGE success (because our Techies are brilliant kids of course!), I have taken a few snapshots of our Edmodo group so you can see these guys in action!

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original post found here

Year 7 iPad training day and the roll out process at Gilroy

This year as part of the 1:1 iPad rollout process in year 7 I was able to allocate a whole day for student training. The training day was planned so that year 7’s had a day of workshops that would provide them with the technical knowledge to operate their iPads in class as a learning tool. During the day they would learn how to operate key apps, focus on digital citizenship in line with our ICT policy, get their intranet usernames/login and set up their iPad with printing!

This was a FULL ON day to prepare and plan, but it was part of bigger roll out process that started in 2013 with the welfare team and parents:

  • 2013 Enrolment evening – among key important speakers the night also contained information about iPads, their expected use in classrooms and support docs for parents (in regards to purchasing, insurance and technical support)
  • 2014 year 7 parent evening – welfare focused information session, the year co-ordinator spoke about cyber safety, privacy and I spoke about practical ways to monitor/support technology use at home and parental controls were explained/applied.
  • Year 7 app roll out – students received usernames and passwords, they were given access to the MDM and received their school apps on their device (this happened on the friday so they could PLAY with the apps ALL weekend!)
  • Year 7 iPad training day – 5 sessions/workshops on iPad use.

It is important to note that the roll out process involved parents and the welfare team at Gilroy, this was a positive change from our previous laptop roll out process.

 

LOGISTICS OF THE iPAD TRAINING DAY!

The iPad training day would not have been successful without the help of the Integrated Learning teachers that each ran workshops, office staff that provided room changes, lesson cover and supervison, onsite technicians AND the student techies that assisted the classes in doing the hard stuff!

The 5 workshops students did were:

Session 1: Edmodo sign up/use and Gilroy student home page navigation
Session 2: Cyber safety and tech rules at Gilroy
Session 3: Self service, printing, iPad settings and MDM profiles
Session 4: Using your iPad in class (Notability, Bookcreator) sending files, exporting work
Session 5: Structured “play” – iPad skills bingo

Here is a copy of Ipad training day runsheet –  on the run sheet you can see the rotation of classes, teachers, workshops and student techies that were our support.

The week after the training day I surveyed students to measure the success of the day – based on their confidence in using the device as a learning tool in class, here are the results: survey results.

Overall I am happy knowing students don’t take their devices into classes knowing NOTHING, I know that teachers appreciated the fact that their first iPad lessons could run without stopping for a hand up with questions like “my printers aren’t connected” or “I can’t log on”.

The roll out process has now extended into a longer process, the benefits of this far outweigh any argument over invested time. With this cohort it has been fluid, with minimal hiccups and maximum support from CEO, technical staff, parents, welfare team and teaching staff.

Using an iPad to do stuff . . . (other than to game and look cool)

This post has been sitting in my wordpress drafts for AGES!! — the IIATE conference from which this material came from was held towards the end of October, I presented a session on using iPads and devices in TAS to ACTUALLY DO CLASS WORK.

An article that I read towards the start of the year still really stuck in my mind whilst preparing for my session, in particular it was the closing line that shaped the way my session looked:

Now the next generation is here, already tech-literate. What do they want their school computer, or device, to help them achieve?

The challenges of BYOD: http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2013/02/04/3682334.htm
So HOW can you USE a device such as an iPad to DO class work? What apps are best? Which ones are school friendly?
 
Bellow are my session resources, a document FULL of tried, tested and implemented apps that can be used to do HEAPS OF STUFF!

Page_1Page_2

PDF FILE- doin’ stuff on an ipad — > Share this, pass it round, or drop me a line to let me know what you do!

I am presenting at the SchoolstechOz conference in September 2014, my sessions on the saturday will look at how mobile devices such as iPads can be used to capture, present and enhance assessment tasks across all subjects and stages in our curriculum (although my session will be iPad focused, it could benefit teachers using BYOT and BYOD programs).


SCHOOLSTECH OZ

 

The full program is here: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/schoolstechoz/program

Sings *students are doin’ it for themselves!

The concept of peer coaching is a no-brainer. I know from experience that students helping students peer-peer in a classroom or school context works. It builds confidence, relationships and in a busy classroom it can ease the demand of teacher centred assistance and keep the pace of a lesson moving forward. Some students even PREFER to have peer assistance, I know “there are no silly questions”, however, putting a hand up and a spotlight on yourself to ask a question can feel daunting for some – so if it wasn’t for peer support questions sometimes by shy individuals may never get asked!!

Based on all the positive experiences I have had with peer-coaching situations I put forward the idea to “hire” Gilroy Student Techies for 6 month contracts in 2014 to support our iPad program. This sounds all very formal, and the process was in order to be fair! Current year 7’s were asked to “apply” knowing that only EIGHT would be selected based solely on their application. The application was a Google form that outlined simple scenarios that they may encounter as a techie – asking them to respond with solutions of how they would help!

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In planning WHAT the class techies would/should do I was very cautious of them NOT losing out on class time, the students selected are hardworking and would then see this leadership role a negative experience if this was the case. A tough balance between using them efficiently and too much!

In 2014 the year 8 Student Techies will be used at Gilroy in the following manner:

  • One year 8 Techie will be in each year 7 homeroom to solve tech issues at the START of the day so as to minimise their impact on classes (typically a busy time as I have homeroom myself and site Technicians are assisting years 8-12 with laptops)
  • Support staff at the 2014 iPad training day for year 7 students
  • Help demonstrate effective iPad/technology use as a young school leader
  • Assist by being an additional member of the Year 7  Tech- Support Edmodo page to help with online questions

I am really looking forward to this initiative being a part of the reason why our iPad program will see student success – not just for those students that are Techies, but for all the opportunities that the Techies could potentially help in!

Why is an iPad WORKFLOW so important ??

Whilst planning the 1:1 iPad program at Gilroy in year 7 last year, I reflected back to what I thought the key issues with the 1:1 laptop program were. In my mind, staff  learning/training was a challenge that was tackled over time, the underlying pedagogy of their use was also developed as time went on BUT the LOGISTICS of passing work from student to teacher and vise-versa was an issue that needed to be addressed FIRST as it is the first obstacle that would occur in the classroom. It is essential for teachers and students to be able to share work digitally in a almost paperless environment, so how could this be done on an ipad?

Firstly I mapped the EXISTING workflow for the laptop, including ALL the ways work and communication was exchanged digitally, aside from communicating on edmodo, we used wikis, blogs, school website, shared drives, USB’s and email. I believed this was too complicated for year 7’s and wanted a simpler approach.

I then RE-DREW the work flow, with limited/simplified and specific ways to distribute classwork, assessments and submission of formal tasks, this is what it looked like:

year_7_workflow

This workflow specified filetype as well as a simple procedure for distribution of content and submission of work. It used Edmodo to distribute class content and the school website (IRIS system) to make assessment tasks available for students and parents online. SendToDropBox is a third party application that allows student to email work directly from an iPad app to teachers DropBox accounts without affecting their DropBoxes privacy/sharing settings, effectively the sent email becomes their submission receipt.

FROM THIS POINT I was able to look at specific apps that we might need to purchase for staff and students, my number ONE focus at this point was that IF IT DIDN’T FIT WITH OUR WORKFLOW, WE DIDN’T USE THE APP! This greatly simplified the app selection process, and I believed simplified the classroom workflow for students and teachers once the iPads were in classrooms.

Six months on from their roll out, I can honestly say that not all staff work within this process – variations of this process include:

  • Emailing assessment tasks directly from teacher/student, this I believe adds extra complexity to marking digital files as attachements need to opened in email, and then opening in another app, whereas if they are opened direct from dropbox they can be marked /viewed easily from this point.
  • Staff keeping existing wiki’s instead of distributing content on Edmodo. Yes this works, but they have complicated things? It is another “thin” for students to log-into, it is not dynamic an collaborative like Edmodo, so in most cases they have BOTH a wiki/Edmodo group (confusing in some instances) AND not all wiki pages play nice with iPads.
  • Teachers ask students to download apps without pre-testing the workflow, then the day of tasks being due I get questions like: how do students submit or share work with each other from this app?? This is normally more complicated than anything really should be!
  • Work sent is LARGE in file size, too large for the sendtodropbox facility. So the techies and I researched an app that could share files over bluetooth and wifi – THIS was the best one that we tested was: WIRESHARE

Before you personally or as a school think about devices in a 1:1 or BYOD environment, I advise that the WORKFLOW between teachers and students is your FIRST priority. If sharing of content cannot happen easily, it really makes classrooms that use technology too difficult, and then the resisting arguments arise that “this is too hard, I might as well just photocopy and hand out a worksheet, it is easier” and yes, if a process is that complicated it would be difficult to argue the appropriateness of technology, as we all know that failures in seamless integration of technology can really get in the way of teaching 😦

I found that by making the workflow FIRST priority other challenges were easily solved as time went on.

Tutorials for STAFF to set up DropBox and SendToDropBox accounts and other relevant tech tutorials are available here: STAFF TECH TUTORIALS