Engage-a-fish

This week, more than any of the week of the year is when I learn the most in EdTech and have the most self-reflection.  As we all know, I LOVE technology. More importantly, however, I love when technology is used in purposeful ways. I think Michael Fullan said it best: Pedagogy is the driver; Technology is the accelerator. One of the greatest benefits of technology is it can be very engaging for many when used the right way. On the flip side, it can be the greatest bore for our kids when it is used as just a file system to complete digital worksheets.  So, how is technology accelerating your teaching? How are you using it to ENGAGE and MOTIVATE? If you’re thinking, well I just have kids complete worksheets and write Docs, let’s try something NEW!  Take a look at a few of the AWESOME presentations from MASSCUE below and maybe you can pick up a new engaging tool!

KUDOS TO OUR OWN PRESENTING!

HUGE SHOUT OUT to Ginny McCarthy, Tori Cameron, and Stacy Linnehan for all presenting at MassCue! Ginny presented on Hyperdocs and engaging today’s learner, Tori presented on Podcasting since she has her own Podcast, and Stacy presented on Assistive Tech and how it’s used in her classroom. You ROCKED it!! I’m so honored to be your colleague!

If you haven’t presented at this state-wide conference, but may want to, reach out to these amazing teachers! They can let you know about their experience.

Presentations that Engage

I won’t share all of the great presentations, but I’ll give you a few that our staff attended and RAVED about! There are many engaging tips, tricks, and tools in these presentations. Sometimes trying just one new thing makes a big difference with engagement. What will you try? Let me know!

 MassCue18 Pics

Part of the fun of the MassCue conference are the pictures we take around the stadium! One lucky teacher (not from EB) even got to meet Tom Brady as he was leaving the stadium. Lucky!!! Take a look at some of our fun below!

Tips of the week:

OMG SHEETS! 

This one comes from my very good friend, and super awesome techie, Neal Sonenberg Technology Integration Specialist in Medfield! Do you use Sheets? Well, Neal is the GURU with Sheets and taught me SO MUCH at his session at MassCue this week.  Here’s a very small snippet of what he showed that was an GREAT trick! Simply double click that little blue dot in the corner and it will send the copy and paste data all the way down!

OMG – ScreenCastify Add-On for Slides 

Didn’t even get the chance to try this yet, it’s THAT new! The add-on Screencastify for Slides JUST came out. I LOVE Screencastify and use it for all of my videos! Check it out and let me know how it goes!

 

I hope, in some way, I’ve given you something to try out! Engaging our students makes all the difference. Thank you to all of you, who continue to inspire me!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

 

Swimming in the same “school” 🏊‍♀️🏫 🐟

Image result for Stoughton public schools

I am reminded now, more than ever, that we are one team, swimming in one school. Not just our own classrooms, our own schools or our own town, but all of us in education…everywhere. We are all one team, and we are all working towards one goal: turning out successful kids! We all play a role, whether it’s in sports, music, academics, the lunchroom, the nurse’s office, the tech office, the admin office etc. We are all working to raise these children academically, socially, and emotionally for the short time they are with us. The end goal upon graduation is they can go on and lead successful lives.  We may not always agree on the best way to do just that, but we should still acknowledge we are on the same team. In the end, we all want the same things. So, how are you “teaming” up with others, how are you swimming in the same “school of fish”?  Take a look at some of the teamwork I’ve seen with EdTech below!

Welcome to Central School  🏫

Recently, incoming Kindergarteners had their orientation at Central School.  Making the newest little Vikings feel comfortable and excited about school is a certainly a team effort! These children are our future BIG Vikings after all! I was lucky enough to be invited to work on the project below with Central School K teachers, EBCAM and Administration. It was an amazing Team Effort! Sandi Telless, Kate Byrne, and the entire K team really worked together to make something special! A special SHOUT OUT to Anne Kerrigan at EBCAM who worked with me in the Media Studio to put together the videos, pictures, audio, and music! This was such a special team effort! Together, we are truly better! I was so very inspired watching K teachers do their thing. Thank you, I am honored to “swim” with you in our school.

 

 

Inspiring Others – Raise them Up! 🙌 

I’ve been very lucky to meet some great, local, EdTech leaders through MASSCUE itself and through the MASSCUE Special Interest Groups (SIGs).  They encourage, support and inspire me. Even though I’m the (fairly) new kid on the block, they were quick to include me and guide me in everything EdTech.  If you’re interested, check them out or follow them on Twitter. Here are just a few of those who inspire me: @MatthewXJoseph @cterrillteach @rlfreedm @ZajacSLP @Stefanowicz135 @kwinsper 

In return, I try to take what I learn from them and bring it back. MASSCUE is a wonderful organization that is full of “teammates.”  You can check out what MASSCUE is all about here and learn about their monthly professional development opportunities, special interest groups, and committees. MASSCUE is so much more than just an awesome annual Fall conference! To have a group of like-minded professionals that I can go to, outside of my building, to gain perspective has been invaluable. Technology can be embedded into every discipline and every area of education. MASSCUE has members that are Tech teachers, but also administrators, special education teachers, classroom teachers, speech teachers etc! It’s for everyone who enjoys some aspect of technology in their practice. It’s a great organization if you care to join!

One way I’ve tried to inspire others is by “hooking” into those who take interest in EdTech.  You know who you are 😉. Once I “catch” you in my net, I tend not to let go!  I will try my best to encourage you, inspire you and bombard you with emails, texts, visits etc. It may sound overwhelming, but most of the fish I swim with enjoy it! Recently, I hooked into Sarah Beberman, Central School grade 2 Teacher.  We worked together on a great summer opportunity, and now she has a course prepared that looks AMAZING: ENGAGE WITH LITERACY IN THE DIGITAL AGE. Check out her course description here. I have no doubt it will be an amazing EdTech Literacy adventure!

Working Together and Taking Risks 

It does take trust, and risk, when we swim together in our school. We need to trust those who swim by our side to not run us over and also take the risk that what we’re doing will keep us moving forward. I am fortunate and incredibly honored at those who have me into their classrooms and trust me. One of those such people (among many) is Stacy Linnehan, a special education Language-Based Teacher at Mitchell. Through working with her, I too, have benefited immensely.  She shows me how the tools I recommend benefit her students (You can find many of those tools in my former blog post here). She helps me to see learning and tech through a different lens. Together, we will present at the MASSCUE Fall conference on some of the tools we’ve worked to implement in her language-based classroom.

Recently, we visited Easton Public Schools on a MASSCUE Learning Walk (free for MASSCUE members). We were able to see some innovative ways to use technology in the classroom and also sit down with those in the same positions in Easton that we hold in EB.

In Closing…

Together we are better and I feel that we are so very privileged to work with children in the education profession! As my friend, Matt Joseph says: Be the match that lights someone’s fire! Who’s the match for you? Thank you so to many of you who light my fire daily, and keep it burning! You send me emails, texts, bookings, Tweets, or you just stop me in the hallway and share some tech with me, or ask me about tech – I love it! I wouldn’t want to swim with any other fish!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟