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18 Apr 2018
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8+ Creative Ways to Use to Old Library Cards

As you well know, I love books, art supplies, and journaling. Recently, I started offering a session called “Notable Note-taking”. It is a mash-up of bullet journaling and a reader/writer’s notebook and I blend both analog and digital tools. One of my favorite analog tools is the library card. In the art journaling and mixed media realm and on etsy, this little gem is quite the hot commodity. In fact Heidi Pitri has just published a book entitled “Permanent Record” using this kickstarter campaign¬†that features artfully embellished ones. She refers to these cards as “borrower cards” or “signature cards” and has created original pen and ink drawings on these cards from classic titles and authors. Check her out on Instagram @heidipitreart. Oftentimes these library cards are referred to as ephemera (e.g. collectible memorabilia). And if you have a few hours, search “ephemera” on etsy. You will discover 200,000+ results. And a search on etsy of “library cards” provides well over 7,000 results.

Let’s Love on these Library Cards…

So… I thought I would share some ideas for using these library cards in the classroom… The idea would be to let students choose a card that speaks to them by the title alone and then…

  • Compose a Poem
  • Generate a List
  • Create a List of Suggested Books (like Amazon)
  • Compose a Soundtrack for the Book
  • Jot down the first and last Sentence of the book
  • Determine what questions this book Answers
  • Chart out the chapters this book would include
  • Draft the cover of the book
  • Imagine Who would Check Out this book (e.g. current, historical, literary, fictional)

And here are a few examples of how I have used them in the past in my own journal:

Truly, the sky is the limit for these and how they are used. And remember these can be app smashed with pretty much any tool to create something really amazing. Oh wait… I think I gave away the next part…. ūüėČ

Let Me at those Library Cards

Of course the problem with these signature or library cards is that they are indeed ephemera and at some point, they will run out… so I decided to scan 50 or so of my favorites and upload them here. The beauty of making them digital is that we will have them preserved forever AND now they can be mixed with digital elements. They can be annotated in apps like Notability, collaged and embellished in apps like Pic Collage, and augmented in Thinglink. I hope you enjoy. And if you come up with another idea for these and/or would like to share yours or your student’s creations… please email me at techchef4u@gmail.com or tweet me @TechChef4u.

 

Literally Ephemera is Legit

I really try. But I am literally incapable of ending a blog post without leaving you with just a bit more… If you like this idea of ephemera and creative writing, let’s take a quick jaunt. I have curated two Pinterest boards of digital ephemera goodies here (Fuzzimo and Ephemera). These should be FREE downloads of digitally scanned in goods and papers. And if you are like me and want to wholeheartedly tumble down the rabbit hole, I will leave you with some other sites to soften the blow. ūüėČ These little analog… now digital gems are perfect for visual research papers and assignments as well as some pretty stellar creative writing projects too.

  • The Ephemera Society: They include an item of the month with a description and sometimes historical relevance.
  • Vintage Images Gallery: There are thousands of images included her and classified by section (e.g. labels, ads, movie posters, fashion, etc…)
  • Inspired Barn: There are many freebies on this site. Some of my favorites are the book covers and vintage mail.
  • Artefacts: This site is a treasure trove.
  • Clearly Vintage: Also fantastic. I love that she shares pictures with descriptions.

Sometimes I share fully baked ideas and sometimes I like to provide all the ingredients and see what you cook up. In this case, I have opted for the latter. Dig into these digital goods and consider how these historical artifacts can and should impact and inform our current art, writing, research, storytelling, and ideas.

 

REVISITING #SCRAPNOTES

If you want to get a head start on all things #ScrapNotes before my next post… check out these 5 posts and stay tuned for more:

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ

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27 Mar 2018
Comments: 0

4 Reasons to Attend .EDU

This past week I had the opportunity to speak and attend .EDU in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The event is held on a university campus Universidad Regiomontana and put on by university students for the 400+ attendees (teachers) and 40+ Apple Distinguished Educators at the two day event. And I just have to give them all a shout-out. They were so kind and supportive of anything we needed. Ana always made sure I had water and enough scissors for my session (so people could cut out the Communication Catchers from my book). And another was kind enough to ferry myself and Michael Cohen (the Tech Rabbi) around Monterrey so he could get kosher tortillas and I could visit a bookstore.

 

While this post is really a reflection of the .EDU event, it is also my own thoughts about what made this event special and things to consider when selecting a conference to attend. These are my Notes to Self. ūüėČ

University Campus

To my knowledge, I have only attended one other event on a college campus… iPadpalooza OU. And I will tell you that I highly encourage it. After all if you are not a professor and/or a parent to a college student, odds are that you haven’t been on a college campus for awhile. As we are preparing our youth for colleges and careers, I think it is always important to have an idea of what that means. Perhaps, next year, I can actually catch a glimpse of a college class in session… but in the interim I can at least share with you some of the spaces. The ones below are a large learning commons that is divided into 6+ different classrooms that are mobile and are not defined by walls.

Note to Self: Consider attending an event held on a college/university campus.

Language and International Coverage

I did take Spanish in HS and college… most likely 4 or 5 years in total. Yet without opportunities to actually speak it, it largely got packed in a box somewhere in a cobwebbed corner of my brain. The cool thing about this event was it was held in a Spanish-speaking country so I was immersed with language from the people that I interacted with to my surroundings (e.g. visuals, signs, etc…). And I have to tell you that I loved it. I woke up the second day and for some reason, rather than “breakfast”, my mind said “desayuno”. While I am not fluent by any means, the Spanish did come back and I had multiple opportunities to use it. I should clarify, though, the entire event was not in Spanish. My sessions and about half of the others were in English and the others in Spanish. The keynotes were the same way. Some were in Spanish and others in English. They actually had an interpreter during those keynotes that would translate on the fly and those that wanted to listen to the English keynotes in Spanish could with headsets. I even had a moment to explore a bookstore close to the university. And I fell in love with a journal that I will now have to either learn to translate and/or be okay with Google’s Translations. And as it turns out Acarid Portal Arraez is a wildly popular author (she has over 1 million Instagram followers) AND my dear friend Felix Jacomino translated the complete title… “The Diary of an Illusion. This diary is not mine, it’s ours. A timeless agenda.” I mean wow. Check out my Instagram for a few more shots of the book’s pages.

I also found a Spanish version of Austin Kleon’s “Show Your Work” book which Felix Jacomino has informed me actually translates to “Learn to Promote Your Work”.

Okay back to things that aren’t books. ūüėČ The .EDU event had teachers from 3 different countries… United States, Mexico, and Colombia. I realize that we can’t all travel to foreign countries BUT we can consider attending conferences that typically boast an international audience. Conferences like ISTE, SXSWEDU, Learning and the Brain, and many of the ETT Summits have people come from all over the globe. The connections and learning from and with these people should not be understated.

Note to Self: Consider attending a conference with an international audience.

Speakers

When I attended SXSWEDU a few weeks ago (blog post here), I spent a fair amount of time combing through the online schedule. I am happy to say that I didn’t attend one bad session and haven’t in the past 2 years. The reason being… I spend time researching speakers and/or the topic. For example, when I saw the session topic “Human Skills for Digital Natives”, I was intrigued. Then I noticed that one of the speakers was Manoush Zomorodi. Upon further inspection, I realized she was the host of the podcast “Note to Self” which I have listened to and loved so I was sold on this session and it did not disappoint. Additionally, when I saw that Dan Ryder and Amy Burvall were presenting, I know I didn’t even have to read the description because I read their book and knew that their workshop would be amazing! Please know that this is not to say that someone that doesn’t have a speaker bio would put on a bad session and/or that Manoush couldn’t have an off day. It is more to say that when you spend time looking at topics and speakers prior to an event (rather than the morning of), you get a better feel for which sessions and/or speakers will best meet your needs. If it is your first time attending the conference, then I would suggest following the #’s for the conference on Twitter and connecting with educators there and getting tips that way. For my first ISTE, Diane Darrow was absolutely invaluable. I looked at the ISTE catalog of sessions and was completely overwhelmed. As she was more familiar with the event and the speakers, she basically helped navigate me through those first few days and made sure that my time was spent on quality relevant sessions. And yes, I know it is a week away, but I have already started peering at the TLA session guide to see which ones I would like to attend.

Alas, I digress. What I think is really unique and special about the .EDU event is the fact that there were 40+ Apple Distinguished Educators in attendance. They teach and work at schools all over the globe and bring very unique stories and content to the table and I felt so blessed to connect and learn from all of them. If you are curious what sessions were offered this year, I am including a link to day 1 and day 2. Below is a list of the 2018 speakers. If you click on the image below and/or this link, it will take you to an interactive version of the image below so you can see all of the sessions and descriptions. And can you believe that all of these awesome speaker graphics were created in Keynote too?!

If you are interested in a quick overview of the event, check out this 3 minute video.

Note to Self: Consider attending a conference where you are familiar with a few of the speakers and/or look up speaker bios and session descriptions prior to the day of attending sessions. Another option is to follow the conference # and/or find/make a¬†friend online that is attending and can steer you through it like a conference sherpa. ūüėČ

Session Resources

First, as I mentioned the sessions were amazing. I have shared multiple links above in the Speakers session. Additionally, if you would like to see more about this event and the sessions…follow @EduCongresso on Twitter and/or sift through the #eduerre.

Second, this is more of a personal realization but I liken it to tweaking a lesson after 1st period. I have been speaking for the past 7-8 years and I have session resources all over the internet. Sometimes I build a session in Haiku Deck or Slideshare. Other times a List.ly, Smore, Bulb, or Thinglink. And what I started to realize after explaining the convoluted way to get to all of my resources was… there has to be a better way. So I spent the better portion of the weekend (after the kids went to bed) updating my site. It isn’t done yet, BUT I did manage to add all of the resources, links, and decks that correspond to the sessions and workshops I have been delivering recently. So whether you have attended one of my sessions, plan to attend one, and/or are simply intrigued by the topic… they are here for you.

Note to Self: When presenting content, create a central link for each session and a central repository for all session resources. This could be a Weebly site or a Blog. Pollinating the internet with great ideas is good too… just make sure they can get back to the originator. ūüėČ

 

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ


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21 Mar 2018
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SXSWEDU 2018 Recap and Interactive Notes

I always get questions about SXSWEDU from fellow educators and how it compares to other conferences and events so I wanted to address that in this post.

Background on SXSWEDU

There really is no comparison to TCEA and/or ISTE. While SXSWEDU, TCEA, and ISTE are all essentially conferences for educators, they differ greatly in their scope and focus. TCEA and ISTE are perfect for learning about new tools and fun engaging ways to deliver content. SXSWEDU, however, is one of the only ones that I know that is at the cross section of K-12, higher education, entrepreneurs, and politicians. You won’t find sessions like “How to Use Kahoot” but you will find sessions with overarching big ideas and trending topics organized by track like “Cognitive Process” , “Employability”, “Equity”, “Leadership”, “SEL”, etc… ¬†I don’t think one is better than the other… it is more just choosing the right conference for the right purpose. If I had to choose, I would actually do SXSWEDU and a conference like ISTE or TCEA on a rotating basis so I would get the best of both worlds. I am fortunate that TCEA and SXSWEDU both happen to be (at least for the time being) in Austin, TX, my home town. ūüėČ

So with that said, I wanted to share my SXSWEDU recap for those that either didn’t attend this year and/or didn’t attend the sessions I took notes on.

Background on My Note-Taking

I have been taking notes again in analog for the past 3 years or so. I find it helps me stay focused and not get so distracted. I also tend to remember what I write more and I find I return to the notebooks more often than I did with my digital notes. The downside is that all of the notes are analog and I can’t easily share links to resources. Thinglink has been a godsend for that as it allows me to add pictures, text pop-ups, and links to slide decks, videos, etc…

I will be sharing my process in greater detail in an upcoming post. In the interim. I wanted to share my interactive notes. I should also mention that each note and/or link has a part 2 which can be accessed by clicking on the arrows on each image. Again… All of the images below ARE INTERACTIVE … if you don’t immediately see the interactive nubbins, hover over the image. ūüėČ I wouldn’t want you to miss any of the resources, links, and nuggets.

Balancing Learning with Analog and Digital

So without further ado… Here are my notes. I should also mention… while these aren’t the notes form every session I attended, they were the best and most informative/actionable¬†sessions of the lot:
Schooling and Getting Schooled
Keynote:¬†“Schooling and Getting Schooled”¬†– This was live storytelling from Moth trained educators and was riveting and insightful.

Human Skills for Digital Natives

Human Skills for Digital Natives¬†– This session was downright fantastic. I ended up buying the book. It was about the importance of boredom and how it positively impacts creativity. Very timely and lots of great data and information shared about regulation. Also, the speaker is the host of the podcast “Note to Self”.

Rigorous Whimsy: Understanding Through Creativity

Rigorous Whimsy: Understanding Through Creativity¬†– I read this book last summer. It is written my two of my favorite people Dan Ryder and Amy Burvall. It is chocked full of great ideas to infuse creativity. I have also added it to my “18 Books Everyone Should Read in 2018” list with a slightly more detailed description.

Empathetic By Design

Empathetic By Design РThis session was about designing learning spaces for students with autism AND they have a really interesting eBook on the topic too. Multiple photos are included.

Slam Poetry + Standup Comedy = Engaged Learning

Slam Poetry + Standup Comedy = Engaged Learning Р This session was downright fantastic and it dealt with mental health issues expertly with poetry, comedy, and writing prompts.

Designing Your Life by Stanford’s Life Design Lab

Designing Your Life by Stanford’s Life Design Lab¬†– By far my favorite. 2 hours well worth spent. I have this book in my Amazon cart and this whole session would be fantastic for any Career and Tech courses and/or for any lessons and/or writing projects on colleges and careers.

I hope you enjoyed these notes. If you are interested in seeing more of these interactive notes from other events and conferences, my Thinglink profile is linked here and houses them all.

REVISITING #SCRAPNOTES

If you want to dig deeper into analog note-taking before my next post… check out these 5 posts:

 

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ


04 Jan 2018
Comments: 0

18 Awesome Analog Things to Try in 2018

We all have a special way of closing out the previous year and ushering in the new one. Carl Hooker posted “A Look Back on Bold Predictions of 2017” and Monica Burns created an EdTech Inspiration calendar with “12 Tips for 2018“. I rounded out 2017 with “Calendexes, Productivity Bingo, and Students! Oh My!” which contains a FREE 2018 Calendex and “18 Books Everyone Should Read in 2018” which includes brief and personal reviews of each of the books listed. I have somewhat lapsed on my #ScrapNotes series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 are linked here) which I initiated in 2017 in favor of my Student Professional Development series. Part 5 of the the #ScrapNotes series was to be “The Complete Guide to People, Ideas, and Inspiration”. So I decided to offer all of the inspiration, people, and ideas… just with a slightly different name, “18 Awesome Analog Things to Try in 2018”. Before we dive right in, I wanted to touch on a few points:

  • ANALOG TECHNOLOGIES: I am by no means touting 2018 as the year of analog, but I do feel that analog still has a very real foundation in our personal and professional world. Furthermore… if you look up the word “technology”… it really boils down to “the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation.” Below are simply “technologies”… they are techniques, methods, and processes that are used in accomplishing a variety of personal and professional objectives. The difference is that they are analog, tangible, and IRL (In Real Life) versus digital. I should also mention that only the first 5 on the list focus on materials or products… the next 13 are more strategies and tools so don’t get too hung up on washi tape and acrylic stamps if that isn’t your thing. ūüėČ
  • SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING: And if you are familiar with CASEL’s core SEL (Social Emotional Learning) competencies, many of these analog gems serve the purpose of exploring and fostering these skills (e.g. self-awareness, self-management, and responsible decision-making).
  • WHET YOUR PALETTE:¬†I should mention I really could spend an entire blog post on each of these topics but in the interest of brevity and the true art of literary restraint… I am going to showcase all 18 in one post. Now that sounds more like a circus feat than an actual skill. :/ Truly my goal is not to be comprehensive but provide a sound jumping off point for a variety of tools and best practices that might be equal parts timely and equal parts tantalizing. Many of these tools and techniques have multiple examples online. For those, I defer to the adage “a picture is worth a blog post” and include a link to one rather than drowning you with a paragraph or two on each one.
  • UNIVERSAL AUDIENCE: If you have been following my “Students Need Professional Development Too” series, then you know that several of the following 18 ideas, tools, and techniques have been shared with secondary students in a variety of fashions. If you engage in writer or reader’s notebooks with your students, then these are also a great fit. But… these tools are certainly not for students alone. I have explored, utilized, and embraced the vast majority of these tools and techniques. So please know they can be easily integrated with students and staff alike.

18 AWESOME ANALOG THINGS to TRY in 2018

  1. Analog Journal: I used to scrapbook and journal back in the day and as of a few years ago, I started that process back up and I have to tell you that I just absolutely love it. It helps me stayed organized, focused, and happy. I will tell you that I am not alone in the process. There are multiple sites devoted to the techniques,¬†several Facebook groups, and a slew of Instagram #’s. I don’t actually full “bujo” as I use both a bullet journal and a planner BUT many people do. If you want to get into this, I suggest checking out bulletjournal.com, bohoberry,com, and littlecoffeefox.com. I have also curated a Pinterest board of 300+ examples and inspirations. This topic of analog and bullet journaling is a very deep rabbit hole but totally worth it. The best advice I can give you is take note of the ideas you like and want to try… and just try a few. Don’t become overwhelmed.
  2. Instant Camera: I don’t know if it is the nostalgia or the novelty… but a few months ago I bought a Fujifilm Instax camera. What I love about it boils down to two things… the image you get is instant in a tangible way AND since the film is costly and you only get one photo… there is something special and original about the image… one of a kind. I use these to add a little something special to my journal pages and my boys get a kick out of the “printing” and “developing” phases so there’s that too. Here is an example. I have a few others that are actual pictures of people too.
  3. Washi Tape: I would be remised if I didn’t mention this tool. It is basically pretty painter’s tape (not for painting… that would be wasteful) and you can find it almost anywhere from Wal-Mart and Target to Michael’s and even Office Depot and Dollar Tree. I love it for a variety of reasons. I have used it to organize whiteboards and I have used it to create visual distinctions and spaces on the pages in my journals. It is also great if you make a mistake as you can cover it. That tends to be one of the most difficult things for people embracing the analog journal… handling mistakes. You can’t just delete a typo and tearing out a page out of a nice Moleskine or Leuchtturm1917 isn’t an option everyone relishes. Thus, finding creative ways to embrace your mistakes or turn them into art is a bit of a life lesson… washi tape and stickers do wonders for this. If you are interested in the history of this fanciful masking tape that originated 12 years ago in Japan, this post gives more of an overview. You also know you have gone a little wacky for washi… when you start ordering your washi from places like Singapore… but I would know nothing about that. ūüėČ
  4. Planner Stickers, Labels, and¬†Acrylic¬†Stamps:¬†If you are going to go analog, stickers and labels aren’t necessarily a must but definitely really helpful. One of the biggest questions I get asked is about brands. Honestly, I love me some Michael’s and they carry both Jane Davenport’s (@janedavenport) an Dyan Reaveley’s (@dyanreaveley) lines of stickers and stamps. I should also mention both of them are very active on Instagram so you constantly get to see their inspirations and their tools in action. And Dyan’s has some awesome stickers that are intentionally black and white so you can color them. Labels: Labels are helpful to cover mistakes and to denote order on a page. Stickers: I also love stickers to break up the vastness of a page.¬†And honestly… there are very few people that I have met in my lifetime… man… woman… or child… that don’t appreciate a good sticker. Acrylic (or clear) Stamps: These are similar to rubber stamps but much cheaper and you have the ability to combine multiple stamps to make a unique design as they are essentially reusable stickers that are stamps. I have a few of these and am looking forward to exploring them more this year. I should also mention that you can find these pretty much anywhere… even Dollar Tree. Here is a quick run down on clear stamps.
  5. Ephemera: There are those of us that love antiques and the idea of history. Ephemera is essentially something that is fleeting. People create journals from vintage McCall’s patterns¬†or turn images into witty memes or sayings like the book, “Pattern Behavior: The Seamy Side of Fashion”. Ephemera can be analog… Tim Holtz offers an entire collection of these. It can also be digital and then used in digital art. Mischief Circus offers several of these. It is big in the art journaling world… in fact my sister-in-law has multiple examples on her site¬†and has been published in the Art Journaling magazine (which you can pick up at Barnes and Noble). There are also entire Instagram (@excuse.my.french.ephemera) accounts and Etsy sites devoted to ephemera. I have¬†curated 100 or so pieces here that can be printed or used digitally. Truly these can be used in collages or a springboard for poetry and creative writing. The lists goes on and on.
  6. Values Exercises: Before you choose one of the activities or tools, below, a values exercise is helpful. It is like a pre-assessment… it gives you a good idea of what you value and what you don’t which is super helpful in what trackers, prompts, and exercises you want to tackle. Taproot.com has a values exercise activity and Unstuck.com has an article with a handout embedded that guides through the exercise.
  7. Mission Statement: Mission statements are similar to a value exercise. They are kind of like a compass for you and your year. Some people choose #oneword to guide them. The mission statement just allows you to take that big idea and break it down into its multiple facets. Here is a mad libs like example.
  8. 6 Month Visual Goals: I love goal-setting and visuals seem to make this easier. It is sometimes more difficult to recall your goals when they are lengthy lists versus a series of images. Here is an example from fellow instagrammer @cardigansandchamomille and mine is shown above and linked here.
  9. 10 Minute Journal: I happed on these a few months ago and absolutely love them. Christie Zimmer offers 8 10 minute journaling prompts which are a fantastic place to start. An open-ended journal can be really daunting so this is an easy way to ease into the process. I also love that she includes multiple prompts that result in lists or images not just paragraph text.
  10. Calendex: If you read my last post, then you may have been intrigued with the idea of a calendex (the mash-up of a calendar and an index). I like these for tracking trends. For example, I have already created one for work. My goal was to get a good idea of how many times a month I did each of the following things (e.g. blogged, created something, had a meeting, offered student, staff, or parent professional development). So I created a symbol and color to represent each of these. Honestly, with the calendex… seeing really is believing so I recommend taking a gander at that post as I have included multiple links and examples.
  11. Mood Tracker: Mood trackers tend to be very popular in the analog and bullet journal world. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Since there are so many examples and varieties, I thought it best just to link to a few examples… @organizatecreando, @theblueplanner, @buujoo, @andreasbujo, and¬†@creapassionink.
  12. Doodle a Day: There are several doodle-a-day challenges. I have decided to take a slightly different spin on these. I use a Doodle-a-Day when I am on break for an extended period of time (e.g. medical leave, Christmas, Spring Break, summer) and I draw one image each day to represent what I did that day or perhaps the most memorable event from that day. It is a great way to be reflective and it is so easy to account for your time off in a way that is meaningful. I have included an example of the one I did when I was out in November and the one I am still working on for holiday break (see below).
  13. Productivity Bingo: I totally “borrowed” this idea from @lalalauren.creates on Instagram. The idea is basically creating a to do list as a bingo board and gamifying it. I include more information on this topic and additional examples in my previous post. And there are Productivity Meters too… thanks @the.petite.planner for this one. ūüėČ
  14. Self Care Bingo: If you are focused on mindfulness, this is a great exercise. Basically, it is Productivity Bingo but with ideas that are personal to you to rejuvenate or refresh. I have included an example from @lalalauren.creates, one I developed, and a self care tracker from @kb.creative_.
  15. Year in Pixels: I have seen this idea for 2-3 years and while I absolutely love it, I can’t seem to embrace the habit. The idea is really cool though. It is basically a year’s worth of mood trackers all in one. And it kind of looks like a really haphazard and poorly played game of tetris when you complete it… but it really is such an amazing visual history. Here are two example setups¬†@lalalauren.creates¬†and¬†@alexanndoodles¬†and here is a completed one ala @greenishplanning.
  16. Habit Tracker: Ah the habit tracker. This one is probably as common in the bullet journal realm as the mood tracker. If you want to start doing something or stop doing something, this is a great tool. Recently, I came across this explanation from @decadethirty and I think it is exceptionally valuable no matter what habit you are trying to form and/or what habit tracker tool you are using. Here are two additional examples @buujooo¬†and¬†@get.it.planned¬†and a template from Passion Planner’s site.
  17. Sleep Tracker: With all of the research on sleep, it is wise and helpful to actually track it. Yes, there are digital tools that do this. Honestly, there are digital tools for many of these… but too often these tools can be an additional distraction. They may also not include a journaling component and/or they may not track or display the specific or general data that you seek. Here are four analog examples @j.creas,¬†@bulletbyjulia, @kb.creative_, and @rainbowbulletjournal.
  18. H20 Tracker: This is another big one for both students and adults. I can tell you for a fact that I don’t drink enough water. There are a variety of ways to track this. Here is a template from Passion Planner’s site.

BUT WAIT THERE’s MORE…

You know me… I always like to leave you with a few more nuggets. If you are intrigued or inspired by any of the 18 above, I wanted to share some additional support resources…

  • Research Mindfulness and Journaling:¬†I think the coolest thing about analog journaling, reflection, and habit tracking is how much research is there to support it and how many books I find that tout it. I recently wrote a blog post for the counseling department of our high school that aggregated several bits of research on the impact of journaling which is linked here. There are also multiple books on my “18+ Books Everyone Should Read in 2018” that touch on some of these topics directly and/or indirectly. I have also curated multiple examples and articles on this Pinterest board.
  • Join a FB Group or Check out an Instagram #: Facebook Groups and Instagram #’s happen to be one of the best ways to not only learn more about these “analog” topics and tools but to also connect with others that are trying them. I am seasoning the end of this post with a few of each.
    • Facebook Groups: Bullet Journal School Edition,¬†Bullet Journal Share, Bullet Journaling Tips and Tricks. There is even a Bullet Journal Writers group too!
    • Instagram #’s: In addition to all of the Instagrammers I have highlighted throughout this post, there are some #’s that will lead you closer to the prize: #bulletjournal, #bujo, #bulletjournaljunkies, #journaling, #creativejournaling, #loveforanalogue. I really only use these to find people that share awesome ideas I want to emulate and then after I follow them, I start seeing these people in my feed.

 

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio‚Ķ visit the¬†TechChef4u speaking page¬†for more info or email¬†techchef4u@gmail.com. And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

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20 Dec 2017
Comments: 0

Calendexes, Productivity Bingo, and Students! Oh MY!

We are rapidly nearing the end of the year and with that comes semester exams if you work at a high school (which I do). Last week our school library offered a 12 Days of Stress Relief with a variety of analog activities ranging from bookmark coloring, friendship bracelets, and playdoh to jenga and holiday card making. I decided to reprise my “Bonkers for Bullet Journals” session and augment it for the high school level and a lunch and learn.

Because there was no real direct teach approach to this and students come and go, I set up two tables with supplies (4 tubes of washi tape, 2 packages of planner stickers, and¬†Sharpie art pens and Faber Castell pens) and handouts. I gave a brief overview (2 minutes) of the function and intent of each of the handouts (e.g. calendex, Productivity Bingo, habit and goal trackers, etc…) and then really let them go wild. I have to tell you they were so excited (dare I say… giddy) about the washi tape, stickers, and fancy pens. Out of all of the paper handouts, the two most popular ones ended up being the calendex and Productivity Bingo. As these are not super common in the education realm, I thought I would spend the rest of this blog post highlighting their features and purpose and how you can use them with students.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE CALENDEX

A¬†calendex is a mash-up of a calendar and an index. It is not meant to be a stand-alone calendar… more to use as a goal setting or goal-tracking tool in conjunction with a planner or bullet journal. The calendex was actually invented by Eddy Hope back in 2013¬†and has since then become a staple in the bullet journal community (check out Boho Berry and BulletJournal.com). Because the bullet journal and analog world is focused on customization and tailoring ideas to make them work for you, I will share a few examples (college student example, teacher example,¬†professional example 1, professional example 2) and then delve into the tips I shared with students.

  • My Adaptation for Students: I took the idea of a calendex and mapped it against our school calendar. I created both a Monday and a Sunday start version. I prefer my week starting on a Monday but some people prefer it on a Sunday so I allowed for choice. The cells that are grayed out are days we have off (according to our district calendar). The cells that are blacked out are days that don’t exist in that month (as each column has 31 cells but not every month has 31 days). The darker line encompasses an entire week. When I shared these with students, I insisted they create a key. I suggested something simple like red dot for days you have a test, blue dots for days you have homework, and a green dot for days you have an event after school. Students really took these and ran with them. I am really looking forward to seeing how they use them this next semester.
  • My Adaptation:¬†For me, I plan on using this to track how I spend my year at work. My plan is something like this… a red dot for meetings, a purple dot for days I create something, a pink dot for days I blog, a green dot for days I work with students, an orange dot for days I work with teachers, and a blue dot for days I offer parent webinars. In this world where too often we wear busy as a badge, I want to be able to at least track the things that I do that are meaningful or that have some sort of impact. And this is simply one way to do that.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT PRODUCTIVITY BINGO

Productivity Bingo is a gamified version of a to do list and far easier to explain than a calendex. Basically you create a bingo board and then you fill the board with your to do’s and you designate prizes for yourself if you get all 4 corners or a diagonal bingo. You get the idea. Since this tool doesn’t need as much explanation, I am going to dive right into examples. I have adapted the concept from¬†@lalalauren.creates. She has an example of her Productivity Bingo here and one for Self Care here.

  • My Adaptation for Students:¬†I don’t know that one would use this every week but if you had a large project due with multiple steps and counterparts, an essay where you might want to reward yourself with 500 word increments, or finals approaching where you had multiple items due, this is simply a way to gamify it. When I had a student complete one, I noticed she added items like “annotate chapter 4 To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Spanish 1 Unit Review”, and “1 page Math practice”.
  • My Adaptation:¬†When I had my surgery last month, I created a Productivity Bingo¬†(see below) to make sure I got a few things done whilst I was on “break”… one of which was knocking out 13,000 or so words for my new book. And because I loved it so much (and I had just finished reading “A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness”¬†**), I explored a Self Care one as well.

I should also mention that if you are looking to support CASEL’s Social Emotional Learning competencies, these activities fit nicely into the Self-Management section.

I think the biggest take-away for me from this session was that students wanted more. They loved the casual format with the supplies. And they asked if I could offer a second one after the holidays. With the “12 Days” format, students know what to expect, so I think we will revisit this type of scheduling format when we look at developing professional development for the spring semester. We have already talked about “13 Days of Tech” and a “Wonderful Week of Writing” which might encompass typewriter rodeo, calligraphy techniques, and how to start your own personal writer’s/reader’s notebook or bullet journal.

I truly never sought to write an entire series on professional development for students, but I am finding the more that I offer it to students, the more of it that is needed and wanted. I hope this post has sparked some interest in easy ways to support students with organization, planning, and task management. I also know that many of the resources and processes that I have shared in this Student PD Series can also be adapted to adult learners. And as I have already been asked for a 2018 calendex and there is seriously no reason to buy one… I have created one for you here. The calendex is designed to be printed as 2 pages in 1 on one 8.5 x 11 inch page (printed in landscape). The reason I suggest this is that many bullet journals happen to be an A5 size which essentially means they are 8.25 by 11.5 if they are opened to a two page spread. I just try to mimic a similar size with these handouts for consistency and if they would like to actually add it to their planner or journal.I sincerely hope these make you as happy and jovial about organization and planning as they do me. Enjoy! I only ask one favor… if you end up using them yourself or with your students, I would love to hear about it. You can Tweet me, FB me, Instagram me, or email me techchef4u@gmail.com. Thanks in advance.

Oh… and if you are interested in delving into bullet journaling or analog writing, I have some posts for you here… where to start, how to create a reader’s journal, how to augment analog notes, and supplies to get you started.

** If you are interested in additional book recommendations, check out “18+ Books Everyone Should Read in 2018”.

STUDENTS NEED PD TOO!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. If you are interested in additional ways to design and deliver professional development to students, here are a few more ideas and formats:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ


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08 Dec 2017
Comments: 1

18+ Books Everyone Should Read in 2018

I recently created an Amazon recommendations page for books and office supplies. For some reason it reminded me of a post I wrote on “Amazon Literacy” back in 2015. One of the things I mentioned in that post was the idea of trust and curation. Mark Cuban, on an episode of Shark Tank, makes the statement, “I think trusted curation is the future”. And I hope that in the last seven and a half years I have proved myself to be a trustworthy voice in the edusphere. While most of my blog posts and resources focus on iPads in education, summaries of professional development, and most recently note-taking and¬†how to teach students college and career ready communication skills, I have a few avenues of interest that I haven’t really shared (on this blog) as of late… professional development reads and office supplies… which I share ad nauseam on my new Instagram account NoteChef4u. ūüėČ Whilst I was doing some bullet journaling, I decided to make a list of books that I read in 2017. That led me to the realization that I was one book short of 17… which was quickly remedied. Thank you Amazon. I was thinking about doing a post “17 Books for 2017” but then I realized I really have never done a post like this… so I decided I would just do a book list of my favorite books over the past 2-3 years. What you should know about the list is that I have read each and every one and would not put it on the list if I didn’t think it had value. That being said… not everyone likes mint chocolate chip ice cream so just because I like it… may not make it your beloved flavor.¬†But all of the books on the list are also highly rated on Amazon and you always have the Look Inside feature… so there’s that. I have also done sketch summaries of most of these books on my Instagram… so feel free to check out the highlights there too.

INDUSTRY BOOKS that are AWESOME for EDU

As not all of the books have obvious professional development impact (and we are currently experiencing a “snow day” today in Texas), I thought I would share (and had some time to) a quick snippet of information about each… so here we go:

  • The Secret Lives of Color –¬†I happed on this book after reading the two below. It looks at 75 different shades of color and discusses their historical, cultural, and literary origins and meanings‚Ķ as well as how they were made and which artists used them. For example‚Ķ the pigment Prussian Blue was first used in blueprints and green appears in the flags of predominantly Islamic countries because ‚Äúparadise‚ÄĚ is synonymous with ‚Äúgarden‚ÄĚ. Other facts I gleaned were Emerald green was originally the cause of many deaths as it contains arsenic, in Shakespeare‚Äôs day‚Ķ green costumes were considered bad luck on stage, and French soldiers serving in Africa were given absinthe to ward off malaria. This book would be great as a companion for an Art History course or a way to enlighten or highlight a World History course or content students are reading in an English class.
  • Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks –¬†I seriously loved this book. I mean‚Ķ¬†as a kid‚Ķ¬†I did enjoy¬†diagramming¬†sentences so there‚Äôs that‚Ķ¬†but this was just such a fun book to read and that is all due to the author. The chapter on the ampersand starts with¬†‚ÄúBorn in ignoble circumstances and dogged by a rival character of weighty provenance, the ampersand would spend a¬†thousand¬†years of uneasy coexistence with its opponent before¬†finally¬†claiming¬†victory.‚Ä̬†I loved the personification and the fact that there were 67¬†pages¬†of references at the back of the book. It is said that you have to understand our history so as to not¬†repeat¬†it‚Ķ¬†I think it can also be said¬†that¬†the better we comprehend the history of language and¬†symbolism, the better we can use it to make meaning.
  • The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter – If you follow my new Instagram account (@NoteChef4u), then you may have noticed that I devote that account to all things analog‚Ķ including note-taking. I discovered this book and I truly felt vindicated. The first part of the book highlights the history and rebirth of vinyl, paper, film, and board games. I absolutely loved learning all about the history of the Moleskine notebook. Part 2 focused on print, retail, work, and school. The part on school was so-so but the rest of the book I really relished. As many things in life are recursive, I think this was such an excellent read.
  • A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness – I stumbled upon this book in Barnes and Noble. It is the perfect mash-up of analog, creativity, and mindfulness. I read the book fairly quickly and was pleasantly surprised to find that it held multiple tips and research studies‚Ķ not just fun paper goodies (e.g. 2 journals, 16 postcards, 40 stickers, and more). It has great ideas that could also be adapted to a Writer‚Äôs Notebook for students too! It should also be noted that they run a wildly popular creativity and paper crafts magazine. I haven’t had a magazine subscription in over a decade… but this might just be worth it.
  • Reinvent Yourself – I am going to admit that I typically read books out of the edu field as I don‚Äôt like to silo myself. This book really is easy to read as each of the 47 chapters are truly just lessons learned from an interview or topic/theme (e.g. ‚ÄúThe Twenty Things I‚Äôve Learned From Larry Page‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúWhat I Learned from Chess‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúFive Things I Learned from Superman‚ÄĚ, and ‚ÄúSeven Things Star Wars Taught Me About Productivity‚ÄĚ). The format is great to emulate for writing and I really enjoyed the variety of tips and best practices gleaned from so many different industries.
  • Flawd:¬†How to Stop Hating on Yourself, Others, and the Things That Make You Who You Are – This book I ended up highlighting in chapter 6 of ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students‚ÄĚ. The book is written by a girl that was bullied, ended up becoming a bully, and then recovered and decided to write a book about it. I really enjoyed this book. She is wise beyond her years. One of my favorite quotes was ‚Äústrong beliefs are just the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself.”
  • Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need – If you are familiar with the MOTH live storytelling, you will love this book. So many tips for writing and speaking. It is a creative writing gem and I absolutely loved her voice and perspective. Margot trains people to develop and tell live stories and to that end she offers multiple stems and questions that encourage storytelling.
  • The Creativity Challenge: Design, Experiment, Test, Innovate, Build, Create, Inspire, and Unleash Your Genius – I have a problem with teal and turquoise books‚Ķ the problem is that I am instantly drawn to them and they just magically end up in my hand and/or Amazon cart and then of course on my home shelf. What I loved about this book is that each of the 150 creative exercises was divided into one of 5 categories (e.g, convergent, divergent, lateral, aesthetic, and emergent). If you are looking to add some creativity to your curriculum, there are great ideas to spark your interest and they are easy to adapt.
  • The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression – If you are focusing on social emotional learning in your district, this book is a must. While designed for writers, it highlights 75 emotions ranging from disbelief and insecurity to regret and sympathy. Each emotion includes the corresponding body language, thoughts, and visceral responses. I should also mention that this is a series. I also own “The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces” and almost bought the “The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Places”.
  • There Is No Good Card for This; What To Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love – Again, I love reading books outside of the edu genre and this one popped up in my feed and then in my cart and then at my house. It is written by two authors‚Ķ one is a social worker and grief counselor and the other is a writer and illustrator that of Empathy Cards. The book was excellent as it provided ideas for appropriately handing a variety of scenarios and offered lots of tips to be a better listener. It even delineated types of non listeners, types of listeners, and gave a list of go-to phrases to support people. The Gesture Wall and ‚ÄúTry Not to Be That Annoying Person‚ÄĚ instead of this (e.g. “I felt ______, when I ______ .”), try this (‚Äúwhat‚Äôs than like for you‚ÄĚ) were exceptional!
  • 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades (while studying less) – One of my teachers told me about this book. His psychology class had jigsawed it. You can get the PDF of the book FREE from the College Info Geek site but if you want the hard copy, you can order it from Amazon. A quick read but some really great stuff.
  • The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy – This book is about a man that spent a year researching and trying productivity hacks and writing about them. Some good tips in the book. The book‚Äôs topics range from time management and attention to mindfulness.
  • Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody ToldYou About Being Creative – I have talked about Austin Kleon for years and absolutely love his books,. They are quick reads but offer so much to think about. While they may not have as obvious direct applications to the classroom, when you really dig into them, I think you will find there is much to learn about curation, creation, and getting to the heart of what makes you you.
  • Show Your Work! – Another gem from Austin Kleon. If you are working with CTE or mentorship students, this is a great book to have in your arsenal. With chapters like,¬†‚ÄúThink Process, Not Product‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúTeach What You Know‚ÄĚ, and ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt Turn into Human Spam‚ÄĚ, there are lots of life lessons and gems included.
  • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success – The author of this book is a licensed social worker and has¬†written¬†a version of this for parents too. Basically, the book focuses on 13 life lessons ranging from¬†‚ÄúDon‚Äôt Focus on Things You Can‚Äôt Control‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt Shy Away from Change‚ÄĚ to ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt Give Up After the First Failure‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt Feel the World Owes You Anything‚ÄĚ. Each chapter also ends with some action items.
  • The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users –¬†This is a gem from Guy Kawasaki. I gleaned some helpful tips about social media from this easy to digest book. If you are manning the social media for your school or district, this is a good read to help boost and spread your message.
  • The Art of Creative Thinking: 89 Ways to See Things Differently – Rod Judkins is a lecturer at Central Saint Martins. He talks about creativity all over the world. Each of the 89¬†vignettes¬†in the book focus on¬†gleaning creativity tips from renound leaders in creativity like Coco Chanel, Matt Groening, Frida Kahlo, and Frank Lloyd Wright‚Ķ to name a few.
  • Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations – This book is a mashup of storytelling, visual literacy,¬†sketch noting, persuasive design, and presentation skills.
  • Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate With Your Mind – If¬†you¬†are in to¬†sketch noting¬†or ideas for presentation skills, this book and¬†the¬†the one above are must reads. I ended up drawing from both of these (this one and¬†‚ÄúShow and Tell‚ÄĚ)¬†to develop some student-friendly tips for visual literacy and¬†presentation skills in¬†chapter 3 of ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students‚ÄĚ. This book gets into the 7 basic building blocks of shapes and how to use the art of persuasion via drawings and storytelling.
  • The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever – I also¬†discovered¬†this book during my teal/turquoise/blue¬†period. I got tons of great ideas for coaching from this gem. I also truly¬†appreciated¬†all of the research. He mentions the 3 P‚Äôs (Projects, People, and Patterns) and each chapter chapter focuses on an overarching question (e.g. Kicktstart Question: What‚Äôs on Your Mind?,¬†Focus¬†Question: What‚Äôs¬†the¬†Real Challenge Here for You?, Strategic Question: If You are Saying Yes to This, What are You Saying No To?).

EDU-FOCUSED BOOKS

While I do read a lot of industry books, I also like to learn from my peers and others doing amazing things for teachers and students in the educational industry. The 6 books below are the educational ones that I read that I would also like to recommend to the batch or bushel:

  • Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World –¬†This book is ever so timely. It is very much the essential guide to navigating the ephemeral and transactional communications woven into the language of social media online and IRL. I loved all of the exercises and practical applications. I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled from or referenced this book over the past few months.
  • Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom¬†– First off. The authors of this book are Amy Burvall and Dan Ryder… two of my favorite people. If you are looking to infuse your class projects with creativity… this is the book for you. The book is quite dense with exciting challenges like “phrankenword”, B Side Ideas, One Word a Day Diaries, and so much more. The book is perfect for any English or World Language classroom. But honestly… every classroom will benefit from their thorough compilation of creative dishes.
  • Along Came a Leader: A Guide to Personal and Professional Leadership¬†– You know I have to say I am not one for books on leadership because they tend to be heavy-handed, dry, or overly prescriptive. While this book did provide several ingredients, it was the author‚Äôs voice, experiences, and personal anecdotes that were thoughtfully baked in that really made this read a true gem. I found myself highlighting and jotting down quotes‚Ķ and stopping frequently to ponder his thought-provoking and insightful questions embedded within each chapter. I know that I will be returning to this content throughout this coming year and really reviewing my own growth and experiences. Kelly also did a great job of including practical tips for maximizing meetings, solving problems and even introducing colleagues.
  • Hacking Project Based Learning: 10 Easy Steps to PBL and Inquiry in the Classroom –¬†I haven’t really delved into PBL so this book was a fresh and not overbaked read. I appreciated all of the practical approaches and easy way to get started into PBL… that don’t take 20 hours. Ross and Erin¬†tackled a complex topic and created a simplified straight-forward approach for any educator to dip their toe into PBL. I especially liked the “Overcoming Pushback” sections in each chapter where they addressed areas in instruction and assessment that might prove difficult to morph to PBL and shared solutions for each. This was a quick read and I am excited to put their ideas to action… especially their “Progress Assessment Tool”. I am also super stoked that Ross Cooper provided extra resources on his companion site like posters and question cards.
  • #FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment with Technology – Monica’s book is in the same vein as the Hacking PBL as you can pick it up and use it TODAY. It highlights multiple formative assessment tools that can be used across a variety of content areas and grade levels and matches them to sound pedagogical practices. The way she weaves in academic vocabulary makes the resource easy to access for a first year teacher or a veteran. QR codes are embedded within to instantly access resources and tools. Every step in the formative assessment process from data collection and evaluation to parent involvement is touched on and highlighted with tried and true staples of technology like Padlet, Kahoot, Nearpod, and Google Forms. My favorite resources were the examples of strong feedback and anchor charts for ‚Äúhow to make a quality comment‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúin a backchannel, my job is‚Ķ‚ÄĚ
  • Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students – While I am including my latest publication here, I will not say any more about it here. There are 30 thoughtful reviews on Amazon as well as 16 endorsements from educators all over the world within its pages. If the content speaks to you and you end up taking a gander and picking it up, please connect with me on Twitter or Facebook or via email… I would love to hear from you. ūüėČ

I should mention that the header image only showcases 20 of the 26 books. I really wanted to have all of the books neatly displayed on an actual shelf but I am a bit OCD with my bookshelves and creating a shelf for this post would have totally messed with my fine-tuned system (color-coded, genre, see my complete organization strategy here) so I had to go digital with a cover collage like you see in the header. But just in case you wanted to see my system… I included a Thinglinked version below. ūüėČ Thanks so much for reading. Please remember to share your own book recommendations for 2018 too!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio‚Ķ visit the¬†TechChef4u speaking page¬†for more info or email¬†techchef4u@gmail.com. And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.” SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

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04 Dec 2017
Comments: 3

5+ Strategies to Deliver PD to Students

It occurred to me… sadly… only after I was done with my series on professional development for students that I never really explained what that was and how it differs from traditional teaching. So two things… I am an Educational Technologist so while I do support students and staff on a daily basis… I do not have a classroom of my own. Secondly, the content I share in these professional developments (while complementary to curricular content)… goes beyond the content shared in the classroom, will not be tested, and is information that they can readily apply to their personal and academic lives. So I guess that is the real distinction. Similarly, to each chapter of my book, “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students”, where I made sure that each type of communication was steeped in SEL, each of these student-focused professional developments that I discuss weave in a range of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies as well. For example, the session on¬†“Organizing Your Digital Binder” narrowed in on organizational skills, the session on¬†“Bonkers for Bullet Journals” targeted Self-Management skills like goal-setting and self-motivation, and the session on “Managing Your Digital Experiences” honed in on Responsible Decision Making skills and Self-Awareness.

5+ Avenues to Deliver PD to Students

While these sessions could very easily be woven into a classroom or within the daily curriculum, I wanted to clarify the content, focus, and design… as I had had several questions over the past few weeks. The list below is in no way exhaustive… but does showcase 5+ different topics for student professional development as well as 5+ different methods for delivery:

  • A Whole Day: The¬†session I delivered entitled “Bonkers for Bullet Journaling” was roughly 30 minutes long and was part of a day of choice-based (students chose from a schedule of experiences) learning for students. ¬†
  • Half a Day: The session I co-presented on “Managing Your Digital Experiences” was a 45 minute sessions and was part of a half-day rotation (all students attended each of the 4 sessions).
  • Stations During the Day: This session that uses the Base Camp model utilized 4 stations (lasting 8 minutes each) that all ¬†students rotated through during one class period.
  • Class Pop-In’s:¬†This is probably the most traditional way to deliver professional development to students. Oftentimes, a teacher will ask me to lead or co-teach a session so I will come in to class for 10-30 minutes depending on the topic. The most popular one to date seems to be visual literacy and presentation skills.
  • Class Rounds:¬†This is similar to Class Pop-In’s but students come to us in a fixed location like the library and we meet with every class within a grade level (rather than just the teachers or classes that have requested the topic to be shared with their classes). The topic we focused on here is organizing a digital binder.
  • Lunches:¬†This is a bonus avenue. I ran a bullet journaling professional development that focused on setting up a bullet journal and a calendex in December. I set up a table in a high traffic area in the library during lunches and provided all of the supplies. As this session was optional, I promoted it on campus through fliers and our student-led announcements. Here is the full write-up on this session.

While I work with teachers, my ultimate goal is to impact our students… whether it be through the training and support I provide to our staff… or working directly with our students. I hope this post helps you to think differently and/or creatively about the “professional development” you provide for your students. And as always… if you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out on Facebook, Twitter, or even email (techchef4u@gmail.com). I would love to connect.

Students Need PD too!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last few blog posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


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13 Nov 2017
Comments: 0

How Do You Teach Students to Be Wellness Stewards?

When I started talking about designing and delivering professional development to students, I had no idea that I would be writing Blog Post 5 in this series whilst on hiatus from my #ScrapNotes series. As fate would have it, this blog post comes full circle as it inches us closer to the #ScrapNotes series… with a focus on bullet journaling. Before we go bonkers for bullet journaling, I really wanted to give you some background on how this session and this event came to be.

Fit as a Middle Schooler

I doubt many people would use the phrase “fit as a middle schooler” and that is kind of where this story began. Five years ago a nurse and/or CLT (Campus Leadership Team) noted that they were tired of all of the fast food lunches that parents were delivering to students. They wanted to create some health initiative with speakers that would talk to students about making healthy choices. Heather Schubert, librarian extraordinaire, had created and ran the Teen Book Festival here in Austin so she had experience with organizing an event of this nature. And the rest is history. This event is now running strong with a five year legacy.

Fit Beyond Fitness

This was my first year being involved in this event. And by involved… I mean… I led a course. As I have spent the last 4 blog posts focusing on student professional development, I did want to highlight some awesome things about this day as I was so enamored with the event:

  • All Day: This is an all day event. The classes/sessions students attend are all related to Fit Fest (not typical curricular courses).
  • Student Choice: Students used the Sched app to choose which sessions they wanted to attend.
  • Variety: 3 Tracks (e.g. Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness) offered over 100 sessions for students to attend. Fitness courses ranged from warm-up drills and boxing to jazzercise, hip-hop, and yoga. Nutrition courses ranged from learning about food allergies and healthy substitutions to healthy after school snacks and smoothies for every mood. Wellness sessions ranged from meditation and concussion prevention to Bullet Journaling, CPR, and oral health.
  • Community and Parental Involvement: Many local businesses that catered towards fitness, nutrition, and wellness offered sessions as did parents that had a background in health or wellness. Um… and did I mention there was a Farmer’s Market and a Field Day?

This video gives you a general overview.

Fits Like a Journal

Yes, I realize I am stretching this idiom… but go with it. So… now that you have a better idea of the day’s events and focus. I am going to hone into the session that I delivered. Honestly, it will come as no surprise to you that I have been wanting to offer this session to students for some time. The crazy thing was… would anyone show up? Well interestingly enough I had 54 students spread across each one of my 4 30-minute sessions. It felt validating to see how interested students were in this process. As all middle school students have paper planners that they receive at the beginning of the year AND I only had 30 minutes with them… I decided to break up the 30 minutes like this:

  • Pre-Survey: I provided a quick survey that asked why they chose this session and/or what they wanted to learn AND how they took notes (e.g. Handwriting on Paper, on iPad, Handwriting on iPad).
  • Everything I Know… I Learned from Instagram: I had a brief slide deck that essentially gave the definition of bullet journaling and then showcased multiple examples of lists, reflections, and habit/goal trackers that were gleaned from all of the awesome peeps I follow on Instagram. As 30-40% of the students were also on Instagram, I mentioned a few #’s that I found helpful to locate people that are sharing examples.
  • Journals and Trackers Exploration: But seriously… this is where the real fun began. As I couldn’t buy journals for all of them and we only had 30 minutes together, I wanted to give them the experience of setting up some of these features but in a condensed amount of time. So basically, I took a sheet of paper and then made copies of Christie Zimmer’s journaling prompts* and two habit/goal trackers from Passion Planner* (Water Tracker and Habit Tracker) and let them go to town to create a sample spread.
  • Savvy Supplies: But wait there’s more. When I busted out fancy pens, planner stickers, and washi tape to use in conjunction with their sample page spreads… you would have thought I had just released a year’s supply of new SnapChat filters (or whatever is really cool right now). They absolutely loved it. As pens, stickers, and supplies can be costly and sometimes you don’t know what you like until you use it… I wanted to give students the ability to explore these tools before even considering spend money on them. And of course… you don’t need any of these things to bullet journal… but it is kind of like a cake. You can make a cake with icing and it is fine… but when you add the designs and the words and the fancy embellishments… sometimes it just makes you smile and part of the joy and process of bullet journaling is doing things and creating things make you feel good… that make you happy.¬†

*I should mention that any time you print any of these proprietary items (even if you are using them with students or in a professional development setting) that you get written permission.

One could easily boil this whole session down to free time with arts and crafts but I think you have to dig deeper. My goals for students was multi-faceted:

  • Introduce Bullet Journaling and Where to Learn More About It (using various #’s and sites)
  • Expose Students to a Variety of Habit and Goal Trackers
  • Expose Students to Journaling and Reflection that can Be Quick and Meaningful
  • Allow Students to Engage with a Variety of Bullet Journaling Supplies

And what I found after reviewing the student pre-survey’s was truly enlightening. My description for the session was pretty basic but what I thought was interesting was the other reasons why students chose to attend (e.g. organization/plan/time management and how to take notes). These are clearly needs for our students… needs that I didn’t expect students to have when they chose to attend a session on bullet journaling… but needs nonetheless… which clearly means additional student professional development will be needed.

 

Okay whew… 1,000 words later and I am kind of winded. That about sums up it up. I am looking at offering another one of these sessions at the HS in December… so Stay Tuned. And my next blog post will return to my #ScrapNotes series and focus on all of the awesome peeps that I follow and the #’s that allow you to better discover and uncover these trends and ideas.

Figuring out Planners

I imagine a few of you are curious what the cost of running a session like this would be. There is some initial start up costs of purchasing washi tape and planner stickers (which are consumables). I suggest Michael’s for these and using your Tax Exempt info, a 40% off coupon, and your 15% teacher discount. Here is a link to some of the planner stickers I picked up at Michael’s. Pens tend to be expensive and the best place to find them is on Amazon (if you can wait for them to come in). These Sharpie Art Pens¬†in a set of 12 are my favorite and they typically run $12-$13 on Amazon. My other fave is the Faber Castell Artist Pens with the Brush Tip – these typically run $13 for a set of 6 on Amazon. All in all I spent $75 (which included the $30 I spent on pens). The pens can be used over and over and I still have quite a bit of washi tape and stickers left over to do a session with our high schoolers. If you are interested in going head first down this rabbit hole, then I suggest you read “The Savvy Supply List” where I detail all of the products and how I use them. Oh OMT… I found these bullet journals in a clearance bin at Michael’s and ended up buying a few to give away as raffle prizes. Students LOVED them!


Before I leave you… I should also note that I plan on getting deeper into planners, trackers, and journaling in upcoming #ScrapNotes posts. This post was really designed to highlight student professional development and an easy entry point to the many facets of bullet journaling.

Revisiting #ScrapNotes

If you want to get a head start on all things #ScrapNotes before my next post… check out these 4 posts:

Students Need PD too!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last few blog posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


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27 Oct 2017
Comments: 1

How do you Support Students with Managing their Digital Lives?

You know… I didn’t realize how popular the topic of student professional development would be. I have had some great feedback from many of you through a variety of social media channels. So it made sense to share this next topic as well.

Tell me About this Day with Students

This started out rather organically… We offer the PSAT to our Sophomores and Juniors during the school day. That leaves our Freshmen with a few hours of unscheduled time. This year… administration decided to put on a multi-faceted program for them. Essentially, we divided the 3 hours into 4 45 minute sessions:

  • Session 1: This was put on by our counselors. They had a panel of all types of students which allowed Freshmen to hear stories, choices, and experiences that could enlighten and impact their next 3 years.
  • Session 2: This session was led by students and staff and focused on Challenge Success… so it looked at some of the myths of WHS and the opportunities that students have to find their individual passions. (If you are not familiar with Challenge Success, I have linked their site here and highly recommend this book… “Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids”). We used it as a book study here for the past two years).
  • Session 3: This session was led by our principal Steve Ramsey, focused on reflection, and is further detailed here on his weekly blog post.
  • Session 4: This is where we came in. Chris Hanson (@tejashanson) and I built a session that focused on managing digital lives. (I should also mention that Chris Hanson is the latest addition to our iVengers team. He serves as the other Ed Tech at WHS… with myself).

Tell me more about Session 4

  • Background Info: So now that you are caught up on the day and staffing changes… I wanted to proceed and dive a little deeper into session 4. When we were originally tasked with 4 45 minute sessions on a topic of our choosing… we definitely knew we wanted to focus on Digital Citizenship… but that is truly an infinite topic. Chris has worked a lot with Common Sense Media at his last district and had a lot of success with it so he knew he wanted to touch on social media and cyberbullying. I had just read Ana Homayoun’s new book, “Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World” so I know I wanted to touch on executive functioning which broke down into digital organization and digital distraction. (Sidenote: I also did a recent review blogpost for Corwin on Ana’s book…which includes my scrapnotes… it is linked here).
  • Planning and Design: After we had our topics, we divided the session into 4 parts (Digital Distraction, Digital Organization, Social Media, and Cyberbullying). I took the first two topics and Chris took the latter two (which you will see in the slide deck). We also know that we had keep students engaged so having them watch a bunch of CommonSense videos or work in an iBook wasn’t going to cut it. I discovered from my last student professional development session on the topic of Note-Taking that students responded really well to research studies that we shared as well as research we gleaned from staff and students using google forms. Thus, we crafted a 10 question google form to send out to students. It was anonymous as we wanted honest feedback. We sent it out via student email accounts. I honestly thought we would get very few responses… but we ended up having over 300 responses in a few days. This is over 10% of our student body. With that data, we then began framing the presentation with the 4 topics, questions, answers, and then tips, tools, and best practices.
  • Delivery:¬†We obviously hadn’t run through this deck with actual people before we were met with 150 Freshman so a few minor changes were made to the info on the fly. Mainly just building in student pulse checks (e.g. “raise your hands if you use paper for your to do lists” or “thumbs up, down, or to the sides if you agree with…”). We also had a few Think-Pair-Share topics that we embedded throughout. The Slide Deck below (and linked here) is the content we shared (including the results of the survey).

But Wait… There’s More…: One of my goals for the year was to develop and deliver more professional development opportunities for our parents. Thankfully… Chris Hanson had the patience and persistence to evaluate a few tools and work with the companies to make sure they were exactly what we wanted. We were looking for a tool that offered the ability to provide a live webinar but then also was able to be archived for later use. We also needed the ability to do screen sharing. Fortunately, Lifesize met the requirements and the rest is history. Lifesize also offers the ability to download the archived video (which was great because the first 10 minutes of our video needed to be cropped due to my not-so-witty banter about how to get it working). Chris was kind enough to crop the first 10:45 from the video and just post the webinar on our YouTube channel.

Warm Happy Thoughts:¬†I could have left this part out… but I had to share! We had 25 parents join the online webinar and we had 15 follow-up emails from parents that had either watch the webinar or had missed but wanted the archived link. But there was one parent email that really brought a tear to my eye. She had emailed to share how grateful she was that she knew what was presented to her student that day and that she could use it as a springboard for discussion that evening. And she went on to say that her son had already texted her to see if he could download the tree app (which I had mentioned in the digital distraction section). Seriously people… I had tears of joy in my eyes. To think that you are creating content to positively impact students is one thing… to discover that the content you are creating and disseminating is actually resonating with students is beyond amazing!

I truly hope that these 1,000+ words have been helpful and perhaps even inspiring. If you do something like this already and/or if you end up remixing some of the ideas that I have shared in this post, I would be ever so grateful if you dropped me a line techchef4u@gmail.com.

Students Need PD too!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last few blog posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”



19 Oct 2017
Comments: 4

How Do you Deliver PD to Students?

At a campus of approximately 2700 students that are 1:1 iPad, you are bound to find a variety and a disparity of skills and technological prowess. iPad Base Camps were born to ensure that all students had a baseline of technical skills at the beginning of the year. This also alleviated the class time it would take in individual classes for teachers to have students set up these devices as well.

Before you dig into this post… I should mention that a dear friend has informed me that my posts are like unicorns¬†and that I should write shorter posts to stretch out the ideas… like baby unicorns… but honestly… my brain just doesn’t work that way. I am one of those people that tells you everything I know on a topic… and then moves to the next topic in the next post. The only time I find it possible to “baby unicorn” something is if I have already outlined it (e.g. like my ScrapNotes posts) and committed to telling you that it will be in multiple doses… so please know that this post is like a giant helping of student professional development (in baby¬†unicorn herd form)… but you can totally digest it in multiple seatings (the post… not the baby unicorn herd… that is)… if need be. ūüėČ

What are the Basics of an iPad Base Camp?

The slide deck linked here and embedded below is pretty comprehensive when it comes to the apps and process we devised but I also want to preface it with a few bits of information:

  • Student Focus: We began with Freshman as they come to us from two different campuses and may not have had as much experience with specific apps and tools as our 10-12th grade students.
  • Time Frame: We had the span of a class period (45-50 minutes) to teach these skills.
  • Hands-Off: The approach had to be hands-off, station-based, and self-explanatory as sometimes we would have multiple classes during the same class period.
  • Fundamental: We really had to drill down to what were the most fundamental apps and processes as we could only manage 4 stations in a class period.
  • Devices: As we upgraded the devices, the stations and tasks would be slightly altered to accommodate new features (e.g. speech to text or split screen and updates to apps).

 

What are the Apps used in iPad Base Camp?

  • 2015:¬†2015 was our first year for the camp. We created 4 stations that focused on the 3 C’s (e.g. Critical Thinking = Popplet Lite and Paper by 53, Collaboration = Google Drive, Google Sheets, and Google Docs, Communication = Evernote and DocAs). We also added a file management station (especially since we were dealing with 16 GB iPad 2’s at the time… to address apps like iFiles, Google Calendar, and Shutterfly). I should mention that students were constantly running out of space with our 16 GB model and much of this was due to photo storage. As Shutterfly has an app with unlimited photo storage and there were very few alternatives at the time… we went with this one.
  • 2016: In 2016 we upgraded to 64 GB iPad 2 Air’s with a built in keyboard case. We revamped the 4 stations to focus on particular skills/tools we found students needed to have set up at the beginning of the year (e.g. Notable Note-taking = Notability and Google Drive, Powerful Portfolios – Google Drive and Google Docs, Capitalizing on Calendars = Google Calendar, and Mindful Mind-Mapping = Post-it Plus and Google Classroom). I should also mention that this is the year that we dropped DocAS for PDF annotation and adopted Notability for K-12. It is also the first year we used Google Classroom and the year that we provided a portfolio structure (this will have to be a baby unicorn… an will most likely end up in a future post) for students using Google Drive and a Google Doc Portfolio Index.
  • 2017: We just completed our 3rd year of iPad Base Camps. I think we have finally found a system and station flow that seems to work. The only change we made from 2016-2017 was swapped the Post-it Plus station for Keynote as Keynote had just released some upgraded features like icons and we wanted to highlight those as many students underuse this tool.
  • 2017+: I should also mention… because you will see it in the slide deck on slide 15… that we also ran another one of these for Sophomores as a precursor to a larger project. Each station focused on a different cause of war and used a different app. This allowed¬†students to get¬†familiarity with a variety of apps and create a digital artifact for their class. When they got to the final project, they were already familiar with the apps and could begin working.)

What are you Not Telling Me?

So, yes… there are a few things that I have neglected to mention. It is much like project-based learning in that there is tons of planning and work that goes into the front end to make the day of go smoothly.

  • Corralling Students: Sometimes we had as many as 180 students in a class period (as multiple class periods came depending on scheduling). To easily get them to their first station, we created little sheets of paper like a “ticket” (each with a different rotation of the 4 stations). This is like hitting the easy button on having students count off “1… 2… 3… 4.”
  • Checklist: If you have been reading this blog for awhile and/or no me personally… then you know that I am a tad bit OCD and I live my to do lists and checklists. After year 1 of this, I devised one as I felt I would forget something in the planning and logistics of it for year two.
  • Station Cards: I should also mention that we have cards at every station with an icon (that matches their “ticket” that have easy to follow directions. I was also pleased to find out (when we asked for feedback on the day and what was helpful to them) that many students referred to the easy to follow directions on the tables.
  • Expansion: As I noted above, we have expanded this to pre-project exposure mini-stations. We are also looking to create these for Seniors to help transition them (e.g. share their school gmail with a personal one, expose them to Evernote or another note-taking app, discuss portfolio apps like bulb, provide a seamless approach to move any school notes they want to keep to a safe place, etc…) before they graduate.

 

But… Wait… There’s More…

Clearly… no unicorn babies today… you get the whole unicorn… Ugh… now I feel like I am writing the script for an infomercial… “for a low… low price of $19.99… this can all be yours… but only if you call today.” ūüėČ – But seriously… I digress. I have put all 4 of the Base Camp station cards, the checklist, and the sample “tickets” in a Google Drive folder… just for you. The only thing that I ask… is if you use or adapt them… to please email me techchef4u@gmail.com or tweet me @TechChef4u and share your feedback, alterations, and how you are using them to impact students. Thanks in advance! ūüėČ

 

Students Need PD too!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last two posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


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