Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
Best WP Theme Ever!
Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
08 Sep 2017
Comments: 0

#ScrapNotes: The Savvy Supply List

 

In part 3, “PD Note-taking”, I set the stage for how how to make analog notes interactive. And now the time has come to embrace… pens and stickers. If this is just not for you, seriously, no worries at all. I won’t be offended. Skip on to Part 5 “The Complete Guide to People, Ideas, and Inspiration.” But for those of you… and I know there are a few… that geek out over pens, items that are ROYGBIV’d, and clandestine visits to Michael’s and the washi tape section of Office Depot… then this post is for you… and please know that you are not alone. Art Journaling, Visual Note-taking, and Bullet Journaling is a very real thing and I have seen the pastime embraced by students of all ages (HS, College, Grad) and adults alike.

THE SUPPLY LIST

With that being said. I am going to break this post into 3 parts:

  • Note-Taking Essentials: 
    • NOTEBOOK: I prefer a notebook that has a hard cover, an elastic band, and plain pages. The Leuchtturm1917 is turning out to be my favorite so far.
    • PENS: I also love using Sharpie fine point pens. They are awesome and permanent and don’t bleed.
  • Note-Taking Nice to Haves:
    • LABELS: These cost like $1 or $2 at Michael’s but are perfect for accentuating quotes or making lists. As the notebooks I like have thinner pages, these are great to maximize the real estate of both sides of the page too.
    • DOUBLE SIDED TAPE: I love this for adding in items. I like to include library cards for lists, greeting cards for lexicon libraries, and postcards and such.
    • RULER: I can’t draw a straight line to save my life so this is a necessity to have!
  • Note-Taking Icing on the Cake (“Getting Fancy”):
    • STICKERS: I have loved stickers forever and these 3 brands are awesome. I am seriously in love with the 7 Gypsies Architexture series… it is the best!!! The Dylusions set is great because many of the stickers are black and white so you can color them to match your page.
    • WASHI TAPE: I think everyone geeks out over this stuff. Basically pretty masking tapes. And my favorite ones come from Jane Davenport.
    • GREETING CARDS: I use greeting cards in my notebooks to expand the real estate of the page. I typically use them to compose a lexicon library for the book I am reading or to make lists and thoughts that I would like to keep “more private.”
    • PAPERS: I love finding antique papers. They look great in a notebook and these library cards are perfect to make lists.

THE INTERACTIVE SUPPLY LIST and SHOWCASE

This post has actually been on hold for a bit because I have been trying to determine the best way to not only share the tools and why/how I use them but actual examples too. Finally, I had time to not only create an infographic in Keynote but also Thinglink it with all of these resources and examples (linked here and embedded below):

STAY TUNED…

I have also started delivering workshops on this topic of #ScrapNotes and “Notable Note-taking” or “Into the Notebook”. While I haven’t had a moment to share the slide deck or resources, I do have some of the support sites live… check out NoteChef4u instagram for 160+ #scrapnotes examples and Pinterest for 230+ examples and resources to create the “Organized Brain” or at the very least… an organized notebook. I should also mention that all 37 of my interactive notes are posted here.

Erin Barnes at my "Into the Notebook" session at iPadpalooza OU

Erin Barnes at my “Into the Notebook” session at iPadpalooza OU

 

#scrapnotes… the NEXT CHAPTER…

Stay tuned for the next blog posts in the series (or catch up on previous ones):

 

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.”


06 Sep 2017
Comments: 1

iPadpalooza OU Recap

I am going to take a semi-pause on my ScrapNotes series (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 are linked here) to share with you the awesome learning I encountered at iPadpalooza OU. This is the only iPadpalooza that I know of that is held on a college campus and that also caters to preservice teachers and K-12 teachers alike. In fact, Day 1 was all preservice teachers and Day 2 was a smattering of preservice teachers and an awesome K-12 inservice bunch. When I attend events like this, my intent is to learn and return back with new knowledge and tools so I am going to cut directly to the chase and highlight a few of my favorite sessions and tools!
 

SaveSaveGetting’ Bitmoji Wit It: Lara Searcy and Josh Flores

I will be honest I haven’t climbed full force on to the Bitmoji Bandwagon but this session did inch me closer. What I loved about this session is that both of the presenters were dynamic and they really knew their content. You absolutely have to check out their hyperdoc’d agenda and the way they use Bitmoji in rubrics (which is embedded within their slide deck). All of the resources for the session are linked here or embedded within the graphic below.

Walk this Way to Master an Easy Drag and Drop Website Creator: Monica Burns

Even though I have had experience with Adobe Spark Pages, I still learned new things from this session. My favorite gem was the 4 Spark Video graphic organizers that Monica offers on her site. And dude… I had no idea she had just published her fourth book. Wow! All of the session resources are linked here and embedded within the graphic below.

Born to Draw: Reshan Richards

I have been a long time Reshan Richards fan for years. If you remember, Yolanda and I had him on our now archived podcast series, “Appy Hours 4 U” back in 2012.  But I digress… so Reshan delivered a masterful session on the simplicity of drawing. I love how he scaffolded it through 3 activities. All of the activities and descriptions are linked here and embedded below in the interactive graphic.

How Do You Explain Your Job to Other People: Josh Flores

As if the first time with Josh Flores wasn’t amazing enough, he returned again with a most epic keynote. Honestly, this would rank up there with some of my all time favorites Adam Bellow, George Couros, and Dean Shareski. He started by asking all of us how we explain our jobs to others. And then referenced how the world sees us with a simple google search for the word “teacher” which brings up chalk and chalk boards. He likened us more to superhero profiles in a video game and showcased our stats. He even took a jaunt down Hollywood Boulevard to highlight what characteristics Hollywood deems positive and negative in teaching. I have to say the exercise of, “Badly Explain(ing) Your Profession” was the most entertaining for me by far. My interactive notes are linked here and embedded below. I left happy and energized and that is the mark of a most excellent keynote.

 

Into the Notebook session at iPadpalooza OU

TechChef’s Concoctions

I also delivered two sessions both days. All of the session resources are in Participate.

I guess if you have read this post then you will also have noticed that their was a rock band sort of theme to all of the sessions and all of mine were named after Blue October songs. 😉

I should also mention that if you are interested in seeing more examples of these interactive notes that I take… I have 35+ of them pinned here. If you are intrigued with the process, I have a blog post on that here.

And one more thing. You might have noticed that I included a UT Longhorn baseball cap in my blog header image… that was simply to balance out all of the crimson OU and broken and upside down longhorns I saw when I stayed at the Sooner Legends hotel. 😉
 

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.”

SaveSave

SaveSave


09 Aug 2017
Comments: 1

#ScrapNotes: The Complete Guide to PD Note-Taking

“Um… TechChef… we don’t mean to bug you or anything. We totally appreciate this #scrapnotes kick you are on… but you used to write about technology and stuff… and we were just wondering…” It is totally fine… I know you were all thinking this. I do typically share about technology iOS and web applications and processes. I have decided to broaden that definition, as of lately, to define technology as any tool that students have in their hands… and paper and pen… is still a reality… even in schools with 1:1 iPad, Chromebooks, or carts of iPads. But, I also don’t want to swim so far from the shore that it is too difficult to connect the dots back… so this post is somewhat of a hybrid. To date, I have whet your palette for #Scrapnotes with posts 1 and 2… and now I want to share my process for PD Note-taking which expands the horizon for what is possible with pen, paper, and a device.

My Note-Taking Evolution

Many times there is a multi-pronged goal to notes that we take in professional development. Clearly we want to return to them and utilize them in the future. But many times we also want to share them with staff that didn’t get to attend that session or that conference. Previously to finding myself in an extraordinary note-taking situation, I found myself exploring a variety of options:

  • Conference Collage: At first, I created a collage of images from the conference and then thinglinked it with my notes taken in Evernote or links to particular session resources. (Example: Miami Device 2014).
  • Interactive Maps: Then PhotoMapo caught my attention and I began using it as a point of reference. From there I would add pertinent links on top of the maps. (Example: ETT Austin and Summer of 2014).
  • Crafting in Canva: Finally in 2015, I experimented with creating my own image in Canva and using it as the landscape for Thinglink. This afforded me more customization (and the images were beautiful) but honestly it was far more time-consuming. (Example: TCEA 2015 and SXSWEDU 2015).

So at the end of 2015… I started dabbling with this analog note-taking as I mentioned in blog posts 1 and 2 (linked above). At first, my notes for conferences were still very text heavy. But I noticed very quickly a few benefits. I was more focused on what the speaker was saying as I didn’t have notifications popping up in my “notebook” or a plethora of tantalizing tabs open… including my email. I also was only jotting down what I felt relevant rather than trying to gather everything the speaker said in Evernote. Pretty soon I found myself drawing mind-maps and even icons. And sure enough… I found that this style of note-taking was not only better for me as a conference or workshop participant but provided far more insight and information to the people I then shared my notes with.

But these notes were still flat and to make the learning adventure accessible to everyone… I had to go beyond the page. The beauty of this was simple… I could take a picture of the notes (with practically any device… as Thinglink is device neutral) and then add additional thoughts, links, resources on a dimension above the page… so to speak. I received multiple thanks from a number of staff on this process and I found that having the notes in two places made it easier for me to easily retrieve them whenever I needed to refer to them or share them.

My Process

Now I know you might be wondering which way you ought to go from here? 😉 Once you have the notebook you decide to use for your PD Note-taking, I did want to break down my process a bit:

  1. Tabs: I bought Post-it tabs for my notebook (more on supplies in post 4) that I use to separate the notebook for each conference I attend. My intent is to print out labels with titles on them as well… just haven’t had a chance. All of my notes are chronological so this allows me to easily find the notes from the conference or session.
  2. Dates and Titles: In the upper right hand corner, I always include the title of the conference and the date. In the upper left hand corner, I include the name of the session and the speakers and their Twitter handles and emails (if applicable). These get Thinglinked later.
  3. Session Notes: From there, I take notes. I draw icons, build mind-maps and really only write down things that speak to me. Drawing the icons is especially helpful to organize the content. I typically have my phone next to me and I search for an icon and then sketch it while I am listening to the speaker.
  4. More: I oftentimes will go over the notes after the session and add bullets or A, B, C … just to make them a little easier to follow. I will also use the right hand “Action Steps” column in my Behance Action Journal to jot down tools I should look at, next steps, great ideas, etc…

Once the notes are complete, then I snap a pic and Thinglink them with additional info. Below is an example of the interactive Thinglinked notes from the header in this blog post:

I won’t leave you with the lip service… “practice makes perfect” or even “practice makes better”… what I will tell you that with practice… you find your own style and I quite agree that is the best kind of ending… or beginning! 😉

Please don’t forget to check out NoteChef4u instagram for 80+ #scrapnotes examples and Pinterest for 180+ examples and resources to create the “Organized Brain” or at the very least… an organized notebook. I should also mention that all 31 of my interactive notes are posted here.

#scrapnotes… the NEXT CHAPTER…

Stay tuned for the next blog posts in the series (or catch up on previous ones):

 

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.


03 Aug 2017
Comments: 1

#ScrapNotes: The Complete Guide to Book Summaries

With my last blog post “#ScrapNotes: How to Begin Your Journey Down the Rabbit Hole”, I hoped to pique your interest and provide information. With this post, it is my intent to share my process. You may have had a sip of the #scrapnotes potion and now your ideas are so big that you can’t seem to fit them through the door… or into your notebook. I may be a bit mad… but the process that I share should help you keep the journal jabberwocky at bay or at the very least… tame him or her. 😉

But before I do that, I would like to share a disclaimer. Please know that I am not one for fads. I am, however, one that shares ideas, tools, and processes that work for me… in hopes that they may fill a need for you too. I also think that the pendulum between analog and digital is always swinging. I went all digital with notes several years ago and for some things… it totally makes sense. But for others… it doesn’t. I began navigating this analog terrain again at the end of 2015. Since then, I have filled up 4 notebooks and started 3 more and I have to say I haven’t felt this organized and happy in years.

MY HOW

With that being said… I would like to snap (wait for the pun… or the Snapguide… in the case) my fingers and share with you my process. For this I felt like returning to the tried and true tool, Snapguide. There are many different things you can do with a notebook and we will cover a multitude of them in the next few blog posts. For this post… I wanted to narrow in solely on the process of reading or book summaries. I enjoy reading (both personally and professionally) and I am one of those people that loves to highlight in my book. What I was discovering is that I had a bookshelf of books with highlights and post-its but no easy way to commit that info to memory or practice… or to easy access…. until now. So here is my process:

  1. Read and Highlight: Read a book and highlight as I read.
  2. Tuck Away: Set book down for a few weeks. I find that by putting the book down for a bit, I tend to make better decisions about what highlights were really important a few weeks later and only transcribe and #scrapnote those.
  3. Title Page: Create a page that includes the title of the book and the author and the date I am transcribing the notes. I like to mimic the font and color of the book just for fun.
  4. Review Notes: Review the book’s highlights and begin adding info to your notes.
  5. Create a Color Hierarchy: Use only 2-3 colored pens. I try to match the color of the book or the theme. I tend to use one color for headers and one color for subheaders so it provides a nice visual hierarchy.
  6. Visualize with Icons: Icons tend to encompass a multitude of ideas and are easily recognizable. While I can’t conjure and draw these visuals from memory, I am able to look at icon sites and recreate similar visuals.
  7. Embellish Away: Embellish notes with washi tape, stickers, labels, and mementos. Washi tape and labels also serve as a great way to create sections on a page or a visual hierarchy and/or divide.

I think it helps to see visuals for each so I crafted a Snapguide (linked here) to do the trick.

Check out How to Create #ScrapNotes Book Summaries by Lisa Johnson on Snapguide.

MY PROCESS

I would like to get a wee bit more granular with this as multiple people have asked me about the organization of this process. While I am transcribing notes, I typically keep a page for:

  1. Research: I am always collecting research and I don’t always want to return to the book to recall a percentage or study. This page is typically a bulleted list. If the book is super research-heavy, then I include 2-3 pages devoted just to this.
  2. Lexicon Library: I am an author and I have always loved words and phrases. Anything that strikes my fancy gets added here. As this is not the main point of the book, sometimes I will paste a card to a page so I can add this info in there so it doesn’t detract from the rest of the content I am summarizing.
  3. Quotes and Insight: I have always had a hankering for quotes. Anything I find especially pertinent gets added here. I do try to use shorthand and abbreviations as much as possible. I also include page numbers. This is also where I start adding icons, illustrations, and visual equations.

The best advice I can give you… is just start. My process has evolved and been fine tuned over the past two years. If I had waited for it to be perfect, I would never have discovered which way to go. After all… sometimes when you wonder… you find your path.

#scrapnotes are BORN!

If I am using my Moleskine or Luechtturm1917 (which I do for my book summaries), then the pages tend to be a little thinner. This is when I take notecards, postcards, scraps of art, or really anything that adds to the content (both in idea or visually). I add these items in with permanent double-sided tape. Then, I get fanciful with my embellishments and add washi tape and stickers. The items also provide a nice visual hierarchy. Honestly, you could totally leave the fanciful embellishments out, but I have to tell you… this is one of my favorite parts and what makes me so happy each time I open a page to review my notes. Another thing I have noticed is that these visuals tend to heighten my memory for the book and the process. I can often remember where I was when I took the notes and what I was doing at the time.

Please don’t forget to check out NoteChef4u instagram for 80+ #scrapnotes examples and Pinterest for 180+ examples and resources to create the “Organized Brain” or at the very least… an organized notebook.

#scrapnotes… the NEXT CHAPTER…

Stay tuned for the next blog posts in the series (or catch up on previous ones):

 

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.


02 Aug 2017
Comments: 2

#ScrapNotes: How to Begin Your Journey Down the Rabbit Hole

Part 1 of the #Scrapnotes process

Several people have asked me about my analog notes (or #scrapnotes) and so I imagined if there were a few that were intrigued… I might share the info with the edusphere. I am a huge fan of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and the idea of Starting with the Why. I didn’t just magically start sketch noting in analog. There were a few fortuitous things that sort of led me there: 1) I saw a HS student bullet journaling in class 2) a fellow colleague started analog sketch noting and 3) I saw Austin Kleon speak at Book People about journaling on his tour for his “Steal Like an Artist” journal.

MY WHY

Brace yourself… if you are really ready to journey down this rabbit hole… you have to find your why. Yes, several paths converged here… but I was also finding that the notes I typed from professional developments I never really returned to and that I did very little with the highlights from books I read. To be fair, previous to having my boys, I did journal daily and loved to scrapbook. Both of those practices were one of the first things to fall by the wayside when adulting and child-rearing became front and center. Sadly, I didn’t realize how beneficial those practices were to my comprehension, metacognition, and mental retention until I took up the practice again.

It started with one LEGO Moleskine journal and some basic bulleted or transcribed notes. As any practice goes, the more I took notes and transcribed notes in this fashion, the better I got and the more beneficial I found them to be. I also noticed that when I was taking notes in analog, I was less distracted. Because I can’t write as fast as I can type, this process also forced me to slow down and really focus on which pieces of the content matter most.

Scrap Notes Process Part 1

So before you unleash the power of the bottle marked #ScrapMe… ask yourself a few of these questions:

  • Retention: Do I remember information better when I type it or handwrite it?
  • Accessibility: Do I have info from professional developments or books I read that I would like to retain, use, and keep handy? (Research)
  • Organization: Do I enjoy making lists and thrive on a planner? (Research)
  • Creative Crafter: Do I like visuals and craft supplies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this rabbit hole might just be for you. I started with a simple notebook and then evolved to 3 or 4. The idea of bullet journaling is essentially the convergence of a To-Do List, Planner, and Diary. For me #scrapnotes is the convergence of a Journal, To Do List, Notebook, and Scrapbook. I am fully aware that this idea and process takes time to develop and that one blog post will certainly not do it justice… so be expecting more topics in the series.

MY PREFERENCES

Normally, if I was following Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to the letter of the law, I would move to the How. But, honestly, it is difficult to understand the process without choosing the platform. In this case, I wanted to share 3 different types of notebooks and present you with their features. If this is something you really plan on investing time into, then I would also invest the money… nothing crazy… I just wouldn’t use a $2.00 mimsy (flimsy and miserable) spiral notebook… I would consider purchasing a $15-$20 notebook for longevity purposes. All 3 of the ones I mention below include these feature must-haves:

  • Durability: a hard cover
  • Size: are about 8 inches by 5 inches
  • Cinch: boast an elastic band to keep everything safe
  • Enhancements: a bookmark ribbon, and an envelope in the back of the back cover for storing odds and ends
  • Pages: I prefer blank or dotted pages… never lined. In my book (pun intended)… these are total essentials.

Now that I have perfected my process, I typically have 3 notebooks going at a time (e.g. one for ideas, one to summarize books I read, and one to take notes in professional developments). I wouldn’t have known that this is how I wanted to organize them until I just started with one. So know that your first one may look like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum had a hey day with it… and well that is okay. 😉

Now on to brand preferences… I have created an interactive version here.

  1. Moleskine: These are great because they come in so many fun themes from Retro Cassette Tape and Toy Story to Batman and Game of Thrones.
  2. Behance Action Journal: I have one of these in every color. They are fantastic for professional development as they include an Action Steps list on the right side which makes it easy to jot down action items or to do’s based on what you have learned. Did I also mention they come in like 5 different colors? The pages are thick enough that you can write on both sides which is also a perk! (Note: this item is one of the few that is more expensive on Amazon than on its site – I buy direct from Behance and just buy 3 at a time and pay the shipping. They sell for $17.50 each on Behance and shipping is typically $10. Amazon retails them for $27 each.)
  3. Luechtturm1917: I recently tried my hand with this one AND it is quickly becoming my favorite for book summaries. The pages are blank BUT they are all numbered and it includes a table of contents at the beginning. Yes, I realize that I could very well number my own pages… but honestly… if it is done for me… that is a great perk (and time-saver)! Did I also mention that it comes in 16 different colors?
  4. **Passion Planner**: As I am doing a blend of sketch noting, scrapbooking, and note-taking, I use blank notebooks. I should mention that I also use a Passion Planner for day to day scheduling and planning. This is in addition to the notebooks listed above. I divulge this… mainly because some people that bullet journal use their notebook as both a planner and a note-taking device and that just never worked for me (not to mention I don’t have time to draw out weekly calendar spreads… though I appreciate all of the amazing people that do this and share these on Instagram – they are truly a thing of beauty).

I should also mention that both the Moleskine and the Leuchtturn1917 have slightly thinner pages than the Behance Action Journal. I suppose you could write on both sides… but I prefer not to so I end up doing some sort of #scrapnotes (stay tuned on more ideas how to purposefully embellish your own pages) on one side of the page.

If you are like me, I lost you on the notebooks and you have already started adding these items to your Amazon cart. Oh my! I found a Leuchtturm in Lemon, Lime, and Emerald… and… I digress. Before you get any curiouser and curiouser… I hope you are able to get two things from this post… 1) decide if #bulletjournaling or #scrapnotes is for you and 2) select the best notebook to meet your needs.

MY PROCESS and PORTFOLIO

The next few blog posts will touch on ideas, organization, resources, process, planners, supplies, and more. If you are hungry to dive right in… I did leave you a wee snack… my new Instagram, account… Notechef4u (which houses my sample #scrapnotes and #bulletjournals).

NoteChef4u Instagram houses 70+ examples of #scrapnotes and the process.

I am nothing if not thorough… so I also curated a board of 180+ examples, resources, and bite-size morsels of research. Hoping these tide you over till the next installment. 😉

#scrapnotes… the NEXT CHAPTER…

Stay tuned for the next blog posts in the series (or catch up on previous ones):

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.


26 Jul 2017
Comments: 0

TechChef Breaks the Silence…

 

 

The Silence

Twenty years ago I graduated high school. We didn’t have texts, tweets, or chats… we had a spiral bound notebook that we passed back to each other in the hallway between classes. One day a friend of mine and I had a spat. Rather than blocking me or unfriending me, he wrote “Enjoy the Silence” in the notebook and nothing else. This was clearly a reference to a popular Depeche Mode song at the time. Honestly, I have no recollection of the lemon that turned our friendship milk sour that day. But that moment stuck in my brain when I was thinking about you… and I feel like I owe you an apology.

 

The Story

You did nothing wrong and I totally abandoned you… without a word. You didn’t know how much stress I was under or how the book writing gave me a bit of tunnel vision. You couldn’t have known that I was also diagnosed with adenomyosis two years ago and that it has literally reeked havoc on my body, my productivity, and my personal and professional life.

 

All you saw was my last blog, “CoJournaling as a Way to Nurture Positive Tendencies”, posted  a year and a half ago. At that time, I felt drained both emotionally and physically. Sadly, the tool and platform that allowed me to unleash my creativity and bear my soul was the very tool that went by the wayside. It became one more thing… like some friendships do.

 

The problem was I didn’t realize at the time… how much I needed that friendship… I kept up appearances on social media and periodically shared ideas and curated topics… but I remained silent. The longer I kept my silence… the harder it was to break it. Some people schedule a sabbatical to grow and reflect. I, the non confrontational type, decided I could just let blogging go without a word. I was wrong. Blogging is so much more than a task and a checklist to me… it is my passion and oftentimes… I feel like my duty or purpose. The book, now a wrap, and surgery on the horizon… I feel like I can finally come up for air.

 

There is so much I want to tell you… so much I want to share. I hope you will forgive me… let bygones be bygones and let us reconnect again. I hope you didn’t “Enjoy the Silence”… I know I didn’t.

 

So there it is… my last 18 months in a nutshell… a difficult time… and only a handful of friends really knew the physical, emotional, and mental toll it took on me. But you know… we were friends too. And I hope we can be friends again. I hope you can forgive my lapse in communication. I hope we can once again learn and share together.
 

The Sharing

Over the past 18 months and change… I have been busy adjusting and creating a new normal and really experimenting with different styles of learning and creating that work for me. As you know, I love to share these ideas with others because I know that the more we share… the more we inspire and support others on their journey as well. So here goes:

 

I know we have lots to catch up on so I can’t monopolize all of your time in one sitting. You will hear from me again shortly… I promise. 😉

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


16 Dec 2015
Comments: 1

CoJournaling as a Way to Nurture Positive Tendencies

3 Tips for Nurturing Positive Tendencies Through CoJournaling

Over the years, my blog has evolved and my boys continue to grow. I find that the content that I share also becomes diversified. Thus, I am adding a new category… “Leveraging Learning at Home“. While we enjoy the holidays with our families and begin setting goals for 2016, I am reminded of Angela Maiers and the idea of mattering. Her session and keynote at Miami Device really resonated with me. As I spent more time concentrating on this idea, I sought to delve in to the research behind this concept:

MiamiDevice2015_BeFunky

Why Should This Matter?

  • Paying Attention to What Matters: “Mattering is not an ideology… it is biology. Give Lasting Compliments. The things you observe will be the things that will happen.” – (Angela Maiers)
  • Intentional Activity Impacts Happiness: “About 40% of our happiness is accounted for by intentional activity whereas 50% is explained by genetics and 10% by circumstances.” – (Eric Barker)
  • Praise and Gratitude Cement a Relationship: “Emails of praise or thanks… (don’t) just contribute to (our) own happiness, (they) very literally cement a relationship.”  (Eric Barker)
  • Importance of Relationships and Learning: “No significant learning can occur without a relationship.” – (James Comer)
  • Importance of Relationships and Development: “It is through others that we develop into ourselves.” – (Lev Vygotsky)
  • Creating Intentional Environments: “We should focus our efforts on creating environments for our innate psychological needs to flourish.” – (Daniel Pink)

I know that I need positive reinforcement and thrive in environments that meet my innate psychological needs so why not intentionally provide the same thing to my son? After all… these lasting compliments and conversations are free and permanent.

Why CoJournaling Matters

 

What Should You Consider Before or While You Co-Journal?

Diving in to the process of co-journaling, I wasn’t quite sure where we would end up or what the process would look like. Now a month in, I feel like I can provide a little more guidance on initiating and engaging in the process:

Know Your Goals: I found that my eldest and I didn’t have a whole lot of time after school or before bed to chat and reflect and that I also spent a fair amount of time during those waking hours on logistics of getting out the door, getting ready for bed, and/or getting ready for the next day. Additionally, I felt the time that was spent on navigating the dynamic of my boys together was somewhat disproportional to the amount of time spent fostering a healthy mother son relationship with them each individually… especially with the eldest one. So, my goal was fairly simple… to build capacity within our own relationship by noticing and nurturing positive tendencies. Having this in mind helped me guide our ongoing communications.

Know Your Goals for CoJournaling

Embrace the Style of Communication: At first I started writing these somewhat proper letters and then realized that my son was responding with phrases and drawings so I started adding in my own drawings and phrases to link our communication and connect to his style and voice.

Embrace the Style of Communication When You CoJournal

Leverage the Communication: While my goal is to essentially notice and nurture positive tendencies and interactions, I do try to leverage the format to throw in a quote or even note emphasis on communication styles. I don’t ever want this to feel like mommy’s not so covert way to teach grammar, punctuation, academic vocabulary, and letter writing skills so I use this leverage sparingly and cleverly as appropriate.

Leverage Your CoJournaling Communications

 

Every night I try to write a letter reflecting on the day, noting something positive, or addressing upcoming events and then leave it in his room after he goes to bed. He ever so quietly gets up the next morning and immediately starts writing back to me and then leaves the journal in a place I will find it. While I will never have more hours in the day, I do feel like this type of innovation allows us to asynchronously communicate. Please let me state that co-journaling does NOT replace talking to your child but it does provide a framework for nurturing positive tendencies, initiating thoughtful daily conversations, and crafting a feedback loop of gratitude and personal learning.

I can’t tell you how special the communication is between us and how much I relish it… well I guess I just did… 😉 I hope this inspires others to take the plunge and flavor your own type of authentic co-journaling experience. If you do, please share. I know my son would love to know that our experience has served as a launch pad for others. And yes, I did ask him permission before posting any of our  personal communications.

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.

Dates for 2016:


30 Nov 2015
Comments: 2

5 Surprising Ways to Make Amazon Literacy Work 4 U

Amazon Literacy Header

Relevant Side Note: I have to admit I have been negligent with blogging these few months. My website went down in mid September and it has taken me much of the semester to transition and mold it to be what it is right now (more on that in an upcoming post)… But for NOW! 😉

Sometimes it just takes a good kick in the pants to jump start blogging and that is exactly what Ross Cooper (@RossCoops31) did for me with his post, “Are You Amazon Literate?“.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Should This Matter?

So you might be asking yourself why does Amazon Literacy matter… Is this even a thing? Or is this a fictitious dish the TechChef is trying to serve up after the Thanksgiving break? Well, let me paint a picture for you. My go to for pretty much any initial purchase is Amazon.

How to Be Amazon Literate

While Amazon is super easy to find products… it can be ever so cumbersome to locate quality professional development resources unless you are… Amazon Literate:

  • Cookie Crumb Trails: Think about it… to locate quality books on creative writing, I essentially have to find one really good one and then follow the cookie crumb trail of recommendations.
  • Visit Another Restaurant: Recently, I started falling deep down the rabbit hold of visual communication and slide design. I found one amazing book, “Talk Like Ted”, which is really a book designed for the industry… not necessarily the classroom. That moves me to my next point… oftentimes, we get comfortable with what we know – we stick to books and resources that are designed for educators when in reality many of the books designed for the industry are just as impactful and provide a more transparent window into college readiness skills and purposeful practice than any educational industry book alone could. Honestly, I learned far more about the creative process and authentic publishing from Austin Kleon than any classroom-focused text.
  • Don’t Let Reviews Exclusively Color Your Opinions: I do look at the customer reviews BUT I am also realistic. Sometimes one customer had a bad experience (that may or may not be directly linked to the product) and they have decided to lash out in the reviews. I try to scan the middle of the road reviews (3’s and 4’s) because they seem to be more truthful and authentic than the rants or superficial praise.
  • Take a Visual Bite Before You Order: I have to admit that if I can’t get nab a “Look Inside” for a book… I tend not to order it no matter how great the reviews. Sometimes older books don’t have a sneak peek but they can be found on google. My hack for the “Look Inside” is to google the book and see if I can get nab a preview of a page or two that way. If I am successful and the book piques my interest and meets my expectations, then I go back to Amazon and order it.

Though these ideas can guide your searches, there is still a bit of practice needed to master this literacy.

Creative Writing Books

Before I share some ways to hone your Amazon Literacy acumen… I want to share yet another example to sell the skill further. Below is a picture of 9 books that I ordered off Amazon to support creative writing and creative writing prompts AND only one of the 9 books can be found in the first 10 pages of an Amazon search for “creative writing” or “creative writing prompts”. Essentially, without a prowess for Amazon Literacy, I would have never known about the other 9 books.

Blogger’s Note: If you are interested in these 9 creative writing books …I have pinned all of them to this board “Books that Ignite Literacy”.

 

How Can I Practice these Skills?

With Amazon Two Day Prime and my constant need for books and learning… I have had multiple opportunities to hone these skills. In Ross’s Amazon Literacy post, he delineated a few challenges that might be useful in polishing your acumen for Amazon Literacy.

As I don’t want to regurgitate what Ross Cooper said in his post and the superb list that he offered, I thought I would  generate my own list of “5 Surprising Ways to Make Amazon Literacy Work 4 U” (and yes, I totally realize that these are loaded tasks that are in line with my current reality and visual communication rabbit hole):

  • Beyond Education: Find a book that is not necessarily designed for education but could be purposefully used within the classroom. (Explain your rationale.)
  • Attention Grabbers: Share a book that grabbed your attention by book cover alone. (Explain what part of the book grabbed your attention… e.g. color, title, font, image and WHY).
  • Best Collection for a Purpose: You are a secondary teacher and you need to teach your students about slide design and presentation skills. Find the book with the best collection of practical resources, tips, and examples.
  • Accurate Search Terms: Discover search terms that work for you. As mentioned above, a quick search for “creative writing” oftentimes doesn’t locate the books that I really want. Austin Kleon is an amazing author that supports creative writing and his books don’t even rank on the first page. That being said… “The Emotion Thesaurus” does! This book is fantastic but I actually ended up using it with slide design and speaking skills because it talks so much about body language. If you search “body language” in Amazon, The Emotion Thesaurus doesn’t even rank within the first 10 pages. Determining search terms that work for you is truly an art form in it of itself.
  • Surprisingly Educational: Locate a “Surprisingly Educational” book or resource… something that is more rooted in the edutainment field but definitely could be incorporated in to a curricular setting. My three examples for “Surprisingly Educational” are “Artists, Writers, Thinkers. Dreamers”“Medieval Lego”, and “Fictitious Dishes”. The Artists book is fantastic for blending biographies and sketch noting and the Medieval Lego book is stellar for inspiring students to summarize historical events and create visual scenes. The Fictitious Dishes one is a clever spin on dishes that could be drawn from literary works and offers up quotes and anecdotes to support the dishes.

Too often we live in an echo chamber when we search on Amazon… this is why Amazon Literacy is so integral to bettering ourselves as educators and honing our craft with appropriate resources.

 

Why Will Trusted Curation be Our Future?

At some point it is not going to be enough to just google something or search within in Amazon. With the vast amount of content being published each and every day, we have to search for trusted curators. In an effort to provide you with a springboard in to Amazon Literacy AND your holiday shopping cart…, here are 3 boards I have carefully curated to support you:

And… I have one more idea for you… Why not create a collaborative board to share all of the books that you and your colleagues have read that you find instructionally impactful? AND then each of you can comment with your review or how you used it with your classroom… Here is a collaborative board I created for my colleagues to house books that blend education and technology in innovative and meaningful ways.

Ed Tech Shelf: Books for Education and Professional Development
Many thanks to Ross Cooper for allowing me to expand upon his original post. Please don’t forget to read Ross Cooper’s original post, check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @RossCoops31 and please, please remember to share these ideas with others… as you begin to organically grow and hone your own Amazon literacy skills.

 

Where Will TechChef Be Next?

As you may or may not have noticed, the TechChef4u site has undergone a few changes in both design and organization over the past few months.

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know where she will be speaking next… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.


24 May 2013
Comments: 1

Fabulous Fugelstad: App-tastic Artistic Epicocity

Thank heavens for my obsession with Pinterest. Last night I lay awake scouring pins and hit the motherload! I happed upon the Dryden Art weebly page via this pin (seen below). At first I just thought it was an artist showcasing their personal art. Upon further inspection and exploration, I discovered a treasure trove of student examples from this K-5 Art teacher.

Amazing Filtered Art Creations by Tricia Fuglestad

I couldn’t resist – I simply had to blog to highlight a few of my favorites below – but truly you must visit her site:

Enter Art though Puppet Pals 

Students Enter Art using Puppet Pals from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Contour Line Drawing with the iPad

Contour Line Drawing Update from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Heart Houses for Hurricane Sandy Victims

Give our Heart Houses a Home from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Rotoscoping Project on iPads

ROTOSCOPING PROJECT ON IPADS from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Flying Fifth Graders

Flying Fifth Graders from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Tutorials and Templates… Oh My!: Not only does she showcase student art work… she actually provides tutorials so those of us who lack such ability are able to follow along…

Keynote Animation Tutorial from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Audioboo Musical Tutorial

She also offers templates and lessons so we can all achieve app-tistic epicocity too!

Fuglestad’s lesson template for Compare-A-Twist with Picasso and Matisse

Even found a Newsweek Keynote templateshe created. So easy to use. I included my son’s Lincoln art as I will be showcasing some of his inquiry-based work and app-tivities during a BrainPop session at ISTE on June 24th.

TechChef Newsweek using Fuglestad’s Keynote template

 

1 iPad Art iClassroom: And seriously, if these weren’t cool enough, she has a slew of ideas for the 1 iPad Art Room! Want more ideas for the 1 iPad Classroom… visit my recent post showcasing apps and resources.

Ideas for the One iPad Art Room from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

The dynamic and dazzling Fugelstad  knows her creativity and art apps as she showcases many with products, tutorials, and templates. Two of my favorites were the Bobbleshop and Amaziograph app. Oh, and did I mention that her students took second place in a national contest?

Interactive TechChef4u Thinglink

 

1,050+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Summer and Fall PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

“Student-Created Books in the iClassroom” iTunes U course is now available!!!

 

 

Come visit me at ISTE 2013!

 


20 May 2013
Comments: 1

iReflect

One of my most popular posts to date was the reflection I wrote on my site visit to Westlake HS (Reflections on 1:1 iPad – It is a Tool, Not a Toy!) almost a year ago. Little did I know that I would be an iVenger within a few months. When I began my journey with Hill Country MS, we were 8th grade 1:1 iPad only. In fact, we didn’t even know if or when the 6th and 7th grade students would receive their iPads. After the board voted unanimously in December to complete the 1:1 iPad Rollout for K-12, our 6th and 7th grade students also got a taste for iLearning.

As I have tried to chronicle this year in blogs and digital artifacts, this post is no different. Last week, all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teachers met for an iReflect luncheon to celebrate the successes and discuss the challenges of our 1:1 iPad initiative. I frantically took notes and then scoured over them for trends. Rather than share a list of bullets, I decided to create a Haiku Deck to share and display the successes and challenges of our first year of 1:1.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

I will be showcasing these reflections and a 1:1 digital toolkit at the ISTE poster session: The 360 iClassroom.

Whether you are dabbling with a shared cart model or diving in to a 1:1, let’s not forget the importance of reflection. To that end, I discovered this video from an elementary teacher sharing her thoughts on a 1:1.

Interactive TechChef4u Thinglink

 

1,050+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Summer and Fall PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

“Student-Created Books in the iClassroom” iTunes U course is now available!!!

 

 

Come visit me at ISTE 2013!