210-710-2434
210-710-2434
04 Sep 2014
Comments: 2

I Came for the WHY… I Stayed for the WHO!

A chat with one of our new Ed Techs prompted me to reflect on my last two years with Eanes ISD. And that led me to resurrect an unpublished post I drafted on the plane a few weeks ago…

While preparing for last month’s presentation “AWESOME ePortfolios” at Ed Tech Teacher’s Summit in Chicago, I found myself listening to Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” Ted Talk and reading Austin Kleon’s “Show Your Work”.

Start with the WHY

Simon’s states, “People don’t buy WHAT you do… they buy WHY you do it and that WHAT you do should prove WHAT you believe.”

ePortfolios are AWESome_ETT.003

Discovering the Golden Circle

His Golden Circle centers with a “Why”. The “How” and “What” must then revolve around the “Why”.

What is the WHY?

Applying his tenets and words of wisdom to my own sessions, I couldn’t help but flip the frame of reference on myself.

As I wind down from a very eventFULL summer and become entrenched in my third year as an Educational Technologist for Eanes ISD, I found myself reflecting on my decision to pick up my family and move to Austin to be part of what I very much now feel is my family and by far the best job on earth.

My First Year at Eanes ISD

At my previous job, I knew in my heart that personalized learning was here to stay and that a 1:1 with mobile devices would facilitate that ideal. But what really made me take the Eanes leap… was a very distinct feeling that Eanes special sauce was passion and a clear and compelling vision.

I Came for the WHY

During an inspiring site visit to WHS, I discovered that Eanes ISD didn’t start with the WHAT on a whim: Let’s buy a bunch of devices. They started with the WHY (Learning and Engaging through Access and Personalization) and then moved towards the decision to initiate an iPad pilot. They didn’t say let’s buy this cool mobile furniture… they asked how do we support collaboration and creativity and then designed flexible learning environments to facilitate that. As I dive in to year 3, I have to say their WHY is always at the forefront of their decision-making and I am overjoyed that the 3 C’s as well as social and emotional intelligence will be threaded through instruction as we support the whole child.

After a very reaffirming convocation… I ventured to add a layer to Simon’s Golden Circle… the Who…

Who

I Stay for the WHO

But truly beyond the WHY…. is now the WHO, the people that get the vision and work tirelessly to support it and integrate the devices to transform and redefine the classroom. I feel very blessed to be in a place that supports big ideas, pushing the boundaries, and people that want to challenge the status quo. We hire the WHO to support the WHY.

Our amazing teacher of the year, Norm Morgan, devotes himself to our robotics program at the HS and gave an amazing speech… reminding us all that what students learn in the classroom has the impact to change the world.

133889176318922_a-64eb3f5a_VHf3Uw_pm-2

While we lost two members of our iVengers team this year, we gained two new members. One of which created by far my favorite interview video of all time:

These are just a few of the people (the WHO) that truly support our WHY.

“So as we embark on the 2014-2015 academic year… I ask you to reflect on your WHY… and the HOW, WHAT, and even the WHO that support that vision.” – Lisa Johnson

As you begin to choose tools and apps, plan student projects, attend conferences, embark on new initiatives, and do what you do best… consider your WHY when making these HOW and WHAT decisions.

Hungry for MORE… EXPLORE the TechChef4u Alliteration Alliance!

Check out the other topics in the Ed Tech alliteration portfolio:

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

Receive Access to the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker

* indicates required

05 Mar 2013
Comments: 0

Matching iLessons to Tactile Learning

Just had the pleasure to sit in a session with Alan November. One of his quotable take-aways was, “Leaders should make their teachers heroes.” I am in total agreement and it just so happens that the wonderfully amazing Laura Wright sent me yet another fantastic iLesson showcasing yet another engaging and delightful mixed media iLesson.
 
She detailed how this iLesson played out (and I much app-reciate that not all of the lesson took place on the iPad). While she projected the image of the Matchmatics Lite app below on her own iPad, she provided toothpicks (obviously instead of matchsticks) to the students to recreate the problems at their desks. She went on to tell me, “I think it is important to use these apps in an engaging way. We lose kids if they just watch you solve it.”
 
The goal is to move only one toothpick to make the equation true….great problem solving! Thank you again Laura for sharing such a delightful digital hybrid with us all! And what a perfect idea for the 1 iPad Classroom. If you are interested in seeing Laura’s iClassroom in action, consider a site visit to Eanes Elementary. If you would like to hear Laura share the 411 on 1:1 and publishing student-created iBooks, check out her sessions at iPad Palooza this summer.
 
 

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

Receive Access to the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker

* indicates required

28 Feb 2013
Comments: 1

Stripped Down: The Integrated iClassroom

Bumped in to the creative and delightful Laura Wright yesterday. Here third grade class is the author of “The Life of an Eanes Pioneer”. I have to tell you that there are so many wonderful and exciting things happening in our iClassrooms every day – I am hard pressed to keep up with documenting all of them. Laura took some time out of her afternoon to share a project-based mixed media iLesson that involved students researching a breed of spider, creating an anatomical spider based on that research, and then designing a comic using the Strip Designer app to accompany their spider that would concisely showcase 3-5 facts about their spider. All of the final products were displayed on a bulletin board in the classroom.

Wright’s Class Spider iLesson using the PhotoGrid Pro app


 
What I truly love about this project it was not solely achieved on the iPad. Truly not everything has and should be achieved on the device. We have to ask ourselves, “does the device enhance learning for this project?” Kudos to Laura and her holistic approach to designing her iLessons and truly infusing elements of project-based learning, choice, and collaboration. What I also app-reciate is the idea that not every product has to be digital. While I am a proponent of paperless classrooms and mobile integration, I think there is a time and place to print and retain tactile projects. (Clearly case in point.) In addition to the spider wall (which is truly amazing to see in person), Laura can assemble all of the one-page PDF’s in to one book and make the spider discovery book available to parents and students to download in iBooks as one complete PDF.

Wright’s Class: Spider Project Sample using Strip Designer app


 
Her class is currently working on a follow-up book to the Eanes Pioneer History and has begun their study on bat conservation. I cannot wait to see what her group of students turns out next. Thank you again Laura for inspiring us all! If you are interested in seeing Laura’s iClassroom in action, consider a site visit to Eanes Elementary. If you would like to hear Laura share the 411 on 1:1 and publishing student-created iBooks, check out her sessions at iPad Palooza this summer.

Wright’s Class: Spider Project Sample using Strip Designer app

Check out some other blog entries featuring Laura’s class:

 
Check out the “Stripped Down” blog series featuring Strip Designer app:

  • English Stripped Down Continued which showcases student-created graphic novels supporting the theme of a “Hero’s Journey”.
  • Science and Social Studies Stripped Down which showcased Laura Wright’s Class Bat research and Lisa Carnazzo’s class study of landforms.
  • History Stripped Down which featured Fiske’s class analysis of the key figures in the Enlightenment and included a student app review of Strip Designer.
  • English Stripped Down kicked the series off with a student-created rendition of a Hero’s Tale and a Beowulf retelling.
  • Digital Artifacts (while not part of the original series) shared a primary example of how Strip Designer could be used to showcase learning in the form of a pattern scavenger hunt.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

Receive Access to the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker

* indicates required

23 Jan 2013
Comments: 0

The Life of an Eanes Pioneer Child

I have to say I am just as overjoyed and proud to share Laura Wright’s student-created interactive iBook as I was a year ago when “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” was published. Her 3rd grade students have truly assembled a historical (and dare I say… adorable) publication to honor the heritage of the Eanes Pioneer Child.

The 49 page book includes 9 chapters with multiple sections in each:

  1. Chapter 1: Gone To Texas!
  2. Chapter 2: Pioneer Homes
  3. Chapter 3: Pioneer Food
  4. Chapter 4: Pioneer Chores
  5. Chapter 5: Pioneer Fun
  6. Chapter 6: Pioneer School
  7. Chapter 7: Pioneer Danger
  8. Chapter 8: Pioneer Hospitality
  9. Chapter 9: Giving Thanks

The book includes beautiful sepia filled photos taken at the Eanes History Center, Eanes Historical Cemetery, and the Eanes-Marshall Ranch House. Several apps aided the production of the book including Garage Band to compose their own pioneer music, Pages to aid in writing, and iMovie for video editing.

The Life of an Eanes Pioneer Child

The entire book was assembled using a MacBook Pro and iBook Author. Truly, swiping through the pages of this delightful book, you can tell much care was taken by the students to produce their best work in an authentic learning environment. Laura Wright even includes a “How’d They Do That?” section at the end of the book that further details the project.

The Life of an Eanes Pioneer Child

In her credits, she gave me a shout-out, but truly I want to thank her for inspiring us all and raising the bar on what students can create on the iPad and assembling such a authentic learning treasure and digital delight.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

Receive Access to the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker

* indicates required


03 Jan 2013
Comments: 5

English Stripped Down Continued…

Last semester (it feels so long ago when I say it like that), I shared a “Stripped Down” series that showcased how students are using cartoon apps like Strip Designer and Comic Life to showcase learning across the curriculum.

The “Stripped Down” series included:

  • Science and Social Studies Stripped Down which showcased Laura Wright’s Class Bat research and Lisa Carnazzo’s class study of landforms.
  • History Stripped Down which featured Fiske’s class analysis of the key figures in the Enlightenment and included a student app review of Strip Designer.
  • English Stripped Down kicked the series off with a student-created rendition of a Hero’s Tale and a Beowulf retelling.
  • Digital Artifacts (while not part of the original series) shared a primary example of how Strip Designer could be used to showcase learning in the form of a pattern scavenger hunt.

As we are all returning to school shortly (or have already started back), I thought I would revive the series with two more student-created graphic novels created by Westlake HS Students. Both of the strips were created with the Strip Designer app which was provisioned for each high school student through the self service app on their iPad to support this type of product creation.

Rockysseus: I love that students used a combination of filtered actual photos, hand drawings, and captions to showcase their Hero’s journey. Also love the text which denotes scene changes, plot highlights, and supernatural intervention.

Rockysseus created by Westlake HS students using Strip Designer

The Lion King Odyssey: This comic presupposes that Mufaseus lived. I enjoyed how the students showcased point of view and how they were “playing” each one of the characters. The idea of incorporating Lion King pics and storyline allowed for a fractured fairytale or mock fan fiction element and was truly engaging.

The Lion King Odyssey created by Westlake HS students using Strip Designer

Westlake HS students are part of a 1:1 iPad initiative. More info about this project can be viewed here (Read my observations during a recent site visit). The Board at Eanes ISD recently approved the 1:1 iPad initiative for K-12 students (view board presentation here)!

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

Receive Access to the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker

* indicates required