08: Personalized learning with Canvas

November 6, 2017

SHOW NOTES

During Episode 08, we had the pleasure of chatting with Travis Henderson at Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, IA. Travis teaches AP Psychology and also teaches American Studies to language learners. This is his fourth year at West High. Iowa City West has gone 1:1 with Chromebooks and Travis shares some of his insights on this transition. 

KEY POINTS

Blended Learning takeaways for Travis:
1) Allowing kids more autonomy in class
2) Less demands of homework outside of class
3) More respectful tasks for students
4) Made class time more engaging
5) Gives students more ownership in their learning
6) Pacing is improved
7) Students more prepared for discussions within class

Experiences: 
How might we create experiences for our students that are immediately necessary and relevant for their learning? Canvas and Chromebooks provided resources for deviating from the traditional model of learning to one that is more tailored towards the needs of students.

Student Thoughts:
1) Appreciate having all their classes in one place
2) Appreciate the instant feedback that is possible with Canvas and devices
3) Appreciate the time that is freed up from having more autonomy within the classroom

Three tips for being successful as you begin with Canvas and devices:
1) Don't feel like you have to go all in right away
2) Use it as a communication tool
3) Ask for help...don't be afraid to reach out to others for suggestions

Communication more efficient
Access to digital version of their texts

TAKEAWAYS

Blended Learning: A great strategy for building more autonomy within the classroom.
Communication: Canvas and devices streamline communication
Digital Resources: Digital versions of texts more accessible
 

 
CONNECT WITH US​
Have an idea for a future episode? What about some feedback that you feel could make this podcast better? Contact us at  listenlearnleadpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @a_fenstermaker | @MrStimmel

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07: Level Up Your Google Drive

October 19, 2017

SHOW NOTES

We had the opportunity to chat with Jen Giffen. Jen is a friend from Canada that shared some great tips and tricks on leveling up your game with Google Drive. Jen is a Digital Literacy Resource Teacher for the York Region District School Board. In addition, she is a Google Certified Innovator, Trainer and Flipgrid Ambassador. Check her out on Twitteror her blog

KEY POINTS

​Google Drive Tips/Tricks

  • Folders: Best to create parent folders. You can color code your folders to help with organization. You can also add emojis to the names of your folders. (Emojicopy, or CopyPasteCharacter)
  • Star Feature: Right click on any folder or file, click the star. These files/folders will show up in the "starred" category of your Drive. 
  • Shared with Me: Think about your sent email. They aren't really organized. If you want to manage those files easier, click on the file, then click the Add to Drive icon (+ with Triangle at top right). Then it will prompt you to organize. Place the file/folder in a location that makes sense to you. 
  • Advanced Search: Little drop down arrow at far right of search bar in Drive. This allows many options for customizing a search to find those hard to locate files/folders. 
  • List vs Grid View: Quick way to toggle between a list view of items or a grid view which appears like little cards.
  • Preview: Click file in Google Drive, then press the "P" key to get a quick preview of the file without having to open the file. ​

TAKEAWAYS

 

 

CONNECT WITH US

​Have an idea for a future episode? What about some feedback that you feel could make this podcast better? Contact us at  listenlearnleadpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @a_fenstermaker | @MrStimmel

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06: Dads as Principals

October 2, 2017

SHOW NOTES

We had the chance to chat with Nick Proud, principal at Garner Elementary, and Eric Ewald, principal at Van Allen Elementary. During our conversation, we had a chance to chat about a recent change that was sparked by the National Principals Conference. In addition, we were able to discuss some of the amazing changes that are currently taking place in the Iowa City School District. 

KEY POINTS

Relationships: Conversations and connections that are made at conferences can trump the content. 

Dads as Principals: We’re Dads. And as Dads we wear lots of different hats. We are educators, we are Principals, we are…a lot of things, but we are Dad’s first! Nothing else is more important than our role as a Dad. @DadsAsPrincipals has teamed up with @MakerDads to bring you #DadsOnDeck - a weekly podcast geared towards Dads and other male role models who want to share their commitment as a Dad and share their story about being a Dad.

Danny Bauer: Better Leaders, Better Schools podcast interview with Dads as Principals team while at National Principals Conference

Mission: Focus on our families through some challenges that provide some perspective on the balances of life and work. 

TAKEAWAYS

Balance: It is easy to be work focused and let it creep into the valuable time that we have with our families. It is important to find a balance to ensure that what matters most is front and center at the appropriate times. 

Energy:​ There can be a ton of excitement about change. However, the key is to continually focus on the bright spots of the change rather than the obstacles that might interfere with sustained change. 

Patience: Make sure to take small steps rather than large, drastic ones. Change takes time and trying to do everything at once can lead to stress, failure and ultimately burn out of teachers. 

Connect: It is important to find your people that are positive, upbeat and can assist in your growth in times of change. 

 

 
CONNECT WITH US
​Have an idea for a future episode? What about some feedback that you feel could make this podcast better? Contact us at  listenlearnleadpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @a_fenstermaker | @MrStimmel

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05: HS Teachers as Students

August 31, 2017
SHOW NOTES
Our two guests are Melissa Nies and Jon Bach. When this episode was recorded, Melissa and Jon both worked at West High School in Iowa City. They reflect on their experience of shadowing students for a day. 
 

 
Key Points
Relationships: Developing and fostering relationships with our students are critical to ensuring learning experiences that meet the needs and styles of the diverse learners we interact with on a daily basis. 

Effective/Efficient Instruction: It is important that we utilize formative assessments to continually refine and adapt instruction to the needs of our students. 

Feedback: Student voice is essential for educators to gain insights into the needs of students. Not all students love being "students". Getting feedback from students can help us differentiate the experiences in our classrooms so that we can begin to engage all our students. 

Takeaways
Assuming
: We cannot assume the worst for our students. We all have priorities. To assume the worst for a student's actions is a disservice to them. Getting to know our students will help us better understand why they might be disengaged, tired, anxious, etc. 

Experiences: Create experiences that are inviting to students that might not be fully interested in your specific content area. How are you going to design lessons that tap into authentic tasks for all your ranges of learners and their styles? 

Empathize: Being a student is physically and emotionally exhausting. Building empathy for our students and everything they bring to the table is essential in creating effective and efficient instruction. 

 

 
CONNECT WITH US Have an idea for a future episode? What about some feedback that you feel could make this podcast better? Contact us at  listenlearnleadpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @a_fenstermaker | @MrStimmel

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04: Jr. High Teacher as Student

June 1, 2017

SHOW NOTES

Mary Morrison is a personal development teacher at Southeast Junior High for 7th and 8th grade students. Southeast Junior High is part of the Iowa City Community School District in Iowa City, Iowa. 
 

 

DEPOSITS IN THE BANK

Making connections and building relationships with students is a critical component of teaching. As George Corous stated in the Innovator's Mindset, "Innovation will never happen in education if we do not first focus on relationships."

Deposits in the Bank

  • Positive interactions with students
  • Allow for withdrawals
  • Hard to withdrawal if no "money" in the bank

Tips for adding Deposits

  • Lunch Bunch: lunch with students
  • Greeting at the Door: greet students at the door when they come to class
 

 

KEY POINTS

  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens (Relationship Bank Account)​
  • Labels: Can create barriers to developing relationships with students. Don't define a student by a single class or interaction. 
  • Environment: Can add extra challenges for students. Must give each student a blank slate each day. Each kid is an individual.
  • Observing a Colleague: A great way to get different strategies for instruction. Reminder to keep a growth mindset.
  • Effort: You aren't always going to see the fruits of your labor, but you have to believe it. You can't get set in your ways. Teaching and learning are processes. #kidsdeserveit
 

 

THOUGHTS TO PONDER

1) Growth Mindset-What are some ways you can observe other colleagues teaching? Could you do a learning walk? Could you watch a video of them teaching? Teaching is an art and taking the time to observe our colleagues is a great way to push our life long learning.
2) Power of Relationships: What might be some ways you can continue to build the relationships you have with your students? 
 

 

CHALLENGE

Share your relationship building strategies

​1) What is your favorite strategy you have used to build relationships with your students? 


2) We plan to highlight some of your favorite strategies on future episodes. 

 

 

CONNECT WITH US

Have an idea for a future episode? What about some feedback that you feel could make this podcast better? Contact us at  listenlearnleadpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @a_fenstermaker | @MrStimmel

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03: Jr. High Principal as Student

May 16, 2017

Michelle Cook who is the principal at Southeast Junior High in Iowa City, IA shared her experience of shadowing a student for a day. 

 

 

3 QUESTIONS TO ASK

Many teachers don't have the luxury of time to shadow a student for a day. However, there are many ways to solicit feedback from students to get a perspective of their learning. Whether using a Google Form or sticky notes, try asking these three questions: 
1) What should I stop doing? 
2) What should I keep doing?
3) What should I start doing? 
 

 

KEY POINTS

  • Inspiration: Shadow a student challenge on Twitter. 
  • Perspective: Important to keep perspective for both students and teachers
  • Empathy: Better understand the needs of students and teachers
  • Modern Experience: More access to tech provides more opportunities, however, the experience is similar to the past. Still mostly teacher led, similar classroom setup.
  • Change: Tech hasn't done what we think it is actually capable of doing. Innovation doesn't just happen because you add technology.
  • Challenges
    • ​Sitting: Lots of sitting for students
    • Uncomfortable desks: work in groups by moving desks, but traditional classrooms typically have a "front" of the classroom. Makes it uncomfortable to move desks and then have to turn to look/listen to teacher.
    • Phones: Hard not to be on them when disengaged from learning experiences
  • Relevant: If learning isn't relevant (for teachers or students) then what is a reasonable expectation (phones, movement, etc).
 

 

THOUGHTS TO PONDER

1) Movement: When designing lessons, be mindful of movement. Are students comfortable in the classroom? How many transitions will you have? 
2) Class Layout: Traditional classroom with a "front" of the room can hinder students being comfortable. It is important to be mindful of layout for collaboration, small group instruction and whole group instruction. 
3) Modern Learning Experiences: How can we transform instruction by leveraging tech? Time needs to be dedicated for teachers to collaboratively transform learning experiences in a modern world. 
 

 

CHALLENGE

Seek Feedback from Students
1) Google Forms, sticky notes, other resource for feedback
​2) Ask three questions: 
1) What should I stop doing? 
2) What should I keep doing?
3) What should I start doing? 
3) Share your learning: 
                         1) Twitter: Tweet it out and tag it with #L3podcast
                        2) Email us: listenlearnleadpodcast@gmail.com
                        3) Share with a colleague

 

 
CONNECT WITH US:
​Have an idea for a future episode? What about some feedback that you feel could make this podcast better? Contact us at  listenlearnleadpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @a_fenstermaker | @MrStimmel

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02: Elementary Principal As Student

May 1, 2017

Eric Ewald who is a principal at Van Allen Elementary in North Liberty, IA, shared his experience of shadowing a student for a day. 

Alice Keeler Quote
"If your complaining about your students, change your lesson plans." 

Eric's Top 3 Twitter Recommendations
Adam Welcome
Pernille Ripp

George Couros

Eric's Top 3ish Book Recommendations
Hacking Leadership by Joe Sanfelippo & Tony Sinanis
Power of Branding by Joe Sanfelippo & Tony Sinanis
When Fish Fly by John Yokoyama & Joseph Michelli 
Kids Deserve It by Todd Nesloney & Adam Welcome

Thoughts to Ponder
1) Perspective is Key to everything we do in life: 

  • Good to step back, see things through lens of students because we are here for them
  • A student's perspective clarifies how diverse and differentiated lessons plans need to be

2) Building Relationships

  • Foundational to understanding our students on a more personal level

3) Respect Students

  • Don't ask students to do something you wouldn't do as an adult​
  • Provide autonomy for them to move---lots of sitting in a day

​4) Reflect

  • Good practice to reflect on instructional practices...."doing it because its the way you have always done it" might be a good time to reflect. 
  • Get to the core of what we really know is best for students.

NEXT EPISODE:
Episode 1 explored an elementary teacher (Patrick Snyder) shadowing a student for a day while episode 2 was an elementary principal's (Eric Ewald) experience. Looking ahead
to episode 3 and 4, we will shift from an elementary lens to a junior high lens of shadowing students. 

 

CONNECT WITH US:
​Have an idea for a future episode? What about some feedback that you feel could make this podcast better? Contact us at  listenlearnleadpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @a_fenstermaker | @MrStimmel

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01: Teacher as Elementary Student

April 14, 2017

With teachers wearing so many hats, it can be easy to lose sight of what life might be like as a student. Spending the day as a student is a great way to provide authentic insight into what elements bring joy to learning and which might provide some challenges. We were able to catch up with Patrick Snyder at Garner Elementary in North Liberty, IA. Patrick serves as an Instructional Design Strategist for Garner, but had the opportunity to become a first grade student for a day. 

 

 

NEXT EPISODE:

Episode 02 will feature Eric Ewald who is a principal at Van Allen Elementary in North Liberty, IA. Eric also had the chance to become a student for the day. We will hear his reflection on the experience. 
 

 

CONNECT WITH US:

Have an idea for a future episode? What about some feedback that you feel could make this podcast better? Contact us atlistenlearnleadpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @a_fenstermaker | @MrStimmel

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