Summer Professional Development Series: Collaborating with a Global Community

#edtech #atomiclearning SummerPDLogo (2)Are you looking for ways to connect your classroom to the rest of the world? Whether you would like to find internet pen pals (keyboard pals?) or you just want to introduce your students to different cultures and ideas, Atomic Learning's Training Spotlight on Collaborating with a Global Community gives you the tools you need to expand your classroom far beyond the walls of the building.

Connected Educator Month

#edtech #edchat #ce12

With today being the first of August, my reminder app popped up and told me that today was the start of Connected Educators Month. I must have put this into my iPhone when I heard about it at SocialEdCon that happened the day before ISTE got started in San Diego. I remember someone getting up and explaining how it is important for educators that we connect with one another and start to share ideas  on how to move education forward.

When I checked out their website this evening, I found that they have over 80 online events scheduled for this month. 80!

I scrolled down the list and found 10 or 12 activities that interested me right off the bat.

Next, I downloaded the Getting Started Kit so that I wouldn't miss a thing. Going through this guide reminded me of the Spotlight series that Atomic Learning did on Collaborating with a Global Community last year (full of great workshops too).

I am excited with the prospects of this coming month, I hope to find more educators to connect with that are just as crazy about elementary edtech as I am. I find myself getting more and more ideas from my PLN than from anything else in my life, so the more I can add to this the better I get.

So join me in supporting this cause and let's get this ball rolling.

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School

Collaborating with a Global Community

#edtech #edchat

So a few weeks ago I blogged about the new Spotlight feature on Atomic Learning, one of which was a spotlight on Collaborating with a Global Community. After reviewing the information I got excited about applying this to my classroom.

One of the first things I did was to request that Skype not be blocked for our school. After a little negotiation with IT, it was decided that it could be unblocked for my teacher account.

I then went to Walmart and got a webcam for my teacher PC. I kind of splurged and got a really nice one for about $60.

The next thing I needed was someone for my students to Skype with, so I went on Twitter and sent out my request to the Twitter-sphere and within minutes I had a 4th grade classroom in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for my kids to work with.

The teacher and I collaborated on a few ideas and we came up with a great project based on some common teaching standards. And before we knew it our kids were using video chat to work on projects together.

- Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary School

Spotlights Shine on Improving EdTech

#edtech #edchat I don't think I am living under a tech-rock but it seems that if I miss a week of logging onto my Atomic Learning account I miss a lot. Today I logged in to discover a new section called Spotlights. I pull the menu down to see the following Spotlights:

  1. Collaborating with a Global Community
  2. Creating Engaging Presentations
  3. Effective Online Teaching and Learning
  4. Evaluating Web Resources
  5. Video Storytelling in the Classroom

Crud, too many great topics that I could use in my classroom today -- so I picked the first one to see what it is all about.

The first thing to impress me were the Goals -- they are broken down into three quick-read bullet points of Identify, Reflect and Plan. I could quickly review them and see if this was the right course for me. It was, so I continued.
 
The course was then broken down into 4 sub topics; Build Your Understanding, Put the Concept into Practice, Reflect and Apply, and Reference Tools.
 
I then watched the intro video by John Sweeney,an  improv guru who explained the importance of this spotlight. I was hooked so the next part was to decide which of the links to follow next. I did a quick refresh of the Flat Classroom idea and then moved on into the tutorial courses on Voice Thread. That is one of the best things about Atomic Learning courses and workshops, you just need to pick the ones hat you need -- no wasting time with material you already know. Respect my time and I'll keep coming back.
 
So what did I get from this? Inspired by what I learned, I went to my Twitter account and sent out a request for a 5th grade class in another country to work with, I got three replies within the hour. That was my "Put the Concept into Practice" part and next week I will reflect on what has happened.
 
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School