Distracted by Smart Phones and Schools Without Windows

Fewer schools are banning cell phones in classrooms. As smart phones become smarter and schools begin adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), teachers are more open to tapping into these powerful learning tools. Yet for all the great opportunities they present, we still hear a call to ban them or find that teachers are fighting against them for the attention of the students. Recently, social media and digital guru Clay Shirky, posted about why he is asking students to put their laptops away. He talks about the cognitive pull these devices have on our attention and concludes his post with these words of wisdom:

This is, for me, the biggest change — not a switch in rules, but a switch in how I see my role. Professors are at least as bad at estimating how interesting we are as the students are at estimating their ability to focus. Against oppositional models of teaching and learning, both negative—Concentrate, or lose out!—and positive—Let me attract your attention!—I’m coming to see student focus as a collaborative process. It’s me and them working to create a classroom where the students who want to focus have the best shot at it, in a world increasingly hostile to that goal.

Student focus is a collaborative process. The cards are stacked against us in the classroom: the Carnegie Unit (or student hour), a curriculum that believes every child wants to learn about Tunisia in grade three, standardized everything. However, that doesn’t mean we should throw in the towel. We need to work with students to show them how they can manage the digital tools they have in their pockets and harness their power for learning. A few simple steps could be:

  • Show students how to set turn off notifications and set their notification blocker (iOS, Android)
  • Increase rigor –  Have a variety of things to do during a lesson to keep the students attention. The attention span of children is one minute per year to a max of twenty minutes.
  • Use phrases that let students know when you absolutely need their attention and when they can be on their phones (eg. “Screens down” or “10 minutes of focus”). Help them control their Reticular Activation System in their brains.
  • Provide choice in assignments that allow them to use their phones. There are lots of ways to incorporate phones into lessons now: Video, audio, pictures, Google Drive (Docs, Slides, Sheets). Limiting tech to note-taking devices is a missed opportunity.

This list is not definitive, nor is the argument meant to be taken to the extreme. Yes, there are times when smartphones are not appropriate. Yes, some students have a harder time managing their attention than other students. Yes, the primary job of the teacher is to teach the curriculum and the curriculum (as well as the accompanying standardized exam) lends itself to particular teaching methods. That’s OK. Not everybody is ready for the change in teaching style and pedagogical philosophy that accompanies the inclusion of these tools. Rather than avoid these new learning tools because they require us to make a shift in how we teach, lets look at what we need to do to make the most of them.

It may be an urban myth, but the laughable prevailing understanding of why schools that were built in the 1960’s didn’t have windows was because they were too distracting to students. Will we ever look back and feel the same about personal devices?

What CES Means to Schools and Teachers

The dust has settled from CES 2015. News media and social media outlets have moved on to the next item in the news cycle and CES has published their Innovation Awards.  I have shared my stories and pictures with my friends, family and colleagues (aka bragging) and can no longer justify bringing CES up in general conversation. Talking through my experiences at CES, three themes have stuck with me that I think are important for educators to know about to guide them in preparing students for the world they will live in. These themes are The Internet of Things, Innovate or Die, and Automation of Everything.

The Internet of Things

I have mentioned the Internet of Things in a previous post about CES and I have been using the concept in a number of my sessions for a few years now. CES has really driven home how prevalent this will become as companies are striving to become more connected, collaborative and secure. We are capturing so much data today from such a wide variety of sources and connecting so many of the objects we use everyday that it is mind boggling. When my watch, talks to my car, which talks to my house, which talks to the other houses in the neighbourhood. The consequence of this scenario is that we will have algorithms and programs offering us choices or making decisions on our behalf. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but I would like to ensure that my students have the curiosity and open-mindedness to actively seek out alternates and be the masters of the choices they make, or at least being conscious of the programs that are making choices for them.

Innovate or Die

The world is changing so fast that this is one of the key elements to being successful in the modern era, due in part to the the IoT. It is very clear that we can not graduate students who are  a work force of worker bees (see why in the next section below) We must enable our students to be critical thinkers and entrepreneurs. Not entrepreneurs in the economic sense, but rather an entrepreneurial spirit. We need to nurture the characteristics of and entrepreneur in all our students (creative, independent, self-motivated, etc.).

Automation of Everything

Drones, robots, and software that aggregates the data from the IoT means our students will, in theory, have more time for other pursuits and will either be the masters of the robots or at their mercy. I believe that if we do not teach our students the language of coding, they will become dependent on automation instead educated consumers and critical thinkers in regards to the role these devices will play in their lives. We are already seeing this with adults and social media in our society today. Many of their interpretations are based on fear due to a lack of understanding of the technology. Imagine a world of connected devices using algorithms to make predictions and interpretations for individuals who have no concept how that is being done or understand how to manipulate that information to put themselves in control. I want all the students I teach to understand computational thinking and to be the ones writing the programs they need to solve their day to day problems instead of blindly allowing machines to make decisions for them.

From Consumer to Prosumer

This may very well be the most profound shift in our liberal democratic society. Corperations are shifting from trying to get people to simply buy and use their brands to engaging people in ways that the can promote and produce new content with their brand. It is important for us to teach students how this new economy of connectedness works. We need to teach them how to utilize the data collected by these interactions with brands and each other in ways that not just preserve, but manifest their sovereignty. Schools need to ensure their students are in control of their own lives, and not being controlled by the internet of everything. Marketing and capitalism are constantly evolving, and the rate of evolution is being amplified by our technology. Will education systems understand this change fast enough to be beneficial to our students? I recently saw Generation Like, a great documentary on PBS that helps us understand this shift.

For me, CES wasn’t really about all the cool tools and the creative innovation. Instead, it was about the possible future our society is headed toward and a reminder that with progress comes societal change. That rate of change is about to increase exponentially and the kids we teach need to be able to thrive in this environment. Does our education system (not necessarily the actual tools we use) provide them with the skills they need?

EPSB reflections on CES

Mark Strembicke, David Callandar and myself debriefed every day at CES, reflecting on the coolest things we saw and talking about what it means for our school district. Upon returning home, Mark wrote a great reflection he sent out to his team along with some good links that captured some of our discussions. Here is what he wrote:

CES is a gathering of electronic providers showcasing their latest products, some which will soon be on retail shelves, and others that are years away from production or even a sponsor.  Last year’s show saw 160,000 attendee’s from over 140 countries.  This year’s show appeared to be equally as busy.  Manufactures like Samsung, LG, Intel, Acer, Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp were but a few of the big name companies on site.

The show this year had some better organization around specific themes, so it was easier to see all the stuff about a particular topic.  Companies were group into areas like Kids and Technology, Family Technology, Health and Fitness, 3D Printing and even Privacy.  Tons to see outside the usual TV’s, Speakers and Games. One area that was of specific interest was “Eureka Park”.  This was a space set aside for new companies to showcase their ideas.   These are the products before they are even products.

One of the reasons to attend this event is to see where the market is going.  What’s new and what will we see in our schools.  The opening keynote by Samsung was of particular interest.  Below is a 6 minute highlight … worth watching.

(and if you liked that,  you can watch the entire hour of it here: http://youtu.be/Fl0r9Xpjg8k  )

Overall, my impressions on this year’s themes are:

  • Internet of Things.  Big this year is IoT.  While a challenging concept to grasp it comes down to three components.  You first need a sensor to measure something.  Then you need a processor to do something with that data.  And lastly you need communications to send that data somewhere.  Really this can be applied to almost anything.  If can be a case where the music you are listening to on the bus, or in your car, transfers into your home stereo the moment you walk in the door.  It can be your appliances attending to your needs before you ask based on your habits.  Or if could be a plant pot that tells you when you need to water or fertilize your plant or if you need to move them to a brighter window.  It’s truly mind boggling to think of all the possibilities.  The challenge is an ecosystem where they can all talk together vs. a proprietary environment where each company’s products can only talk to each other.
  • Wearable Technology.  There are many manufacturers producing some form of watch-like technology that provides one or more of three themes;  health related info (pedometer, activity information, heart rate) or geographic related info for travel (running, hiking, mapping), and lastly communication information (email, text, messages).  Oh yes AND they can tell time!
  • Robotics.  Most of these were in the form of flying drones with multi-blade helicopter type forms carrying a camera.  New this year was more autonomy with collision avoidance and follow-me features.  As well, features ranges from the professional movie producers to the more consumer grade.  If you want to take a selfie type picture with you and your friends and no one around to take it … send out your drone using your iphone to control it and snap a pic.
  • Self Driving cars were a notable mention (as was all the new tech coming to cars).
  • 3D Printing and Scanning was also a notable mention.  Better, Faster, and cheaper.
  • Bluetooth/GPS Trackers were a notable.  Fine your car keys.  Find your dog.  Never lose your wallet.  Don’t forget your child in the car!
  • 3D headsets … looks to be all the rage.  Lots of people wearing goggles at the show looking around.  Quite funny to watch.
  • Back to the Future … Did the movie get it right about how it would look in Oct 21, 2015.  While flying cars aren’t available, lots of things indeed are here.

I wanted to close off with some specific reports on “cool tech”.  These articles do a better job showcasing the tech than I can.   Here are three links, each with a short video.  See what’s new and exciting.

TV’s and more.  (Good Video clip with summary)

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/tvs-at-ces-2015-are-all-about-color-and-smarts-107425349859.html

Internet of Things (Good Video clip highlighting items)

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/ces-recap-day-1-the-internet-in-everything-the-107320444779.html

A video clip that talks about the LG, Sony Walkman, Smartwatch, Lenvo (good quick watch)

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/ces-day-3-wrap-up-mobiles-las-vegas-of-all-the-107527438824.html

And if you want to know more … google “CES 2015″ and start filtering down to what you want.  Lots of different people writing up reviews and such.

The Internet of Things at CES

For the last few years I have talked to teachers about the internet of things and how inanimate objects in this world are recording data for us to use. The purpose of these talks was about how important it is for us to teach kids how to be masters of this information, instead of letting products use that info to tell us what to do. After hearing the BK Yoon’s keynote on the Internet of Things (IoT), that message is louder than ever.

The main message of his address was how the IoT is a reality today, it is not something we need to talk about in the future tense. He mentioned some very cool characteristics that are needed for it to continue to grow and develop in a healthy way – Connectedness, openness and security.This message has definitely defined my time here at CES. I see it in so many of the products and the slogans.

Connectedness is the way for devices to speak to each other, regardless of their brand (perhaps a bit of a dig at Apple). Everything becomes a device once it gets a sensor and can transmit information. For example, we saw a heated winter boot with temperature controls you set from your cell phone. we also saw a bluetooth padlock that unlocks when you are near it with your cell phone. Better yet, we saw cars with SIM cards that talk to other nearby cars to generate traffic information and connect your car to you and your home.

Openness can also be described as collaboration. Companies need to work together and share ideas and information for this vision of the future become a reality. There were lots of booths that promoted collaborations between companies. The security company ADT and teamed up with IFTTT to create home security programs that you can use to manage your house. For example, a camera at your front door is connected to your doorbell and your phone. When someone rings the bell, you can see who it is and let them in all from your phone.

The final point about security is a tougher one to address at the writing of this blog. I will come back to it after we get to that section of the convention. Seriously, this convention is huge.

 

Samsung keynote ces

An Educator at CES

I am a lucky consultant. The school district I work for, Edmonton Public, has been very good about providing me with professional development opportunities through out me career. I have been to many great educational conferences at home in Alberta and abroad in the US. I have been to ISTE, ATLE, Google Summits and others and I have always come away with something. It is great to find out how other jurisdictions and teachers use the current and newest tech in their classrooms. However, as an EdTech consultant who loves to ponder the future of education (and subsequently society), I have been lucky enough this year to get to go to the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 in Las Vegas.

Calling this a large conference is an understatement. There are over 100,000 people attending. It is held on many floors of multiple, massive hotels. The directory is 410 pages and reads like a phone book. Some of the Confrence tracks I am looking forward to are Kids@Play and Family Tech Summit, Lifelong Tech, Mobile Content and Monetization, TransformingEDU, Wireless and Mobility, and finally Automotive Electronics (OK, the last might be more of a guilty pleasure).

I am traveling with two IT managers from EPSB; David Callander and Mark Strembicke. This is not their first rodeo to CES and I am grateful for their survival tips. They will also be great sounding boards to bounce ideas off and keep me from getting too “pie in the sky.”

My goal for this conference is to discover where technology is headed, see it the latest in innovation in action, and think about how these new technologies will impact our lives and affect the way we teach and learn.

Google Classroom Makes a Debut

Google_Classroom_Logo

I had my first real chance to play with Google Classroom and my first impressions have been very positive. It is a very simple interface and it will ease document management for both teachers and students.

What I like about Google Classroom:

  • Automatically makes a classroom folder in my Drive that contains a folder for each course. Inside each course folder, I can create assignments and store docs that I will be able to use year after year.
  • Automatically creates a folder to store a class assignment. Each new assignment gets a new folder within the class folder. When students make a copy of the doc for their work, it adds it in my assignment folder and automatically puts their name after the title.
  • The conversation stream for the whole class and on individual assignments is a great way to stay connected with students. It is a simple, yet effective, social media element.
  • In the Student view, you can see all your upcoming and overdue assignments on one page (might cause anxiety issues for some students).
  • Exporting assignment marks as CSV files could make for easy input in to student information systems.
  • The classroom code that students can use to enter themselves into a classroom is very slick. This code can be changed so that you can lock it down after the class has started if you don’t want people from outside the class getting in.
  • Tracks who has (and has not) turned in an assignment. It is also easy to send an email reminder to students.

Initial Thoughts

I also have a few things I would like to see changed, but as this is the early stages of Google Classroom, I am sure there will be lots of updates over the next few months and years. One such issue is the “turn in” button. In its current form, students are unable to edit something after they click the “turn it” in button, and the teacher has suggestions/commenting rights. It would be great to be able to toggle that on and off. If I could control the “editability” of the assignment,  I could turn on the “no more editing” feature if it was a summative assessment, or turn it off if I have a formative assessment and would like to provide feedback while they work.

One suggestion I would like to try is integrating an ePortfolio into the file structure Google Classroom automatically creates for the students. In their Classroom folder, students could make an ePortfolio folder that is shared with their parents/guardians and anyone else they choose. Students can move completed assignments to this folder and organize it in such a way that it becomes the archive of their best work over their school career.

2014-08-13_11-39-22

I am not an assessment guru, but any suggestions on how to make this an authentic ePortfolio would be appreciated.

A “classroom” doesn’t necessarily need to be for one course. It could be used for differentiation within a class (groups of students each assigned to a “classroom”). It could also be used for professional learning groups. And with a little more thought, I am sure I could come up with a way to use it as a project management tool for project-based learning and District level administrative projects. Lots of possibility here.

For more info, check out the following links:

The Classroom Common Password Faux Pas

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get a class of Grade 1s to log into a computer. These little ones who barely know how to spell their first name are being asked to type a UserID that is often a combination of first and last names. Then they enter their randomly generated password, an assemblage of letters and numbers that do not resemble anything in the English language (although, every now and then the randomly selected letters spell a word, and that word is something a child shouldn’t know how to spell). Every spelling mistake, every error, increases the amount of time a student is not on task and increases the level of frustration. One solution seems to be to standardize the students passwords, so that every kid in the class has the same one. This way, the teacher knows everyone’s password and can easily help a student who is struggling to log in or forgot the password.

Although this classroom management tip may speed up the login process, it actually quite risky regarding the security of information and it misses an opportunity to teach digital citizenship.

Security of Information

Most school districts (including EPSB) have adopted single-sign-on policies. This means that you only need one UserID and password to get into all district applications and documents. Given that the formula for the UserID is both standard (eg. j.doe) and published (in Google Contacts). If everyone has the same password, any student could easily access all the records of another student. While this might seem very improbable for the grade 1s to figure out, it creates opportunities for other risky situations.

One thing we are noticing is that students aren’t changing their passwords. Our data has shown that if a grade 1 teacher had a common password for a class, many of those students will still have the same password in grade 6. Also, sometimes that password is written on the board or in a public space for the grade 1s to be able to easily see. This makes it easy for anybody in the school who has figured out the UserID formula to be able to log in as any one of those students in the class.

Granted, identity theft among students is not rampant or overly problematic. It is easy enough to deal with those we catch on an individual bases. However, another bi-product of the common password is the cloak of anonymity. The following true case study will explain the term:

A student in Grade 2 created a Google Doc with his school account and shared it with his buddies’ school accounts. The Doc was used to post links to websites he liked and was not intended for the teacher. Eventually, one student typed a bad word, which led to another student adding a worse word, which lead to yet another student adding pictures of women in underwear.  Using the Revision history of the Google Doc, we were able to find which student added the inappropriate content. When confronted, his response was “You can’t prove it was me. We all have the same password.”

Truthfully, I am a little impressed at the students cheeky cleverness. Unfortunately, however, this story is not uncommon. My department has received a number of similar reports, thus the impetus for this post.

Teaching Digital Citizenship

Mike Ribble has included Digital Security (Self-Protection) as one of his Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. He states “As responsible citizens, we must protect our information from outside forces that might cause disruption or harm.” It is never too early to teach our students that they can take ownership of their own digital safety. It is worth taking the time to show our students how to manage passwords as well as show them how to protect their data. Here are some classroom tips that may help:

  1. Have students change their password at the beginning of the school year. It is good practice to change passwords at least every school year or new semester. Help students get used to this by starting the year with a new password.
  2. For younger students, use word wall words. Have students pick a word from the word wall. Some passwords may require five or more digits, so you may have them also choose a number they can see in the room.
  3. For older students, teach them some password tricks. There are many ways to create strong passwords (see WikiHow – How to create a password you can remember). Using a new approach each year would teach students a wide variety of techniques that they could apply outside of school. I like the suggestion to use Mnemonics – connect the first letters of a sentence (The only thing we have to fear is fear itself = totwhtfifi. Throw in some capitals and numbers and Bob’s your Uncle)
  4. If you have Chromebooks and students who have trouble remembering both the user name and the password, give them the same Chromebook each time. A Chromebook remembers the login ID of the last nineteen people who used it (it does not remember their password). Students can use a picture of themselves or an icon they recognize and would then only need to select their icon and enter the password to log in. That way, they really only have to memorize one thing.
  5. Find out where you can access or change your students passwords. Students school accounts are not owned by the students and teachers have the right to access them (and it is important for them to know this). Most Districts have systems in place to assist teachers in helping studetns get logged in or change their passwords.

Its not easy teaching digital citizenship to our students. Often it involves skills we have yet to learn ourselves. However, it is important our classroom practices align with good digital citizenship practices.

SMART Tables as an iPad Center in K-3

More and more we are seeing iPads being used as a learning center in K-3 classes. Typically, a teacher will have four or five iPads all linked to one iTunes account. Apps can then be bought and shared between the iPads and organized into thematic folders. (It is important to note here that unless the teacher is using Configurator, this practice violates the iTunes Store Terms and Conditions – section MAC APP STORE PRODUCT USAGE RULES). As these iPads are not set up for individual students, most of the educational apps used do not collect learning data and tend not to be collaborative.

One solution that has promise is the SMART Table, where students can use it as a center to collaboratively solve problems and learn through playing. The idea of immediate feedback and the potential for the collection of learning data is excellent.

However, before we get too excited, there are some fundamental problems with the table. The first is cost. They run between $7000-$8000 CND, which might be worth while if the table managed learning analytics, but it doesn’t – at least not yet. Also, in order to set up the table for students to use, the teacher needs to insert a USB key. It makes sense to have a lock on the teacher screen, but a USB key seems a bit 2003. The resolution is good, but the screen would occasionally disappear for a second or two.

Finally, and most importantly, it is difficult to see how the learning is improved through the use of the table. If the goal is to improve collaboration, the table is an expensive alternative to manipulative and games already in the classroom. As well, some of the learning activities immediate feedback told students they got the answer right, even though they selected the wrong answer.

There remains a lot of potential in a SMART table in the K-3 classroom. Unfortunately, the price point and the lack of an improvement in learning puts this device in the “Maybe in the Future” category.

A Google Drive Tip for Starting the School Year

There are as many ways to organize your Google Docs for you classroom as there are teaching styles. As you think about how you are setting up your classes this year, be sure you find a system that works for you and your students, both organizationally and pedagogically. Here is one way that I have used with my class. Feel free add how you organize Google Doc for you class in the comments below.

The first time you use Google Apps for Education with your students, have each student create a folder and then share that folder with you. It is best to have a format for the title that they all use -[UserName] [CourseName] for example (a.trang15 Soc30-1a).

Student Folders 1

Make a class folder in My Drive. Then, go to “Share with me” in Drive, select all the subject folders created by your students and drag them into your class folder. When a student makes a file and puts it in their subject folder, it will automatically be shared with you.

Student Folders 2

Tips to make this work for you:

  • The first action of any assignment using Google Apps should be “Put the assignment  in your subject folder.” This way, students have handed in the assignment before they even begin, which is great for Assessment for Learning and tracking/organization.
  • Use the Drive App on your phone or tablet and as you walk around the class, look through their subject folder to ensure they have added the file properly.
  • Use the user IDs to quickly create contact lists or groups. This is best done with dual monitors, where one monitor has Drive open to your class folder and the other monitor has Gmail Contacts open.
  • At the end of the year, delete the Class folder. All the student sub-folders and files will still be in your archives, but not in in your Drive list. You can still find them by searching for the doc or file.

Effective Professional Learning through Google+

As Edmonton Public Schools migrates from Outlook to Gmail, one of the apps that will appear on everyone’s radar will be Google+. Google has been promoting and forcing the sucess of G+ by integrating it with it’s successful aquisitions, such as Blogger and YouTube. Although the motives for the integration are not educational, it can provides us new opportunities for just-in-time, authentic, job-embedded, cost-effective professional learning.

Hangouts

Hangouts can profoundly impact the way we deliver professional learning. In our current model, we ask staff to travel to a school or the central office to hold professional learning sessions at the end of a day of teaching. The average travel time is around half and hour, which means that in order for the trip to be worth their time, we need to meet for a minimum of an hour and a half. Not all of the work done in that time is immedately relavent and pushes us into the “just-incase” zone of learning. However, teachers that meet in hangout afterschool do not need to travel anywhere. The time together could be as short as 15 to 20min and focus on a topic that is timely and relevant to their context. As a result, hangouts can also be done during spares and breaks. With the efficiency created by hangouts, smaller groups can meet for a shorter duration at an increased frequency, improving the job-embedded nature and effectiveness of the professional learning.

Some potential ways to use hangouts for professional learning may include:

  • Broadcast a discussion about a current topic in education (assessment practices, emerging technology, pedagogical theory, etc) by experts and practitioners for those in the District who are interested.
  • Collaborative planning with specialists from around the District.
  • Model and broadcast best practices. Have an expert broadcast a guided reading session with reading experts annotating and commenting on the process as it happens live.
  • Teacher records a lesson and a panel can provide feedback (similar to the old instructional walk-throughs)
  • Tech Support through sharing displays
  • Assessing student work. Share examples of student work at various levels and have colleagues discuss and establish norms for assessment.

Circles

Circles are a great opportunity for teachers to build their own professional learning community. Circles are similar to Twitter lists, by clicking on the circle you can see what everyone in that circle has posted. This may really open up the lines of communication because teachers can pull the information that is of interest to them, instead of recieving an email with all the generic district news as controlled by the Communication department (they do a good job, its just hard to be releveant to all staff in a weekly email). Properly set up circles will inform teachers of news that pertains to them around the district as well as provide information about professional learning opportunities. Circles can also provide teachers with the most current information available about the topics they are interested in as well as give them an opportunity to post and share what they are doing in their class.

Some potential ways to organize circles:

  • By School. Put all the staff at your school into a circle to get a sense of what is happening school-wide.
  • District Network. Create a circle of the people who influnce your work and who are not in your school. This would include Senior Managment, District News sources (Communications, IT, HR).
  • By professional network. Add internal and external people who share an interest of yours (assessment, edtech, UDL, etc).
  • Grade level/subject area. Similar to a collaborative board on Pinterest, share lesson plans, activities and resourses for classes that you teach
  • General Interest. To inspire creativity and prevent you from living in an echo chamber, create a circle of people you wouldn’t normally follow or create a non-work related topic (food, sports, fitness, cats, etc).

Communities

Communities function like a Facebook Group. They can be private or public and are a great place to coordinate resources, events and reflections on any given topic. Private communities are best built though natural connections in the offline world. However, public communities can be open to the District for people who are interested in a topic, but do not want to put together a circle. Community posts will appear in all community members’ notifications. Its a way to stay connected to the concepts, information and learning without having to connect profiles.

Some potential communities could be:

  • Private – School Groupings that meet monthly or bi-monthly. A way to stay connected in the “in between” times.
  • Public – Topical , for those interested in research and information on authentic learning, EdTech, assessment, UDL, etc.

This are only a few of the ideas that G+ may have on professional learning. We will see how they play out and what we learn as we go along. There are other elements of G+ not covered in this post, such as Pages and Events. I will need to play around with these a bit more before I can comment on their usefulness.

I am looking forward to getting G+ in our District. It will provide us with some exciting opportunities to look at new ways of delivering effective and efficient professional learning.