This summer has been a great learning experience for me, and it is only July 11th! This is a long list, but here are some of the many things I learned so far:
1. EdCamps are wonderful events for quick, yet productive PD and networking. I attended the EdCamp Central Minnesota in June and really enjoyed it. Took away a lot of information and, like with any PD, met some great people. Some for the first time, and some who were part of my PLN on Twitter, shout out to Amanda Meyer! I'm looking forward to the next EdCamp. Also, Global Edcamp is online July 31-August 1. You can find information here: http://edcampglobal.wix.com/edcamp
2. Google communities are great for personal and professional growth! I know I'm coming to this late, but this summer I've really started to read and enjoy the google communities. If you have not looked into them yet, please do! They are a great source of information, networking and, as I found out, people who are eager to share information and help with questions. I have been thinking about changing up a couple of things in my flipped classroom this year and posted questions and got quick responses back from people in the fields I was looking for. This is a great tool for collaboration!
3. Twitter is good and evil. I love following along with things on twitter, but there is an overload point that I have reached a couple of time. As I am writing this I somehow have 301 people following me on Twitter. Not sure how that happened, but it is cool! I have got a lot of great information from twitter and hopefully contribute to great information being shared from my point of view.
4. Even if you don't go to ISTE, which is a wonderful conference, you can get a lot of information from Twitter and Google communities. I did not intend to virtually attend ISTE this year, but got sucked into the Twitter feeds and the google community. As a result of this, and because I knew ISTE has so much good information, I created a google spreadsheet with links of information I thought was good and important. What I thought was going to be a small document turned out to be a 210 item document broken down by days. Here is a link to the document for your review and use, if you find anything that can be useful to you: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JRuKD6VOowhAziysJrFgV7SvtIEU2ytT6x9Gt0tapiE/edit?usp=sharing
5. I like to talk to people about teaching and learning. I have found at EdCamp and from the online areas I really enjoy talking with people about education and teaching. This has led me to doing PD in my district, which I am now entering my 4th year of teaching other teachers in my district, and also doing other presentations. I am doing presentation on Aug. 5 for a Central Minnesota technology conference called Lake ECMECC, where I will be presenting on Using Google in the Flipped Classroom and one on Using Tech for scientific experimentation. If you know people in central Minnesota who use ECMECC they can register for the conference at: http://lake.ecmecc.org/home I am looking forward to this because I get to keep spreading the word about flipping and using tech for good in classrooms!
6. My to do lists for what I want to change in my classes are huge! I know as educators we are supposed to be reflective, but my reflective list has grown this summer to the point where it could be another full time job just to make the changes I want to make. I have had to prioritize what I want to change and hopefully get everything done eventually. My main goal is to get my videos done for a college in the schools physics class. I am working through that process and, I am happy to say, my video creating skills are getting better. I am really looking forward to teaching this course!
7. Relaxation is a good thing! This summer, even with everything I've been doing, has really showed me that relaxation is something I need. My school year is so busy with teaching, coaching debate and speech, and doing PD facilitating, that I really don't get a lot of time to relax. Amy (my wonderful wife) and I have taken time to just get away from home and do fun local things that get us away from the technology and relax. I really needed this time to recharge my batteries.
8. I am an educator and that's ok! This is something I came by kind of by force. One thing I've been trying to discover this summer is what my hobbies and interests are to relax me. I have a strong interest in science and astronomy and really enjoy reading and learning about these fields. But I also find myself really looking at education materials and being drawn to books and materials on this subject as well. At first I struggled with this because I wanted to read something away from my "job" and wanted another escape. Then I remembered my first teaching class at UWS with Dr. Cecila Schrenker who said "If you stop learning, get out of the profession." I hope I am doing her proud by realizing not only am I a constant learner in my science fields, but I am also becoming a constant learner in the art of education.
9. Getting outside is a great way not only to relax, but also to think indirectly! I really don't think I need to go into detail on this.
10. Things change, sometimes for reasons you have control over, but most of the time for reasons you don't. One thing I was told about education is that it is always changing, and if it does not always change something is wrong.
Thanks for reading this post. If you like it, please share it, if not, I am sorry. Please comment below. Enjoy your summer!