Saturday, June 20, 2015

Spellbound With the Endless Possibilities!

ISTE's 2015 
Ed Tech Coaches Playground~
Cast a Spell for Learning!

@Kitty_Tripp, Director of Instructional Technology, Greenwood, SC

How are you telling the stories of the classrooms and schools within your sphere of influence? Using a mixture of these magical tools, explore the power of how your “educational stories” can reach a national and global audience! Administrators, teachers, students and any other community of learners will be spellbound by the power and potential each tool offers. As you utilize these tools, be amazed as the doors of a whole new world of opportunity opens up to your educational community!

1. Google Hangouts

Whether you're using Google Hangouts or Google Hangouts on Air, this video conferencing tool allows you to communicate with anyone in the world who uses Google.

This year my district started our technology cohorts and one of the main ways this group of 100 teachers collaborated was through Google Hangouts on Air.  These Google Hangouts were broadcasts through YouTube to all the educators live that day or later when they went back to view the video on YouTube.

Another way I utilized Google Hangout was meeting with my technology coaches for our weekly meetings.  Because the coaches were greatly needed out in the schools, we were able to still communicate as a team because of Hangouts.

Because I am new in my job, many of my collaborators are on Twitter.  Several times this year, I found new contacts who were experienced Directors of Instructional Technology and we used Google Hangouts to problem solve and troubleshoot issues I was dealing with.

As I work with teachers throughout my district, one of the major skills I'm promoting is collaboration beyond the walls of their classroom.  I've seen teachers begin using Google Hangouts to connect with classes they've met through Twitter or other social forums and communicate on an array of curriculum issues.

So, what's your story on using Google Hangouts.  I'd love to hear how you integrate it!

2. Padlet

When I was in the classroom as a teacher communicating and collaborating with classes across the world, Padlet was a quick and easy way to gather information from our collaborators.  A quick "tweet out" brought instant information no matter where the location of our contacts where. Whether using this tool for "in class use" or "across the globe" questioning, Padlet is a must for your toolbox!

One of the most unusual ways I've used Padlet was creating a global birthday card.  I was amazed when I sent this Padlet out, how quickly it began filling up and I'm sure it will be a birthday @klirenman will always remember :)

3. Voxer

Prior to #ISTE2014, I was introduced to Voxer through a collaboration challenge ISTE used to help it's participants connect.  Ever since then it's taken my collaboration to a whole different level.  

Unlike Twitter that allows you only 140 characters, Voxer not only utilizes texting and pictures, but also voice messages which provide a much more indepth capability to communicate and collaborate.  This year, I've been able to experience rich conversation with (at the time) were complete strangers and are now people I talk with on a daily basis!  I cannot imagine my life now without Voxer! 

My Voxer groups include both few and many participants.  The smaller groups are definitely where you can have many more indepth conversations.  

Check out this excellent blog post by @pernilleripp about Voxer, "Why You Should Be Voxing.

4. Twitter and Storify

After being on Twitter for 5 years, by professional life has changed in ways I could never imagine! Twitter allowed me to connect my students to places all over the world and now in my position as Director of Instructional Technology, I use it to continue growing in my professional as well as communicate and collaborate with people in my district and beyond!

Storify was a tool I saw @wkrackower use with #satchat, and I quickly began using it with #sced chat, a group of educators across my state.  This tools allows you to organize tweets and develop a "story" or record of what you're wanting to document.  A global friend of mine documented her classes' Twitter interaction with an author and created an amazing resource her students will never forget.  Read more about this experience!

Below are two different examples of Twitter chats I hosted on #sced chat and was then able to share these conversations in other social media forums.  

Whether you joined me live at #ISTE2015 or happened upon this blog post, thank you for coming by! I would love to hear how implementation of these tools bring amazing learning experiences to your corner of the world.  Also, if you'd like to recommend any other technology tools, I'm always ready for a new challenge! 



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