Monday, June 29, 2015

3 Great Things About The SHIFT Symposium 2015

Recently, I spent two days learning at the SHIFT Symposium in Humboldt County. This was a high energy and fun symposium focused on helping all of us keep up with the shifting sands of education. In this third year of the symposium, started by +Colby Smart, his team continues to put on a 'CUE' level event that provides our northern California educators with high quality professional learning within driving distance.

In the beautiful, new Sequoia conference center, Humboldt County Office of Education hosted 200 educators for two packed days of connecting and learning that featured over 40 sessions and awesome Keynotes. Here 3 great things about the SHIFT Symposium 2015.

1.  Wifi
I presented four different sessions over the two days and the wifi worked perfectly in all of them. Each of my sessions required participants to go online and create, contribute and connect, so wifi was critical. It worked great, the whole time, something that larger conferences often struggle with even today. With our basic needs being met, we were able to get the most out of the conference.

2.  App Gallery
The #Eduawesome Stacy Young put together and App Gallery for the Symposium that provided quick links and QR codes to all apps being used during the two days. Participants could pre-download apps for sessions they wanted to attend or access them later for sessions they couldn't get to during the event. Check it out: SHIFT 2015 APPS Gallery

3.  Connecting
Starting with keynote presenter +Sabba Quidwai, being a connected educator was a focus. She reminded us that the role of the teacher has SHIFTed from 'answerer' to 'facilitator of inquiry'. The old ways of teaching are no longer relevant or helpful to our students.

Twitter was the social media platform of choice and we connected before, during and after the symposium using the hashtag #humshift. As I was presenting most of the time, the hashtag allowed me to learn and connect with the other sessions and presenters. I discovered a new member of my PLN @MrKindergarten who is doing awesome things with a 3D printer and kindergartners.

Thank you to all of the amazing educators I learned with at SHIFT 2015, see you next year!

Friday, June 5, 2015

4 Reasons To Use Google Classroom Next Year

Learn how to use Google Classroom as a tool to improve student learning. Join me, +Joshua Harris and +Dawn Kasperson for a 30 min discussion about why you should use Google Classroom next year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Teaching in the Digital Age - Online class starts August 3rd

Teaching in the Digital Age

Ready for an infusion of skills to help you teach today's digital learners?

Teaching in the Digital Age is an eight week, online professional development course starting August 3rd, 2015.

Topics of study in this course include pedagogy, digital literacy, data literacy, content creation and curation, communication, collaboration and learning environments.

Teaching in the Digital Age is a 50-60 hour course of study. Participants are expected to spend an average of 7 hours per week on the following activities:

  • Reading course materials and exploring examples
  • Completing projects and assignments
  • Sharing and reflecting with other class participants in discussion forums
digital age quote.jpg

Be a part of the 2nd cohort of this engaging and informative class, register today.

This course if offered by the Del Norte County Office of Education

August 3 - September 26, 2015
$100 course registration fee

3 extended education units offered through Humboldt State University at $50 per unit

Rae Fearing, M. S.               

Click here to learn more and register for this course

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How to add more fonts to Google Docs

Here is a quick Google tip on how to add more fonts to Google Docs. Google has many cool fonts that can add some pizzazz to your docs, watch this short tutorial and get your docs font-ilicious.

Monday, April 27, 2015

5 Things We Have To Stop Pretending

I accepted this challenge from +Lisa Nowakowski as part of the #MakeSchoolDifferent Challenge started by +Scott McLeod.

Here is my list of 5 things we need to stop pretending so we can improve education.

  1. Students learn best in classrooms of 30+ students with one teacher. Seriously, it is time to get creative and create learning environments that support student needs. A single teacher can't possibly support all learners, even with technology.  I know we can't renovate every school, but we can take down walls and make better use of our classroom spaces and let teachers collaboratively teach.
  2. Teachers will just 'figure out' how to teach effectively with technology. Teachers are learners too and need time learn how technology can be used to improve student achievement. Too many teachers are given devices, a couple hours of professional development and expected to make magic happen. It takes a lot of time, research and practice to transform teaching into the digital age.
  3. Students working in table groups = collaboration. Preparing students for the global world we live in means we have to provide opportunities for them to reach out and talk with people everywhere. A student in a classroom who doesn't communicate with anyone outside of the classroom is at a serious disadvantage. Every group project should require one team member from the global community. Imagine that!
  4. Completing assignments that ask for a right answer promote learning. A worksheet is a worksheet whether it is on paper or on a computer. A right answer limits creativity and critical thinking. If a student can Google the answer then why are you asking the question? Where is the learning?
  5. My students can't do that. I have had teachers tell me that their students can't to do things like create digital books, come up with genius hour ideas or create videos to teach others. Students can do amazing things, quit limiting them with your fear. Stop it already.
I challenge the following five people to create their own post about what we have to stop pretending in order to #MakeSchoolDifferent +Charlene Knowlton+Tracy Campbell+Rick Phelan+Angie Marshall+Matthew Weld