Category Archives: Professional Development

Building a PD Learning Hub for your School

Teachers and administrators struggle to find time to work and learn together in meaningful ways. There are plenty of meetings scheduled. Many teachers leave these meetings though with the feeling of “could have spent my time doing more important things”.

  • How do we squeeze in one more meeting to help teachers grow as professionals?
  • How do we add one more opportunity for teachers to learn important new skills?
  • How do we give teachers the time to learn with and from their own colleagues?
  • How can teachers learn from what is going on in the classroom next door?
  • how do we build capacity for professional development from within?

One answer could be to build a Professional Development Learning Hub for your school! Having a platform to document learning, organize and archive initiatives, action research, and institutional memory will give your teachers not only a place to reflect, make their thinking and learning visible, and learn from each other, it will also give them a space to practice valuable “now” skills and literacies. Always remembering, that if we want teachers to deeply embed the skills of communicating, collaborating, connecting and creating as well as media literacy, information literacy, network literacy, global literacy and digital citizenship in their teaching, they have to be able to experience them in their own learning.

  • How is your school crowdsourcing professional learning, so everyone can learn from a conference, workshop or a book study, not only the selected few who were physically present.
  • How is your school amplifying learning by extending and connecting professional learning that most often happens in isolation?
  • How is your school sharing best practices, action research, and innovative practices in education beyond your campus?

It might be time for your school to build a PD Learning Hub!

You can read more in previous blog posts:

Below my slidedeck for a recent presentation at the Tri-Assocation conference in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Educators Need to See Themselves As….

I am working hard on my and Janet Hale’s upcoming book, Documenting Learning- Making Thinking Visible, Meaningful, Shareable, and Amplified with Corwin Press. (Estimated date of publication: Spring 2018). As I am articulate why learners (and specifically educators) should see themselves as documenters, my mind wrapped itself around the following: Educators need to see themselves as more than covering content, lecturers or deliverers of prescribed/established curriculum.

We live in a time, where we learn, how we learn, when we learn and with whom we learn changes at an exponential rate. Now more than ever, we can’t rely on the old tried and tested methodology or practices, because the rules of what it means to teach and learn have changed.

As educators, we must:

  • have the self-motivation of life long learners, who are never satisfied with the status quo and see continued learning as part of their regular work and life. (added on May 7)
  • have the restless heart of an adventurer to try new things and step outside of our comfort zones.
  • have the spirit of pioneers who thrive in uncharted territory.
  • have the mind of a scientist to push beyond what we can see with our eyes and imagine theories, articulate theses and find evidence to dispute or confirm them.
  • have the soul of a teacher to instill the love for learning and inquiry and explain our world to others.
  • possess the courage of an innovator to continuously wonder “what if…” and not be afraid to fail as part of the process.
  • have the imagination of a storyteller to paint in vivid colors different types of stories and to share these stories with the world.
  • posses the unselfishness of a parent to unconditionally love our profession and share without expecting anything in return.
  • possess the curiosity of a researcher to continuously search, test, try, prototype and document our work to contribute to a larger purpose of advancing educational practices.

 

 

Want to Learn About Sketchnoting this Summer?

If you looking for summer professional development and a fantastic conference to attend, I would like to suggest coming to Alan November’s Building Learning Communities conference in July 2017 in Boston, USA.

  • It is THE conference that I attend for MY own learning every year.
  • THE place where I meet so many members of my PLN in person and renew the fire that fuels my passion for moving forward in education, learn about exciting ideas, and create new global connections.
  • It is THE conference in the US, where I get to meet International educators and create bonds for potential global projects.

I will be presenting a few workshops during the main conference, but I want to specifically invite you to a Master class I will be facilitating during the pre-conference, where I will be sharing my passion for sketchnoting.

Sketchnoting: Visual Notetaking – LIMITED SEATS

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Sketchnoting has had a deep impact on my learning over the last few years. The biggest hurdle that I had to overcome is my self-imposed thinking that I “just can’t draw”, that I “just am not an artist”. I jumped over my own shadow and thought: Get over it… I don’t care… I am going to try this anyway…

Almost three years down the road, I have sketchnoted TED talks, blog posts, articles, presentations, visuals, meetings, keynotes, posters, brainstorming sessions, birthday cards, shopping lists and even contributed chapter summaries for an upcoming published book.

Sitting down to sketchnote my thoughts and ideas has a soothing effect when I feel information overload coming on. It allows my mind to work in different ways, think about concepts and connections in a different way.

Come join me in Boston to jump over your own shadow and try sketchnoting with me!

 

The term sketchnoting describes a style of visual note-taking recently gaining popularity among conference attendees. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be an artist to sketchnote and to take advantage of a different type of learning and making content connections beyond conference keynotes . Sketchnoting is helping make your thinking visible and shareable as you are reading a professional book, watching a movie clip, reading an educational blog post or article or listening to a lecture of conference keynote.
This workshop is for educators who want to hone their abilities to listen more intently, summarize and organize their notes in a visual way and learn how to do this with their students.
We will look at structures of a sketchnote, typography, connectors, and containers. There will be plenty of time to practice and build your own visual library.
Please bring your own sketchnoting journal, pencil and colored markers or a tablet with a sketchnoting app downloaded (ex. Paper by FiftyThree)

I am So Excited to Announce #amplifiEDU Courses

If you read my previous post, you know that I have been working with 3 other women educators and entrepreneurs to bring you relevant affordable courses.

I am so excited to share with you that amplifiEDucation’s first two courses are now available in the amplifiEDU store. Thank you  to those of you who shared your thoughts in the survey. We heard you!

courses-amplifiedu2

  • You want high-quality, affordable courses (under $10) created by experienced educators.
  • You want the convenience of working on your own time and at your own pace.
  • You want resources you will return to again and again to use with your students.

Visit amplifieducation to check out the first courses created!


Contact me to receive a 50% off coupon off your first course as a thank you for being a loyal Langwitches Blog reader.


courses-amplifiedu

Course: Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

AUDIENCE: This course is for any teacher using the traditional KWL (Know- Want to know- Learned) Chart and wanting to embed 21st century skills and literacies to the practice. It is for educators looking to structure the learning process and help students make their thinking and learning visible to themselves and others.

DESCRIPTION: Welcome to the “Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st century” course by amplifiEDucation. Are you familiar with the traditional KWL chart as a graphic organizer to guide student learning? Have you ever wondered how you can amplify learning by upgrading the chart with a few simple steps to include 21st century skills and literacies? The upgraded chart is based on the belief that

  • – REFLECTION is an integral part of the learning process
  • – through technology tools our access to INFORMATION has exponentially expanded
  • – our ability to take ACTION goes beyond affecting people we are able to reach face to face
  • – technology tools allow us to express and communicate in OTHER FORMS of media beyond words and text

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:  In this course, you will learn about the KWHLAQ graphic organizer: What it is? You will discover its history and uses as well as tools, platforms and visible thinking routines that support each phase of the organizer. You will look at ideas to use the KWHLAQ chart for your own learning and in your own classroom.

WHAT YOU WILL GET:  – Visual: Updated KWLHAQ visuals(pdf)  – Template: KWHLAQ chart template in PowerPoint (.pptx) to use with students  – Template: KWHLAQ chart template in Keynote (.keynote) to use with students

 

Course: 5 Steps for Creating Powerful Screencasts for Learning by Silvana Scarso

AUDIENCE: This course is for teachers who are interested in scaffolding student learning by making thinking visible and easily available. No matter your comfort level with technology, there is a learning opportunity for you:
If you are a novice technology user, you will follow easy step by step instructions that will allow the exploration of screencasting as a powerful tool for learning.
If you are a more experienced technology user but not yet familiar with screencasting, you will be able to quickly learn a new technology and use your creativity to explore its use.
If you have already experimented with screencasting, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your practice and expand its applications.

DESCRIPTION: Welcome to the “5 Steps for Creating Powerful Screencasts for Learning” course by amplifiEDucation. Have you heard about screencasts but don’t have a clear idea how it can be used for student learning? Have you ever wondered, “Why screencasting?” instead of simply video recording? Do you have any idea how easy it is to make a screencast? Would you like to experiment with easy-to-use tools and explore screencast possibilities that have impact on students?

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How you can choose a screencast tool that adjusts to your needs.
  • How to feel comfortable doing a screencasting without much preparation.
  • How you can identify powerful screencasting opportunities in your teaching.
  • How you can explore screencasting with students to empower them as collaborative learners.
  • How you can select screencast sharing options that enhance learning.

WHAT YOU WILL GET:

  • Checklists: to help you choose a screencasting tool that becomes part of your practice workflow.

  • Printable cards: to help you choose and remember benefits of different screencasting options.

  • Printable cards: to help you follow steps for screencast creation.

  • Printable cards: to help you remember options for teacher and student screencasting.

AmplifiEDucation: Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century

amplifieducation-LOGO-white-bg

About 1 year ago, I joined four other women from 4 different countries (USA, Argentina, Brazil and New Zealand) to found amplfiEDucation.

We believe in globally connected learning, not only for students and schools, but for ourselves. We lead by example- collaborating across time zones, pushing our limits, learning through trial and error, reflecting, and always sharing. Together we are smarter, stronger, better and speak more languages! We created amplifiEDucation to share our passion and experience with educational innovation.

We are connecting and sharing via our blog, Twitter, Chats and a monthly curated Newsletter. I am proud to announce that that our first online courses are coming soon:

Our courses are designed for the curious educator who’s ready to connect, create and share with the world. Each amplifiEDU course contains resources, templates and materials for you to use with students, many that are only available to our course users. Courses are simple, step-by-step, convenient and come with a money-back guarantee.

Coming Soon: Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century

Want to be notified when this course becomes available? Sign up for the amplifiEDucation newsletter list

AUDIENCE: This course is for any teacher using the traditional KWL (Know- Want to know- Learned) Chart and wanting to embed 21st century skills and literacies to the practice. It is for educators looking to structure the learning process and help students make their thinking and learning visible to themselves and others.

DESCRIPTION: Welcome to the “Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st century” course by amplifiEDucation. Are you familiar with the traditional KWL chart as a graphic organizer to guide student learning? Have you ever wondered how you can amplify learning by upgrading the chart with a few simple steps to include 21st century skills and literacies? The upgraded chart is based on the belief that

  • REFLECTION is an integral part of the learning process
  • through technology tools our access to INFORMATION has exponentially expanded
  • our ability to take ACTION goes beyond affecting people we are able to reach face to face
  • technology tools allow us to express and communicate in OTHER FORMS of media beyond words and text

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:

In this course, you will learn about the KWHLAQ graphic organizer: What it is? You will discover its history and uses as well as tools, platforms and visible thinking routines that support each phase of the organizer. You will look at ideas to use the KWHLAQ chart for your own learning and in your own classroom.

WHAT YOU WILL GET:

  • Visual: Updated KWLHAQ visuals(pdf)
  • Template: KWHLAQ chart template (pdf) to use with students
  • Template: KWHLAQ chart template in Google Docs to use with students
  • Template: KWHLAQ chart template in PowerPoint (.pptx) to use with students
  • Template: KWHLAQ chart template in Keynote (.keynote) to use with students