The Educator's PLN

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While investigating the numerous opportunities and resources available to educators that I was learning about in the SMART workshop, I overtasked my battery and was unable to master the texting that the 2013's have so eloquently managed to do without even looking at a keyboard, so I return today with the rest of yesterday's wonderful enlightenment.

Session 3 by Ms. Hero was very helpful in seeing how interactive whiteboards can make the classroom more efficient and engaging to students at all levels. She demonstrated the tool kit of the Smart program and how it can be used quickly and effectively to make lessons that students WANT to learn from. We learned how to turn slides into pdf's and that http:.//www.express.smarttech.com will allow teachers to upload our lessons for students to download and view from home. It will allow students who are out sick to keep up with class and those who need additional repetition to use it as frequently as possible. Additionally, parents can see what is being taught and learn along with the student and be empowered to assist their students from home or the library, wherever they choose to connect to the web.

Butch Rooney and Sarah Rhyne gave an inspirational talk of how Davie County, NC sought to put technology in thier schools by seeking out matching funds from EVERYONE in the community to make it happen. A local benefactor put a large amount on the table if the community would rise to the challenge of making this happen for thier children. Even the children were donating their ice-cream money to the fund to make this happen for EVERYONE. That full community buy-in made it possible for Davie County to partner with Local Universities for Professional Development and put SMART systems in EVERY classroom. The change has been phenomenal. To hear the words of new teachers and veteran teachers alike from a video they shared, just gave me chills. Being from a rural community, just like Davie County, I could understand and feel the depth of their accomplishment. Also, having that technology is what is bringing the new teachers to their county and keeping the veterans there... making our jobs/lives more efficient, effective, and rewarding each day as we reach more students whose needs must be met.

They have developed a model that has Master Teachers mentoring Beginning Teachers and Student Teachers working witha Resource Team of Curriculum, Instructional Technologist, a Technology Tech, and a program assistant.

Their goal is to creat problem based multicurricular units where students can't tell WHICH class period they are in.. they are just working, learning, and being productive.

AHA- The reason it works there is because the TEACHERS wanted the technology in the room and their passion is what is making it work!!!! Buy-in is the key and without it, you are sunk.

The Kick-Off was incredible. Mario Armstrong was entertaining as he battled our four worst fears and challenges.

We must all overcome the:

Locked-Net Monster

Dollar and Cent-aur

Mediogre

Abominal "NO"-man

They gave away a Kindle, an Ipod Touch, a netbook, and an Ipad.. the crowd was laughing, commiserating, and cheering as he won his battles and the winners claimed their prizes.

While there, I met an incredibly knowledgable person who is currently running the twitter playground today, Joquetta Johnson. Through an off and on conversation while we waited for the kick off to begin and during the built-in network time in the program, I learned 4 new things from her.. edu.glogster.com, twitter backchanneling,second life isn't evil, and edmodo.com.

LESSON LEARNED: TALK to PEOPLE!!! Don't be afraid to Ask questions, write down keywords, google them later, ASK MORE QUESTIONS!!! and MOST IMPORTANTLY-- get their name and contact.. don't let the networking stop at the end of that session.. if you learned that much in 20 minutes, imagine how much you can teach one another over the course of a relationship on a PLN, Twitter feed, or other method..STAY CONNECTED.

cutest giggle of the day.. "Teachers don't steal ideas.. we HARVEST them from others who have grown"

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