Learning Playlists for Specials

 Recently I gave a professional development session focused on remote learning and engagement for specials teachers. As part of that presentation, I created learning playlists for the teachers in the meeting. If you are interested in art, music, p.e., or stem feel free to check out the sets below! Learning Playlist for Art Learning Playlist for STEM Learning Playlist Music Learning Playlist for P.E. & Health

How to Attend a Virtual Conference

 This blog post was originally written for ISTE's blog and published on October 20, 2020. I miss attending conferences in person. Face-to-face learning, the opportunity to travel and get a change of scenery, meeting old friends and new, the energy and excitement that you see in everyone sharing the same space all make attending conferences an invigorating experience. But times are different, and virtual conferences are the only safe option right now.  I think it’s safe to assume that virtual conferences won’t go away after the pandemic ends. With this new style of professional development, there is sure to be a learning curve. Here are my top 10 tips to help you make the most of your next virtual conference. 1. Clear your calendar . Act as if you were out of town attending an in-person conference. Close your email, turn off notifications and move your phone out of reach. If possible, put a vacation responder notification on email and an out-of-office message on your shared calenda

Return to Learn Playbook

Prior to school closures, I had the pleasure of meeting with groups of instructional technology coaches across the Chicagoland area. As education drastically shifted in March 2020 I found these coaches still craved the opportunity to connect and support one another. We met weekly- welcoming the entire state to our meetings. These weekly sessions took place from March through May. But for some, this wasn’t enough. They wanted the conversation to continue in preparation for an unknown school year this fall.  An amazing group of coaches stepped up to collaborate and prepare during their summer break. This document is a result of their hard work and dedication to their schools, coaching, and education in Illinois. They are true leaders, and I am grateful they are in my professional learning network. In just 3 months the playbook has had over 16, 500 views and has been featured in Google's November Newsletter !

The Importance of a PLN During a Pandemic

This webinar was given on behalf of the Learning Technology Center of Illinois.  You can watch the webinar here:

Find Your Tribe: Connecting During COVID-19

Who do you call when you have news to share? Your parents? Spouse? Friends? Often, when something ‘big’ happens we have a core group to turn to for support. This is incredibly important during these uncertain times with the COVID-19 outbreak. While we no doubt are talking to those close to us (probably more than we should be) there are times when we need to talk to others who understand us in a different context. Educators around the world have been catapulted into online learning. Some are prepared and welcoming the opportunity while others are going in kicking and screaming. Although I am no longer school-based I am in the “thick of things” just like educators- only in my role, I’m supporting multiple counties, districts, and coaches. Who do I turn to for support? The following is a list of groups I’ve leaned on during these chaotic times. All are free and welcoming of new arrivals. Perhaps they will work for you too. Social Media Facebook Groups Online Learning Collective- (a group

Reflective Journal for Coaches

In my role as the Regional Educational Technology Coordinator for ISBE 's LTC , one of the perks is I get to work with instructional technology coaches. As a coach for 10 years prior to this position, it is where I feel most at home. In Chicago, coaches aren't plentiful. I was the only one in my building, in a city without many others. All of my professional personal growth came from opportunities I sought outside of my district, and on my own: volunteering, serving on boards, Twitter chats, conferences, etc. Recently in one of my meetings, there was a discussion about how there isn't much out there for coaches to improve on their own practice. After all, many coaches strive to improve the practice of educators in their school building. In response to this, I created a reflective journal for coaches to use if they were interested in improving their practice on their own. The journal contains 8 sections: Learning Style & Connecting with Others - an area for coaches

Podcast Update 2019: What's in your playlist?

In one of the graduate courses I teach I recommend various technology tools that may be of interest to my audience. For one of the weeks, I decided to share with them several podcasts that can be found in my playlist. Below are some of my most visited podcasts. While the majority of what I listen to is related to education and technology, some I listen to just for ear candy. The podcasts are listed in no particular order.  Teaching in Higher Ed - this podcast deals with many aspects of teaching at the university level. The Mind Online - this podcast focuses on digital literacy and how it shapes our interaction with content online. The Privacy, Security, and Open Source Intelligence Show - this is a really higher-level security podcast that almost always goes so far beyond my comprehension I don’t know why I listen! But sometimes I can find out some cool privacy tips and tricks. Ear Hustle - by far, one of my current favorites, and one that actually changed my point