5 Ways to Get the Most Out of #iste17

A conversation with Terry Freedman in episode 104 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Today Terry Freedman @terryfreedman author of Education Conferences: Teachers’ Guide to Getting the Most out of Education Conferences talks about how to get the most out of ISTE 2017 or any conference you attend.

get the most out of ISTE 2017

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  • The transcript will be uploaded and posted right here as soon as soon as it is available.

This episode is sponsored by Powerschool. I am so excited to be at ISTE with PowerSchool!

I will be leading a panel discussion on 5 Key Trends Transforming Teaching Today  at ISTE 2017 on Monday June 26, 2017 at 4pm in room 225 A and B.

Come by PowerSchool’s Classroom of the Future in 207A where they will be giving away Apple Watches, Microsoft Surfaces and Amazon Echos.

Come by the PowerSchool booth 2918 — I’ll be there some on Monday. For those of you are not at ISTE check out the Unified Classroom at PowerSchool.com/solutions/unified-classroom.

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In today’s show, Terry Freedman shares how to get the most out of any conference and especially #iste17 :

  • Deciding your goals for a conference
  • Accomplishing important things at a conference
  • The “killer question” to ask people you meet
  • Finding what you missed (even when you go)
  • Some challenges unique to #iste17

I hope you enjoy this episode with Terry Freedman!


Selected Links from this Episode

Full Bio As Submitted

Terry Freedman

Terry has over 40 years’ experience in education. Roles include teaching (especially hard classes), management in schools, and government agencies. Since 2004 he has been an independent ed tech consultant, writer, trainer, and speaker.

He aims in his books and articles to answer two main types of question:

So what?


So what do I do with class X on Friday afternoon?

He has embarked on writing and self-publishing a series of teachers’ guides, the first of which is the Education Conferences book mentioned elsewhere. These will be very practical and pragmatic. To be informed of new or impending publications, sign up for Terry’s newsletter.

Transcript for this episode

To be posted as soon as it is available. Check back soon!

The post 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of #iste17 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

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Blended Learning Hype or Taking Us to New Heights?

A global search for education blog post

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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No, blended learning is NOT hype, at least not in my experience. However, I will say that I have seen people say that they are blending learning when it is not blended learning at all. I have interviewed a thought leader from the Christensen Institute about the eight types of blended learning, shared my five essential, effective blended learning best practices, have given a webinar on blended learning best practices and led a panel at 2016 ISTE with blended learning thought leaders. Through all of this, here are some thoughts on blended learning today.

blended learning

Each month, Cathy Rubin has a question for the Top Global Teacher Bloggers. This month’s question is “What do you think about the K12 evolution of blended learning? 

What is blended learning?

First, there are lots of forms of blended learning. There’s station rotation. There is flipped classroom. There’s the flex model.

But, every classroom is made up of two spaces:

  • the face-to-face space and
  • the online space

The effective 21st-century teacher will meld the online space and the face-to-face classroom into a powerful combination of learning. That is blended learning.

The Blended Learning Secret

In my last five years of blending my classroom, I’ve learned the secret to great blended learning is to let each location do what it does best.

When I make huge mistakes, and blended learning is when I ask a space to be something that is not intended to do.

An example of face to face success

For example, there is no replacement for face-to-face feedback. Sure, I can record my voice, or I could record a quick video for students. Certainly, when you have online classrooms, you have to do this form of feedback because you just don’t have the ability to talk face to face.

But there is no substitute for me patting a student on the shoulder for a job well done or a quick high-five when a student has made a significant accomplishment. There is no app for that. It is human contact, and it’s a powerful way to improve learning.

You can’t educate until you relate. Even effective online teachers somehow build a relationship with their student’s classroom. But, in my opinion, you can have the best of both worlds.

effective best practices for blended learning

Something that will move out of the physical classroom to the online space

In another example, I have a dry erase board on one wall of my room. For the last fifteen years, I’ve written the assignment on the board for the day. However, during the last three years, my students now use PowerSchool Learning as their learning management system (LMS.)

During their end of year feedback session, the students voted that I should no longer use the dry erase board.

“We don’t look at it. Everything is online.” one said.

“Let’s use that board for something else,” said another.

In this example, students asked for assignments to just be online and to use the physical space differently.

Dividing something into two spaces

Perhaps the most intriguing conversations happened about the course videos that I create and embed in their LMS.

Overwhelmingly they said they like the screencasts to be in video form. So, when I’m teaching how to point and click or do a task, they want those online.

However, to my surprise, they said that the bulleted content when I’m talking about a topic or trend — they want that in the face to face classroom.

“You have more energy when you share your stories face to face.”

“It is hard to pay attention to bullets and just words on a page when it is in a video.”

Classrooms are not just made of bricks, they are made of clicks. Vicki Davis

Student Feedback As You Blend

Therefore, as I get back from my students, I become the greatest personalization engine that they know.

Yes, tools like Khan Academy can customize learning for them in ways that I cannot do individually.

However, I can adapt the entire classroom and the whole learning experience to create a collaborative, cooperative place where students can create, design, and learn to the best of their ability.

Getting student feedback helps me blend better.

What Works in the Classroom!

So, I don’t think blended learning is hype at all. However, I do think that if people think it is the magic bullet to fix everything, as usual, they will be wrong.

Because what helps kids learn is a lot of hard work from the kids and a lot of hard work and the teachers.

Teachers select the best tools to be able to teach.

Teachers build relationships with students.

And, we bring strategies with a high effect size into the classroom that also fit with our own abilities as teachers so that we can teach the best of our ability.

Every Classroom is Blended Whether They Know it Or Not

So, every single classroom has an online component whether the teachers know it or not.

Students are texting about the class or parents are emailing each other and sharing information. It’s just better to have an online space where you can truly blend both places together and facilitate learning.

I think the only height that we are guilty of an education is the hype that comes from thinking that you can improve learning in the classroom by buying something.

Learning comes at a cost.

Certainly, we have to buy the supplies and access to the tools that we need but, we have to have teachers and students who know how to use those tools for the purpose of learning.

And that my friends, makes a great blended learning classroom.

When blended learning is done right, it isn’t about the technology at all — just learning.

The post Blended Learning Hype or Taking Us to New Heights? appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

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BEST OF SEASON 1: iPads in Kindergarten

The top #edtech tool Tuesday of season 1 with Caitlin Arakawa

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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Today, we unveil the top edtech tool Tuesday of season 1 of the 10-minute Teacher Podcast. Caitlin Arakawa tops the list with her show about how she uses iPads in Kindergarten.

102 season 1 encore episode


Listen on iTunes

In the show, I’m recommending Angela Watson’s upcoming webinars on How to create simple habits of rest and self care that will change your life. I do recommend her 40-hour workweek club and am an affiliate of the program.  

The post BEST OF SEASON 1: iPads in Kindergarten appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

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