10 Ways To Boost Your Personal Learning I.Q.


How I Facilitate My Personal Learning

Personal Learning never stops. You do not have to be enrolled in the local university, or some online class to ensure that you are still learning. It’s just plain healthy to exercise your digital I.Q. I am connected to my digital world enough (but not too much) that I learn something new and useful, everyday.

Specifically on Twitter, I create lists of influencers who tweet about certain subjects. For instance, I created an instructional technology list comprised of professionals around the world. When I want to see what’s new in my craft, I pull up that list. Most posts are loaded with helpful links and graphics that assist me in my quests.

There are certain chats that I follow like the Breakfast Club (#BFC530). That chat starts at 5:30 am, but I can search the hashtag later in the morning, and get caught up on the  daily question, and everyone’s responses. Simultaneously, there’s a spin-off Voxer chat going on where people from the group are sharing voice recordings of their philosophies regarding the topic of the day. It comes straight to my phone. Personal learning made easy. Sweet!!!

Here are the 10 components of my digital knowledge base.

  1. Technology: This is all the devices I have access to. I use my laptop, an iPad, and my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to set up my environment and network daily.
  2. Web 2.0: A revamped interactive web experience that allows users to share and comment on information. Before, Web 1.0, users could only read information that had been posted to HTML sites, and little else.
  3. Social Media: I have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, Reddit, and Voxer. I look in these places for valuable information that may help me with instructional technology, often. If something catches my eye, I will retweet, share, or repin the information. Whenever I blog about something that I think is newsworthy, I share it to those platforms. People who think it deserves to be shared with other people in their networks do the same.
  4. Blogs/News/Feeds: Huffington Post, Mashable, The Bible AppFree Technology for Teachers, and Fantasy Football Today  are my favorite places to go for information. Again, when something valuable appears on my screen, I send it to Evernote or add it to Pocket to read again later, and share it with my PLN (the people in my network). Personally, this blog is a WordPress.com site. I think it’s user-friendly, the themes are great, and the mobile app is highly functional for editing and sharing on the go.
  5. Productivity: Evernote is my favorite note-taking tool of all time. I can use the Web Clipper, or the Clearly extensions (find them in the Chrome Store) to send materials directly to my notebooks. It’s just plain awesome!
  6. personal learning with Grolier OnlineOnline Searching: Google is the engine that I use most frequently, however it’s wrought with Wikipedia articles. There is an alternative to this. You can go to specific sites and search within the site for the information you’re trying to find. Encyclopedia Britannica has a hefty amount of information available to kids looking for trusted research materials. For the record, NC Wiseowl is just deep.  When you search for resources in this space, it chauffeurs you directly to legitimate sources.
  7. Bookmarks: Diigo is a great bookmarking tool that allows you to annotate your findings before saving the source to your list. I use the Google bookmarking tool and save the icons only to my bookmark bar (edit the bookmark and delete the title. The tiny icon appears on the bookmarks bar. When you hover your pointer over it, you’ll see the name of the site). Information that I want to pull up later, I’ll send to my notebook or add to pocket.
  8. Collaborate: I usually run my PD sessions through Schoology. Like in Edmodo, not only can we flip our PD by providing the materials early, but we can post discussion questions for our teachers to ponder, based on the materials. There are also several groups and communities that we can join to share ideas with and learn from.
  9. Online Video: There are three online video sources that I go to for personal learning. YouTube (anything you can think of), TED Talks (inspiration, philosophy), and iTunes Video Podcasts (graphics and photography).
  10. Online Audio: Stitcher Radio is my favorite place for radio podcasts. You can make playlists and find experts speaking on just about everything. Audible.com is my go-to when I wantpersonal learning with Stitcher to get in some reading. Often, I’m just too busy (or just plain lazy) to hold up my iPad or Kindle Fire to read the words. Besides, I can catch things I may otherwise miss, or hear things read in the proper context. Whereas I may have read on paper or on a device with a different context in mind.

Take the time to build your personal learning platforms. Teach your students to do the same. It will all pay off, by and by.

Resources:

Web 2.0 http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Web-20-or-Web-2

How to Create A PLN

Personal Learning Network (PLN)


Take Control of Your Personal Growth

A personal learning network (PLN) consists of the people someone interacts with and learns from. Where those encounters take place is called a personal learning environment (PLE). My PLN consists of the people I see face-to-face, all of my “tweeps” on Twitter, the creators of the video channels I follow on YouTube, the authors of the pages I “Like” on Facebook, and so on. The people who share that valuable information are a part of my PLN. Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are components of my PLE. Get it?

Why Your Personal Learning Network Matters

  • Digital collaboration for learning is very popular this day and age. Therefore, educators must take responsibility for their own professional growth. Taking time to fully develop your (PLE) and your (PLN) is tantamount to attending state conferences, local workshops, and edcamps.
  • You can acquire almost any skill or bit of knowledge you so desire with a just a little searching. It won’t take the place of a formal certification or degree, but you learn from various blogs, tutorial videos, certain hashtags on Twitter, or innovative ideas and resources on Pinterest and Facebook. 
  • Above all, own the word, personal. Some believe that it is learning that pertains to matters outside of work. Not so. It is learning that belongs to YOU. You prescribe it, by your means, and consumed in your time.

Components of a Personal Learning Environment is an interactive graphic that will take you to the websites for each icon you see on the poster. Even more, there are endless tools at your disposal all over the web. In order to maximize your learning opportunities, you must be aware of all of the possibilities afforded to you in your digital world. Your PLE is your own collection of spaces from which you seek knowledge, to stay on the cutting edge of your craft.

For instructions on how to set up your personal learning environment, read 10 Ways To Boost Your Personal Learning I.Q.

 

Enjoy!

 

If You Build It, They Will Come


Welcome to Our New Home!

Well readers, it’s time for Social Juggernaut to move to a self-hosted site! In the essence of growth and development, I’ve decided that it’s time to become a serious blogger. I have already migrated your subscriptions (email subscribers) to The Social Juggernaut. Social media followers will continue to see new posts as always. Soon, I will redirect all traffic from this blog to the new one. New readers may subscribe here. [mc4wp_form id=”2197″]

Meanwhile you are more than welcome to go ahead and look around!

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Rest assured, all of the posts from this site are already there.

What’s new?

  • There’s a featured blogger’s area there (RSS Feed). This month it goes to SOUTHERNMOMJD!  I cannot thank her enough for pushing me beyond my limits.
  • Joan McCullough Photography finally has a (temporary home). I’ll be building a site for it to stand alone later.
  • I’ll also honor requests for featured bloggers (any of you) who would like to submit posts!

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 5.45.09 PM.png

I am officially challenging all of you to write! We’ve all been writing something our entire lives. You’d be surprised at how liberating it is to put your thoughts “down on paper.” If you’re not sure how to get started, ask me.

So please enjoy, and thanks for reading!

We’re Moving!


Well readers, it’s time for Social Juggernaut to move to a self-hosted site! In the essence of growth and development, I’ve decided that it’s time to become a serious blogger. I have already migrated your subscriptions (email subscribers) to The Social Juggernaut. Social media followers will continue to see new posts as always. Soon, I will redirect all traffic from this blog to the new one. Meanwhile you are more than welcome to go ahead and look around!

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 5.29.33 PM.png

Rest assured, all of the posts from this site are already there.

What’s new?

  • There’s a featured blogger’s area there (RSS Feed). This month it goes to SOUTHERNMOMJD!  I cannot thank her enough for pushing me beyond my limits.
  • Joan McCullough Photography finally has a (temporary home). I’ll be building a site for it to stand alone later.
  • I’ll also honor requests for featured bloggers (any of you) who would like to submit posts!

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 5.45.09 PM.png

I am officially challenging all of you to write! We’ve all been writing something our entire lives. You’d be surprised at how liberating it is to put your thoughts “down on paper.” If you’re not sure how to get started, ask me.

So please enjoy, and thanks for reading!

 

Apple Finally Put Siri Where It Belongs — Tech – TIME


Many aspects of my life are neat and organized. My computer is not one of them. I rarely purge my system of old files and photos. I forget to uninstall software I don’t need anymore. My desktop is a mess of thumbnails and documents. But over the past week, I’ve had something helping me manage…

via Apple Finally Put Siri Where It Belongs — Tech – TIME

Thinglink: Digital Tagging to Learn Organelles – Teacher Tech Tools: Integration Made Easy!


To save time in class having students draw, color and label cell diagrams, Thinglink is a digital tool that allows students to label and diagram photos! Here are a few examples from some Biology students at Bertie Early College High School. Thanks Mr. Boller for differentiating the lesson!

The global piece is where students are willing to share so others can learn from them! – See more at: http://techchic.weebly.com/thinglink-digital-tagging-to-learn-organelles.html#sthash.JgrK81Ac.dpuf

Source: Thinglink: Digital Tagging to Learn Organelles – Teacher Tech Tools: Integration Made Easy!

These Kids Spent 8 Hours Coding And Broke A Guinness World Record


Coding

Microsoft approached Guinness when it had the idea to host the marathon training session. Guinness World Records set a benchmark of 1,300 students who had to take part, Microsoft representative Katie Fazzolari told The Huffington Post.

via These Kids Spent 8 Hours Coding And Broke A Guinness World Record.

I read this article and it made me think of ways to increase the number of children coding in our schools. What do you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Note: “Leave a comment” is underneath the title of this post.

3 Chrome Extensions I Can’t Live Without


Check out a few extensions for Google Chrome to make your web life easier!

OneTab

When web browsing, it’s a common thing to have too many tabs open at once. Well The folks at OneTab have the solution all figured out! Simply head over to your chrome store, add the extension and with one click, all of your tabs will be condensed into a list on a page under one tab. You can choose which tabs you want to reopen, which ones you want to delete, or even ones you want to revisit that you condensed last Thursday! The best thing about it (especially for PC users) is that it cuts down on the amount of RAM you’re using by up to 95%!

OneTab

 Evernote Web Clipper

If you conduct lots of research on the web on a daily basis, sometimes you might reach a point of cognitive overload and have to store materials for later. Although there are scores of other bookmarking extensions and tools out there, you’ll love the way Web Clipper organizes annotated articles in Evernote. You can choose how to annotate: Only the article, just the written words with no media, the entire web page as-is, a bookmark, or a screenshot. Be sure to download both Evernote and the Evernote Web Clipper from the Chrome Store.

Evernote Web Clipper

Fabulous for Facebook

This isn’t really a do or die extension, it just makes me feel better inside whenever I use Facebook. I manage several school and auxiliary pages. Sometimes, I get lost in the sea of Facebook “Blue”. Fabulous is an extension that sits on the right side of the Omnibox (search/address bar) if Facebook is open in that tab. I can click on it and totally trick out my view !

Modeling The Power of Blogging


SAMR: From Substitution to Modification/Redefinition

2364304_origMeet Jon. He is a Social Studies teacher at Bertie (pronounced Bert-Tee) Early College High School in Windsor, North Carolina. He’s a consistent tech infuser, who was chosen to go with a group of us to the NCTIES conference just last month. He came away with some wonderful notes and information to share with his staff.

That’s the thing, though. What a wealth of knowledge there was in his email, and he shared with all of 12 people. I replied and thanked him for the recap and asked him to allow me to seize the teachable moment. Had Jon posted his information to a blog, and used his social media networks to share world-wide, he would have reached many more people, and maybe even gotten loads of feedback from other people in attendance. Take a look at what he shared:

BEC Staff,

Just wanted to share a few quick tips from the NCTIES Conference.  The theme was “Make it Personal”, so it was all about how do we attempt to connect with each student in our classes and how can we use technology to help students succeed?  Here is the online resource if you want to explore the many topics discussed at the conference.  https://docs.google.com/a/bertie.k12.nc.us/document/d/1qttFNWhujby8046b-LE2kKP-YjTA09OFT3Vz3JzzEFw/edit
–  If you have about 9 minutes I highly recommend taking a look at this video from Kevin Honeycutt.  He was the opening speaker and he really drives home the point of trying to reach kids and not being afraid to embrace technology in the classroom.  He is also pretty funny and a really engaging speaker.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5Sck2EkxJ4
–  3 Elements of a Personalized Learning Environment
   1.  Know the Learner (Learning Styles, Cultures, Learning Paces, Giving Students Guided Choice)
   2.  Guide with Standards (Knowing the Curriculum and Guiding Toward Mastery)
   3.  Flex the Environment (Student-Centered Atmosphere with the Physical and Digital Space In Mind)
–  Research has indicated that educational games can really benefit student learning.  Resources for educational games:  http://www.changegamer.ca/  and  http://www.gamesforchange.org/
–  Remember that it is natural for the human body to stay in motion, so don’t expect students to sit perfectly still for 75 minutes.  How can you incorporate moving around in the classroom to student learning?
–  And maybe the most important tip from the conference was a quote by Maya Angelou to remind us that teaching is really all about relationships with students and trying to make a positive impact in their lives and help prepare them for their futures.  “People won’t remember what you said or did, as much as they will remember how you made them feel.”
 Join me in my quest to inspire more teachers to redefine their lessons and experiences by becoming bloggers. If we model blogging as teachers, students will soon see the value. Writing will improve, and students in 1:1 programs will have a one more way to create with their devices, aside from finding information on the web. The call to action? However you found this post, please share it with your network so that I can show Jon the power of blogging, and developing a PLN.
Regards,

Tackk Makes Blogging Easy!


Afraid of Blogging? Tackk Makes it Easy!

Tackk

Earlier this week, we talked about the 3 Keys to Global Instructional Design. Among the keys was blogging for teachers and students. I failed to include what is perhaps the best tool for beginners who are skeptical about using platforms with complicated user interfaces. If you want to create a simple, easy-as-pie web space, then Tackk is the answer to your prayers. Here are some examples:

Angie Bush uses Tackk as an online parent information blog/newsletter. Each week, she creates a post and shares it with the Madison City Schools First Class Pre-K Center parents.

Rafranz Davis uses Tackk to spread the word on the awesome trends she picks up as she journeys to major conferences.

Kristi Combs, Instructional Partner at James Clemens High School in Madison, Alabama recently posted a Tackk on news and celebrations going on in her school.

I am encouraging you to consider Tackk for blogging. I am saying very emphatically, that blogging is an important skill for students today. Beyond clicking the publish button, they need to know how to share their creations, get meaningful feedback from their peers and experts, and get better at it each time. The key concept is STUDENT CREATIVITY.

Come again!