What kind of teacher, would leave the warmth of their home and families on a cold, windy, rainy Tuesday night? In New York City it was teachers excited to have participated in our Innovation Partner Professional Development Program. During the program they learned how to help kids operate safely and responsibly online, strengthen relationships with students and families, and discover the best tools to do so as part of three programs: Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certification, Graphite Ed Tech Integrators, and Remind Connected Educators.
At the event teachers shared some key takeaways while enjoying snacks. We did this during an activity that went by two names. Either "Musical Shares" or "Speed Collabordating." Whatever you call it, participants sat with other participants and discussed a few different reflection questions that were suggested by those in the program speed dating style.
Teachers share key takeaways during speed collabordating / musical shares.
Here are a few highlights:
- We started the discussion about digital footprints with this activity: I have students pull up their Facebook timeline on their phones + discuss, "Is this the you, you want the world to see?" The kids discuss with their peers and we come away with some powerful ideas about how to be more intentional about how we present ourselves online.
- The Common Sense Education Digital Citizenship Certification helps us help students be more deliberate, intentional and self-aware in their online interactions.
- Remind allows us to easily ensure parents are a part of the communication process which lets us reach the whole child because it becomes so easy to celebrate the daily successes of our students.
- If you want to inspire others, you must lead by example. Do it first, take risks. Make mistakes and show how to handle it. If you want others to walk the walk, you must show what it looks like.
- Families need engagement too. Common Sense Education Family Toolkit (opens in new tab) and Remind Parent Outreach tools help us strengthen these partnerships with speakers of English as well as other languages.
- When introducing new ed tech tools, I've found it effective to explain the tool to the students, let them have time to just mess around on their own, then come back together and share what we learned. When we let the kids drive, we go in directions teachers may never have imagined.
- Gatherings like this are so important. As educators we are so often beaten down. We need more opportunities to celebrate successes. The conversations were rich and the passion is contagious. It's 8:00 at night. We're here because we care about the kids and we love what we do.
Teachers share what they love about what they learned with hashtag #NYCSchoolsTech
What do you think about what these teachers shared? Did any ideas resonate with you? Do you have any takeaways to share?
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.