Technology Travels with Coffeechug: Backchannel Notes and Responses #ITEC13

I have finally found time to answer and respond to all comments shared on the backchannel for my second presentation at ITEC13. I have shared the information below, but constructed all responses in Evernote:

If you have further questions, resources, or ideas please share. I will continue to add the Evernote page from this point forward.

Here is the link to my slides –

Here is the link to my backchannel notes from my Speedgeeking Session –

Here is the link to my reflections on the two presentations –

A lot of my students don’t have access to technology outside the classroom.
My thought is what are you doing within the classroom to help have a chance to use technology in ways that challenge their thinking?
Is there a link for this presentation somewhere?

Blocking programs and websites creates more fear for teachers–especially for teachers who know little about the programs. “Blocked”=”Bad”
Could not agree more. It is time to bring in freedom and allow teachers and students to have real conversations and teaching opportunities about how to handle all the information and issues that come with so much information at our fingertips.

Best advise: Do not care what the person down the hall thinks about what you are doing.
YES! It is all about what YOU are doing. Are you developing an atmosphere for learning, freedom to fail, and challenge new thoughts.
maturity of a group of students helps teachers trust students more which helps alleviate fear
Maturity plays a huge role in things. We are currently dealing with students who lack of maturity hinders what we are trying to achieve. Hopefully we can provide guidance and sometimes more structure and limitations that allow them to have some success. When dealing with immaturity and/or younger kids they need confines to have creativity develop. Wide open range with no parameters will just make them spin in circles.

Fearful of losing precious time trouble shooting problems
This is a valid concern. I think that overtime if more and more classrooms and schools provide this environment for learning through failure, then students will need less “me” time and try to solve problems on their own. We are dealing with this right now. They will just sit and wait forever instead of trying to problem solve. What this statement alludes to is the notion of changing mindset and the culture of learning in schools. Until that happens this troubleshooting concept is an issue.

Fear comes from the fact that I can’t control everything, but am still held responsible by parents, admin, etc.
It is not our job to control everything. We are one person. A powerful person with an amazing job, but at the end of the day one person. We have to begin to expand this conversation to the bigger idea that what we are talking about here and in previous questions is that this shift in thought and education is a community effort. We need to bring not only students on board, but educators, admin, parents, community members, etc. While the fear is relevant the conversations need to start happening about how we ALL play a role and the teacher is one part of this much larger puzzle.

I have had to help teachers overcome fear of learning new technology. So what if the kids know more about it than you do?
AWESOME! Create a genius/dream team board where kids declare what they are an expert in so people know who to go to whether it is an adult or student. Student voice is so powerful. If students get a chance to share their knowledge that that provokes more incentive to learn more and develop those skills. I love it when I learn from my students.

Never feared – my teacher parents taught me to embrace!

State of fear – the “what ifs” win too much.
The “what ifs” are something we all deal with in all aspects of life. Sometimes we just gotta take the plunge to see what happens. Scary, but when something clicks there is not a better feeling.

Teachers are fearful of giving up losing/control
The day has arrived that we are no longer in control. Education is a process not a place. Our jobs today are to guide, motivate, and provide the next challenge to the students. Our jobs are not to run the show and prove our knowledge. 

As a high school teacher, I have the same fear as that student…
Which is what? I would love to know more!
PLNs help with digital interaction
My PLN is the greatest resource of EVERYTHING that I need. I am so glad I have taken time to develop a strong PLN because I am becoming better every single day learning from others.

Besides fear, teachers also have a problem with letting a student take control. Sometimes a kid knows more than the teacher.
Valid point. Please see answer above

If a student shares a file with me, I can project it from my PC, & he can work on it from his while explaining to the class what he’s doing.
How cool is this that technology allows this happen. We can now be a facilitator and give students more chances to share their wisdom

Atomic Learning to help differentiate!
Another great resource shared. Thanks for mentioning this.
Explaining your thinking and thought process out loud.
Perfect! We need to share how we think and process. How cool would it be to go back from this conference and share with students all the things we did. How we took notes, talked with others, wrote blog posts, made lists, experimented, etc. Students need to see how we are constantly learning as adults. We don’t share that enough.

What are other examples of modeling?
We should model how we develop lesson plans. Have you ever taken time to show students what goes into preparing for a lesson. They would be amazed. I think so many still believe we just read a book from somewhere that is hidden from plain sight that tells us exactly what to do. Show them how you use your PLN, develop ideas, brainstorm with others, make a million drafts, adapt lessons throughout the day, change ideas for next year. They need to see how we work and operate.

I use the Promethean Board to create an example in real time. I also have a finished product ready to share…like a cooking show!
I love this and would love to see an example of this!

I have a blog. I show kids how it works and teach them to make blogs for journaling and linking sites that help learn the lesson
Love it! Also, would love to see an example.

Real, active (invisible) audience – we just talked about this in class! 
What else did you learn? It is such an interesting topic that I want to know more about personally.

Is there a link for that video? I’d love to show my students.
Check the link above for the slides. The link is in the notes.
I love coffee.
Me too!

Can a person really chug coffee? #notacoffeedrinker
Yes, but I am guessing it is not enjoyable!

coffeechug…, not sure what this session is about, but I love the name.
And I hope you enjoyed it!
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Reflecting on my presentations from #ITEC13

I always take time to reflect on everything I do. I reflect on teaching ideas, current thoughts, experiments, and presentations.

I have found that the one thing that has helped since I started presenting is to write down my reflections.

For ITEC13 I really struggled to form my thoughts into a proper presentation. I had so many ideas in my head that I could not really establish a flow to my delivery. I did not want to just go through a million ideas with no purpose. I wanted to connect the tools to a much larger idea.

I developed at least 5 slide decks for each presentation and was never really happy with any of them.

Finally, I did what I know how to do best…..

I went to my PLN and started asking for help. I received great insight from many.

Scott McLeod was SUPER AWESOME and talked with me for about a half hour one day that really was the turning point. He helped to guide me to a clearer focus. In many ways I felt like he was in my head because each question he posed lead me to the answer that I knew I had in my head but could not get out.

My slide decks continued to develop late into Sunday night. By the end I developed about 73 slides for one and 82 for the other. When I started both had about 40 slides.

I was fortunate enough to have both sessions full of people. Perhaps it was the clever nerdy titles, but I hope that I delivered and left them happy. I felt blessed to have a crowd.

I tried out several new things.

1. I brought props to show. This was a huge success. Next time I will bring more and do more hands on and get the crowd to use the tools as we go.

2. I used a backchannel. This is something I always wanted to do. This was the most beneficial piece for me. I will never present without this again. It is too valuable.

I was able to generate more help and answer questions online that the 50 minutes did not allow for. It is amazing how fast 50 minutes goes by.

For my first session I went back and created a note guide from the backchannel. You can see an example here – Speedgeeking with Coffeechug.

One of the cool things was feedback about my presentation. You never gain any real feedback about how things go. I felt good about things when I read comments like

Fabulous session; wish I’d been there for the whole thing! Thanks for all your info!

Great job! Best session yet!

Best session I’ve been to today. Inspiring!

Great session. Lots of good information in a short period of time. Kids are lucky to have you.

This is what it is all about. Not the patting on my back, but spreading a message, ideas, tools, etc. that others take back with them to change their teaching. I don’t present because I like to be up front and center of attention. I present because it challenges me and my thinking. It allows me to share what I am learning. I want to help others. I want to share. I want to be a resource. Even better than all of the above is the networking that develops. I am having conversations on Twitter with other amazing educators that I was not connected with prior. I am now challenged to help them while staying on top of my game. It is a circle of positive challenges that does nothing but enhance more people and teaching across the globe.

I was nervous about these sessions. In the end I feel like they were two of my best presentations that I have delivered. Thank you again to everyone who attended and look forward to Speed Geeking my thoughts again in the future.

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What is the one thing you are implementing from #ITEC13 starting today?

After a great two days of learning at #ITEC13 it is important that we don’t forget all the magic and go back to the normal.

I am challenging all of you who attended to declare your goal(s) now on this document. Make it public and help us hold you accountable.

If you are like most of us we come back to school, try like crazy to get caught up after being gone for a few days and one thing leads to another and we don’t touch any of the amazing ideas.

I want to help us collectively make positive change.


1. Head to the Google Document 
2. Add your name, information, and what are you are going to implement. Feel free to share who inspired you to act upon this and goals or anything else you want to learn.
3. Feel free to add resources or other pieces of information to others who have shared.
4. Please come back and let us know how things turned out.

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Speedgeeking Notes from #ITEC13 via Evernote

Here is the link to all notes from my first session Speedgeeking with Coffeechug.

I went through all the information and notes from our backchannel during the session.

I tried to answer all the questions that were posed. If I did not clarify things enough please let me know. I want to make sure I am as helpful as I can be.

If there are other things you would like for me to add please let me know as well. I have no problem sharing out whatever I have.

Here is my blog post from yesterday where I shared all my slides and information. Feel free to use whatever you like. I only ask that you let me know so I see how the ideas are spreading. Fair enough?

So let me know what you think and what else you would like added. If you want more clarification on anything seriously ask!

I am working on the notes from my afternoon session as well. I just need an extra 10 hours to my day.

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Diigo Groups

I am working on learning about Diigo and implementing it as a useful tool in my teaching practices. I have created four groups which you can see on the page link on top labeled Diigo. Feel like joining? Go ahead. I have a BMS group and Coffee For The Brain Diigo group.

Not sure what Diigo is? It is simply a web tool that allows you to share articles, research, highlighting important parts of websites, making sticky notes, collaborating on the information, etc.

Come join my group and let us explore and learn together about Diigo. Why not work together to fit the pieces of the puzzle together and find out how to make this super awesome tool useful in the classroom.

I will be experimenting with Diigo with my Lego Robotics team and as extra credit with my Animal Farm language arts extension unit. Will keep you posted.

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ITEC Conference: Learning and Goals

**This is a long post which I learned today from Cool Cat Teacher is not what you are to do, but I have too much to share about the ITEC Conference to not go long.**

I attended the ITEC Conference today as it was such a breath of fresh air. Why? Simple, this conference has once again sparked my passion for technology. Now, I sat in my car on drive home (about an hour) and started to plot everything I have going on in my life right now and everything that I am trying to accomplish. I have a lot on my plate. Lately, I have been feeling run down and tired. However, today I felt the strong urge to accomplish a few more goals. First, let me start with what I am currently working on.

1. This blog – it continues to get bigger as I become more involved in more projects and ideas. I want to really expand my blog to the next level. I want to be able to have student created posts and participation. My goals would be to eventually have a partner blog where the other blog would be all student driven work and materials.
2. Training for my races with the last big one this weekend. Training for triathalon starts late fall/winter.
3. Lego Robotics – our team is doing great, but I am quickly realizing that we have our hands quite full with much to learn and do by December 11th.
4. Continuing to create a better program for my students in ELP and extensions
5. Preparing for a board presentation come November
6. Reading the 100+ books for the Cybils Book Panel that I was selected to be part of.
7. Prepping for my very own Coffee For The Brain March Madness Book Tournament coming soon to a blog near you.

These seven things mentioned above are just job/personal goals of mine that don’t include the daily goals of being a good father and husband(which is plenty to keep one busy) and finding time to just have fun. However, this conference has me thinking of new ideas and things that I want to try. I realize that not all of this will be possible, nor will it all be able to be accomplished this year. However, I will take on one or two right away and continue to chip away at this goal list at a pace that makes it work and fun!

1. Twitter feed for Bettendorf Middle School operated by my TA. My students will be divided into teams and their job will be to gather information to be posted on the Twitter feed. This feed will only be for Middle School and keep teachers and students current with events going on around the building.

2. Dailybooth pictures. I would like to showcase my students working in the classroom and posting pictures of them in action for parents, teachers, and community to see that learning is taking place. Maybe Dailybooth is the format, but I would like something similar to post and have instant online access.

3. iGoogle Personal Learning Network that I learned about from Vicki Davis a.k.a. Cool Cat Teacher who presented here at the conference. This is something that I feel would be so valuable to have for my students. First, I have to learn how to create this before embarking this task upon my students. I need help building this they way Cool Cat Teacher showed at the conference. I must email her and find more information

4. Build my own Google Site. I have a basic plan started, but have much to learn. One more step to expanding this blog and my impact on technology and learning.

5. Diigo. Once again Cool Cat Teacher opened my eyes to a tool that I feel will change the concept of research and learning as we know it. Many are already using it and it is time for me to get on board. I have this up and running already, but need to find a way to share my links on my blog.

6. Foursquare

7. Somehow, someway getting my own classroom up on the iTunes U section where I will video myself teaching, providing handouts, podcasts, student interactions, etc. My whole class would essentially be available for download.

8. Using and finding a way to possibly implement World of Warcraft into curriculum or after school club/activity.

9. Collaborate online with students from other states and countries to work on learning objectives and goals. By creating a real world audience I believe the learning will be much more powerful.

10. Read all the books mentioned in the various presentations. There were some really interesting reads shared by the presenters.

These are some lofty goals, but if I take them one at a time I will be super excited to see where this all leads.

I will also be typing up all of my notes and eventually sharing what I learned from the conference as well. This will happen in chunks as I take on each of these items stated above.

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