Can’t tell you how excited I am that our program COETAIL (Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy) has joined forces with the Google for Education team to offer educators the ability to complete both your COETAIL micro-credential and your Google for Education Certified Trainer (GET) certificate at the same time. As one COETAILer put it.
It would be like the best of both worlds – COETAIL’s pedagogy and Google App for Education Suite make a formidable force to have in your teaching toolbox! ~ COETAIL Graduate
If you haven’t heard of COETAIL before. You can head over to our about page for more information. For a real look at what COETAIL is all about, make sure to check out the homepage where you will see blog posts from current COETAILers.
We are in the process of gathering data of who might be interested in completing both the COETAIL program and their GET certificate at the same time. If you are interested please fill out this form and we’ll keep you in the loop.
Here is the official announcement:
Announcing a New and Exciting Collaboration
It is with great excitement that we write to you today to tell you about a new and exciting collaboration to benefit COETAILers past, present and future.
We are so excited that Google for Education chose to collaborate with COETAIL. COETAIL has always strived to be a leader in supporting educators in authentically and purposefully integrating technology into the classroom. The rigor and reflective nature of COETAIL and the GET program have many overlapping objectives and outcomes making this collaboration one that will benefit COETAILers past, present, and future.
Support members in authentically and purposefully integrating technology into their classroom and the school as a whole
Support members in being seen as technology leader within their school
Help create a culture of ongoing, sustainable, professional development program for all educators
If you are a COETAIL graduate and are interested in becoming a Google for Education Certified Trainer please fill out this form by Thursday, March 9.
If you know someone who might be interested in completing COETAIL and the Google for Education Certified Trainer certification, please feel forward this email and have them fill out this form as well.
In the coming weeks, as we finalize the collaboration we will be sending another email with specifics of what will be required for past, present and future COETAILs to earn their Google for Education Certified Trainer credentials. For now, sign up to become a Certified Trainer and forward this opportunity to fellow educators who might be interested in completing COETAIL featuring Google for Education Certified Trainer.
The world we exist in now is very much an on-demand one. We expect to watch our favorite TV shows when we want where we want, we expect to have the entire music library in our pocket. We want what we want when we want it.
We believe professional development for educators is headed in the same direction.
Over the past six months, the team and I at Eduro Learning have been working on a new online learning system that not only is on-demand but could lead to new micro-credentials. Our goal is to partner with school districts where teachers could receive Clock Hours or Continuing Education Credits (CEC) through the school that leads to either re-certification and/or movement on the salary scale within the district.
The idea is that teachers can take different courses. Each course earns them a badge of completion. Teachers can then take a combination of courses that lead to a micro-credential. Our first micro-credentials are:
This six-course certificate program is self-paced. Parents can take courses in any order or just take the course or courses they want to take and learn about. Of course, the content is not even half of what the program is really about. The social aspect within the courses is where the real learning happens. We have created a social learning experience for parents to support each other, try new approaches, have conversations and help one another as they raise their kids in a new digitally connected world.
We are excited about the direction these micro-credentials are headed and feel that this is just one more way we can help school communities as a whole. If your district or school is interested in chatting about how you can bring these micro-credentials to your school please feel free to contact me.
Most tech coaches end up in the role of tech coach or Tech TOSA (Teacher On Special Assignment) because they are good at using tech and integrating it into their classroom. That’s how I got into the role and pretty much everyone else I know as well. However, once you are in the role of a coach things change. Your job isn’t to use tech with students, rather it’s to support teachers in using technology with students and supporting teachers is a whole new ball game.
I was lucky enough when I worked at the International School Bangkok to work with 6 other coaches and the school gave us time together to work on and learn coaching strategies. Ways to support teachers in their own journey of integrating technology.
Do you work with the willing or do you work with all?
It’s a question that, as coaches, we need to continually ask ourselves. It’s easy to work with the teacher that wants to integrate technology, that sees the power in it. It’s a whole different ball game when trying to work with a “closed door” teacher. How do you get into that classroom? What approach strategy can you use to get in that door and support those students as well?
When administrators are hiring coaching positions all to ofter they focus on whether or not the educator has the “tech skills” or the “math knowledge” to be in a coaching role. I would argue that is only half the formula to being a good coach. Being an effective coach has more to do with building relationships and interpersonal skills then it does tech knowledge. You can have all the technology knowledge in the world. You can be an Apple Distinguished Educator or a Google Certified Trainer….that’s all great! But if you cannot relate to people, if you cannot form relationships all that know-how is worthless.
First, I was reminded that building relationships with the teachers I work with is the foundation of being able to coach. I am a relatively new coach in my current district so building relationships is paramount to my work with teachers. ~ Tracy Brown
It’s because of this that one of the first courses that we created at Eduro Learning was a Coaching from Theory to Practice course, and why today it is still our #1 course. On February 6th, we will be running another facilitated cohort. While you can take the course for the self-pace option, the facilitated course gives you an instructor and a community as well as a timeline for completing a course. Something that not only students need but it turns out adult learners as well. If you have more than one coach at your school or in your district, take the course as a team. This is by far the most powerful way to do any PD. When you can learn in a blended community that is both local and global at the same time is very powerful and allows you to support each other within your school or district.
We’re excited to start another facilitated cohort in a few weeks time and hope you can join us for what we believe is the key to becoming a successful tech coach or TOSA.
Last week I had the pleasure of running a lab site in an Enumclaw 5th Grade class as part of my work with the district over the past couple of years. It’s a lesson that I first taught in 2009 and is still as relevant today as it was then.
The students were working on opinion writing. They were writing in Google Docs which made it easy to have students peer edit with their editing partner. At the same time, there was an opportunity to have them experience commenting not just on someone you know and are in class with, but also learn to leave a comment on someone you don’t know and probably will never meet. That is a whole new level to commenting.
So here’s the lesson….it took about an hour:
Have students share their opinion writing with their editor buddy giving them “comment only” rights to their document. (Students in this class had shared their writing with their partner before….this time we change the permission to be “comment only”).
Take time to read your partners writing and leave comments on their work.
Now close your computer and have a discussion about the difference between a compliment and a comment.
What a great conversation to have with students. We started listing what makes a compliment and what would be a good comment. The image to the left shows what the students came up with. We then talked about how you might give both to someone. Everyone likes compliments but they don’t really help the author with their writing. But if you make a compliment/comment sandwich you can do both! So we practiced in table groups what a good compliment/comment sandwich might sound like.
“I really enjoyed reading your post. I am wondering if you could add more details when you talk about the house. I couldn’t quite see it in my head. I really like the way your story ended, it made me laugh”
The day before the lesson I went to Twitter and did a search for #comments4kids 5th to find 5th grade classrooms that were blogging and looking for comments from others. In no time at all, I found the two following classes:
We took the links from the tweets and put those into Google Classroom for the students to have. Once we finished our conversation on compliments and comments we had the students open their Chromebooks, click on the links and practice writing compliment/comment sandwiches on other 5th graders writing. This lead to some more great discussions:
What do you put in the name field and why using your first name only is OK when leaving comments.
If you don’t think their writing is very good what do you do? What do you say? Or do you not say anything?
My favorite part of the day was as we were debriefing the activity, I asked the students what it was like to leave a comment on someone you have never met before?
“Weird” was the best we could come up with. We unpacked weird to be not knowing the person, not being able to explain yourself, and you didn’t want to hurt their feelings because you don’t know them.
A compliment/comment sandwich isn’t new. In fact, it’s a strategy for writing emails as well. I’d even call it a digital literacy strategy that can be used whether you are leaving comments on writing, on others blogs or any digital writing where someone can’t see you physically. It’s a great strategy to start teaching kids. Again…nothing new here I know….just thought I’d share my lesson for others.
I hear it all too often from teachers, administrators, and school board members.
“Who’s training the parents?”
It’s true that if we’re going to change the culture of what we expect schools to look like and be like we have to help parents understand the changing nature of education as well. Along with that, we have to help parents understand this generation. They are a great generation for sure, however as I tell parents….nobody has raised a fully online, fully connected, fully mobile generation before….lucky you!
This generation is different we look at them and their devices and we don’t get it. Why can’t they go outside and play like we use to do? Why are more and more of them not getting their driver’s license? Why don’t they go to a friends house instead of texting all the time?
These are just some of the questions and issues that usually come up in parent training sessions. They are all legitimate concerns and great questions to be asking.
As part of our work (Eduro that is) Kim Cofino and Chrissy Hellyer have put together a 6 course parenting certificate program for parents who want to learn and understand the connected digital lives of teens today. These courses are not about taking devices away, or answering the way to open-ended question “how much time should my child be on a device?”. No, these courses are about understanding this generation of connected teens and appreciating the world they are growing up in and trying to understand it and the pressures they are under within it just a little better.
Kim and Chrissy interviewed parents and teenagers for the course. Throughout the different courses, you get to hear parents and teens talk about how they are handling this new world of parenting. A world where you are having to parent in both a physical space and a digital space. The physical space is much easier as we can see kids actions, we can talk to them. However, their digital spaces are hidden, or not so hidden, and we need to be talking about and parenting those spaces as well.
Parents can take just one course if they would like or they could take all 6 and get a Parenting in a Digital Age Certificate from Eduro for completing all 6 courses. The classes come with a private Facebook group for parents to share their stories, talk about how they are handling things with their own children, or ask for help and advice. It’s a community to support each other as we help children today navigate a world that no other teenager before them has ever had to do. Their world is not what our world was when we were their age. This is a new landscape for both parents and teens.
The six courses are:
As Kim and Chrissy were creating the courses they also started to pull together resources and ideas for a book. They created a “Top 5 Concerns for Digital Parents E-book” that you can purchase on the Eduro website or get free when you purchase all six courses. It’s a great quick read that parents can take and use in helping to understand this generation just a little bit better.
We’re so excited to be launching these courses and e-book and with the holiday season upon us wanted to offer readers of The Thinking Stick and parents a discount for the courses. If you purchase a course between now and January 1st, 2017 you can save 15% off your purchase with the promotional code: TTSparents
We hope these courses help and please do give us feedback on them so we can continue to make the better and relevant to parents today.
For context, I meet with the ATLA group 5 times throughout the school year. Each training builds upon the one before giving depth to the professional development you just can’t get at a conference or one-day PD session.
This is where my focus with school districts is right now. If we’re going to make actual lasting change in schools with these powerful connected tools, then we need to make sure we have professional development plans in place that help teachers learn how to use them in truly meaningful ways. –Jeff Utecht
The following is reposted with permission from Auburn School District.
Last year when I received my Chromebook at ATLA (Auburn Teacher Leadership Academy 2.0), I didn’t see how it would benefit me as a band teacher. After all, band is about having students blow air through instruments, not typing up a summary about a music history assignment on a glorified typewriter. But after graduating from ATLA, I realized that there had to be ways to use technology to support my students that I didn’t realize.
Yesterday was our first day of Chromebooks in the band room and I was blown away. I realized that the little laptops give all of my kids instant access to digital keyboards. After a brief survey, less than 5% of my students could name the notes on a piano. Now 100% of my students can.
That simple lesson is going to lead into much more complex musical theory discussions in ways that we could never have had before. In this way, the Chromebooks took us beyond supplementing what we were doing because it wasn’t feasible to provide access to pianos for all my students.
Now the Chromebooks offer us a quick and portable way to do so. And the software! Instead of just presenting information to students, they get to practice! Repetition is a key to student growth. Today I am out of the building and my students’ Do Now is to practice naming piano notes for 50 repetitions!
Currently, we are in the process of buying Flat, a simple to use music notation program that will allow our students to become composers. I’m excited by the cross-curricular benefits my students will enjoy as they try to divide 6 quarter notes by dotted 8th notes.
Before easy-to-use student notation software, kids didn’t get the instant feedback when they tried to incorrectly assemble measures of music. Now, not only will they be practicing math, but they will be able to connect the songs from their cultural backgrounds to their instruments at the same time!
I know that students have to play their instruments to improve, but the Chromebooks are helping me fill in the gaps of basic music education in an interactive way that they weren’t getting before.
Yesterday at the end of class a student came up to me and put his hand out as if we’d never met before. When we shook hands he said, “Thank you.”
However, my evaluation goes this year is immaterial. For this kid, I just passed it.
On behalf of my students I’d just like to thank Auburn for giving us what we didn’t know we needed.
Olympic Middle School
Auburn School District
I have wrote occasionally here about the work the Eduro Learning team and I are doing in partnership with Marysville as they roll out over 5000 Chromebooks to students 6-12 in their district. I use the term “rollout” loosely, as what Becky, Scott and the Board decided to do was not so much a rollout as a leapfrog. In the video below, created and produced in partnership with a Marysville student, you hear Becky talk about what the technology was like in the district before they passed their tech levy in 2014.
What the Marysville School Board and the leadership understood was that “rolling out” devices over a long period of time will not help their students tomorrow. If we wanted to help them tomorrow, we needed them to have the devices today. So they “leapfrogged”, skipping the laptop/Chromebook in carts phase, skipping trying to figure out what is the most equal way of getting devices in the hands of kids, and they just did it. Here is a quick rundown of their timeline (though Scott has made a way cooler one here).
February 2014: The community of Marysville passes the Tech Levy and infrastructure work begins
February 2015: Working WiFi is deployed in all schools for the first time
May 2015: Every teacher receives a new laptop. The district makes the jump from desktops to laptops for educators
May 2015: Rollout a 3 year, 12 full-day training program for teachers partnering with Eduro Learning
November 2015: Deploy over 5000 Chromebooks to every 6-12 student
August 2015 – June 2019: A total of 180 training days equalling 1260 hours of training for roughly 480 educators
In under two years, MSD leapfrogged their existing education model to something completely new and different. I have worked with many schools both here in the US and overseas and have never seen a school district commit to changing the teaching and learning landscape as quickly and as fully supported as Marysville has. At SXSWedu, I want Becky and Scott to be able to share their district’s story of how they did it, bringing the community along with them, supporting teachers and most importantly doing right by students.
As for my part….Marysville chose Eduro Learning from a host of Professional Development partners to oversee the teacher training commitment that they made to their community, students and teachers. Why did they choose use? You’ll have to come to SXSW to find out. 🙂
One thing we believe at Eduro Learning is that there is no need to hide what we are doing. If anyone else can learn from us and it helps students, then part of being a teacher is helping others. That is why all our materials that we use in our trainings can be found here, on our PD site. Through the trainings you will see how we balance helping teachers understand and use the technology tools that are now in the hands of every student, and the pedagogical shift that needs to take place to change the teaching and learning culture of a school district.
Kim Cofino and Chrissy Hellyer, both career educators, are our curriculum writers, not just for the teacher training but the six administrator trainings that administrators will go through in this process as well. The entire Eduro Team runs the trainings face to face and supports teachers from afar in between the face to face trainings. If we expect teachers to teach in a blended classroom, then we must give them the opportunity to learn in one as well. So we created a blended learning system that allows for learning to take place between the face to face sessions. A truly blended PD experience as we change the teaching and learning culture within the district.
Has it been smooth? Nope….and that’s what makes it exciting. It’s education after all and we’re trying to build the airplane as we fly it! You can’t pause education, the kids keep showing up as we work through the transition. The Board continues to support the teachers’ efforts by creating a Social Media Policy, one of the first in the State of Washington, and by coming to some of the trainings themselves to show their support for their teachers. I cannot tell you how fantastic it is to work with a Board and Leadership team that understands this is a journey, not a destination we’re trying to get to.
The work continues into this year of course, as we continue to build understanding with teachers, change paradigms within the community and most importantly support students in preparing them for their future not our past. I felt the need to write about this, not only because I think it is important work, work that needs to be shared so others can benefit, but this is also the information that doesn’t fit on the SXSWedu application.
Please help us by taking a few minutes (SXSW doesn’t make it easy…you do need to register an account) and vote for our Case Study session at SXSW so that we can share the Marysville Story with an even larger audience. Thank You!
“[T]he need for meaning has certainly evolved over the years,” the ADP researchers wrote. “Today, the younger generation of Millennials places more of an emphasis on a search for meaning within their jobs than previous generations, who tended to look for meaning outside of work.” -Quartz
So this generation is searching for meaning in their work. When work is school you are searching for meaning in your school work. We call this student-led, or student ownership, or a host of other names I’m sure you’ve heard in eduspeak. But what we really need to understand is that for this generation in our schools today they want work to be meaningful….to them….not to us the teachers.
How do we help them do meaningful work? Work that shows their passion, their love and something they want to do? Each generation is different from the one before, yet we treat the new generation like our generation…because that’s what we know. Today we have more research on this generation than ever before and all that research says the same thing. They are an amazing generation that if given meaningful tasks will work hard for you. If the tasks are not meaningful, if they don’t feel they have control over their own time and space, then they shut down (more from the above research).
I was thinking about this as I subbed in for the tech teacher at my wife’s school. The lesson plan called for them to explore a couple of data websites on their own. I watched 4th graders struggle without knowing what to click on or where to go. They go to websites all the time but without meaning, why go at all. So we came up with meaning. For a few kids they were interested in Antarctica, a few others their favorite sports player. All of a sudden we were looking and navigating data websites in a meaningful way….meaningful to them.
Employers are having troubles keeping Millennials happy in the workplace (that’s really what this article is about) and Gen Z is coming right behind them. Engaging this generation is not just an education problem. It’s a problem that everyone is facing when we treat the next generation like our generation instead of understanding that they are different. Not better or worse, just different…..and that’s a good thing!
I haven’t made much time to blog this semester…..OK….this year. But what a year it has been!
I am currently writing this sitting at Rialto Beach on the coast of Washington. One of our favorite ‘get off the grid’ places to go. We hike in about a mile, no Internet, no cell service. Just the waves, nature and prana.
It’s here that I find time to finally sit and reflect on this year’s journey into amazing new educational adventures with more on the way.
Eduro: Marysville School District
I wrote last year about the 5 year contract we signed with Marysville School District and the work the team and I would be doing there. The first year has been simply amazing. From August when we started training 150ish teachers in Cohort 1, to deploying over 8000 Chromebooks to students 6-12 grade in October and November. Then “Doing the Work” to start changing teaching practice to understand how to make the most of this new tool and connected classrooms…it’s been tough but exciting.
Last week at a training that Kim and I were facilitating for Cohort 2 (the next 150 teachers) a math teacher said to me, “I’ve started using Google Forms and ‘Flipping’ my class, but other than that I’m not doing much.”
Let’s see, you made a transition from a PC to Mac operating system, you are learning and are continuing to learn the power of Google Apps for Education. You also have started to change lessons, units and overall pedagogical approaches you use in the classroom. Yeah…..I think you’re doing plenty for a 7 month roll out.
So often as teachers, we don’t take time to step back and reflect on the journey we have come on in a year with our students and with ourselves. The changes are so small at the time that we don’t often see that they add up to something much larger. If this is where we are at in 7 months. I can’t wait to see where we are in 2018 and beyond.
Cohort 1 is on training 7 of 12. Cohort 2 is on training 5 of 12 and Cohort 3 starts their training the end of June. Soon we will be changing learning for students from 3-12 grade across a district. Impacting the learning of roughly 11,000 students. What an honor!
COETAIL: Another Cohort in the Books!
Who would have thought a program started in 2009 to help the teachers at one school (International School Bangkok) would 7 years later have over 1000 educators going through this learning journey……not us.
A couple weeks ago our 6th online COETAIL Cohort completed their 18 month learning journey with some amazing final projects. You can view them here (link to blog) or follow COETAIL on Facebook or Twitter as we release them once a week over the summer.
The program continues to get rave reviews from educators who complete it. Full disclosure our dropout rate is roughly 15%. This is not just some courses that you do to learn. This is a community you join to truly reflect on your teaching practice and make the most of the technology you have available to you in your classroom. Our instructors and coaches (COETAIL graduates who want to continue supporting the community) are what make this program work. The program continues to focus on being reflective in our practice while learning together to better ourselves as educators. A simple approach with an amazing impact. Our next Online Cohort starts in September. If you want to be a part of this amazing community of dedicated, learning focused educators please join us.
Next year not only can you find us in Asia (Saigon) in Europe (Warsaw) but we expand to South America (Quito) in October. With flights from the US being around $800 I hope to see some American teachers expanding their PLNs and making connections in South America this coming school year.
Personal Consulting: Enumclaw School District
This past year I had the honor to lead the Connected Classroom Teacher (CCT) in Enumclaw on their learning journey to 1:1. This group of 15 teachers not only did the work. They did it in a humbling fashion. Taking failures (First Attempt In Learning) in stride, learning not only a new OS (Chromebooks) but also thinking differently about teaching and learning in a connected classroom. Chris Beals, IT Director in Enumclaw and myself put together a case study of our work and partnership together here. The work continues with three more CCT Cohorts this coming year. Work once again that I am honored to be apart of. There is nothing like a 6am drive towards Mt. Rainer on a clear morning to remind you to be humble and be present.
As Auburn School District prepares for their 1:1 rollout they have put together ATLA Cohorts (Auburn Teacher Leaders Academy). Cohorts of teachers to go through a series of trainings to think about teaching and learning in a 1:1 environment. Our work continues next year with a new group of ALTA teachers.
Auburn SD this year also launched #techconnect a one day conference for their teachers to come together and share their learning, their classroom practice and have conversations around teaching and learning with devices. I was honored to be this year’s keynote and look forward to continuing our work over the next year.
Keynote: Washington State School Directors Association
A true highlight and memorable moment of this past school year was being asked to be a keynote speaker at the Washington State Schools Directors’ Association (WSSDA) Conference. To be asked to keyonte, inspire and push the school board directors’ in the state that I was educated in, love and call home was simply an honor.
I have now had the pleasure of working with over 25 school districts in my own state and was able to bring my knowledge of what I’m seeing, hearing and thinking about to those ultimately responsible for leading the change in our schools. It was great to be able to talk about the above mentioned school districts, to highlight the great work I have seen being done on behalf of students across the state and at the same time to push for a future of schools within Washington State that will prepare students here for a future that is continually evolving.
Then there were the countless other experiences. Keynoting the WCTSMA student conference in Kennewick, WA. The State of Education address to parents and community in Enumclaw. The work with Everett School District’s Leadership Team over the past year in preparation for their Tech Levy passing, which it did, this April, and starting our work together to bring 22,000 students and 1,100 teachers into a 1:1 teaching and learning environment.
It has been an incredible year. Full of learning, of meeting new people, and most importantly helping schools help students prepare for their future not our past.
If learning something new was easy everyone would do it.
One of the reasons I love working with school districts and teachers over a long term basis is that you get to really dig in and do the work.
I have started many presentations over the past year with this:
“Raise your hand if you were ever taught in your pre-service program what learning looked like in a 1:1 environment?”
“Raise your hand if you were ever taught classroom management strategies in a 1:1 environment?”
“Raise your hand if in your Master’s degree you learned teaching and learning strategies for a 1:1 environment?”
“Raise your hand if the curriculum you have to teach from was created for a 1:1 teaching and learning environment?”
In the past year I’ve asked these questions to hundreds of educators. The only question that ever sees a hand go up is the Master’s degree and even then we’re talking 1 or 2 in a staff of 300+.
Here’s the thing….once your school or district decides to go 1:1 everything changes. The curriculum in a moments notice needs upgrading. Your classroom management changes, and what we can do, know that we need to do, and how learning happens all changes. It changes in ways that most educators were never taught to teach in.
These are the reasons long-term focused PD sessions need to be implemented once a school decides to go 1:1. No one-off conference or one-off PD day is going to be able to address the deep pedagogical shifts that happen once every student has access to the Internet the moment they want to learn something. It changes everything.
School leaders need to understand that investing in this type of long-term, pedagogically focused PD is the difference between devices becoming replacement for paper and pencil and becoming something transformational in the classroom.
It’s not a teacher’s fault that they don’t know how things change, because chances are they were never taught to be prepared for this change. So for better or worse we have to “go back to school” and learn how to adapt our teaching methods, ideas, and understandings to a new connected classroom where we have leveled the content knowledge playing field.
We have to “do the work” to be OK with this and to become learners again ourselves. To open our minds and understand we’re not saying any one is a bad teacher-there isn’t judgement. We’re saying we changed the landscape on you and with that comes a new way to approach learning.
Schools need to understand when they decide to go 1:1 they must make sure to invest pedagogically in their teachers as well. Not PD focused on devices and software but focused on new ways of learning and understanding what the 4 C’s really mean in today’s connected world.