Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 28 #EdTechBridge Chat Topic: "Moving Relationships Outside of the Chat"

Relationship building has been at the heart of the #EdTechBridge mission from the beginning.  We started with a conversation (aka problem solving session) at SXSWEdu where we worked with the other participants in our session to look at the cultural divide (or perceived divide) that exists between Entrepreneurs and Educators.  As I've mentioned before, other sessions that dealt with bridging this gap existed as well.  The RESOUNDING take away from the Win-Win: Strategies for EdTech/Educator Engagement session conducted by Educators Lindsey Own, Stephanie Sandifer and Entrepreneurs Jay Goyal and Dion Lim was the importance of building and nurturing relationships.  The session facilitated by Katya Hott and I was grounded in this sentiment as well.  

In order to stay true to our mission we want to make sure that the chats can be action oriented and not simply discussion based. Some of the #edtechbridge participants have begun to form relationships outside of the chat and we want to facilitate this aspect of the community.

Our topic will focus on the notion of Moving Relationships Outside of the Chat.  As such, we have drafted the following questions:

Q1a: Read the intros / profiles of people on #edtechbridge.  Follow 3+ people with whom you'd like to colaborate with on an #edtech project.

Q1b: Who did you follow and why would you like to connect with this person outside of the chat?

Q2: What could you do after this chat to further establish a relationship with the people you want to connect with?

Q3: What #edtech tools do you currently use to manage contacts / nurture relationships?  Why are they effective?

Q4: What kind of #edtechtool would you like to co-design / collaborate on with another member of #edtechbridge?  Why?

Q5: In an #edtechbridge collaboration, would you rather be a designer / feedback-provider / advisor / other? Why?

Q6: Do you have any relationships / collaborations that have already been born out of #edtechbridge chats?  Please share!

Q7: What would you like to see in terms of a tool to help you connect and collaborate with others?

HOMEWORK: Connect with 1+ people outside of this #edtechbridge chat and report back to us next week!  

I think it will be a very exciting and productive chat.  We hope you will join us for...

#EdTech Bridge: Moving Relationships Outside of the Chat
Wednesday, May 28, 6pm ET / 3pm PST / 11pm GMT
on twitter using #EdTechBridge

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

EdTechBridge: How can we work to use edtech to create and maintain a healthy digital learning environment?

For our next #EdTechBridge chat on Wednesday, May 21 we will be exploring the idea of Creating a Healthy Digital Learning Environment and the role #EdTech plays in this area.  This came from a tweet during our last question of the evening, "What topic would you like to discuss next week.".  We always seem to get great ideas from members of this incredible community.  Emily Johnson (@rantoine2) shared the following idea:

As we began planning we figured there was so much here that it would more likely lead to two chats.  For this week the focus will be on creating and maintaining a healthy digital learning environment.  We are pleased to announce that Emily will join us as co-moderator for the chat!

Our tentative questions are:

  1. What tools do you think encourage digital literacy and what experiences have you had (positive / negative) trying to promote digital literacy?
  2. What have your experiences been with regards to collaboration and digital citizenship?
  3. What makes a healthy / unhealthy edtech environment in the classroom?
  4. How can edtech developers and teachers work together to make tools that promote a healthy digital learning environment?
  5. With technology in (and out of) the classroom, have your views on healthy / unhealthy behavior changed?
  6. How can EdTechBridge promote and create healthy learning environments? 
  7. How can educators utilize edtech tools and social media to model positive online behavior?

We are open to adding a few questions and always encourage input.  Feel free to provide feedback regarding the topic and questions so we can encourage a thought provoking and engaging chat.

Join us on Wednesday, May 21
at 6pm ET / 3pm PT / 11pm GMT
for the next installment of the #edtechbridge chat
Don't forget to use the #edtechbridge hashtag

The mission of EdTechBridge is to create a community of stakeholders (educators, EdTech developers, and students) with a goal of working together to create better edtech products to move education forward.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Share Your EdTech Story: Guest Blog Post by #EdTechBridge friend Scott Freschet

Share Your EdTech Story

Guest Blog Post by #EdTechBridge friend
Scott Freschet

Everyone loves a great story. Don’t forget to regularly share your how you use EdTech with colleagues, friends,  family, and the world!

Every Wednesday at 6pm EST, educators and EdTech companies meet on Twitter (#EdTechBridge</a>) to collaborate and work together to meet the needs of our most important consumers... our students

And last week - right after the #EdTechBridge twitter chat - we had one of those “magical” moments at the office.

Scott: “You know what?”
Steve: “What?”
Scott: “The favorite part of my day is when I get to hear a “story” of how an educator is using Actively Learn with  their students.
Steve: “Duh! Me too.”
Scott: “Next week’s #EdTechBridge chat should be about CELEBRATING these stories. I know EdTech is being used across the country and I want to hear more awesome stories!!”

Immediately after this conversation, we spent 10 minutes brainstorming ways for educators and EdTech companies to SHARE THEIR STORIES. If you don't belive me... take a look at our whiteboard!

What Happened Next:

I sent the idea to the #EdTechBridge community… and they LOVED IT!

 “Scott. I’m so honored that you guys took the time to brainstorm for #EdTechBridge! Awesome! I love the idea of a “Share Your Story” chat”

The moderators Steve Isaacs (@mr_isaacs) and Katya Hott (@katyamuses) just shared with me the tentative questions for the #EdTechBridge Twitter chat this Wednesday at 6pm PST. They are below:

Q1 - What are positive/negative stories of how your students use EdTech?
Q2 - What can you now do differently with EdTech in a classroom that you couldn't do before?
Q3 - How has building/using EdTech changed your opinion of education?
Q4 - How do you think classroom learning has changed as a result of EdTech?
Q5 - What are you most proud of as a result of your EdTech product/using EdTech in your classroom?
Q6 - What would you want to change about how EdTech is designed?

So My Ask Of You:

Please continue staring GREAT stories of how you use EdTech in your classroom and with your students! Whether it is a story about Actively Learn or another great tool... lots of people want to hear about your experiences!

Here are 2 small ways you can get started:

#1 - Share a great story of how you use Actively Learn in the comments of this post!
#2 - Join hundreds of other educators and EdTech companies on the  #EdTechBridge Twitter chat this Wednesday at 6pm EST.

About the Author

Scott Freschet is a director at Actively Learn (a reading tool that enables teachers to improve student learning) who loves to build startups and cook for his wife. Follow him on twitter (@ScottFreschet).

Monday, May 5, 2014

#EdTechBridge: Would you like to contribute to our openPD initiative?

We've had a number of great chats and it is clear that the idea of creating a community to bring EdTech developers and Educators together has been well received and is gaining traction.  The mission of EdTechBridge is to foster a collaborative environment among Developers and Educators with a shared goal of creating great EdTech products to help our students and move education forward.  It is very clear that creating and nurturing authentic relationships is the common theme to accomplishing this goal.

Last week's chat was about working together to improve EdTech Professional Development.  The discussion was great.  Now it's time for action.  One of the ideas that was discussed involves the idea of offering inclusive Professional Development opportunities.  How might this look?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Open existing Professional Development opportunities to the greater #EdTechBridge community.

    My school district has a program called "Staff College".  Every year, staff must complete six hours of PD (based on our large catalog of offerings) in lieu of a day of in-service.  Essentially, those who complete this get the Friday before Memorial Day off.  Staff who have not completed this requirement come in for a scheduled day of in-service.  A number of years ago, while I was completing my Masters degree in Online Teaching and Learning I proposed adding online courses to our offerings.  This idea was well received and now we offer a variety of online courses to supplement the face to face offerings.  When the EdTechBridge discussion began I approached my Assistant Superintendent about the possibility of opening up these courses to members of our community.  He was very open to welcoming others.  This could become a great model especially if other districts, educators, and developers were interested in contributing and possibly offering courses that could also be opened to the community.
  2. Offer 'office hours' through Google Hangout (or the like).

    This possibility came up during a chat a few weeks ago.  It wasn't directly tied to PD, but related to the idea of being available to educators, customers, etc. in order to facilitate relationship building.  In terms of our 'openPD' initiative, regularly scheduled office hours could certainly serve as a casual, informal option for PD related to specific topics or products.
  3. Schedule PD 'webinars' through our Google+ community.

    This group is already composed of awesome individuals with varied skill sets. We can certainly create a schedule of interesting 30 minute talks on a variety of skills, tools, or concepts.  Sessions could be recorded and archived on the #EdTechBridge YouTube channel (coming soon...)  The events could be interactive through google hangouts and hangouts on air.  This is not a revolutionary concept but it could certainly help put a face to community members and assist with professional development while staying true to our mission of relationship building.
  4. Curate and share existing on demand learning opportunities.

    Again, not revolutionary, but if we work together we can certainly develop a data warehouse of worthwhile PD related to EdTech products and classroom implementation.  
That's a start and we are open to your thoughts.  Do you feel another discussion on PD (PD Part 2: "Making Real Connections" or "Moving from Words to Action" would be worthwhile for this week's chat?  If not, please don't hesitate to offer other ideas for chat topics.  I know that one thought was related to Conferences or Relationship Building 'do's and dont's'.  As a community, we are looking for participant input.  Please post your thoughts on these PD ideas, chat topics, and if you are interested in joining us in this 'openPD initiative' please let us know!