Monthly Archives: February 2015
Posted by Dr. Brad Gustafson
Recently, I was walking down a hallway in our school and stumbled upon an amazing turn of events…and it all started with a teacher.
As I was traversing the hallways I noticed two students collaborating on a podcast using their iPads. I stopped to chat and learned that their project was part of a classroom presentation for Genius Hour. Their teacher, Ms. Elle Zeman, empowered them to explore their passions, and on this day their passion was exploring an algorithm to solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than one minute!
I walked away from our hallway conversation impressed with our students, and even more impressed that our staff consistently put kids in positions to research, create, and communicate new information using cutting edge tools. It just so happens that this particular teacher also tweeted out a picture of her students’ Genius Hour presentation that same morning. The tweet was shared to our school hashtag #GWgreats and retweeted.
What happened next was pretty incredible. John Fritzky, an educator in New Jersey, contacted our school and asked if our students could teach students from his school how to solve a Rubik’s Cube using the same algorithm. After working out the logistics and scheduling a Google Hangout (GHO video conference) our elementary students were presenting to students at Byram Intermediate School in New Jersey.
Many of our students marveled at the notion that somebody else truly valued their work and learning. Even students who were not presenting shared in the excitement.
If you are an educator that is not using Social Media yet, I encourage you to reflect upon the opportunities that abound in this digitally connected age. Never underestimate the power of an authentic audience. Our students are counting on us to provide them authentic opportunities to practice 21st century skills in a safe environment accompanied by scaffolding from discerning adults.
This is a story about a teacher that amplified her students’ voices. She shared their learning on Twitter, and the resulting connections contributed to an experience her class won’t soon forget. Check-out the one minute video clip below to see our students in action.
Posted by Dr. Brad Gustafson
There has been a lot of buzz about the ConnectED BINGO game that started this month. In fact, we’re so pumped to be reading and connecting that we are issuing a Reading Smackdown for educators. That’s right…and it’s all for the love of literacy!!
I was recently chatting with a few of my principal friends from around the country on Twitter and Voxer. We challenged each other to a Reading Smackdown…..are YOU up for the challenge?!? Participating is as easy as 1-2-3:
- Create a short video clip of your favorite line from a book and post it to Vine. Be creative and be sure to add the hashtag #StuConnect to your post. We can’t wait to see how educators walk the walk during “I Love to Read” month. Special thanks to Chris Lehman for contributing this mini-challenge to the BINGO board.
- Join the fun, and print your BINGO board by clicking the link below. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQP80CJnm8EelZzSUt5bS12Sk0/view?usp=sharing
- Tag at least three more educators via Twitter or in a blog post and challenge them to join the #ReadingSmackDown too. Don’t forget to use the #StuConnect hashtag when posting your video on Vine.
I’m tagging my friends Tony Sinanis, John Fritzky, Amy Fadeji, Theresa Stager, Spike Cook, Adam Welcome & Mark French. Good luck!