Let Go and Let Learn | e-Learning Today TV

Episode 9 – May 14, 2010

(Episode Length: 20 minutes, 51 seconds)

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  • Welcome to e-Learning Today TV

Pick me up

  • Special needs students at Carnegie Hall
    • special needs students to perform in NYC
    • met other schools through webcam
    • global event
    • first time they will all be performing together

Current E-vents

  • Win $2000 in the Sketch-A-Space Competition for Students with Autism | Easter Seals and Google SketchUp
  • Mission: to raise autism awareness help make spaces more accessible to students with autism.
  • Open to students with autism, students interested in learning more about autism, or students who have someone in their life that lives with autism (aged 13 and older)
  • Must use Google SketchUp to design your space and keep in mind the unique needs of students with autism.
  • Submit your space by July 16, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.
    • $2000 Grand Prize to design your ideal, dream space.
    • 3 $1000 Honorable Mentions.


  • Virsona
    • virtual conversations with famous people
    • create responses / answers
    • learn about famous figures by engaging in conversations
    • create your own characters
  • ZooBurst
    • 3D pop up book creator
    • create stories and upload pictures
    • embed and share

Hashtag Talk


  • Professional development should be approached in the same manner we approach good teaching. Good teaching is a process: research based, student centered, relevant, andmeaningful, social, comprised of checks for understanding and authentic assessments, reflective and differentiated based on student needs. Good teaching breeds life long learners.
  • If a student is unmotivated or disengaged we do not blame the student, we adjust the learning context, content, and process. Instead of blaming teachers and writing them off as uninterested in learning, lazy, and burnt out – we need to reflect on, redefine, and redesign professional development to make it more meaningful for teachers.
    • @johntspencer: when the mentality is “how do we train teachers” rather than “how can teachers share horizontally” teachers will hate the PD
  • Stop Wasting Your Money and Use Your Assetts
        • Discover your teachers’ strengths and capitalize. Teachers, like students, learn best from their peers.
        • Consider linking participation to action research plans or professional growth goals. Differentiate and customize.
  • Build and Cultivate a Community of Learners¬†
        • Learning is a social experience. Give your teachers time to observe each other, share, and collaborate.
        • Provide resources (including time) for your teachers on Personal/Professional Learning Networks.
  • Design Meaningful, Practical, and Exploratory Sessions
        • Professional Development should be practical, meaningful, relevant – (applicable TOMORROW).
        • @teachingwithsoul said it best, “PD cannot be one shot and on to the next “new thing”. Need to “slow cook” our chosen focus. Give time to explore.”
        • Work with your teachers to plan PD sessions that run more like unconferences, barcamps, teachmeets, team projects, or workshops rather than lectures.
  • Evaluate, Reflect, and Adjust
        • All great teaching begins with the end in mind, PD shouldn’t be any different, gradual release method, scaffold learning
        • Follow up, reflect and rethink on PD sessions, consider using the twitter backchannel
        • Implement support structures for your teachers to review or share what they have learned: blogs, microblogs, wikis (allows you to check for understanding and incorporate a form of accountability during and after your PD sessions)
  • Let Go and Let Learn
        • @olafelch suggests, “How about every teacher having a personal PD (expense) budget?” or at least a PD time budget. Teachers need to experiment, reflect on PD sessions & invest in themselves.
        • Don’t be scared to give your teachers’ some autonomy when it comes to their professional growth.
        • My biggest takeaway: what works best with students works best with teachers!

Watch and Learn

  • Lunchables Field Trip Contest
    • chance for 50 deserving classes to take a field trip
    • field trips open imagination and minds of students
    • lead them to see the opportunities in the real world


  • Jamie Oliver Food Revolution
      • petition for healthier food in schools
      • recipes and healthy meal ideas
      • advocates for healthy food
      • tips for encouraging healthy cooking at home
  • Moppet Games
      • free, educational games
      • ages 3-8 years old
      • matching, word games, math game

Teach This

  • Facebook for schools
    • schools using Facebook to connect with community
    • announce school news, events, etc.
    • unite students and community
    • school spirit

Blogger of the Week

  • NJ School Principal Against Social Media Ban | Eric Sheninger
  • Eric Sheninger: principal of New Milford High School in New Jersey
  • Blog: A Principal’s Reflections | Post: Banning is the Easy Way Out: direct response to the widespread media coverage of the NJ principal that asked parents to ban social media.
  • Banning social media is NOT the best approach to cyberbullying.
  • These tools provide students with “incredible opportunities to create content, collaborate on a global scale, and follow a path of continuous, life-long learning that extends beyond the walls of a school”.
  • Irresponsible social media use should not discourage educators, students, or parents from taking part, instead teach students about social responsibility by modeling and promoting effective use at home and school, rewriting curriculum and including student perspectives when creating best practices.
  • “As educators it is our task to teach students how to make responsible decisions, think critically, solve problems and communicate effectively in order to succeed in society… Administrators need to realize that these technologies are not going away and will only become more prevalent in society.¬† Administrators must remove self-imposed barriers and open their eyes to endless possibilities to reach learners in unique ways.” -@NMHS_Principal

So, What Do You Know

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