5 Awesome Things I Did for PD This Summer

1) #isedchat
While I originally thought that people might want a break from our weekly chat, there was an overwhelming feeling that educators shouldn’t stop learning in the summer. I’m so glad that we continued! We discussed topics such as highly effective faculty meetings, ideas to start the school year off right, personal goals, school to home communication and much more! We even read the book “A New Culture of Learning” and had a fabulous discussion surrounding it one of the weeks. I am also looking forward to a discussion of the article “How Teens Understand Privacy” on August 25th. It was amazing to share resources and learn from each other all summer! Check out our archives published to the ISE Ning.

2) Taught Scratch Programming
This summer, for the first time in 15 years, I taught a computer programming class. I had the pleasure and honor to teach, along side of Sarah Ludwig, 30 highly motivated 6th – 8th grades how to design and create their own video game. I had never used Scratch before so i watched online tutorials, played, and learned right along side of the students. It was an amazingly authentic teaching experience. See my blog post here!

3) Blogged….and read others’ blogs
While I often claim that I don’t like to write, I find so much pleasure in writing and reflecting on teaching and learning. I also love reading other educators reflections. Here are a few of my favorites from this summer:

To Effect Change, Keep It Simple

IT Director = Campus Bartender 

A Letter to New Teachers 

Professional Comfort Zone

Blah Blah Blah Life Long Learning Blah Blah Blah

4) Diigo!
I am a huge fan of Diigo. It provides me with a network of other educators and the resources they find useful. I especially like when others highlight and add commentary s. It is a tool I use every day and I look forward to the daily emails from groups like Educators, Math Links, Classroom 2.0 and many others!  This summer, I set up each department and division with a Diigo group so I can pass along great resources to them. A few colleagues have already signed on, and even added resources to the groups. Yay!

5) Twitter
I am a huge fan of Twitter. I learn so much from my PLN every day! Aside from all of the amazing resources I have at my fingertips 24/7, Twitter allowed me to “attend” some of the conferences virtually this summer that I could not
attend in person. #iste11 was amazing to follow, as was #whuc11, (Whipple Hill Users Conference), some #edcamps and the #140edu. I followed keynotes, workshops, and post-conference follow-ups. Thanks to everyone who shared!

So, another summer is approaching its end. I am always excited about a new school year and I am especially excited, this year, to share all that I have learned!


Celebrate Our Success!

Hamden Hall Faculty:

Here is a list of some of the awesome things we have accomplished this year:

1) Our digital projects page was created and it has grown by leaps and bounds. These projects include podcasts, glogs, blogs, videos, voice threads, vokis and much more! WOW! Our kids can produce some amazing, creative work with your guidance and committment. If you have some additional work you would like to share, send it our way!

2) Many of us participated in 19 Things for Hamden Hall. We learned all about some new productivity, presentations, research, sharing and learning tools. If you didn’t have time to participate, please feel free to take a look this summer. The winner of the Kindle will be drawn at the Faculty Dinner after graduation. Thanks to everyone who participated.

3) Beginning in March, the Middle School worked on a two-month project in advisor groups, with the outcome being ten 60-second Public Service Announcements. The PSAs were fully developed and created by students, with advisors putting in a great deal of time and energy as facilitators. Every middle school student participated in this project, either as directors, actors, writers, editors, stage managers, or camera people. Two students represented each PSA at the screening, which was viewed by the entire middle school, visitors from other divisions, and a panel of three judges. Mary Jane Smith’s group’s PSA, “Words as Weapons,” was declared the winner. To see all ten PSAs, photos taken throughout the project, and to learn more, click here.

4) We now have 221 members of our community in our Hamden Hall Google Apps domain. Students as young as 5th grade have used this tool to write collaboratively, create group presentations and share their work with others without large attachments and without multiple versions of documents being sent back and forth. For more information about Google Docs Tools for the Classroom, click here.

5) Our Professional Development blog has grown! We are sharing and reflecting upon those enriching PD experiences so that the entire community can benefit from them. If you have anything to share this summer, please email me and I will create an entry on the blog so you can share it with us!

6) We have pushed our computer lab reservations to the limit! … just take a look at the calendars in the Faculty/ Staff Center, MS/ US Center and LS Center. We were BUSY! We have been using the available laptops more and more often. I am happy to report that the Parents’ Association has generously funded a class set of netbooks (light weight, smaller sized laptops) that will be available for “check out” next year.

Here’s to an amazing summer of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation!

Summer PD Resources:
What will you learn this summer?

Virtual Summer Camp for Teachers