Monday, September 13, 2021

Watering the Seed: Professional Growth Goals & Professional Learning Communities

Starting last year, with the creation of my new position as Director of Professional Development, our Professional Growth Goals (PGGs) were moved away from the division directors and placed under the authority of me. The first step in my mind was to establish a robust, yet flexible approach to meaningful PD through the PGGs. Because the approach was new, teachers were a little indifferent to the change at first. They diligently wrote their goals and then I began meeting with each of them for a short discussion understanding and clarify their goals. The meetings went really well and were very positive. I received a few comments from some teachers like, "This is great! I've never had a meeting about my PGG before." In the mid-year meetings, the new enthusiasm continued even in the face of Covid. And in the final meetings of the year, teachers shared what they had learned and how they planned to change their practice in the 2021-22 school year.

Along the way, I had been planting seeds. I had mentioned the idea of teachers teaming up to do PGGs together as well as entire departments collaborating in PGGs. So in my first meetings this year, I was ecstatic to see those seeds growing. Two of the music teachers wanted to support each other with improving their guitar skills because so many of our students play guitar. The entire Social Studies department wants to do a book study over Hattie's Visible Learning. Each teacher from the department will take the lead on one of the chapters. I was so excited to see a Professional Learning Community born completely naturally at our school without cajoling. I still have 40 more meetings to go, so I know there will be more amazing PGGs in the coming days.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply plant seeds, put a little water on them, and then sit back and watch them grow.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Professional Growth Goals & Book Creator

 

I started off the school year with getting my Book Creator Certified Author Level 1 badge today. The videos took me about an hour to watch and I got a 20/20 on the quiz. I'm adding this to my status as a Book Creator Ambassador. Book Creator added 230 improvements to the platform and many of those were new accessibility tools. It now has language support for 120 languages as well, so the platform continues to get better and better as a teaching and learning tool. As a practical tool to use at Cheongna Dalton School, I created a support document for our Professional Growth Goals for our faculty with Book Creator.



Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Making Facebook More Enjoyable in the Short Term


We all have that friend and/or family member who is posting too many memes from other sources that you are tired of seeing or simply find disgusting. How to solve the problem? I'm going to show you a trick that has been around a long time, but that most people still seem oblivious to — snoozing or hiding a non-friend. By snoozing or hiding a non-friend, you get to continue your relationship, but silence the disgusting content that you are sick of seeing on your feed. When your friend/family member re-posts that ugly meme or article, go to the three dots on the upper right-side of the post. A drop-down menu will appear with choices of how to deal with the trash. I am a huge fan of the snooze option. Once you choose it, now — no matter how many times in the next 30 days your friend or family member re-posts or shares "Nathan's" content — it will not appear in your feed. If you are really sick of seeing things from "Nathan", you can hide all and never see Nathan's garbage again, but still have the posts from your friend or family member. I have been using this trick for a long time and it has made my Facebook experience acceptable. Ideally, I would delete my Facebook account, but too many friends and family stay in touch with me through it, and I just can't see my mom learning how to use Twitter or Instagram at this point. Facebook has become a necessary evil for at least a little while.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Custom Avatar & Wallpaper on Chromebooks

 


If you work with students who use school Chromebooks, you will find that some of them go crazy changing their avatar and wallpaper. Sometimes they choose very inappropriate things. I'm not a huge fan of banning something, but sometimes it is a decision from leadership or the school board. Our elementary school director asked me to set the avatar to our school logo and the wallpaper to the school logo as well. Several of the teachers were tired of seeing crazy avatars and wallpaper, so this is how you can make a universal avatar or wallpaper for your Chromebooks. Sign in to your admin console. Go to Devices-->Chrome-->Settings-->User & Browser Settings. On the General tab, you will find the place to upload the image you want for avatar or wallpaper. These are user settings, so students will need to log out and log in to have the settings take hold.