Blogging as a way to reflect on oneself is such a rewarding experience.
But WOW is it hard. And by hard, I mean it's hard to find the meaningful time to Pause, Reflect and Write. I’ve used my blog here to reflect at times but also to share ideas and resources in depth and I got to tell you… the times I reflect are the hardest and most time consuming.
One way in which that many of us turn to as a way to reflect is to simply take and share our photos. Those wonderfully, powerful little phones in our pockets can so much and by taking more and more photos of our daily lives, they helps us remember and reflect back on what we've done. The BEST tool to use hands down for managing your photos is Google Photos. I've raved about this in the past, but here is a link to a gallery of some of my pics from CUE 17.
Now in this post, I wanted to reflect and write about all my incredible experiences while at the CUE conference in Palm Springs. But having three Professional Development packed days makes it a bit challenging to it all write down. So, I thought I would reflect in a different way… an infographic. I’ve done a few of these before; one for my year in review as a TOSA and one as a look back on my summer. This time I created a CUE 17 “Conference by the Numbers” Google Drawing document, shared it out on Twitter and offered it anyone else. I find this easier and also a bit more fun than just writing. For example, I could emphasize the craziness of the conference by putting down how many miles I walked in one day. By posting this on Twitter allowed others to tell their stories and experiences. So… my blog post for today is not just sharing out MY CUE by the numbers but a collection of others as well. You can click forward in the slideshow below to see many of these reflection infographics. If you would like to be included just open the Google Drawing template here, make your own, post it on Twitter with #CUE17, tag me on the post and I’ll add you.
I short while ago I had a few teachers ask about the differences between JPGs and PNGs. Their students were having issues with wanting images to be transparent on their slideshows, but they couldn’t understand why the “white box” would always show.
I told them about image files types, walked them through the differences and that got me thinking. This thinking led me to creating a screen tutorial about this question. You can see the difference between these three file types below, and watch this video describing them which also shows "why" and "when" you may want to use each of them.
Besides just this one question, I think I will use this idea to create a series of video tutorials for teachers and students to refer to when looking at ways to really use Google Slides. This will be called “Hacking Google Slides”. I have a fair amount ideas for video topics, lets just hope I can keep up with making these.
I have worked with social studies teachers for over 15 years and hands down, the most popular strategy I hear back from them are the tools for analyzing visual primary sources. And of those strategies, one "Divided Image" is the most requested of all. In essence it is a way in which teachers can divide an image while asking students to dive deep into analysis. Often, teachers think its only about the cutting up of the picture but as you look through this post please remember that it is REALLY about the questions you ask and how you drive them to keep get deeper with their analysis.
Most recently I was working with teachers at one of the schools here in Rocklin and some of them asked for me to share any tutorials. That is the purpose of the post; to put both the philosophies and "how to's" all in one place. Please reach out if you have any questions.
The two BIG TIPS when thinking about doing this strategy are these:
1) Make it about the questions? You should serve as someone who is just prompting them to think more and more. Below you will find a video tutorial and in this you will hear me talk about the Library of Congress' "Observe, Reflect and Question". Basically, you need to focus them on ONLY observing at first. They should dive DEEP and tell you all that they see. Then, and only then, can you have them move onto to making inferences. Finally, they should think about things which they still don't know.
2) To help dive deep into analysis I would print multiple copies of the image you are having them analyze, cut them into the same pieces and then laminate them. Then divide the class into small groups and each time you reveal a part of the image you will accompany this with passing out the corresponding laminated piece. You can see below what these look like laminated.
Here is a challenge for you out there in the Interwebs
For an upcoming workshop I will talking about the power of your PLN and Twitter's role in education. Now I have lots of my own feelings about this network but I wanted to ask my community about theirs.
So, I am seeing what kind of simile you all can make about Twitter.
You can just respond back via Twitter with your simile for example,
Twitter is like a houseparty... there's lots of conversations and it's fun to bounce in and out of many of them
Or try this... turn your simile into a "Motivational Poster" by using one of those generator sites like this one.
I'm using the hashtag #TwitterIsLike to share mine out, try doing the same
Here is one I did on how Twitter is like archaeology
thanks for sharing!