COETAIL, Course 3

This is the story of a girl

Last fall I did the training and took all the tests to become Google Apps Individually Qualified. I now need to complete the application to become a Google Apps Certified Trainer before December 4th. I made my video as a first draft of the one I will submit. Here are the specifications:

  • Submit a 2 minute video introduction about your background, role in education technology, and innovative approach to using Google Apps

I made my video using Jing and uploaded it to Screencast.

My video is currently over 2 minutes. I’d love any input for how to make it better! Thank you!

Goodbye course 3…see you soon course 4!

Photo Credit: Earl – What I Saw 2.0 via Compfight cc

COETAIL, Course 3, Professional Development

A Redesign: Assessment & Student Learning

When I first saw this presentation, I knew exactly the PowerPoint I wanted to redesign. During orientation our middle and high school principals presented to the staff about assessment practices and how we can best support student learning. They had a lot of information to give us so, understandably, the presentation was very text heavy.

When I asked, both principals graciously accepted my request to redesign their presentation (both have wives who are COETAIL graduates – Christina & Karen). I do have to admit that I enlisted my COETAIL husband to collaborate with me in order to make this their PowerPoint more zen and less death. We left the text that we thought was most important (our mission is brand new) and got rid of the rest. When text was present, Jeff taught me about Droid Sans (to grab the reader’s attention) and Droid Serif (to avoid eye fatigue). We chose a simple color scheme and redesigned the hard to read graphic.

However I acknowledged that much of the text was essential…so I created a handout for staff. This could be shared in PDF format to avoid the waste of paper.

What do you think??

Because Jeff (my husband) has been ‘into’ presentation design for a couple years, I’m relatively satisfied with my presentations for professional development. I’d love any and all feedback on my PD presentations or this redesign. Thank you!

COETAIL, Course 3, Professional Development

Remixing Professional Development

Although I’m currently teaching three MYP French classes, my normal job as a technology integration coach involves more time in front of teachers than in the classroom with students. When I saw that this week’s topic was the remix culture, Scott McLeod came to mind. His copyright is one of the most impressive examples of open sharing that I’ve seen.

Open innovation and open source innovation: what do they share and where do they differ?

Creating professional development sessions and workshops for our staff and for conferences is part of my job. Quality PD takes a lot of research and time to put together: the perfect chance for some remixing. If the ideas and resources are already out there, why spend time recreating everything when I can, instead, spend time remixing?

I was recently asked to present at a conference in Kuwait in January. The theme of the conference is 21st century learning and teaching. Among other topics, they’re looking for one 90 minute session for administrators. Although I’m currently in the UKSTL program, I haven’t every created a session specifically for admin. I reached out to Scott and Jayson Richardson (one of my current profs) to see if they had any advice. Jayson pointed me towards Scott’s workshop resources and we brainstormed a little during a Hangout. Scott has also agreed to chat sometime. I’d like to remix previous workshops Scott has done with activities that I’m learning from Jayson in class. I’m really excited for the possibilities of this session!

A question for you
Are you a school admin? What overarching message do you think is important for school leaders (re: technology)? What do you think admin need most? Thank you!

COETAIL, Course 3

Qu’est-ce qu’on mange?

Visual resumés
My journey to better understanding visual literacy has been slowly progressing over the last couple of years. Mostly through discussions with Jeff. We both did a huge rework of our resumes before we applied to teach abroad. They were a hit at our Search fair (we got jobs!). I think my next rework is going to have to be another major one as I am uncomfortable making my resume any longer than 2 pages.

When I started thinking about using an infographic in my French classes, I immediately went to Twitter to see if anyone in my PLN had something good. If I can take a couple seconds to outsource the work and not have to reinvent the wheel, I’m all for it. Karina came to my rescue and shared an amazing Pinterest board full of infographics…en français! (Merci à Gillian pour les réponses aussi!)

My class
In my MYP Phase 2 class, our current unit is about food (Qu’est-ce qu’on mange?). Our unit question is “How can cooking be good for my well-being and culture?” and our AOI is Health and Social Education.

My lesson
I found the infographic below on the blog ‘Autour de la gastronomie‘ which has numerous resources for French teachers. Although it would have to be altered for my students, I loved the layout and information! A few lesson ideas:

  • students choose a section of the graphic then discuss how/if food plays a similar role in their lives or culture (en français bien sur!).
  • in small groups students create survey questions for the school (using Google Forms). Results are tabulated and each group creates a part of the infographic (using or similar). Surveys could also be shared on principal blogs for parents to take. Students could then compare and contrast (en français) the data from the two infographics.

COETAIL, Course 3

Visual Interpretation in MYP Language B

Another year as a Technology Coach, another year teaching French. I am once again in the MYP Language B classroom (grades 9 & 10; phases 1, 2 & 3) part time due to unforeseen circumstances. I am entering my 3rd week in the classroom and I’m expecting to be teaching a minimum of this week and next. While it has been an incredibly challenging few weeks, I’ve learned a lot about MYP assessment.

The four criterion that can be graded in Language B are oral communication, visual interpretation, reading comprehension and writing. The middle school French teacher and I have started planning our formative assessments for the next unit based on our summatives.

Phase 3 Unit 2: On fait la fête!
Unit Question: ‘How can I be organized?’
AOI: human ingenuity.
Assessment tasks: A- tell a friend about your birthday party, B- analyze & compare birthday party invitations, C- read a text about Mardi Gras & answer questions, D- write a letter to describe your birthday party

Our focus will be on organizing parties. Although the summatives will be about birthday parties, we want to include a variety of cultural events throughout the unit. My favorite ‘C’ from the US National Standards for Foreign Language is Culture!

Language B French Formative: It is July 14. You are standing on the streets of Paris. This is the image you see as you look up into the sky. In French, write a short paragraph describing the holiday you are celebrating. Then, write a dialogue between you and two friends that you might have while participating in the festivities.
Les neuf Alphajet de la Patrouille de France.

COETAIL, Course 3

My blog design

Creating my blog
As a perfectionist, I wanted to make sure that my COETAIL blog looked decent before I unveiled it to the world (and wrote my first post). I first chose a color palette that was appealing to me using Adobe’s Kuler. After picking my WordPress theme, I passed my palette on to my husband who created my header in Photoshop. I love that my header has a little bit of my personality in it! I then changed my professional blog so that the two looked nearly identical.

Another look
After reading this week’s articles, I took a closer look at my blog. Although it is appealing to me, I didn’t love the organization of my right side-bar widgets. I took Brandon Jones’ advice and did some moving around. I’ve tried to clean up the side-bar and make it a little less overwhelming. You can compare the screenshots below to what it is now. (On the left was the top section, on the right was the bottom section. Unfortunately I lost the middle section that contained a tag & category cloud).

Coetail side bar 1                                             Coetail side bar 3

My ideal blog layout…
Speaking of side-bars…there are some other things I’d like over there. Instead of a text link to my other blog, I’d really like to have icons for my other blogs, twitter, diigo and linkedin. I really like the look of icon links instead of text (thanks to Beth for sharing the article!). After reading the article from Slate, I would also like more control over the font of the page.

Guest Blogging
Before reading the week one material, I had written a rather lengthy guest blog post (I compiled a few posts I had written on my other blog). Although I wasn’t able to make it too much shorter, I did decide to break up the sections (similar to what I’m doing with this post).

What do YOU think?
I believe it is most important what my readers think. I want my blog to show my personality while still appealing to the readers. I would love if you completed the ‘Exercise to Test Visual Hierarchy‘ in the comments!

  1. List the key information points that you are seeking.
  2. Assign values (1-10) according to their importance.
  3. Now, look at the actual design again.
  4. Assign values (1-10) according to the actual visual importance as you see it in the live design.
  5. Consider: Does the expected importance match up with the actual designed importance?

Thank you! 🙂