School’s out for summer! It’s pretty safe to say the majority of us here in the United States are officially in the summer season, and, in the world of education, that starts a whole new conversation. To be a successful teacher, you most definitely have to be a successful learner. Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to find any time during the school year to learn the new tools and content educators need to ensure students are learning the most relevant skills and material. That’s why the gods created summer… to allow teachers to learn, improve and rejuvenate. In this week’s #edtechchat (Monday’s at 8pmET), educators from around the country laid out their plans for summer and shared countless ideas on how to spend these upcoming weeks in order to turn 2013-14 into an incredible school year. Thanks to moderators @iplante and @ajpodchaski for asking great questions about summer priorities, igniting an almost overwhelming amount of responses from the participants. Here is a quick highlight of what went down last night, but to get the full archive you can always refer to Edtechchat Wiki.
Also, #edtechchat is looking forward to a tweetup next Tuesday night down in San Antonio at ISTE. If you are planning on attending and wanting to meet up with some great “techie” teachers, this would be the perfect opportunity. For all the details and the FREE registration, click here.
Q1: What is the biggest goal you have for the summer, in terms of work?
@vandalgrad A1. Do lots of networking (human) & reading. Hopefully from the dock of our lake cabin.
@Ince22 A1, read all my professional books, design more blended learning to align to #CCSS, and blog.
@stmbaker A1, Figuring out how I want to teach math for the 1st time & investigating PBL for Science.
@michellegaydash A1 I want to make my class paperless, starting w/ my lesson plan format.
Q2: What is your biggest goal in terms of relaxing?
@gpworden A2: Curling up on the couch every Monday with my iPad (& coffee) and sitting in on #edtechchat, of course!
@MrStaubSTEM A2- I did a better job achieving work/life balance this year. I will make habits and continue relaxation through the entire year.
@T_HEB A2 My best strategy for relaxing is to read. 1st professional text is “The Third Teacher.” 1st personal read “Wonder.”
@EdTech_Stories Sounds like #edtechchat needs a summer reading page included on the website. Anyone else use @shelfari
Q3: How can you help your teachers/tech dept over the summer with their work?
@gpworden A3: I try to let teachers know they can always contact me. If I don’t have an answer, I’ll find it or defer to those who do.
@gabemccollum A3: We are beginning campus chats for professional development credit… we start tomorrow! #jmtchat
@ryanhorne0076 A3: Bring them specific ideas/plans for next year. Help by collecting sample tech policies from other districts.
Q4: How can you help your teachers/tech dept over the summer relax about technology?
@swpax A4: was just inspired by this question to see about setting up a tech play day to voluntarily come in and try/get support w tech.
@T_HEB A4: Relaxation will come with contact over the summer. @diigo, @evernote and shared reading will help us hit the ground running.
@coachK A4: hold informal gatherings like #coffeecue or #brewcue mtgs and just let convo develop.
@EdTechTexan A4: Communicate changes with teachers early and often to combat anxiety.
Q5: What is your best advice for approaching the summer?
@vandalgrad A5, Put family first. Find a place to relax. (personal PD/reading OK) Make sure you get at least a couple of recharges!
@SrtaLisa A5: Don’t stop learning/finding inspiration for teaching. It is really hard to build up momentum from nothing. Let ideas happen.
@cvanderark A5, Stay fresh, have fun, take time to relax, keep learning and Get Smart! (if she had more characters she would have added “eat good food” as is the true Vander Ark tradition- but not just for summer).
Q6: What are some of the best resources for recharging your batteries?
@MrStaubSTEM A6- SLEEP! Disconnect your devices. Meander on a long, somewhat meaningless walk. Hike in the woods. Swing!
@ffigures01 A6 Traveling is always a good way to recharge your batteries.
@MrStaubSTEM My summer project. Seeing if I can simplify some of my life using ifft.com
@gpworden A6: All those tweets I’ve favorited, blogs I’ve bookmarked, & PDFs I’ve downloaded. LOL add coffee and a nap or two & I’m good!
Quote of the night:
@MrPiercey Summer frees your mind when it comes to #edtech. It’s like being in the Matrix, sans agents. #edtechchat