Thursday, January 16, 2014

STOPiT Class... Success

Have you ever had that moment when teaching where you just think a lesson didn't go as great as you had hoped? What about that moment when you felt a lesson exceeded your hopes for success.  Well, the motive behind this post relates to a recent success that I felt exceeded what I hoped.  The feeling of excitement and joy following the lesson (You know what I mean), prompted me to share...

On Wednesday, after much discussion and prep, Patty Wolfe (@wolfep) and I were ready for our January STOPiTclass. This class is the class we teach to students who have violated AUP or specific mobile device rules or policies in our schools.  Our theme this month was Self Image and Identity.  We always work to create an engaging, collaborative lesson that promotes a positive digital presence.  Today was no exception.  As I welcomed students and briefly gave an overview of the day's agenda, I felt a little nervous.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to leave feeling that moment of success today.
After a quick "Kahoot" game over social media use, I decided to dig right in with this lesson.  Lots of great things were shared and discussed regarding what to post,what not to post, what others post and how these things make you feel and others feel.  The highlight of this lesson was the Twitter chat that +Patty Wolfe and I arranged.  We were able to hit our students right on their "turf".  We used the hashtag #stopitclass and had a list of six questions we posted asking for responses.  We invited other members of our Twitter PLN to participate by adding advice and suggestions when thinking of one's online image.  This is where the feelings of success and excitement hit me.  These students were excited to participate.  Not only did their enthusiasm show during the Kahoot challenge, but the Twitter chat was proving its success as well.   The connections, conversation and feedback were amazing.  

When this "short' hour was over, I knew I needed to call or text Patty.  Before I could even get the text sent, I received a message from her: "Thank you Thank You Thank You! My kids loved STOPiT Today.  My response: "DITTO!"

There is just something about ending the day with a feeling of success.  Here's to the rest of the semester. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Blogging... an attempt to keep at it...

As I reflect on my Blogging goal for 2013 and realize it was not where I wanted it, I am once again, at it for this year.  It may be slightly ironic to think that my last post was on Edmodo, and the motive behind this post comes from a recent Edmodo presentation as well.  Once again, I had an opportunity to share my love for this online social learning network to a group of enthusiastic educators.  I had the privilege to share this love and passion with the Shelby-Rising City staff.  As I hoped, things went well and everyone was engaged and intently working on setting up groups, adding to their library, connecting to Google Drive, exploring the planner and noting class codes.

It was the end of this presentation that was the "gentle" reminder to me of how blogging is important and people DO read it.  As @Mr_Bill_Curry was thanking me and making some concluding remarks, he made reference to my "Callihan's cache" blog.  My immediate thoughts were: "I haven't updated in forever. I didn't think people actually read my blog."  This was just a gentle reminder that things you say and post, whether you think so or not, DO matter to someone.

Whether you are considering blogging yourself or getting students on board with blogging, I highly recommend that you take the plunge.  Blogging has so much potential both educationally and professionally.  If you don't know where to start, here's some simple information.

So here's to 2014 and my attempt to blog myself and encourage others to do the same!

A special thanks to +Brent Catlett and +Craig Badura for being such great Blog models.