Inspired by a desire to create a unique and valuable experience for students, Kyle Walker- Digital Teacher Librarian at Kullerstrand Elementary, started a robotics club at his school. It is incredible to see how students light up at the opportunity to use their creative and logical brains to solve problems using the robots.
Well why not open that opportunity for students beyond the walls of Kullerstrand? So, Kyle started connecting with teachers around the district and found many that were either already doing robotics, or interested in getting started. His enthusiasm expanded quickly into a VEX and Sphero competition with an open invitation to teams across the district. On December 2, 2017 schools came together with their robotics teams at Three Creeks Elementary to scrimmage using either VEX or Sphero.
There was collective effort and planning to make the event happen because Jeffco teachers got equally as excited once they saw how the students light up.
Mr. Walker is building on this collaborative success and hosting another event in February. Thirty teams will represent Jeffco schools on February 10th from 9:30-2:30 at Three Creeks K-8 in a VEX robotics competition. Event participants have an opportunity for official entry into the world-wide VEX competition.
Almost 600 Jeffco educators attended the first ever Get Your Tech On professional learning event on Friday, January 5th at Green Mountain High School.
Jeffco Ed Tech hosted the all-day event which included an influential keynote speaker, prizes, demo slam, and 48 sessions facilitated by Jeffco educators.
Thought-provoking sessions were focused on how technology is transforming teaching and learning in Jeffco classrooms.
This was the best tech conference I have been to... including ISTE!! The sessions were applicable to what we are doing now in schools. Our entire instructional staff went and every teacher responded to my google reflection form that they were inspired and ready to try their new learning. The presenters and topics were very knowledgeable of what teachers experience and were able to relate to the classroom.
“Transformational Teaching and Learning with Technology” presented by international guest speaker, Ken Shelton, took us back in time for a nostalgic glance at how technology has changed the way we have lived over the last few decades. He gave us a glimpse at how technology has not only changed, but transformed how we learn.
Ken examined the impact on student learning when the focus shifts from solely making changes to transformative experiences.
Have you ever found yourself doodling during faculty meetings? During guest speakers? During professional development? If so, you understand how engaging the kinesthetic portions of your brain can help you focus and remember the content you are attempting to learn, but why is that? "It turns out that various forms of doodling have all kinds of benefits for our brains. Doodling is actually a form of mnemonics, connecting images with information and significantly increasing our ability to remember what we’ve learned. In a 2009 study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, 40 participants were asked to listen to an extremely boring recorded telephone conversation. Half of them were instructed to doodle as they listened, and half were given no such instructions. At the conclusion of the study, people who doodled remembered 29 percent more information than their counterparts who did not doodle." (Education Week)
What's a Sketchnote?
A sketchnote varies from a doodle in that the images are purposefully related to the content that the listener is absorbing and sense making. Sketchnotes are a way to take notes, as well as a method to allow for creative expression. To be a successful sketchnoter, you do not need to have artistic skills, but you do have to be willing to practice synthesizing ideas using symbols, figures, text and icons.
Consider how some students might greatly benefit from sketchnoting as they listen in the classroom. How can you use sketchnoting to have students demonstrate learning after watching a video or listening to a lecture, guest speaker, audio book or podcast? How can sketchnoting engage the brain for some students in the way 2-column notes and graphic organizers cannot?
Get to Sketchin' - How do I get started?
Some sketchnoters prefer to sketch with ink and paper, while others prefer to sketch digitally. If you are interested in sketching digitally, you might want to check out the Procreate for iPad app (approved for Jeffco), as well as the Musemee stylus or the Paper by Fifty-three stylus.
Although this equipment works well for many teachers to begin their sketchnoting journey, it is often outside of the price range for a typical classroom. To get your students sketchnoting, consider allowing the physical and digital words to collide. Encourage students to show what they've learned and how they have made connections by sketching on paper with pencil or ink. Using a mobile device, have students capture their sketch with the camera or a scanner app. These images can be uploaded to any of the G Suite tools, Google Classroom, Schoology, Google Sites, and more.
Interested in learning how Sylvia Duckworth does her digital sketchnotes? See the video below!
The Sketchnote Challenge
Thursday, January 11th, is World Sketchnote Day #SNDay2018!
We challenge you to try creating your own sketchnote showcasing a bit of new learning! Share your sketchnote with @JeffcoEdTech on Twitter. Don't forget to add the hashtag #SNDay2018, as well. We also encourage you to get your students sketchnoting in the classroom as a way to sense-make new content and make connections.