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Confessions of a Digital Leader: Migrating Back to A Digital Life

In Professional Development, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis0 Comments

By all accounts, my school district is new to implementing Google Apps for Education. It’ll be a slow and interesting implementation but one that is so necessary, especially in a climate where printed documents are important to so many areas operationally. It felt good to blow the minds of an entire room of district leaders by placing documents online in a Google Site versus handing them all a folder/binder. It felt even more amazing to quickly create a form to capture data for our Campus principals and have them in awe that such information could be captured so fast. I …

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Campus Leaders: Developing Teacher Tech Leaders

In Professional Development by rafranzdavis0 Comments

  The following is an excerpt from my book, The Missing Voices in Edtech: Bringing Diversity into Edtech. It is the chapter on teacher voice in edtech decisions where I describe ways that campus leaders can help teachers grow as digital leaders. As a classroom teacher, I would have definitely described myself as a “Tech-Fearless Educator”. I’ve always enjoyed exploring to learn and definitely embraced that in my own teaching and learning. Any opportunity that I had to either train other teachers or serve on decision making committees, I jumped at it which helped me to swiftly develop as a leader. …

Growth in Numbers: Reflecting on #GTAATX Day 1

In Google, Professional Development by rafranzdavis0 Comments

What happens when you put 50 “forward-thinking” educators into a room and ask them to devise a plan to change their educational landscape or even the world? They not only attack their “self-selected” problem. They also unearth dynamics that they did not even realize existed. This is life right now at Google Teacher Academy and I can honestly say that I have never been challenged to think to the depth that I was today…and it’s only day 1. Since the arrival of our official invites, we have connected through voxer, twitter and our google plus community. We’ve shared our lives, …

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Helping Teachers Make Global Connections

In Professional Development, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis0 Comments

Yesterday, I taught what I think was my new favorite session. It’s wasn’t a “connect to twitter” or a “build your pln” session but there were small nuggets of those. It wasn’t a “Google apps” or a “coding” session but there were small nuggets of those as well. My session was all about learning through global connections/projects. What made this session great was not my joy in sharing some of the most amazing projects created by my connected community but that the teachers in attendance were super stoked about it and many were heard saying things like… Where has this session been all my …

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Going Beyond 140 Characters: Instructional Coaching Through Ineffective Teaching

In Professional Development, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis0 Comments

This piece stems from an #IAedchat side conversation… I need to start by saying that there is a big difference between an ineffective teacher and one that refuses to adhere to the vision of the campus community. When one absolutely refuses to do what is right for kids, that is so much more than an ineffective teacher alone. That is an ineffective teacher coupled with a slew of other issues including belligerence. I also believe that a teacher can be “ineffective” but also want to change but skill, belief and even motivation can get in the way. All of those …

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Confessions of a Tech Specialist: Sorry Not Sorry, I Blerd-Out in Training

In Professional Development, Professional Growth by rafranzdavis0 Comments

Two nights this week, I taught sessions on creating with thinglink and they were both probably two of my favorite sessions this year. Let me be clear in saying that as much as I love thinglink…a 90-minute to 2-hour session on basically pasting a link on an image is pushing it and can be a ridiculously boring few hours so, I did some homework on my own and made sure that the session was taught to not only be interactive but useful for the teachers in my session. “Blerding” Out My Session: Making Boring A Bit More Fun and Playful …

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Inside My TCEA14 Session: From Verbs to Tech, Apps to Invigorate Algebra

In Math, Professional Development by rafranzdavis0 Comments

Today, I taught a session at our state technology conference, TCEA, during Math Academy. My session, Tools and Apps to Invigorate Algebra, was all about web tools and applications to help teachers build more learner centered activities for students. I approached this session from a standards based perspective instead of an app-based perspective. Yes, there are tons of apps in the app store that could have surely filled the 50 minute session but knowing what I do about sessions, teachers and classrooms…I knew that focusing on how to utilize a few great tools really well would serve most teachers better. In …

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Modeling, Choice and ISTE Coaching Standards

In Professional Development by rafranzdavis0 Comments

Today, I found myself pondering over my approach to professional development. As our department prepared to lead sessions, we were asked to consider what we could do with our sessions to make them more engaging, learner centered and aligned with the ISTE standards. In other words, we needed to look at our instructional plan for teachers from a similar lens that teachers would look for students…which makes perfect sense. I’ve always considered myself a pretty “non-standard” trainer, making sure to incorporate active learning experiences into my sessions. However, today I had to take a hard look at my own practice …

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Planning the Tech PD: Why Aren’t “Reluctant” Teachers Attending Training?

In Professional Development by rafranzdavis1 Comment

I hear a great deal of chatter amongst other “edtechs” about sessions that they offer. Typically, GAFE districts offer tons of google trainings. Districts that cater to specific devices offer trainings on those devices. I hear a great deal about “appy hour” and “tech challenges” that are really focused on the platforms themselves. In some districts, trainings are determined entirely by those giving the trainings according to what they enjoy teaching as opposed to what actual needs exist. Those sessions are typically attended by the same teachers every time…the early adopters. Other teachers are showing up for the purpose of …

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Planning the Tech PD: Multi Post Series

In Professional Development by rafranzdavis0 Comments

A common misconception that seems to repeat itself amongst the digital community is that teachers are hesitant to use technology. Several have even excused this misconception by validating it as truth in response to the multitudes of campus/district requirements. While I cannot speak to the experiences of teachers holistically, I can speak to the teachers that I have encountered throughout my career. What I’ve learned, especially in the last few months, is that maybe the “perceived hesitance” is not the case at all but a cry out for learning opportunities that are more conducive to the individual teacher. In other …