Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Branding oneself

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I am working hard this summer to "brand" myself as a teacher who makes tech look easy..."well, if I can do it, you can too!"  I follow all these folks on Twitter (@gaffclass, @gaffclassroom--that's me!) because they seem to know what they're talking about.  I learn so much from this PLN because people share relevant, engaging, and SHORT articles/blogs/links/pics, etc.  This is how I want to brand myself as a teacher educator: quick, easy, how-to-revolutionize-my-teaching, thank-you-so-much!

I've also always used my PLN to try out new ideas in my classroom, but never published student responses or products.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I have dozens of projects throughout my classroom, saved to flash drives, even Google Drive for future reference and as examples for future classes.  My biggest issue with my branding is recording the action as it happens using video or pictures.  I'm so busy facilitating learning I don't have time/think about pulling out my ONE iPad to record/snap a pic.  Then, when I do think about it, I've missed the best part of the learning.  How, oh HOW do I find the balance between recording everything and recording nothing?  Afterwards, it's time-consuming to post everything.

I started a YouTube channel last year after an amazing PD session with Dr. Lodge McCammon (@pocketlodge) during our Digital Learning Academy #r7dla. I've gotten a few videos made with notes to flip our frontloading sessions at the beginning of the year.  They worked well.  I want to make more.  I want to make them better.  Summer seems to be the time to do that.  I've got the most student products on my channel (@Gaff Class), and I'm working on keeping those organized.

Media previewNext, is my Twitter presence.  I tweet, or retweet, just about every day.  I've tweeted some class info, some pics, but not many.  Due to my participation in #notatiste15, I reached over 100 followers!  Even though I couldn't make it to the actual conference in Philly, PA, I enjoyed all the chatter about the newest tech out there.  I may have to convince my husband to take a trip out to Colorado for next year's convention.  So, I feel fairly successful at Tweeting.  Why not up the ante by adding a classroom Twitter account?  Yeah, that's the goal this year, keep up with TWO accounts.

So, that brings me to creating new class jobs this year.  2014-15 found this veteran middle school teacher assigning class jobs, like passer, collector, attendance taker, info checker, tech assistant.  I had 32 students at one point this year, so I had to come up with 16 jobs, rotating on an even/odd basis--that was a lot.  This upcoming year, I'm going to add Tweeter (Twit?) and Photographer to this list to cut down on having to repeat jobs so often.

If I can show other teachers how to get the students working for them (capturing the learning & FUN), instead of feeling overwhelmed by having to do all the work themselves, I will feel successfully "branded" as an #HPSeLeader and teacher educator. #notaseasyasitlooks

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