Weekend Wrap up

Happy Weekend!

If you are like me, you are using this long weekend to take a breath, unwind and relax. And maybe get caught up on some To-dos. Midway through my second cup of coffee this morning, I realized that today would be a good day to go back through some of the things I found or shared on social media last week. Between Twitter and Facebook, there is a lot of good stuff floating around the interwebs. So often I retweet or share with the intention of going back and digging deeper…and then life gets in the way and I don’t. But today – I will. Here are my favorite finds from the past week.

  • The Costs of Workplace Rudeness, The Wall Street Journal – We have all done it. Snapped at a colleague because we were stressed out or overwhelmed. This essay from WSJ makes you stop and think about what your rudeness might be doing to your work environment. Rudeness can be contagious but so can kindness. Goo to stop and reflect once in a while to make sure you are following your own “no jerk” policies and modeling good behavior.
  • Cool Cat Teacher, Vicki Davis has a wonderful 10-minute Teacher Podcast. In episode #140 she talks with Aaron Maurer (@coffeechugbooks) about five ways to amp up STEAM learning. Best take away – “Hold on to your crayons.”
  • Jeffery Bradbury from TeacherCast shared a wonderful blog post from January, Should You Hire a Tech Coach…or a Tech Conductor? Loved the idea that a good district tech coach is like a conductor. I do not come from a music education background but as a former band member, I found his thoughts on leadership and teamwork in ed tech inspiring. Not only gets me excited about working with teachers but almost makes me want to pick up my oboe again…almost.
  • As a self-diagnosed selfie addict, I love the idea of using selfies in the classroom and exploring self-portraiture as an art form. Ed tech guru, Shelly Sanchez (@ShellTerrell) has a FREE Epic Selfie Adventure Template that you can download. I need to give this a try. See, my selfies are for education!
  • If you are not following Richard Bryne (@rmbyrne) then you are really missing out. He shares a ridiculous (as in awesome) number of ed tech resources. This week he had several augmented and virtual reality tools to share. Here are a couple This Is Augmented Reality, This Is Virtual Reality and Membit – Augmented Reality Photo Maps. Follow him on Twitter or read his blog. He shares great stuff.
  • Creativity has been on my mind a lot this week. I’ve been feeling a bit uncreative and uninspired so I’ve been looking for ways to regain my creative mojo. Here are a few posts that I found helpful. George Couros (@gcouros) tweeted an article (5 Weird Signs You’re Creative) that reminded me that I’m not weird, I’m creative. And Fast Company is going to help me rediscover my creativity with this 14 Day Creative Bootcamp. Challenge #1 was to take five minutes and write about myself. Sounds easy but I can’t say where I’m from, what I do, or the roles I play. OK, not sure what’s left but I’ll give it a try. Set the timer for 5 min…and go! Wow – that was hard. Give it a try. Here’s a peek at who I am.

I like to think that I am a creative person who tries to have fun. Sometimes I get overly enthusiastic and can be a bit overwhelming to others. Other times I just want to sleep. I want to explore new places and new ideas – even if it is from my couch with a cup of coffee. I’m still trying to figure out who I am and where I want to go but also like to remember where I’ve been. I am energized by the people who surround me but also like to be alone to think and sleep. I still have lots of questions.

That’s a quick snapshot of a few of my favorite finds from the week of August 28th. Want to see more? Follow me on Twitter (@kbrynteson)or Facebook. What were your favorite finds last week? Share them in the comments.

Going Social without Going Crazy – Part 1

The real name of this post should be Confessions of an eHoarder. Why? Well, because I am an ehoarder. I spend a good deal of my free time combing through the internet exploring, discovering, and collecting information. There is a lot of great stuff out there. So much, that it can be very overwhelming. So how does one manage it without going crazy? Well, read on my friend and I’ll tell you my secret.

I’ve presented on this topic several times. To teachers, school administrators, soon to be teachers, and small business owners. (See the Prezi below.)

Share it, Pin it, Like it, Tweet it:. Prezi on managing your social media.
Share it, Pin it, Like it, Tweet it:. Prezi on managing your social media.

Every time I do this talk, I hear some of the same things from social media newbies –

“There is so much. Where do I start?”

“What if I do something wrong?”

“How do I filter out all of the garbage and find the good stuff?”

All very good questions. I find that many of the folks I talk to are hesitant to start using social media because they just don’t know where to start. Some don’t even want to start because it seems like such a time consuming endeavor. We all know that in today’s world time is a precious commodity. And let’s face it, social media can be a time sink. Who wants to use their limited free time sorting through cat videos and internet memes just to find a classroom activity on dividing fractions? Not me. (Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cat video or internet meme as much as the next person and if I could find a cat video on dividing fractions, life would be awesome!)

In all seriousness, social media can be a great form of free professional development. More and more educators are growing their personal learning network or PLN through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media tools.  I encourage the teachers I work with to ease into the crazy world of social networking by using a simple three step approach. Find it, Organize it, and Share it.

  • Find it: Use a small set of tools and strategies to sift through the virtual clutter and find the information you need. Let the tools do the work for you.
  • Organize it: Make sure that once you find it, you can find it again. Organize your digital content by using a couple powerful tools. Don’t use too many. Find a few favorites that meet your needs and stick to them.
  • Share it: In my opinion this step is optional but very powerful. There is no law that says you have to tweet just because you are on twitter. You can survive just fine by finding and organizing. However, sharing is how you begin to engage with the greater community and grow your PLN. But don’t worry, you don’t have to jump right into sharing. Take some time to get comfortable in the social space. Sharing can come later.

Over the next few posts, I’ll share with you how I find, organize, and share all of the information I hoard. Hopefully you’ll find a nugget or two of wisdom to help you make the most of your social network.