Monday, October 3, 2016

Kids Deserve It! Week 1: Chapters 1-3

Welcome to the Fall 2016 eLearning Book Club. We are looking forward to reading and discussing Kids Deserve It! Pushing Boundaries and Challenging Conventional Thinking by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. The digital and paperback versions of this book can be purchased on Amazon. If you don't have the book yet, don't worry. You can jump into the conversation a little late if you need to. Just catch up as soon as you're able.

Here are some particulars to help you as you participate in the book club:

  • A prompt or question will be posted here in the blog every Monday morning. That blog post will also include the reading assignment for the following week.
  • To receive notifications when posts are made, click Join this site or Follow by email in the bar to the right.
  • Respond to our post and/or respond to a comment by another participant each week. The more interaction there is between participants, the richer and more beneficial the conversation will be.
  • In addition to the amazing connections and powerful learning of being in the book club, participants who make a meaningful contribution to every week's discussion will be awarded 20 PGPs. Additionally, we will award one professional development grant at the conclusion of the summer book club. Educators working in a public school who meaningfully participate in all ten weeks' conversations are eligible for the grant.
  • If you have not already done so, register for the book club by completing this registration form
  • We are jumping right in to the discussion, so your first week's assignment is to introduce yourself in a comment to this blog post and also read chapters 1-3 and respond to this question: what is the biggest fear holding you back from innovating or connecting with educators? Or, if you're doing these things, what are you doing? Just click the comments link below this post and enter your comment in the text box. You will need to be logged in using a Google account. (It is helpful to to other participants and to us as we track comments if your Google/Blogger display name is your first and last name. That can be changed in your user profile.) In your introduction be sure to include your name, school and/or corporation, and what your role there is. (If you have any problems commenting, please email Meri Carnahan at carnahan@doe.in.gov.)

124 comments:

  1. Greetings. I am Tammy Farlow from Wabash, IN, an 8th grade math and Spanish teacher at Southwood Jr. Sr. High School. The best line in the book to describe me is ’…focused; head(s) down, nose to the grindstone.’ (Todd Nesloney). This drive has been both my strength and my weakness. While this mindset has some value as a work ethic, I have become aware over the last several years that I am not working in the same environment in which I began teaching in 1987.

    I have taken steps to move from isolating myself and my students: I have become more receptive to social media such as Twitter to gain ideas for expanding how I view my role in the classroom. Increasingly I provide more opportunities for collaboration among students. I have not had a complete makeover in how I teach, yet participating in blogs such as this one continues to stretch who I am and how I view new ideas. I do think students deserve to be creative, and if that can happen while also learning math (languages, and every other content area), I am open to learning how to provide that experience.

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    1. Hello, neighbor! It looks like another eLearning book blog for us! I am looking forward to reading everyone's comments. Our teaching lives have changed since the mid-80's, especially the last four that have included 1:1 technology. I am glad I have colleagues that are there for encouragement and help!

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    2. Hello, neighbors on each side of me! Yes, here we go again! I am happy we all do this together, without planning or pressure. We just buy the books, and voila, I see both of your names time after time. Thank you to the eLearning gurus at the Indiana Department of Education for helping us cultivate a good habit!

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    3. These blogs are definitely great ideas...who better to learn from than each other, the "experts" with experience. How do you use Twitter? Do you use it at all with students, or mostly just for professional development ideas?
      I've tried using it in the classroom, but with everyone using personal accounts, I saw sides of my students that I didn't want to see.

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    4. Mostly I use Twitter as a new window of ideas about what is happening in education; what I see on Twitter will likely be something that one of my administrators will suggest within a short period of time. I like the advance notice of what is going on in the world to reduce the shock when it hits mine. I post a few classroom/school items, however our school server doesn't always allow me to post during the school day so by the time I leave school, go home, and think about posting, some of the thrill connected with Twitter and its immediacy has been lost with me. I have enjoyed Twitter chats with groups such as #INeLearn on Thursday nights, 9-10 p.m. and immediately following #ditchbook (Matt Miller's Ditch that Textbook chat).
      Another issue follows what you said about students and their personal use of Twitter; likewise, not being able to use it with students during the school day is a bit of a breakdown in connecting my students with some better examples of how Twitter can be used educationally. You are right, following some of them would result in a real education for me!

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  2. Hello. I am Hollie Meister from West Lafayette, IN. I am currently substitute teaching at Cumberland Elementary School. I was teacher many years ago, then a stay at home mom. I am currently working on getting my PGPs to renew my teaching license. Substitute teaching has been great because of the flexibility.
    I think the my biggest fear holding me back is my experience. Although I've been in the schools as an aide and also now as a substitute for a few years now, I still feel I'm a little "out of the loop." It's really a confident/courage thing. I have really enjoyed the first few chapters of this book and can't wait to get further into it.

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    1. I had the same pattern of teaching, then taking time to be a stay at home mom, and substituting before returning to education. Your involvement as a mother make up for being out of the loop in a couple of ways. First, by staying informed about the technology that your children use you will stay current with what is happening; and second, by being a mother your levels of patience and understanding will soar and make you a better educator when you return full time.

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    2. Hello! I am a Purdue Grad! Love West Lafayette! I love your honesty in your response...it is scary out there. I was a teacher for 7 years and then became a stay at home mom and just recently went back to teaching part time. You aren't alone! Just talking with the kiddos will help you get into the loop...they know way more about being "techie" than most adults...me included!

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    3. Hi Hollie! I am a PU grad, and actually worked for Wonderful Weekdays (the after school program at Cumberland and Happy Hollow - if they still have that!) and now teach at McCutcheon, so not far from you! I took 2 years off from teaching when my first child was born, and although that's not near as long as you took off, I understand where you're coming from. Things in education change so fast! Subbing is a great way to ease your way back in!

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    4. Wow! Thanks ladies for your encouraging replies! They mean a lot! I hope your classrooms are off to a great start this year!
      I agree, my kids do help me stay up-to-date with technology. It's amazing how fast technology changes. It's also fun to see how much we can do with the technology we have. Thanks again!

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    5. Hello, I'm Sarah. I taught 2nd grade for ten years and now am a stay at home mom working on PGPs and maintaining my license. I am a Purdue grad too, Boiler up. As I think about what holds me back, it is the weight of student privacy and safety online. Their digital footprint is a weighty issue.

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    6. Kudos to you for getting ready to teach again by connecting with this group and reaching out to others. It is all too easy to just continue doing what we've done in the past. BTW, I'm another one of those Purdue education grads.

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  3. Hello! I am Judith Echano Medina from Connersville, IN. I am from Spain but I teach French at Connersville High School. Before that, I was a Spanish Conversation teacher in France, a French teacher in Spain, and a Spanish teacher in Connersville. English is not my native language, so I apologize right now for any spelling and/or grammar mistakes that I will make…… 
    In my school all students and teachers have iPads, which is very helpful to try new things: different apps, my classes are 99% paperless, differentiation is much easier… My students like to have video projects –I believe that what they like the most is to include bloopers. I am not afraid of trying new things, and I like to get feedback from my students when I try something new in class. I am also in a Facebook group for French teachers. However, I don’t have more 1:1 connections with educators. I would like to!

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    1. You bring a very authentic language experience to your classroom. From which part of Spain are you? I lived with a family in Montilla (near Córdoba) when I was in college. Since then I have traveled with students a few times to Spain and several times to France as I also used to teach French. My school district phased out the French program, however, I still follow the Francophone world. Do you have a provided program that you use or do you collect your own resources?

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    2. Thanks for your comment, Tammy! I am from Madrid, and I have also lived 3 years in France: Limoges, Vichy, and Brioude (close where Lafayette was born!). I have been to Córdoba a couple of times, but never to Montilla.
      I took over the French program 6 years ago. I am the only French teacher at my school which makes it complicated to see it grow -if I get a French 4 class on its own I get one French 1 class less.
      I have textbooks but I am just using them this year as reference. I am collecting my own resources now.

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  4. Hi everyone. My name is Meri Carnahan and I am the eLearning Specialist with the DOE Office of eLearning. I'm looking forward to reading along with you, sharing the blog posts each week, and reading your comments.

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    1. What was the actual assignment for this week please :)

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    2. The assignment is at the top of the post. I will copy and paste below:

      We are jumping right in to the discussion, so your first week's assignment is to introduce yourself in a comment to this blog post and also read chapters 1-3 and respond to this question: what is the biggest fear holding you back from innovating or connecting with educators? Or, if you're doing these things, what are you doing? Just click the comments link below this post and enter your comment in the text box. You will need to be logged in using a Google account. (It is helpful to to other participants and to us as we track comments if your Google/Blogger display name is your first and last name. That can be changed in your user profile.) In your introduction be sure to include your name, school and/or corporation, and what your role there is. (If you have any problems commenting, please email Meri Carnahan at carnahan@doe.in.gov.)

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  5. Hi, My name is Sandra Johnson and I am from Twin Lakes High School, in Monticello. I teach a direct service Algebra class, and American Sign Language. We have what is called TLCAMPUS which is Canvas to some, and we also are google school, so my students are using those daily, however; I am not a twitter user. I just do not feel the interest in using twitter. I think sometimes we are on our phones too much, and that only adds to the use. I hope to continue to find other ways to connect to educators. I belong to several groups of educators on Learning Connections.

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    1. I am interested in finding out more about Twitter, but I never seem to have the time to do this. My own children often want to text, but I like hearing a voice. I do want to get my students participating in an online discussion, and TL Campus is a great way to do this.

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    2. Hi Sandra! My school is 1:1 with google chromebooks, and we use Canvas. Sometimes I feel like technology is shoved down our throats and we are told to use it so much, but I feel that schools are lacking in teaching kids social skills! I teach high school and I want to have face to face discussions with my kids that are in my classroom; not use Canvas or another platform so that they can hide behind their screen. I agree with you that we are on our phones too much!

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    3. Thanks for your help earlier with the email...I am currently taking an online class with another class and it connects really well with this book. I agree with Twitter. I have a hard time using it, but in order to take the class we had to sign up and get a twitter account. I'm looking for the discussions of the two books to see how as educators we can incorporate technology, step outside our comfort zones, and help our students to get excited and be creative in their learning. :)

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    4. I have to agree about your twitter comment. I too got interested after reading about it in the first few chapters, but sadly still can't figure it out. Looking forward to learning other new ways to engage students and connect with educators.

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    5. I just can NOT get into Twitter! I have had an account for a while and every conference, blog, etc just goes on and on about it! I just can't get into it! I'm sure it's great and all, but I agree with your other comments that it's just another thing for people to check. I'd rather just engage with my kiddos face-to-face. Plus, I use other technology to keep in touch with them.

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    6. Sarah - You are so right! We are 1:1 iPads, which is great, but they are losing the important social skills that school can and should provide. While I do use it quite a bit in my class, I try to step away from it and make them use paper, crayons, markers, scissors and glue....they love it!! These are high schoolers.
      It's hard to find that balance between getting them ready for the tech world, but making sure they can talk and perhaps call to set up a dental appointment!

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  6. Hello, I am Joe Poteet I teach Tv and History at North Montgomery High School. I find myself connecting with educators some but would like to do so much more. I connect with teachers by webinars and some blogs but again would like to connect more.

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  7. Good evening! My name is Tricia Snow and I teach 6th and 7th grade ELA at Fort Branch Community School. I'm not sure this is a fear, but I feel like I don't actively think about taking the time to connect with others. I have Twitter, and I follow some educators, but I feel like maybe I'm not connected with the right people. I feel that my building and administration is very supportive of trying to be innovatove. I do admit, I don't feel very "creative" myself. After reading, I realize I need to be more active in improving and increasing my own creativity. I am excited to learn about Vox and want to empower my students more on social media, especially Twitter.

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    1. Hi Tricia! I have twitter as well, but rarely use it. And when I take the time to look through my feed, it's a lot of ed-talk that doesn't apply to me as a public high school English teacher. Maybe, like you, I'm following the wrong people. Plus, it's time consuming to be an active member of the twitter community! And time is something I hold very valuable. I wish I could utilize social media in my classroom with my students, but I feel like it would open up pandora's box, if you know what I mean. I'm not sure it would get used properly or in the way I would hope it would be.

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    2. I know what you mean. We allowed students to have free reign with their phones last year and it was a learning experience. With a new administrator, that has changed. I think we need to teach digital citizenship and the responsibility of using digital devices. Once that is taught, and trust is built, maybe then we can allow students to use their own device and hope it's used properly. I am going to start using Fresh Grade (an app to post data to share with families), and I hope to kill two birds with one stone: teach responsibility of using their device, and post what's going on in my classroom on a safe and private platform.

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    3. Digital citizenship is definitely lacking. I have hear more parents this year than ever complain about how much technology their child is being asked to use. I like your idea about using Fresh Grade!

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  8. Hello! My name is Linda Barberia and I am a Special Education teacher. I work every morning at Meister Elementary in the River Forest District teaching K-5 and every afternoon I travel to four different nonpublic schools teaching 1st through high school. I also spend one afternoon instructing students with IEPs at Lake County Juvenile Detention Center. I keep pretty busy but I do like the changing environment. It is interesting to see the differences in the teachers, schools, and districts.
    I do think I am improving my connections with other teachers through my position and I also took part in my home district’s Technology Boot Camp Program in August. Additionally I participated in the Summer Elearning Book Club’s Digital Citizenship program. Just today at one of the schools I quickly googled some free story problems to use with a student. I love looking to see what other teachers are using in their classrooms.
    I know the areas of the internet that I am fearful of are facebook and twitter accounts. I have heard some interesting stories and really just do not want to put any more of myself out there at least not right now.

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  9. Hello, my name is Kristy Willis. I am a first/second grade looping teacher at Wes-Del Elementary School. I'm currently teaching first grade and then will take the same group of students through second grade.


    My biggest fear of connecting with other educators is feeling like I'm not doing a good job in my own classroom. Nobody likes to feel inadequate at their job. I also feel like it takes extra time. When I'm at school, I'm busy with grading, planning, data, and oh yeah....teaching! Family is very important to me. I don't like to complete school work at home unless absolutely necessary. I stay at school until I'm finished, then I become Mom as soon as I pick up my daughter.

    This year I started a classroom Facebook account. I am only friends with parents of children in my class. I learned very early not to read the posts of parents. Many times it is teacher/school venting that bothers me...even if the posts aren't about me. I don't have a twitter account because it feels like just one more thing to keep up with. I guess I've never really thought about using it to connect to other educators. To be honest, I've never been on a blog before and am fearful I will mess this up! The fear of the unknown and time have me hung up. I love to share ideas at school by talking to other teachers, but have not connected to other teachers. I often share ideas and lead training for our staff. I prefer to be face-to-face while discussing new ideas.

    I also don't consider myself creative. I love to look for new ideas online or even pay for them on teacherspayteachers.com. It seems easier to look for something new rather than create from my own creativity. I think the book does a great job of pointing out creativity is not something you are born with or not. I need to practice my own creativity.

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    1. Kristy, I can relate to your post, especially the part about working at school. I will work at school, but I find it very difficult to go home, and then resume where I left off.

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    2. Kristy- I think one of the important things to remember is creativity does not necessarily mean coming up with all new ideas on your own. I think collaboration is key to creativity! Working with fellow educators will help us come up with new and innovative ideas, as well as help each other be better teachers. Also, I think creativity can be used as a way of adapting things to our students' needs. I use Pinterest and TPT for resources, but I know that I can create ideas of my own from what I see on those sites!

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    3. You may want to try a Wiki Space. I don't use it, but many of my daughters' teachers have used it. The teachers post vocab lists, memory verses, important news and dates. We can also comment directly on there with questions, or sign up for volunteer lists. There is a slight learning curve to it, but is there and done once you have it set up. It's free!!! You don't have to see the social media side of parents, but can still communicate with them. As a parent, I love it!

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  10. My name is Brian Snow and I teach 6th and 7th grade social studies at Fort Branch Community School. Being an introvert, it is difficult for me to connect to other educators due to my personality. I try to be innovative within the classroom by conducting more project based learning opportunities than the lecture/test format.

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  11. My name is Kathleen Carter, and I teach Special Education Language Arts at Roosevelt Middle School for Twin Lakes School Corporation. I do not connect with other teachers as often as I should. Instead of eating lunch in the teacher's lounge, I often eat lunch in my classroom while simultaneously grading papers, answering email. or trying to organize. The other day, one of our teachers on the Special Education team invited other Special Educators to hold discussion in his classroom after school. We did not talk about much business, but instead, we really just visited, and it was great. I always feel like I do not have time to just visit, but the result of relaxing for an hour or so is worth it, and I realize this every time that I take time. Connecting with others is a good thing.

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    1. One of the great activities my principal put together for us the last couple of years included scheduled time to play games, eat, and connect with others in the building. It is important for us to build those relationships too! And it helps to have a sounding board for our mental health. Maybe you could start a social committee at your school? It sounds like you have a couple of people in your department who would be interested as well.

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    2. Sometimes it also depends upon what is going on in the cafeteria during your lunch time; sometimes, the talk is uplifting, but if at times it is negative, you're better off in your room!

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  12. Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer Deye, and I teach Algebra II and Algebra II Honors at Twin Lakes High School in Monticello, IN. I definitely feel that I could improve in connecting with other educators. I collaborate with the other members in our mathematics department daily but rarely collaborate with other teachers from outside our building. I think that my biggest restraint is time. I am always trying to get everything accomplished that MUST get done and things like collaboration get pushed to the back burner. I would love some ideas on quick, simple ways to collaborate with fellow educators.

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  13. Hi! My name is Laura Pinter. I taught school for 7 years then I became a stay at home mom. I recently went back to teach preschool part time. I missed teaching but wasn't sure I was ready to be back in the classroom full-time.
    I am super excited about this book.

    My fear is the classrooms/schools in this day and age. I feel that teachers seem (in my mind) lack the passion that once was. They seem to follow a scripted lesson plan in order to get good test scores and what is mandated by the state or district. I feel that kids are held back from creative thinking and being social. Now...I know not every school is this way...this is what currently surrounds me. Many friends that are educators say they don't enjoy it because they don't "own" their classrooms anymore...and they can't break out of that box they are told to be in. I hear my 7 year old who is supposed to LOVE school tell me that all he does is sit and listen...and only has a 15 minute recess. I think schools need to be renovated! Fun and excitment need to fill those walls once again...and I think collaboration between...schools, principals, teachers, and student's needs to happen!

    What I am doing to help collaborate is working with friends who are teachers or on the education board to find out what they need kiddos to know before entering kinder. I work on finding ways to make classroom learning exciting and sharing a blog of our week each week. I hadn't thought of using twitter...but I am excited to look into it! I also had never heard of Voxer...so I can't wait to "google" it to find out more. Each week I also e-mail out my activities to fellow teachers at my school...and love it when they share their great findings. As a preschool teacher...Pinterest has become a great friend of mine! I love the quote from the book: "When you are an educator, you have brilliant ideas. And when you are not sharing your brilliant ideas, you are doing a disservice to others in the field who could and want to learn from you.

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    1. Hi Laura! I agree with you that so many standards need to be covered by teachers, that they feel a lack of teaching just every day life skills to kids. I recently had our corporation's instructional coach visit my classroom (I teach high school English) and she said I do a great job of teaching the "habits of learning". Her comment really resonated with me because that is part of teaching too! Not just teaching content, but teaching children how to be successful learners and those life skills they need. I teach groups of kids that struggle for various reasons, and some days I take a break from my content to teach things I see a need for. Whether that be current events that affect the kids, or cases of bullying. Those are valuable lessons as well! My daughter is in 1st grade and I agree with you about the recess comment. I have friends that are El-Ed teachers and it's crazy how much has changed in the last 5-8 years as far as what each grade level is expected to cover. With all of that, it's no wonder that we have such a high teacher burn out rate!

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    2. I agree! Last year our school took out our K's second playtime in the day to focus more on skills. These kids are five years old and get 25 minutes of recess a day. It is crazy how much we are being forced to ask of our students these days. Bring back the fun!

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    3. I agree about the renovation of the way we are being mandated to approach teaching. It's not inspiring to the teachers, so how is it going to be inspiring to the students? My second grade son has complained about sitting too much, and he gets a 15-20 minute recess. However, I am seeing more collaboration among the grade level teams in his school.

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    4. Laura- I certainly understand your fear about teaching to the test and a loss of passion. I teach in a school district that mandates we take monthly assessments to determine if students have learned the standards taught. There is a quote that I have seen online, "Nod your head, smile, then close your door and do what's best for your students." I whole heartedly agree with this statement, because we need to do what is best for our students. I make sure that I am covering the standards, but I teach in a hands-on way, as much as possible. I think this is up to each teacher to make a choice as to how to teach the content.

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  14. Greetings! I’m Sarah Reed, and I teach 9th grade English at McCutcheon High School, in Lafayette, IN. I have taught at the high school level for 6 years, and this is my second year teaching in the Maverick Launch program at McCutcheon. Our program consists of 6 teachers and around 100 freshmen. Our students that have low test scores in reading and math, and can also have low motivation and organization skills. Many of our students also deal with outside home life issues as well, which as we all know, can affect their performance at school. Our program was created to help ease the transition into high school, for kids that would otherwise fall between the cracks in a school our size. It is not a remedial or punitive program; many of our students go on to graduate early! When I read the summary of the book for this Fall Book Club, I was immediately drawn to it; I feel that with the types of kids I teach, it will offer some great advice!

    My biggest fear with connecting with other teachers is that I am young. I feel that my ideas won’t be taken seriously because I don’t have the years of experience that other teachers have. Our corporation has weekly professional development time, and sometimes I can connect with teachers outside of my program or discipline during that time. Having time to connect with other educators can be hard. I have two little ones myself (ages 6 and 1), so my time outside of the school day is spent being a mama and a wife. I know with social media there are many opportunities to connect, but I have yet to take advantage of those. I’ve participated in the book club before, and gained insight and connections, so I’m excited to be a part of it again, and to be able to talk about educational strategies and ideas that I can utilize in my own classroom.

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    1. Hi, Sarah! You must be at McCutcheon's version of Harrison's Raider Success Center! I work at Battle Ground Middle. You described the program perfectly! I love that TSC has that program, and my middle school program is kind of a feeder program for it. I love to hear of your passion!

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    2. Hi Kim! I read your response and replied to you before reading that you had replied to me! Haha! Yes we are similar to Harrison's RSC. I taught in that program for two years before coming over to McCutcheon. Glad to see a fellow Tippecanoe County teacher!

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    3. Sarah: I think schools need a mix of older and new staff; young staff members help bring new ideas, and the older ones can offer some guidance from past experience. We all need to remember that we were once first year teachers.

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  15. Sending out a hello to you passionate educators/leaders in Indiana! I am Valerie Zemaitis from the School Town of Munster. I have taught social studies for a quarter of a century. As a life-long learner as yourselves, how I teach today has evolved into something very different from when I first started teaching.

    I can relate to #kidsdeserveit's message which states, "Imagine the environment your students could walk into daily - one where they never knew what exciting thing was going to take place because creativity ruled in your classroom." (loc 183) My students are used to the unknown, the changed arrangement of desks and the new groups for collaboration.

    Being a connected educator has helped me evolve and "get off the island" (loc 244) as I especially collaborate with a few PLNs on Twitter. I am currently involved in my first MOOC experience and learning valuable ways to be innovative as it is modeled to me through #innovatorsmindset, #IMMOOC, and #tlap. I have learned that students can video a summary of what they have learned or create a meme sharing the main message.

    My fear about innovation at this point is getting everyone else on board with moving forward. There are many parents that want to see worksheets or a study guide for a multiple choice assessment. They want to see credit in the gradebook for every activity attempted by students. I have not started allowing my students to share their creative work yet, but fear we may not be allowed by parents or the district.

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    1. As my district moves to Blackboard, we have the same concerns. I have considered putting together a portfolio that students can take home and share with their parents. I would like to make it a digital because I feel a paper portfolio would defeat the purpose of totally online courses. Best of luck to you!

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  16. Hi everyone! I am Lynn France and I am a First Steps Speech Language Pathologist from Carmel. The biggest challenge I have had relates to the authors' comments about being on an island. I love using social media to get new ideas and EBP tips from fellow SLP's. Some of our professional organizations have started to use Twitter and Facebook extensively as well. People are genuinely positive and quick to respond when people need advice or help. It is a great way to get new ideas even if you don't chime in. I have participated in twitter chats but these are often hard to follow. I find it easier to wait until they have finished and read the completed tweets in order. I enjoyed reading about the failures and successes in the first 3 chapters. The online summer PD is a great idea. Teachers and staff could easily access topics and information from the beach, a summer camp or from home. I have never used Voxer before and am excited to try it out.

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  17. Hello!! I am Amanda Bullion. I am a 4th year teacher at Wes-Del High School. I teach Family and Consumer Sciences, specifically Human Development, Child Development, and Food and Nutrition. I say I am pretty connected to other educators. I still follow my college club group, I am on Twitter, I attend conferences for FCS, I'm apart of the AAFCS. However, I think I'm just that 'apart of' I'm not indulged in or consistent with my participation. Life is BUSY- you all know that! I'm also a new mommy and I find it hard to sit down and follow Twitter, or to check in weekly with my clubs and organizations. Its one more thing on the to do list! I think also as an only person department at my school, its hard to connect with educators in my building because my content is so different from others.

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  18. Hello, my name is Penny Milligan, I teacher art K-5 at Meadowlawn Elementary in Monticello,IN. I have read the first three chapters of this book and really enjoy the theme of steeping outside your comfort zone as a teacher and using technology to spice up your classroom. Last year I dabbled a little bit on flipping my classroom and now this year I'm all on board. I even have my own YouTube account and have started posting my lessons public. I was a little nervous at first, but now I love it, and the kids think it's awesome that I'm a youtuber! I even have two subscribers. I also have my own Facebook page and have posted a youtube video of a lesson so parents know they can see what their students are being taught. I'm glad I've stepped out of my comfort zone and am loving the feedback and enthusiasm from my students!

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  19. Hello, my name is Amy Weliever. I am a media technology teacher at Greencastle Middle School in Greencastle, Indiana. I was in the classroom for the first 12 years of my career before working as a media specialist. Seven years later, I'm back in the classroom and couldn't be happier! I have discovered that my teaching style has changed dramatically from the way I was taught and how I instructed when I first became an educator. I see my role as more of a facilitator these days. Students in my classes are being exposed to all sorts of STEM based curriculum and using the skills they develop to create, build and problem solve. It's like having a Maker Space classroom nearly every day.

    I look forward to collaborating with all of you as we move forward with the book club. In answer to this week's question: I think having been out of the classroom and in the media center for the past seven years has been what is holding me back in connecting with teachers today. Several teachers were unaware that I too was a classroom teacher for many years before I became a media specialist. I fear that many few me as a first year teacher without much experience/knowledge of what's new and/or trending. My hope is that dialogue with all of you will wilt away that thinking...

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  20. Hi! My name is Tammy Stouse and I am a Media Specialist at Twin Lakes High School. I am not a big user of social media so connecting with people I don’t see on a regular basis is difficult. My biggest set back in connecting with other educators is simply my physical location. I try not to leave the media center during the day because students and teachers drop in all day long. The only other adults I see are those that need something, want to check out an item, or make a point of stopping in to say hi. I have joined professional groups but it’s seems there are so few of us (media specialist) left that it is hard to maintain a strong network.

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  21. Hello, everyone. My name is Amy Holtslander. I teach Latin and Honors English at Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne. I connect with other educators at conferences and with other world language teachers in my building during our weekly Professional Learning Community time. However, I am the only teacher of the 5 courses I teach. That makes it more difficult to collaborate and innovate. I must admit that I sometimes get stuck in a rut, too. I'm hoping I can get some new ideas to try out as a result of this book club.

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    1. Hi Amy! Good to know there is someone else in the building I can talk to about this book too!

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  22. Hello all, My name is Cindy Hesterman. I teach middle school Physical education/health for Northwest Allen County schools. This year some changes have been put in place to allow collaboration time with subject area within our own school. Approximately once a month there is time set aside to collaborate with subject area teachers in the other building within our corporation. This collaboration time has allowed us to connect with other educators to share ideas, align our curriculum, and have great discussion. I am also hoping to get some great ideas from this book club. This is our first year for one to one with technology and we are learning new programs that should help us to be better connected with students and staff alike. I don't spend alot of time using social media so this is an area that I feel that I could improve on.

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    1. Hi Cindy! I'm glad more and more schools are realizing that collaboration is valuable and are allowing more time for that to be done! It's so hard to find outside time to connect, and when a school sets up professional development time to do so, it makes it so much easier!

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    2. Hi Cindy! Technology in a gym is unique. We struggle using it with some of the time constraints that we currently have in our schedule. Next year we are going to implement a new schedule which offers more time and hopefully more technology applications. A simple way we use it now is for each unit we cover, we have the student answer a short essay style question about one of the exercise components and how it is used in that activity. They have to do a little research on the component and give examples of the skills that utilize that component. We have a grading system that allows us to put that right in the system to grade, and the kids complete it on their iPads/computer. (similar to Moodle if you are familiar with that) Have fun exploring.

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  24. Hello! My name is Rebecca Sanders. I teach Read180 in the Freshmen Academy at Michigan City High School. I connect with other educators in several ways. In my building, we have weekly PLC's. I love attending conferences and recently met a third grade teacher. Even though we did not have content in common, I found her so inspiring because she was so positive and I could tell she loved her job and her students. I have started tweeting from a few book clubs back. It is very time consuming but I am hoping to carve out some this year on a regular basis. I have came across a lot of techy articles and how to videos that are extremely helpful. I fear negative people. The complaining makes me shut down. I have been taught to seek a solution for a problem - merely complaining does nothing.

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    1. Hi Rebecca! I feel like you and I will have a lot in common; I teach literature/reading in what we call our Maverick Launch program, which is essentially a Freshmen Success Center Academy!

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  25. Good Day! My name is Pam Rusher. I teach Physical Education/health at Concordia Lutheran High School. We, as a school, are undergoing some changes this year and next-new administration and other teacher hires and a new schedule for next year. It is exciting and a challenge at the same time. In our department is a new hire that brings with him some new engaging ideas using technology and knowledge to expand that which we already are doing. Already I feel re-energized after 25 years of teaching. I am hoping that this book also stimulates my thinking for our schedule changes coming and can return the newness to our new hire as well as you all.

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    1. Sounds like your school has a lot of exciting changes up and coming. It's great that you are staying positive and open to new changes. I know this isn't the case for everyone, a lot of teachers get stuck in a rut and resit changes. Your energy and support will only help the process run more smoothly.

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  26. My name is Amy Thomas and I teach 6th grade pre-ap English at Maple Creek Middle School in Fort Wayne. We are part of Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS). This year we went 1:1 so there have been many times we have collaborated as a grade level, subject area and a district. I typically enjoy doing this if it is productive. When people are learning new concepts and sharing ideas, it's a great time to become energized and look at what I do in my class in a new and revamped way. I am a big believer in utilizing my resources, rather than constantly reinventing the wheel so to speak. It is easy to become bogged down with the day-to-day realities of teaching that I forget the passion that lead me to this career to begin with. Interacting with other like-minded people allows this to happen.

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    1. I also teach 6th grade ELA - I have all levels as I am the only 6th grade ELA teacher in our building. That makes it so hard to collaborate. Being from a small district, there are only 7 middle school ELA teachers in our corporation. It's always nice to know how others collaborate and make things work. I often "steal" ideas, because like you, I hate reinventing the wheel!

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  27. Hi! My name is Lauren Hittinger and I teach kindergarten at Washington Township Elementary! I am really excited to read this book and I am always ready for new motivation to try different things in the classroom. I will say, technology does scare me and after reading only the first three chapters, I have already started thinking I NEED a twitter account! I appreciate the enthusiasm both Todd and Adam have towards teaching, leading, and doing what’s best for the kids, which in my opinion is the bottom line!

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  28. Hi there! My name is Megan Tiscareno; I teach 8th grade Reading at George Rogers Clark in Hammond, IN (School City of Hammond). I'm trying my hand at connecting with educators in several ways. I connect with them at my school through PLCs. I also reach out to online resources: Twitter and EnglishCompanionNing is awesome for researchers and people to share ideas with.

    This year, my focus has been on reaching out to families and students. I am currently using Facebook, Remind, and Instagram to reach out to my students and their families to draw them in to our classroom in any way I can.

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    1. Hi Megan! I had to google what English Companion Ning is and wow! How have I never heard of it before?! I will definitely be signing up. Thanks so much for mentioning it. What a great way to connect with other English teachers.

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  29. Hi! My name is Cheryl Roush and I teach Health and a class on Asian Studies at Maple Creek Middle School which is part of Northwest Allen County Schools. This year we have a new schedule which allows for more time for collaboration within our subject area in our own school as well as with other schools within our district. Collaboration is definitely helpful in sharing ideas, learning new strategies and working out similar issues.

    This year we have also gone one to one which has provided new challenges. There are so many opportunities to do do things via technology but it can be overwhelming. I learn at a slower pace so my biggest challenge is just trying to learn all the new programs and implement them in my teaching. By reading this book and participating in this book club I feel it may help boost my confidence in learning technology.

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    1. Hi, Cheryl. When our school went 1:1 four years ago, most of us felt overwhelmed also. We were told find one or two things that interest you and become an expert on those concepts first. When you have conquered a skill, find another to learn. This made technology use in the classroom less stressful. It does get better! Good luck!

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  30. Hello, group! I'm Mary Willaert, and I teach English, Journalism, Yearbook, and Theatre at Wes-Del High School. I'm excited to be a part of this group for a lot of reasons, but I'm especially interested in making my classroom more collaborative, especially for my general English 9 class that is filled by some students who are not excited or particularly interested in the content.

    I jumped out on a limb this school year and created a Facebook account, mostly with the idea of improving communication with parents. I do feel that it has helped increase communication and expectations of students. I also have used the opportunity of having the Facebook account set up for my class to take photos of students completing interesting and fun activities. The parents have expressed how much they love this aspect of the Facebook page.

    As far as putting myself out there more for more innovative ideas, I tend to use the excuse referenced in the reading as, "I don't have enough time for all of these creative ideas that I have." It is true what is expressed in the text as saying, "A person makes time for that which is important." What is more important than my job and my passion? I'm excited to be taking the first step, especially by being able to read this text full of great ideas to improve creativity.

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  31. Hi, everyone. I am Sandy Gutzwiller. I teach Spanish at Southwood Jr. Sr.High School in Wabash. I was excited to see that the choice for this eLearning book study was Kids Deserve it! Our school has been a 1:1 school for four years. My biggest fear about how to use technology in the classroom has dwindled down quite a bit. I never thought I would have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts but I now do. I have used Twitter mainly as a tool to follow other innovative educators. I still lurk more than actively participate. I have participated in a few Ditch That Textbook twitter chats and a couple of others, but I’m not very good with keeping up with reading all the posts and trying to post my own answer to the questions! I also follow Spanish Teacher Share and World Language Community on Edmodo.

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    1. Glad to see your post here. As we are encouraged to be connected to educators everywhere, there is no connection better than the teacher two doors down!

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    2. Hi, Sandy! We have participated in many eLearning Book Clubs now. We are continually evolving and trying new ideas. Glad to have both of my neighbors on either side of me and another neighbor across the hall on board. It makes it more fun to participate together. There's also the anticipation of connecting with a new teacher out there. Thank you to the IDOE for continuing to offer these book blogs.

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  32. Hey everybody! My name is Amanda Harker. I teach music at Meadowlawn Elementary (Twin Lakes School Corp.) Monticello. I use technology with my kids on a daily basis, but not social media. I do not have a twitter, instagram or facebook account. Honestly, all three make me nervous because of the issues that can arise. I have a few colleagues that I email, and frequently visit teacherspayteachers & pinterest for ideas from other music teachers. I'm always tweaking my lessons and looking for better ways to teach my students.

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  33. Hello! I am Barb Peres and I teach MS/HS FACS at Washington Township School. We are a 1:1 Middle and High school so we use technology everyday. I have used teacherspayteachers service and have collaborated with other teachers in my school and corporation to create fun and different ways to teach. My biggest fear concerning innovating is trying something new on a day when I am being observed by my principle. I had an experience with this already. I had tried a project based lesson that flopped badly, and it happened in front of my principle. Also, because of what I teach, I have to prep for 6 different classes, so finding time to try "new and exciting things" is difficult. I do believe in trying new and creative methods in the classroom, but sometimes it simply comes down to having the time to be creative.

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  34. I just wanted to share a website I found, maybe it's not new to you, but I still wanted to share just in case: edWeb.net
    They offer 1 PGP for each hour webinar, and it's FREE. They offer live and taped webinars. They have several on technology, I just finished one about Makerspaces, which was very interesting and offered a lot of "techie" resources.

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  35. Hello, all! My name is Kim Johnson. I teach 7th grade at Battle Ground Middle School in West Lafayette. I am in charge of the Middle Academy North program. It’s for at-risk students who struggle with organization, test-taking, homework completion, and social skills. Often times, there may be factors at home/outside of school that also contribute to the students’ difficulties at school, and my job is to help them learn to deal with those while also functioning as a successful and productive student.

    I think that my biggest fear right now holding me back from innovating is the emphasis we’re putting on technology. While I can appreciate that the students we have in our classes right now are more technologically savvy in many ways than I am, I also know that they lack basic common sense and social skills. When I have my kids work without their Chromebooks for one class period to focus on social skills -- actually interacting with one another, thinking about how their actions/words/thoughts/emotions might affect others -- they want to find a way to incorporate their Chromebooks. Am I anti-technology? Absolutely not! There will come a time that I would love to incorporate them into their lessons, but they have to learn the basics first -- listen to one another without interrupting, work together, etc. I realize that I can certainly be innovative without the use of technology, but I feel so much pressure to use the technology at the same time.

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    1. Hi Kim! I teach at McCutcheon in the Maverick Launch program, which sounds very close to your Middle Academy North program. (I taught at HHS in the Raider Success Center as well!) I feel like our students are very similar - I just get them two years later than you. I agree that technology is all around us, and while I think it's important for students to know how to use it correctly, it does make me feel less connected to my students at times. They would rather email me a question instead of approach me in person. It's hard to balance it all out! I am using Canvas regularly but I refuse to use the discussion aspect of it; I feel that kids need to learn how to have a discussion with their peers while not hiding behind a computer keyboard to make their points.

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    2. I saw your reply up above! It IS nice to see a fellow TSC teacher so actively involved in this same discussion! I have found this book to be such a nice, positive read! I've really enjoyed it!

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  36. Hello everyone! I am April Pickett and I am currently teaching a 4th/5th grade split at West View Elementary School, in Muncie. I worked as a media specialist for 4 years, before being moved into the classroom 3 years ago. I love working with students and I am happy that I was given the opportunity to transition into the classroom. I work with a lot of low SES families, which can make certain skills difficult to master. I live in another area, a very high SES, so I see the disadvantages they face.

    Therefore, I have to push myself to be innovative and connect with other educators in the state and country. I participate in online social media with other teachers (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin') as well as attend professional development conferences. I have found the face-to-face to be the most beneficial, but is not ideal at all times. I have throughly enjoyed the conferences that I have attended through the IDOE's Summer of E-Learning, and I highly recommend it to all of you!

    I think it is easy for educators to become comfortable with doing things the way they have always done them. If we interact and go out on a limb to try something new, then we may not only surprise our students, but ourselves. I remember trying STEM projects a few years ago, and I was really nervous about how my students were going to handle these projects and feel successful. I noticed a huge increase in student engagement, understanding in concepts, and teamwork/cooperation. Isn't this the goal for educators? I know there is a lot of emphasis on students being successful on tests, but they need hands-on, engaging activities that will help them become productive members of society. We need to step out of our comfort zone and help our children become successful. Now I can't imagine my classroom without STEM projects. Other teachers have seen me post these projects on social media, and our family night is going to be focused on STEAM. I am so incredibly excited for us to implement this into other events as well.

    I think the important thing to remember is to find what works for you and your students. What I find successful in my classroom, may not be what is best for another classroom. It is also ideal to try 1-2 new ideas per year. It is easy to go to a conference and come out a ton of new ideas, but don't try everything at once, otherwise you will have a hard time being successful. So since I have become comfortable with STEM, I am taking a leap into Genius Hour this year, as well as hoping to implement coding!

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  37. Hello! My name is Trina Thomas, and I'm a certified elementary school teacher. I also have my Master's degree and Rank I with a focus on literacy and leadership. I was previously at New Albany Floyd County school corporation. I have also taught at the preschool level. When I began teaching 15 years ago, there really wasn't any collaboration where I taught. Over the years, I have seen more and more collaboration - at the school level, as well as online communities. I believe it's so beneficial to work with other teachers, so that we can learn from one another. It also helps to keep me energized about teaching, instead of falling into the habit of doing the same lessons over and over. I believe that the students are excited about learning when the teacher is excited about teaching! I can't wait to see what new ideas I learn from this class and all of the posts!

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  39. My name is Rachel Hamilton and I teach Family and Consumer Sciences to eighth grade students at Kankakee Valley Middle School. I'm currently on maternity leave for the year but I love these book clubs so I'm continuing to participate during my time at home!
    I feel a little cliché because it's exactly what was mentioned in the book but the biggest thing holding me back is feeling like I don't have anything to contribute. I love looking up lessons and ideas on Pinterest, or there are a few blogs/teacher websites I like to follow, as well as a ListServ I'm a part of for FACS teachers. I implement others suggestions and ideas often but, like the book also said I feel like I'm not that creative on my own!! I guess this book is exactly what I need to break out of my excuses. Looking forward to reading the rest of it.

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  40. Hi there. My name is Megan Oppy and I teach FACS at North Montgomery High School. I am currently on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but do not use them within my classes. I use Remind for school. I would say that my biggest fear is putting myself "out there" as an educator. It's easy to have a social presence as a friend/mom/sister/daughter, but having the professional presence can be quite intimidating. I'm hoping to step outside my comfort zone and pick up the pace on this!

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    1. I'm with you Megan. I like to steal others ideas but putting my own out there is a whole different story. I'm sure you have several great ideas that others would like to hear about.

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  41. Im also a FCS teacher maybe we can swap ideas. Twitter @AmandaBullion

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  42. Im also a FCS teacher maybe we can swap ideas. Twitter @AmandaBullion

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  44. Hello my name is Carletha Yarrell, I am a Special Services Coordinator/Preschool Administrator in Washington Township. Although I am not in the classroom I do try to connect with other special educators. Not as much through media such as twitter, facebook, etc. I would say the biggest fear/thing holding me back from doing more connecting with other using various ways would be that of "time". However I do encourage my staff to utilize such media to reach out to other professionals as well as the parents of their students.

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  45. Hello my name is Carletha Yarrell, I am a Special Services Coordinator/Preschool Administrator in Washington Township. Although I am not in the classroom I do try to connect with other special educators. Not as much through media such as twitter, facebook, etc. I would say the biggest fear/thing holding me back from doing more connecting with other using various ways would be that of "time". However I do encourage my staff to utilize such media to reach out to other professionals as well as the parents of their students.

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  46. Hello everyone. My name is Eric Strolberg. I am the eLearning Coach/middle school Computer Applications teacher in Irvington Community Schools. I have been an active Tweeter for a few years. @estrolberg Twitter is my number one learning source. My goals this year are to begin blogging on a somewhat regular basis and begin presenting at summer of eLearning conferences next summer. I am looking forward to learning with all of you in this book club.

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    1. One thing I would love to learn to do is create a Blog for my classrooms! It is on my list of "To Do's"...I love to learn new things and actually the students teach me new things each day on my computer...it is fun to learn! Blogging has not happened yet for me but soon I hope! A teacher next to me has started doing this and Im hoping she can fill me in soon :)

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  47. Hello my name is Anissa Need. I teach Health and Physical Education at Twin Lakes High School in Monticello. I just started using Twitter this year for a student club I am in charge of and I am getting a great response from the students and the parents. In one class that I teach, I started giving online assignments in addition to their daily participation grade. It gets easier each week for me and I hope to use more technology by next school year. I hope to get some great ideas with this book club.

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  48. Hi, everyone. My name is Jennifer Lee and I am a MS/HS Social Studies teacher. I teach 8th grade US History, Geography & History of the World and AP Psychology. I have been in the classroom for 17 years, all the while watching the transition from no computers, to the 1 to 1 environment that I am now in. I would not really say that I fear moving into a connected realm, and I am beginning to making steps in that direction (I began a Twitter account for my classroom a few weeks ago). I think I have taken a cautious approach to jumping into the technology deep end. I have added new tools every year since we went 1 to 1 , but I finally feel like I have a pretty good grasp on it. I very much identify with the "Island" reference, and feel like that is my obstacle. I teach in a small school, where there are 4 teachers in my department. We all have many preps, and, of course, never have enough time to try all the cool stuff we come across because of all the things we have accomplish in any given day. This is true. However, I agree with the authors that I have to make the time and begin to operate in the world that my students do. Through the reading thus far, I have had many of my feelings or frustrations already addressed, and I feel like this might be the tool to help me make it over the hump to connectivity this school year.

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  49. Hello,
    I am Tom Harker and I teach sixth grade Science and Social Studies at Roosevelt middle School in Monticello Indiana. I have always tried to incorporate technology into my classroom when possible throughout my teaching career. As technology innovates it gets more and more difficult to keep up with all the new information and possibilities there are for my students. I look forward to the opportunity to gain a network of people to share ideas with. I have used sites such as pinterest and teachers pay teachers, but never had conversations with other educators online.

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    1. I use pinterest daily in my classrooms. When I came to the school I am at 2 years ago, pinterest was blocked for the students. Thankfully, with some discussion we got it lifted and now we can use it to our advantage!!

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  50. Hello! My name is Darcy Lugo and I teach at Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne, IN. I've been teaching Spanish for 13 years. My favorite chapter so far was the second one, about not living on an island. It's so easy to lock yourself in the room, get grading done, and live in your own world. We're in a world of technology that can connect us to so many people outside of our building. Our Spanish teachers are in early discussions about planning a networking day for local Spanish teachers, to share ideas, see what is working.
    We are starting to branch out and find outside learning opportunities, culture in our own community. It's not always easy, but the reward is great.
    The technology has been working well, and when used correctly, has great possibilities. We have had iPads for a few years now, and they are fun!....but can be a distraction for teens! It's a whole new level of classroom management.

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  51. Hi, my name is Lauren Angeles and I teach Spanish for 8th grade exploratory, and high school Spanish levels 1-4. I’m the only Spanish teacher at my school, so I have often felt like an “island.” These days with better technology, I’ve been able to connect with other Spanish teachers more and it has helped spark new ideas.
    I LOVE to be creative and come up with new things I’ve never tried before in my Spanish classes. What is holding me back is time. It takes so much time to develop an idea, come up with the props or whatever I need, fit it in with our topic, and organize it so I’m covering standards while also making it fun while also running things smoothly. I teach so many different levels and it’s hard to be innovative every day in every level. And yep, I get tired. So what I am doing is taking one class this year and reworking it. I am seeking new things I’ve never tried. I want to inspire. I want to create experiences.

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  52. Hi! My name is Diana Gill, and I am the Instructional Tech Coach at East Porter County Schools.

    Because of Twitter, I am now more connected as an educator that I have ever been. I'm very excited about some of the opportunities to collaborate that have presented themselves because of Twitter. It has pushed me to live outside of my comfort zone, which has helped me grow while feeling supported.

    As a teacher, I'll admit I wasn't quite as connected. I collaborated with others in my building, but it usually stopped there. I loved to be creative in my classroom, and sometimes that got me in a bit of trouble when others in the department didn't agree with that style of teaching.

    In my current role, I am a bit apprehensive about applying my true style to the PD I work on for teachers because I'm not sure how it would be received. Luckily, I work with a TON of creative teachers so I get to experience creativity in the classroom every day.

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    1. And now I can say I've "met" you after your presentation at ICE. Thank you for bringing the discussion about tech/coaches/media specialists to us there.

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  53. Hi! Yes I am coming in a bit late but here I go!! My name is Kelli Winer and I teach at Southwood High School in Wabash, Indiana. I was a stay at home momma for 14 years before actually getting my first classroom last year being in the right place at the right time. Starting a classroom after being out of college for 16 years definitely has its challenges :) I teach Family and Consumer Sciences as well as 7th grade Health.

    I think one of the things I have going for me is that I don't know any different when it comes to technology in the classroom. I jumped right in with no books and no given curriculum and had to figure it out for myself. I have been able to get some ideas through blogs and such to collaborate with other teachers in my focus area but with the business of having to figure everything out a day before school started last year, time is an issue. I am a mom of 4 as well, so I find myself alone sometimes. However when i do take the time to get others ideas I feel refreshed and motivated. I work in a building with some teachers who have been here for many years and some who are newer as me. It can be intimidating when you aren't sure where you fit in. I love creativity but sometimes wonder if it is really welcomed when I have a checklist of things to make sure I am doing to be considered "effective."

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    1. Hi, neighbor across the hall! You have done an awesome job jumping into teaching an "unknown" curriculum and using technology in the classroom. As you have found out, sometimes creativity takes more time than what we have to master the content. I hear a variety of happy noises and smell a variety of delectable aromas coming from your room during the week. I am not sure we have to be "creative" everyday but students seem to enjoy their classes more when they are allowed to do a variety of activities.

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    2. Thanks Sandy! It has been a highlight to have you there to help me figure things out and laugh with :)

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    3. Hi, Kelli! I love the creativity you've shown in making the Home Ec room inviting and pretty. You are teaching me what is possible to remake a space. It's amazing what a coat of black paint, some teal-colored accents, a floor rug, and some updated decor can do for a dreary classroom. Updating little things makes a huge impact!
      I agree, that it is hard to get an entire class to be creative, especially when we have so many checklists. Like updating your classroom, small steps lead to more small steps. Overall, those small steps add up to some substantial progress.

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  54. Hi, my name is Michelle Sparling, and I'm in my thirtieth year of teaching. Going 1:1 four years ago has in many ways reenergized my teaching at a time it could have been feeling stale. Possibilities are limitless now, and if what my classes are doing is boring, I have no one to blame but myself. I've found that I like creativity, but I sometimes limit the creative ideas I offer to my students because I fear how much time they might take to grade. Removing the fear of differentiating curriculum remains one of my main fears. I teach English 9, English 9 Honors, and a Current Events class.

    My students and I are not as isolated now that the world is at our fingertips with 1:1 laptops. Some great advice for 1:1, is adding one new skill at a time instead of getting overwhelmed trying to do everything at once. Last year I added blogging for my students, and they loved it. This year I would like to try Skype in my classrooms. I know there are classrooms and guests to connect with, I just need to take the plunge and try it. I think the kids would love it.

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  55. Hello, My name is Beth Corbolotti. I teach preschool at Pleasant Hill Elementary in Crawfordsville, IN. I look for ideas on Pinterest, blogs, and teacherpayteacher but I do not communicate or put my own ideas out there to share with others. I feel like the biggest reason is time. I am constantly running around during this stage in my life, trying to keep my head out of the water. I have started posting pictures and videos for parents using the Homeroom app.

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    1. Hi Beth! My daughter is a Pleasant Hill student, (now a 1st grader) and had Mrs. Knowling for ELA. North is so blessed to have a program like ELA! So glad you are joining the book club!

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  56. Well, I thought I had posted on this week... I am Susie Highley, a media specialist in MSD Warren Township in Indianapolis. It seems like we have a huge concentration of participants in a radius around Lafayette, and also Fort Wayne. I do spend a lot of time on social media; my main fear is that I do not get things done, nor make use of the information I gain. One of the most positive things I have found is my participation in the #BFC530 chat every weekday morning. The chatters are so positive (I am also in two voxer groups connected to it) and help keep the focus on the students, where it rightly should be.

    I have attended a webinar with Todd Nesloney before in May. http://live.classroom20.com/archive-and-resources/category/todd-nesloney and he is part of a chat tonight!

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    1. Hi Susie...good to see you here. I'm like you in that I find LOTS of great ideas on social media but do not seem to make use of all the information I gain. All we can do is share the wealth and hope that our teachers pick up on some of it.

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  57. Hi, my name is Mindy Bushee. This is my 11th year teaching Health and PE at Maple Creek Middle School in Northwest Allen County. This is our first year of being a 1:1 school. I love the idea of integrating more technology into the classroom and being more technology savy myself. I'm beginning to find interactive ways to impact students that they really enjoy. My concern is finding a healthy balance for myself and students with the amount of time spent using technology in and out of the classroom.

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  58. Jenny Scott, School Counseling Director at Shakamak. I like to try new things but I get frustrated-afraid to try new things because our technology resources are week. They are supposed to update many things in the summer so hopefully it will get better

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  59. Hello! My name is Justin Journay and I am currently teaching physical education and health in the middle and high schools. I also teach weight lifting. I am a father of two lovely girls ages 6 and 0. I am happily married to my wife of 6 years. I am a very active person who enjoys being outdoors and I enjoy working with small engines and riding ATVs and dirt bikes in my spare time. I also coach middle school wrestling.

    I believe that the biggest fear holding me back from innovating is simply the fear of failure. Some new things that I have tried in P.E. on game day, is to let the students vote on game that we will play. I have also tried to have as many field trips as possible. I have found that student love to get out of the classroom. In the evenings, I dream of innovative ways to introduce new subjects or to give the kids the motivation to strive for certain goals. However, when it comes to actually implementing them, I fear that I will not be able to follow through or that things will not be what I envisioned so I tend to stick to what I know. This can sometimes place me in a rut. I feel pretty good about connecting with other educators as many times we teach in groups especially in the PE. We are forced to collaborate and come up with good lessons as we challenge one another and hold each other accountable. That is the competitive spirit in me.

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  60. Hi all...while I have been reading the book with you since the beginning, I am coming late to the blog. I'm Angy Northern, Library Media Specialist at Southwestern High School in Hanover, Indiana.

    Having read most of the posts above, I see many of my feelings listed above. My biggest issue isn't really a fear when connecting to educators - it is more of a frustration. I'm oft times frustrated in that I learn so much from my online personal networks that I can't decide what is the most important to share and then once I decide what to share, my teachers are too busy to invest the time in exploring something new.

    I try LOTS of new things with my one small class, but I strive to share the wealth with all of my teachers. I'm very careful in choosing what I share so that I don't overwhelm them with all that is available.

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  61. Hello everyone. I am jumping in late. I am a MS/HS principal in Indiana serving the greatest kids and staff in the state! I might be a little biased, but very blessed to be here.
    What it is the biggest thing holding me back? I think the fear of failing and hurting the kids is the biggest thing that holds me back. I worry that they will be the one in the end that suffers from an idea or innovation that goes bad. I have used the quote "it is better to try and fail than to never try for fear of failure" for years, but that is fine when it is me, not the kids. How do I get over that fear?

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  62. Hi!
    I am Missy Bowman I teach at Milan High School. I have one son and a dog. I like to reading books and blogs to get items for the classroom.

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  63. Hi!
    I am Missy Bowman I teach at Milan High School. I have one son and a dog. I like to reading books and blogs to get items for the classroom.

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  64. Amy Everhart, District Technology Coach and Special Education Coordinator at #LPSelma (Liberty-Perry Schools) in Selma, Indiana. I connect with other educators in multiple ways. I do my best to get out into the school buildings. I stop by classrooms and/or get stopped in the hall. I love to connect face-to-face and I know it means a lot to the teachers. I also connect via email, Twitter, and Google+ Communities. Email is sometimes more convenient, but Twitter and Google+ let me connect with so many others to get resources that I could never possible get within my own district. I can connect with others in similar positions to save time by answering some of my questions and provide the same to my professional learning network!

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    1. Sorry, I am joining late. I really read these chapters a long time ago...but I am getting caught up on the others. I wanted to join to make sure I finish the book and not let it be another on my shelf that I WANT to read. I am hoping to use this book club to get me to set aside time to read it now!

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  65. Hello. I am currently staying home with my kids, but I taught for 8 years at Hamilton Southeastern Schools. I would love to get back to teaching in the next few years and truly enjoy the IDOE book clubs as they help to keep me current in education. I think that the main area that would hold me back as an educator would be the fear of using social media with young students. I am learning of the many benefits of using social media with young students, but there is still a big part of me that thinks kids need less screen time. I would worry too much that I would be introducing something to kids that they truly don't need at a young age. I would also worry that I would constantly be "policing" their use on social media. I know that learning more about social media use in the classroom is something that I need. I am looking forward to reading this book and learning about all the great ideas that will challenge me to change my thinking.

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  66. Hello all. Joining from Schaumburg, Illinois, where I am the elementary principal at Schaumburg Christian School. I'm about to start up a book study with faculty and staff here on Kids Deserve It!

    My hangup about innovation and engaging in a 21st century way is my teaching staff. A few are capable of moving forward, but so many are stuck in 20th century methods (just like they've learned and been taught!). Through this book study with my staff, I endeavor to build the capacity for change in a few key teachers which will have a snowball effect for years to come.

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