Sunday, April 23, 2017

8 Tips for Being A Purposeful Poster

Innovative educators don’t like to waste time. That’s why it is important to remain purposeful when you post and remind others to do the same. Want to know how? Reading the tips below will help.

1-Get Real
By now most people know it’s important not to spread fake news. If something sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. If it supports your beliefs and ideas perfectly, take time to research the other side of the issue. If you’ve learned the "sky is falling,” look for evidence before sending out the warning. Do your research or get your information first-hand, from the source. Make sure what you are sharing is real. These five tips can help.

2-Be Focused
You have something you are excited about and want to share. That’s great, but don’t share it in ten different places all at once. Start by sharing in the one place you are caring about most. Be present there. Personally connect with others. You can’t do this effectively when you post in multiple places at the same time.

3-Serve Others
Think about ways you can serve and support other people. When you do, you will learn in return and also gain insight into helpful techniques for yourself should you need support or guidance.  

4-Get Personal
Don’t share that joke, photo, video, meme, or story that everyone else is sharing unless you have personal insights or commentary to add. Melissa Emler, community manager over at  #ModernLearners shares this advice, “Try telling a personal story about your work or asking a question.”

5-Link with Intention
Don’t post a bare link. If you have a link you think others will find interesting, take the time to let them know why. In response to someone who posted a link without much explanation as to why, Emler advised that for a group that is based on discussions, a good way to engage is to...start a discussion of your own.

6-Be Aware of the Purpose
Know the purpose of the place you are posting. If it is to your personal account, that goes to being intentional about sharing what it is that supports what you stand for. If you are sharing on a page, group, timeline, or site that is not yours know the guidelines, purpose, and norms and follow them. If you have a question or problem with them, try contacting the organizer / moderator / owner.

7-Be Interesting
When you post think beyond what’s in it for you and toward, considering why others would find this interesting.

8-Targeted Promotion, Advertising, or Fundraising
Raising funds and/or promoting your business or cause doesn't mean asking for money or support in every place you can think of. It is rarely effective when there is not a personal connection, outreach and/or relationship between the person asking and the one giving. Rather than making general outreach, make the personal contact. Build relationships. Reach out to only those you know are invested in your cause. You also should check where you are posting because if it is on a page, group, or site, many don't want such posts or if they do, they may request a fee.

Ultimately, remembering that often it is better to give than receive, will go a long way. Be helpful and share your advice, ideas, strategies, and different ways of thinking to others in need. When you do, you will be surprised by how willing others are to be there when you do reach out with that personal request for support or guidance.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

3 Hottest Posts Most Popular On The Innovative Educator

Haven’t been keeping up with The Innovative Educator? Don’t worry. That’s what this wrap up is for.  Here are the three hottest posts that you don’t want to miss!

What’s hot this week? 
1.     Teen brains - it's not what you think 
2.    Fake News
3.    Formative Assessment

At the top of the hot list is a post about the teen brain and some myths that should be reconsidered when engaging with them. Next up is a post that highlights a fantastic media literacy toolkit from Common Sense Education.  Rounding out the top is a post highlighting a handy infographic that can be posted in your classroom. It was created by an #NYCSchoolsTech teacher to makes it clear and easy to see some ways tech can support assessment.

So what are you waiting for? Now's your chance. Take a look at the posts below and click the link to read one(s) that looks of interest to you.

Mar 28, 2017, 
Mar 26, 2017, 
Apr 16, 2017, 

If you like any of these posts, I hope you’ll share with others using the buttons below on Twitter, Facebook, email or whichever platform you like best.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Need To Write Recommendation? Use This.

Innovative educators are often asked for letters of recommendation from students as well as colleagues.  This can become a little overwhelming if you don't have a few good strategies. Lisa Buitekant, Kris Karlson, Steve Warre, three teachers at Horace Greenley High School in Chappaqua, NY have a useful strategy that others can customize for their needs.  They are high school teachers and each year they several requests from students for college letters of recommendations. When they do, they have students fill out a questionnaire evaluation form. 

The form requires certain answers to questions to even be eligible to receive a recommendation i.e. they must answer "No" to if they have ever cheated or had an unexcused absence.  It also asks students to share their feedback around experiences they had in this teacher's class. The answers provide useful information to include in the recommendation.  You may also want to ask students to complete a strength's profile from Thrively which will provide additional useful insights for a recommendation.

Here is a screenshot of the self evaluation and you can see the whole thing here
save image 

For recommendations for professional recommendations, you can change the eligibility and feedback questions to be appropriate for that audience. For example an eligibility questions such as: "Have we ever worked on a professional project together?"  I do not write recommendations for those who I have not worked with in an official capacity, so that would be a disqualifying question. A feedback question might be something like "Share what we have worked on together and why you felt it to be a memorable experience."  For career recommendations, instead of using a tool like Thrively use one geared toward careers such as Myers Briggs

What do you think? What is your process for drafting recommendation letters? Do you ask for self-evaluation questions? Are there ideas here you feel would be helpful? Aniy other useful strategies?