On the 2nd Day of Techmas: Santa Tracker, a hub of holiday themed coding games & activities for the whole month
Santa has taken over Google!
Google just rolled out a slew of new games and features to its Santa's Village holiday page, including a location-based "Santa Tracker" that follows Santa as he travels around the world delivering presents on Christmas Eve. You'll also find new holiday commands for Google Assistant and brand new educational games.
A favorite new addition of mine to Google Santa this year is the Elf Maker game! Users can create their own elf, and train an elf to dance. So fun!
Holiday Traditions is also a fantastic piece of Google Santa Tracker! Using Google Earth, students can explore holiday traditions around the globe.
Check out Google Santa Tracker here.
Check out the educator resources here.
What is Connected Educator Appreciation Day?
"t’s a day where we bring together connected educators and celebrate them though 8 hours of live streamed conversations. This will allow for round table discussions on various topics about how educators are using technology in the classroom, so that they can share and learn from each other. People can participate by joining an on-air panel for an hour, by just watching or engaging with us via Twitter. We want this day, the 20th of October, to be about you and celebrating your leadership by sharing it and inspiring others." -- CEduAD Website
How did I get involved?
Tim McDonald contacted me back in April exploring the idea of an online EdCamp in which educators could connect globally through Skype. He had found me through my connections on Twitter and through my use of Skype in the Classroom. What an exciting idea! Educators connecting beyond their cities, states, countries to discuss topics that transcend borders. Of course I had to participate! Little did I know that I would be invited as a panelist with some of the most influential people of education around the world. I am a mere library media specialist trying to expose our students to the world around them and here I am being invited to speak along directors, principals, and curriculum experts of Skype Master Schools and schools of innovation...While I was extremely intimidated to be a small fish in a big pond, this experience was one I will always remember and cherish. It's amazing that no matter where we are in the world, it seems like we all are working towards the same goals for our students and having systematic issues that are making achieving those goals difficult.
Check out the videos below if you'd like to learn more about what we talked about. There are some great pedagogical ideas, tips, tricks, and all around awesomeness!
Autrey Mill Middle School is very lucky to embed teaching empathy at the core of our teaching practices. One group in particular focuses more on building empathy and compassion as well as how to put that into action within our school community - our 7th grade leadership team led by the amazing Dr. Gamel.
I have been looking for a special opportunity for these students since I found out about their involved group of great minds and hearts since I arrived at AMMS. I was so lucky to have come across a Twitter post about Danny Meyer, founder of Under a Tree, a college scholarship fund for aspiring civic leaders & social activists who are ethical, compassionate, accountable & unrelenting in their pursuit of justice. Under A Tree is dedicated to reclaiming and redefining the meaning of leadership. Through fellowship programs and a social impact curriculum, they seek to cultivate a new generation of civic leaders and social entrepreneurs who are ethical, compassionate, accountable, and unrelenting in their pursuit of justice.
Danny met with our students before Thanksgiving break to spark their inner passions, discuss how they can use that to find a need and solution in their community, and talk about how one person can begin a ripple effect within their school community. One activity he had our students participate in left me almost in tears as students began to share what they are proud of and what they are ashamed of in their lives. It was an extremely powerful hour with a very enlightened speaker who understood not only how to teach empathy and connections but also understood the mind of a tween.
I am thankful for Dr. Gamel for allowing these students to be a part of this experience and cannot wait to see the IMPACT they will make at AMMS because of this experience.
Hi friends! I usually jump on here after a conference to give you my top 5 or so takeaways I learned from the conference...This year, however, I just don't feel the pull to do that. If I am being honest, I felt this year's GaETC Conference included much of the same ideas and content I have seen the past few years with just a little more focus on making and creating with purpose (which was super exciting!). This conference did, however, inspire me to take on new goals in the library, which I will write about soon.
What continues to be amazing about these conferences, though, is the networking with other media specialists and educators from Georgia. Establishing a Personal Learning Network that inspires and challenges you to keep doing better is more important than learning the newest and coolest Google Chrome Extension (not that those are not important...). I went to an awesome session on PLN's by Ge-Anne - So being inspired by people rather than ideas, I thought I would share the top 5 people who I look to for inspiration, ideas, and support in our awesome state of Georgia!
(Side note-besides my partner in crime, the one and only Robin Thompson!)
Kathy Schmidt, Library Media Specialist at Coleman Middle School in Gwinnett County
Kathy is an amazing source for all things STEM related! She works with hydroponics in her library and is someone I look to when working on MakerSpace challenges. She has a keen eye for awesome projects that are meaningful and always makes me question the why I am starting a project.
You can follow Kathy on Twitter and on Instagram.
Kate Arthur, 8th Grade ELA Teacher
Kate is a new friend of mine who is doing amazing things in her ELA classroom. She is pursuing her Instructional Technology degree and I am trying to talk her into becoming an awesome media specialist. Her perseverance in including Genius Hour/Passion Projects and exposing our students to diverse reads makes her one of my favorite go-to people for interdisciplinary literacy projects and feedback on new books for the library.
You can follow Kate on Twitter.
Jennifer Lewis, Elementary Media Specialist & Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year
Jennifer is just an amazing person to get to know. She is literally one of the sweetest people I have ever met and continues to go outside the box in making her library breathe with life, love, and laughter. We are kindred spirits in using Skype in the Classroom to expose our students to the world around them. She makes me miss being with littles!
You can follow Jennifer on Twitter and Instagram.
Cristi Johnson, High School Media Specialist & Exemplary Library Media Program of the Year
Cristi is hilarious. If you're having a slump, Cristi is just the person you want around to pull you out of it. I love her use of Google Cardboard in her library, but more importantly-how student voice drives her program. She's an excellent source of information for high school media specialists.
You can follow Cristi on Twitter.
Holly Frilot, Library Supervisor for Cobb County Schools & President-Elect of Georgia Library Media Association
Holly's passion for school libraries, community involvement (ask her about how Cobb County Schools has partnered with their local libraries!), and consistent support of her school media specialists makes her a necessary and appreciated voice in our state and organization. She has worked tirelessly on the School Librarian Evaluation Instrument and continues to offer fresh insight in how we can reflect and improve on our current practices. She is a super woman! (Holly, if you're reading this...how have we not taken a selfie together?)
You can follow Holly on Twitter.
I hope you have the ability to connect with amazing educators in your life. If not, join Twitter or Instagram to grow your personal learning network!
School Librarian Advocating for Student Voice in Metro Atlanta