Different educators like seeing an educational technology coach for different reasons. Some people want to share new tools and tips with you/you with them, some people have problems they are trying to overcome, Some people have successes to share with you. Sometimes educational technology coaches like seeing different people for different reasons too! There are days when I forum-shop and seek people out for that positive reinforcement or I want to hear a cool new idea that I didn’t have to come up with myself.
The tools I am loving all center around image creation. I have several blog posts about images.
Pixabay is awesome for finding images to crop, annotate over, or otherwise edit. I don’t recommend this site to students however (we all know students search for “boob” and those are found on this site), but I love the royalty-free images and that if you upload 10 images the ads go away.
I like to edit with PicMonkey. You can use the free version, but I do so much editing of images that I paid the $33 for the year for the extra features. Also, I am excited that my work group has recently purchased Canva, so I get to learn that tool next!
Here is a time-lapse of me taking an image from Pixabay and editing it in PicMonkey to share via social media:
Awesome time-lapse right? I used a basic Mac OS tool to gather the time-lapse images, so basic in fact that I cannot remember/find the name of the tool. (This post is already begging for an update, huh?)
My 365 Challenge Strategy post really brings together the rest of the story for me on images. I use both a point and shoot camera and my iPhone for family pictures. I needed a strategy to bring those all into one place. With DropBox and If This Than That I really tightened up my family picture strategy enough to make to the family/picture blog.
One problems which I am attentive to right now is how to separate my preferences for online, instructional design from guidelines I provide most K-12 teachers around blended learning. Ironically, teachers often fear making methods transparent to critique and sometimes I am pre-critiquing them; maybe giving my personal standard instead of the basic starting place to teachers.
Bringing change to educators who know that not only the end-product, but the along-the-way learning is on display in the learning management system as they develop in their own personal style of blended learning is high-risk.
I am trying to :
- Help each educator identify their personal non-negotiables in any online classroom
- Examine features of the LMS in relationship to the benefits ti their students
- Articulate a strategy in advance of investing time into “building an online course”
I also try to assess the audience I am with every time. Beginners do not need to be overwhelmed by my “help.” Just as those who already have a strong sense of what they want in an online classroom presence don’t need my contrary offerings. My instructional sweet spot is the intermediate LMS user – they have an idea, but have more questions too – this results in more of a conversation on the philosophy of how the course enhances their face-to-face classroom.
It is early in the school year, but my work group is experiencing some strong relationships with the Teaching and Learning department in our district. We know that when we act together we improve the teacher experience in our district. There was no relationship before we had an instructional facet to our Technology department. So this improved relationship is bound to produce positive results which feed into even more collaboration!
Is it too early in the year for a personal success? I am pleased that after a hiatus over the summer I appear to have settled into a blogging routine again. It is in large part to the #ETCoaches community and the support through the Blogging Challenge – thanks colleagues!
What about You?
Did any of my Tools, Problems, or Successes remind you of anything going on with you?