Monday, February 24, 2014

Learning everywhere with Round Rock ISD Instructional Technology

Wish you had more opportunities to learn the latest ways to better integrate technology into your teaching, but don't want to take time away from your students to attend a workshop? The Round Rock ISD Instructional Technology department is bringing the learning to you with two new differentiated professional development opportunities utilizing Google Hangouts (GHO).

The first opportunity is called "PD in Your PJs" and will be held the fourth Tuesday of each month from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm. There will be an opportunity to earn CPE credit by reflecting on your learning. Check out the RRISD Instructional Technology PD blog for more information.

The first topic will look at technology tools for writing and ideas will be shared by +Kris Korfanta+Krista Tyler+Christy Fennewald, and moderated by +Robin Young.
If you watch the GHO live, then you will be able to post questions for the panel to answer. There will also be shared notes and resources on each of their event pages.

Lunch and Learn sessions will be held most Tuesdays at 11:45 and cover topics geared toward other ITSs and teachers with an above average comfort level using technology. They will be sharing numerous tools, apps, and extensions that will help you integrate technology into your daily teaching as well as increase your productivity. To watch some of their previous sessions, and learn about all the other valuable professional development efforts from the RRISD Instructional Technology department, please bookmark: - it's the place to be.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#rrisdpdchat Thursday 7-8 pm. Let's chat about finishing the year even stronger than we started.

The idea of finishing strong is ripe for cliches. From legendary coaches, to philosophers, to Hollywood writers, everyone agrees that it is important to finish any game, story, or project at least as strong as you began. But how do we make it happen? What concepts or strategies work best for you? Are you looking to learn from others? Join the second monthly #rrisdpdchat on Twitter this Thursday and every third Thursday for an hour of collaboration and learning. Sign-in and sign-out sheets will be tweeted out for all RRISD folks to get PD credit.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Round Rock ISD Celebration of Families March 1st at McNeil High School

The annual Round Rock ISD Celebration of Families on March 1st will feature several nationally-known speakers and provide opportunities for families to learn more about a wide variety of topics.
Keynote presentations will be given by +Kevin Karschnik and Russ Peterson, former Round Rock ISD students and current owners of iSpeakRuss and Kevin will discuss the importance of developing the character of our kids through coaching and the foundation it provides for their future. Actively listening to our children, asking the right questions, and providing the appropriate guidance will have a positive impact on how they interact with others.

Executive Director of WatchDOGS, Eric Snow, will be delivering another keynote address where he will talk about how WatchDOGS have been supporting schools in RRISD and across the country.

John Robinson will be giving the third keynote option. He is the Director of Education & Youth Development for the Houston Area Urban League. John believes that too many families wait to later to begin their efforts to develop their children’s literacy and learning skills, which causes them to start behind and they struggle to catch up.

There will also be a vendor fair, on-site childcare and activities for the whole family. For more information on the event, click here.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Reflection on Inaugural EdCamp RRISD from Director of Curriculum and PD, Dr. Lora Darden

It's time to share the learning from our first EdCamp last Saturday. To read the shared notes from every session, just click on the description on this session board. If you want to watch a live feed of three sessions, check out our YouTube channel here. If you want to learn a little more about some of those who attended, take a look at our introduction sheet where everyone learned a little more about one another: We had plenty of RRISD folks as well as numerous educators from as far as Waco and beyond. 

Round Rock ISD's Director of Curriculum and Professional Development attended and shared the following thoughts:

Saturday's EdCamp was a really fascinating departure from traditional professional development! A huge thank you to +Ryan Smith, our fabulous Supervisor of Professional Development, for launching us into uncharted territory.  And another thank you to our inaugural group of EdCamp Campers!

What made the day such an exciting adventure? The group sizes were intimate (no larger than about 10-12 people), and as small as three. Because everyone had choice about which sessions to attend, all attendees were invested in what they were learning about. People shared a great deal of satisfaction with that aspect. The people in the room drove the conversation as it ebbed and flowed based on what the group wanted to talk about. Learning was organic and professional relationships were fostered as all participants had the chance to lead the learning.

I hope you'll join us for EdCamp #2 - more details are coming soon! Stay tuned for more details on how you, too, can become an EdCamp Camper with Round Rock ISD!

Thank you +Lora Darden for sharing. Our plan is to keep our EdCamps small and frequent, so stay tuned for the next one which will probably come around in April or May. If you have any thoughts on structure, venues, anything at all, please comment below or post to the EdCamp Round Rock ISD section of the RRISD PD G+ Community. And make sure you are making your plans for our Summer PD Conference starting July 28th - see you there.