Announcing Alludo!

We knew that we had to change. Alludo, formerly Chrome Warrior, had grown from an application supporting technology PD for teachers into a platform supporting district-wide professional learning. Our audience has expanded from primarily teachers to now supporting games and learning for administrators, principals, students, and now discussions of parents is in the mix.

Still, when you start with a name, it's difficult to imagine another. 

Fortunately, we had help from many of our existing district game administrators - tech coaches, TOSAs, and players. Their participation and honest, candid feedback in our many conversations gave us keen insight. We can't thank everyone enough!

In the end, we landed on a name that we are very excited about. It brings in all the fun and adventure of Chrome Warrior and allows us to leap into the next chapter of our learning adventure with you!

With that, we are pleased to announce that on the evening of August 11th, Chrome Warrior became...

August PD Events

The summer is heating up with some amazing professional development events for educators in August. It's not too late to participate!

August 1, 2017
Worldwide, online

EdmodoCon is a free, live online global event where educators from around the world connect with each other to share how they’re using Edmodo and other digital tools to personalize learning. The educational professional development event of the year, EdmodoCon will help you collaborate with other teachers, discover valuable new resources, and harness the power of edtech in your classroom. Highlights include:

Worldwide Education With a belief that educators will forever be the heroes of the classroom, Anthony Salcito presents a passionate, open, knowledgeable and playful look at how together we can create a better future through education and through the inspiration of educators, students, education thought leaders and school leaders from around the world.

Redefining the Classroom with Collaborative Technologies and Partners Using Edmodo as the primary delivery method for his classes and the SAMR framework as the backbone of his pedagogy, Simon has revolutionized his teaching practice. He share his success story of how the SAMR model, through Edmodo, has allowed him to make the most of several partnerships.

See the schedule and register for individual sessions on Eventbrite, or through Edmodo.

August 2-3, 2017
Los Alamitos, CA
CUE Rock Star Camp

2017 Rock Star Camp episodes will be based on the Hero's Journey model of lesson design: The Hero's Jouney Lesson Design Model is a mixup of the constructivist-centric 

5E's Lesson Design model and  Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey concept - focusing on learning as an ADVENTURE instead of a series of worksheets or canned activities. Deep in 4Cs and SAMR potential, the Hero's Journey is at once simple and sophisticated. The Hero's Journey lesson design model is both technical and visceral. Participate in collaborative conversations and attend hands-on learning sessions presented by other educators, like:

Power-up with Photos for Communication and Learning Use pictures to engage and expand on student learning and communication. Experience how tools including Google Photos, Spark Posts, and Google Slides can be used to create professional-looking imagery.

We will learn how to streamline from the point you snap the photo, to editing the image, and finally sharing with others. You will leave the session well equipped to share your classroom with your school community and classroom parents, create visuals for student lessons, and teach students to communicate through visuals.

ClEvR Arguments Using Adobe Spark Use pictures to engage and expand on student learning and communication. Experience how tools including Google Photos, Spark Posts, and Google Slides can be used to create professional-looking imagery. We will learn how to streamline from the point you snap the photo, to editing the image, and finally sharing with others. You will leave the session well equipped to share your classroom with your school community and classroom parents, create visuals for student lessons, and teach students to communicate through visuals. 

August 3-4, 2017
Los Angeles, CA

Design and Maker Class Colloquium 2017

This two-day professional development event, which is held at the Windward School in West Los Angeles, is designed for all teachers, administrators, and informal educators - including all disciplines, levels of experience, and learning environments from informal to classroom. Participants will get hands-on training and experience with design techniques, traditional tools and materials of making from experts in the area, and hear from cutting-edge practitioners about what is possible in the world of  Design and Making in both general and specific ways.

  • See firsthand what the “Making” craze is all about and grow in both making skills and knowledge
  • Gain hands-on experience and practical knowledge about how to apply design techniques and technologies in your classroom or makerspace  (3D printers, Laser Cutters, wearable tech, Arduinos, electronics, etc.)
  • Delve into Design Thinking: learn about its impact on the student experience and how to facilitate it Make connections and network with like-minded educators interested in the design and maker movement
  • Learn about how to create or grow a makerspace

Register on Eventbrite, or check out what the DMCC looked like last year here!

August 12, 2017
Chula Vista, CA
Edcamp Chula Vista

EdCamp Chula Vista is open to anyone who would like to come and discuss educational topics focused on 21st Century Learning! Teachers, educational leaders, board members, district staff, administrators - all are welcome!

What is it?

  • Best of all - it's FREE!
  • Differentiated professional developmentFOR teachers, BY teachers

Who's in Charge?

  • Completely driven by participants
  • Structured to engage educators in areas which they which they wish to gain and contribute knowledge

What is a typical day?

  • Registration
  • Sit, chat, and jot down your name and topics in which you'd like to discuss with others on your sticky notes
  • "Stick up" your ideas on the "Idea Board"
  • An organizer will be creating sessions based on the ideas posted on the "Idea Board"
  • Organizers will tell you when sessions are posted - then we are ready to rock and roll!

What is a typical session like?

  • Sessions are discussions based - no official "speakers" standing in front of the room; however there will be a facilitator in each session
  • A facilitator is not a presenter!
  • The facilitator will only lead the introductionsand facilitate the discussion

August 19, 2017
San Jose, CA
Design Challenge Learning and 21st Century Skills

Get introduced to the engineering design process and find out how to facilitate these lessons in ways that emphasize 21st century skills — collaboration and teamwork, creativity and imagination, critical thinking and problem solving concrete for the students. Online follow-up session to be scheduled for October 2017.

August 24, 2017
San Francisco, CA
Back to School: What is the Purpose of Public Education?

Join Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times Magazine journalistand Kristina Rizga, Mother Jones reporter and author ofMission High,as they reflect on their extensive reporting in schools—as well as their personal experiences. As they look ahead to the future of schools in America, Hannah-Jones and Rizga will highlight the key, largely invisible forces that are slowly eroding the promise of public education and the intentions and money that drive some of these promises.

August 26, 2017
Chino, CA

Edcamp Chino

EdCamp Chino, hosted by Chino EdTech, is an "unconference"! Join us for a morning of collaborative conversation about what is new, creative, useful, or just plain cool in educational technology for grades Kinder through twelve.

Share among colleagues from Chino Valley and surrounding districts. Bring your ideas and be inspired by the ideas of others.

  • Share a favorite web tool or app
  • Discuss a strategy for using ed tech in your classroom
  • Inspire others with a success story
  • Present a challenge and brainstorm solutions

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Building a PD Plan: Budget

According to the Center for Public Education, school districts spend an estimated two to five percent of their budgets on professional development. The caveat is that many districts aren't aware of how they're spending that money. They may only be accounting for the total cost of workshops and conferences, without considering the cost of hiring substitute teachers when primary educators are out of the classroom. They may not be factoring in the time teachers spend collaborating with one another during department meetings. In fact, according to the study, "the largest cost of effective professional development is actually teachers' time." So, how does this translate?

When it comes to your professional development program, you can't just throw money at it --  regardless of how big your budget is. It takes careful consideration and planning to create a viable, long-term program.

“Even high quality professional development must be directly relevant to the needs of teachers and genuinely improve teaching and learning. And low-quality professional development, frankly, feels like detention.” Randi Weingarten, AFT President

Let's assume you've worked through steps 1 & 2 of this series: you've identified your professional development goals, and outlined resources and modes of delivery that you feel would be the best fit for your district's teachers. A budget creates the final parameter on your program. How much can you spend, and where should you spend it?

Engineering your budget

It's easy to think of a budget as a limitation on possibility. For the sake of this exercise, adopt an engineering mindset, and consider your budget as a creative solution to a challenge. Are you a visual learner? Create a mind-map. Prefer bouncing ideas off of another person? Find another trusted educator to confide in.

Start by identifying what activities you and your teachers consider professional development. Revisit responses you collected when you identified your PD goals. While you may have only considered workshops and conferences, some teachers might think of department meetings as a sort of informal PD opportunity. Create a comprehensive list.

Identify how much money is currently being spent on all of these activities (even those you don't necessarily consider professional development). Don't forget to take into account the time spent. Time = money when it comes to evaluating a budget.


Circle those areas you feel were created without intention, or that were potentially unsuccessful. These areas represent a loss on your ROI. For any district, the ROI is all about student learning. Did this time and money translate to an improvement for students? Keep in mind that what you might consider successful or unsuccessful may have been viewed differently by your teachers. Consult with other educators and prepare for honest feedback.

You've got an overall sense of how much your district spent on PD in one year. Can you afford to spend more this year, or do you need to cut back? Could a restructuring change the outcome? What unsuccessful strategies from last year can you revisit and improve?

Take a look at the resources you researched in step 2. Which resources did you identify as most conducive to meeting your PD goals? What are the associated costs (including teacher time)? Are there alternative solutions that could save money, while achieving the same outcomes? Do these programs align with the CPE's 5 Principles of Effective PD? Pick one or two resources to be the "star" of your PD program, and work from there.

Remember that professional development is a process. It will never be perfect for every educator. What one person finds useful, another may not. You've done your best to get as much input as possible. Remain flexible and open --  you can always restructure again next year (or even next marking period).

"High-quality professional development must be an ongoing process of improvement that allows teachers not only to master new content but also to integrate this knowledge and skill into their classrooms. Evaluation, done well, can be a part of that continuous learning and feedback loop. And, as we have seen around the world in nations with high-performing education systems, teachers thrive in a collaborative culture that gives them the time, tools and trust to drive their professional learning." Randi Weingarten, AFT President

Ways to save

  • If you've decided on a conference or workshop this year, check to see if there is an early-bird special and try to book in advance, or inquire about group rates.
  • Opt for versatile experiences. Pick opportunities that can apply and appeal to a a large number of teachers, without being too generalized. While a group of ESL teachers is attending a reading intervention technology workshop, history teachers might be attending a seminar on teaching geography with Google Earth.
  • How can you deliver content in-person and online? Oftentimes, online experiences are less expensive, because they require less resources. Check out Blended-Learning PD: Time, Accessibility & Evaluation for more information.

Check out some of our budgeting articles for more information:

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Summer PD: Reads

For flexible thinking

The Growth Mindset Coach; Brock & Hundley

Created by teachers for teachers, this is the ultimate guide for unleashing students’ potential through creative lessons, empowering messages and innovative teaching. The Growth Mindset Coach provides all you need to foster a growth mindset classroom, including:

• A Month-by-Month Program • Research-Based Activities • Hands-On Lesson Plans • Real-Life Educator Stories • Constructive Feedback • Sample Parent Letters

Studies show that growth mindsets result in higher test scores, improved grades and more in-class involvement. When your students understand that their intelligence is not limited, they succeed like never before. With the tools in this book, you can motivate your students to believe in themselves and achieve anything.

Get inspired

Today I Made a Difference; Joseph Underwood

Everyone remembers that teacher who made a difference. The one who went the extra mile to truly affect lives, whose lessons carried as much importance outside the classroom as inside. This book is a celebration of those teachers who continue to make an impact. A collection of stories from some of the country's top educators, this book is a celebration of teachers' work, and motivation for them to continue. Joseph Underwood has collected stories from each of the twenty-eight 2004 Disney Teacher™ of the Year honorees. And every story celebrates a different obstacle they overcame, the power and know-how needed to triumph, and the reward granted upon beating the odds. It's the perfect gift for anyone in or considering the profession. This collection is sure to inspire, celebrate, and motivate those people who make the biggest difference in everyone's life.

Frustration busters

The Happy Teacher Habits; Michael Linsin

What do daffodils, baseball announcing, and Tina Fey have to do with teaching? As it turns out, a lot. In The Happy Teacher Habits, Michael Linsin guides you through 11 little-known habits of the happiest, most effective teachers on Earth.

Based on the latest research, and drawing on experts from the worlds of business, marketing, sports, entertainment, music, and medicine, you will learn simple, actionable strategies that will eliminate your teaching stress, supercharge your ability to motivate and inspire your students, and empower you to really love your job.

This is no ordinary teaching book. It is a success roadmap through an educational system that is becoming increasingly harder to navigate. It will expose the falsehoods and misinformation teachers are bombarded with every day, and reveal the secrets to what really matters in creating a happy and fulfilling career.

A tribute to teaching

What Teachers Make; Taylor Mali

In praise of the greatest job in the world...The right book at the right time: an impassioned defense of teachers and why we need them now more than ever.

Teacher turned teacher’s advocate Taylor Mali inspired millions with his original poem “What Teachers Make,” a passionate and unforgettable response to a rich man at a dinner party who sneeringly asked him what teachers make. Mali’s sharp, funny, perceptive look at life in the classroom pays tribute to the joys of teaching…and explains why teachers are so vital to our society. What Teachers Make is a book that will be treasured and shared by every teacher in America—and everybody who’s ever loved or learned from one.

When you're feeling "crazy"

Why Are Good Teachers Crazy?; Frank Stepnowski

A refreshingly honest look inside the teaching profession, Why Are All the Good Teachers Crazy? is a captivating collection of hilarious stories and unreserved observations from one man’s odyssey in the classroom. With equal parts humanity, insanity, and profanity, Frank Stepnowski, a twenty year veteran of the academic wars, offers unique insight into a world everybody knows about but very few understand. “Step” as he was re-christened by his students, pulls no punches in the classroom, and takes no prisoners in his writing debut. The title, which comes from a line that the author heard many times throughout his career, is both a confession and a confirmation. “I wanted a book,” he explains, “that would make people laugh out loud but also open their eyes to just how insane the teaching profession can get. With that in mind, the book is a riotous success, providing searing insight into the classroom and giving an iconoclastic voice to a profession that often goes unheard. Why Are All the Good Teachers Crazy? is a wake up call for some, a rallying cry for others, and an invitation to laugh and learn for everyone.

Based on actual events, the vivid imagery, colorful characters, and incendiary dialogue of this nuclear powered novel will take readers on a roller coaster ride that they will be talking about long after the ride is over.

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Building a PD Plan: Resources

Welcome back Chrome Warriors! We hope you had a fantastic Fourth of July weekend. Last week, we began our Building a PD Plan series with information on how to identify and structure your goals, whether they're short-term, or part of a strategic plan. This week we'll move on to step two: researching tools and resources that can help you accomplish these goals.

For this part of the planning process, try to keep an open mind about how you can best deliver content to your teachers. Imagine that the sky is the limit, and that budget isn't a factor. By painting a picture of a "perfect world" scenario, you can suss out what's most important and then pare your plan down to the essentials.

Conferences & workshops

The good ole "sit-n-get"! There's nothing like driving to a dingy meeting room and being bombarded with irrelevant facts for hours on end, just to satisfy your PD requirements.

...But wait! Nowadays, there are so many engaging conferences and workshops for teachers. From hands-on learning to tech fairs, off-site opportunities are a great way to change your frame of mind simply by changing your scenery.

  • Use keywords related to next year's PD goals to search for relevant workshops.
  • If you're using a book club to spark conversations, see if the author hosts speaking events.
  • Think outside of the box: could a museum trip or other local events apply or contribute in some way to your PD goals?
  • Communicate with other local districts to see what events they're planning on attending.
  • Check out CUE for great ed-tech programs, and keep checking back here -- we'll be posting some of the top conferences of 2017-18 later this month.


Technology is a prime focus among many educators and administrators. Schools want to offer tech opportunities for their students, and use state-of-the-art equipment in the classroom. But with hundreds of articles like "If You Want Tech in the Classrooms, Teach the Teachers" and "Training Teachers Who Are Terrorized by Technology," it's obvious there's a gap between what districts want to do, and what they're currently able to (effectively) do. Improving teacher tech training can be a PD goal unto itself -- but you can also use technology to deliver content related to other PD goals. Simply introducing G Suite for Education or hosting a quarterly mini-tech summit could open up a world of possibilities for teachers.

Blended learning platforms take tech teaching to another level, using technology to deliver information while giving teachers hands-on technology experience. For example, some of our partner districts set up sorties to teach how to use social media tools, while using the platform's technology to gather and respond to teacher learning. Technology-based tools are more flexible compared to in-person training opportunities, as they give teachers the opportunity to revisit and further explore content on their own time.

Professional learning communities

Professional learning communities (PLCs) are different than peer mentorship programs. The purpose is not necessarily to help one teacher (or group of teachers), but to help the school as a whole. Teachers are encouraged to gather evidence of learning, create new strategies to address challenges, implement them, then analyze and share. PLCs can take the form of face-to-face meetings, or online chats (using V

oxer or Twitter), and will typically involve dialogue and sharing of resources. Some of your teachers may have already established a PLC of their own, communicating with teachers across the country on topics that they are passionate about.

Consider organizing PLCs by grade level or subject area, or around a common interest (technology, project-based learning, interdisciplinary teaching). While it will take some time to work out logistics, PLCs tend to take on a life of their own after initial conversations. PLCs give teachers agency over their professional development.

Peer mentor programs

Mentoring programs are typically associated with first-year teachers, but they can be useful for educators at any level. Every teacher has something unique they bring to the table, whether they have years of experience in their specific subject area, or are fresh out of school and familiar with the most current pedagogical practices.

At Lausanne Collegiate School, educators participated in the TechMentor program, in which tech-savvy teachers provided one-on-one coaching to less tech-savvy teachers. In their case study on the program, Education World recognized that "mentors [...] are an effective and valuable component in all K-12 staff development -- not just in the area of technology integration. The TechMentor model, which identifies those who are competent with a skill, highlights their successes, and provides supportive and collaborative assistance for the rest of the faculty, can work whether the initiative is whole language, multiple intelligences, core essentials, or teaching to standardized tests."

Reframing mentoring programs as an opportunity for anyone to be either a mentor or a mentee creates a positive, collaborative environment, that maintains a respect for each teacher's individual strengths and challenges.

How do you currently deliver professional development in your district? What would you like to try next year?

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Summer PD: Reads

Survive your first years on the job

See Me After Class; Roxanna Elden

Teaching is tough. And teachers, like the rest of the population, aren't perfect. Yet good teaching happens, and great teachers continue to inspire and educate generations of students. See Me After Class helps those great teachers of the future to survive the classroom long enough to become great.

Fueled by hundreds of hilarious--and sometimes shocking--tales from the teachers who lived them, Elden provides tips and strategies that deal head-on with the challenges that aren't covered in new-teacher training. Lessons can go wrong. Parents may yell at you. Sunday evenings will sometimes be accompanied by the dreaded countdown to Monday morning. As a veteran teacher, Elden offers funny, practical, and honest advice, to help teachers walk through the doors of their classrooms day after day with clarity, confidence...and sanity! Teaching is tough. And teachers, like the rest of the population, aren't perfect. Yet good teaching happens, and great teachers continue to inspire and educate generations of students. See Me After Class helps those great teachers of the future to survive the classroom long enough to become great.

Fueled by hundreds of hilarious--and sometimes shocking--tales from the teachers who lived them, Elden provides tips and strategies that deal head-on with the challenges that aren't covered in new-teacher training. Lessons can go wrong. Parents may yell at you. Sunday evenings will sometimes be accompanied by the dreaded countdown to Monday morning. As a veteran teacher, Elden offers funny, practical, and honest advice, to help teachers walk through the doors of their classrooms day after day with clarity, confidence...and sanity!

Teach lifelong learning

Make it Stick; Brown, Roediger & McDaniel

To most of us, learning something "the hard way" implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier. Make it Stickturns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.

Memory plays a central role in our ability to carry out complex cognitive tasks, such as applying knowledge to problems never before encountered and drawing inferences from facts already known. New insights into how memory is encoded, consolidated, and later retrieved have led to a better understanding of how we learn. Grappling with the impediments that make learning challenging leads both to more complex mastery and better retention of what was learned.

Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and durable learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another. Speaking most urgently to students, teachers, trainers, and athletes, Make it Stick will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.

Prepare students for adulthood

How Children Succeed; Paul Tough

Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators, who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories—and the stories of the children they are trying to help—Tough reveals how this new knowledge can transform young people’s lives. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to improve the lives of children growing up in poverty. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.

When you need a good laugh

Teacher Misery

Teacher Misery perfectly encapsulates the comical misery that has become the teaching profession. Morris’ strange, funny, and sometimes unbelievable teaching experiences are told through a collection of short stories, essays and artifacts including real emails from parents, students and administrators. From the parents who blame their son’s act of arson on the teacher for causing him low self-esteem, to the student who offers to teach the teacher how to sell drugs so she can pay her bills, to the administrator whose best advice is to “treat kids like sacks of s***,” one story is more shocking than the next. An important read for teachers and non-teachers alike-- Teacher Misery paints an amusing and thoroughly entertaining picture of what has become of our education system, without detracting from the overall point that what teachers have to put up with today is complete, utter, unacceptable insanity.

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Building a PD Plan: Identifying Goals

Summer is the perfect time for school districts to restructure their professional development plan. A successful strategy incorporates all of the district stakeholders: administrators, teachers, technology coaches and curriculum directors. The first step in crafting a PD program is identifying goals for next year; be that expanding technology tools, offering support for a specific department, or focusing on a particular curriculum component. Next, research tools and resources that will help your district reach these goals. Finally, review the existing PD plan and expenses, and consider allocating funds in a new way. If a majority of the budget last year was spent on conference attendance, consider using it this year for an on-site workshop, or a blended learning PD platform. This week, we'll focus on creating a plan outline. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on finding PD resources and budget restructuring.

Gathering data

Start by identifying instructional goals. Your PD program may be dictated by your district's strategic plan, or you may choose to take a more flexible, democratic approach by surveying stakeholders about what they feel is important in next year's PD program. Here are a few ways you can engage others in outlining PD goals:

  • E-mail survey. Summer is a busy time for teachers, who may beenjoying time off or working a seasonal job. Send a brief, three-to-five question survey. You could have teacher's rank issues on importance on a scale of one to five, or answer true-false questions about the state ofPD at the district. For example: True or false? I feel that our existing PD program supports my individual teaching goals. A benefit of this strategy is that collecting and aggregating data is simple.
  • Connect with advocates. Reach out to teachers who are known for being vocal and honest. This might be a person who has (respectfully) challenged district protocols in the past. Ask them for their honest opinion on the current state of professional development in the district, and be prepared for constructive feedback.

If you don't already have one, consider asking interested teachers in participating in a professional development committee. While they might not be able to meet before the start of the school year, they can be instrumental in crafting and adapting PD plans in the future.


Using the information you gathered, identify the top two or three areas for improvement. How do these points align (or not align) with your district's strategic plan? Have these areas been the focus of professional development in the past?

You should also identify whether or not these topics apply to the district as a whole. If you got a lot of feedback about issues with standardized testing from the math department, but not from any other departments, this may not be an area you choose to focus on in the overall, district-wide PD plan. That's not to say it's not important -- be sure to address any and all concerns shared by your teachers in one way or another. (Like calling a meeting with a specific group to problem solve.) In order for a PD plan to be successful, teachers should feel that their voices are heard, and their voluntary feedback is being taken seriously.

Breadth vs. depth

Decide how specific you'd like your PD objectives to be. For example, a district with a large Hispanic population might identify "improving outcomes for Spanish language students," as an area of focus, and could provide teachers with tools to connect specifically with those students and their parents (ie. bilingual learning materials). Alternatively, your goal might be "improving outcomes for ESL students." Here, you would take a broader approach, offering workshops on general ESL strategies (ie. using visuals in presentations, modifying assignments).

How you decide to frame your objectives is up to you and your stakeholders. Regardless of the objective you choose, make sure you'll be able to measure the outcome of the program at the end of the year. Next week, we'll take a look at different ways schools across the nation structure their PD plans.

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July PD Events

July 11-12, 2017
Oxnard, CA
CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp

CUE Rock Star Teacher Camps include:

  • hands-on, "make it, take it" sessions.
  • 10:1 Participant to CUE Rock Star Faculty Ratio!
  • award-winning CUE Rock Star Faculty: Apple Distinguished Educators, Google Certified Teachers, Microsoft Innovative Educators, and more....
  • morning "Shred Sessions" with a LIVE DEMO from each presenter!
  • lunch, beverages and an ice cream social each day.

July 18, 2017
San Francisco, CA
How Bots are Changing Education

"Join us for a panel on how chatbots are transforming the education space. We will discuss how bots are changing the way people learn and how they enhance students’ experiences. We will also be talking about the development of the bot ecosystem and how to adapt as the environment continues to change. Whether you’re currently building bots for a company or thinking about entering the bot space, you will walk away with actionable tactics from the experts."

With thought leaders from Skype, IBM Watson, Quizlet, and LifeSpark.

July 24-25, 2017
Truckee, CA
CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp

Presentations include:

  • Common Sense Digital Citizenship - If you've been following our Digital Citizenship series, you know this one is important! "What does it mean to be a good digital citizen? How can students grow up responsible, safe and skeptical about their digital experience? Unpack CommonSense Media’s resources from parent guides to a full CCSS aligned curriculum that can be plugged into curol next year."
  • Blogging and Podcasting: Painlessly Prodding Students into Authentic Writing - "Do you know what motivates students to write well? A public arena! Learn to teach your kids writing through blogging. Participants will go through the steps of how to use blogging and commenting to improve student voice and the revision process. We will also walk through how to use podcasts to increase engagement and publish student work. Come see why the real trick to improving writing is establishing a wider, authentic audience."
  • And much more!

July 25-27, 2017
San Diego, CA
Fleet Summer Inquiry Institute 2017

"The Summer Inquiry Institute is a three day professional learning experience for teachers in the San Diego area. Join your fellow teachers and experience inquiry as a learner, examine different approaches to hands-on learning, explore process skills and NGSS practices, engage in a full scientific inquiry, and consider ways to include inquiry in your own classroom.

This workshop is based upon the Fundamentals of Inquiry professional development program developed by the Exploratorium, and incorporates the Next Generation Science Standards."

July 26, 2017
Los Angeles, CA

EdTech IT Summit

"Morning keynote Fran Mauney of Intel Education will speak on the convergence of technology and K12 curricula and where the connected classroom is going. Afternoon keynote Mike Fleetwood will talk about the most recent changes to eRate and resources and strategies for keeping pace with technological advances. And there will be plenty of time to exchange ideas and talk about security challenges with other campus IT leaders, as well as representatives from Microsoft, Google, HPE, Aruba, Datto, Malwarebytes, and more."

Who should attend: School IT Directors and Managers, Network Engineers, Budget Officers, Superintendents, Principals, Vice Principals, Curriculum Developers, Science Chairs, Teacher Leadership.

July 28, 2017
Fresno, CA
Better Together: CA Teachers Summit

"California teachers are working hard to foster inclusive classrooms, spark learning and equip all students to succeed. Now more than ever, teachers deserve an opportunity to come together and share ways to support our students, protect our values as educators and set an example for the nation.

Join thousands of teachers from across California for a FREE day of learning featuring a TED-style EdTalk presented by a local teacher and Edcamp discussions led by teachers, for teachers. You will walk away with access to the latest strategies and tools you can bring back to your classroom, and connect to a lasting and powerful network of peers."

July 31 - August 1, 2017
Oakland, CA
Designing Making Experiences

"Designing Making Experiences is a two-day intensive professional development workshop for educators eager to integrate making in school into their own practice. Spend two days planning a K-12 making project or unit of your choice and leave with a project example made by you. While being immersed in a making environment, you will make and develop, test and troubleshoot the making curriculum or project of your choice for your K-12 classroom or school."

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Digital Citizenship: Growing Up Online

We've covered a lot of different aspects of digital citizenship over the past few weeks: what it means, how students can become productive "digital citizens," and the consequences and etiquette surrounding virtual communication and participation. We've encouraged teachers and parents to talk with students about how their actions online can impact their future and the well-being of others. But there's another aspect of digital citizenship that's just as critical--how media and online interactions influence and shape a child's self-image.

A different world

Modern society has always been exposed to advertising. Even "back in the day" when we got our news from a newspaper, the local grocery store circular would be tucked inside, a 4x4 inch advert for the local lawyers next to the sports column. What we're experiencing now, however, is more influential, more pervasive. Want to read the latest from CNN? Hang on, you've got to watch this shoe commercial for 20 seconds, selected for you based on your browsing history. Models and actors are photoshopped, products presented with just the right amount of sportiness, sexiness, or "cool factor." And adults aren't the only ones bombarded by these advertisements--companies work just as hard to sell to the next generation of consumers.

This media- and advertising-rich culture is pervasive, and has helped to create a climate of constant self-promotion. Teens spend hours devoted to taking and choosing the best photo to post to Instagram, counting up their likes, comparing themselves to others. It seems that teens are increasingly focused on putting their face forward--a study from AP-NORC found that 76% of teens 13-17 use Instagram, and 75% use Snapchat--while Facebook and Twitter use has remained steady. Growing up is hard enough--add in this constant online competition for who's having the most fun with the most glamorous friends, and you've got another layer of added pressure.

What can adults do to minimize the effects of these platforms on a teen's self-esteem? According to the Child Mind Institute, it's all about focusing on life offline. "The gold standard advice for helping kids build healthy self-esteem is to get them involved in something that they’re interested in. It could be sports or music or taking apart computers or volunteering—anything that sparks an interest and gives them confidence. When kids learn to feel good about what they can do instead of how they look and what they own, they’re happier and better prepared for success in real life. That most of these activities also involve spending time interacting with peers face-to-face is just the icing on the cake."

A tale of two faces

Who are you IRL (in real life)? Who are you behind your device? We all have flaws, bad days, lulls in our social life. Online, however, it's easy to paint a much different picture, with perfectly arranged Instagram meals, Facebook check-ins with friends at an event. For most adults, it's easy to separate and acknowledge that this carefully curated fantasy is just that--fantasy. For teens, this dual experience during their formative years can be detrimental to shaping their identity. On one hand, it's great that a shy child can express themselves freely online, but it's problematic if it comes at the cost of abandoning real, face-to-face social skills and interactions.

This phenomenon is also significant on a much larger scale. "Sometimes it seems that the Internet has amplified the importance of “self” identification and identity to the point that the term has become a kind of acronym. SELF = “Showcase Every Little Fact” about me. Nothing seems too trivial to post, even a "selfie" photograph. With this increased "self" preoccupation, we may have entered a more narcissistic age, people increasingly entranced with admiring the Internet reflection they have created, treating it as a chance to star in their own and other people's eyes," writes Dr. Carl Pickhardt in Psychology Today.

Helping children navigate their online personas starts with a conversation about respect, representation, and reputation:

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