Tag Archives: communication

Pics and resources from “Speaking to Listen in the Age of Emoji” with @D_L_Potts @mritzius today:

Today, I co-led a full-day Speaking to Listen in the Age of Emoji workshop with Diana Potts and Mike Ritzius. Many thanks to Barbara Swanson, Associate Director for Professional Development at NYSAIS, for supporting us and Amy Brandt and Dennis Guidera of Steelcase Education for hosting us!

Here are our slides:

Here is the resource sheet we shared (with links to readings, resources, and handouts all in one space): 

Here is the original description from the NYSAIS page:

The skill of effective communication has powerful influence in shaping school culture. Teachers, students and leadership are surrounded by feedback on a daily basis from the classroom to meetings to the playing field.

Understanding how to communicate can be the difference between listening to react and listening to understand. How one hears, processes and delivers feedback can be powerful in shaping the tone of personal and professional relationships. In this workshop, theory, practice and your experiences will be used to examine what it takes to host effective and productive conversations with colleagues and students.

This seminar, for teachers and administrators of all grades,  will prepare participants to initiate better and more productive conversations with their colleagues, students, and parents. We will introduce a series of frameworks and skillsets which will enhance the way we speak and listen to each other.

This session includes:

  • Identifying types of feedback
  • Identifying perspective of knowings
  • Supporting different ways of knowing
  • Methods of hearing and giving feedback (even when you don’t want to)
  • Empathic Listening:an exercise is listening
  • Amygdala Hijack: identifying your triggers for grounded conversations
  • Four-fold Practice: a framework for mindful conversations
  • Levels of Speaking and Listening from Theory U: A framework for moving conversations to a co-generative space)
  • World Cafe: Creating a space for conversations leading to invested action

Here are some photos from the day:

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Notes/slides from a conversation about digital citizenship and social media


Last night, I facilitated a conversation on teaching digital citizenship and social media use to middle schoolers. Around the table were teachers, librarians, media specialists, technologists, curriculum coordinators, and administrators from Friends Seminary.

Their specific questions were:
1. How can we help middle schoolers be safe, responsible netizens?
2. How would you define digital citizenship and how does that play a role in your school?
3. How does social media play a role in your school and what do you do to prepare kids to use it responsibly?
4. What are some activities that you have done with middle schoolers on digital citizenship?
5. What is your scope and sequence in your school on digital citizenship (and others that you may know)?
6. What tools do you use, such as ELGG, to help kids understand digital citizenship and social media?

Besides showing projects I’ve developed/supported using Google Sites, our internal media repositories (powered by Drupal), or our internal social network (powered by Elgg), I shared how I weave in reminders, anecdotes, news stories, and life lessons at every opportunity.

I shared these three recent relevant articles which I’d seen on Twitter:

And this post recommended by Don Buckley to be a good conversation starter:

I also shared my collection of mantras that I repeat endlessly in class:

  1. Everything you put online is public, permanent, traceable.
  2. Use our technology academically, respectfully, responsibly.
  3. Make wise choices.
  4. We are a community.
  5. There’s no such thing as privacy online. It’s public versus less public.
  6. The only thing worse than kids behaving badly are adults behaving badly.

Rather than proceed through the slide deck I’d prepared, I ended up ignoring most of it and just sharing examples from specific projects (most of which are documented on this site). I embedded the slides below if anyone is super curious…

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5th graders at @The_School are “outsourcing” their Greek 3-D temple designs!

There’s an awesome project happening in two of the 5th grade classrooms at The School at Columbia University right now. To supplement their study of Ancient Greece, Dena Rothstein and Heather Lortie, are having their students collaborate with students from The Marymount School across Central Park on the Upper East Side. (The School is located on the Upper West Side…) Both groups are designing 3D Greek temples using Tinkercad and sharing their online files with a group at the other school to tweak, customize, and ultimately build (“print”) in our 3D printers. The humor of us being able to say that we are literally outsourcing to the East is not lost on us.

Teachers supporting this collaboration at The School are Heather, Dena, Greg Benedis-Grab (@gbenedisgrab), and Don Buckley (@donbuckley) with a lot of support from Cristina Martinez (@finlaycm) and a little support from me. On the UES of the park, Jaymes Dec (@jaymesdec) and Lesa Wang oversee Marymount’s particpation in the project. Jaymes designed the new Fab Lab at Marymount, and he just spoke at TEDxNYED last month.

Today, the groups communicated “long distance” and “real time” using Google Video Chat. (Cristina Martinez turned on the Chat feature for students just for this project and just for a few days. Usually, this feature is disabled.) I moved about checking on all of the groups. At one point, I observed four kids (two in front of me and two on the screen) discuss their designs and even use a secondary laptop facing the camera to visibly demonstrate how to use Tinkercad to make a triangular hole to decorate the roof of a temple. I thought that was awesome. 🙂

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