Back from Blogging Hiatus…

Hey folks I really missed sharing & caring, along with answering your questions via post comments. Recently I helped a relative near and dear to me complete their cancer journey. The final segment of his cancer journey started back in October. Now you might be thinking, “What does this have to do with educational technology?” Innovative thinking  is the answer!!! I’m thankful due to the doctor teams’ innovative and creative thinking skills because it extended my husband’s life for five years. Saving a life is just one reason why applying educational technology for supporting the 4C’s is so important!

During my husband’s cancer battle I got to see what strong communication and collaboration can do.  It took the brainstorming of many specialized doctors to figure out exactly what to do for providing both longevity and a quality of life. Due to this experience I feel it is more important than ever before to engage students by using Google Docs Chat, Comments, Blogging and etc… for brainstorming and supporting 4C’s skills. It is these very skills which are essential for innovative thinking to occur!

My husband also experienced another benefit of technology. Our daughter lived in a different state far away from us. Although she flew in (hmmm…technology=planes) quite frequently to visit him this wasn’t enough! However thanks to the technology of Video Chats this man who wasn’t savvy had the ability to see and talk with our daughter quite frequently. Bill also enjoyed when my daughter left video messages for him to view.

On one of our last Sloan visits my husband experienced interacting with machine technology when my car yelled at him! He insisted on driving home after spending  a week in the hospital. I was against this and apparently my hybrid vehicle didn’t like it either. My husband wouldn’t listen to me when I complained about him swerving back and forth. However he handed over the steering wheel after the car flashed a coffee cup with the message, “I think you may need a rest”

Bill at Sloan

Another benefit provided by technology was the simple enjoyment my husband received when talking with our Google Home. He like to ask it silly questions just to hear how the device would respond. This simple use of machine technology provided hours of laughter and pleasure during these stressful times. The Google Home also helped my husband keep track of time, play music and create shopping lists for me to access from my phone.

Although I miss my husband very much it is an honor to blog about how much technology influenced this simple man’s life. I am thankful for the innovators in this world who  have affected my husband’s cancer journey. Technology is a blessing when it can be used to make a positive difference. The creation of innovative tools depends on the skills of communication and collaboration.

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Simplicity & Power of Authentic Learning…

 

This week I stumbled upon Wanda’s Terrel’s Tweet about Day 2 of #SketchCue &  at first thought, “what an opportunity for me to further explore using Google Drawings”. The focus of #SketchCue supports the tenets of learning to create Sketchnotes. A sketchnote is exactly how it sounds. One uses the creative power of drawing and design to capture notes from lectures, research, and etc…  Sketchnoting supports an individual with expressing their content knowledge in a visual format. I found this opportunity to share my Google Drawings Sketchnotes to be engaging and motivating. It was then when I realized a simple activity such as this has the ability to develop into a  “Powerful Authentic Learning Tool” supporting student engagement.

I found myself exploring clipart designs along with examining the meanings for the #SketchCue word topics. After sharing my first sketchnote and receiving a “Like” it dawned on me how this simple use of social media could engage students with further developing vocabulary skills. It always amazes me how a simple activity shared in an authentic manner has the power to motivate the creator. I found myself wanting to contribute new creations every day as well as enjoying reading the creative shares of educators from around the world. It became evident to me authentic learning opportunities are engaging and leads to furthering one’s content knowledge base.

My #SketchCue Day 1 Entry

Word: Arrows

#SketchCue Arrows (1)

My #SketchCue Day 2 Entry

Word: Banners

#SketchCue Banners (1).jpg

Collaboration Leads to Innovation

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I recently witnessed how communication and collaboration skills support both creative and critical thinking along with innovation. After spending a week at Sloan Kettering in NYC due to a family members cancer journey. During the week I noticed not one doctor made a decision without consulting a team of experts. I saw true collaboration and experienced the positive effects which develops from such teamwork. More than ever I understand why this cancer research center has one of the best reputations for providing innovative therapies and medicines.

The experience was a good example of how collaboration and communication naturally supports both creative and critical thinking. It is these very skills which lead to the development of innovation. I immediately connected this experience with the the 4C’s of learning. Now with greater reasons when integrating educational technology the skills are valued more than ever by me.

One of the reasons I’m passionate about integrating G Suite for Education products is due to the variety of tools they offer for strengthening and exploring the 4C’s. It is my belief the 4C’s are important skills to nurture when guiding students onto a pathway for both academic and future professional success!