Connected Educator Month: The Adult Education Connection


 connected educator month


Connected Educator Month: The Adult Education Connection

October 1 – 31, 2013

In celebration of the U.S. Department of Education sponsored Connected Educator Month (CEM), the Technology and Learning group is hosting a month long discussion that provides a platform for community members to share what they have learned from the 240+ events hosted by CEM throughout the month of October.
There are some very interesting presentation sessions this month and I’ve compiled a short list of events related to adult education that you may be interested in.  I’ll be attending a couple of the CEM sessions throughout the month, and I highly encourage you to as well. Since it is not possible in our busy schedules to attend all the CEM sessions, I’m starting this discussion thread so that we can help each other continue our professional development by summarizing what you have learned in the CEM session you attended and sharing your plans on incorporating the new idea(s) or technology into your program/classroom. 

Steps to participating in the activity:

  1. Identify 1-2 CEM sessions you are interested in attending (see the short list below or browse the complete list of events located here:
  2. Attend the CEM session.
  3. Post a recap on what you learned at your session as a response to this discussion thread. Include the following:
    1. A brief introduction of yourself
    2. The title of the CEM session
    3. The session date
    4. The session presenter(s)
    5. A summary of the session and any plans for incorporating the new idea(s)/technology
  4. Check back throughout the month and comment on each others’ reflections.
This month-long activity is also being cross-posted in the Evidence-based Professional Development and Program Management groups.


Look forward to learning from everyone in the LINCS Community!

Nell Eckersley

Technology and Learning Group SME


Have Twitter? Follow CEM @edcocp and tweet at CEM 2013 by using the hashtag: #ce13

About Connected Educator’s Month:

Connected Educator Month (CEM) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. CEM raises awareness of and engagement in learning and collaboration through online communities and networks.  The mission of the Connected Educators Initiative is to help educators thrive in a connected world as envisioned by the2010 National Educational Technology Plan. To achieve this, Connected Educators seeks to understand and promote educators learning and collaborating through online communities of practice and social networks.
For more information about Connected Educators, visit: .

Short list of CEM events of interest to adult educators  - I encourage you to visit the events schedule page: to find additional events you may be interested in!

  • Online Courseware and Video Lectures Powered with Adobe Presenter 9
September 26, 1-2 PM EST
  • Intel Education Enage 1:1 – Preparing for Policy and Procedures
September 26, 8-9 PM EST
  • Tech Tidbits & Free Social Media Apps for the Hurried Administrator
October 2, 4-5 PM EST
  • Cultivating Intelligence and Talent through a Growth Mindset
October 3, 11 AM-12 PM EST/October 24, 2-3 PM EST
  • Great Ideas: Exploring the Resources of TeachersFirst 3.0 to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons
October 7, 7-8 PM EST
  • Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success
October 8, 3-4 PM EST
  • Become a Connected Educator: Creating your PLN
October 9, 5-6 PM EST
  • Educator Innovator: Learning to #teachtheweb
October 15, 12-1 PM EST
  • Flipped Classrooms for Real Learning: Definitions, Resources and Tools
October 16, 4-5 PM EST
  • Flipping the Math Classroom
October 23, 4-5 PM EST




I attended Connected Educator’s Month, Cultivating Intelligence and Talent through a Growth Mindset, hosted by LearnBop, held on October 3. For anyone who is interested in this webinar, they will be running it again on October 24.

The session was based off of the research of Carol Dweck and others and introduced the idea of the “growth mindset” versus the “fixed mindset”. Individuals with a growth mindset believe that achievement is impacted by effort, whereas individuals believe that achievement is based off innate ability and intelligence. The session showed that students with a growth mindset believe they can improve and achieve mastery through work and effort, which translates into higher achievement.

Teachers should be cognizant of the mindsets of their students, but also of themselves. For example, teachers with a growth mindset see struggling students as learners in need of feedback and guidance on how to improve. They tend to portray mistakes as highly valued. There was a fantastic video that showed an eighth math teacher’s classroom routine, “My Favorite No”. This exercise exemplified how to frame mistakes as learning opportunities. The video is available here:

Another key tip was the important role of process praise over person praise, i.e. praising the effort that went into a task rather than intelligence. This type of praise supports a growth mindset, as shown through this three minute YouTube video:

Thanks for sharing, Jessie!

I attended the Tech Tidbits & Free Social Media Apps for the Hurried Administrator presentation last Wednesday, October 2. It was presented by Dr. Rob Furman, Principal of South Park Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was interested in this session, because I wanted to learn about new tools that can possibly save me time on tasks and grow professionally.

The session featured over a dozen technology tools that are available on the internet for free. Some of the tools I had heard of before (Evernote, Pinterest), but some were new to me (Flipboard, Author Stream). What is interesting was how these tools were being repurposed for use in education.

Below is a list of the technology tools mentioned in the presentation. In some cases, an example of how an administrator can use the tool in an educational context is provided:

  • Evernote: This is a note-taking application (that allows for audio, video, images, text) that can transfer content to every device you own. An administrator could type classroom observations on a laptop or tablet and the content will automatically transfer to every device you sync the application to, including your office desktop computer.
  • Teamviewer: The original intention of the tool was to make technical support simple. With this program, you can give the person a password and let them remotely work on your computer. An administrator can remotely help to fix a computer in a classroom without having to leave their office. Another way to use this tool is to collaborate on projects. An administrator can more easily share their computer screen to collaborate on projects and presentations with colleagues.
  • Hallmark Smilebox: This is a fast and easy way to send out cards and postcards (that also allows you to save created cards). An administrator can use these cards as a way to increase positive interactions with staff.
  • Diigo: Diigo is a bookmarking system for websites. Organize your bookmarks and collaborate with staff to share websites.
  • Policy Tool: This tool offers a good starting point for generating policies and guidelines that respect the rights of your employees while protecting your brand online (e.g., social media policies and privacy policies).
  • Author Stream: Author stream makes it easy to add audio to PowerPoint presentations. An administrator can flip their faculty meetings and have a short screencast for teachers to view and then use the meetings to discuss and brainstorm (rather than report out). This is also a great way to create a self-paced training for teachers to view and learn school or HR policies.
  • Decide Already! This tool makes it easier for groups to come to a decision about anything in a timely manner. This is a good way to work through questions as an organization.
  •! The tool allows you to curate articles and information for fellow educators. An administrator can send newsletters to their teachers monthly with information (online articles) that you curate. Send one email easily with great resources rather than ten separate emails. (Other similar tools: Allows you to curate articles and allows you to create a newspaper like email with curated articles (or it can automatically create a paper with gathered resources based on keyword criteria and allow you can delete irrelevant articles). and Flipboard: Read and collect news that you care about to create a magazine on any topic.
  • Buffer: The tool links all your social media accounts and it automatically sends out articles, pictures, videos you want to share through your social media. (Similar to Hootsuite
  • Pinterest: This allows you to curate content and images and post on topical boards to share with others. An administrator can create one board for the school, and the staff can update the board based on educational content they find. It is a great way for ongoing professional development. (Similar to Google+ and LinkedIn)

The growing list of technology tools can be overwhelming to digest, and I’m more a minimalist, so I think I’m going to explore one tool at a time to see how it impacts my daily work day.


Are you using any of these tools already in your program or classroom? If so, which ones, and how? What other tools would you recommend for teachers or program administrators?

I attended Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success on October 8th, hosted by Principal and author Baruti Kafele. In the webinar, Mr. Kafele defined the attitude gap as the "will to strive" and provided ten helpful questions for schools to consider to define the school's attitude. A school's attitude is comprised of the culture or "lifestyle" -- that is, what is expected and required for all members of the school. This culture is manifested through the school's climate, or mood. 

The ten questions that school's should consider include:

  1. Who are you? (identity)
  2. What are you about? (mission)
  3. Where are you going? (vision)
  4. How badly do you want to get there? (passion)
  5. What is your big idea? (standard)
  6. Where will you be at the end of each interval? (goals)
  7. How will you get there? (plan)
  8. When and how often will you reflect?
  9. When and how often will you assess?
  10. When and how often will you adjust?

I attended the Flipping the Math Classroom presentation given yesterday by Crystal Kirch, a High School Math Teacher from California that has spent her last three years flipping her math classroom.

I was interested in this session because there has been a lot of talk about flipped learning lately and there is even a vibrant discussion in the Technology group currently about flipped learning: and I am really glad I attended! Crystal provided some concrete ways to maximize the use of class time.

Her approach to flipping her classroom is asking herself:

What is the best use of the face-to-face time I have with my students?

She teaches math classes that are 54 minutes long and in her flipped classes, the average time she spends in the front teaching is about 5 minutes (which surprised me, too!) - mostly to welcome the students, conduct a quick review, and set the objectives for the day.

She tries to focus on deepening student knowledge during classtime (level 3 and 4 concepts on the Depth of Knowledge chart): Therefore, for homework, her students watch instructional videos to learn level 1 and 2 concepts for application in activities and projects she has prepared for class time.

  • For example, she often has students learn concepts at home and uses the WSQ method: Watch, Summerize, Question. Students watch a video, summerize the concepts on their own, and submits a question they still have via a Google Form. She then structures a warm up activity the next day in class that targets the concepts students still struggle with.
  • Another example is that she may put up a warm up problem on the board for students to solve and then reveal several possible answers (multiple choice type format) and students must commit to one response. She then pairs those students who understood the problem with those students who need help and students participate in a peer learning activity.
  • A third example is that she creates projects for students to create. She will give students criteria that a math problem must have (e.g., the problem has to have two variables, etc.) and have students create their own math problems, blog about it or create and share their own video.
  • She may also focus on derivations in class. Rather than the student memorizing a property or a formula, she will work on proving the property of logs or the best way to approximate areas under a curve or deriving the unit circle.

She had really good tips on how to start flipping your classroom as well.

  • Start small. Pick a couple of lessons in a unit to flip by identifying some level 1 and 2 concepts that students can learn at home. Build on that and take your time. You do not have to flip your entire classroom in a year! It may take 3-4 years to hone in on activities that engage your students (and each class of students are different).
  • Shift student mindset. Students will need modeling on how to learn from videos (an 8-12 minute video will take double the amount of time to watch); how to collaborate in groups; expectations for completing their assignments; modeling on how to use their technological devices in class. (She did mention that if students are unprepared in class, they simply watch the videos in class and then join the rest of class for the activity after they have viewed the video.)
  • Don't feel pressured to produce perfect videos! When helping out a student work through a problem individually, one teacher uses Educreations (similar Knowmia and Showme) on his iPad and records himself working through the problem with the student and then posts it on his class blog for the student to access as a review and for other students to benefit from.
  • Provide multiple ways for students to access technology. Survey the students and what technological devices they use and offer multiple ways for students to complete their homework assignment. Students can come in early to use computers in the library, etc.

I definitely learned a lot from her session. To follow along with what is going on in her class, you can visit her blog at


Are there any other examples or recommendations you can provide on getting started in flipping your classroom?

Thanks for sharing this I-Fang. What a great explanation. I attended another webinar earlier this month and am struck by the similarities. The English teacher shared how her class scores have improved since she has begun flipping and then being able to give more time to individual needs of students. In the presentation, Jonathan Bergmann and the teacher talked about using learning objects and other means of content delivery than videos.

At World Education, we have been piloting a vocabulary app Words2Learn and using it to accelerate learning of academic and health career related vocabulary and concepts for adults preparing to enter postsecondary education and technical training.  What is partially useful is that this app can be made available on iphones, ipads and androids as well as on the web and on mobile browsers.

The advantage of this approach is that it not only allows learners to access the content but also sends the results to the teachers. Hear how one teacher speaks about the benefits of using this flipped approach. I would be interested in other kinds of learning objects any of you use and if you find them as helpful as videos. Or do you find videos work best and why.

Steve Quann

World Education, Inc