#DBC50Summer 40/50: The EduProtocol Field Guide

When I taught in the classroom, we typically had three days before we jumped into the content. During those three days, we covered handbook, policies, had a whole-school assembly to discuss school expectations through Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS), labeled our folders, notebooks, wrote our names in textbooks, and we learned all of the daily procedures for the classroom. The only thing I did during those first few days that was student-led was allowing them to create their own rules for the classroom. Even then, the rules usually landed in one of four areas, so class rules ended up being the same every year. Be respectful, be responsible, be punctual, and be prepared. After 5 years, I can still rattle them off.

It wasn’t until several years had gone by like this in the classroom that we did any culture building at the beginning of the year. This is when we were introduced to Kagan Cooperative Learning and I instantly loved the Class Builders. From then on, I would do activities where students were stranded on a desert island and had to order their supplies from most important to least important, or students would have to decide which of five patients on a donor list would get the next available heart based on the information given. They would have to advocate for their patient to their peers.

In the elementary media center, I would go over care of books, expectations, and allow students to check out books for the first time and we would discuss how I wanted that done. In the middle school media center, I still do the expectations discussion and allow them to check out books, but we don’t really discuss care of books at length. Last year, I revamped the lesson to include rules & expectations shown through memes. I was super pumped about the lesson, but according to my students’ survey results at the end of the year, 25% of the students didn’t even remember the lesson while another 41% said it was just alright. I listened to the students. I knew I needed to do something new with the opening lesson in the media center so I was super excited to see that book 40 was The EduProtocol Field Guide by Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo!

This book had exactly what I was looking for!!! I had read it back in April after purchasing it from Dave Burgess at an event in a nearby county. (I blogged about how inspired I was after that event here.) So I knew that this book held the answer, but I couldn’t remember specific directions to the protocols. I just remembered being excited to implement the protocols this year, as my media time with students was already coming to a close when I discovered the book last year.

One of my very favorite things about this book, (other than the actual protocols, which are on fire) is the banter between Marlena and Jon in the margins! Their personalities totally shine through the pages! I also love that there is plenty of space to write notes in the margins of the page! This is truly a manual to keep fingertips away when creating experiences for students!

In the 100th episode of Kids Deserve It with Adam Welcome and Todd Nesloney, Adam asks Dave who is “inspiring him right now”. His answer? See the video below.

It is that very idea of immediately implementing that has me still awake after 2:30 in the morning completing book 40 and writing this post. I’m so excited about the overhaul in my media lesson for this week that I had to blog it instantly. I can’t wait to get feedback from the students to learn their reaction to the changes!

Reviewing media expectations won’t be done with a lecture this year, not even a slide deck with memes! Instead I am creating a review game in Quizizz where students will guess my response to various scenarios. (This game will be linked in the implementation blogs to follow in the coming weeks.) Students will play the game independently, then we will review missed questions and they will immediately play the game again with the same questions (although likely in a different order). This Smart Start is called “Fast and Curious”.

A Smart Start provides a warm-up of sorts for the EduProtocols to follow. It shows students the up-tempo pace (I love this concept of shortening the amount of time given to complete assignments/activities/protocols in order to create a sense of urgency rather than procrastination!) It’s also just fun, and something outside the expected “first day” routines! Jon & Marlena have their acronym game on point in this book! Several examples of well-used acronyms are available in The EduProtocol Field Guide, with one of them being the Smart START guiding principles.

The guiding principles of Smart START are Smile (keep it fun), Teach (finish on time), Activities (developing the culture and practicing tech skills that will be needed), Routines (structured, but fluid), and Target Barriers (students are already learning one another’s names and finding similarities between themselves and their classmates)!

After completing “Fast & Curious”, I will have students put the Book Fair dates in their phone calendars (or planners) as the next media class is Book Fair! Then we will have a discussion about my reading goals this summer. I am so excited to tell the students about #DBC50Summer and highlight some of the posts from authors of books and share the hashtag with them so they can see the insane amount of learning I completed this summer in order to make school better for them! From that conversation, we will transition into their own reading goals. They will complete a Google Form sharing their goal with me and their teachers along with rationale for their goal. Then they will move through three fast-paced stations! Stations will be as follows:

  1. Flipgrid & Five Words Form: Students will share their reading goal (only visible to the student, me, and their ELA teacher) and give themselves a little pep talk (think Kid President style). This video will be revisited in October when I see them to motivate them to continue pushing toward their goal. In November, they will create a video response sharing whether they met their first quarter goal or not. They will then identify a new goal for 2nd quarter and record it. This will happen throughout the year. Also in this station, students will complete a Google Form survey about what five words describes their core classes (math, ELA, social studies, science) and their encore classes (art, band/chorus, pe, computer science discoveries, project lead the way 1 and 2). These results will be compared to the responses from teachers about what they hoped students would say about their experience in their classes.
  2. Book Checkout: Students will be encouraged to check three books out of the media center and reminded that they will return to the media center in two weeks to exchange books. Soap box moment: Students can select ANY book they’d like from our shelves. I don’t care if it’s graphic novels, Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, or Shakespeare. I just want them to get something they are interested in and READ!
  3. Club Information & Sign-Ups: I sponsor multiple clubs at my school, both in the afternoons and in the mornings. I always look forward to having students engage in these clubs and getting to know them in a much more informal manner. I will unveil the 8th grade puzzle and allow 8th graders to sign up to work on it, as well as share information in our Google Classroom about Makerspace Managers, Innovation Engineers, Between the Lines Book Club, Battle of the Books, and Virtual Reality. Students will signify interest in any of the clubs they’d like by signing up on one of the whiteboard around the media center (also giving them time to move and check out any new furniture, books, etc they haven’t yet seen in their space). Those students will have permission forms sent home the following day.

After stations, we would have moved into the “Things That Rock” Smart Start, but the power of Twitter is tremendous! Check this out!

I posted the lesson outline on Twitter.

To which Marlena replied:

I pointed out that I only see them once a month, to which she replied:

Yes… yes I did just collaborate with the author of the book while planning my lessons for the week (my implementation plan). <insert squeal here> I’ve just got to reiterate how incredible the authors of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc are! They are tremendous educators, amazing authors, and most importantly, exceptional humans. So following Marlena’s advice, I am going to move Things That Rock to the end as an additional activity if needed. I will move the What People Think meme creation up as a school-wide collaborative document. Each student will be given a slide and they will reflect on the changes in the library and what they feel they can expect from their time in our media center.

Upon completion, we will complete the Smart Start of “Worst Preso Ever” in which we watch a short video about poorly designed presentations and they intentionally create a slide in a poorly designed presentation of their opinion of their first impressions of the school year.

I am so excited to implement this plan (created with input from Marlena – WOO HOO) for The EduProtocol Field Guide! Truly, I am hoping to eventually use all of the Smart Starts and EduProtocols this year, but for the purpose of #DBC50Summer, my implementation will be these first lessons with every student in the school this week! Follow the incredible conversations surrounding this book on Twitter using the hashtag #EDUProtocols! Marlena and Jon are both very active on Twitter and I highly suggest following them at @mhebern and @jcorippo, respectively. There are many podcasts featuring the authors and/or the book, so I would suggest just using “the power of the Google” to listen to them (or watch them on YouTube). You will definitely want to check out the EduProtocols website! As always, check out the flipgrid and share your favorite of the #EDUProtocols or Smart Starts! Big thank you to Andrea Paulakovich for allowing me to co-pilot this awesome global collaborative space for all DBC, Inc books!

This post wraps up another set of ten DBC, Inc books! Wow! Summer Recap 4 is coming soon, as well as book 41! I wonder if it will Be The One you’re expecting next…

You down with GPD? Yeah, You Know Me!

Good luck getting that out of your head!

What is GPD?  Gamified Professional Development.  Microcredentialing, badging, gamification… these seem to be the latest and greatest buzzwords in education.  Normally, I am immediately turned off by buzzwords.  For example: “21st Century Learning”… y’all, it’s 2018 – for the love of everything holy, let’s move on from that one, please!  “Innovation”… putting a worksheet in Google Classroom is NOT innovation, it’s a digital worksheet.  “Project-Based Learning”… doing a class project at the end of a unit does not merit the label of PBL.  I get frustrated because the buzzword becomes a “thing” and everyone rushes to do “the thing” without giving “the thing” any real thought or due diligence.

With that small rant behind me (I’m sure it won’t be the last though), I have to say I’m a huge fan of the move toward gamifying professional development.  For the first 8(ish) years of my career, professional development was the one thing I dreaded more than any other.  Give me all the paperwork, grades, conferences, faculty meetings, or any other <insert educational acronym here>, and I’ll do it with a smile on my face.  Give me some ridiculous professional development where I sit through an hour workshop of something someone with a higher pay grade than me thought I needed to know, and I was immediately rolling my eyes and mentally checked out.  I had numerous CEUs from professional development I’d attended, but hadn’t learned a single thing, other than how to refine my ability to pass notes more stealthily.  Then, Lucas Gillispie was hired by my district in 2014 and his first PD with us was #Education, in which I learned what I was missing in professional development.  I realized that I needed to personalize my professional development.  I immediately started using Twitter professionally and following the folks Lucas recommended following; my Twitter PD exploded from that moment.

I continued to learn from Lucas as a pilot participant in the gamified professional development he created called “EPIC Academy” in 2015.  I was immediately hooked by the aspect of a leaderboard and earning points!  Above all else, the learning that happened here was RELEVANT!  If the quest didn’t pertain to what I needed at the time, I just dropped the quest and chose something else.  I had CHOICE in what I learned.  The quests in EPIC Academy were designed to be bite-sized pieces of information.  Showing mastery of each bite led to another bite, and before you know it, you’ve created a product that shows mastery of something much bigger.

In 2016, Lucas asked me to come onboard as a quest designer for EPIC.  I was terrified as this was “his baby” and I wanted to be sure to maintain the level of awesome he had precedented, while keeping the “buzzword” aspect out of it.  I wanted to give each quest I designed the forethought it deserved, and have participants create a product that was relevant and useful to them and their learners.  I designed the quest chains for Augmented Reality and Digital Formative Assessment that year.  Since then, I have been privileged to design the quest chains for Digital Storytelling, BreakoutEDU, Digital BreakoutEDU, Teacher Productivity Tools, Classcraft, and BreakoutEDU 2.0.

EPIC Academy has taken off exponentially since 2016.  Lucas applied for, and was awarded, a Digital Learning Initiative Showcase Grant from the NC Department of Public Instruction to expand EPIC Academy, to connect and share the content to educators from across the state.  As part of this grant, Lucas designed a model for mentors to assist those in EPIC Academy.  As an EPIC Mentor, we support and encourage educators new to the gamified professional development world.

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I have watched this model flourish under Lucas’s leadership.  There are no educators in EPIC that were required to join; participation is completely optional.  With some of the latest buzzwords being “microcredentialing”, “badging”, “gamification”, I am thankful that EPIC Academy is untarnished by the effects of buzzwords thus far.  Through EPIC alone, I have gained over 8 Digital Learning Competency CEUs, but more importantly, my students and staff have been exposed to the benefits of Google Drive, Coding, Skype, Augmented Reality, Digital Formative Assessment, YouTube, Virtual Field Trips, BreakoutEDU, Flipgrid, Appsmashing, QR Codes, Game Based Learning, and much more.  My teaching has been taken to the next level, and my desire for continuing learning is piqued.  GPD is the way to create life-long learners of educators; the days of one-hour professional development is ancient history for me. So… who’s down with GPD?

Top 5 Must-Have VR Experiences

I have spent the past year using the htc Vive to help teachers give students experiences that they cannot possibly have otherwise.  Through this year, I have compiled a list of five of our must-have VR experiences in SteamVR.  (Note: I have not added pricing information as it can change, but check for sales!)  These are in no particular order as they all served their purpose extremely well!

Google Earth VR

romancoliseum

The Roman Coliseum in Google Earth VR

It started out shaky; I’ve got to admit that I hated it at first.  I was not a fan at all.  It made me nauseated and it wasn’t very user-friendly.  With the addition of the search feature and the newly rendered locations, I am in love with Google Earth VR, and so are my students.  We’ve used this in several classes.  We explored the Roman Coliseum, enjoyed a tour of London, and stood at the summit of Mount Everest.  We found and labeled various biomes, went to Pearl Harbor to discuss why this was so important to our military during World War 2, and of course as everyone does, found our school!

theBlu

theblu

This was my very first VR experience and will likely always make my top 5 list.  It would have to be a mighty contender to knock this one out of the top five.  I used this with every science class to discuss different content in each grade level.  With one grade level, we discussed bioluminescence using the experience called Luminous Abyss.  In another, we used the experience Reef Migration to discuss water pollution and migration of animals.  Finally, using Whale Encounter we discussed the magnitude of the oceans and ocean water.  This is also my go-to for the first encounter for others in VR.  It is a quick experience that shows exactly how immersive today’s high-end virtual reality has become.

The Lab

thelab

This experience is brought by Valve, and has so many easter eggs included that it automatically makes my first list of top five.  I spent an entire afternoon just discovering easter eggs!  I have also used several of the experiences within The Lab to explore content from the classroom.  There is a human body scanner, which is fairly impressive to see the heart, brain, and lungs.  The solar system within The Lab is perfect to share inner and outer planets, planetary motion (both revolution and rotation), the asteroid belt, and to discuss size of planets.  Bonus – you can pick up the planets and throw them around like bouncy balls.  There is an adorable robotic puppy in The Lab that my students have loved playing with; he will even fetch!  Finally, and easily my favorite experience in The Lab is the Slingshot!  Imagine… you’re in a cardboard factory with boxes on top of boxes.  Placed between some boxes are loads of TNT explosives (yes, I know – so cool!).  You are given “cores” to calibrate, which just means that you are launching these spherical objects into the factory and the more damage you do, the higher your score.  Your score is given in dollars of damage! It’s great!  Two tremendous parts of this experience – tracer cores and core personalities!  Yep – there are boxes (they look like blue box fans to me) placed in the factory.  Hit one of those, and you can aim your tracer core shot – great for hitting the TNT in the distance!  In ELA, this game is perfect for point-of-view and characterization!  Each core has it’s own personality and talks to you.  They are hilarious, so turn up your volume!

Tilt Brush

tiltbrush

Another goodie from Google is Tilt Brush.  This experience is perfect for students to draw settings of stories, create 3d sculptures, generate nonlinear and linear graphs, and thanks to Jimmy Fallon – Tiltbrush Pictionary is a thing and can easily be done using vocabulary words in class!  This takes a few minutes of practice to learn the controls, but it is well-worth the time and money.

Water Bears VR

waterbears

Do you remember the app called “Where’s My Water?”  You had to dig through dirt to clear the route for water to reach a bathtub for an alligator… please say you remember that.  It was one of my favorites until I got stuck on a level.  Anyhow, this puzzle game is very similar.  You are given pipes and a water source, and these absolutely adorable animated gummy bear looking creatures in a bubble.  The goal is to use the pipes to move the water from the water source to the water bears to free the bears and move on to the next level.  It is super cute!  The levels get progressively harder and there is critical thinking and problem solving that must be used.  My personal favorite thing about the experience is catching the water bears when they are released and listening to their laughter at being released.

Bonus: Vivecraft

vivecraft

Let’s face it.  I can’t just do 5 must-haves.  I’m sorry!  Go get Vivecraft and let your students build and mine on Minecraft IN virtual reality!  They get to experience it through the eyes of Steve/Alex!  How cool is that?  Want to make it even cooler???  The coolest thing my students did this year with Virtual Reality was to create their own splash pads to scale, designing in class, building in Minecraft, then experiencing in Virtual Reality using Vivecraft!  It was pretty epic and the students (and teachers) loved the experience!

Comment with your must-haves from SteamVR!