• EdLeader21 Reflections 4C's Conference

    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 4/6/2017

    Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a district learning experience at the EdLeader21 4C's professional learning day.

    Critical Thinking        Collaboration
    Communication           Creativity

    EdLeader21, according to their website, is a national network of school and district leaders focused on integrating the 4C's (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) into education.

    Along with the discussion of the 4C's was a push for all districts to develop a "Profile of a Graduate". A new website was shared and some table discussion ensued.  Luckily for our district, we had already spent some time as a district with the community to discuss the Profile and created a draft.

    Draft SESD Profile of a Graduate

     Much of the morning discussion had to do with the ideas of Creativity and Innovation.  What are the similarities and differences between "creativity" and "innovation"?  Do we want our kids to be creative? Do we want our kids to be innovative?  Do we want both?

    "Creativity- Origional ideas that have value."
    "Innovation- New ideas into practice" 
    Looking at the rubrics there was a distinct difference in suggested activities and outcomes as students progress through a K-12 system.  Younger students would be encouraged to be more creative with an understanding of how viable the creation is whereas the older students had much less creative encouragement and more about perceived value to others.  These discussions tied right into a recent learning opportunity for the Innovation Lab at the Lincoln IU12.  The York Innovation Lab was developed for local teachers using the Stanford Design School as a model to encourage pockets of innovation in York county.  According to their website
    "The d.school helps people develop their creative abilities. It’s a place, a community, and a mindset."

    South Eastern School District has been focused on Mindset, Innovation and growth in technology as part of the mission to, "Provide progressive education to strengthen the Global Community."  This year students in grade 3-12 received a Chromebook as part of their school materials and supplies.  Teachers have been working to incorporate technology according to the SAMR model.  While some teachers are focused on substitution of tasks from analog to digital others are redefining learning experiences for students using the vast resources provided through the daily use of technology.  It is my hope that through initiatives such as the York Innovation Lab and EdLeader21 we continue to provide the opportunity for teachers to take risks and challenge students to achieve more than we would have expected before the technology existed.    

    "What can I do to break down the barriors and support the teachers and students to learn together?"

    I attended both EdLeader21 and York Innovation Lab with our district Assistant Superintendent, Anna Bickford.  We spoke about the both the information presented and how the information was presented and our wheels started turning.  What if we conducted a professional learning experience that looked more like a design thinking, innovative, EdLeader21ish professional development day to model the risk-taking we would like to see from more of our teachers.  We would expect creative, innovative and more than one acceptable answer to any question that we asked.  I suggested that given the time and the topic we could model that type of learning with our teachers who have not had the experience learning that way in order for them to transfer that learning to their classrooms.

    "I was not told, No."

    So be on the lookout for a new professional learning experience next year in lieu of a traditional PD day.  Take a risk, try something new and learn with and from each other.  Share your experiences and seek out others' learning.  Being connected is one way to break barriers.

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    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 3/16/2017

    Nothing to do on a Snow Day?  A number of teachers, administrators, and some students joined together over Twitter to have a virtual conversation on a Snow Day.  The #SNOWDAYCHAT was a success!

    I was sitting at my desk on Monday afternoon with all the news about the 1-2 feet of snow we would be getting in the next day or so and I thought what can I do to connect people from their homes and have a conversation or share ideas about education.  Twitter chats are nothing new but I have not ever organized one or participated in one with my school community.  I started by brainstorming a few questions and threw them on a google slide.

    Next, I went to Tweetdeck and scheduled some tweets.  I had planned for about 5 minutes between questions and for the whole chat to last about 30 minutes.  At 11:30 people began to introduce themselves and the conversation started with Question 1.  People replied to questions with (A1) or replied to specific users.  Some people just watched the chat and liked some of the posts.  Others began side conversations about snow day decisions for tomorrow.  All in all, I would have liked to extend the conversation a little longer as some people were just warming up when my "Thank you for participating" slide appeared.  It was an excellent learning opportunity for me and something I would definitely want to do again.

    What to follow what we talked about on our #SNOWDAYCHAT (see Storify below).  Want to participate in a Twitter Chat, see a list compiled here.  Want to host your own, reach out to me and I would love to talk about my experience or read some other blogs about their experiences.  You do not have to be at school to learn on a SNOWDAY!

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  • Digital Learning Day Hangout Conversation

    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 2/23/2017

    Today at South Eastern School District we had the opportunity to participate in a Digital Learning Hangout conversation with representatives from each of our district buildings.  Below are the slides that we used to drive our conversation.


    Thank you to Mrs. Smith, Mr. Schiefen, Mr. Marks, Mr. Diehl, Mrs. Spangenberger, Mrs. Coleman, and Mr. Snyder.  

    Along with the conversation, we broadcasted live to YouTube so anyone in the district or parents at home or work could watch and see their kids speaking about Digital Learning.


    Digital Learning Day: With so many new types of digital devices, educational software and mobile apps continuously developed, it’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest advancements in educational technology. In some classrooms and out-of-school programs across the country, educators are doing some pretty amazing things with technology. Yet, these pockets of innovation are confined to a small number of schools and communities. Digital Learning Day was started as a way to actively spread innovative practices and ensure that all youth have access to high-quality digital learning opportunities no matter where they live.Started in 2012, Digital Learning Day has provided a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. This grassroots effort blossomed into a massive nationwide celebration as teachers realized that Digital Learning Day is not about technology, it’s about learning. It’s not about laying off teachers for laptops, it’s about enhancing the role of the teacher in America’s classrooms. Digital Learning Day promotes the effective use of modern day tools afforded to every other industry to improve the learning experience in K-12 public schools 
    Found on Digital Learning Day website  2.23.2017

    At South Eastern School District, under the leadership of Dr. Rona Kaufmann, we have embarked on a Digital Learning path toward more student-centered, voice and choice, creative, individualized student learning and creating.  We are not there and don't claim to be.  This process is lead by teachers in the classrooms taking risks and students pushing the teachers to do more and try more.  As you will hear in the video, we are on the continuum and moving in the right direction.  The School Board and Administration continue to support and promote innovative ideas and our teachers and students continue to impress.  I look forward to what is next for South Eastern School District as far as Digital Learning and how we do school.

    Thank you to Mrs. Smith, Mr. Schiefen, Mr. Marks, Mr. Diehl, Mrs. Spangenberger, Mrs. Coleman, and Mr. Snyder.  
    Found on the Digital Learning Day Website Map of Activities
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  • Pete&C 2017 learning and resources

    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 2/21/2017

    Pensylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference was held in Hershey PA, February 12-15, 2017.  Below are a list of resources and sessions that I attended at the conference and the twitter feed #Pete2017.

    Keynote: Carl Hooker @mrhooker 
    The world has become mobile, but how have schools taken to this change? Have they embraced it or run away from it? In this talk, hear from the author of the book Mobile Learning Mindset on ways to meaningfully implement mobile learning in a variety of ways to engage learners. We’ll look at what skills students will truly need to be successful in their future life beyond K-12. It’s not about the device, it’s about the learning.
    Keynote: Dr. Mark Edwards
    Dr. Mark Edwards will share with PA colleagues some of the key lessons learned from his work in Mooresville, NC and Henrico, VA as one of the Pioneers in Digital Innovation in US. Education. He will draw from his new book Unstoppable Momentum that he is co-authoring with Michael Fullan. Creating a culture that turbo charges systemic synergy for innovation and leads to pedagogical transformation are at the heart of this session. 
    Keynote:    Dr. Luis Cruz @lcruzconsulting
    After 25 years of serving public school students at the elementary, middle and high school levels, Dr. Luis F. Cruz has confirmed without a doubt that poor students can learn, English Learners are intelligent and students of all backgrounds are highly capable! Join Dr. Cruz as he shares the incredible true story of how a high school in Los Angeles County California that serves underprivileged students ensured all students learn and established a 96.3% graduation rate by collectively creating a mission focused on optimal learning for all students! Re-discover the fact that as educators we are not just in the business of ensuring students learn how to read, write and compute, but also in the business of saving lives! Dr. Cruz passionately reminds us all why we chose the field of education and what our profession responsibility to students and their families is today.
    The Teachers Academy- Unplug: Mindfulness in Education.Take a look at unconventional approaches to building community, practicing focus and managing difficult behaviors in your class. After experiencing mindfulness teaching methods, we will locate the best online mindfulness resources for you and your classes. If you want your students focused, it starts with you! Maggie Haflett, MaEd Tech Ed
    A session that I attended at the end of Day 1 that forced participants to unplug and be mindful about what they are doing.  A great experience and one that could be used in classrooms throughout the day.   We explored an image activity.  look at the images and write words or phrases about what you see.  Sit with the Good.  Write down a memory that was "good" and focus on that thought for 3 minutes.We also completed a food activity where smell, taste, and feeling were used to describe the eating process.  Possible apps and websites include:
    Build it and they will come- Personalizing to Build Online Relationships - This session will explore a method of creating and organizing personalized online lessons for online or blended classrooms. It will focus on utilizing audio, visual, and interactive tools to engage students and build positive student-teacher relationships. Slide Resource (SESD Only)
    New ISTE Standards for Elementary Classrooms- ISTE's new standards came out this past summer. How can we reach these standards in our elementary classroom? Let's work through the standards and focus on aligning them to what we do in our classrooms everyday. What are we already doing? What can we do differently to reach a new standard? This will be hands on planning time!  Slide Resources (SESD Only)
    Becoming a Google SAMuRai- Tim Smith @timothy_smith  Come explore valuable ways to use a variety of Google apps (& other tools) at their best to MODEL and EVALUATE technology integration using the SAMR model. Bring your Google accounts and leave ready to lead like a SAMuRai.  Slide Resources (SESD Only) 
    I Didn't Know I Could Do That with Google- Everyone knows how to search Google. It has become a ubiquitous part of our culture! But did you also know Google is packed with not-so-well-known features including tips and tricks that can make searching, saving and curating all of that information simpler, more efficient and faster? Let's see how many you can learn in one hour!  Slides Resources (SESD Only)
    Aspiring to Technology Leadership Discussion-Discussion from previous session.  The Technology administrators would like to have a cohort sessions list for next year.  Netowrking for individuals in Tech Leadership roles was discssed.  No resources porovided.

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  • "Thank You" SESD School Board

    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 1/12/2017
    A "Thank You" video for the South Eastern School District Board of School Directors. 


    We appreciate all that you do to support learning in SESD.



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  • Please connect with us! Social Media Connection Card

    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 12/19/2016

    SESD Social Media

    Social Media PDF

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  • Digital Learning Conversation (SeeSaw)

    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 11/21/2016

    On Thursday, I had the opportunity to convince some more fantastic educators in the South Eastern School District to have a discussion with me about a digital tool, SeeSaw and their experiences with it in their classrooms.  Instead of a face-to-face conversation, we used Google Hangouts on Air so that our conversation could be recorded and shared with all teachers in the district and through social media via my blog and Youtube. My hope is that we continue to have teachers in the district meet me online and talk about the great things happening in their classrooms.  If you are interested in joining me for a conversation please connect with me.

    Joanne Rill, Vickie Keesee, Sarah Mathena and Kimberly Slonaker all agreed to participate.  Our conversation can be viewed here:


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  • Atomic Learning Tutorial

    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 11/15/2016

    Here is a brief tutorial on how to access Atomic Learning through the SESD portal website. This is a paid service only available to our SESD teachers.


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  • Digital Innovators Conversation (Hangout) on Breakout Rooms EDU

    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 10/10/2016 8:00:00 AM

    On Thursday, I had the opportunity to convince some fantastic educators in the South Eastern School District to have a discussion with me about a new trend in education and their experiences with it in their classrooms.  Instead of a face-to-face conversation, I requested that we use Google Hangouts on Air so that our conversation can be recorded and shared with all teachers in the district and through social media via my blog and Youtube.  My hope is that other teachers in the district would like to meet me online and talk about the great things happening in their classrooms.  If you are interested in joining me for a conversation please connect with me.  

    Stephanie Coleman, Joanna Kapinos, and Eric Ruppert all agreed to participate.  Our conversation can be viewed here:



    Stephanie Coleman @@StephColeman4 wrote about her experiences with breakout education on her blog found here.  

    Joanna Kapinos @SEMSEDeutsch has an active website located here.

    Eric Ruppert collects his math materials and posts them here.


    What is Breakout EDU?

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  • #IMMOOC. Google Classroom and My Mindset

    Posted by Joseph Terch IV at 9/27/2016
    #IMMOOC week two. Full disclosure, I am behind.  I have not set a time for learning and I almost completely quit the idea of trying to catch up.
    I remember hearing many speakers, teachers, counselors and coaches talk about attention, growth, and drive. It does not matter where you are and how much you perceive that you have missed.  ALL you can do is check back in, be present, reconnect.  Be better today than you were yesterday.  Why not start now?  What did you try today?  How did it work? What are you going to do next?
    As I listen to the Hangout for week two, I am compelled to start writing.  I am behind in my learning because I have spent some time the last two weeks doing.
    From +George Couros with permission #IMMOOC


    How do I as the Digital Learning Coordinator for South Eastern School District in Fawn Grove, PA develop the Innovator's Mindset with our teachers, students, and parents?  
    Here is what I tried to do and the results so far: 

    I have shared a survey with all the teachers and administrators in the district asking 3 questions: (see results below) The results themselves did not surprise me but the participation in the survey was exciting.  I immediately started to create a Google Classroom.  I sent out a follow-up email and invited those who wanted to join to my new google classroom.  I created a short video and set some of my expectation.  The learning is about you.  One topic or discussion per week.  Ideas come from you.  We all share in the learning.  Where you are to a place that is hopefully a little better if that is what you want.

    Our learning will start the first week of October.  I look forward to sharing my experiences through blogging and twitter.  I am excited that we have a group of teachers already signed up for the classroom and beginning the discussion.  My goal will be to push as many of the participants as possible to begin blogging or sharing their experiences with their students, parents, and other teachers.  
    One of my biggest reflections from the #IMMOOC week two hangout is that leaders try first.  
    "If school district leaders cannot take risks and try something new how would we expect our teachers to take risks or who are the real leaders of the district if our teachers are the only risk takers?"
    I value working with a Superintendent who supports and promotes the use of social media to share ideas.  @drronakaufmann tweets from the classrooms she visits daily and supports the mission of the district to provide progressive education for our students.  My hope is that we create an environment where all of our teachers feel free to take risks and share their classrooms/learning with others.

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