Friday, November 20, 2015

From Lisa Waters and the FOSI conference

Thankfully, I was able to attend the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference in DC. This conference is host to some of the most important conversations and research concerning online safety for students. It brings together some of the most important folks in the field and showcases their current findings, as well as provides endless resources for schools to share with their students and parents. Not to mention, FOSI serves the best lunches! And all this for Free! I highly recommend that all teachers, parents and students (MS and US aged) attend this conference. Here are my 5 biggest takeaways....

  1. Teens are listening! But just applying the safety rules in ways that make sense to them and reflect the way they use tech so we need to respect that and support their efforts to be safe online even if it doesn't look exactly like how we would approach this
  2. Parents think they are more knowledgeable than they probably are . And, their confidence is tied directly to their own use of tech. So, the more tech savvy, the more confident that they know what their kids are up to -- but do they really?
  4. We’ve got to find ways to make sure kids are seeking balance -- we’ve traded “connectedness for connectivity” and this is a road leading to isolation! How are we seeking this balance in our classrooms and how are we making it blatantly obvious that we are striving for this balance?
  5. We need to have another informational program for parents to provide them with this research and to share with them resources for good tech parenting!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

GAFE Conference - Reflections from Lisa Waters

Once again, the Google Apps for Education Summit (GAFE) has proven to be one of the best conferences I've attended. I say this because there are always so many rich and relevant take-aways that most attendees can apply right away in their classrooms. In my case, I walked away with a few new tech approaches that can be integrated into multi-disciplinary units for K-12. For example, using Google Forms to create a "choose your own adventure" story and Google MyMaps to bring learning right to the source.

The keynote presenter was spot-on with her insights and, staying true to the GAFE format, she was highly inspiring. At this conference, Keynote speaker Nicole Dalesio challenged attendees to consider "what really matters" to them and to bring that passion into their classroom. 

The really exciting part about this conference was that fact that five FHS Lower School faculty were selected to present! Danielle Muller, Bridget Kleintank and I presented, "Giving Younger Learners Choice with Digital Learning Menus," and Rob Taylor, Rachel Hinnant and I presented on "Creating a Community of Learners Using Google Sites." During each presentation, we shared real stories "from the trenches" and then engaged our audiences in hands-on learning. It was not only fun, but was a true testament to the highly professional and passionate​ teachers we have at Flint Hill.

Below are some photos.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Post from Jody Patrick and MAHPERD Conference

Hello, my name is Jody L. Patrick, Physical  Education teacher and Athletic Coach at
the Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va. I recently attended the 2015 MAHPERD
(Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance)
Convention at the Hunt Valley Inn, near Towson, Md. Having attended both the
Virginia and National Convention editions in the past, I looked forward to seeing
Maryland’s approach to all things health and fitness. And, I’m glad I did so. The
sessions were well organized, chock full of great information. and logistically easy to
find with efficiently set up Ballrooms.


CrossFit For All- Better than warm up laps and jumping jacks, this partner approach
to jumpstarting a lesson combines three exercises of your choosing. My favorites
were air squats, burpees, and sit-ups completed in a partner supporting way. There
was an emphasis on engaging the students when creating the warm-up routine
which would create a positive feeling of ownership. A great session led by Linda
Kephart (Carroll County Public Schools).

Fitness : Join the Movement- How do you motivate students to move, be active, and 
stay engaged in PE?  Create fun and current activities like Curt Hinson (Playfit
Education) did in his session. Not more than 3-4 minutes for each game, engage the
students with fun and lively games that engage their imaginations, all with current
music playing in the background (though throwback disco-beat tunes can also be
used, don’t you think!).

We Know That a Young Person’s Pre-Frontal Cortex is Underdeveloped: Empower 
Students With Smart Decision-Making Skills- A fact-based and eye-opening session
that described the immature minds of our youth today are being inundated with
very mature and risky material. Peggy Cowan (New Jersey Physicians Advisory
Group) employed hands-on activities in showing us how to lead our students to safe
and healthy decision-making. One of the techniques used by Peggy will fit nicely
with one of our Healthy Habits units ,’Refusal Skills’. Looking forward to
demonstrating it!


These are just three of the many great sessions and takeaways. Having  exchanged
networking information with a few of the presenters and attendees, I’m looking
forward to learning more from them all.
Onward to Health and Fitness!

-Jody L. Patrick