Tag Archives: gamification

Becoming Connected Is Personal and a Challenge. Please Make It FUN!

Wow. We just finished our first Twitter Challenge (#BASDChallenge) in my district and all I have to say is: gamification in professional learning can motivate teachers!

Connecting Is Personal

Becoming a Connected Educator is a highly personal journey. Over the past year,  I have been trying to gather interest in creating PLNs and PLCs in the high schools that I support. I have had a few die hard teachers attend my trainings and participate in Connected Educator Month.  Connecting teachers together can transform your school. But until they experience it for themselves, it is a really abstract concept and frightening.  When I tried to help teacher “set goals” about how PLNs to could help them grow professionally I got mixed stares. It was as if they were thinking, “Ok, this WAS fun! Please don’t ruin it with goals!” I’ve heard PLN spelled out as Personal Learning Network or Professional Learning Network. After working with teachers, I am going to stick with Personal Learning Network.

Teachers Have to Be Learners First

Like Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach has often said, teachers have to be learners first in order to recharge and evolve as educators. I have found there is an a-ha moment with Twitter once the person understands the parameters of the tool and THEN connects with other educators.  But until then, baby steps. We need to walk (tweet) before we can run (a Twitter chat).

Make It Fun

My training is normally well received by teachers at my district.  I make all of my trainings to be available online (synchronously or asynchronously) or in person.  I’d say most of the teachers opt for the online training as their lives are so full and busy. The last training was completely online as teachers took part in a 15 Day Twitter Challenge. It was a hit! While we had roughly 40 teachers participate across the district, I would receive inquiries on joining it due to an excited colleague that was participating. Before we started, I informed teachers they would be recognized and have a chance at a prize if they participated in each of the tasks. Some teachers asked if they were still receiving recognition because they couldn’t complete one of the tasks on time. And some teachers even taunted each other on Twitter because THEY wanted to win the prize at the end. I wondered if the gamification would turn teachers off. Well, it looks like the pilot was a success so I am investigating how to gamify my other trainings for next school year.

But I didn’t invent the Twitter Challenge – read about how do your own here!



My #ISTE2015 Learning Plan

PA_Convention_Center_1993_Highsmith via Wikimedia Commons

I’m getting ready to head out to one of my favorite conferences, ISTE. I have to admit, having it so close to home in Philadelphia makes me less stressed about getting around and more able to focus on WHAT and WHO I am going to see!

What helped me get ready quickly was the ISTE Mobile app.  Having the schedule, presenters, sessions and event information in one place made planning my learning so easy!  This use of mobile technology is a great model for schools. Imagine students being able to access content about their school via an app on their smartphone….

Here are some of the sessions I plan on attending. Note, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time! Once I start talking to my colleagues or others in my PLN, I am bound to readjust.  Over many years of attending conferences that afford so much choice at the same time (i.e. “There are so many awesome things to attend, I cannot decide!”), I’ve learned the technique of Divide and Conquer.  To maximize your learning at these events, get together with your colleagues and make a plan to each attend different interesting sessions. Then report what you have learned back to everyone after the event is over!  The sharing feature of Google Docs makes it extremely easy these days!  Anyway, here is my initial list:


I hope to learn some great tips that I will share here later on this blog. Follow me at @ezundel throughout the conference tonight, June 28, through July 1 for my aha moments.