Month: January 2015

CHANGE is in the air

Sometimes, you could use a little change. PARKING METER WITH TIME EXPIRED FLAG

But then, other times, you’re like, “No. No thanks. You can keep the change.”The Patrice Alegre Affair

One thing is for certain, though: Change is ubiquitous.

We can fight it. We can try to deny the inevitability of it. But change is a constant, a force of nature, and something that, in the end, we must either embrace or risk being left behind.

The topic for this week’s #slowchatED came from a number of changes impending in my life, but the impetus in the moment I decided to Tweet the first question

was something that may seem like a small thing, but even now, nearly twelve hours later, I’m still plagued by the tendrils of it.

Our district is changing email servers. We are finally embracing all that Google has to offer educators and leaving the world of Microsoft Exchange behind. As someone trusted to pilot this change, I am now stuck in the middle of the two platforms receiving some messages here, others there, some on both, and find myself constantly locked out of the overall system due to some device somewhere that is still banging away with the password I was using before this change entered my life.

When I add this to the possibility of leaving the classroom for an administrative position, a new superintendent being sought by our Board of Managers, and the many changes that Board has brought to our district, I find myself thinking more and more often recently about what change means to us. How do people deal with major change in healthy ways? What kind of people embrace change? What kind of people fear it? Why do we fear it?

These questions in one form or another will guide our discussion through this week. Be sure to check back every day through Saturday for a new question. And take your time. It’s #slowchatED.

Photos courtesy of Corbis Images

For the love of reading…

Image from Personal Excellence

Image from Personal Excellence

Reading. It’s the key to much of what we do as educators. Even the subjects that aren’t about “learning to read” such as Math, Science, and Physical Education still require “reading to learn.” And, of course, reading isn’t just about books. Reading is the key to digital learning, too. Heck, you’re reading right now so you will know what is happening when you read the #SlowChatEd tweets all week.

How do we become readers? How can we encourage our students to become readers? We’ll spend the week sharing titles and links to books, articles, and blog posts. Hopefully, these examples will reveal some of our personal experiences as readers and the experiences we create for students to turn them on to reading. (more…)

Unfortunately there will be daily problems for you to solve, Fortunately….

Hi everyone. Our daily stories are built upon a torrent of conflicts.

  • How to get rid of those ants.
  • How to motivate the unmotivated.
  • How to share something new.
  • How to stay healthy.
  • How to spend more time becoming a better teacher, while spending enough time with friends and family.

I started #slowchatED last year because I wanted to create a deep pocket of learning in the sometimes shallow pool of Twitter chats. As of now #slowchatED is one of the few regular slow chats on Twitter. A chat that runs an entire week instead of an entire hour. Where other chats are a waterpark ride, #slowchatED is a lap pool. Well, for some people that’s not enough. Some people want to practice scuba diving in our lap pool and go deep. I’m going to blow out the bottom of the pool and allow each of you to explore the story of your problems using a children’s book. This book:

Final Edit Fortunately

Go to this blog post to read more about using Remy Charlip’s book in your class. 

So here’s the technique:

Each day I will pose an “Unfortunately” problem for you to solve. You can solve the problem with words, links, blog posts, songs, videos, photos, drawings… whatever. Once you tweet your “Fortunately” answer then the fun begins. Either myself or someone else will throw an “Unfortunately” at your solution and take the discussion deeper. All stories are a series of conflict, resolution, new conflict, attempt at resolution, resolution that makes things worse, conflicts that make things unexpectedly better and so on.


Who knows where our story will lead?

We will continue this for the entire day. Solutions being provided and new challenges getting in the way of easy solutions. We will add depth to the width of our exploration. Once I throw down the initial “Unfortunately” feel free to play antagonist or protagonist. You can even come to the aid of one of your fellow teachers and save the day… for now.

Then the next day a new “Unfortunately” problem will raise it’s ugly head.


Hey relax…. you’ve got more than an hour to answer these questions. That’s why they call it #SLOWchatED


Can’t wait to see what rises to the surface. Enjoy the moment and get ready for #slowchatED starting Monday Jan. 12th.

The Topic: A chat about how “Unfortunately” the problems in your life are neither simple nor finite.

PS if you have any particular “Unfortunately” dilemmas you would like me to propose for a day please DM or Google DM me your ideas. Thanks…. your faithful skipper and the old man of the #slowchatED sea,  David Theriault 


Monday 1/12/15: Q1 “Unfortunately” Your boss put you in charge of the new [terrible idea] “task force” Your first meeting is this Friday. #slowchatED


Tuesday 1/13/15: Q2: You wanted to create an awesome classroom environment but UNFORTUNATELY you are the traveling teacher this year. #threerooms #slowchatED


Wednesday 1/14/15: Q3: 

Q3bThursday Jan 15th, 2015: Q4


Q5: Friday 1/16/15 Use the #slowchatED to participate


Here is the archive of the entire #slowchatED chat: there was no question six on Saturday because I attended edcampLA. Hope you enjoyed the topic and discussion. See you soon.

#EdTechWish, Jan 5- Jan 10 #SlowChatEd Topic

By Lindsey Lipsky, M.Ed.

Do you have a wish? As a former Special Education Teacher working in high-needs districts around the country, my wish in 2015 was for all schools to have the technology they so desperately need to create engaging schools and learners. Too often the highest needs schools have the least access to technology.  Why is that? This question (and a dinner conversation with my brother) prompted #EdTechWish.

Read the original #EdTechWish blog post here.

The entire premise of #EdTechWish centered around the thought that much of what comes out of Technology Design today usually is an education “accident” (hello iPads and Chromebooks). The business of technology design is, more times than not, just not centered around the classroom environment.

My twin brother, Ash, works for a high-tech Design and User Experience Firm here in Chicago and is an amazing technical designer and overall great person. While discussing new technology design over dinner one evening, my question to him was simple:

“Why does it seem like new technology keeps coming out that “accidentally” works well in the classroom? Shouldn’t Tech Developers (such as yourself) be reaching out to Schools/ Teachers/ Districts FIRST to create and design tech rather than the other way around?”

You can read a more tongue-in cheek version of this conversation in the original post.

The conversation got me thinking–What would happen if we started a chat on Twitter asking EDUCATORS what THEY want to see for new Tech in 2015 for help in their classrooms? Might this have an impact on the way technology is designed? Rather than having large Tech giants start projects that just so happen to work well for our classrooms, why not start by asking what schools/ teachers/ and classrooms need first?

And thus,  #EdTechWish was born.

Margaret Mead writes, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” With that in mind, how can we change the way Tech is designed for Education?

Please join us for the #SlowEdChat this week on #EdTechWish. Share your ideas and wishes for what technology you’d like to see in the new year, and maybe– just maybe, we can change how technology is designed for the classroom.

Please join the #EdTechWish conversation or follow me on twitter @lindseylipsky.


A big thank you to @ecsaibel for this amazing invite and @FarleyJeffrey for introducing me to #SlowChatEd. Can’t wait for our conversations this week! It’s an honor to work with you all!