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It has been a LONG week. I got my first sick crud of the year and it took me out.  Today I have my voice back and am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.  I hope you all are avoiding the crud and are enjoying the last days of February.  This weekend I will be at Colorado Learning 2.0 in...

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An End N-1: Making Way for New Beginnings

Posted by admin | Posted in Project PLN | Posted on 08-04-2013

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In 2010 @thenerdyteacher asked if I would be interested in starting a collaborative online magazine with him.  Of course I said yes!  Project PLN was born.  The passion behind Project PLN was to reach out to the education network and give everyone a voice.  Nick and I can be rather prolific and enjoy keeping a blog and keeping up a constant chatter on Twitter, but that isn’t for everyone.  We knew that there was this whole section of our PLN that had incredible ideas, amazing insight into education, but it wasn’t being shared widely.  Project PLN was our attempt to provide a place for all of those voices to be heard.  We wanted to help bring our PLN together, to introduce new voices and to solidify relationships.

N-1 is a concept that I read about on Seth’s Blog.  Seth says:

N-1. There are tons of things on your to do list, in your portfolio, on your desk.  They clamor for attention and so perhaps you compromise things to get them all done.  What would happen if you did one fewer thing?  What if leaving that off the agenda allowed you to do a world-class job on the rest?  What if you repeated N-1 thinking until you found a breakthrough?

I am a perfectionist with a pinch of OCD thrown in for good measure.  When I do something I go at it full speed ahead 110%.  The problem is lately, I can’t give 110% to everything that I would like to because I am always adding one more thing (N+1).  These things are good things, they are worthy things, important things.  I feel that way about each one of them or I wouldn’t have taken them on in the first place.  But lately I am finding that I am giving each less than what they deserve and not feeling a sense of accomplishment in any of them as a result.  I think this is a common feeling among teachers.  We always tend to be functioning in the N+1 model.  We give everything the best we’ve got and often feel stretched too thin.

After two years Nick and I are in new places.  We have LOVED Project PLN, even when we were at our busiest.  Over the last two years schools have been started, families expanded, new job titles added, speaking engagements, the list goes on and on.  It is time for us to employ N-1.  This is a difficult concept for us.  We are project adders…not project eliminators.  And yet, Project PLN’s time is coming to an end.  It has accomplished the purpose that we set out for it.  It connected our PLN when it needed to be connected.  With the increased use of social media and blogs, we aren’t seeing the need for it that we once did.  It is time for us to let go of one so that we have room for others.  Both Nick and I are sad to see Project PLN end.  It has kept us working together month after month.  It has given us a reason to plan after school Skype sessions.  It has been FUN.  It is our hope that in letting Project PLN go, we will have room for the next BIG thing that we can work on together.  (Stay tuned, we are always dreaming up crazy great ideas together!)

I suspect that this isn’t really an end, that it will be a beginning.  Now we have ourselves freed up for the next dream.

Thank you to all of you who supported us in Project PLN.  Thank you for contributing, for sharing yourself with us. We hope that this will be multiplied in new ways.  Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, our blogs.  Keep sharing your good ideas because YOU are an inspiration and YOU matter!

 

Project PLN November Issue: Sharing issue

Posted by admin | Posted in inspiration, professional development, Project PLN, Teacher Resources | Posted on 29-11-2012

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I’m a little behind this week (actually this year has been one big game of playing catch-up).  Last week, Nick and I published the latest issue of Project PLN.  It is worth reading through, it gave me just the right jolt of inspiration to tackle some of the catch-up project that have been on the outskirts for too long.  I hope it does the same for you!  You should know, right now I am giving myself giant pats on the back for posting the November issue here BEFORE December.  Sometimes it is the little things that keep you going :)

Here in the US we are polishing off the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers.  Luckily those things that we are thankful for linger much longer than the turkey.   You know what we are thankful for?  Our PLN!  You all are truly incredible.  We are so thankful for the ways that you share with us (and educators around the world).  A BIG thank you to all of our contributors for the November Sharing Issue. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you. That is the truth!

This issue is jam-packed full of great lesson ideas(grammar can be fun, Count of Monte Cristo on trial!), helpful techy tips (great Google Chrome extensions), inspiration to keep plugging ahead, and much more!  Take some time to relax and be inspired this week. Consider this issue a big THANK YOU for all that you do for education every day.

We are now accepting submissions for the March Issue. We have decided to label it the “Innovation Issue”. We want to dedicate this issue to creative/innovative ideas in education and in classrooms.  What are you doing in your school/classroom that others should be?  What needs to change?  What adjustments must be made to allow room for this innovation?

If you think you have something awesome to share, please send an email to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com and we will add it to the March Issue. Please follow the guidelines for submissions below so we can quickly and easily load your posts to the site.

Please email the article or link to the article to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com

Please include a small bio that includes your blog, Twitter handle and other information you would like to share. A picture is encouraged, but not required.

It may be a piece you have published on your blog already. A good idea is still a good idea even if you had it a few months ago.

Please submit posts by Monday March 4. We expect for the issue to go live on Tuesday March 12.

Thanks again for all of the support you have given Project PLN over the years.

Have an awesome school year,

Kelly  and Nick

“It’s Project PLN Time, Project PLN Time!”

Posted by admin | Posted in Project PLN | Posted on 11-10-2012

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“It’s Project PLN Time, Project PLN Time!” (In my head, that is being sung to the tune of “It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time, Peanut Butter Jelly Time!”)  There are dance moves accompanying this. Can you tell I’ve been surrounded by 10 year olds all day long? ;)  Are you singing it now?  Good.

Project PLN is now accepting submissions for the November Issue.  This issue is labeled the “Sharing Issue”.  Whenever teachers get together, we quickly start sharing great lesson plans, resources and tools that we have discovered (this is one of the reasons that my husband is not interested in having dinner with a bunch of educators!).  Since it isn’t practical for us to all get together for a edugeeky dinner, we want Project PLN to be a place where people can share their awesome lesson plans or resources with everyone out there.

If you think you have something awesome to share, please send an email to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com and we will add it to the November Issue. Please follow the guidelines for submissions below so we can quickly and easily load your posts to the site.

Please email the article or link to the article to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com

Please include a small bio that includes your blog, Twitter handle and other information you would like to share. A picture is encouraged, but not required.

It may be a piece you have published on your blog already. A good idea is still a good idea even if you had it a few months ago.

Please submit posts by Monday November 5. We expect for the issue to go live on Tuesday November 13.

Thanks again for all of the support you have given Project PLN over the years.

Kelly and Nick

Co-Editors – Project PLN

Help me personalize education for EVERY child!  Donate and spread the word about the Learning Genome Project.

The Nerdy Cast Episode 7: @thenerdyteacher AND @ktenkely = epic.

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy | Posted on 05-10-2012

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On Tuesday I had the distinct honor of chatting with @thenerdyteacher on The Nerdy Cast.  Nick and I have been buds for years, working on various projects together, talking education and pop culture.  You can listen to our whole Nerdy Cast chat which includes our humble adventures in blogging, starting Project PLN , starting a school and my newest project, The Learning Genome.

Thank you Nick!

 

If you want to be a part of The Learning Genome, be sure to check out the campaign here.

New issue of #ProjectPLN: Back to School Tips

Posted by admin | Posted in Project PLN | Posted on 21-08-2012

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Holy smokes, you all completely blow me away!  We received an incredible number of submissions for our “Back to School” issue of Project PLN.  You all are pretty amazing, thank you for sharing with the rest of us! Project PLN literally wouldn’t exist without our PLN…we count on you to share and make this happen.  Thank you!

I loved going through all of these posts.  I finally took out a notepad to keep track of my favorite new ideas :)  Don’t keep these great ideas to yourself, share them with a friend.  Sharing is caring you know!

Nick and I are now accepting submissions for the November Issue. We have decided to label it the “Sharing Issue”. There are many great lesson plans, resources and tools out there and it is tough for teachers to find the time to look for them. We want Project PLN to be a place where people can share their awesome lesson plans or resources with everyone out there.

If you think you have something awesome to share, please send an email to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com and we will add it to the November Issue. Please follow the guidelines for submissions below so we can quickly and easily load your posts to the site.

Please email the article or link to the article to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com

Please include a small bio that includes your blog, Twitter handle and other information you would like to share. A picture is encouraged, but not required.

It may be a piece you have published on your blog already. A good idea is still a good idea even if you had it a few months ago.

Please submit posts by Monday November 5. We expect for the issue to go live on Tuesday November 13.

Thanks again for all of the support you have given Project PLN over the years.

Have an awesome school year,

Nick and Kelly

Co-Editors – Project PLN

Project PLN Call for Articles! #projectPLN #edchat

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, inspiration, professional development, Project PLN | Posted on 10-07-2012

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It’s that time again! Project PLN is ramping up for another year of sharing.  We took a little time off for the summer to re-charge our batteries (and let you recharge yours).

What is Project PLN?  A collection of articles written by members of our PLN (Personal Learning Network-that’s you), on a common theme, all in one place.  Project PLN is an opportunity to get to know more passionate educators, and hear new voices.  It is a chance for us to connect and think and dream together.  We are excited to begin another year of Project PLN in August.

The focus of our August issue is Back to School Tips.  Over the years we have all discovered tips and tricks that help us make the start of the year a little easier.  I am often learning new tips from others and always have the same reaction: duh, why didn’t I think of that?!  This is our chance to share and get some new ideas.  We are looking for articles (this could be a blog post you’ve already written) from anyone involved in education.  You can be a teacher, classroom assistant, principal, hall monitor, superintendent, coach, or Sir Ken Robinson.  We want you to share your best ideas with the rest of us!

We publish everything we receive that follow these guidelines:

  • Email the article, or link to the article to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com
  • Please include a small bio that includes any links to your blog, Twitter handle, and other information you would like to share.  A picture is encouraged (we like seeing you!) but not required.
  • You can send us a new piece or a blog post you wrote ages ago.  A good idea is a good idea!
  • All posts need to be submitted by Friday, August 17, 2012.  We are hoping to make the issue live on August 21, 2012.
  • If you work for an online degree program…no need to submit anything. This isn’t an opportunity to advertise. We won’t post your stuff, so don’t bother!

That’s everything, we look forward to seeing your best tips and tricks for starting a school year.

Thanks!

Kelly and Nick (@ktenkely and @thenerdyteacher)

ProjectPLN Editors

New issue of Project PLN and The Nerdy Cast…

Posted by admin | Posted in Project PLN | Posted on 26-03-2012

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I am totally falling down on the job.  The new issue of Project PLN came out a week ago (two weeks?) and I am just now getting around to posting about it.  Fail.  It is a good thing @thenerdyteacher and I decided to go bimonthly on it.

This month Nick and I shared some of our favorite educational blogs.  Of course our lists could have gone on and on (kind of like my Google Reader feeds), but we managed to narrow it down into a reasonable number.  Nick introduced me to a few new blogs I wasn’t following and I’m happy to say I’ve increased the number of feeds I subscribe to to include them.  Worth the extra reading time!  I hope that some of these awesome bloggers are new to you and that they encourage you and inspire you.  They certainly do that for us!

You can check out the new issue here.

We started out as an every monthly e-zine dedicated to sharing great stories from our PLN with he world around us. After a year, the time constraints of running a monthly magazine took its toll on us as we tackled new challenges and built new schools. We had hoped to move to an every other month format still wanting to bring stories to everyone out there looking for educational inspiration. After some long breaks and deep discussions, we have finally decided that quality is much more preferred over quantity. Below you will find our new schedule effective this year.

The thought of stopping Project PLN was never really an option for us because we just love sharing too much and we want to give others the chance to share with everyone as well. Although we are the editors of Project PLN, we feel this is everyone’s magazine. We are excited to move into a more structured format to all of our readers a chance to submit their ideas and see the thoughts on their PLN here.

We might just make another creepy video for old time’s sake.

Thanks again for all of the support over the past couple of years. We hope you stick around for the new changes.

-Nick and Kelly

Editors – Project PLN

Publication schedule for a year:

Call for Articles: June

Issue 1: August –

Call for Articles: August

Issue 2: November

Call for Articles: November

Issue 3: February

Call for Articles: February

Issue 4: May

In other Nerdy Teacher News, @thenerdyteacher and @tgwynn have a new project: The Nerdy Cast.  How those boys have time for this, I will never know!  I will say, that I will happily sit on the receiving end of their genius.

December/January Issue of #ProjectPLN

Posted by admin | Posted in inspiration, Project PLN | Posted on 30-12-2011

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This is one of my favorite issues of Project PLN yet.  This issue was particularly near and dear to my heart because it was such a revealing activity when I did the exercise with my own students.  We asked teachers to engage their students in the question: “What would your dream school look like?”  Students of all ages dreamed with us and shared their ideal school.  It has been a lot of fun to see what students have dreamed up!

This is an issue not to miss, if you haven’t done an exercise like this with your students all ready, I highly recommend it.  I found it fascinating that EVERY student in 3rd-5th grade that I did the activity with included an animal of some sort in their dream school and included something about no bullies.  (If you think about it, animals are easy. They never judge and they don’t bully.)

To education decision makers: Take note, there is something to be learned from these dreams!

An ENORMOUS thank you to @thenerdyteacher, he has totally been picking up my slack this year as I squeak in to be helpful last minute…A.K.A. it has already been taken care of.  Thank you Nick!  You are classy with a capital C.

Project PLN is moving to a bi-monthly posting schedule in 2012 to keep the editors (us) and the contributors (you) sane. So, what is first up in 2012?

We want to know what books/reading has had the most impact for you as an educator.  These could be books about education specifically, or books that have given you a new outlook on education, learning or teaching.  If you are anything like me, everything you read, see, encounter is filtered through your education lens and adds something.  We want to hear about all of those things!

When I pitched the idea of this month’s issue to Nick, his first response was “awww not a book report” in a super whiny, high-pitched voice….okay I made that part up, we were actually texting and the whining was implied.  Book report is not exactly what I had in mind (although if that jives your jets, by all means be our guest).  One of the things I have been particularly bad about is keeping track of the books and recommended readings from those in my PLN. They fly through my Twitter stream, get favorited in my Reeder or scribbled on a nearby piece of scratch paper.  The result: very few of them ever see the light of day again and I forget.  I also know that books (and blogs) have had a profound impact on me as an educator.  If not for Seth Godin encouraging me to “Ship it”, I might not have taken the leap to start a school.  If not for Sir Ken Robinson, I might not have had such conviction to help every child realize their “Element”.  For this issue, your posts can be in the form of top 10 lists of your must reads.  A bucket list of things you want to do as a result of books you have read (with reference back to the original inspiration).  A blog post you have written as a reflection on something you have read. A link to your bookshelf in Shelfari.  For those of you who are feeling really ambitious, a book trailer.  Really it can be ANYTHING, we just want to know what you are reading/have read that has impacted the way you think about or do education.

As always, feel free to email posts to ProjectPLN10@Gmail.com, check in on us at Twitter @ProjectPLN or say hello on Facebook.  Please get us your posts in February so we can work on publishing them for the March issue!

 

There are still some spots in the December #ProjectPLN!

Posted by admin | Posted in Project PLN | Posted on 28-11-2011

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It’s not too late! There is still time to contribute to the December issue of Project PLN.  I think this is going to be the most fantastic issue ever!

We are still looking for teachers to sign up for 1st – 4th, 7th, 10th and 12th grade. We will still take anyone from any grade, but those are still empty as of November 28th. Please share this post with teacher in your building and see if they would be willing to sign up and share some amazing work.
If you have a lot of separate projects to share, please feel free to share a folder with us on Dropbox if that is easier. You can share with us at ProjectPLN10@gmail.com. We will take the documents from there and place them on Project PLN.
Don’t know what on earth I am talking about?  Here are some extra details from my last post:
For the December Issue, we want to do something AWESOME. We want to hear from students from across this country and around the world. Educators, politicians, parents and many more have been doing a lot of talking about what schools should look like to best serve students. Well, we had the crazy idea of actually asking the students what they would want their school to look like if they could design it! These can be group projects or a collection of smaller projects. If you send it, we will publish it. :-)  I did this project with students a few years ago and it was really neat.  Amazing things happen when you ask for student input!
As always, if you ever have questions or ideas, please feel free to contact us at ProjectPLN10@gmail.com or @ProjectPLN.
Best Wishes,
Nick (@thenderdyteacher) and Kelly (@ktenkely)
Co-Editors

November Issue: #ProjectPLN

Posted by admin | Posted in Project PLN | Posted on 15-11-2011

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It’s here, it’s here!  The November issue of Project PLN is finally finished (thanks to many of you!) and ready to share.

We are excited about the November issue of Project PLN because it is full of feel-good stories about the amazing things that are happening in schools around the world.  We have a great collection of stories that will have  you inspired and thankful to be a part of this thing we call education.  Take a look at the stories in the new issue, leave a comment for those who contributed and feel free to share your own stories on Twitter using the hash tag #SchoolDidaGoodThing

At Anastasis, we had a few students share what good things they saw happening at school, it is always great to have the kids perspective!  Be sure to check out that post in Project PLN this month!

For the December Issue, we want to do something AWESOME. We want to hear from students from across this country and around the world. Educators, politicians, parents and many more have been doing a lot of talking about what schools should look like to best serve students. Well, we had the crazy idea of actually asking the students what they would want their school to look like if they could design it! These can be group projects or a collection of smaller projects. If you send it, we will publish it. :-)  I did this project with students a few years ago and it was really neat.  Amazing things happen when you ask for student input!

Using this Google Doc, please sign up for the grade level you teach and have your students draw, write, film, animate, etc what they want in their dream school. In all, we would like to have 13 posts representing K-12.

We would love to have all submissions by Monday December 19 so we can put them up for Tuesday December 20th before the Holidays get the best of us.