The Hacker Mindset is #4ITS

What really is a hacker?

Some people call themselves hackers when they try to break into computer systems with destructive intentions – they really aren’t hackers!

A hacker is someone who tries to solve problems and build things!  Learn more about adopting the mindset of a hacker at this site: http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Hacker

Also, this Ted Talk by Logan LaPlante called Hackschooling Makes Me Happy presents the concept of transforming traditional schooling.

I tweeted out the link to this Ted Talk last week, and Hoke Wilcox (the new Director of Instructional Technology at Fulton County Schools) responded with the following:

@byotnetwork That’s awesome…I thought I wanted folks to think of me as a Mobilist now…I want to be an Education Hacker! 🙂

— Hoke Wilcox (@hoke) April 12, 2013

That made me think about our ITS group in Forsyth County Schools.  We really do fit the definition of Education Hackers!  Join #4its Chat on Friday morning, April 19, 2013, from 1:00-2:00PM to discuss the role of an Education Hacker and how we solve unique problems in creative new ways!.  Log in to your Twitter account and follow the hashtag #4its.  In your responses, use that same hashtag so others can benefit from your ideas.  If you’ve never been in a Twitter chat before, simply search for #4its in a column-friendly twitter app like Tweetdeck or go to tweetchat.com and type in the hashtag you want to follow.

If you are unable to join in to the live chat, feel free to tweet out your thoughts about education hacking throughout the day!

FCS Breaking Barriers Chat #4its

The ITS will be facilitating the Breaking Barriers Technology Site Visit.  Instead of a “live” chat, we can tweet out our experiences to #fcstour as well as to #4its.  If you take some great photos, tweet those out too, especially for the activities occurring on Friday, March 8!

Forsyth County Schools will be hosting its own conference  called Breaking Barriers  – Technology Site Visit this week on March 6-8.  The event will include hands-on professional learning activities at the Forsyth Conference Center and site visits to Coal Mountain Elementary School, Kelly Mill Elementary School, Whitlow Elementary School, Otwell Middle School, Forsyth Central High School, Almon C. Hill Center, and the Forsyth County Board of Education and Professional Development Center.  Visit the Breaking Barriers wiki for more information about these activities. Throughout the event, we are welcoming all of our attendees and participants to discuss their experiences in Twitter at #fcstour.

On Friday, March 8, we will have several opportunities for ITS (#4its) chat as the ITS facilitate learning experiences at the Forsyth Conference Center.  Here is the agenda for that day:

Breaking Barriers Agenda – Friday, March 8, 2013

  • 8:30-8:50 Welcome and Opening Address – Dr. L.C. (Buster) Evans, FCS Superintendent
  • 9:00-10:00 Keynote Address – Bernajean Porter
  • 10:00-10:45 Concurrent Sessions 1
  • 11:00-11:45 Concurrent Sessions 2
  • 11:45-12:15 Lunch
  • 12:30-1:00 Closing Address – Bailey Mitchell, FCS CTIO
  • 11:15-3:00 Hands-on Workshops

We are sure that our guests to Forsyth County Schools will want to read your tweets about the Breaking Barriers event.  We are looking forward to chatting with you!

Breaking Barriers Is for ITS (#4its)

This Friday’s live #4its Chat will be held on 3/1/13 from 1:00-2:00 PM but feel free to contribute your thoughts and ideas throughout the day.

Next week, Forsyth County Schools will be hosting its own conference as a celebration of our successful learning initiatives.  That event is called Breaking Barriers  – Technology Site Visit, and it is planned for March 6, 2013.  In addition to hands-on professional learning activities to be conducted at the Forsyth Conference Center, the event will include site visits to Coal Mountain Elementary School, Kelly Mill Elementary School, Whitlow Elementary School, Otwell Middle School, Forsyth Central High School, Almon C. Hill Center, and the Forsyth County Board of Education and Professional Development Center.  Descriptions of these professional learning experiences can be found on the Breaking Barriers wiki.  Throughout the event, we are welcoming all of our attendees and participants to discuss their experiences in Twitter at #fcstour.

Here are two guiding questions for this Friday’s #4its Chat on 3/1/13:

  • What are the barriers that exist within schools and districts?
  • How do you work toward breaking these barriers?

We are planning on sharing your ideas and suggestions with our guests to Forsyth County Schools next week during the Breaking Barriers event.  We are looking forward to chatting with you!

Transformational Classrooms Are For ITS (#4its)

If we think about some other professions, for example, engineering, medicine, or agriculture, it is easy to see how technology continues to transform the way those businesses operate and the types of training and skills those fields require.  In education, though, how different are classrooms from 25 years ago or even from 50 or 100 years in the past?  What are the futures we are preparing our students for that will exist in tomorrow’s workplace?

In Forsyth County Schools, we have focused on the different uses of instructional technology based on the work of Bernajean Porter in her Grappling’s Technology and Learning Spectrum.  The ultimate goal is to move toward the Transforming Uses of technology so that students become information producers instead of solely consuming content.  What does a Transformational Classroom look like?  How do the traditional roles and responsibilities of the teachers and students shift in this learning environment?

Join #4its Chat on Friday morning, February 22, 2013, from 10:00-11:00AM to discuss the Transformational Classroom.  Log in to your Twitter account and follow the hashtag #4its.  In your responses, use that same hashtag so others can benefit from your ideas.  If you’ve never been in a Twitter chat before, simply search for #4its t in a column-friendly twitter app like Tweetdeck or go to tweetchat.com and type in the hashtag you want to follow.

By the way, if you’re not sure that technology is transforming agriculture and farming (as stated above), check out this post on the 12 Most Advanced Agricultural Technologies.

Twitter Chats Are For ITS! (#4its)

What?

We’ve been contemplating the notion of a weekly Twitter chat specifically for the Instructional Technology Staff (ITS/MS) of Forsyth County Schools.  A chat in Twitter will provide us a space for collaborating and communicating as we share ideas and strategies particular to our role in the district.

When?

Because we all of have different responsibilities throughout the day, it is challenging to set a specific time for a weekly chat.  We’ve decided to have #4its Fridays.  We expect everyone to “check in” to the #4its hashtag sometime each Friday.  On some Fridays, we will have a particular topic or theme that will be planned and led by a moderator (maybe even some of you).  Those topics will be announced ahead of time, so you will know how to arrange your schedule to attend the chat.  We know that there will be Fridays when you will have to miss the chat time, but you can still search for the hashtag #4its whenever you are available to review the discussion.  Also, feel free to tweet out resources to #4its throughout the week that you want to share with the group.  There is no need to wait until Friday!

How?

Log in to your Twitter account and follow the hashtag #4its.  In your responses, use that same hashtag so others can benefit from your ideas.  If you’ve never been in a Twitter chat before, simply search for #4its t in a column-friendly twitter app like Tweetdeck or go to tweetchat.com and type in the hashtag you want to follow.

Where?

Eventually, we plan on making this a swanky house for the archives of our chats and to post upcoming topics.  This resource is still under construction!  For now, just search for #4its in Twitter.   You can join in the chat from wherever you have Internet capability!

Why?

We need to model the 4 C’s of digital age learning – creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, and we enjoy working together as a group.  Twitter is a great way to develop your PLN (Personal Learning Network) because it allows for both synchronous and asynchronous participation.  In this way, we can fit sharing into our hectic schedules.  Plus, it’s fun! J

Theme for #4ITS Friday, February 15: It’s District Collaboration Day. So our inaugural #4its Friday will be an open sharing of resources.  Feel free to tweet out resources, questions, and ideas to #4its throughout the day.