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Andrea Coffey

  • I would recommend the COETAIL program to any educator because it is practical and relevant.  It will change your skill set and shift your thinking in the areas of technology, collaboration, and personal and […]

    • I love how your project connects to a number of COETAIL courses! I really appreciate that you filmed yourself for this final project – it’s so great to see you and to get a real personal connection to this project!

      I love that you put the QR codes around the middle school and in the library! What a great way to spread the reading love!

      Thank you for including the student examples – it’s great to see the results of all your and their hard work! This example will be a great way to introduce the project for next year – hopefully students will also see examples around the school throughout the year and know that this exciting project is coming!

      Great idea to get students to be responsible for the recording, QR codes and sharing – it’s always good to distribute the work!

      So great to see the QR codes around the school! You could be starting a whole new trend!

  • With our move to the Anglo-American School of Moscow this year, we have been in a constant state of PLN expansion since early August, when we were greeted at the airport by our new administrators.  

    I would […]

    • “Reach out and touch someone” indeed! This is awesome. I am happy to hear that your year in Moscow is going well. 🙂 And I couldn’t agree more: “We are an international teaching community, and in order to remain innovative, we must be international communicators.” Thanks for sharing your journey, Andy!

    • Yay! I do think moving schools really highlights the power of the PLN. Suddenly being put in a totally new situation, re-making lots of connections and collaborative teams you had established in your old school, makes you appreciate the ability to continue the existing connections you have had the whole time. I’m so glad it sounds like your transition was fairly smooth, and you know you can always connect with your PLN to help with any challenges!

  • At the conclusion of Course 4, I had a couple of ideas about Course 5 final project proposals.  Then, I got to Moscow and the reality of coming to a new school set in.  Prior to arriving, I had a general o […]

    • I love it! I love that they’re getting experience in so many important skills, as well as demonstrating their love of reading! The QR codes are awesome too – always love to connect the virtual world with physical objects! Is your YouTube channel public?

  • Where to begin?  We are one quarter of the way through ‘15-’16 at the Anglo-American School of Moscow.  The transition has been great and we are happy to be teaching and learning in this fascinating city.  I am […]

    • Woohoo! Can we see the YouTube link too? Love this! I would be super interested to hear more about how you structured this unit differently after attending the Buck Institute. What made this one so special or so different? I haven’t been able to go to a training like that, so I’d love to learn through you!

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    In August, we will be landing at the Anglo-American School of Moscow.  We are very excited about the changes in store, and thankful for the incredible experience we have had at Saigon South.  We have grown so […]

    • Andrea, first of all congratulations on your new teaching appointment in Moscow! I share your predicament and sense of trepidation at having to design a Course 5 unit to use with students you have yet to meet. This coming August I will be returning to the classroom after a one-year sabbatical and teaching at AES, New Delhi, where I have never worked before (my previous international school was in Tokyo). I have to say, I think both of your ideas are great, but your first one, “Connected for Justice…” is particularly exciting! Having worked previously on projects where we used digital tools to share learning with classrooms around the globe, I found our interactions quite artificial at times. We (teachers and/or students) had never actually met in the physical sense and, though digital tools helped to break down our walls, to an extent, person-to-person communication felt somewhat contrived at times. With you as the human link between classrooms in Saigon and Moscow, you are all surely in for some very rich and meaningful learning experiences! You can liaise with former and current colleagues, stay in touch with students who already know you and share an important part of your professional (and personal) past with your new classes in Moscow. In other words you will be modeling Connectivism Theory as you work to nurture and maintain connections between your former school and your new one, facilitating your students on both sides of the world to recognise issues they have in common and collecting and sharing information which will strengthen their causes as they use social media to secure funding for their chosen projects. Best of luck with all of this; I will be checking in to see which idea you went for in the end. Also, thank you for introducing the “TodaysMeet” resource; I hope to use it with my new students in the coming school year…

    • I love both of these projects! I do agree with Nicola, though, the first one sounds especially amazing! I love the ideas of students sharing their concerns about world issues from their perspectives. It reminds me of one of the first global collaboration projects I was ever part of: the International Teen Life project. Although we didn’t have access to the same kinds of social media services that you’re talking about (this was in 2006), the videos students produced were so thoughtful and reflected a truly global perspective on their world. It was well worth the time invested. I also love that you’re going to keep the connections going back to SSIS! Looking forward to seeing how these turn out!

  • Andrea Coffey posted a new activity comment 4 years, 5 months ago

    Hi Daena,

    I appreciated this post on the flipped learning model. I, too, have some questions when it comes to this model. My greatest concerns are your third and fourth bullet points above under Limitations:
    “- Students must be individually responsible and motivated to watch the videos and if they don’t do that, they miss that i…[Read more]

  • Andrea Coffey posted a new activity comment 4 years, 5 months ago

    Hi Colleen,

    Great post! I echo your sentiments about running from the popular thing. This is precisely why I’ve never seen Titanic. Plus, for me there’s definitely an element of, ‘If they’re doing [insert trendy thing here] everywhere else, I’d rather give them something new that they might like.’

    I find your ideas about flipped learning…[Read more]

  • Andrea Coffey posted a new activity comment 4 years, 5 months ago

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently integrating infographics info my ELA 6 and 7 classes. The students have loved the project, which stemmed as an extension of a writing piece. We are wrapping up a YA book tournament and they had to create an infographic that incorporated one of the two books competing in the final round.

    I had my students create…[Read more]

  • Andrea Coffey posted a new activity comment 4 years, 5 months ago

    Hi Claire,

    Thanks for this great post! Congrats on putting yourself out there and giving what sounds like a very informative session. I think your top six tips are great, and for sure you will love course 3, centered around concepts of visual literacy.

    I definitely agree that stepping up, making connections, and taking risks is a must for…[Read more]

  • ThumbnailThat’s Fear of Missing Out.

    Fear that somewhere else, something else–something better and more exciting–is happening.  Something you want to be a part of.

    Fear of Missing Out is what needs to be […]

    • Andrea,
      I completely agree that FOMO needs to be taken into consideration and I am glad you dug further on the facts, they seemed a bit off to me too. How do you think our students acquire such a strong sense of FOMO.? Do you think it is a unattended consequence to technology or do you think it is present anyway and technology just enhances it? There are lots of steps we have take to create a balance with technology but I think you got at the seed of most of our social-based tech presence. Just be in the moment and don’t seek to constantly compare yourself and maybe that mindshift alone will lower the amount of time you are on a screen.

    • Good point! It would be really interesting to dig a little deeper into how to help students manage FOMO – maybe not just with the tech breaks, but understanding what it really means, why it impacts us so strongly and how we can deal with it. This would be a great mentor course!

    • I think we ALL have a bit of FOMO (I know many teachers who are almost as addicted to social media as some of my students are), and I can remember back to when I was in school and our own outdated FOMO that involved passing notes: spending time in class surreptitiously writing them, finding a way to pass them and then spending the next period or two distracted by what might be said the in the response note, etc. As it was said in the article, “Living With Laptops from YIS”, the obsession has always been there, but with tech it is just more visible.

      I also thought it was a bit ridiculous to counsel parents to see if their child has an online addiction and then seek out professional help! Really? I thought a much more logical solution was offered in another article that simply advised parents to get time-management tools or software to help keeps their kids focused (which will in turn help kids to develop better online habits in the long run).

      I tend to give my students tech breaks by allowing them to use their devices in the first five minutes of class while I am setting up and taking attendance and then again during the last five minutes of the period, if we have concluded and have some leftover time. However, there are a few things that I do sometimes worry about regarding the idea of tech breaks:

      1.) Parent reaction. While I have not had any negative parent reaction, I have heard of a few teachers who have had parents comment to them that “kids can go online at home, but at school they are there to learn” in response to students being allowed to multi-task or use devices during class time.

      2.) What if there IS something going on in the virtual world? I have had a few instances where checking social media at the start of class has caused some drama and thus distraction for the remainder of the period.

      In response to these questions, I appreciated the tips on some other helpful ways to reset the brain and refocus students in the article “How a Tech Break Can Help Students Refocus”, which included listening to music (which I allow during independent work time), looking at art and just moving around for a few minutes. While I still agree with mini tech-breaks, I will also try to use more of these non-tech methods for refocus when I feel it is appropriate.

      Thanks for the interesting post and the useful facts and research!

  • ThumbnailMy husband and I attended the same university, but not at the same time.  I was there five years after he was.  However, more often than not, when one of us says “Hey, do you remember (insert name of […]

    • I really enjoyed reading this post. I had often wondered how different it would be to be a college student today, and then I got to find out.

      A few years ago I moved back to my home state and had to take a full semester of courses because my certificate from that state was expired, and the requirements had changed. I was enrolled full-time in university courses for the first time in 12 years. I was surprised at how little had fundamentally changed, actually. We still had textbooks and coursepacks, although you could get them online if you chose to. While submitting our work online was different, it didn’t really change learning that much. Most professors would post lecture outlines online, and I noticed that because of that few of the young students in the classes took notes. I chose to because I thought it would help me process the information better, and keep me focused. I frankly felt like the students who didn’t seemed less engaged and less on top of the materials, based on discussions we had in class.

      While of course the ability to do internet research helped on certain assignments, the best readings still tended to be in the subscription databases – which the universities had even back in the 90’s when I was a younger student. The very best activities in the classes, when the instructor was not lecturing, tended to involve interactive activities and discussions – just like in the old days.

    • It’s an interesting point – I don’t know if I see MOOC students primarily as undergrads, just as you describe, but it is exciting for so many different people to have access to higher level education. I do wonder, like you, how different (or how similar) in-person undergrad would be today. From most of what I’ve heard, it seems shockingly similar… Maybe that’s why MOOCs are having such a big impact – they are totally different than what we experienced as undergrads.

  • ThumbnailRecently, my husband, Steve, and I were discussing what we do the first time we play a new game.  He likes to look at all the components and figure it out on his own; I am a die-hard instruction-reader.  These […]

    • Love these highlights! Totally agree – and have really been witness to the power of gaming not just from what we’ve done in the classroom at YIS, but also from watching my husband, who is an avid gamer. I’ve seen how much he’s learned and how motivated he is to do it in a gaming environment. There are so many opportunities – we are lucky to be able to take advantage of them!

  • ThumbnailI was having a hard time understanding the differences between project-based learning, problem-based learning, and challenge-based learning.  The more I read, the more the lines between them seemed to blur.  This […]

    • Love the table you’ve shared – makes it easy to get a clearer picture. Lucky you to spend some time at the Buck Institute this summer! Can’t wait to hear how that goes – and I’m assuming that your new school is sending you there, so I’m sure you’ll have some awesome examples of project based learning next year too!

    • I admit that I am still a BIT confused by the differences between the three, but thank you for the link to the Edutopia article “Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL”, which I read through and found quite helpful, especially the table that clarifies Project and Problem-based learning, which were the two that I was having the hardest time differentiating between.

      I appreciate and respect your honest reflection of your PBL experiences and I am looking forward to seeing your goal of sharing students’ developments with real-world experts play out in Course 5 next year. I completely agree that there is value in building connections for the students, and while many teachers (myself included) wonder how to find the time to create these opportunities for connections, they are necessary. I am hoping that your experience and reflection will inspire me to seek out these connections for my students, regardless of the time involved.

      Lastly, your summer PD sounds perfect for your Course 5 project, and I am sure that many of us will anxiously await seeing what you learn about PBL, as well as the outcomes of your project!

  • ThumbnailI use Today’s Meet with some regularity in my MS English Language Arts classroom.  Mostly, I use it as part of the–oft-mentioned in this blog–collaborative discussion model.

    I also have my students keep a […]

    • Love your terms for the different types of integration… And I wonder about the idea of novelty – is it that they have grown up with technology, and so to them they might not even understand the meaning of “using technology in class” the same way you do? We see it as something different and new, but they have lived their whole lives learning like this (whether in or out of school). So, the student that said that it depends on how you use it is the one that resonates with me – technology doesn’t make learning engaging, the way you teach and the learning strategies do.

  • Andrea Coffey posted a new activity comment 4 years, 7 months ago

    Thanks, Muhammad!
    I agree with your concerns about some HR depts not being ready to embrace this type of CV. As I sent this out during the recruiting season, I also included a line in my introductory email hyperlinking to my traditional CV.

    One great piece of advice came from a colleague who told me to print out my visual CV in color as well…[Read more]

  • ThumbnailIn October, my husband, Steve, was enrolled in COETAIL Course 3.  He decided his final project would be a visual resume, and he started exploring different options for creating it.  Well, still riding the wave of […]

    • Looking good! It’s so great to see the evolution of this document over time – it’s not easy to create infographics – especially as you are doing this entirely from scratch – and seeing how it’s evolved over time really reinforces the time and effort it takes to refine over time. I have to admit, I do agree with your colleague from the math department, it took me a minute to see that the newest teaching was at the left – my eye definitely expected it at the right 🙂

    • That is a very creative idea for CV. I have been thinking about updating my CV with some nice visuals and presentation techniques, some of those I have learned from my course here so far but was not getting any picture in my mind. Seeing yours has sparked some ideas in my mind. My only concern is about the readiness of the HR managers and bosses to accept the new format CVs from creative and challenge loving minds. Finding the right job is hard enough already and if having the ‘wrong’ type of CV is going to make it difficult striking interest by conventional bosses then we are sort of stuck! However knowing that many employers now check Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media when hiring I think it will be okay. I might give a shot to this myself! Thank you for providing me some ‘visual’ ideas. I would have not grasped it if someone explained it to me in word. Seeing it done here on your blog allowed me to absorb the essential idea in less than a minute. The power of visuals!

      • Thanks, Muhammad!
        I agree with your concerns about some HR depts not being ready to embrace this type of CV. As I sent this out during the recruiting season, I also included a line in my introductory email hyperlinking to my traditional CV.

        One great piece of advice came from a colleague who told me to print out my visual CV in color as well as black & white to ensure it was clear, easy to read, and not too dark or light. This step led me to make some minor changes in the CV.

        Have fun creating!

  • Andrea Coffey posted a new activity comment 4 years, 7 months ago

    Hi Mike,
    First of all, I’d like to say I find your blog appealing because it is clean. I get distracted by blogs that have a lot going on visually, and I try to keep my simple as well. I do like the idea of updating your header image, now that you are settled in and unpacked. 🙂

    Speaking from experience, putting Twitter on your sidebar…[Read more]

  • Andrea Coffey posted a new activity comment 4 years, 7 months ago

    Hi Sharon,
    I love your idea for incorporating the infographic into your math unit. I also think it’s a very interesting infographic. I laughed out loud at the fact that only 14% of the students surveyed knew that the save icon was a disc! I suppose fewer and fewer people every year will know it.

    One fact elucidated by the infographic is…[Read more]

  • Andrea Coffey posted a new activity comment 4 years, 7 months ago

    Hi Colleen,

    I appreciate this post because it’s relatable! It’s so easy to literally spend hours playing with themes, colors, and images. Like you, I prefer simplicity in the design. Clean and clear, and under control, as the face wash commercials say.

    I like the current name of your blog; “The Disruptive Teacher” carries a connotation…[Read more]

  • Andrea Coffey posted a new activity comment 4 years, 7 months ago

    Hi Tom,

    Isn’t it amazing how much we find and want to improve when we take a look back at old presentations? I re-examined a presentation that I used less than a year ago, and found it rife with things I would change if I were to present it today.

    I think people have had the tendency to want to throw as much information as possible at their…[Read more]

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