Wednesday, August 17, 2016

25 STEAM Makers Every Educator Should Follow on Twitter

As STEAM and Maker Education collide in our schools, classrooms, and libraries, connected educators are looking to find all the resources they can to design meaningful learning experiences for students.  There are so many awesome teachers, principals, librarians. technology gurus, and innovators on Twitter who are building a powerful network of STEAM Maker leaders.  Check out these 25 (in no particular order) that are making amazing contributions to advance STEAM Maker learning for young people.

1. Colleen Graves @gravescolleen A real mover and shaker in all things MakerEd, Colleen has a new book coming out focusing on maker projects.  A teacher and librarian, she also started the Maker Slow Chat.

2. Louise Morgan @MrsMorgansClass  Louise is an instructional technologist who regularly blogs about her adventures in makerspaces.  She also puts out the STEAM Makerspace Daily newsletter. Supportive in her re-tweets, Louise shares relevant articles around STEAM and Maker Education.

3. Kathi Kersznowski @kerszi I attended a session of Kathi's in 2015 at the inaugural Evolving Educators conference and I've been following her ever since.  She regularly posts pictures of the great things she is doing in her STEAM Maker club.  She is a forward-thinking and innovative educator!

4. Diana Rendina Want to learn from an inspiring librarian and makerspace maven?  Follow @DianaLRendina !  Her blog is a fabulous resource for new and experienced STEAM Makers.  She reviews relevant professional books and posts pictures of her library, providing great ideas for educators interested in bringing creativity back into our schools.

5. Meredith Martin  @geekyteach  is a vibrant STEM teacher who is passionate about educational technology and Maker Ed.  I've participated in a few of her hands-on workshops as she pushes tinkering and design thinking for teachers.  Meredith tweets about cutting edge ideas in STEAM Maker education.

6. Sylvia Libow Martinez @smartinez The author of Invent to Learn, a must-have book if you are into STEAM Maker learning.  She shares relevant research and practical posts about classroom innovation.

7.  Justin Aglio @JustinAglio This Director of Innovation, is a super hero when it comes to advancing STEAM Maker learning in his district.  Justin shares great information about flipped learning and virtual immersion technology.

8. Zeina Chalich @ZeinaChalich An educational disruptor, Zeina tweets about design thinking, coding, STEAM, and educational technology.  A Leader of Learning and Innovation K-6 (love that title, too!) her AussieEd chat is a great way connect with other STEAM Makers.

9. Susan Wells @wellssusan tweets about all things digital learning, from coding and robotics to new STEM tools.  Susan shares lots of pics from Tech Terra Camp, making you wish you were 7 years old  and at camp again!

10. Holly Gerlach @MrsHollyGerlach Holly is a STEM coordinator and classroom teacher.  Active in lots of Twitter chats, Holly shares great pictures of classroom happenings.  She is an encouraging and resourceful member of my PLN.

11. Margaret Powers @mpowers3 Director of STEAM Innovation (a great title), Margaret shares great content around design thinking and STEAM education, including lots of Vines to see STEAM Maker learning in action.

12. Dan Ryder @WickedDecent I met this high-energy educator at a design thinking workshop last summer.  What a motivational guy!  He tweets about educational technology, student voice, and building empathy, among other relevant educational topics.

13. Laura Fleming @LFlemingEDU Her book Worlds of Making is a great resource for those starting out in their STEAM Maker journey.  Laura's website includes a digital badging platform and great professional development tools.

14.  Eleni Kyritsis @misskyritsis This Aussie educator is up on educational technology and shares often about new tech tools.  Knowledgeable in Google and Microsoft, Eleni regularly shares tips for teachers engaged in technology.  She is also the creator of the Genius Hour Fair.

15.  Krissy Venosdale @krissyvenosdale Always love her tweets since they are filled with great visual images- photos, info graphics, and art work.  Reminds you about the importance of the A in STEAM!

16. Maker Mark @Maker_Mark is a STEAM and Maker Advocate.  Check out his TED Talk on ensuring access to all Makers.  He shares great information about research, policy, and professional development for STEAM Makers.

17.  Brandon Johnson @bjohnson_STEAM He is into project-based learning and Google Apps for Education. Brandon is a supportive retweeter of all things STEAM, Makered, and leadership.

18. Carrie Baughcum @HeckAwesome Her brightly colored profile page pulls you right in!  Carrie is an innovator and impressive sketch note creator.  Her tweets include topics like gaming, growth mindset, and making.

19. Aaron Vanderwerff @aVndrwrff  Aaron is Maker and innovator who posts videos and picture of student projects from his Creativity Lab.  If you want to see STEAM Maker learning in action, follow Aaron!

20. Chris Chappotin @Chris_Chappotin  Providing great updates from STEAM Middle School, Chris posts about educational technology tools and project-based learning resources.

21. Lindsey Own @LindseyOwn Lindsey posts great pics and videos from her makerspace.  If you are looking for information on Maker Ed and design thinking, you should follow Lindsey.

22. Brian Briggs @bribriggs Brian is a Director of Innovation and Technology sharing posts on creativity, genius hour, coding, and new educational technology tools. 

23.  Susan Riley @susanrileyphoto The CEO of Education Closet, Susan tweets about anything STEAM including relevant research, interesting articles, and online professional development.  

24.  Ginger Lewman @GingerLewman Self-professed "silo killer", integrating STEAM and Maker in meaningful ways.  She is the creator of STEAMmaker Camp and advocate for all things project-based learning.

25. Me!
Follow me @DrJacieMaslyk  As the author of a new book, STEAM Makers: Fostering Creativity and Innovation in the Elementary Classroom I share examples of STEAM and Making happening in my district as well as in my region.  I love connecting with other educators who are invested in forward-thinking and exploring the possibilities in schools.

There are many, many other great educators out there involved in STEAM Maker learning.  This list just represents a few who are moving education in the right direction.  If you have suggestions for other names to be added to the list, please share a comment!

Monday, August 15, 2016

You're off ALL summer ?!?!?!?

As educators, don't you just love it when someone says-- Oh, you're a teacher/principal/administrator . . . . What do you DO all summer?  ALL summer.  I know the impression is that we are off for 3 whole months, but I can't remember a day that I sat in my office with my feet up eating bon-bons, that's for sure.

In the last 53 days, I've been busy. I've spent more than half of those days working with teacher teams, writing curriculum and planing new learning for our students.  I've met with teachers to discuss innovative projects and start a grant writing team.  We've planned school-wide design challenges and for a little inspiration we visited innovative places in and around our city.  We've collaborated with other school districts and built relationships with those in our community.  We've spent time with our leadership team, setting goals, planning professional development, and building excitement for a year of new beginnings.

I've done some things so that I can grow as a professional, as well.  I spent several days at a national conference and presented on STEAM and Maker Education. A few more days were spent at local workshops, too. I've attended county-wide meetings and a regional summit on STEM education.  In my free time, I published a blog or two and an article that will run in a national magazine.  I wrote four grants and two conference proposals for this coming year.  In an effort to meet my 60 books in 2016 challenge, I've read 20 books, including some great educational books.  (Kids Deserve it, Innovator's Mindset, and Launch have all been really inspiring!) It's been a busy summer-busy with activity, reflection, and growth.

SO, if you're not in education, please talk to teachers and principals.  Find out about all of the things that happen over the summer to prepare for a new year.  (I didn't even mention completing state and federal reports, ordering new books and materials, interviewing and welcoming new faculty and staff, coordinating services for students, overseeing renovation projects, meeting with parents, orienting new students to the district, reviewing files, responding to emails, attending board meetings, and on and on.)  We are doing so much over the summer, professionally and personally, so that the first day of school is a success.  We devote our time to preparing for students so that they come to school energized and ready to learn.  August is an exciting time of year.  While I'd love to sit poolside and finish my bon-bons, there's more work to do!

Best wishes for a wonderful school year :-)