Archive for category Twitter

Reflections of the 2014 NAESP Conference

Yes, I am late, real late to submit my reflections of this past summer’s NAESP conference in Nashville, Tennessee, but life catches up to you so better late than never.

This has been my 4th time attending the NAESP National Conference.  The first one was in Baltimore, MD in 2004 and that is when I sat in this presenters session about What Great Principals Do Differently by a guy named Todd Whitaker.  I was blown away.  He was on to something and every principal in that room was like, wow.  In 2010 I was in Houston, Texas in and out for the Houston conference and made sure to sit through Todd’s presentation again.  Still a wow factor for me.  Remember though, this is before social media became a big part to help me rejuvenate my career

It was in the spring of 2013 that I saw a tweet come through from Joe Mazza to call out for some help to bring a Social Media Lounge to the NAESP Baltimore Conference.  My friend Tony Sinanis and I jumped on it and said yes, we would come down and help.  Boy, did we work that conference!  We held basic Twitter sessions, showed what GHO can do, and really, show principals and leaders how to break down the walls and what connective leadership looks like.  It was an awesome experience and I learned a tremendous amount and connected with even more like minded principals.  Little did I know going into this that I would be sitting with one of my idols, Todd Whitaker and his lovely wife Beth and creating a national PLN of educators and principals!

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Joe Maxxa, Todd Whitaker, Kris Mitzner, Tony Sinanis, Beth Whitaker, Vicki Day

So, came this past year.  I was hemming and hawing, wondering if I should go or not to the Nashville conference.  What came across my desk was the NAESP mentor program flyer.  I have always been curious about this program and decided that this would be something worthwhile for me to pursue.  (You can see my post here about the certification program.)  So, once again, I made the trek to join principals and leaders around the nation.

Once again, Joe Mazza put out a call to principals to help with the social media lounge.  This time, we had more folks connected and more lead learners to present in the SM lounge.  We worked via Google docs to stay connected, form a schedule for the three days as well as connect.  We even had a new tool to use, Voxer, so we could hear our voices.  You can access the NAESP Social Media Lounge schedule here.  It has wonderful links for all to peruse!

I was the first to get to Nashville because I was being trained for the mentor program.  The Gaylord Opryland is an enormous conference center linked to the Grand Ole Opry so there was much to do as well as being in Nashville, the music capital of the world.  There was a huge youth ministry conference three days before the NAESP event, so lots of teenagers were running around the complex.  Since the complex can hold many conferences, the placards started to change to NAESP.  In front of the exhibit hall, our SM Lounge was listed:

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Then friends started to come in!  I found my #EdcampUNY and mentor Peter DeWitt who came in  He was presenting on Flipped Leadership the first morning of the conference.  Peter had a packet house and shared wonderful strategies to help leaders be better communicators for both staff, students and communities.

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Then we had our opening NAESP keynote with Robert Flughum, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten..  Jenny Nauman and I were the first to present in the SM lounge on Twitter 101, but we wanted to see the keynote.  Here we are not too far from the front in our selfie during the keynote!

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Jenny was a principal from our 2013 SM Lounge that we mentored and showed how being connected opens a whole new world.  Being an SM alumnus, I reached out to her so we could co-present and help others get on to Twitter.  It may have been the most crowded session in the lounge because of the timing.  No other sessions were happening, plus we all recruited people so we could teach them how to get on to Twitter and use it as a tool for professional development.

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We had Tony Sinanis and others help folks open up accounts in Twitter to help them get connected to the world!!

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We had Melinda Miller and Kathy Melton do a session about using Facebook to Celebrate and Connect in your school.2014-07-10 14.32.46

One of our own SM Lounge buddies, Dan Butler, presented at the conference, so we all ran upstairs to support Dan!

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Flat Vicki and Flat Christina did show up at the NAESP conference.

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Oh wait, the real Vicki meets some folks who followed Flat Vicki at ISTE!

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The day went by fast and we called it a night to get up and do it all over again.  Here our leaders Joe Mazza helps folks get connected and shows the power of a PLN.

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We take a break and run upstairs to support another buddy, Tony Sinanis, as he presents on Branding!

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Hey, that’s Joe Sanfelippo joining us in Nashville!  #GOCRICKETS!

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We also had some fun!

Melinda had a great use of her phone to get ready to kiss a frog and turn it into a prince!

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I really try to get these mannequins to start tweeting, but it really just did work.  Come on you two, get tweeting would ya?

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Is that Tony Sinanis all the way up there at the Opry?

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Oh wait, that’s Melinda behind the band taking pictures of Tony at the Grand Ol Opry.

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Erin Simpson, stop photobombing my selfies!

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Oh, and Melinda, Tony and I help record an Apprenet introduction for the #PTCamp book study Beyond the Bake Sale.

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And again, I meet my idols, Todd Whitaker and Beth Whitaker!

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So, I am blessed to have been in the company of great educators during this week.  If you haven’t attended a conference such as NAESP or NASSP, what are you waiting for?  Start coming, see us face to face, and connect with us.  It is how we become better leaders for our kids!

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The NAESP 2014 Social Media Lounge Ambassadors

Joe Mazza, Tony Sinanis, Vicki Day, Eric Bernstein,  Sandra Trach, Jenny Nauman, Dan Butler, Erin Simpson, Kathy Melton, Melinda Miller

Join us in 2015 in Long Beach, CA!

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Using Social Media for a Book Chat with Staff

Yes, I have been off the grid and this is a blog that should have been written a year ago, but I need to share it since I refer to it in my presentations on using social media as a lead learner. I was fresh off the NAESP conference in Baltimore in 2013 and was a social media ambassador with Joe Mazza and Tony Sinanis.  While there, I was involved in a twitter chat with the ladies of #educoach as they were holding chats on the book Teach Like a PIRATE by Dave  Burgess.  As we were working the social media lounge at NAESP, I mentioned Teach Like a PIRATE (TLAP) during one of the presentations.  Joe Mazza kindly gave me the book and I have used this and highlighted, shared it, and quoted from it. On the drive back, I thought, how can I bring this back to staff in my school, invigorate the passion of teaching, as well as show them how social media. So, I asked permission from both my superintendent and assistant superintendent to lead a book study not only with the East Side staff, but with the entire district.  here are the steps I did and the planning I followed using Evernote to plan.  Here are the notes I jotted during the planning of these sessions for reference.

  • First check out what to use, whether Schoology, Edmodo, Twitter or Link
  • Advertise via email All User and get commitments.
  • Put onto MLP to get credit
  • Settle on weekly pages.
  • Format Questions
  • Set time for chats so they are live
  • Set up a live chat with Dave Burgess over Skype
  • Maybe do a twitter chat so others can tweet in.  Provide an overview of how to tweet and use hashtag

I crafted an email to all staff and did an email blast for the district:

Hi All:
Want to increase your student engagement, boost your creativity and transform your life as an educator?  Need a boost for an exciting year?  Then join me as we venture into a book study on Teach Like A Pirate, by Dave Burgess.  What do you need?  A commitment that you will be willing to join in chat discussions using social media and other web 2.0 tools., a copy of the book, Teach Like a Pirate and a willingness to share your thoughts and ideas. We will be using two platforms, twitter which will give us live chats so we can connect to other educators throughout the world and with the author, and Edmodo, so we can dialogue amongst ourselves. This will be great PD for all of you and can be tracked on My Learning Plan.  I can set this up so that you can sign-up.  If you are interested, please respond to this email asap.  I would like to get this group up and started.  Just so you know, the book is practical, easy, and not long at all.   We will do about 5 twitter chats for an hour on Tuesday nights @ 8:00p.m.  These will be live chats with me moderating the questions and with other guest moderators.
First:  Complete this form (Click on the word)  Deadline is September 1st

Second:  Open a twitter account and Edmodo account.  They are free!!

Third:  Bring your insights and passion.
We will meet on Tuesday, September 24 @ 3:00p.m. in the ES computer lab, room 47 to do a quick overview of how to tweet, use the hashtag, and use Edmodo.  (You will need an account prior to this meeting.)
The first chat will be held on October 1st
This will be a real treat for everyone.  Sign up soon.  ARRRG……..
I extended the timeline to sign-up and continue to email blast the district to get staff to sign-up  In the end, the majority of participants were from the elementary school and as well, from our East Side community, so we moved forward.
Our assistant superintendent was gracious to provide our staff with books.  I held a Twitter 101 course for participants.  Some folks were hesitant  to join the book chat because I was using social media and technology.  Before the book chat, I tweeted out to my PLN and asked, “Why Twitter? Use #gouv13”  I had this in the background and all of the sudden, my PLN tweeted in and the staff could not believe it.  They saw the power of the PLN come in, the relationships that I had formed, and how folks around the world just helped other educators be successful.
Once Twitter 101 and Edmodo training was completed, the schedule was shared and we were on the road to using social media as a professional development tool.  Here was the calendar:
Oct1: pages 1-32 (Passion, Pages 3-12; Immersion, Pages 13-18; Rapport, Pages 19-32)
Oct 8 pages 33-64 (Ask and Analyze, Pages 33-53; Transformation, Pages 55-64)
Oct 15: pages 65-94 (Enthusiasm, Pages 65-71; The Third Circle, Pages 75-82; A Crash Course in Presentational Hooks, Pages 83-85; I Like To Move It, Move It, Pages 87-93)
Oct 22: pages 95-132 (Long Live The Arts, Pages 95-101; What’s In It For Me?, Pages 103-115; Stand And Deliver, Pages 117-123; Advanced Tactics, Pages 125-132)
Oct 29 pages 133-176 (Around The Edges, Pages 133-141; The Awkward Question, Pages 145-152: Where Do I Start, Pages 153-168; Finding A Crew, Pages 169-174; Finding Treasures, Pages 175-176)
To help with the chats for the staff, I posted them on Edmodo to have the staff experience the power of a SMS.  My goal was to have them try it out and how they could use it with their kiddos to engage learning.  Schoology is the platform that we use now for students and staff for teaching as well as for professional development for staff.
Along came the first chat.  We had it on Tuesday, October 1st.  I advertised to have my PLN come in and chime in on the Q and A.  Basically, I would pose the question, and the participants in the chat would answer using A1, A2, A3, etc.  So here came the first questions:
Q1 Within your subject matter what are you passionate about teaching?
Click here for the Storify of the first chat.
The next morning, although we were using the social media platform of Twitter, what was powerful for the staff to see was some of my PLN coming in and helping as well as the author of the book, Dave Burgess, commenting on the questions.  That was the big talk back in the building, “Hey Vic, that was pretty cool that the author was involved in the chat.”
You know, yes it was powerful that Dave Burgess was available for most of the five chats.  He made it a point to be there, to help our teacher become better in their craft and to show that we are in this together and it is about the relationships that we form.
Although I didn’t have everyone in the chat, I did have those folks that wanted to improve and push themselves to be just a little bit better for their kids.  I cannot thank Dave Burgess enough for being there.  Sometime, someday, I will meet him and it will be like I have known him forever.  My point is this – anyone can do this for their staff.  Hold their hands, be the lead learner, and take them on a journey.  People are out there to help.  It’s not about “making a buck” – it’s about improving our craft and being better educators for our kids.  What do you think?  Are you up to take it further with your staff?  Let me know how I can help.  Enjoy!

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The Importance of Being a Connected Educator

The Importance of Being a Connected Educator


The Commodore 64

Back in the early 1990’s, I was working on my master thesis for graduate school in music.  During this time, the personal computer was really taking shape and was still pricey for the times.  I remember our first PC.  I was working on my thesis and begged my husband to purchase one for the house.  He kept saying to me, “All you want to do is chat on AOL.”  That was not quite the reason why as you know, to write a thesis, like a dissertation, it was much easier to use Microsoft Word and use the program’s ability to create footnotes at the bottom of the page.  (I cannot fathom how folks did it before computers!)

At the time, the only service we could get was dial-up.  You heard that distinct dial tone and the crunching of sounds, trying to hook up through a web service such as AOL, Earthlink or Prodigy.  Your monthly fee would enable dial-up service, email, news, and a search engine to surf the world wide web.  I remember having the ability to chat using the AOL protocol, but never really used it as not many folks had personal computers.

Enter the 21st century.  Now, we use social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Blogs to connect.  But why is this so important for us as educators and administrators to use these tools?  You say to yourself, “But I don’t want people to find out what I am doing and have my information on the web. Or, Twitter?  Really, as a professional development tool?”  You bet, and the best part, it’s all FREE!!

The platforms that I identified, I use to increase what we call, a PLN (Personal/Professional Learning Network).  This means connecting to like minded folks who are passionate about education and discussing what is best for students.  For me personally, using Twitter as a professional development tool has rejuvenated my career and connected me to some “Rock Stars” in my PLN.  There are times I am chatting with my New York friends about good practice and other times chatting with Rockstar educators such as Todd Whitaker, Peter DeWitt and even Arne Duncan.  The best part that I cannot stress enough is that it is free.  It also gets me off of “the lonely island of administration.”  If I have a problem that I don’t have an answer too, it’s very easy to “dial-up” my PLN and in less than an hour, I get a response to my question.  Need a little mentorship, tweet out to your PLN and instantly, they come to your rescue because they are connected.  Want to meet your PLN?  Go to some conferences like the SAANYS, NASSP, NAESP, NYSCATE and ISTE conference and participate in a Tweet-up.  Better yet, go to an Edcamp, free learning, face-to-face and live tweeting.

To  open an account with Twitter is easy.  You go to the website and join and the program will pull you through the steps and voila, you have a username.  Use a unique username, something that identifies who you are.  My twitter handle is  @VictoriaL_Day, makes sense because that is my name and it identifies that it is me.  I also uploaded a picture as well as explaining who I am in the biography slot.  Once you have opened an account, follow someone, like me.  See who they are following and who follows them.

Twitter is not like Facebook.  You only have 140 characters to write what you are thinking or answer a question or provide a link to an article or a blog.  You do have to remember that this is Social Media (SM) but a rule of thumb is this, anything you post whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or a blog or a comment on a blog is a digital footprint.  Just think of it this way, do I want my parents of students, staff and my family reading this, then you will be safe.  Also, be kind – it is okay to agree to disagree in chats, but we are here to learn.

The thing we Twitter aficionados say to do for beginner tweeps is once you join, start lurking.  Start lurking  on various chats and tweeps that you follow.  Join a chat using a hashtag.  The hashtag is the hash symbol # with the word or term used after the symbol.  It groups all tweets into one stream or group that you can follow.  For instance, I co-moderate, with Tony Sinanis, Bill Brennan, Blanca Duarte, Carol Varsalona and Starr Stackstein,  #NYEDChat every other Monday at 8:30p.m. EST.  You can easily join our chat’s on Monday evenings, lurk and see our conversation.  Another powerful chat to follow is #satchat every Saturday at 7:30a.m. The moderation team of Scott Rocco, Billy Krakower and Brad Curie started a revolution about two years ago and it has taken off so fast that they had to open chats on the west coast (#satchatwc) and expanded to Oceania (#satchatoc).  I remember it was just a few of us starting the global conversation, and then it took off like wildfire. It is so hard to keep up with the chat because people are tweeting is so fast.

So, I challenge you to open yourself and get connected, whether it’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.  Start lurking.  Follow us on our chats and watch how your PLN will start to grow.  Once you start, I promise, you will be hooked.  It will rejuvenate your career!


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#NYEDChat – The Voice for New York Educators

Folks who know me know that Twitter has been a game changer for me and has opened new doors, created a wonderful PLN (Professional/Personal Learning Network) and reinvigorated my professional career as a principal.  I have met wonderful folks not only within New York State, but nationally and throughout the world.  I have introduced twitter to the East Side staff and teachers in our district as well, hosting a five week twitter chat on the book Teach Like a Pirate.  That was an awesome event and every time we had our tweet fests, Dave Burgess always tried to join us.  (I’ll write about this and how to do it.  I encourage all principals on twitter to train your staff and do twitter pd!!)

I am part of an AWESOME team of educators from New York who are starting to relaunch the #NYEDChat on twitter.  I joined the team of Tony Sinanis, Bill Brennan, Carol Varsalona, Blanca Duarte and Starr Sackstein  to chat about great teaching, learning, collaboration, and what is best for our children.  Right now, we are staying away from all the hullabaloo with what is happening within NY state, ie. APPR, Common Core Testing, and the such.  We will be gearing our chats around great instruction.  Our next chat, on Nov. 4, will be devoted to Student Engagement.  

You can see that we have nothing else to do on a Friday evening and we start to plan using Google Hangout.  (Me being the geek, I am using two screens, hence double screen shots!)
Media preview

We will be hosting bi-weekly chats.  Here are some upcoming dates and topics:

Nov. 4, 2013:  Student Engagement 8;30p.m. EST

Nov. 18, 2013:  How do we allow for more opportunities for social learning? 8:30p.m. EST

Dec. 2, 2013:  Integrative Technology in Classroom Learning 8:30p.m. EST

We are also in the planning stages of hosting a live chat session which will be a fantastic, wild ride for our everyone.  So, start following us and join our chats!  Join our wiki page as well.  See you in the #nyedchat!

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Using Twitter as a Professional Development Tool

(Getting ready for our Gouverneur Teach Like a Pirate Book Study)
This quick post is for anyone who wants to get up and running  using Twitter to expand your PLN (Personal/Professional Learing Network) and connect with great people, worldwide.  Make it a global learning experience!
Twitter has become a very popular tool in the education world as a professional development tool.  Gone is the day when you follow Ashton Kutchner, Nicky Minaj, George Clooney, or any other celebrity to follow what they are doing day-in and day-out.  Twitter has launched a revolution, not only in the education world, but literally world wide as we have seen with the Arab Spring.
I have listed some easy steps and “to do’s” to get you up and going in the land of Twitter.  Be ready to be inspired, invigorated, and rejuvenated.
1.  How do I create a Twitter profile?  Go to Twitter and open an account. Twitter will ask you for a username or “handle.”  It is something that tells us who you are and unique to you.  I use @VictoriaL_Day, my name.  It’s easy for me to remember when I log in.
2.  How do I upload a picture?  I think using a picture of yourself is very important, especially when you start going to conferences and tweet-up with people in your PLN. You can do this under “settings” up at the right-hand upper corner.  Pull down and go to settings then to profile.  You can also add a header.  I am using the view from Corfu when I made my trip last summer to Albania.  It’s unique to me.  I also do use a current photo of myself.  I was using my violin “vanity” shot but then switch when I had to go to a national conference and meet folks.  (I don’t look like the violin “vanity” photo now, but I do keep it active on this blog.. Sigh)
3. What should I write about myself?  In your profile, there is an area for your bio.  I put in what I do, that I am a violinist, breast cancer survivor, wife and a fun auntie. I listed @EastElementary because this is the school I lead. I also linked my blog that you are reading now so folks can click right to the page.  Make it unique to what you want it to be.
4. Who do I follow?  Well, me of course.  You can start by doing a search up top and typing in a name or twitter handle using the @ sign.   A good place to search who to follow is to see who others are following.  For instance, under my page you will see “Tweet”, “Following”, and “Followers”.  You can click to see who I am following and who is following me and what I am tweeting out to folks.  That is the easiest way to start following folks as well as seeing who I am tweeting to.
5.  So, how do you tweet someone?  Very simple – you place their handle in the message: @VictoriaL_Day and then write.  Just like texting.  You always have to have the @ sign and handle within the message so this gets to the person.  That person will be “dotted” with a blue dot in their “connect” pull-down option on the left side of the twitter page.
6.  But, I want to start following and chat.  So how do you do that?  When a chat is happening, you need what is called a “hashtag”.  The symbol used is # with the designated chat identity.  For instance, every Saturday morning at 7:30a.m.EST, the #satchat crew starts chatting for an hour.  You type in the hashtag #satchat in the search and then you can start following.  Just a reminder that you always have to refresh the twitter feed.  My advice is to lurk first, see how this works.
7. How do I start chatting? The rule to follow and always remember is that if you are in a chat and want others to see it, you need to have the hashtag of the chat within your text.  This was hard to remember when I first started.  Once you start, you’ll have a hard time stopping.
8.  What chats do you recommend?  I participate in #nyedchat #satchat #educoach #iaedchat   #tlap #mindset13 #naesp13 #edchat, #ptchat, the list goes on and on.  @cyrbraryman1 has a great page for Twitter chats.  Responsive Classroom will be hosting chats in the future.  @responsiveclass will start tweeting a chat as well so follow these hashtag – #askRC #ResponsiveClassroom #RCchat #MorningMeeting9.  But this is Social Media.  I’m afraid to post.  Yes it is Social Media (SM) but a rule of thumb is this, anything you post whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or a blog or a comment on a blog is a footprint.  Just think of it this way, do I want my parents of students, staff and my family reading this, then you will be safe.  Also, be kind – it is okay to agree to disagree in chats, but we are here to learn.  Be nice.  Diane Ravitch has a great post about posting comments on her blog.  Rules to follow! Edutopia has a great page about creating Social Media guidelines here:
Here are some MAVENS to follow: – HAVE FUN!!


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