Welcome to Course 5!

Howdy COETAILers!

Well, we find ourselves coming to the end of our COETAIL journey with one final course. That being said this is where the rubber meets the road. Where we take everything that you have learned and apply it to a unit in your classroom and truly change learning at a very deep level. We’ll talk more about this on Saturday, September 27th in our meeting. 

Course 5 Access

I have given everyone access to the Course 5 materials (Under My Courses in the menu) so you can see what is expected of you in this final course and have questions ready for me in our meeting. You can even start working on your final project now (strongly encouraged!).


This year we have started using Flipboard as a way for the instructors to share what they are reading and to highlight some of the great blog posts, ideas, and reflections happening around the COETAIL community. Here is a video I made (caution…it’s 22 minutes long) to help you start to wrap your head around Flipboard and why I am so excited to start using this year with COETAILers.

The two magazines that I strongly encourage you to follow are:

COETAIL Ponderings: These are articles that the instructors and coaches find that are interesting but maybe don’t really fit into a COETAIL course.

Around the COETAIL Community: These are some of the great blog posts that have the instructors and coaches thinking from around the community. Allowing us to highlight the great reflections that you all do and help you spread your own thoughts across the community.

Our Day Together

Our day together on September 27th is going to be pretty loose. We’ll watch and discuss some course 5 final project videos and practice assessing them together as a group. We’ll talk about your COETAIL journey and hopefully in the second part of the day give you time to really start putting things in place for your own Course 5 projects while I meet with each one of you personally to make sure you’re on the right track.

If you have any questions before September 27th feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Looking forward to meeting you all and learning with you in this final course of your COETAIL journey.

Hello @AISC!

We are about to embark on Course 4 and begin to wrap up a full year of learning with COETAIL.  The AISC cohort is incredibly strong and I am so proud of the work you are all doing to achieve your goals.  Tomorrow starts the first day of Course 4.  You will find the Course activated under the list of courses when you sign in to COETAIL.  IF for some reason, this is not activated, please let me know ASAP and we will get you up and started.  I look forward to continuing this learning journey with you!

Wrapping Up Course 3

I am so proud of the COETAIL@AISC cohort!  Possibly the favorite part of my job is to see a group of self motivated teachers decide to model life-long learning and work together to bring change to their school.  I remember a few months ago walking onto the AISc campus and meeting with all of you for the first time.  Many of you expressed trepidation during the first week, and now, look how far you have come!  As you wrap up your final projects over the next week, please feel free to email me at any point if you need any help at all.  I look forward to seeing your final projects and all the wonderful plans you have in store for your AISC students!

I came across this article the other day that I found interesting from the Chronicle of Higher Education titled, “Tech Tools Students Say They Can’t Live Without“.  I loved the article and the video that went along with it.  The article/video I would love to see next would be titled. “Tech Tools Teachers Say They Can’t Live Without”.  Somehow, I think that might end up on my endless to do list and may never come to fruition but I’d still love to see it happen!

Growth Mindset Vs Fixed Mindset

Reading Carlina’s awesome blog post for Course 3 this week, titled “Learning to Say Yet – We Don’t Have to be Chained to Our Current Capabilities” reminded me of another COETAIL blog post by Brian Amlani titled, “Talent vs. Hard Work in Athletics“.  I have always felt that hard work and dedication to learning is worth it’s weight in gold.  I don’t know about any of you, but I would rather work with someone who was willing to learn than someone who believed they had all the answers.  It inspires me that so many of our schools are really starting to talk about this in reference to our students.  As a life long student, learning has never come easy to me, but I also know that I am willing to do whatever I can to learn something I am passionate about.  My hope is that as we incorporate the Common Core and Standards Based Grading into all our schools, we don’t forget the importance of fostering the growth mindset within our students.

YouTube Preview Image

On a side note, I am trying very hard to stay on top of grading this semester.  That being said, quite a few of you may be a little behind in some of your posts.  Please do not leave these until the last minute.  It creates a lot of last minute stress for everyone involved.  If you need help with anything, I am just an email away.  Keep up the great work!

Course Three: Week Three

Dear AISC COETAIL cohort,

In the article from last week about Questions to Ask About Media Messages,  I thought you might enjoy reading about 9 Media Hoaxes We Fell for in 2013.  There are a multitude of great ways you can incorporate this with your students in your classroom.  You could have students research one of the hoaxes and see how many people tweeted it, shared it on Facebook, etc.  Or have students read the comments and see how the public reacted once they found out the truth, or create a lesson where students need to find out how they were created and what made these particular hoaxes go viral?  Is there a certain criteria we should be looking for when we look for things like this in the future?  The ideas are endless.

photo by ideagirlmedia- Creative Commons Attribution License https://bit.ly/1fYwHsy

photo by ideagirlmedia- Creative Commons Attribution License https://bit.ly/1fYwHsy

I am truly enjoying reading your blog posts and love sharing your ideas with others.  If you haven’t started your Twitter account yet, now might be the right time.  You are each creating a wonderful online footprint and you should be proud of the work you are doing.  I am attempting to help increase your footprint by sharing your great ideas with other COETAILers.  If you have a Twitter account, it makes communicating with one another a lot easier.   Just my two cents for the day!

Course 3: Week Two


You are well on your way to exploring Visual Literacy and I am truly enjoying each and every one of your posts!   Keep up the great work as we continue this learning journey together.

Now that we have looked at various ways visual literacy impacts our lives, I thought you might enjoy this post I came across the other day: it is called 40 Maps that Will Help You Make Sense of the World.

This one in particular caught my attention: US Map of the Highest Paid Public Employees:

Map by Deadspin.com

When will teachers top this list?  Isn’t our impact on society far greater and more significant than athletic coaches?

Course 3: Week One Kicks Off!

Here we go into semester two of COETAIL!  After this course you will be more than halfway done and almost at the finish line.  The work AISC is creating for COETAIL continues to blow me away.  It speaks very highly of the educators and school leaders you have in place at your school.  Keep it up!

As of this morning, Course 3 should be available under the page titled “My Courses”.  If for any reason it is not active, please shoot me an email and I will get things up and running in no time.  If you are interested in reading more about visual literacy and how it may connect to your personal life, check out this blog post on how people look at your Facebook profile.

Course 3 begins on Monday

Hello everyone and welcome back to another great semester of learning with COETAIL.  In Course 3: Visual Literacy, we will be exploring various forms of visual literacy you can employ with your students and colleagues to help enhance the amazing learning you are sharing as an educator.

As we begin our journey into Course 3, I thought you might be interested in this video published by TED with David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization.

My plan is that Monday morning, Course 3 should be active.  I am making a few tweaks here and there and everything should be ready to go and we will be right on schedule.  Course 3 will run from January 13 – February 23rd.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend and I look forward to seeing you all online starting next week!

Igniting the Flame with COETAIL

I am so incredibly impressed with the quality of work you are all doing!  Keep on trucking and working toward your goals.  I recently came across this post from Justin Tarte titled “Which Part of the Flame Are You?” and it reminded me of beginning COETAIL students.  We all play our own certain roles within our schools, and you have the potential to light a flame within your school that becomes sustainable and ignites the fire that will eventually direct the future of education.

Many of you have already moved passed the start of the flame (stage 1) and are moving into the other levels.  Keep going and know I am only an email away and I am always here to help you. Although a few of you may be wrapping up a few final things from Course 1, you should also see Course 2 available on the site.  Please send me an email and let me know if you are having any difficulties whatsoever.  In the meantime, think about the flame that has been ignited within you and how you can help that flame be sustainable within your content area.  Together, we are starting a fire that will reach the students of today and tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 4.03.34 PM