Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Introvert or Extrovert? Is that the question?

When I take the Myers-Briggs tests, I generally come out a pretty solid E – for extrovert.  But I have to be honest, I have always questioned that.  I think I am both an introvert AND an extrovert.  It all depends on what I am doing. 

I have been reading a book that is making me think a little differently about this whole introvert vs. extrovert thing.  The book is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  Have you read it?

Teacher – total extrovert
Learner – pretty strong introvert
Group work – gosh.  It depends on the group. 

Group work and collaboration are such important skills to have.  Because.  Right?  

Most introverts don’t “take” to group work.  It’s true. For them, solitude is critical to creativity.  However, our classrooms are more or less designed in a way that makes everyone participate in some sort of traditional group work at some point.  Our culture values the characteristics of an extrovert more, and thus we design our learning environments to achieve that.

I am wondering.  Can you think of a way to level the playing field for both kinds of learners?  How might you integrate technology to do that?

Here is a survey I am giving to a group of teachers tomorrow on this exact topic.  If you have a minute, play along!

Just Sharin'
Lee Anne

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

A Woven Web of Technology Integration . . . ?

It took three years to make it happen, but it finally happened.  We have turned our Atrium classroom into a collaborative web of learning.  It is a tangled web we’ve woven.  I say that, but it is seriously cool.

We have created nine “pods” where four people can work in individual groups  Primarily, we wanted the TVs at each pod to be able to display what that group is working on.   An added functionality is at any time, the TV screen at each pod can display the instructor’s computer or any other student’s in the room.

It’s not magic.  We have to poke on some buttons every time we want to change displays, but all in all, it works pretty smoothly once you get the hang of it.

There is going to be a learning curve for us and our participants, but that’s okay.  We are already working out what we need to do to make that more of a bump than a curve. 

Personally, I think the biggest challenge is going to be ours as instructors in this environment.  The possibilities are endless.  This configuration promotes more active and engaged learning.  It also allows for more personalized/small group instruction.  Exactly what we wanted!! 

However, as educators, I am sure you guys know what that  means - lots of work.  We need to get busy figuring out how we can change how we run our classrooms and how we can put participants in the driver’s seat more. 

We’d love to hear any ideas, tips, or suggestions.  No.  Really.  We would.

Just sharin’
Lee Anne

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Summer 2015 Enrollment is Open at The Eighth Floor

Enrollment is open for summer.  We have some great stuff going on during June and July


Eighth Floor Open World Reignite the Passion.  Wednesday June 17th. This is an all-day conference full of workshops, pop-up topic discussions, prizes, refreshments, and you. 

Open World is designed for all of our consortium members. Regardless of what or who you teach, there will be opportunities for you to reignite the passion for both you and your students. 

For more details visit or

We Need Workshop Presenters!
Would you like to present at the Eighth Floor Open World?  We were hoping you would! Deadline for proposals is June 4rd.  If you have questions, just let us know.  (Proposal Form)



Our summer workshop this year is a special treat.  We will be partnering with the the Tulsa Zoo to offer a two-week blended learning opportunity.  We will meet both online and face-to-face, July 20-30, 2015.  For details visit 


SOL Training! 
Synchronous Online Learning . . . Training. 
Our NOT boring version of the boring webinar!  Our sessions have "SOL"  Just sayin'.  We will have several scheduled throughout the summer, for those that want to do their learning from home.  
Check the details:

I certainly don't want to leave out our schedule of established online, blended, and F2F classes.


We are looking forward to learning with you this summer. 
Thanks!  Lee Anne

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A Tale of Two Semesters
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, . . . . “ – Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities

Since the holidays, it has certainly seemed like the tale of two semesters for us at The Eighth Floor, both perfect and problematic all at once.  Between snow days and the flu and the coming of spring allergies and storms, we have managed to fit in a few classes unaffected disaster.

We have had more hurdles than usual.  There were several weeks when I was starting to wonder if we would ever get more than one or two days of classes going without having to reschedule everything. On top of the weather issues, we have worked around conferences, our own mini flu epidemic, weather – you get the idea.  Complication. Frustration. Life.

On the other side of that, however, are the teachers. It may be that every class I have taught this semester has been remarkable.  Not a clunker in the bunch!  No, I don’t mean because I am just that awesome – I mean the people coming to our classes are just THAT AWESOME.  I have met some great new teachers, new to us and/or new to teaching.  We also have a solid core of people who take every class we offer – love these people!  My classes have been full of educators who are ready to do the work.  Some of my very best classes have been a perfect reflection of what The Eighth Floor does best – bring together teachers, kindergarten through college, who listen to each other and help each other.
I may have worked harder at my job this semester, but I have appreciated it the most.

I am tightening up the summer schedule – just taking a little break with this blog post.  I am looking forward to another fast, furious, and fun summer.  And thanks, but I'll skip the "worst of times" next semester.

Hope to see you in class, soon!
Lee Anne

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Essential Questions . . . Essentially

I want to spend my days a little less frantically.  

J.J. keeping calm on the deck at the lake. My inspiration.
I hope to direct my intentions towards that end with a fresh year, fresh semester, fresh realization that I am pooped – not making any resolutions.  And, I would like to sleep more!  So instead of drilling down on a checklist of stuff I gotta do, NOW,  I have started my semester trying to step back and take a big picture look at what we are doing here. 

I think I have been overly focused on trying to keep up with the educational trends and trying to keep things fresh and new with blood dripping off the edge.  That’s ridiculous. Not even possible.  In that fog I have forgotten to keep exploring the important questions with the people who take our classes, the essential questions.

They are good questions.
  • Why is it so problematic, so much of a struggle to integrate technology into the curriculum, the classroom, education in general?
  • Given that technology is a square peg we are trying to fit in the round hole of our students’ learning, should we even be making this effort – is this worth the change necessary or is it just another buzzy trend?  WHY?
  • What will have to change for technology to have the impact we think it should?

I have some sage responses to these questions – you bet I do.  But that’s not how this works.  That’s now how any of this works! (Great commercial)  

How might you respond to these questions?

Just thinkin’
Lee Anne