Tech Talk Roundtable 08-02 | Building Connections – ACAMIS Live

NEW – Watch the Video Podcast:

See our presentation just like attendees at the ACAMIS Conference.


Welcome to the 4th Annual LIVE podcast from the ACAMIS Tech Conference, hosted by Shen Wai International School, Shenzhen. It also happens to be season 8, episode 2, of the Concordia EdTech Roundtable.  We hope you are live, too,  and that your camera hasn’t frozen just as you have that awkward look on your face.

Hey, now that many of us are returning to school after months of teaching online in our pajamas, I’ve gotta ask … Did your clothes shrink too? I know mine did. Stupid clothes … Why can’t we teach in elastic-waistbands, anyway?!? I may grow fond of the days when my students could only see me from the chin up.

You’d think I’d be doing better with all of the exercise I’ve been getting. I’ve been building non-stop since the “illness-that-shall-not-be-named”  hit … building lessons plans, building an online presence, building patience, resilience, empathy, humility. Why, I’m positively proud of my humility … but in all that whirlwind of activity we cannot overlook the most important thing: Building connections. Hey, life IS about relationships. Everything else is window dressing. Now that so much of what was is gone and what will be is unknown, we’ve got to focus on the main thing, building connections.

Lessons Learned

Dennis – When using your Mac laptop do you ever ask yourself, “Why did it do that!?”  You can stop some of that annoying trackpad behavior by going to the trackpad on your system preferences.

  • Highlighting a word, the dictionary definition keeps popping up?  Disable “Lookup Data Detectors”
  • Swiping/scrolling accidentally moves you back a web page? Go to “More Gestures” and disable “Swipe between pages”.
  • You might be surprised at all the different things you didn’t know you could accidentally do.

Chris – Sometimes, ringing a bell gets past the students’ hesitation to raise their hands. When I found out that some kids in my AP US History class were starting to raise their hands only to pull them down before I saw them, I had an idea that only Anita Ward could help me with. “Ring My Bell” echoed in the classroom as the kids came in, and I instructed them to download a ringing bell app while I mercilessly rang my app’s bell, just to be annoying. That open insistence on stopping me whenever they had a question broke the ice. That lesson really came alive as kids asked for clarification, wanted to deep dive on an issue or three, and generally lost the inhibition of raising their hands. Thank you, my wonderful daughter, for giving me the insight I needed to meet my students’ needs.

Daniel – The badge notifications showing unread account are decreasing your ability to prioritize.  Turn them off and use the new iOS 14 widgets feature to create shortcuts to the apps that you need without getting distracted by the notification badges.

Fun Fact

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

We know learning is about relationships, but before we get into that we think we need to address the most important relationship of all – how are you related to Kevin Bacon.

How to calculate your Bacon number.

Notes & Links

Learning is all about relationships – How can we build & nurture connections  given the new restrictions of a post-Covid world?

Zoom Burnout is real – How do you deal with it?

  • Zoom is one communication tool; know it’s roll!  Use the appropriate tool.

Building Connections – Teacher-Teacher

  • Avoid Toxic positivity
  • Encourage open/honest conversation
  • Avoid social media rabbit holes
  • Attitude Matters – You cannot be both grateful and resentful.
  • Virtual Connections – Interaction!
    • Virtual Coffees/Happy Hours.
    • Regular check-ins. How are you doin?
    • Watch a movie together!

Building Connections – Teacher-Student

  • Don’t waste zoom time on the content which can be presented via other tools.  Lectures can be flipped – not live
  • Use that “Face to Face” time for regular Zoom Check-ins.   Intentional moments to be a community.
  • Instant Assignments – EXAMPLE: 5 point assignment that requires you to go outside and video yourself doing something.
  • Don’t be afraid to be goofy – Don’t be afraid to sacrifice your dignity for the sake of learning.  Kids want/need to see the real you! Let your personality shine through. ( )
    • Sound Bite from Brandon Wislocki – Grade 5 teacher in Irvine, CA.   (His Bacon Number is 3.)


TAKEAWAY POINT:  Kids don’t care what you know until they know you care.  (Maslow Before Bloom)


About miles.mei

Technology Multimedia Specialist

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