October 2019


Schocktober vs. Astrober!

October. This month has been described as both Shocktober (in edu circles) and Astrober on Instagram. As a matter of fact, in a single scroll-a-thon we encounterd both of them. As seasoned educators, we are all way to familiar with Schocktober. UGH! However, Astrober has a whole different feel to it, and we love it! You see sometimes it is all about perspective, and we have total control over that.

So this month, we are CHOOSING the Astrober perspective! Nope, the context hasn't changed. October is still the midpoint of DEVOLSON, and we don't have much (if any) control over context. However, we have a tremendous amount of control over how we choose to respond. Let's not be tossed around and rung out by Schocktober. Let's choose to give ourselves the grace to take what we need in regards to self-care to stay well, stay focused, and stay the course this month. Let's choose to face and experience the challenges of October like the Astros approach playoff season! And, let's roll through Astrober like the next ALS champs!

This fall ISTE has partnered with #digcitcommit to host a challenge. Click the link below to learn about how to join in on the challenge and ways to win prizes by sharing the work you are doing with your students to "empower them to be inclusive, informed, engaged, balanced, and alert" digital citizens.


Also, October 14-18 is Digital Citizenship Week #DigCitWeek. Here are some resources.

Vanguard Application Window Open!

The application window for Cohort V is now open. It will be open until Friday, November 22. Spread the word!

Application link - https://forms.gle/rBKQNFHsDKp7bnHZ8


1 - Kimberly Keefe

6 - Juan Alvarez

21 - Vivian Salazar

26 - Karen Nickel

Mark Your Calendars!

BIG Announcement!

We are changing the way we VanLearn together! We are perpetually in the business of honoring your choice action of joining the Vanguard Fellowship and making sure that your membership does not become "one more thing" on an already overflowing plate! So, we are reducing the number of annual f2f VanLearning Days to 2 - 1 each semester. The other 2 VanLearning Days are going to be traded for a series of virtual community circles conducted via Zoom.

VanLearning Days:

Vanguard Virtual Community Circles:

Time and distance of the 2 biggest barriers to the work of the Vanguard Fellowship! To overcome these barriers we are now hosting 30 minute share and listen conversations conducted via video chat. There will be 2 sessions hosted on each of the days listed below to accommodate schedules. To protect the virtual room space, the links and session passwords will be sent via email. You can attend one or both... it is up to you. The benefit of attending both is that you may be able to connect with different people each time. We are very excited about his new offering! We hope you find it convenient and meaningful to your learning journey as a Vanguard Fellow.

  • October 24 - 4 pm or 7 pm
  • November 14 - 4 pm or 7 pm
  • December 12 - 7 pm only
  • February 20 - 4 pm or 7 pm
  • March 26 - 4 pm or 7 pm
  • April 16 - 4 pm or 7 pm

Vanguard Learning Day 1 - October 28

Some of your Vanguard Fellows are taking the lead on facilitating sessions on our first Vanlearning Day. This day will be structure and flexible. We will start together with some community work and then your choose. 3 fellows have taken the lead on facilitating mini sessions.

12:30-1:15 - Community and self leadership work

1:15-2:50 - Choice Learning & Work

            • Jennifer Roberts (JR) - Blended Learning in Primary (K-2)
            • Stephanie Chambers - Digital Escape Challenges, Computational Thinking, and Coding - Enrichment activities for students that have mastered learning targets.
            • Romie Garza - Mentoring tool in itslearning

2:55- 3:30 - Collaborative or independent work time

Another BIG Announcement!

The annual Spring Connectedness Challenge is NOW the Fall Connectedness Challenge! Why? ISTE! The big prizes will continue to be an investment in your learning journey and practice - a trip to ISTE 2020 (6). However, registration in the spring is a problem because hotels are booked so we are moving the challenge to the fall.

Also, another change is that cohort V applicants will be invited to participate in the challenge with cohorts II, III, and IV to get the community building started early! Only the top 6 winners of the connectedness challenge will be headed to ISTE this summer!

The Fall Connectedness Challege kicks off on October 28 and ends on December 5th!

Twitter Chats

We will continue the great interaction, connection, and conversation with our community Twitter chats. Join in on the Vanguard Twitter chat fun at #sbvanchat at the following dates and times!


October 28, 7-8 p.m.

    • Topic: Authentic Learning Experiences - Why, How, and What
    • Moderators - Melanie Marshall & Maria Luna

January 20, 7-8 p.m.

    • Topic: TBD
    • Moderator: Gail Dunn

April 20, 7-8 p.m.

    • Topic: TBD
    • Moderators: Jeanette Choy & Sarah Chu

EdCamp Spring Branch

Don't miss the 5th annual Edcamp Spring Branch! Join in on sharing and learning on at the Technology Training Center (TTC) January 18 from 8-11:30 am.

Register on Eventbrite.

Follow @EdcampSB on Twitter!

Future Vanguard Events

Holiday Meet-Up with Festive, Fun Games!

When & Where : Thursday, December 5 at 4:30 pm; Location TBD

"Don't Let the Door Hit Ya" Party!

When & Where: Thursday, May 21 at 4:30 pm; Location TBD