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Thursday, September 14, 2017

DKG Impacts the World



When traveling to the Northeast Regional Conference, the guard at the Canadian border asked the reason for our visit. I said a conference for key women educators.  He replied, “Wow and welcome to Canada”.  Later that week, several of us were having lunch and the waitress asked how our vacation was going and we replied that we were not on vacation but here for a convention.  We are key women educators impacting education worldwide.  She stood up straight and said “Wow, you must be very special ladies”.  It was at that moment that I simply decided I would no longer say I am a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.  When asked about my work in DKG, I am a member of an organization that impacts education all over the world.  I realize the effect of our work is not just in my chapter or state, it really is worldwide. Opportunities for professional development, scholarships and stipends, collegiality and networking; projects that support the work of teachers and students, and positive influence on situations far from our homes such as Schools for Africa, Malawi wells are plentiful. 
I am thrilled the organization is stressing “Simplify, Simplify”.  This forces us to take a long hard look at our practices and realize there must be changes in how we do business.  We have the opportunity to serve a new generation of women who could benefit from all that we have to offer.  Why wouldn’t every female educator want to be a member of an organization that impacts education worldwide?  I can think of none.  I look forward to learning more about the proposed changes that will focus on Society operations and update our practices to meet the needs of 21st century educators. 


See you in Austin next summer!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DKG Women: Thinking Together


I am pleased to see that DKG women are turning over ideas and thinking about different ways of sustaining the Society. That’s what we Founders did too when we were organizing the Society. We struggled with how best to describe and organize for the changes we wanted to make for women and particularly for women educators.

Occasionally, you will hear ideas with which you don’t initially agree. Some may be taken aback by others who want to try different paths of membership or who question DKG customs. We Founders respected each other even when we did not agree on the elements of the plan as we were building the Society; we respected each other because we believed that the goal to establish the Society was too important to let differences in thoughts about ways and means disrupt our success.  We had to learn and re-learn that the ideas expressed are not the person.


I, Annie Webb Blanton, want to emphasize that tolerance for the person who’s expressing ideas grants the important option of keeping the conversation open. Saying what one thinks or just thinking aloud often indicates a search for understanding, an attempt for clarity, or a frustration with what one experiences.  I urge you to be open-minded and to actually hear what the other person says and try to understand her intent. What another says deserves the respect of being heard and considered. Emotional reactions without a mutual search for understanding are detrimental to human hearts. Free exchange, open dialogue, and civil conversation are elements of a sustainable Society. The bond of mutual regard is the only path to candor and a satisfactory path to DKG’s future.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Have you heard about…TES Teach?


After the “first weeks of school,” DKG teachers will seek inspiration and fresh educational material to enhance their classes. The following suggestion can even be used by chapters, perhaps during leadership training.

TES Teach is a subset of a website called TES, which provides educational materials, jobs, news, and courses from and for the world’s best community of teachers and school leaders. TES Teach will help you create digital lessons in 5 minutes. These can be interactive lessons, projects, presentations, and more. It is free! An overview of TES Teach can be viewed in a YouTube “TES Teach 2017 Tutorial – Create Digital Lessons” by “Technology for Teachers and Students” (also a great source!).  The YouTube is worth 20 minutes of your time.

TES Teach allows you and/or your students to collect all digital material in one place. This includes personal documents, videos, and photos, material from YouTube, and any other lessons and materials found with an Internet search. This feature alone makes it unique.

Presentations can be as short or long as needed. Notice in the following example about bullying that text, a quiz, three PowerPoint Presentations, a video, a PDF, and a photo are all utilized. The presentations or lessons can be shared electronically or even printed.

You are encouraged to watch the YouTube video, which will answer most questions about TES Teach. This simple-to-use approach could be a powerful tool for any teacher.
Is this something you can use in your classroom or chapter?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Isn’t it time that you “Get Connected!”?


There is a wealth of information available throughout the Delta Kappa website. Committees, events, forms, and resources are at your fingertips. In addition, we hope that you are familiar with the bi-monthly newsletter published by the Communications and Publicity Committee, Get Connected!

Each one-page newsletter usually covers several topics. Topics include Public Relations, My DKG, Internal Marketing, Benefits of Membership, Informational Videos, Privacy Issues, DKG Communities, Social Media, Blogs, Educational Opportunities for Members, the DKG App, and even QR Codes.

Every effort is made to distribute “Get Connected!” to state editors and webmasters. We hope that “Get Connected!” is posted on state websites, mentioned in state newsletters, and shared with chapters.


Have you seen copies? If not, THIS LINK will take you to the entire list. However, to get you started quickly, here is an overview of the last two editions.

Read and share this valuable source of information. And let us know what topics you would like to see explored in upcoming issues!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Email Overload: Ideas to Help!


It sits there every day taunting you. Your email box already has hundreds, if not thousands of emails. How many will you add today? You have tried a number of ways to lessen this stress. Either they didn’t work or you gave up on them. You know that email still remains the lifeblood of communication in DKG. You have been afraid to delete an email, thinking that you might need the information it contained. How many times have you needed that information and couldn’t find it?
The suggestions below may help to make an impact. Perhaps some strategies will seem natural and you will use them faithfully. Everyone will do things differently. Try a few ideas and see what fits.
  • Perhaps the most radical suggestion is to set up at least three different email accounts: work account, personal account, and a “junk” or bulk account. Some members create a DKG account as their "work" account. In any case, privacy advocates suggest setting up one account that you use strictly for your bank or credit union. If you begin to get spam on this account, it has been compromised in some way.
  • Unsubscribe, Unsubscribe, Unsubscribe! Even if you have a “junk” account, it can easily get out of control. Scroll to the bottom and choose to unsubscribe.
  • Schedule a time to work with your email.  Allow time for responding, unsubscribing, organizing, deleting, and anything else that may be needed. Stick to that schedule and attend to every new email in your inbox.
  • Reply/Delete/Store Create a method to store important emails. Put important emails in folders that will organize by topic. Consider using a program such as Evernote (free), which will store important information and can be searched.  Immediately after reading and replying (if needed), make the decision to delete or store. Although some people find it hard to delete any emails, remember that storing emails takes up valuable space. Be ruthless.
  • Read each email ONCE and make a decision. Does it get stored or deleted? Do it! Complete each email before moving on.
  • Create a bridge email. Do not let people remain in suspense, unsure of what is going on. Senders may be unsure if you even received their emails. They may also get offended when you don’t even send a reply. Instead, send a bridge email that assures senders that you have received the email. A bridge email is a “canned” response, but a simple “Thank you” usually does the trick.
  • Avoid flagging emails.  Flagging emails is similar to hanging a “To Do” list on the bulletin board. You may have good intentions, but you don’t necessarily always follow through. Instead of flagging emails, consider creating a space on the calendar for the follow up. A digital calendar will send you a reminder that the email still needs a reply so you may actually get to it! However, the most efficient method is to provide an immediate response. Procrastination usually leads to unanswered emails and upset people.
  • Try to get to inbox zero.  That does not mean there are no emails in your inbox. It means that you handled every email ONCE and did something with it.
  • Reacquaint yourself with your email program. Most have time-saving aspects such as filtering or identifying important topics/people.
The first two suggestions above should be adopted by everyone. But if you try the first five, you will be well on your way to less stress and more organization.
Do you have a way to reduce inbox frustration? Please share!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

SW Regional Enjoyed Hawaiian Aloha Spirit



Aloha! Palm trees, ocean breezes, being in Hawaii: A perfect setting for the women of the Southwest Region to gather for their 2017 conference. While at times it was hard not to want to walk on the beach instead of attending a session, more than 500 members attended every general session and lots of wonderful and informative workshops. From the pre-conference trainings, to the opening night hula dancers, to the amazing speakers, DKG members were treated to the true Aloha spirit by the members from Hawaii.
Throughout the conference the words “simplify” and “change” were spoken.  We even did a Survey Monkey on our phones during the “Celebrating Our Milestones” birthday luncheon. Talk about change! Carolyn Pittman, our International President, encouraged chapters to focus on the members, relationships, relevant programs, and meaningful projects. Changes to our Constitution were discussed. It was stressed by many that it is our responsibility as members to be informed about the proposed revisions to our Constitution so that we will be ready to vote next summer in Austin.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Courage to Consider…..




I do not believe that I had courage greater than women educators of 2017. When I saw a need for change, I sought and received the support of other women educators who encouraged me. YOU are faced with the NEED to examine the Society I was fortunate to establish in 1929. It is befitting, for example, that YOU consider whether those original seven Purposes serve the modern educator—and are those Purposes listed in the order they should remain? Of course, a “genuine spiritual fellowship” is important, and it’s easy to achieve and to cite. However, in the modern age of rapid communication and instant news, should greater consideration be given to informing “members of current economic, social, political and educational issues so that they may participate effectively in a world society”? The modern woman has a greater opportunity to actively engage in issues that impact her professionally and personally than the woman of 1929. The need to be involved is not greater, but the opportunity to be more effective is much improved. The Purposes as they are now listed range from easy to achieve to more challenging. I am inviting you to determine what MOST addresses the needs of the modern woman educator.  

I am not saying that you should discard the Purposes, but I do want you to be courageous and to examine them and their impact on modern DKG members—and prioritize what is important for LEADING WOMEN EDUCATORS IMPACTING EDUCATION WORLDWIDE. Have courage strong enough to consider that “what’s always been this way” may not be the way to a strong future. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

New Resources Foster Chapter Health

   

The Chapter Check Up is designed for chapters to self-diagnose strengths and weaknesses. There are several advantages of regular health checkups, and the same is true for chapter checkups. The greatest benefit of an annual review is knowledge. By utilizing this optional tool, a chapter can establish a baseline that officers and members can use to detect unhealthy trends before they become risk factors or a threat to your chapter’s survival. By using this screening, you are taking steps to help your chapter be stronger and healthier.

Growing a stronger chapter can seem challenging and, sometimes, overwhelming. While there are no “cookie cutter” rules for creating a vibrant, enthusiastic and growing chapter, there are practices that are repeated again and again by successful chapters. Strategies for a Positive Chapter Environment offers a few tips collected from surveys, reports and informal research. 


Sunday, August 13, 2017

What is a Browser?

Our members most typically communicate with DKG via the Internet. Browsing the Internet is a common, daily occurrence for most people. Have you ever considered why they call it browsing? It is because you use an internet browser, also know as a Web browser.

A browser is simply a software program that you use to access the internet and view web pages on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. It is the gateway to the Internet.

The original browser, Mosaic (1992) was not graphical. It was text-based. Browsers have come a long way since then. You now have powerful browsers that let you safely and quickly access your favorite websites.

Most browsers are available for free download. The four most popular Internet browsers today include  Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari.

Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Because some websites display better in one Internet browser or another, many people have at least two browsers available on their computer, smartphone, or tablet. These strengths and weaknesses are discussed in more detail below.
Choosing a Browser to Suit Your Needs


When you surf the Web, you use one of the many browsers available. A browser is the way you navigate the World Wide Web. In most instances, you begin with the browser that came with your computer. Older Windows computers gave you Internet Explorer, while updates gave you Edge. If you use an Apple product, you started with Safari. In this blog we will take a look at Edge, Safari, and others. Because Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer, it will not be discussed.

Microsoft Edge resembles Internet Explorer 11, so Windows users will feel comfortable with it. It fully integrates with Windows 10. For users who want and use extensions--which extend your Web browser with additional features, modify Web pages, and integrate your browser with the other services you use--Edge doesn’t allow for much customization. Syncing with your Android or iOS device isn’t straightforward.  Microsoft has sandboxed Edge away from the operating system to limit security breaches that occurred with Internet Explorer. (Sandboxing is a computer security term referring to when a program is set aside from other programs in a separate environment so that if errors or security issues occur, those issues will not spread to other areas on the computer.)

Apple Safari is a Web browser available for the Macintosh operating system as well as the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. According to Apple, Safari has been designed based on the premise that the most useful browser is one that "gets out of your way and lets you simply enjoy the Web.” If you own several Apple products, synchronization of passwords, bookmarks, history, tabs and Reading List happen seamlessly through iCloud. Like Edge, Safari is sandboxed. In general, Safari runs a bit faster than other browsers on an Apple device.

Google Chrome has a robust set of features, with full Google Account integration, and a suite of mobile apps for every major platform. It does have privacy and security controls. By some accounts, Chrome is the gold standard for web browsers. Chrome’s integration of its products is second to none.

Mozilla Firefox has been on a roller coaster of popularity over the years. Firefox is available for Linux, Mac, Windows, handheld devices, and in more than 70 different languages. Firefox is developed by the nonprofit, public-benefit organization Mozilla and thousands of volunteers worldwide. Since 1998, Mozilla has been working to help create and sustain an open and accessible Internet for all, and its focus is on individuals, not profits. Recent updates have once again pushed Firefox into the limelight of a preferred browser. It provides secure connections and browsing protections.

Choosing: Start with the one that came with your computer or smart phone/tablet. If it does everything you want and need, go no further. If however, you are like most users, you will eventually have a reason to switch. Download the one or two that interest you. They are free.

For example, this particular blogger personally has Safari, Chrome, and Firefox on her computer. She uses each one for different tasks. If she is working in the Google world, she uses Chrome. Safari doesn’t like sites that use Flash (helps with animations), so she uses Firefox or Chrome. The blogger accesses this blog via Firefox but accesses the draft of the next post via Chrome (draft is in Google docs). For general browsing, she uses Safari.

Keep several browsers on your devices. Give other browsers a test run. You may find one that better fits your needs.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Working Together for Progress: President, Treasurer, Membership Chair




Chapters are the backbone and strength of the DKG Society International. Chapters are where members engage in altruistic activities and fellowship, and chapters are the places in which and through which membership grows and strengthens. Chapters engage in activities that are meaningful to their communities. During each biennium, state organization leaders train chapter leaders to carry out the work of DKG at the chapter level. Such leadership development is an integral part of the society.

At regional conferences this summer, international leaders shared ideas with state organization counterparts, such as the detailed and practical recruitment plan that can be found on the DKG website. More significantly, state organization presidents, treasurers, and membership chairs worked together to discuss strategies and develop plans to encourage chapter presidents, treasurers, and membership chairs to work as a team when recruiting new members, retaining current members, and collecting dues in a timely and manageable manner.

Feedback from attendees was positive. Leaders said they had ideas to take back to try in their state organizations, including surveying members for program topics at the time of membership renewal; working together as a team; and trying various ways of collecting dues.


The overriding goal is to increase membership and the sense of value in membership…. and it takes a team at each level of the Society to accomplish this goal for the benefit of all.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

A graphic conveys a thousand words...so create one!





Many times a DKG member who is working on a project of some sort needs something to make it stand out. She checks clip art and photos online, but nothing seems just right. There is an easy way to make an original graphic that will make your project pop! We mentioned Canva in a previous posting. Perhaps some of you tried it out. If not, now is the time. You will not regret it.

Canva is a free graphic-design tool website, founded in 2012. It has an easy to use drag-and-drop interface and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals. The tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics. (Canva - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canva)

Both free and paid versions are available. For most DKG members, the free version is more than sufficient. Any graphic that is created is saved and can be reworked.

Canva has many strong points, but one does stand out. Every time you need a graphic, you probably need a special size. For example presentations (PowerPoint) need a 1920 px by 1080 px, while a Facebook cover is 828 px by 315 px. These are only two examples of the many templates available.

You can upload your own photos or special icons or use one of the many free ones.




Below are examples that were made using Canva. We hope you are inspired to get creative. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I’m confused! Google Docs? Google Drive?

Google offers many online apps for everyone. If you have a need, Google has you covered! At every level of DKG, groups or committees can work together on a project using Google apps that make the work easier. However, if you are like many people, you can’t sort out the difference between Google Drive and Google Docs. Aren’t they the same? I can access my documents in both. So what does each do?

Simply put, Docs is like a word processor, and Drive is the place where all of your documents, of any sort, are stored.

Google Docs is a web-based editing tool (read word processor) that allows users to create, share, and edit documents.

Google Docs:
    Allows uploads of Word and other text-based documents;
    Allows multiple users to work in real time adjusting margins, adding photos, editing content, and putting finishing touches on documents;
    Allows multiple version of documents to be stored;
    Allows owner to determine what privileges are given each user;
    Allows the completed project to be saved and transferred to a desktop in Word, OpenOffice, RFT, PDF, or HTML format--as well as having the option to be placed in a zipped file.

Google Drive is a cloud storage solution for storing all of your files. Drive is set up to allow multiple users to have access to files and folders.

Google Drive:
    Stores documents, presentations, music, pictures, videos and any other files that you want to save;
    Allows you to search for anything, including text in picture files;
    Is accessible from any device;
    Is free for up to 15GB.

There are mobile apps for both Google Docs and Google Drive. In addition, if you are logged in to your Google account, you can access both via the Google Search page (google.com) > Google “waffle” [In the upper right corner] > select app. (See image below)




Share how you use any of the Google Apps. Your DKG sisters may be able to use your ideas!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pinterest for Teachers




In early December, this blog gave a general overview of Pinterest. A quick review: Pinterest is a social media platform that’s used to share ideas, designs, and inspiration of all types. Pinterest is a virtual smorgasbord of images. Think of it as a visual catalog where you can bookmark your interests. Instead of bookmarking great sites to your Internet browser and immediately forgetting about them, you can Pinterest to save, store, and then call up those pins quickly and visually.

Should you, as a teacher, be on Pinterest? YES! If you are not already a Pinterest user, this Guide will help you get started. After your account is set up, this link will give you an excellent overview on how things work.

What can you do?  You can curate pins for :
  • Your students - Appropriate content may include research, study ideas, and project help.
  • Yourself - Appropriate content may include ideas that can help you build a better classroom
  • Other teachers - Appropriate content may include lesson plans and educational resources
  • Parents - Appropriate content may include student portfolios and classroom policies.


How should you organize your boards? Boards can be organized in whatever way makes sense to you. They could be arranged alphabetically, topically, or seasonally.

If you don’t already have an account, set one up. Play around with it. Share specific ideas for use! You can also check out the DKG Pinterest account:

https://www.pinterest.com/DKGSI/boards/  Great boards there will get you thinking!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reflections on a Regional Conference



“It’s a small world” seems like a cliché, but it is becoming more and more evident
that our planet is shrinking, at least in thought. DKG has shrunk borders between
states, nations and continents for me but, at the same time, has broadened my
worldwide experiences. I recently returned from the NW Regional Conference in
Spearfish, South Dakota. For anyone unfamiliar with regional conferences, they are
similar to a high school or college reunion. Hugs and squeals of excitement are
commonplace during the conference. For some, it has been only a year since they
last saw their DKG comrade, but for others it has been a decade. Walks down
memory lane fill many conversations. If someone attended a regional conference
solely for this reason, it would be money well spent, but there is so much more to
offer.

Our general session speakers reminded us of our importance to education and
the difference we, and those before us, have already made. They made us think of
courage, determination, connectedness, empathy, and involvement. DKG women
embrace all of these characteristics! Training, break-outs, and 10-minute
takeaway sessions offered us the opportunity to look forward and to plan for 2029 and
beyond. As I reflected on my involvement in DKG, my heart was full, knowing that
across the globe, 75,000 of my sisters are leading education worldwide. I was also
reminded that physical borders may separate us, but the bond that is created among
DKG women surpasses rivers, plains, and mountains. I left the conference with a
renewed pride in DKG and look forward to our International Convention in Austin

next summer.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Beginning and Supporting

Image result for together
Educators are beginning new school years. I love that time of beginnings—a blank slate of a school year, new students, new learning for all, new possibilities. Some educators are beginning their careers or considering career changes or retirement. Our possibilities for making a difference in the lives of others never ends even though those possibilities look different at different stages of our lives and careers.  Women educators give and give to their students and schools. Don’t forget to give support to each other—and just as important, accept support offered to you. When someone accepts an offer of assistance or hears someone else’s recommendations, the giver and the recipient are valued. Please know that you are valued and that YOU give value. Know that your actions and reactions change your students, your colleagues, and your DKG chapter.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Focus on the Future: Forward Moving Ever


Image result for forward

Let’s focus on where DKG is going instead of where we have been. 

This Society is continually evolving. Often the way we evolve is very slow. For example, taking 4 years to make constitutional changes in a world filled with communication devices and at-our-fingertips exchanges is a throwback to how we were forced to communicate in other historical eras. Before typewriters and party lines existed, communication could only be slow because of the delay between exchanges. (The dateline at the beginning of a newspaper article originated before telegraphy of news. The dateline indicated the city of origin of a news item, and a reader could determine the currency of the information by counting the number of days it took a pony express rider to travel from that city to the reader.) Then typewriters and private telephone lines speeded up the process. Now, with email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram—and whatever else has come into being since I wrote the first sentence of this paragraph—we exchange formal and casual information in nanoseconds. We can make decisions–and should be—with fresh information at lightning speed. Just because “we’ve always” taken a long time to make decisions, affect needed changes, move forward, it doesn’t mean we have to continue to be delayed. We should be using our resources resourcefully to be “forward moving ever.”


Friday, June 30, 2017

International Scholarship Applications Now Available!



Going back for a higher degree???

The Heat is On! Rise to the top by applying for a DKG international scholarship -- $6,000 toward earning an advanced degree and $10,000 toward a doctoral degree.

The international scholarship application is now online for awards to be presented for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Just go to www.dkg.org, click on Forms, go to the Application link, and find the application link at the bottom of the page.

Start the process today. The deadline is February 1, 2018 to submit the application and all supporting documentation. Be sure to follow the directions carefully and complete all sections of the application.

Our committee looks forward to reading your outstanding application next February!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Forty-five Publicity Ideas to Create Buzz: Part 2



This is the second part of the C&P committee's list of ideas for creating a buzz about DKG!

Publicity Ideas.png

  • Create a first-day-of-school display to let women educators in your district know DKG can be a wonderful addition to their lives. The visual display should show that your chapter is a great place to be.
  • Give speeches to organizations in your community. Tell them about your chapter and its work.
  • Present a program at a community college or a school parents’ night.
  • Give and attend open houses; network there.
  • Send engraved announcements whenever you do something big.
  • Make liberal use of news releases and public service announcements.
  • Create a media event--for example, a conference--and invite the press.
  • Get a booth at a local show or fair.
  • When someone asks for your help, say “yes.”
  • Work with local school boards and secure a place on the agenda during their annual awards and scholarship meeting to present a DKG chapter or district scholarship to a deserving graduating senior.
  • Identify schools in a district that have no members on the faculty who are Society members.
  • Create snack baskets and place them in faculty lounges with DKG brochures.
  • Notify principals and/or superintendents in writing when one of their teachers has been initiated into the Society.  Membership Announcement Cards can be ordered through the DKG Store.
  • Volunteer to be a guest speaker and give a program about the Society at local community meetings such as Women’s Clubs, Service Clubs, or Chamber of Commerce meetings.
  • Create trifold posters with DKG brochures and place them in public places such as public libraries.
  • Leave Society brochures at your doctor’s and dentist’s offices.
  • Establish chapter, district, or state organization media awards to be presented at chapter, district, or state organization meetings.
  • Use DKG templates for press releases and submit to community newsletters. The templates can be found under Forms > Press Releases.
  • Use the DKG template for chapter brochures and leave them with international brochures in public places or doctors' or dentists' offices.
  • Present a program of interest on an educational topic as representatives of the Society for special interest groups such as parents of children with disabilities or early childhood educators.
  • Present a program of interest on an educational topic for teacher groups and offer continuing education credits.
  • Place one of the official DKG trademarked logos on print materials such as advertisements for public activities the chapter/state organization is sponsoring.  Only logos currently on the Society website should be used because we are trying to create a recognized brand for DKG.
  • Finally, believe in your chapter . . . then others will, too.

Did you try one last week? If not, try two this week.

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