About Stephanie Cerda

Ms. Cerda has experience teaching multiple content areas from kindergarten to early college. She believes in hands-on, inquiry based learning while using tech to amplify instructional practices and is excited to support teachers with this at Manor ISD. Her current projects include serving on the SXSWedu 2014 advisory board, consulting with schools as a Google Certified Teacher, and organizing EdCampAustin. Oh yeah, and she's a Educational Administration grad student at UT Austin.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Twitter, or getting connected rather, has been a major initiative this year for Manor ISD. The notion of sharing our stories, successes, and struggles for the betterment of all has really taken hold. Twitter really has become more than just a social hub at Manor and our first district Twitter chat of 2014 proved that more so!

This time around, the iTeachManor team decided to try crowdsourcing our summer PD plans during the chat in order to get a bit more voice from who else, but the teachers we are here to support!  All this in an effort to rethink current practices and provide a more learner-centered, knowledge-centered, and community-centered environment at Manor ISD. Our district Twitter chat is just one way we’ll start the conversations! Here’s how it went:

The iTeachManor team started off by asking teachers what tools and strategies were already working out for them. It was good to hear that teachers are really enjoying app-speed dating and other student-led PD efforts. We then moved readily along to what tools and strategies they’d like to continue to learn about this summer.

 Twitter Chat1

Quite honestly, it’s just so great to have the feedback and get a feel for the kinds of learning teachers would like to engage in. We talk tons about giving our students relevant learning experiences, and we must do the same for adult learners as well. So here are just a few of the suggestions we got, along with our responses:

 Twitter Chat 2

1) We love the idea of breaking up sessions into smaller chunks! Rather than overloading folks with hours worth of tools, we will focus on just one or two during shorter sessions so teachers/admin can come specifically get what they need.

Twitter Chat 3

2) Our teachers want the chance to just PLAY! Good to know we are on the same page! In fact, we are already planning #PlaydateATX14 for just this reason. Playdate Austin will give teachers the time to tinker and explore, just like they want. Oh yeah, and it’s student-led!

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In the end, we know we have an incredible opportunity to take advantage of time being on our side this summer. We’ve also been there and done that when it comes to top down professional development. The iTeachManor Team knows that one size does not fit all and we want to make sure we meet all of our teacher’s needs. So why not use our Twitter chats to have the opportunity to collaborate and discover new ways to innovate our professional practice together?

By changing the game with student-led PD and by providing relevant learning experiences to incorporate technology (and growth mindsets!), we expect the spark that ignited this Twitter chat will become a full blown bonfire for our summer professional development series.

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Our team is always looking for ways to be more responsive to our teachers needs and interests. We’re glad to know that our monthlyTwitter chats can serve as a good way to touch base with one another. Ask and ye shall receive, Manor. Like @JacobTech said, we are listening to your ideas. Stay tuned.

Whatever It Takes!

iPods,iPads, & laptops, oh my!

iPods,iPads, & laptops, oh my!

This week I was particularly blown away by the 5th grade teachers and students at Oak Meadows Elementary who are doing whatever it takes to get connected.

What Oak Meadows might lack in terms of technology, they make up with an overwhelming amount of teacher heart and creativity.  Bert Bassett, in particular, has gone to great lengths to scavenge enough devices to supplement a makeshift BYOD (bring your own device) environment that began earlier this school year. Yesterday, we brainstormed even more ways that students could use what they have to further their classroom collaboration and they will be going Google next week.

It’s this kind of can-do attitude that really exemplifies the growth mindset we value here at Manor ISD. Look for further updates as OME 5th graders first connect with one another and then take their collaboration beyond their classroom walls!

Hope for Alejandro

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Ah, the power of social media… especially when used for good :)

Last week, the world fell in love with #SFBatKid and the collective efforts of a city that went to great lengths to make a young leukemia fighter’s wish come true.  Many of us watched the live stream or followed his adventures via Twitter and our faith in humanity was restored although I prefer the term strengthened.  I say this because I know that similar demonstrations of good will occur daily, it’s just we might not hear about them as readily.

I’m proud to say that here at Manor ISD we have a similar student-led effort at Pioneer Crossing Elementary that is attempting to raise money to help a friend who is also battling leukemia in kindergarten.  PCE’s Student Council is selling “Hope for Alejandro” bracelets and have been hard at work creating signs and spreading the message on mediums such as Twitter.  Two weeks ago, I was asked to help put together a video with the students and it has been an absolute moving experience to watch these students put so much time and energy in helping a fellow student. They all helped to capture footage from iPhones, iPads, and emails, and learned how tedious the editing process might be and still kept at it. We started off with iMovie and then moved over to Animoto because it seemed to better fit their needs, even if it meant starting over, demonstrating a daunting amount of grit and tenacity.

 Thankfully enough their efforts have paid off!  What was once a school-based campaign transformed overnight as Manor HS students joined in after discovering this endeavor via Twitter. Manor High School sold 100 bracelets in one day and 200 more are now on the way. To date, nearly $1000 has been raised and last night, Pioneer Crossing’s student council took their campaign to the Manor ISD school board. We hope to see other schools and local partners within Manor join the cause and support these young leaders as they work to make a difference for a young student in our very own community.

Click on the link below to watch their final product:

“Hope For Alejandro”

To get your school to join the cause or obtain “Hope for Alejandro” bracelets please contact Ms. Britt or Mrs. Janosky PCE Student Council Coordinators.

#ManorISD Tweets!

What’s trending? Manor ISD is!

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Amazing learning opportunities and experiences are occurring within our classrooms and we finally all get to see and share! It has been exciting to witness so many teachers and classrooms connect within our district and beyond! In order to better capture each week, we will be compiling a weekly Storify to illustrate the week’s happenings. We hope you’ll check it out. Two weeks ago there were only 67 #ManorISD tweets to choose from for our Storify compilation and this past week we had 160+ tweets that were tagged #ManorISD! WOW! Thanks for sharing, everyone! Let’s continue to tell our story for all stakeholders utilizing the district hashtag and by joining us Tuesday, November 19th at 8PM for our next chat. For this month’s Twitter chat we will be talking all things Google! See y’all then!


Meet Steph!


Hey all, it has been an absolute pleasure working with y’all these past few months. Thanks for the warm welcome and for the support I’ve received from everyone at Manor ISD. Now that I have my feet (sort of) planted, I figured it was about time I did a bit more sharing. After all, if we want our students to reflect and share then I better get on it, right?  So expect to see me snapping shots and posting write-ups on all the innovative learning that is occurring in your classrooms! And eventually (fingers crossed) getting students to do their own sharing! I can’t wait. Still before I jump right in, here’s a bit about me and what I’m all about:

I’ve had experience teaching multiple content areas from kindergarten to early college mostly in bilingual classroom or as a Spanish teacher.  I believe in hands-on, inquiry based learning while using tech to amplify instructional practices..but I feel I should also say, it’s not always about the tech! For me, innovative teaching and learning means rethinking current practices overall and learning spaces as well!  On the side (because I love what I do),  I  serve on the SXSWedu advisory board, consult with schools as a Google Certified Teacher, and help to organize both EdTech & EdCamp Austin. I work on each of these with the greater of goal of pushing the Austin community from pockets of innovation to an entire community of innovators that connect with one another.

Well, there you have it! I look forward to learning from and getting to know each of you as the year rolls along.