Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Are you encouraging self-directed learning?

I am a little different than some other teachers.  Not that this bad; I just have a different perspective than some, I think.  My differences seem at the same time practical and exciting to me: I get to be myself, and I am free to take risks with my thinking.

I am very interested in changing education.  I want my students to be independent, self-directed, confident learners.  And isn't this what everyone wants?  I mean, do you know any teachers that claim they want their students to be dependent, self-conscious followers who wait for the teacher's instruction and guiding hand on everything they do?  Probably not.

Monday, February 20, 2017

My ADE application video

Last week, I finished my Apple Distinguished Educator application and video.  Please take a look and leave me some feedback in the comments section, if you'd like!

As I reflect upon the application experience, I feel grateful for this opportunity to reflect upon my teaching and learning practice.  I already know a few things I would change about this video if I could do it again. 

What about you?  What do you suggest?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Applying to be an Apple Distinguished Educator

Well, I'm taking the plunge: I am applying to be an Apple Distinguished Educator, Class of 2017.  I am excited and nervous; wavering between tears, denial, confidence, and nausea for the last two weeks.  Applications are due Wednesday, and I've been busy putting my video and application together all week-end.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Reflections on #EDU776nz

Over the last four months, I've been a student in a graduate course called Integrating Technology Into Programming, Services, and Instruction.  Our instructor, Nicole Zumpano, asked us to reflect on our learning journey through the course. 

I love to use technology, both personally and in the classroom.  I've always been an 'early adopter' and risk-taker when it comes to instructional planning and technology use, often developing units and facilitating project-based learning for my students.  I've always felt comfortable with tech as a learning tool, so that part hasn't changed.   

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tech Tac Toe: Word Clouds

Word clouds are another great tool for visual learners.  A word cloud takes a selection of text and organizes it into a design.  The really cool thing about word clouds is that the size of each word is based upon the frequency it appears in the text.  One can customize the shape, font, and color of a cloud (based upon the application used).  There are many word cloud generators to chose from, but I like Tagul and Wordle best.  Making a word cloud is a simple as copying and pasting a selection of text into the chosen generator.

Here is a word cloud I created using Tagul, and I customized it based upon the subject. Can you guess what this word cloud is about?  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tech Tac Toe: Screencasting

A screencast is a video recording of one's desktop, usually with narration.  Over the summer, one of my teammates needed to know how to create a spreadsheet to view responses on a Google Form. Since we were both at home, I made a screencast to show her how to do it.  I saved the screencast to my Drive, then shared it with her.  So simple!  

There are many applications one can use to record a screencast, but I prefer the Chrome extension Screencastify.  Screencastify is a screen video recorder that allows one to record one's desktop an narrate what is occurring.  I could give you the step-by-step directions of adding the extension and recording a screencast, but it is easier to show you.