My First Prezi…

…it’s interesting how we choose our paths in life. We arrive at various junctures sometimes willingly and others completely blindsided. This assignment asked me to examine my journey into Connected Learning; to ponder where it will take me and what I will do with the knowledge. It couldn’t have been more timely.

As my father is fighting the biggest battle of his life, I can’t help but notice that he has become the poster child for one of Erikson’s psychoanalytic stages: Integrity vs. Despair. Lately, he has settled into a stage of acceptance of what will be. Dad seems to be content in knowing that he has lived a “full life” and chooses not to wallow in pity or regret over what could have been. So, here I am middle-aged and walking down the proverbial middle of the road. What lies behind is simply that. But what concerns me more now, is what lies ahead. Erikson would call this stage Generativity vs Stagnation.

Have I done what I set out to do to support future generations? As an educator, I would hope so. I still feel as though I could and should be doing more. This is where STEM and Connected Learning efforts enter. Education needs a serious overhaul; that isn’t news. It needs the right people who are able to keep their fingers on the pulse of the world. It needs people who understand that the world’s problems are no longer isolated to individual countries; the borders have are blended and humanity is starved for collaboration. It needs the right blend of solid research, bold philosophy, and innovative pedagogy!

I hope the path I’ve chosen can help me to be the catalyst I’ve always wanted to be. In that way, I can choose integrity over despair as well.” target=”_blank”>My First Prezi!

…my technology journey

I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed experiencing the various technologies that have been shared during this course. I have learned to research digital tools that I otherwise wouldn’t have. Here are a few that have piqued my interest:

1.  – this is a webspace that allows you to blend your digital content (like you tube videos, power points, etc) with your classroom. You can organize your materials in one place an on one “canvas” which can make flipping, PBL’s, and differentiation easier.

2. – if you need a place to create engaging presentations for your students, you’ll want to check this one out. Powered by note worthy partners such as Time For Kids and ReadWorks, it takes your lessons to a new interactive level. I can’t wait to use this one!

3. – I’m always looking for a new way to assess my students in an engaging yet informative way. Create your own or look for a pre-made quiz. It allows you to not only see the results, but you can also download them to an excel file for individual printing.

…still enjoying the journey.


My First Book Hack…

Greetings all… So, I’ve been out of commission for a little while dealing with what is quite possibly one of the most difficult challenges of my life. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I’ve suddenly become a parent to my parents. My father’s health has placed him in critical condition twice in as many weeks…and he is there now. So, I’m slowly re-“connecting…”

I have to admit, I had the most difficult time creating this hack. And as I struggled, it came to mind that this is what our students feel at times. It’s the perfect assignment: instantly differentiated, open to various interpretations, promotes divergent thinking (no one “right” answer), encourages creativity and collaboration…it’s exactly the kind of assignment we like to give and that students love to receive. And yet, I immediately began looking for my instructor’s example. I needed to know what exactly she wanted, so I could emulate it. This is from the teacher who literally gets sick when she walks down the hallway and sees “cookie-cutter” assignments hanging in the hallway, mind you. I then began looking for the rubric. And was once again reminded that this is what some of my students have done. As soon as an assignment is given, they want to know how many points the assignment is worth, if it will be counted as a quiz, if it will count towards the present marking period, and if there will be a “do-over,” if the assignment isn’t proficient enough. Don’t get me wrong, wanting to understand the project is one thing, but becoming totally immersed in the details misses the point. Instead of enjoying the learning journey, I became consumed with process issues…with the finished product, just as my some students would.

I realize that part of learning is connecting and relating experiences…and I just had one heck of an “aha” moment! :-) Here’s my first hack…let’s call it a work in progress, shall we?


Remixed Fable

#f5f – Encouraging The Media Culture Movement

This week, I reflected on this idea of a “participatory culture” and how I could promote the movement in my school and district. Honestly, I was stumped for a moment…and then I realized that educators are natural promoters of creativity, collaboration and sharing. It’s what we do almost intuitively! In light of that, my reflection actually turned to thinking about what has already been done to promote technological literacy.

My district as well as many across the globe, were recently involved in an event called, “The Hour of Code.” Here, students discovered how easily they could write codes (or directions) for characters to follow in an effort to accomplish a task. All students from grades K-12, teachers, specialists, and even parents took part in this massive two-day event! A summary can be found here!

What amazes me most about this the “spark.” The glimmer in the students’ eyes…the exclamations of excitement when they were technologically successful. The willingness for them to share and collaborate. Regardless of affluence, ethnicity, or any other factor. The fact of the matter is that we, as educators, are cultivating our own participatory culture; and it’s frightening and exhilarating at the same time.

#f5f – Friday Appreciation

1. I’m definitely appreciating the fact that I have been introduced to different level of technology within this course. I’m recognizing a deeper more meaningful calling.

2. I’m also feeling quite grateful to have the opportunity to network with many new students who are embarking on this journey along with me. Cool people with cool ideas…

3. I’m learning to appreciate muddling through my blogging journey. Dang, this is hard. :-)

4. Oh, and I think that it’s sooooo helpful for Christina to help connect me with links, blogs and readings to help me find where I exactly fit into this whole Connected Learning thing!

5. Lastly, I’m grateful that my colleagues politely deal with me as I share what I learn. I’m doing my job to emblazen. Hope you are, too… :-)


Maiden Voyage…

I guess I can best be described as an enigma. Unconventional. Weird. Complicated.

I’ve never fit into any one group…always blending…ever morphing…redefining myself. As a child, instead of actively playing outside, I could be found curled up with “Rebecca of SunnyBrook Farm” in the corner of a plastic-covered sofa that stuck to my legs during the unforgiving July and August months. Or secretly reading “Miss Suzy” under a crudely made blanket-tent and my brother’s old Boy Scout flashlight after everyone had gone to bed.

Most times, my parents would “shoo” me out the door to get fresh air. “I’m worried about her,” they’d say in hushed tones. “She’s just so different,” they’d whisper. And so, in a desperate attempt to make me fit in and be “normal,” instead of letting me analyze my brother’s circuit board from Radio Shack, they forced me to take part in activities that I really had no interest in. Instead of chastising me for taking apart my Operation Game, I really would have loved it if they would have just asked why I felt the need to do it.

Please don’t misunderstand, my parents are wonderful people. As warm and caring as the day is long (as my grandfather used to say). I just believe that my actions were misunderstood. If only they would have known that my curiosity should have been nurtured… well…never mind that. Hindsight is 20/20.

The good thing about this entry is that I now have a curious kid…a Biology major. In fact, he texted me not too long ago proudly showing me a pic of his freshly extracted DNA (which he extracted himself). He jokingly asked in the text if I’d mind very much if he could clone himself. My response? “…not at all, son. Go for it.”

Welcome to my first blog entry. Instead of stifling creativity, innovation, curiosity, and an unquenchable lust for learning, I hope you encourage it. And let it “emblazen.”