emblazen 2015-04-15 01:06:59

During a routine cleaning of my computer bookmarks, I came across a number of videos and links that I’ve used to inspire or encourage students. They vary in subject matter…from social studies to science to just needing a laugh! Our standardized assessment period has begun and after today, I realized that I, too could use a little inspiring. So, here’s a curation of my favorite digital encouragement inspired by my students past and present!

Let’s begin with my all time favorite, Lower Merion School District’s version of Pharell’s “Happy.” At the beginning of this school year, teachers and students collaborated and choreographed to interpret their own wacky brand of “happy.” Although many school districts have done the same thing, it just brings a smile to my face to see people letting go of their inhibitions and just having fun! Hope it brings a smile to your face as well!

Lower Merion is Happy!


I love seeing students light up when they realize just how clever they truly are. Whether it’s solving a challenging math problem or writing an impressive essay, the look says it all. It’s important for them to realize that deep inside of each of them are brilliant ideas just waiting to get out. The first time I showed this video years ago, my students made me replay it four times because they were so inspired…or maybe it was the fact that Justin Timberlake was in it? :-)

My Robot is Better Than Your Robot


Ok, who can resist Kid President? He’s intelligent, funny, and has such an infectious smile! This is the perfect video to show before PSSA testing!

Kid President – A Pep Talk from Kid President to You


Talk about character education…I adore this commercial. My students were able to pick out themes like friendship, honesty, togetherness, support and collaboration. What a perfect way to remind us to honor differences, but let’s celebrate similarities as well!

Friends Furever


This one was used as a movement break. When my kiddos were just spent after testing most of the day, I would say, “Push the desks back, it’s time for a movement break!” The funny thing is they never knew which video I was going to show, but the floor was packed with poorly coordinated kids…and one teacher laughing hysterically right in the middle of them all! Love it!

Sesame Street: Share it Maybe


Lately there’s been a lot of fuss about the word resiliency. All of sudden, “grit” matters. Catch up folks, it’s been around longer than we think.

Michael Jordan – Learn to fail


This one is amazing. I recently viewed this in a STEM class. Although I didn’t necessarily use it to inspire in the traditional sense, I utilized it to bring awareness to the world’s population and its dwindling resources. We easily brought in math, geography, and historic themes, but I believe the point was hit home. We have to take care of this planet. And they are not too young to help.

World Population (Population Education)


I have tons more to share and will shortly. For now, I hope you can use these. May they inspire and “edutain!”

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.

https://prezi.com/embed/4nomzvgsjwbl/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0#” target=”_blank”>My First Prezi!