Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Doc's Alter Ego

Papa J is courtesy of Louis and Clark Productions.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reflections on My First Week of Teaching EDUC 210 Technology for Teachers

I am requiring my EDUC 210 students to write a reflection from each weeks readings and class discussion. Obviously I need to model this as well. Here is the top three things I learned from the first class:

1. I talked way too much. I need to allow time for conversations to develop, and not to dominate the group time. While it is true that I have a lot of experience (and a lot of opinions) this class is not about me. I can't get to know my students if I don't let them talk.

2. Developing a one hour a day class is much different than developing a one night a week class. I need to better anticipate difficulties my students may have. For example, when a student at school has a problem in class. We can find the solution the next day. When I have a similar problem with the night class, that student will have to wait a week for help unless we can sort it out through a call or email.

3. A group of pre-service teachers can really get me excited. Who doesn't want to talk shop with people so excited about what they want to do?

I am really excited for the next class. Now that I have the first one down and I feel much better prepared for the next one, I am ready to jump back in and share and learn together.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Alumni

Hello fellow alumni! I had the honor (?) of taking the EDM class in the summer. Everyone said I was crazy! They all told me horror stories of the time constraints for the class, but I didn't believe them. Boy, was I wrong! My first post was "Dr. Strange must be speaking Greek!" But my second was "Woo hoo! Learning Greek!" Yes, the course was a challenge, but one I was felt I was ready for. I'm one of those people who never sees a problem, just opportunities. So, I jumped in with both feet kicking! This is my second degree. I spent 10 years in the military. I've been to third world countries. And I coach youth sports. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I am so glad for it. I learned a phenomenal amount in an extremely short period. But I fought through the challenges and came to realize so much about myself and the tasks I can really do. I would like to thank the entire EDM staff for their help, guidance, and friendship. If I can ever do anything for any of you, just ask!

New EDM 310 Students

I was searching the internet for information for a paper I am writing and accidentally (maybe it was fate) came across this picture and thought about Dr. Strange and his new EDM 310 students.

I remembered how I felt when I first walked into his classroom carrying my new, shiny laptop. I was so proud of my new computer and really felt like this would be an easy class. I already knew a lot about technology. After all, I was already on Facebook and I had made LOTS of purchases online. Then Dr. Strange goes over the syllabus and explains his expectations for this class. Was he crazy? I felt like grabbing my laptop and running out of the door. Then I thought about all the challenges I will face as a teacher. Will I be able to run from them? No. So I decided to accept the challenge and I am glad I did. I learned so much from this class not only about technology, but about myself. I am now more willing to accept challenges with a grin (most likely someone in my PLN has gone through the same challenge before) and go the extra mile to create a technological footprint I will be proud of.

People talk about 'getting their feet wet' when they are learning something new. My advice to new EDM 310 students, forget about just getting your feet wet, jump in and start swimming. Trust me. The water is great!

Happy Birthday Stephen!

Special thanks to Olivia for the delicious Cake.

Congrats to All Future Teachers in EDM 310

Congratulations to all of you future teachers that have the privilege of learning under Dr. Strange. Open your minds to learning everything and more, in ways that YOU get to determine. Take in the entire EDM310 experience. Collaborate with your colleagues. Don't set the bar for yourself, just go as far as you can. If you do just that, then a top grade will be easy to earn. Even more importantly than the grade, you will be entirely satisfied with your performance. Don't focus on the A, focus on the experience of learning with few boundaries. Now, don't get the wrong idea that the recipe for success in this course includes "let it happen." Oh, no. The recipe for success includes what you put into it. Discipline, desire, and determination make this a class that you will want to take again.

Now is a great time to prepare the technology aspect of your future classroom. The next 16 weeks is a first draft. Right now, you have the time to begin outlining your technology plan and get some things in place for your professional life, without students, parents and principals demanding your time. Have Dr. Strange tell you his secrets. He has tons of them!

Don't miss out. Make it ALL count. Get ready to enjoy the ride.

An EDM310 Alumni,

Jackie Gorski

PS- Dr. Strange has had no input to this. I really wanted to share this with the new folks, since I am an oldie (but a goodie :)).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Internet Safety

I heard about this on Chicago local news, and I thought I'd share it with everyone: The Illinois Attorney General website has offered safety training modules for teachers and parents of children who access the internet regularly. Keeping children safe while instilling responsible online behavior in children are growing concerns with growing technologies. With worksheets and training for children from third grade all the way through high school, children learn everything they need to be safe and responsible online - from bullying to piracy.

Go to the Illinois Attorney General - Safeguarding Children website to learn more and access the training modules and endless links to other relevant tools.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Around the World Multiplication

This video shows students playing "Around the World" with multiplication. This is a flash card drill game where students compete to travel around the circle. To start the game two students race to answer the multiplication (or any other kind of flash card) problem. The winner moves to the next student around the circle and race them. When the winner loses they sit in the new winner's seat. The game continues going around the circle until one student ends up at the seat they started at. The students seemed to really enjoy the game.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In case you were wondering how USA teacher preparation was graded by the Alabama Department of Education...

This is a link I came across this morning when browsing the Alabama Department of Education website for certification information. We did well. All A's! Dr. Strange - I don't mean to focus on the grade. :)


Click on this link.