August 1, 2016
Insert a witty comment here about how long its been since the last time I updated my blog. But hey, I’m back to share something new that I made to support digital citizenship education in the classroom! Two years ago this month I created some Star Wars inspired digital citizenship posters, and here we are getting ready for another school year to begin… only this time around my inspiration is Pokémon.
No doubt you’ve heard about the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go, an augmented reality (AR) app game released in June that allows you to become a real life Pokémon trainer and capture Pokémon in the wild on your phone using GPS. So you’re sitting at your dining room table and suddenly a Pikachu appears and you can toss a virtual pokéball to catch it! There are over 150 different species of Pokémon and they all have their own unique traits & abilities and strengths & weaknesses. (more…)
April 28, 2015
For the next two weeks, my Digital Video Production (DVP) students and I are “misplaced” due to ISTEP. Almost all computers in the school are designated for ISTEP testing, including our DVP lab. We are incredibly thankful to have internet and a set of laptops in our temporary location, but the lack of space and access to our usual software and equipment for video production has made work on typical projects a challenge.
At first I toyed with the idea of switching things up and having kids BYOD and use their devices to film stop motion now instead of later. This would be an easy change. But I was inspired last quarter by a Genius Hour project that a fellow teacher and our school’s media specialist worked on together, and decided to do a modified version over the next two weeks. (more…)
April 24, 2015
How is it already MAY next week, and the school year almost over?! Time flies when you’re having fun I guess, and that’s what a lot of students are saying about our new Minecraft Club.
Minecraft Club?!?! You betcha! I’ve been asked by countless students all school year if I’d sponsor a Minecraft Club, and it was definitely something I wanted to bring to our school. Connecting to minecraft.net is blocked for a lot of good reasons, but there’s no question that there’s also TONS of educational value in Minecraft. When Coding Club kids asked me yet again a few months back about playing Minecraft, we looked to MinecraftEDU to see if we could make the dream become a reality. (more…)
December 12, 2014
This week all of my classes (and Coding Club) dropped everything and participated in the Hour of Code, a worldwide event coinciding with Computer Science Education Week. The purpose of this global movement is to bring awareness to computer science and get as many people as possible all over the world to try at least one hour of programming, with a goal to prove that anyone can code, and to inspire people to take up coding.
I am thankful to be back in the classroom this year in a technology educator role, and for our district’s new course and curriculum that I teach called Digital Learning. Though our focus is on digital citizenship, protecting our privacy online, and trends in technology, I have the ability to squeeze in programming as part of the course’s focus on developing 21st Century skills, because coding absolutely is our future and a relevant real world skill for students. If my students today learned how to code, imagine where they’ll be and what they’ll be doing in 10 years? (more…)
December 11, 2014
I’ve really taken to ThingLink this school year in my classroom. I had tried it before, but I really found value in using ThingLink now that I’m back with students as a way to provide them a lot of independence to explore some hand-picked resources. I’d create the images and link up starter resources and tools to send students in the right direction to get them asking even more questions.
Last quarter I set up a ThingLink to share with my Digital Learning students a recent news story involving a copyright dispute over some monkey selfies. (You can see how this topic really hit home with kids and piqued their interest!) (more…)
July 15, 2014
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m looking forward to going back into the classroom this upcoming school year to teach middle school Digital Learning and Digital Video Production. This past week I went in and checked out my classroom. The lab is a total blank canvas just itching for me to decorate! In the Digital Learning lab we’ll be focused on digital citizenship, basic troubleshooting, navigating resources effectively, and evaluating credible sources online. I felt like the room needed artwork that would refer to these topics, but of course with some geeky flair. So I started creating some of my own posters, mashing up my favorite Star Wars quotes with digital literacy concepts. I’m quite pleased with the results and thought other teachers out there would appreciate them, too! (more…)