Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back to School: "Yes! Science is Real" Display

One of my goals for this year is to introduce my students to real scientists out in the field who are DOING the work we talk about every day.  Most teens are so disconnected from the world (other than what they see on social media) that they think science only exists between the covers of the textbook. In order to do this, I need to "hook" them with interesting topics, tweets and photos.  So I spent my summer collecting information on who to follow on Twitter, Instagram, etc.  I also spent a great deal of time designing a display that would catch a busy teenager's attention and encourage him/her to try something new. You can see some of the results of my research on my Pinterest board.

I'm sure my teens are no different from yours, they are all interested in the number of followers and number of retweets they can get. It's all about popularity with them! I'm hoping that the public interest in accounts like NatGeo and NASA will show them that science is, in fact, very interesting to the social media world!

National Geographic on Instagram
My students are visual learners.  By looking at their Instagram feed, you might mistakenly think that all they are interested in are "selfies." I've found this NOT to be the case! Their interests are wide and varied. They ARE interested in space, sharks, bugs and the natural world. They just don't know how to find those things in the social media milieu.  As teachers, we can help direct them in pursuing their interests, and at the same time, expose them to all of the wonderful things that are going on out in the world! Today's students have the opportunity to access directly so many people and agencies that previous generations had no way of connecting with, but they need help.

Here are a few shots of the bulletin board:
Finished except for the QR codes
Twitter Accounts to follow.
Instagram Accounts to follow.

Science in the news (and on the web)
I will be adding the QR codes to auto follow these accounts, produced on this site, as time allows. Our students are allowed to use their phones in school if it's part of the lesson, so there should be no trouble with them scanning a QR code in the hall. I also added information about QR readers for the various phones they might be using.
QR Apps

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Daring Librarian: Creating A Comic Life

Check out this great blog, lots of good info about using Comic Life.  She also has a great blog post about using a QR Scavenger Hunt in her library.

The Daring Librarian: Creating A Comic Life: So, I get this Tweet & email question a lot..." How do you make those At-A-Glance Comic Tutorials! ? " I've mentioned it before but here...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

MAC Week Four: Wimba Post

I was so sorry to miss Wimba this week, these have been some of my favorite sessions this month.  We had graduation practice Wednesday afternoon, a carload of sponsors took the kids over to the convention center and we ran through the ceremony twice.  Afterwards, we stopped for a margarita (or two) and the next thing I knew I was missing Wimba!

I listened to the archives, sounds like a good session.  And I appreciated the clarity on next month's assignments, I was confused about what was going to happen as well.  I've gotten my letter of submission from the conference where I applied to present, so one assignment down!!

In the Wimba session, we were asked to compare The Art of Possibility to the Power of Positive Thinking and Oprah's Secret.  I only have experience with the Power of Positive Thinking, which I was raised with, and I do see some similarities.  Both point out the benefits of approaching life with a positive attitude, but I thought Zander's book gave more concrete examples and illustrated the "how."  I really enjoyed the book, in fact, I've recommended it to my principal as his summer read.
My favorite chapters in the book were chapter 6: I just love Rule No. Six.  I plan to make myself a sign to go on my desk that only I can see, to remind me to take it easy on myself.  My other favorite chapter was chapter 7: The Way Things Are.  I need to constantly remind myself about this chapter.  It's so easy to get bogged down and dispirited when things aren't going according to plan, it's easy to lose your way when that happens.  I just have to remember that this is the way things are now, not forever.

This book is definitely my take-away from this course.  As I said, I've already passed it on to my principal to read for inspiration and motivation this summer.  I'm planning to get a hard copy for myself that I can make notes in.  Next year, I hope to use several strategies in my class, namely Rule No. Six, giving A's, recognizing The Way Things Are, white sheets and leading from any chair.

MAC Week Four: Leadership Post

Who are my role models?

I would have to say at this point in the evolution of my teaching craft, the teachers at Full Sail and my cohort are my role models.  My professors this year have opened all the doors and windows for teaching technology, well, and teaching in general.  I've learned things from them that I never really thought I wanted to know! And my cohort, where do I even start?  Obviously we are all like-minded individuals, since we all joined this program because we wanted to change or improve our teaching methods.  There are many lessons that I'll take away from this year of intense learning, here are a few of my favorite memories:
Bill's professionalism,
David's heart,
Cindi's courage,
Dara's faith,
Shrav's mad skills,
Golda's persistence,
Kristen's conviction,
Faith's dream,
Katherine's enthusiasm,
Rodolfo's music,
Irving's spirit,
Duwaine's attitude,
Rosa's swagger,
Alyson's talent,
Tricia's conviction,
Kim's intelligence,
Joe's ability,
Bryan's tunes,
and the memory of everyone else that I missed, and all of their talent!

On a high note, my principal told me this week that if I get accepted to present at the conference in New Hampshire, he'll buy my plane ticket! So here's hoping....

Friday, May 25, 2012

MAC Week Four: Comment to Bill

In his blog, Harris' Helpful TechEd Tips, Bill wrote about his new job this week:
"In my weekly reading of The Art of Possibility this week I was attracted to the chapter on creating frameworks for possibility. After seven years in my current dream position I will be moving on to another dream position. I will be the Educational Technology Director for a PreK-12 private school. The school is a technologically progressing institution seeking advice, ideas, and leadership to be forward thinking and not downward spiraling in technology adoption.

I see my initial challenge, not yet knowing the political landscape; as working with educators some who may be reluctant to immerse themselves or their students into technology and others who are ecstatic. I will need to find the sparks that will ignite them. In fact I will be seeking the enrollment, for some, in something they may not have complete “buy-in” yet."

Bill, I can't imagine anyone better for the job than you! Our coursework at Full Sail has certainly prepared you for a bunch of teachers who are stuck in a rut! After all, how many times in the past year have we been faced with coursework that we had no idea how to do or even begin to approach?? But look at us now, ready to go out there and light the spark in our co-workers.  I wish you were coming to my school!

MAC Week Four: Comment to Katie

In her blog post this week, Katie Ross wrote:
"Excuse me, does anyone have a lighter because I have a light that needs to be sparked!

Over the past 11 months I’ve put a lot of things to the side to focus on school so that I could get the most out of it. I can now say, since I can see the end so close  ( No worries Professor Joe, I’m not taking a break yet)I”ve been thinking what I’m I going to do with all of my free time.  The answer finally came to me over a short vacation last week and it’s, volunteer for the Big Brother Big Sister organization here in Orlando. I want to spread my spark out to children who are just looking for a spark to follow. Who are looking for assistance lighting their own spark. As a small speck on this big universe I always try to give back. However the time has come for me to give back to another person.  The ending of the EMDT program is a great time for me to pick up another life changing torch."
I can't imagine a better testimony to the power of our program than you carrying the torch into a place where young people are yearning for a spark! What a great use of your skills, and a great way for you to pay it forward, in a way.  Those kids will be in "our" classrooms one day, and they will be carrying your motivation and spark with them.  Thanks, Katie, for being you!

MAC Week Four Blog Post: The Art of Possibility

In my reading this week, chapters 9-12, I was struck by several of Zander's stories and how his openness to possibility changed so many people and situations.
In Chapter 9, Lighting a Spark, Zander details his trials when trying to find a corporate sponsor for his youth symphony.  By being open to the possibility of an answer that was slightly different than the one he was expecting, Zander ended up helping out Arthur Anderson, so that they in turn could help him.  And more importantly, all of them were able to impact the lives of a thousand needy children! I was at the point of tears thinking about those underprivileged students and the spark that Zander and his orchestra brought into their world.
In Chapter 11, Creating Frameworks for Possibility, I was again moved to tears by the letters that the orchestral students wrote to the NASA scientists, and the letters that were sent back to them.  What an awesome exercise, to connect music and science and let them both see the incredible value inherent in their work.  And the idea that those letters will be available on the space station for all the astronauts to read as needed? Awesome!

Here's a story worth watching, if you missed it the first time it aired: