Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shoutout To Mr. Thompson!

Mr. Thompson's Classroom

I have never had the fortune of meeting Mr. Thompson, but as a Technology Integration Specialist, I would LOVE to be working in his school!

It seems that Mr. Thompson went from teaching second grade to fourth grade, and he provides a myriad of help for both grade levels.  If you are interested in the Treasures Reading Series, he is the man to see!

Please click on his link to enjoy his page.  Kudos to Mr. Thompson!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Here is a video I created to help students understand a little of the computer basics that do not really get taught at middle school level.
I cannot embed the video due to it being housed at Schooltube, so you will have to click the link to view.
Computer Basics 101

Did you know that was SCIENCE???

As I sit in the waiting room of the hospital, the only thing that takes my mind off of my family tragedy is playing "Angry Birds" on my Droid.  I have been consumed with the game since it came out many moons ago, and the makers of the game keep feeding my addiction by sending out offshoots of the original.  I cannot give up on a certain level until I have acquired all THREE stars.. and it is driving me nuts.  I know I have two Black Bomb Birds and One Red Big Momma Bird (my pet names for the characters) and I have to figure out what trajectory I must release the bird in order to hit the structure in just the right place to send the entire structure crumbling to the ground with one fell swoop, squashing all three pigs inside.

It just occurred to me at that very moment...  I was using scientific terms and problem solving to win each level of my game.  Do I use the words trajectory or impact points for structures in every day conversation?  NO... but this silly game with squawking birds has me problem solving scientifically.

We dismiss all gaming as time wasting brain rotting activity... but if you stop to think about the processes that go into certain types of games, you realize that the problem solving that is involved really ramps up higher level thinking.  We just have to guide our students to the RIGHT types of games...

Science is the subject that gets ignored most often but can really elevate thinking levels when presented in fresh ways.  A teacher pointed out this site to me..  Physics Games has many games that invoke scientific problem solving in creative ways.  Check it out!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Changing of the Guard

I recently attended a TIS (technology integration specialist) Consortium meeting in Beckley.  The purpose of the formation of this group is to share ideas and broaden our scopes on how best to integrate technology into the schools and classrooms that we touch.

Having been thought of as a "Computer Fixer" for going on two years, I felt invigorated with the presentation and idea that my job is getting back to teaching technology.  The state had conducted a study more than a year ago that concluded those teachers who were going to integrate technology into their instructional practices would do so...  and those individuals who were closed in mindset would not utilize technology (no matter how much was installed into their classroom.)

The state is moving towards an approach of empowering the students with the different technological abilities once saved just for the teaching profession. I think this is a fabulous effort and will really change the scope of what our kids can accomplish.

I am linking some current projects I am working on...  Although I do not teach a classroom full of students, I have made all of the middle school students aware of my endeavors.  Following step by step video directions, students can complete projects on their own accord.  "Ode to a Scary Story" was my first attempt, and at least three classes of students were successful and EXCITED to work independently on their own projects.

My Projects

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Domain

Due to the nature of my job, I created a website and purchased my own name so that I could store everything in one place.


You are welcome to view and utilize everything on my site... as long as you give me credit.

My New Existence

I have blogged sporadically due to the constraints of my job.  In fact, my job has been about to drive me nuts.  Therefore, I have decided that my focus has to change in order for me to keep me from going crazy.  Welcome to Me.30.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Digital Connections to Education

Every child growing up in today's society equates reality stars to Hollywood actors.  The definition of celebrity has dramatically shifted in the last 5 years, with most kids being able to identify Antoine Dodson before knowing George Clooney. 

America has come full circle, arriving back to the land of opportunity that inspired our grandfathers and great-grandfathers to migrate to this country in order to find their way.  We are once again the land of opportunity, and everyone wants to live the American Dream.  If you need this statement validated in order to comprehend it, just interview the cast of Jersey Shore or Perez Hilton.

All you need is a smart phone to make millions.  Whether it be recording yourself singing and posting it on youtube (think Justin Bieber), or recording your child after a visit to the dentist (the hysterical video of the child who just visited the dentist and had laughing gas), you too can find a way to turn real life into millions of views... which then equates to advertising millions.

Education needs a boost of energy to transcend our simple pen/paper tasks in order to capture the attention of our globally minded youth.  I have began an endeavor to bridge learning and education to this digital age of life.  I have started a Schooltube site for Mercer County Schools, and it is still in it's infancy.  However, stay tuned to see what happens!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Day Material

When my parents were children, they walked to school uphill both ways in snow up to their eyeballs.  (At least, that is their story and they are sticking to it.)  Their ability to evoke the most dreariest of sorrow with all of their woeful tales used to eliminate my pleas of missing school.  However, our recent weather has topped even the most horrid of tales they were able to conjure.  School attendance has been sporadic at best since Christmas Break, and the loss of instruction has had dire affects on student progress. 

Parents have had to battle snow day craze with their children, and a site was developed to help parents guide their budding Einsteins to school related computer activity.

Feel free to use this site as needed.

Glenwood Snow Days

Mysterious Stories to Interest Young Readers

As a child, my interest level ranged from the odd to the frightening.  My tastes still prevail today, with my current author of choice being James Patterson.  I didn't care how fast Spot could run, and Jane could use a douse of cool to catch my attention.

There is a site of stories entitled "Weekly Mysteries" I recently ran across.  Some of the stories border on that of Poe, but often mirror the Whodoneit stories that I used to love.  With my favorite character being "Encyclopedia Brown", I sharpened my skills of prediction and powers of deduction trying to outwit the author... or at least my fellow classmates reading the same story.

This site may provide more reading opportunities for your eclectic audience and provide another source of interest to your students. 


Free DVD's

Aha... my favorite word.  FREE.

John Stossel, commentator for 20/20 and a correspondent for Fox News, provides resources for teachers through his "Stossel in the Classroom" effort.  Each year, educators are allowed to choose two free DVD's that may cover a variety of topics. The videos are geared towards advanced Middle Schoolers, High Schoolers, and College students.

Click HERE for the website to sign up and start receiving your free DVD's today!

Each month, Stossel in the Classroom also provides a video stream about a topic of current interest.  Below the video are thought provoking questions that students may answer.  The video streams are geared towards ages 13 - 18 and can be found here.

Finally, an essay contest through Stossel in the Classroom will be ending soon so if you are interested in getting your students to participate please click HERE.  The topic of the essay is "What is Great About America."