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