Thursday, September 07, 2017

New school, New room

I'm now at Oakdale teaching technology and helping teachers use technology. So far has been a delightful experience.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Moving On

I have been at Sequoyah for 19 years and 9 months. I started in 1997 and was hired to facilitate the new computer lab, it became a certified position the next year. I have been asked by the folks at Oakdale to teach computers and help teachers with technology integration in the classroom so this is my last day at Sequoyah.
It has been a wonderful experience. So many students, teachers, administration have touched my life. Very bittersweet. Wonderful times and moving forward to unknown but surely glory days.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Engagement in the Classroom

So I think the issue I have been thinking about lately is engagement. Getting teachers to engage in a topic and implement it and embrace it and use it in the classroom.

Over and over there is a new initiative, a new program, a new way to do something. We work hard for a year or two and then it fades away. Great ideas everything from kindness to productivity to technology integration, some small scale classroom changes to whole system changes like OBE.

Love and Logic, Character First, Great Expectations, SPI, Rachel's Challenge, Character Strong, RAKIT, Key Words, Critical Thinking, Blooms, Piaget. Some of these concepts we have embraced fully, integrated them into our methods and philosophies and practices. Others have come and gone with bits and pieces integrated but the whole discarded. The programs make us better teachers and students better human beings. But over time interest wains, something else comes along as a mandate and something has give, something has to be left behind and it is often that extra something that is not a part of the curriculum. Some teachers or administrators will have a passion for the program and it gets promoted and encouraged, practiced and integrated and positive results abound.

It is almost is if there is a stasis. This is the way it works. Introducing something into the system makes a change for bit and then soon enough back to the way it is.

So for twenty years I have been teaching technology in the middle school classroom. It is the same as it has been. Some software comes and goes. Websites with new information. Applications and software gains popularity and fades away. Remember when PowerPoint first moved from a linear to a circular model? Remember making SWF movie files? Remember AOL? A computer in every classroom but little time for students to delve into the technology. We know what we know with technology but have little incentive to do anything differently then we have always done it. The method may change but the task is the same.

There is a revolution coming. We are going to change the way we do things or not. Either way it works. Teachers are going to teach. Students are going to embrace learning or find ways to avoid it. When every student has a computer it will be a transformative experience. Something as simple as I am at the front of the room and I see the students changes to I am at the back of the room so I can see their screens. We get up, we walk around, we put into practice all the techniques that make a good teacher.

With a technological device in the hands of every student the classroom will be altered. Teachers can use that device like a textbook and teach in the method they have always taught. Teachers can harness the power of the device and change the way they teach and the classroom will be transformed. Is one way better than the other? No. Does one way ensure success, No. Will things be different? Yes. Are we going to have a whole new set of issues to deal with? Yes.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Electives #oklaed Chat 11-27-16

Q1: What are the Electives/Specials offerings at your school?
A1: We have a wide variety of middle school electives. With 1200 students we have about 20 electives.
Band (three teachers)
Orchestra
Vocal Music
Drama (three sections, taught by grade level core teachers)
Technology Literacy
MultiMedia
Computer Exploration (six grade)
Gateway to Technology
Family and Consumer Sciences
Around the World
Leadership
Publications
ITeach
Yearbook
Enrichment
Art
PE
FOCUS (core teachers teach remediation during elective time)

Our district implemented a six week rotation of six classes for sixth graders this year in order to give a wide variety of experience to the six grade students. It has been met with mixed reviews from teachers. 


Q2: What does the phrase “educating the whole child.” mean to you?
Given it is an elective question time I think it goes to the things that impart a certain passion in people. Yes, many of us have a passion for what we do and teach. Many have gifts in areas outside what is traditionally taught in school. Electives explore some of these passions and hope to ignite in all students a desire to continue to learn and improve.

Q3: Why are Electives important to school culture? The culture of the school needs the electives to continue to broaden the depth of education. Just a core teachers can not effective teach art they implement art in the curriculum. The elective teachers do the same in classes.

Q4: If you could choose one Elective to be required for all students, what would it be?
Being a computer teachers, I am biased toward computers and technology. All students should know how to type. It should be a ninth grade class required for all.

Q5: If you could teach any Elective what would it be? Think out of the box!!!
I am fortunate in being able to teach multimedia computing and can teach what I find of interest.

Q6: How do we protect Electives in a time of budget cuts?
I foresee the Electives going away. As we move to 1 to 1 computers in the classroom every teacher teaches technology. There is not more need for a technology teacher. There seems to be a movement to the "core" electives of band, music, drama, orchestra, enrichment, GTT, FACS, and art.

Q7: Should kids lose their Electives/Specials time to receive intervention?
They should not lose elective times. They do. Students are pulled for FOCUS. Students are pulled for counseling sessions. Test prep in April is a time many are pulled. Students get messages and called to the office during elective times. I am not sure if any of this happens during core classes but it is highly disruptive to learning. Parents make appointments for the doctor during electives, take students out to lunch during electives. First hour many parents allow students to sleep in late.

Q8: Follow up to question seven, what other intervention ideas can we use to ensure that students are served correctly but don’t lose their Electives/Specials offerings?
This is a difficult one because students should not miss any classes for interventions. Homeroom time or a flexible weekly schedule would help take care of things that need to be accomplished outside the structure of the classroom session.

Q9: What is your personal reason for fighting for Electives/Specials in our schools and our state?
I teach an elective.


Q10: How can you show support for your school’s Electives/Specials programming?
Show up everyone day. Do the best I can for my students and staff. I think teaching teachers can have a greater impact in some ways then just teaching students.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cindy Lauper

Well I do hope Cindy Lauper made it to one of our great downtown coffee shops yesterday. Coffee Slingers is my first choice but Clarity and Elemental are always a delight. Her concert was great last night. She is a great story teller. My biggest disappointment was the crowd. Silly people would holler out stupid stuff right in the middle of a story.

Friday, May 13, 2016

TTT - Evernote and Drive

Technology tips and tricks on a regular basis.
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Evernote and Drive
the Ultimate App Smash
Greetings Sequoyah, 

As a fan of Evernote and Google Drive this is great news. 

https://evernote.com/google-drive/

Thanks and don't forget to be awesome, 

Andy

 

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

TTT - A Google A Day

Technology tips and tricks on a regular basis.
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A Google A Day
Search Skills
Greetings Sequoyah, 

A Google A Day http://www.agoogleaday.com/ is a great site. Google asks a daily set of questions. The user searches for the answer on the web. The Tips and Tricks gives a pop up box of how to search techniques. This could be a great bell work activity. 
http://www.fractuslearning.com/2012/03/23/a-google-a-day/

http://carastechietips.weebly.com/techie-tips/a-google-a-day

Thanks and don't forget to be awesome, 

Andy

 

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Edmond, OK 73034

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

TTT - Accessibility 

Technology tips and tricks on a regular basis.
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Accessibility
Google Provides Solutions
Greetings Sequoyah, 

Google has implemented a variety of solutions to make accessibility to the computer better for all learners. Check out this blog post and install extensions to help all learners. 

http://blog.edtechteam.com/2016/05/10-ways-you-can-make-web-more-accessible.html?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=accessibility&utm_campaign=accessibility

Thanks and don't forget to be awesome, 

Andy

 

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Edmond, OK 73034

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