November 10, 2013 — Administrators, ISTE, Schools, Students, Teachers, Teaching, Uncategorized Tagged administrators, Education, education teaching, ISTE, parents children students administrators teachers
It was a great honor for me to be asked to be a featured presenter at this year’s Georgia Eucational Technology Conference #gaetc13. I always enjoy connecting, learning and sharing with passionate educators. Everyone at #gaetc13 was wonderful. They were so gracious, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind….
I tried to give sessions where not only did I share information but I was able to learn new things from my audience. I feel that some of the best interchanges are those given by participants. I enjoy when they share what works or does not work with their students. We all gain valuable information from these conversations. I have to give a special shout out to @brholland (pictured) who shared some amazing things at several of my sessions. Thank you Beth.
I am a champion of the classroom teacher and I salute them for all that they have to face. I am also a huge fan of students. I totally enjoyed interacting with all of the student presenters. The Student Showcase was outstanding. It included everything from STEAM, gardening, Legos, digital storytelling, to tech prodigies. It was great to connect with my good Twitter friend @staffdevjnkie and her students. Glad I was able to get Sue and one of her students to learn from the amazing @ShellTerrell at her Digital Storytelling session.
Conferences to me are so much more meaningful because you get a chance to meet (and hug) your followers many of whom you never actually met in person before. It is also a chance to connect with your “old” Twitter friends. I was thrilled to be able to spend so much time with my great friend @ShellTerrell and reacquaint with @NikkiDRobertson (pictured) @amandacdykes and @Fernandezc4. A very special moment for me was getting a chance to hug my good friend @blairteach who stopped by #gaetc13
I love the EduVue team and getting a chance to see them in person was so nice. @GaTechTeach @CatFlippen @JaimeVanderG (pictured) #EduVue
Could not believe in one session I gave I had a slide of @aschmuhl and he was actually in the room. Great to meet the #gaed moderating team of @aschmuhl and the very dynamic @blantonbrian.
It was wonderful hanging out with educational leaders who I admire so much:@tonyvincent @shellterrell (pictured) @crafty184 @lesliefisher @dlaufenberg and @Njistem.
Thanks to everyone who stopped and talked to me. You mean a lot and I always love talking to my PLN. I am sorry I did not scan and keep everyone’s names to thank them all like @debbiechildress @cereseg @ktheodocion @AnissaLAndrews @mrnidey @BrandiKotsalis1 @PMontarella @mcrogers27 @MmeBurgess @cmslibrarylady @vlaguaite @barber_meg @britt1119 @ldenson8 @lewisgrade5. Special thanks for all the kind words @hoke (Hoke Wilcox)
Big thank you to the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium Board of Directors, GaETC Sub-Committee, committee members, sponsors and all the wonderful volunteers who made this an outstanding conference.
September 30, 2013 — Administrators, Child, ISTE, Schools, Students, Teachers, Teaching, Uncategorized Tagged connected, educators
I feel we should be concentrating on ways that educators, students and anyone interested in education can connect every day. October is #CE13 Connected Educator Month but we should be connecting every day in many different ways.
Connect with your students
Make sure you show them you care about them. Greet them each day by name. Keep up with their interests. My #YouMatter page Give them time to explore their passions
My Makerspaces page: My Genius Hour page.
Connect your students to other classes around the world and with experts
Start connecting via Skype or Google Hangout with other classes. Then take the initial meeting a step further by starting collaborating with them. My Mystery Location page. Connect your students with experts outside the classroom to answer their questions. Adam Taylor @2ftgiraffe started #Scistuchat a monthly discussion that connects high school students and scientists.
Connect with your colleagues.
Share what you are doing and what you are learning as a result of your connecting online and offline. Observe what they are doing with their students.
Connect with other levels of education.
When my daughter was in sixth grade she and classmates connected with first grade students. We need to connect elementary school students with middle & high school students and middle and high school students with higher education. We can all learn from each other.
Connect with the parents/guardians of your students.
Find the best ways each parent wants to be communicated with. Be transparent with them on what you are doing with their children. Invite them in to the class to share their expertise. Show them ways they can help you as a team improve the learning of their children. Have hands-on workshops on how you are using technology for education. Use such web tools as Remind101
Connect with the community.
Take the learning out into the area where you teach. Plan performances, art shows, science fairs in your public libraries, civic centers… Connect with the members of your school community through the Chamber of Commerce and local organizations. Build relationships with businesses and local organizations My School-Business Partnership Page
Connect via Social Media
Build a great PLN to connect with by following the hashtags on Twitter that pertain to your subject or grade level. My Educational Hashtags page. Seven days a week there are a plethora of chats for most grade levels and subject areas. Participants in these chats represent a global audience of educators, students, parents and people interested in education. Weekly Twitter Chat Schedule Use different social media connections like Facebook and LinkedIn to connect.
Connect with your family.
Step away from your technology devices and have some quality family time. If your family is spread out connect with them via Skype or Google Hangouts.
July 16, 2013 — Administrators, Child, ISTE, Music, Parents, Schools, Students, Teachers, Teaching, Uncategorized
#geniushour #20Time #geniustime
Throughout most of my educational journey my creativity was stifled. I will never forget when I drew a picture on a homework paper to illustrate an answer and was reprimanded for that.
When I first starting teaching my administrator forced me to use a textbook that my students could not comprehend. He got upset when I had my class write their own book with illustrations. Luckily the principal thought that was a great idea. When I realized my students did not know anything about the world I wrote a complete socio-economic-historical curriculum of the neighborhood where I taught. It got nice feedback from my principal and the local politicians. However, when I was transferred to another school (I was lowest in seniority in my subject area) the assistant principal said, We don’t do that in this school. Years later the entire school district used my community curriculum.
Very early in my teaching career I realized it would be a wise idea to put the curriculum to music. My students knew all the song lyrics to their favorite songs. Unfortunately I did not have any musical talent. I really blew it by not having some of my students (The Fat Boys) put the curriculum to rap songs.
When Billy Joel’s song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” first was released my students and I came up with a fantastic lesson to go along with it. NBC News got wind of it and wanted to come into my school to film me do the lesson with my students. My principal refused to let them come. Maybe it was because our school led the city in assaults on teachers.
I did have one superintendent for a short while who encouraged my creativity. He let a couple of us write complete curriculums, with lesson plans and student workbooks for the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th grades. When the next superintendent came in he refused to let us finish the 6th grade curriculum.
As a result of my experiences I was determined to make sure I did not stifle my students’ creativity abilities. During the first week of school I had my students fill out a survey of their interests and abilities. Throughout the school year I referred to this when we did our work. If a student liked to draw, write poetry, or was musically talented they could put that to use in their assignments. I wish I taught now with all the wonderful tech tools there are .
Please give your students some time to pursue their passions #GeniusHour #20Time #geniustime as it should be incorporated into your busy schedule.
May 28, 2013 — Administrators, ISTE, Schools, Teachers, Teaching, Uncategorized Tagged ISTE
We are family!
I feel the best part of attending ISTE is getting the chance to meet face to face with members of my PLN. Twitter enables us to initially meet online. By tweeting we get a chance to share our joys and sorrows with one another. Having the opportunity to actually see who I have been communicating with online makes ISTE priceless. I value each and every member of my Twitter family.
One of the major problems of having so many followers is that I may not know exactly who you are. Please do not be afraid to introduce yourself to me. I really enjoy meeting my PLN. I will never forget at an edcamp when one of my followers seeing me asked if I gave hugs. I also get “you are not as tall as I expected!” Okay I never hit six feet. In fact at one point I was 5’ 9” but age, children, grandchildren has shrunk me a little.
I want to thank each and everyone of my PLN. #YouMatter to me.
I would also love the opportunity to personally thank one of my PLN members who has made it possible for me to attend ISTE. I am so grateful for your generosity.
And yes, I do give hugs.
March 13, 2013 — Administrators, Schools, Teachers, Teaching, Violence Tagged administrators, Education, education teaching, education track curriculum chats twitter, teaching
On my desk I keep a brass doorknob and a block of wood from my first school. It reminds me of my start as a teacher and the struggles I faced.
I found that doorknob on the floor in front of a classroom door whose window had been smashed by it. The custodial staff could not keep up with all the broken windows which mostly where broken from the inside. Looking at the school from the outside you saw a lot of boards in place of window panes.
We must all be aware of the struggles classroom teachers face. They need our support, advice and all the help we can give them. They may not get what they really need in their school but thanks to social media they can get it online. Consider yourself very fortunate if you work in a good school environment. But remember not everyone is that lucky. Reach out and support our struggling colleagues.
Looking at that doorknob I will never forget my days as a classroom teacher:
lack of supplies, little support, poor working conditions, revolving door teacher staff, ineffective administrators, little if any parental involvement, violence….
March 2, 2013 — Administrators, Child, Parents, Reading, Schools, Students, Teachers, Teaching, Uncategorized Tagged administrators, Back to School, Education, exercise teaching attendance, parents, parents children students administrators teachers, students
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
I truly enjoyed reading The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss to five classes of students in a Google Hangout whose wonderful teachers are:
Amy Pratt @apratt5 – Texas
Paula Naugle @plnaugle – Louisiana
Nancy Carroll @ncarroll24 – Massachusetts
Jennifer Regruth @JennRegruth – Indiana
William Krakower @wkrakower – New Jersey
We were also joined by Sandra Paul @spaul6414 Director of Technology.
Before the show began I had no trouble figuring out which class was from Indiana as one student had a Colt’s sweatshirt on and in another class a young man was wearing a Dallas Cowboy shirt so that must have been the Texas class! The real surprise were the students in Paula Naugle’s class all wearing paper hats just like the Cat in the Hat.
To begin I decided to give the students a little background. Not only did Theodor Seuss Geisel who we know as Dr. Seuss was born (March 2, 1904) in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts so was my wonderful wife Gail. As a child I had visited Springfield to visit my great uncle and cousins. In fact, it was only a couple of blocks away from where Gail grew up. Who would have known Springfield would play such a big role in my life?
I told the students that Dr. Seuss grew up near one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. Yes, Forest Park contains over 700 acres. It now has baseball diamonds, an ice skating rink, one of the first public pools in the country, ponds, lawn bowling, bocci, a rose garden, dinosaur tracks and a zoo. Dr. Seuss’s father was in charge of all of the parks in the city. I am sure his son spent a lot of time at the zoo in the Forest Park. Reading his books he did take a lot from his experiences growing up. The animals at the zoo (elephants…), motorcycle (Indian motorcycles were built in Springfield and yes there is a Mulberry Street.
We used to spend our summers in Springfield at my father-in-law’s home right across the street from Forest Park. Our children went to day camp in the Springfield area. I can remember several years where I can to commute from my summer job in New York to Springfield on weekends. One summer I even got a job at the local college teaching computers in a summer program that my daughter attended.
Since The Cat in the Hat Comes Back was written in 1958 I had to explain that the $10.00 shoes were expensive then. An average price of shoes nowadays would be at least $60.00.
I also told the children about my mischievous grandcat. He is far different from the mild mannered cats that my children grew up with. Yes, during the story The Cat in the Hat sure caused a lot of trouble but lucky he had his little cat friends to restore everything to normal.
I want to compliment all the children and their teachers as my audience was excellent. If you haven’t tried a Google Hangout (My Google Hangout page: http://cybraryman.com/googlehangout.html) I highly recommend them. You can get 10 people or classes at one time.
My Dr. Seuss page contains the YouTube of my reading as well as lot of great activities and lessons.
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
February 9, 2013 — Administrators, ISTE, Schools, Teachers, Teaching Tagged administrators, Back to School, Education, professional development, teachers, teaching
At METC2013 The Midwest Education Technology Conference I am honored to be a “Featured Presenter.” It is quite nice to be singled out to address educators. I have decided that my “presentations” will be in the form of PRESDIs. Yes, I have coined a new term. PRESDI which stands for Presentation-Discussions.
So many times I have attended outstanding presentations where the speakers have prepared excellent slideshows with embedded videos and used great catchy statements that I quickly tweeted out to my followers. I walk away invigorated but that does not last long.
I have also attended many professional development sessions as a teacher. The talk goes on and I leave shaking my head because none of it pertained to my students and could not be adopted for use in my classroom. I yearned for ideas that worked and could be used successfully to engage my students and increase their knowledge base.
I do not have all the answers but I am sure those in the audience can share what has worked and what hasn’t worked in their schools. So, I will give my presentation with practical ideas that have worked for me but then I will open up a discussion and learn from those in attendance. Some of the best curricula that I wrote were done collaboratively. It is great to be able to bounce off ideas and get inspiration from others. Just as we want our students to learn and engage collaboratively we also should use that method in our teaching and presenting.
January 1, 2013 — Administrators, Child, exercise, Health, Parents, Schools, Students, Teachers, Teaching Tagged administrators, Exercise, exercise teaching attendance, parents, students, teachers
Yes, we must prepare our students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and to be able to collaborate on a global level but I feel more important we want them to learn how to be healthy. Children need to eat properly and exercise in order for their growth and healthy development. This is a lifelong skill that I feel is essential. We, as educators/parents should be modeling ABCDE: Act Boldly to Change Diet and Exercise for our students/children.
I must commend these educators who lead by example in terms of fitness:
David Britten @colonelb, Salome Thomas-EL @Principal_EL, Bob Dillon @ideaguy42, Josh Stumpenhorst @stumpteacher, Joan Young @flourishingkids, JoAnn Jacobs @JoAnnJacobs68, and Philip Cummings @jasontbedell Jason Bedell among others.
It is felt that children who have good nutritional habits and exercise regularly feel better about themselves, perform better in school, and can cope with stress better.
Take a survey of your students and see if they are getting enough exercise and eating properly. Children should be getting at least 60 minutes of exercise on a daily basis and this does not mean playing games on their Xbox, texting or watching TV.
The fact that I exercised regularly and ate properly kept me well, gave me more energy and led to an excellent attendance record. My track teams appreciated the fact that I ran with them. I tried modeling good nutrition yet my students used to laugh at me when I ate a salad for lunch with water as my beverage. When I taught in my school’s health careers program I was very pleased at the end of each year when some of the students would thank me for changing their lives when they followed my preaching of eating properly, exercising and getting enough rest.
My new workout sneakers.
2013 is here and I will soon be eligible for Medicare and I will continue to exercise regularly and be more careful with the foods that I eat.
We all can achieve more if we are healthy as we have more energy. Too many children are not getting enough exercise and eating properly. Please model proper health to your students/children.
Hope everyone has a very Happy and Healthy 2013.
December 23, 2012 — Administrators, Child, Parents, Schools, Students, Teachers, Teaching, Uncategorized, Violence
The recent sad tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut brought back memories of my teaching career in East New York, Brooklyn known as the “Homicide Capital of New York City.”
Here are some excerpts from my school’s Report of Principal’s Suspensions (Five Days) for the attendance period ending January 31, 1972. Of the thirteen students listed on this report seven of their parents did not come for the Principal’s Hearing:
- Seventh grade male student – Hit principal, dean & patrolman (Yes, we had a uniformed New York City police officer in our school every day the school was open.)
- Eighth grade male student – Throwing trees at cars in front of school (I have the newspaper article from four years later when this same student was found guilty in the slaying of 2 teens.)
- Eighth grade female student – Hit secretary.
- Seventh grade female student – Destructive behavior (A few months later this student was killed.)
The students treated these suspensions as a vacation from school and their behavior when they came back to school did not change.
In another case I remember one student suspended for stealing a teacher’s purse. He was suspended, never counseled and a few years later he was arrested during the course of a robbery at a store.
I kept a scrapbook of newspaper articles as well as documents & photographs of our troubled school. Some of the newspaper headlines:
- “Indict 5 Teenagers in Killing of 3 Elderly Men” (2 of the 5 had attended my school)
- “Nab Suspects in 27 Holdups” (2 of the 4 arrested were former students)
- “Youth Slain in IRT holdup” (former student killed after he fired a shot at a patrolman)
- “Three Hurt In Battle at Playground” (gang fight behind our school that listed one of our students)
- “School Administrator Attacked by Gang” (our principal in the middle of school day was beaten in the school yard by a gang of teen-aged youths when he went to the rescue a boy the gang had attacked).
What always bothered me was that no one ever found out the reasons why these children acted out. They were never interviewed by our guidance staff, social worker or school psychologist who could have possibly helped get them the help that they needed. Unfortunately, we have a lot of young people who need help and they do not receive it. There are no easy answers to this but we should at least make an effort to prevent future events like what happened in Connecticut and the daily incidences that happen in many of our schools.
December 20, 2012 — Teachers, Teaching Tagged education teaching, observations, teachers
Today is a sad day for me as I learned my teacher mentor Patrick J. Corr passed on.
I will never forget the first day I started teaching in 1969. The principal told me to go down to the basement to Room B9 and watch a veteran teacher in action. Just walking into his room I was immediately impressed. His classroom was meticulously decorated with that month’s theme.
Observing him teach I quickly realized how he had the complete attention of all of his students. As he walked around the classroom I saw all the students’ eyes follow him. He showed me that a teacher had to be an actor. After that initial observation Pat asked me to join him and several colleagues for lunch in his room. That was the beginning of my first PLN. These three teachers taught me how to teach, design engaging lessons, decorate a classroom and be prepared for any eventualities.
I was crushed in the 1970’s when he was laid off. Here was a teacher whose whole life was devoted to teaching. He was laid off because he had low seniority on the high school level. All the years he taught on the junior high level were not considered. He was never sick and the only day he took off was to attend my father’s funeral. Luckily he was quickly rehired and I am sure he benefited the lives of all of the students he taught.
Pat was the epitomy of a constant learner. He was a voracious history reader and took courses on his own to learn even more
The world is a better place thanks to Patrick J. Corr. I will miss him!
“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart”
First PLN 40+ Years Later – Lifelong friends