Tag Archives: technology

My Top 5 Gurus – Who Are Yours?

Thank you, Melville Publishing for picture....
These people, places, and collections of great knowledge have made me a better teacher.  They are my gurus, my distant teachers, and my life-savers when the screws are put to me in the classroom, and for the 987th time, when the students have “turned the tables” on me, as my new favorite artist Adele sings.  Thank you, gurus, for moving me.  Thank you for holding the mirror up.  Thank you for forcing me to look into the teacher I thought I was after 11 years and igniting a flame that has burned up the dross in my classroom on a daily basis.  What remains after such an intellectual bonfire amidst the students and myself are the ashes from which knowledge, compassion, inspiration, communication, and fellowship arise.  It truly is a “beautiful collision” (thank you, David Crowder).

#1. The Buck Institute for Education – This organization acts as my collective teacher, from its web resources to its handbooks in print to its well-trained educators, whose blogs and conference opportunities have inspired me to let project based learning completely change my life.  I love teaching because of what BIE has taught me.  Check out their website and their blogs for new educators in PBL.  Fantastic research and downloadable resources! (PBL Do-It-Yourself is a life-saver!)

#2.  Aimee Buckner – Her tried and true suggestions for using reader’s/writer’s notebooks in Notebook Know-How and Notebook Connections have given me many ideas that actually work.  I wanted to know how someone specifically used the notebooks in an authentic and real way, and she even included actual copies of posts from her kids!  It’s fantastic!

#3. Cooperative Catalyst – This is an amazing consortium of bloggers, writers, teachers, and others who write about education, trends, needs for change, pedagogy, social issues, etc.  I have found all sorts of new gurus here!  Posts are by various authors – thus, the “cooperative.”  It is said of this blog that the more voices that join, the deeper the discussion goes.  Many of the authors here can also be followed on Twitter.

#4. Don Tapscott – His books Growing Up Digital and Grown Up Digital have exceeded my expectations of what I thought I might learn about technology.  Not only did I learn about the digital natives I teach, or the “hand-held” generation who have never known life with a record player, 8-track, or rotary phone….  But through his work I learned about myself.  My modeling of appropriate use of technology and my role as a respectful contributor in the digital marketplace is equally important to what they can teach me about new tech and devices.  Follow him on Twitter, where the nuggets of wisdom just keep coming…. (@dtapscott)

#5. TED – Two words: pure awesomeness.  TED is so awesome it might actually make you go blind.  Watch videos, learn what’s out there, [if you have cash – ha!] go to a conference and get goodies (then tell me what they were!), or just download the talks.  This conglomeration of cutting edge technology, insightful and charismatic speakers, and world-changing ideas has really given me great classroom engagement pieces.  The videos are mind-blowing at times, sobering at others.  If you haven’t tuned in to TED, run, don’t walk, and start with this amazing video, with technology now a few years old: “The Sixth Sense.”  Follow TED on Twitter: @tedtalks, @TEDnews, @ted_com.

Now, to you: who are your gurus and distant teachers?  And who will you then teach “everything you know”?

TCTELA Reflections

We have had such a wonderful time talking while here at TCTELA 2011.  We look forward to spending much more time together and with other teachers talking about the ideas and projects that are important in our classrooms.  For those who attended our sessions, thank you for taking the time to talk with us!

The Paint Job

Here is the Prezi – The Paint Job
See – “The Chop Shop” Handouts for the handouts to this presentation.

Sometimes the only thing needed to brighten up a room is a new coat of paint.  Have you ever found yourself saying, “They just don’t get it” or “I just can’t teach this another year?” Project-based learning has been around for a century but often is overlooked or forgotten in the classroom.  Making a real-life application and utilizing a driving question to “drive” the outcomes in your class projects, combined with the development of 21st-century skills along the way, may be just what your teaching needs.  Students (and teachers) will fall in love with learning again.  Project-based learning is the new “DIY” of teaching, and once you’ve tried it, you will never go back to the same old paint job again.

The Chop Shop

Here is the Prezi (our slide presentation) for TCTELA 2011

The Chop Shop: Restoring Vintage Literature to Its Glory

Chop Shop Handouts

Chopshop Handouts

Chop Shop: Restoring Vintage Literature to Its Glory

Presenting this session at TCTELA in Galveston, TX today:

While it may look like an old hunk of rusty metal to some, with a little elbow grease, you can bring that beauty back to life. Our vintage literature is like a classic car that needs some remodeling and restoration in order to make it revenant and interesting for our students, and sometimes even for ourselves! So pull on your jumpsuit, smear a little grease in your joints, and come into our chop shop! Through deconstruction (adapting/altering real-world texts), renovation (technology integration), and reconstitution (project-based learning) of our curriculum and our teaching methods, those classics can come alive again and be restored to all their glory.

Digital Dinosaurs to Digital Natives

Here is the Prezi (our slide presentation) for TCTELA 2010

Digital Dinosaurs to Digital Natives 

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