Archive for the 'Obligatory Post' Category

School’s Out For Summer! School’s Out Forever!

June 1, 2010

As educators, we are often told how lucky we are to have two months off work in the summer.  We are told this by people who have no idea what educators do over the summer.  If you are out of school now as I am, enjoy a little time off before you begin the real work.  If you are just finishing up your year, hang in there!

For many, the end of the school year and the hot months of summer are when “the professional development” is “administered.”

As a 21st Century Educator, my professional development is an ongoing process.  From staying in touch with my PLN, working on my graduate degree online, and attending or presenting at conferences, to having departmental meetings and conducting inservice workshops, the professional development cycle does not begin or end for me in summer.

Here is a snapshot of my summer plans

National Park Community College Retreat
For three days this month I will be attending the Summer Institute for Adjunct Faculty at the Rockefeller Center.  The Winthrop Rockefeller center in Morrilton, Arkansas, that is.  This will bring together approximately 20 professionals who are adjunct instructors at NPCC to help align our efforts with the mission and goals of the institution.  I’m looking forward to this retreat atop Petit Jean Mountain!

Arkansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Preconference
I will again be presenting at the AASCD Technology Preconference.  Although I was scheduled to lead a session on Discovery Education‘s many products (streaming media, assessment tools) that are available to all teachers in Arkansas, it looks like the agreement that made the tools available will be coming to an end.  Instead, I will be introducing the participants to Prezi, an innovative presentation tool.

Go Paperless with Free Google Tools Workshop
In partnership with the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, I will work with 15 educators from across the state who are interested in integrating Google tools into their schools and classrooms.  This workshop has been described fully on this blog before.

ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock was chosen again to host the EMBHSSC.  This two-week program designed to expose middle school students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Carl Frank and I will be teaching the technology components of the problem-based, interdisciplinary curriculum.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock High School Research Program
Since 2006, I have worked with UALR on this program that aims to provide high school students an opportunity to be mentored for three weeks by UALR faculty in a research setting and to assist students in making sound decisions regarding pursuing education beyond high school.  The HSRP was highlighted in a recent edition of the Computer Science Teachers Association CSTA Voice.

In addition to attending or presenting at these programs, camps, and workshops, I will also be preparing for my first year as a Computer Information Systems Instructor at Ouachita Technical College, keeping up with my PLN, and finishing my graduate degree.

Two months off in the summer.  I hope your summer months will be as fulfilling as mine promise to be!

Advertisements

GoogleFest, meet Prezi

May 23, 2010

I haven’t had a lot of time to blog this week, with finals, graduation, yet another graduate class, and preparing for next week’s GoogleFest.

I was asked to put together a series of hour-long sessions for this year’s end-of-year professional development days.  The sessions are Collaboration with Google Docs, Forms & Spreadsheets, Calendar & Presentations, and Google Sites.  With the help of a couple of colleagues, GoogleFest was born!

I began by planning the sessions and their descriptions, and then I recruited some help to share the workload.  I created a Google Site to house all of the resources associated with the sessions, and I tried to use as many Google tools in the creation of the resources.  Just hours before tr.im stopped accepting new URLs, I shortened the GoogleFest site to http://tr.im/gfest2010

Everything changed when I got my free Prezi account.

I had seen Prezi used once before in a presentation given by Steve Dembo, but they didn’t offer free accounts for educators at the time.  Through my work as a Discovery Education STAR, I was given a free Prezi account.  On a whim, I decided to organize a GoogleFest presentation in it.  By the end of the day, I had several of the workshops completed using Prezi.

Check out this great Prezi on Google Search Tips,  my GoogleFest Prezi, and all of the great Prezis categorized by discipline at http://edu.prezi.com.

PS:  If you’re new to Prezi, use the arrow keys to navigate!

K-12 Computing Teachers Equity Workshop – Scholarships Available

May 12, 2010

Hosted in Partnership with the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI), the 2010 K-12 Computing Teachers Equity Workshop will be held in Atlanta, GA on Saturday October 2, 2010.  I participated in this workshop in 2009, and I highly recommend it to any computing teacher seeking strategies, allies, and support in reaching all students.  Scholarships are available, but you must apply soon!

This workshop will convene K-12 computer science teachers who work with under-represented populations of students at the Grace Hopper Celebration to:

  • Instigate a discussion of equity and computer science curriculum;
  • Create knowledge sharing opportunities on concrete solutions grounded in teachers’ articulated, specific needs;
  • Disseminate these solutions to a broad audience of teachers, STEM practitioners, and interested stakeholders via workshop, Town Hall meeting and discussion of a newly released white paper; and
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of these solutions in classrooms that serve under-represented student populations.

For complete details, check out the full workshop agendaScholarships are available which cover travel, lodging, and registration costs for this workshop and the Grace Hopper Celebration.  The deadline to apply is May 24, 2010.

Scholarships Still Available for the K-12 Computing Teachers Equity Workshop