Posts Tagged ‘asmsa’

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!

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Workshop: Go Paperless with Free Google Tools

March 12, 2010

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m leading a 3-day workshop for teachers and administrators interested in learning how to increase collaboration and reduce unnecessary printing using tools that Google offers to schools and non-profits absolutely free.  This workshop will be in Hot Springs, Arkansas June 21-23, 2010.  The registration fee of $150.00 includes lunches and all materials.

This 3-day, 18 hour technology workshop is designed for classroom teachers and school administrators who want to learn new ways to increase collaboration, improve the quality of student feedback, rely less on printed documents, and leverage the many powerful tools Google offers free to schools.  It is taught by Google Certified Teacher Daniel Moix.  Topics include collecting data with Google Forms, creating custom heat maps with Google Spreadsheets, facilitating peer edits with Google Documents, planning lessons with Google Calendar, and more!  Make a school or classroom website.  Share your district’s curriculum documents in one place so everyone is on the same page.  See how the ASMSA Counseling Department has automated the transcript request process for college applications.  Participants will learn how to do all of these things with their personal Google accounts, and they will learn about the additional capabilities of Google Applications for Education such as posting classroom video projects online that are accessible only to those at your school.  This workshop is limited to 15 participants, and it will fill up quickly.

Please pass this information along to educators in your organization who might be interested in this hands-on program.  To claim your space, contact Kim Singleton by email or toll free at (800)345-2767.  The deadline for registration is May 1.

NCSSSMST Presentation: Google Is Not the Enemy

March 8, 2010

Last Wednesday through Saturday I attended the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Professional Conference.  The acronym isn’t much better:  NCSSSMST.  I attended a workshop on social media by Corey Alderdice of the Gatton Academy, a session on using robotics to stimulate interest in STEM topics by David Platt from Wheeler High School Center for Advanced Studies, and I spent a couple of hours with the LASA E-Zine folks.

Our librarian Alaine Martaus and I presented a session called Google Is Not the Enemy, demonstrating the Google search tools and techniques that students can use to access legitimate sources online.  Alaine demonstrated Google Scholar, Google Books, and Google Patent Search.  I introduced Google Alerts, Wonder Wheel, Timeline Search, and Google Squared.  You may recognize some of the slides in this presentation from Searchin’ Like It’s 1999.

Led by a Google Certified Teacher, this session is designed to familiarize faculty who guide student research on the finer points of using Google’s specialized search tools and applications for advanced research results. Though many students rely heavily on the standard Google search for their research needs, faculty are increasingly wary of the reliability and accuracy of the information accessed through this generalized web search engine. The primary method of preventing unverified information from making its way into student writing has been to educate students in methods of website evaluation. What this session aims to do is present an additional method that involves using specialized search tools and scholarly applications available from Google that will improve the overall quality of all sources found through online searches. Using information gained at the selective Google Teacher Academy, this session means to demonstrate a variety of Google applications that will be of use both to students in their research and to teachers. The session will also discuss the advantages of building on the familiar foundation of Google searching, which is already so popular with students. Lastly the session will touch briefly on some of the controversies and worries that teachers often have about Google with the hopes that open discussion will alleviate any concerns about using Google tools more fully in the classroom.

We had some spare time at the end of the session, so we demonstrated the Google Applications for Education suite offered free to schools.  One very excited participant ran out of the room asking her colleague, “Why aren’t we doing this?  I don’t understand exactly what it is, but it’s wonderful!”  Several expressed interest in my 3-day summer workshop, “Go Paperless with Free Google Tools.”  More on that in a future post.

NCSSSMST conferencegoers enjoyed an evening at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon. Line dancing lessons were complimentary for the uninhibited.  See that video after the break.

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