Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Learning with Technology

Students at Tok School this year are having more opportunities than ever before to learn about and with technology.

Last year the school began offering a technology skills class just for the middle school students - this was new, and was pretty successful.  Some of those students, now in high school, as well as older high school students, expressed interest in being able to do more with technology, but last year we didn't have much in the way of tech offerings at all.

That has all changed this year - the middle school tech course is still offered, and in the high school, students can also take Logo Programming, Entrepreneurial Technology, and Digital Publishing - all tech intensive courses. Also, students looking for credit recovery can still take those through online A+ courses, but we've expanded those offerings as well in a class called Online Academy.  Students taking recovery credits through A+, as well as students taking other online courses for credit during that period. Students can get one-on-one help from the teacher, as well as help contacting their online teachers.  Students set up a course completion schedule at the beginning of the year, to ensure they stay on track of meeting their goals to complete their course. This has opened up lots of different course and learning options for Tok's high school students.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year!

Hi students and families! Welcome to a new school year at Tok! There are lots of changes in the building and our courses this year that I think everyone will really like.

All of my students should know that as usual, I have wiki pages for my courses with the links listed at the right of this page. However, most of the course material and instructions will be delivered through Edmodo.  Click this link to get to the Edmodo site.  Most of my students from last year are familiar with Edmodo and already have accounts and passwords.

As you know we have a new principal, Mr. Roslansky. We also have a new (as a teacher) but familiar face teaching 8th-12th grade social studies, Mr. Brown, so thank goodness another year of entertaining morning announcements! A big change in the middle school is a new middle school English and Social Studies teacher, Ms. Kromer, who I know everyone will really like. Now you may be wondering what I am doing since Ms. Kromer is teaching middle school English and Social Studies...

Well most of you who know me know that I really like to use technology in my courses, so I'm excited to be the official technology teacher this year!  Along with middle school technology again, I'm also teaching some new courses that I'm pretty happy about and that I hope my students will enjoy as well.

I'll be teaching an online entrepreneurship course where students will learn how to work in different capacities online that include working for someone else, or even running their own business.  In today's world it's possible to do lots of interesting kinds of work but still live just about anywhere by working from your computer.

Another course I'm excited about teaching is our new Logo Programming class.  Lots of you who have taken courses from me have worked in a program called Scratch where you've learned a little bit about programming using Logo.  This course will be using a cool program called MicroWorlds in which students can really get into learning more about Logo and writing all kinds of programs and interactives.

Another new course will be Digital Publishing.  In this course, students will be publishing the school's online newspaper (which will be written by Mr. Curtiss' Journalism class) and the school yearbook.  The class will also focus on different forms of online publishing such as web page design, blogging, and other publishing platforms.

I'm happy to say we will be offering a language course again this year - Spanish.  That will be taught as an online course with lots of supplementing and fun activities, and hopefully we'll be able to stir up some interest in using part of the class to plan a trip to Spain next summer!

And finally, we still offer a period in the day when students take credit recovery classes online.  During that period this year we are also making space for students who may be taking other online courses through other programs such as correspondence study.  I'll be helping all of those students to look at their coursework and plan their year by setting goals, helping with tech problems, and helping them keep in contact with their online instructors. In the future, most students will probably take some form of online coursework, so this is a great opportunity to learn about how to manage your time and be successful when taking an online course.

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Course Platform

For the rest of the school year, I will be introducing some, maybe all of my classes to Edmodo.  Edmodo is an online learning platform.  It's just another way for students to get assignments, instead of the usual way, which is to go to one of our class wikis.  I'm not getting rid of the class wikis just yet - they may still serve a purpose.

For students in my classes using Edmodo, please click here for the link to the Edmodo site. It seems to work great on the iPads!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring is Here!

Warmer weather, melting snow, sunny days - spring is finally coming to our part of Alaska!  We have just finished 3rd quarter and have 2 months to go before summer is here for students!  This past quarter, students have made a lot of accomplishments in technology.  Check out some of the kids' blogs to see examples of special effects like lip-syncing and green screen, and cool art documentaries.

Middle school students have also been learning about propaganda in visual media.  Trying to discern what part of the truth they are seeing in advertisements and videos can be tough, but the kids know that above all, they shouldn't be GULLIBLE and believe everything they see and hear.  The students learned about some propaganda techniques and even made their own videos that utilize some of those techniques.  Check them out on the blogs!

Laptops are useful for hiding behind as 7th graders give Savannah the stare-down!