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.

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