Struck – February 26, 2016

Hmm…I was going through some of my old blogs and noticed the boring repetitiveness of using the dates as titles. I think I might try adding one word to the title to summarize the day to add some interest, and focus my writing for the day.

So today I chose “struck.” Why struck? One reason is because I have been struck with a viral infection that is still hanging around after three weeks. I went to Urgent Care and got some prescriptions, but I’m still not feeling great. However, I have been hard at work despite my illness and hopefully I am not contagious! Fortunately, my last coaching interaction was on Wednesday, so the only people who have witnessed my suffering are my students. Luckily they don’t usually pay any attention to me, so that’s good. Ha! Just kidding.

It is true that I haven’t had any coachee interactions yesterday and today, but that has given me time to be struck with inspiration as well. I have been inspired to further organize and update My Symbaloo, adding even more resources and trying out even more strategies for incorporating technology into teaching. As I noted yesterday, there have been many frustrating pitfalls in these attempts, not the least of which was filming video that didn’t upload.

Today has been just as frustrating, as every time I close Google Chrome, it automatically logs me out. We have to sign into Chrome and then our organizational account, so I had to enter my username and password about 50 times today. Nothing is printing and Internet uploading has been spotty. I’m so glad that my grades were finished yesterday because I don’t know if teachers will be able to post grades today with the bugs in the network.

However, the bright light at the end of this technology tunnel is that I am beginning to learn how to do some new strategies, particularly with project-based learning (PBL) in a blended learning environment with 1:1 in the class (students are not yet assigned a Chromebook to take home, but that is the plan for next year.)

So, the 10th graders are working on filming a movie with the Magisto extension I found for Chrome. They wrote a narrative a few weeks ago, and they can use this assignment – or write another one for the movie – and put their characters into real live action. Today they began storyboarding the action and then next week they will be adding camera directions and selecting copyright-free media to incorporate into their movies, including video if they would like to upload footage themselves. I am really excited about the assignment. I don’t think I’ve won them over yet, maybe because today is Friday and they just want the week to end already.

The 11th graders have been watching TED Talks and reflecting on how the speakers deliver their talks. We had a discussion about the qualities of a TED Talk and what they need to do to mimic the TED speakers’ style. I feel like the students are in a bit of a slump. I don’t know if my directions are unclear (I verbally explained the assignment and provided handouts of the requirements and rubric. I also placed all the directions on my Haiku page) or if they need more guidance, but they don’t seem to be very independent. Maybe this is my fault, or the fault of the previous educational model, that students expect to be spoon-fed and told what to do. They look almost scared when they are asked to do an assignment online now. Why? Are they reticent to use “fun” technology with “boring” school work? Are they not sure what to do or how to do it? Are they unmotivated or apathetic? I don’t know, but I sure hope they get it in gear so that we aren’t wasting our time in the theater next week.

Well, have a great weekend, everyone!



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