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Moving through 2019 (it's all going to be okay)

Blogslacker that I am, I drop in here on a Saturday morning to share with you that I'm actually really blogging more regularly at my classroom blog. To see a few things, head on over to the Falcons Tech Lab blog and subscribe to that one if you want to keep up. More and more, I'm focusing on my work at my work, trying to establish a solid learning environment for my ~800 students who cycle through it in the course of a school year in 9 week chunks.
It's a continually changing set of challenges, with 8 good-sized classes each 9 weeks, coming in in alternating A-day/B-day rotations. Our kids are largely in Hispanic-rooted families. Recently I polled a 9-weeks set of classes to see exactly how the language piece breaks down. This was in the way of an end of quarter reflections poll, using Google Forms as its vehicle. Look at this:
I do maybe have one little announcement. Those close to me may remember that I have been planning to retire at the end of the school year 2019-2020…
Recent posts

New Year

Today is January 6 of the new year 2019.

I have always reluctantly tolerated the long "holiday letters" some folks have shared with me over time. I don't know, the practice just seems somehow narcissistic, creating a journal entry intended to summarize a year of work, play, and family ups and downs. It smacks of the chain letter. On the other hand, I'm not a very good friend--sluggish to reach out and ask how my few true friends are doing, what's happening and why, how can I help and support them. In that other hand, the other side of the coin is also true: I don't share much, really. Perhaps there should be a study of the stages of social media sharing. It might go something like this:
CuriosityLurkingTentativeness  EmboldenedOversharingEmbarrassmentWithdrawalAbandonment Okay, I haven't worked my way through 6-8 yet, but I suppose I am working on them or scheduled by the higher powers to experience them, and perhaps they are not stages that play out in a …

ISTEVENFocus112018Valibrarian

For our November 2018 third Tuesday ISTE Virtual Environments Network Focus Session, we welcomed Valerie Hill, aka Valibrarian Gregg, to the VEN Headquarters for "Digital Citizenship: Sharing Stories through a Community Drum."  Watch...

Then if you are of a resource-exploration mind, explore...




English Learners and EdTech

In my school, in my computer lab, over 65% of the students are English Language Learners. I struggle with ways to help them. The best results are when I can literally take a knee, point to their computer screens so that they are doing the clicking, and help them one-on-one. That can't always happen, since there are so many more of them in any of my 8 sections every 9 weeks than there are of me. 
But help is on the way: An esteemed colleague at McMurray MS shared this information last week with all our teachers. I highly suggest allotting some planning time to explore this wealth of information about EdTech and ELL. If English Learners are in your classes, and they sure are in mine, it will be a help to you! Copying and pasting his email (from Mr. Jason Smith at McMurray Middle School: FYI: “This toolkit brings suggestions and resources for educators who want to utilize new technology-based resources to help their EL students gain proficiency in English and meet academic goals. The…

I'm a...

Just sayin'. Reviewing a portion of the many "DR,MR, and VR" proposal submissions. That's Digital Reality, Mixed Reality, and Virtual Reality y'all. This will be fun. It always is!

Why Educators Must Teach Discussion

Hi, y'all,

Much better now. I slept upstairs last night for the first time since my bicycle accident. My sleep app, Sleep App, tells me that last night was the first really good night's sleep I've had in over a week, since I installed the pesky (but useful) thing. On the mend.

I actually "slept in" until nearly 7 a.m. this morning, a rarity for me. Once I carefully negotiated the stairs to the living room, I logged into my computer and of course went straight to Facebook, where I visited the ISTE Virtual Environments Network page (subscribe for updates on all things 3D and VR). That led me to our diva Mary Howard's post on medium.com, here:


which I find absolutely fascinating and motivating. Good job, Mary Mary! Somehow, and I am unable to retrace my steps, though I believe it was a recommendation on a sidebar at medium.com, I hit upon Howard Rheingold's fantastic article about student discussion, explicitly hosting them on discussion forums (remember the…

Unplanned Rest: How I Ended Up in Rehab

So, I know what you are thinking: His love of and indulgence in craft beers and bourbon was bound to lead him there sooner or later. Nope, it was a new re-dedication to exercise that got me to rehab. A parking lot entrance with a high curb, a rental street bike at the wrong angle, and speed, with the addition of a concrete surface and (Newton was right) gravity. All that.

I enjoyed Chicago a lot, and during the week I spent at ISTE2018 I rented bikes from DIvvY and had so much fun with that that I started incorporating the Nashville version of it into my daily exercise plans. On Friday morning I had worked out on the stationary bike at McCabe Community Center, then I rented a bike and tooled around a bit on the greenway path surrounding it and the golf course. Saturday, despite high and humid heat, I went straight for the bike, parking at Charlotte Avenue and 46th Avenue North and riding the greenway from there, passing through and along the Nashville Community College campus and then…