Sunday, October 21, 2012

Well I have some very motivated and talented students this year and feel that it is time to implement the Sentinel Design Academy.  I have thought about this for years, but never quite had the right situation.  This is the year.  I started out by thinking of it as a Design Lab. This Design Lab will be for students that want to go into the field of design, whether print, web or video.  I am thinking more of an Academy now.  These students will complete authentic projects for the the school and community. Since our design lab is under the Business Department, the hope is that we will turn this into a business with real-world experiences for students. These students must be taking a digital design class (graphic design, web design or digital film) and maintain an A in their class.  They should be studying for or passed the Adobe Certification Associate exam. They should be mentors for other students.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Somewhere along the line I stumbled upon a website called Photoshop Ping Pong.  This intrigued me.  It is open to the world.  The idea is that one student finds an image and posts it. Another student picks up the image and makes a change to it and repost it.  This goes back and forth for five rounds, for a total of ten rounds.  Students rate their posts and the best rating wins.

I thought why not start this through Moodle so that it would be geared just toward high school students.  I would start of small - just between two students in independent study. Then move on to getting Graphic Design 2 students involved.  Next, I sent an e-mail to the two other high school Graphic Design teachers in our district (at different high schools). So far the other schools are considering it. There is a technical difficulty hoop I need to get past before I can bring this outside of the school district. I created a Moodle with no enrollment key on our district Moodle site just for Photoshop Ping Pong. The hitch is that only students with an our school e-mail address (whether real or not) can register with our Moodle.  I will need to see how we can work with this hitch, because my next idea is to post something on the Facebook Adobe Education Leaders Facebook page and possibly the Adobe Education Exchange website looking for teachers interested in having their high school students participate. The exciting thing about this, is that it will have worldwide impact. Who knows, just thought I would give it a try this year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Presented a collaborative session for the Flat Classroom Project about Google Apps for Education (GAFE).  This was rather hard for me, as we have not fully implemented this in our school district.  I explained that I was piloting this for our school district and what I have done so far.  Other teachers Theresa Allen from Joliet, IL, and Cynthia Sandler (fellow Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Program) from North Salem, New York) presented what their schools have been doing.  Theresa is a technology teacher and coordinator for a private PreK-8th grade school and Cynthia is a Library Media Specialist in a Middle School. This was a great experience in collaboration and I hope to do more of these types of things - reaching out globally. To listen to the presentation: F.L.A.T.s Ways Classrooms and Schools Use GAFE

Saturday, October 6, 2012

This has been something that I have been wrestling with.  At first I didn’t see the point. After listening to several presentations and doing some reading I now feel that I have a better understanding of why you would want to gamify your curriculum.  I heard a presentation at the Adobe Education Summer Institute that really intrigued me.  I followed up with Mike Skocko who is a teacher & Tech Coordinator at Valhalla High School in El Cajon, CA.  For years I have followed Mike (and the MAC Lab) and Rob Schwartz (and Brainbuffet) from Seminole Ridge High School, Loxahatchee, FL (both Adobe Education Leaders) who teach what I teach.  They are awesome and I love their method of deliver and philosophy of education.

I followed up with Mike and found some exciting things.  He and several students have developed a Wordpress website gamifying the education he has been delivering for years (and I have been following).  While this overwhelmed me a little, I was fascinated.  I have been follow all of the posts on the Adobe Education Exchange through the trials and tribulations of getting something like this setup.  I truly feel like he is on to something.  Check out his new site:  Mac Lab 3.0
I thought about re-creating this through Moodle, especially the new Moodle 2.3 which has the ability to not let students move on unless they have completed certain requirements.  I actually started to create this.  I had a student test it out.  However, I see several things that he is able to do with his site that I will will not be able to do with Moodle, or would be quite complicated and possibly confusing.  

I decided, after that experience, to contact our computer science teacher, Dave Hamilton, to see if he had a couple of students that might want to get involved in something like this.  Dave is also the Track Coach for Sentinel High School, and he said he would not be able to do anything for two weeks.  He was very interested, however and had a book (with many bookmarks) that support gamifying education.  I will be getting back in touch with him, for sure.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Considered submitting a presentation proposal for ISTE 2013.  Worked with Joe Dockery and Ryan Visser of Clemson University in Pendleton, SC. Joe connected me with him.  He has been presenting a Dreamweaver beginning session at ISTE for years.  He would like to collaborate with another teacher and teach two 3 hours sessions - more of a beginning, intermediate six hour course.  Since this may be my first year presenting at NCCE, I did not feel I was quite ready for this.  I wanted to see how things went at NCCE.  I do plan on attending ISTE 2013, however and hopefully helping him and work towards further collaboration for 2014.  I also hope to have an opportunity to help out in the Adobe booth at ISTE 2013.