Showing posts from June, 2014

Geeking out in Summer School

This was the first week of summer school ... and oh what a week it was! I am teaching two different classes Game Design and Crazy for Code to incoming fourth and fifth graders.

For Game Design the students are using Gamestar Mechanic. They learn different elements of video game design while working through challenges that teach them about the different elements of building a video game and then they work up to building their own game. Gamestar Mechanic does all of the coding for the students so that they are just manipulating the elements of a game: space, rules, components, mechanics, and goals. It helps them to develop a story for their game and I think it would be really interesting during the school year to let them create games around literature they are reading, history they are learning, or stories they are writing. The students are loving it!

The class that I was most excited to teach was Crazy for Code. Don't get me wrong Game Design is a lot of fun, but I am really intere…

Building Relationships

Today was the last day of my second year at Carpenter Elementary School as their Instructional Technology coach. Words cannot express how much I love my job. There are, of course, rough days where things don't go right or I get bogged down in the politics of education and change. But, I believe in what I am doing and I see the impact I have had with the teachers that I work with and the students that we serve. I know though, that I could not have had any impact if it weren't for the truly great group of people that I work with and the relationships that we have built together. Without relationships you cannot have growth.

Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows. - Ben Stein
Relationships are built on mutual respect. In the first couple months in my time at Carpenter I had to work to gain the respect of my teachers. I had to prove to them that I knew what I was talking about. In talking with them I …

Don't Let the Tool Get in the Way

There is this really great breakfast place that I take my son to sometimes. I always order the same thing, an omelet nest and an iced tea. Every single time the tea comes with a spoon in it. The spoon is a great tool! It has many uses and is even necessary to complete certain tasks such as eating soup easily. Even though the spoon is a great tool, if I don't get it out of the way it causes problems when I'm trying to drink my iced tea by hitting me in the face. It doesn't matter how great a tool is, if it's getting in the way of what you're trying to do (in this scenario, it's drinking tea) it isn't the right tool for the job. A straw, however, is the perfect tool for this task.

Technology, wether it's Chromebooks, iPads, Laptops or mobile devices, is an amazing tool that has so many uses and in many cases makes life so much easier. Technology has made things possible that were not before. Just because technology is an excellent tool for so many things…