Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Voki is a FUN way to do an Intro!

Voki is a fun way to have an avatar introduction you to your class.  I have asked my students to do this, but rarely have done it myself.  I am going to do that this year.  Should be fun.  Here is the intro that I did for an INTEL course that I am taking called "Facilitating and Implementing Online Professional Development."  Should be fun.

What do you use for introductions?  Can you suggest Avatars that you can make talk?  I tried Xtranormal but it didn't work correctly.

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

What Do Teachers Make? (Happy Teachers' Appreciation Day)

Happy Teacher's Appreciation Day, Everyone!!!

This is the day when we will appreciate you teachers who brought out the best in us. You made us achieve levels of excellence that we thought impossible.  You challenged us to succeed!

I must admit that my best days in life are those when I made a difference in someone's life. It might be a student or a son or a grandson or a complete stranger, but I possess the Teacher's Gene and it is what gives me pleasure.

I recently had dinner with a couple of guys who were my college roommates back at UCSB.  We started talking about retirement.  I had thought about retirement before but that night I couldn't imagine living a life when I wasn't trying to improve our classrooms by providing future and present teachers with innovative learning experiences that they could use in their own classrooms.  I couldn't imagine not working with students to challenge them to do the impossible.

I couldn't imagine not teaching.

I just bumped into Taylor Mali's talk on What Do Teachers Make.  It is a 3-minute soliloquy about what a difference teachers make in the lives of their students.  Here it is for you to watch along with a list of what Taylor identifies as "What Teachers Make."    Go Taylor.

Teachers Can Make . . .
  • kids work harder than then ever thought they could.
  • a C+ feel like a congressional medal of honor.
  • an A- feel like a slap in the face
  • kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.
  • parents tremble in fear when I call home to compliment students on their actions. 
  • parents see their children for who they are and who they can be.
  • kids wonder, question and criticize
  • kids apologize and mean it
  • them write, write and write and read, read, read definitely and beautiful until they will never misspell either of those words again.
  • them show all their work in math class and hide it on their final drafts in English.
  • them realize that if you have this (brains) and you follow this (heart) then you don't have to worry about what you make ($$$)
Teachers make a Difference . . . what about you?

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