Ran across something...

I saw a link to this Flickr member's account. He is pretty amazing. Etchasketchist.

My teaching situation

Well, it turns out that I will have a job next year. My school is overstaffed, and I will be moving to Fort Herriman Middle School. My principal thinks that I will like it there, although she wishes that I could stay at my current school. It has some neat technology bonuses that go along with it. I hope that I will be able to incorporate the technology in a good way. I am pretty excited about it. My principal did say that if there is another opening at my school, she is going to be very angry if I still go to Fort Herriman. It is nice to be appreciated, I must admit that.

Student Blogs Update

This is the situation with my student blog class. They are coming along relatively well, but the students still need a little help understanding what it is all about and why they are important. Part of the problem is that I am not sure how to teach them how important it really is. I know that it is. I am sure of it, but it is difficult to get it across.

Another problem is that we only have six computers in our class. I have 23 students which means that four days out of five, students will be separated from the group working on their blogs. They are still getting used to the blog setup, and it takes them the whole period to do the assignments, and they are not that long. I have to guide them through each step for the whole time. It is not their fault. I sprung this on them, and they don't know how to do everything, so it is obviously partly my problem.

The real issue here is that while I am helping them on the computers, most of the other students are goofing off and not doing their work. That is really difficult. I can't be helping both at once, and I need to do better at this. I would really love a computer lab that I could use, but the one in the library is booked forever, and the other one has old iMacs that are really slow, and would not be very good. It is quite frustrating...if only I could have one of those mobile computer center so that all the students could be on at once at least once a week. I would really like to do my entire curriculum online and not have them turn in anything on paper. I think that would be great. I need to find a grant for that mobile lab.

A Great Video

This video is a little like the one I posted previously, but it is better and longer (about 8 minutes). The really neat thing about this is that it was made by someone at my school district. I need to get in touch with this guy, and see if I can't get him to help me get some better stuff going. The website he links to is pretty informative.

Exciting News

I am happy to say that I have started integrating technology into my classes more. I am starting with my Honors class because I can trust them a little more than my other classes right now. We have a start page through Google that we use, and a class blog site. This is exciting because I have wanted to get something like this going for quite some time, but never knew how to do it well. The host 21classes.com seems like a good fit since I can be the administrator of all the students' blogs and not worry about them wandering around in cyberspace.

My one problem was that on every page I visited on the blog site, there was an ad that said, "Are you Gay? Take the quiz and find out!" I am pretty sure that I don't want to my students to be learning about their sexual orientation in my class. So, I had to buckle down and start paying for this service, but it is only $9 bucks a month, and the school is paying for it, so it is not that big a deal.

The other interesting point about all this is that I finally found a use for my personal website. I have to own a domain for the Google Apps thing to work out. Since I have the domain name already, it is easy to incorporate that.