Friday, October 5, 2012

I recently created a new Blog for future postings. To view, go to The Blog, titled "Teaching and Writing", focuses not just on technology in education, but also on my historical fiction writing activities. The first Blog posted covers information on Google and Khan Academy's recent partnership to encourage the production of quality educational videos that teachers can use to help "flip" their classrooms. For additional information on my current writing activities, you can also go to Due to Apple's discontinuance of, I will be updating my links on the right panel in the near future.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blended Learning

What Is Blended Learning? 

Have you thought about putting some of your students’ classwork online? Does that mean you’re delving into “blended learning”? I just read a blog by Rob Darrow that discussed a white paper on blended learning. Heather Staker and Michael B. Horn’s paper, Classifying K-12 Blended Learning (Innosight Institute, May 2012) defines blended learning as: a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace and at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. Catlin Tucker writes a passionate response to this white paper in her blog, amending the definition to read, a formal education program in which a student is engaged in active learning at least in part online where they have some control over the time, place, and/or pace and in part at a brick-and-mortar location away from home. Notice that Tucker takes exception to the word “path” in Staker and Horn’s definition. She totally eliminates it in her revised version. I definitely applaud her emphasis on students’ active engagement in the learning process. Her elimination, however, of the word “supervised” definitely wouldn’t meet California Department of Ed.’s requirements for online learning! Staker and Horn did invite others to contribute to their research by asking others to offer “improvements and additions.” So add your voice to the mix. Read the blogs and the white papers. Be part of the “disruptive innovation”!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Upcoming Presentations

Will Richardson, Educational Technology Specialist, will be the featured speaker at this year's CLMS Technology Conference in Monterey, CA, Jan. 13-15. I will give a presentation on "Technology to Engage Students' Minds without Losing Yours". In March, I will give a presentation on how to engender students' critical thinking using the free 3D animation program called "Alice." This workshop will be held March 24 at "The Harker School," sponsored by Silicon Valley CUE. For more information on these conferences, go to either, or Hope to see you at one of the events!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gaming Can Make a Better World?

Thanks MFL for sending me a link to this amazing video! This past year was my most difficult year as a teacher. I lost my vision and enthusiasm for teaching because the workload was horrendous. I'm sure I was not alone. Asked to do the job of both a regular teacher as well as a special ed teacher (with no certification or training), I worked over 70 hours a week trying to do the best job possible. I had no energy or will to devote to technology in education. This video, however, inspired me to return to my first love. It's a must see. Check it out and give us feedback on how you might inject at least one thought inspired by this video into your teaching this next school year.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Has anyone used the free 3D animation program, Blender? Or have your students used it? It looks like a great tool for those interested in delving into 3D animation (especially since it's free!), but the learning curve appears pretty steep. Drop us a comment in the box below and let us know your experiences. I'm thinking of adding some of the tutorials for Blender to my 7th/8th grade technology class for the new semester.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Games can be powerful motivational tools in education. I just found a great free game creation tool that's easy to use at They have several different templates. All you have to do is enter your questions and answers. Here's a sample game I created for a review of Ancient Rome for my 7th graders when we get back to school.

Click here for full screen version

I plan to embed games such as this into my Homework Webpage and encourage students to use the games as a review tool. Our adopted social studies textbook has a few online games related to the text, but how much more powerful it will be to specifically target the facts I want my students to know in order for me to challenge them to move on to higher levels of critical thinking. Just as seasonings provide flavor and variety in food, so too a "just in time" game can provide our students with the needed motivation to solidify the facts they need to master in order to move through the stages of higher order thinking. Create your own game for your curriculum and share the link with us here!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I'd like to thank Dr. Sontag for welcoming me to share posts on this blog as a collaborative effort from this point onward.

My first contribution to the blog is to share a product which I've seen demonstrated at my school in London. It is very exciting to see the possibility of this new product, which has only recently arrived on the market. It allows any flat surface to become an interactive whiteboard. The projector is ultra-short throw which removes a great deal of the shadow from teaching in front of a standard ceiling-mounted projector.

The down side is that Smart Board software is still superior to the software of any of its competitors (including Promethan's Activboard or the Polyvision Eno Board). Perhaps there will be a way in the future to put the two together!