Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Bllogging is Alive and Well

“Blogging is not dead and will not be while I and many others teach Digital Technologies! I am as passionate as ever about blogging and want my students to be too!”

I totally agree with this. I read many blog posts and I keep them organized in my aggregate reader, Feedly. I just go to this one place and I can see when my favorite blogs are updated. I do not have to bookmark them and then individually click on each bookmark. htis saves a lot of time and makes reading the blogs more enjoyable.

I blog for many different reasons.

My original intention was to share my knowledge and experience with struggling or new teachers.

Over the past 11 years, I have entered discussions about educational philosophy and shared my opinions about different topics.

I have given suggestions for classroom lessons on different topics.

When people write to me about a specific problem, I share my answer in a blog post because I think there may be others who have the same question and would find my answer interesting.

Sometimes I share my experiences about a specific product or company.

I like to write about professional development seminars that I attend and what I learned from them.

I also write about my travels and share new things that I’ve learned. I feel that learning is lifelong and happens on a daily basis.

Sometimes I just learn something new and want to share that with others.

When I teach my graduate class, I require my students to create a blog to write their reflections about their lessons. I also require others to comment on them. I hope this helps them learn that reflection and dialogue are both important. Some of my students continue to blog after the classx ends.

Do you blog? If so, please share the address so I can check it out.

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Making a Difference

Every July I have a program called Summer Learning Place. The teachers are my students and they are being evaluated for a class that I teach. We only have the children for 15 days over 4 weeks and they are taught reading, math, and social skills.

When the teachers come in, I have them write a blog post about how they are feeling and what goals they want to set for the next four weeks. Many of them say they don’t see how they can make a difference in only four weeks. Their goals are not very challenging because their expectations are low for themselves and the children.

Sometimes the children quickly achieve the goals set by the teacher and new goals have to be set. I think the teachers also achieve the goals they set for themselves quicker than they expected.

At the end of the program, the teachers write about how they have changed over the past four weeks and many of them state they are amazed. They are amazed at how much they have grown professionally, and they are amazed at how much the children have grown in that short of time also.

I try to get them to understand that they made a huge impact on each child’s life and made a difference in their learning. I want them to see that if they can make such a big impact on a child they had never seen before in just 15 days,  imagine what impact they have on their students when they have them for 180 days!

When they are feeling discouraged, I want them to realize that sometimes we don’t see growth because we are too close to the situation. I know when I gain or lose weight, I don’t notice it as much as my parents who only see me a couple of times a year. Sometimes we may not know the impact we make until years later. Sadly, we may never know the impact we make.

But I can promise you, that we do make a difference.

This is life. By doing one thing, it is like a pebble hitting the surface of the water; it makes ripples whether we want to or not.

I know that teachers make a  difference in a student’s life. We help them work towards being successful in the future.  

Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

Monday, August 13, 2018

Wild Ideas – Podcast

Here is a great resource for information on natural history. It ended broadcasting in 2014. This audio podcast is no longer active, but the episodes are still great to listen to.

The official description I found was:

“Your own nature talk! Observations of everyday nature leads to bigger ideas about the natural world and how it all fits together. Join a naturalist, a science educator, and a conservation biologist for friendly, science-based nature chats and down-to-earth interviews with selected scientists. Wild Ideas…the Podcast won’t keep you indoors! Take the wild ideas outside to enrich your personal observations and play—it’s good for you, good for your kids, and good for nature. Wild Ideas…the Podcast is produced by The Wilderness Center, a nonprofit nature center, land conservancy, and ecopreneurial organization.”

You can find 12 free episodes here:

Then it states, “If you enjoy these episodes, you can purchase the audio archive files of the entire series! Contact for more information.”

I have heard that you can get all of the episodes (200+) on a flash drive fore $20.

Have you listened to these? If so, what do you think? Please share.