Friday, December 20, 2013

Former Students Give Choir Teacher Emotional Musical Tribute

Former Students Give Choir Teacher Emotional Musical Tribute:

Here’s the news story on the perfect send-off for my former teacher and colleague. It’s been a pleasure to learn from and teach with him. Grab a tissue.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tonight’s commute. #nofilter (at Antioch Bridge)

Tonight’s commute. #nofilter (at Antioch Bridge)

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Saturday, December 07, 2013

What I’m doing today…

What I’m doing today…

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Obligatory first #snow shot of the season.

Obligatory first #snow shot of the season.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things. (at Coronado Beach)

These are a few of my favorite things. (at Coronado Beach)

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Thursday, November 21, 2013


Since I’m stuck at the Burbank Airport for a few hours, I purchased some food I’d never eat anywhere BUT an airport. The young lady who rang up my order said, “You’re number 60 and you look gangsta in your hat.”

So at least I have that going for me.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Guest Appearance on TheatreCast #36- Triple Threat

I was lucky to be invited as a guest today on TheatreCast. Nick & Danielle were a blast to hang out with! We talked about Google +Hangouts, Shakespeare, and how exciting a time it is to be an educator.

I can't help but be a little jealous of these guys and their great show. I miss the podcasting world that was such a huge part of what I was doing in 2005-2007 with ShakespeareCast. I'm constantly thinking of bringing that sucker back. If only there were more time to be had....

Friday, November 01, 2013

Is Your PLN Making You Lazy?

So I've noticed something recently. People in my Twitter personal learning network are beginning to misuse it and I don't think they're aware of it.

"Who are you to say how Twitter should be used for educational networking?!?" you ask?

Nobody. I only just hit a thousand followers and four thousand tweets a week ago after six years on Twitter and am making a career out of hanging around brilliant people until they think I'm one of them.
But I am an expert communicator, and I think we're getting lazy.

What's happening is that people - educators - are starting to ask searchable questions. Now from the asker's perspective, this may seem petty: "It's more fun to ask questions of a live person!" Fine. Have fun. But what do you tell a student when they ask a searchable question? "Google it." What do you reply in emails to colleagues? How many of you have used to respond to a question? (If you haven't, you should try it out.)

We should hold ourselves to the same standard we hold our students and not burden our busy PLN colleagues until after we've searched.

Thinking in terms of Bloom's Taxonomy, I want to have Twitter discussions around higher level questions that challenge me to apply, analyze, evaluate and create. I want to be able to reply with more questions and to attack problems collaboratively. I don't want to Google it for you.

So while it may sound petty, I'm asking you to respect your PLN. Ask the next question, not the searchable one.

Now excuse me while I go tweet what I had for lunch. @Seanjay if you're interested.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Third Charm's the Time - How I Got Into the Google Teacher Academy

The Google Teacher Academy. A Google Certified Teacher. Wow.

I've been a teacher for 17 years now. I have a BA (Drama), an MA (Theatre Directing), and, of course, the Single Subject teaching credential (in English... hmmmm... what's wrong with this picture?) that allows me to teach high school students. I'm pretty proud of my two degrees but I've got to say... I tend to hide the name of the college where I bought- ...uhh... EARNED my teaching credential.

That's right. I'm near-embarrassed by my teaching certificate. There are several reasons for this (another blog post maybe?), but frankly that's not the point. The point is that if I were a wee bit crazier - and single - I'd get a Google Certified Teacher badge tattoo.

On my forehead.

So How Do I....?

I've had several colleagues ask how to become a Google Certified Teacher. First of all, I'd search "Google Teacher Academy" and "Google Certified Teacher" to find a wealth of reflective blogs that are much better written than this one. Then you can start at the very beginning: the official Google Teacher Academy page. After that, be sure to add +Google in Education to your Google+ circles so that their announcements will show up in your stream.

Then you apply. And apply. And apply.

The application itself is pretty straightforward. You'll want to check it out early and write up all your responses in a document you can save. The fun (read "ambiguous") part is the video. The video is on one of three topics. I chose "Classroom Innovation" for all of my entries. I applied four times but got in on my third. Sort of.

Attempt #1

It's obvious what the problem is here: it's all about me. Lesson learned.

Attempt #2

I LOVE this video. It took forever to make and I had to root my Galaxy Note to do it. It shows of student work. See? I learned. Any time I get to learn a new skill (like screencasting on a phone) while completing a task, I feel like I've moved forward. Different lesson learned. I'm going to pretend that I didn't get in with this one because of the music. It came up in YouTube as something that I had permission to use, but it's entirely possible that it didn't meet the guidelines about type of music used. Or it could just not be what they were looking for. Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

Attempt #3

I applied for the Mountain View cohort, which would have been very nice because it's within driving distance from where I live, but the application was due during a super-busy time of my year. I missed the deadline by seconds. Literally. My computer clock that syncs from the internet said that it was 12:00am PST. Seconds.

The funny part here is that I used everything word for word - even the same video - for the next application: Chicago.

Attempt #4

After spending so much time on that last one, I cranked this one out. Just me talking about my take on innovation in the classroom, some pics and boom. Not even the full minute. Lesson learned.

I should have a reflective blog post up in the next week or so, but I wanted to get this out there because there are many amazing educators who should be applying for this great experience including my new Twitter pal Erin Bortz, who gets credit for forcing prompting me to get this post done. ;)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Creating Our World

This post is an rush-to-publish piece of work by +Delaine Johnson and me for the Google Teacher Academy session on Creating Your World. We were tasked to "create a new core content area." Here's our proposed course:

WAC: Writing + Art + Coding
We need to create a new core course to address 22nd century skills. Writing, Art & Coding combine to form the future of communication.

Here's a (really quickly cut together) video of reasons why this course is needed:


Writing Across the Curriculum Overview

Diane Ravitch on the Arts

What Most Schools Don’t Teach - Short Film