Well, the current school year of 2013/2014 is coming to a close…as of Thursday, June 5, 2014, my students are sone for the year. Before the end of the year we started having what was called “Step-up Day” where students would go around with their next year’s schedules and meet their teachers for the upcoming year. We are a smaller school, so most of the high school students and teachers can at least recognize each other on site if not know each other already. The big introduction comes from the Eighth Graders who come up from the middle school. This year due to a myriad of issues, there will be no “Step-up Day.”
I will have two Ninth Grade Honors Civics Classes next year. The transition from 8th to 9th Grade is a tough one for some students; add to that jumping in to an honors course AND the non-traditional structure of my course…it can take a bit of time for them to adjust. To combat the changes I have already set up my Edmodo classroom for the Honors Classes and emailed the code to their 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher. Students will not be given mandatory summer assignments, but will have the opportunity to voluntarily check out resources and items that will be posted over the summer.
Those who participate will receive badges, or some sort of fun reward for taking the time out of their summer to peruse the Edmodo group. The direct benefit for them will be that they will be comfortable with the online classroom and resources before the school year even starts. Hopefully they, and their parents, will also be comfortable enough to communicate and ask any questions that may arise during the upcoming year. My goal is to make them more prepared for the challenges they will be facing next year and beyond…(sorry Buzz Lightyear, I could not resist stealing your line.)
It has been less than 24 hours since the students have had the Edmodo join code and 4 students have already joined the group. They will be greeted with a typed message and two Touchcast videos from yours truly, but that is another post…
Here is the Twitter feed from #edcampCLE, or edcamp Cleveland. It is unedited so there may be comments from spammers and/or trolls…peruse with caution. I could not use Storify.com in my usual fashion since I waited too long to collect the Tweets.
Sorry this is late, but life has been hectic. Click on the link in the Tweet to see the Twitter Feed from edcampPhilly. It is unedited, so some content may have been from spammers or trolls….
So, my students are winding up their collaborative projects that I have posted about previously, click here to view. The last couple of days students have made a a concerted effort to finish up the projects. Students have been staying after school, using my open door policy by coming in during their study halls, lunch periods, or any other free time, and asking questions after hours via Edmodo. While I admire their efforts, I believe that if they started out this focused on the project, there would be no need for as much effort now. I do realize that the dreaded, state mandated, standardized tests were last week which created a different atmosphere for the start of the project. Being entrenched in the holiday season and weekly threat of “SNOWMAGEDDON X” from the local weather forecasters has added to the ongoing list of distractions for this project.
Yesterday, I was reflecting on some of my notes from PETE & C last week. I am trying to round out my digital footprint from strictly “Techno Geek” stuff to adding more of the “Social, Non-Educational Me” stuff. In the process of reflecting I noticed that my iPhone is running out of storage space. Upon further review, I had over 380 new pictures that were not uploaded anywhere for safe keeping.
Since I was off from work, I decided to do some “Digital Housekeeping.” I opened up several photo apps on my iPhone and began uploading the images to the appropriate websites. I keep my family photos on one website, they are locked down as private; there is nothing inappropriate on the site, I am just more comfortable not sharing EVERYTHING with the world.
I also uploaded a bunch of images to my Flickr account. This account has all of the images labeled with the Creative Commons Reusable with Attribution license. I place many generic, everyday photos of things I come in contact with here. I make my students search for open source and resusable images when creating projects for class. It is my belief that I should give back to the system and add images for others to use.
All images sent to Flickr also go to my family storage site, there is an overlap, but storage is free, so why not take advantage of the space. Once I upload images, I am working on keeping only my favorites on my device. This will free up Gigabytes of space on my phone and allow me to record many more family moments and general interesting events I see. I need to do digital housekeeping on a regular basis and I still have a long way to go with pairing down the images on my devices.