I’m Baaaaaack! Took break due to…..

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Packrat…MENTAL EXHAUSTION! Instead of blogging, I’ve been hitting the pavement exercising both running and cycling. However, this summer I will work on a life balance and factor blog writing in the equation.

Now that testing and the 2013-14 academic school is finally over, I can do some reflection and planing for the next school year. Some summer projects I would like to work on:

  • Integration of fitness and nutrition with current CCSS math curriculum (especially since it a part of the health literacy component of the 21st century framework )
  • Delve into the hype of Rasberry Pi and make “heads or tails” of it
  • Decide to either use my Edmodo, Moodle or iTunes-U with my classes.
  • Work on a EdTech publication! It’s time to share with the world all of the useful knowledge in my head
  • Either dye or pluck out all of the gray hair from my head due to stress (just kidding)

I am planning to attend to CMS Summer Institute (#CMSSI14) for two weeks. I am a little excited about this conference and of course I will share my excitement here. Enough of my rambling, let me get back to boxing up my classroom…

Pack rat powers, activate!





Who is Ethan Young?

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The other day after a common planning session, one of my colleagues shared this video of a student. You may see him an an ordinary pupil, but he speaks for the millennial masses under the Common Core standards reform. With an open mind, please check out this video and share your thoughts.

Compete or Complete?

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I am currently in training to run a half-marathon in December. Somewbusiness-Competitionhere in my training I ran into some literature that discussed depending on your plan on race day, should determine how hard I condition myself. Then I had to ask myself, am I training to compete or complete?

If I train to complete, I must work on endurance and not my speed. Worrying about my time is not essential in beating the competition when focusing on completion.

IMHO, I think in the past, our education system has been in the mode in getting students to complete their educational career to receive a high school diploma. Don’t get me wrong, but this is not a bad goal. However, since the United States is lagging behind in the educational area, I believe that the Common Core Standards (CCS)  is a movement in the right path shifting our schools from a mode of completion to competition.

Step back with me for a moment and think; When one masters something, they are able to go beyond expectations. For example mathletes that compete in tournaments. They solve word problems all day long that are beyond what they learn in the classroom. So rigor is understood and is naturally already there.

Enough of my rambling and in conclusion, CCS is a paradigm shift. Don’t fight the movement in embracing change. Let’s be prepared for greatness once again.

Gamification and #GTAV

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On Tuesday, 17-Sep-2013, a highly anticipated video game will be release. If yImageou deal with teenagers, I’m sure that you know what I am talking about. The good people from Rock Star Games will be releasing their next installment of the controversial game Grand Theft Auto 5 (#GTAV). It is no secret that this game has it’s share of negativity in it. However as 21st century educators, we must learn to adapt, modify and flip our lessons to what interests our students to make instruction engaging, relevant and meaningful. For example, now is a great time to have students debate about the violence in video games as the media will discuss in the next few weeks.

Anyway, GTAV is nothing but a open, virtual world or sandbox game just like Second Life, Assassin’s Creed, Sky Rim, or Little Big Planet. My friend David Hutchison has a chapter in his book, Playing to Learn discusses how to make GTA “kid-friendly”. Yes, that deserves a chuckle, or two. He expresses if a teacher wishes to use this game as an educational tool, one must modify the game play and content. David share a great point of view of many game play tasks and other ways to use GTA and other video games for instruction. I highly recommend this book for your teaching pedagogy library.

Gamification is the future of education. I will definitely continue my research and share my finding on this topic. 🙂

Real Talk Illustrated…

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I actually saw another version of the following comic posted in the bathroom at my school. It was taken down before I could get a copy of it. However I was able to scour the Net for it. I’m sure that you’ll agree how the times have changed.

Real Talk...

The Lab Rat, Guinea Pig, and the Student

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What do all the above have in common? Innocent victims or willing participants, right? As we enter the high-stakes testing season, be mindful of our youngsters that must undergo these assessments that determine if learning took place for the whole year or semester.

As I blogged before, teaching methods have changed over the decades, but standardized testing has not. Call these tests a necessary evil if you wish. In order to hold teachers accountable these tests are needed to generate data. As you know data is very valuable and has its own language. Data is used for research to improve education.

Continuing to embrace these days of testing anxiety that we all have experienced in the past, we can feel empathetic for all of our furry adolescent testing subjects.

The Utopian Classroom of 2020?

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Believe it or now, 2020 is only seven years from now. The following video by Corning gives a glimpse of the ideal classroom of the future. Check it out and see how close we are to this now.

After viewing this video, our millennial screenagers are already there. As an educator, are you ready for the future? Can you imagine teaching in that school, however still stuck with mentality of having the fear of the use of technology? (See my previous post on the “Luddite educator“) Times are changing, so shall we…

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