Me (by the E) and my new friends from Canada at the FETC conference!

Passion for Teaching Ignited at the FETC Conference!

four teachers at the FETC conference

Me (by the E) and my new friends (Bruno, Kerry and Lori) from Canada at the FETC conference!

This is just a quick post to get myself back in the habit of blogging and to greet anyone who might stumble upon my blog and think it is dead. I spent last week in Orlando at the FETC conference and my mind was blown on a daily basis! I ran from session to session as fast as I could, frantically making notes and gathering information. It will be difficult to focus on mundane tasks this week, because all I want to do is dive into the new skills and concepts I picked up while I was there!

I am trying to sort it all out and focus myself a bit. As I like to tell my high-achieving students: You can do ANYTHING but you can’t do EVERYTHING. With that in mind, here is my list of obsessions, that I will need to whittle down to a manageable list of goals:

  • digital portfolios: this is an old one, but now is the time to make it happen. I plan on piloting a project with a handful of graduating seniors this year as a reflective exercise for them. However, I am also interested in using portfolios for assessment tools, now that I have tried it in my summer course.
  • video video video: now video editing is so easy even I can do it! Screencast-o-matic lets you make “how-to” videos for students (and colleagues) easily and effectively. Popcornmaker lets you customize video for your own purposes and meograph allows you to “tell a story in four dimensions” by adding pictures, videos, maps and narrations to a timeline. The possibilities for our students are truly limitless!
  • getting organized: I am determined to become an Evernote expert and get the most out of this powerful tool.
  • Google Tools: like with Evernote, I know just enough to be dangerous. Luckily, one of my students is a big fan, and is doing screen casts about how to use Google tools already.
  • authoring iBooks: I’m itching to create a living, breathing textbook for our freshman bio class! Stay tuned for more about this effort in the near future (like in the next two weeks)
  • personal learning environments: passion-based learning isn’t just for teachers — it is great for our students as well. As Will Richardson reminds us, our students are already online, searching for information and experts and creating their own curricula — we need to help them do that. What are the best ways to accomplish personalization of student learning environments?

That is it for now — I have a ton of grading to do. Bear with me as I sort through all this in a public forum. Ideas? Questions? Comments? Help? Please participate!