Over the past few weeks, many teachers of my school have been working hard preparing for the Google Certified Educator, Level 1 exam. I organized a three-hour training, with an additional three-hour block of time for the exam on Saturday, December 10 at my school. Not only have teachers been incorporating more Google tools into their daily lessons and reviewing the modules provided by the Google for Education Training Center, they are going to be giving up a 6-hour block of one of their Saturdays to complete the training and testing. To convince somebody to put in those kinds of hours, cough up $10 to pay for the exam and give up their Saturday takes quite a bit of convincing on the part of the organizer. However, 25 teachers and staff are signed up, and I look forward to seeing each and every one of them receive their certification certificates.
One of the best things about working at a school that is trying to become more technologically savvy and innovative is helping teachers that already have great lessons and projects and how to flip them into something that is more digital in nature (SAMR, anyone?). One such teacher wanted to take a small project that involves researching historical figures from providing a brief presentation of simple facts with a graphic to something much more exciting and visually appealing. I provided her with a few ideas on how to achieve this, such as creating a hyperdoc or short videos. In ten minutes, she turned her project into a video project using Adobe Spark where student groups would demonstrate their learning on a historical figure through graphics and short text, rather than long sentences/paragraphs, with voiceovers and music to accommodate the information. The videos could then be posted by students to Google Classroom to share with their peers for learning and evaluative purposes.
|We took our kids to Disneyland at the beginning of break;|
this is what it's like waiting in line at times! And waiting to
hear back on other things too...
Lastly, while I enjoy many aspects of the December holiday season, it's not my favorite time of the year, for several reasons. I don't enjoy how it becomes earlier and earlier every year (can we get through Halloween, Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving please?). I don't enjoy how materialistic and corporate it has become. I'm not religious, but in my opinion, it's gotten away from the religious, cultural, and family-oriented holiday that it once was. And I also don't enjoy remembering spending a Christmas in the hospital when my grandmother was sick years ago. I cherish the memories of her, just don't like being reminded of that one. This year, for the first time since I moved to Nevada in 2005, I will actually be home. Because I have always traveled during my time off in December, I have never bothered to decorate a tree or anything. This year, we will buy a tree, decorate it, hang stockings, and the whole thing for the kids. And of course, I will enjoy the things that I do like about the holiday, like watching Bad Santa, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, and Charlie Brown and hanging out with friends and family. And of course, hockey is always on and college bowl season begins and barring the (probable) collapse of the Detroit Lions, playoff football in the Motor City.
The next few weeks will be a great ride, hopefully, your ride will be just as fun and jam-packed as mine. Until next time...