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Beyond The Hour Of Code: Resources To Get You Started

If you are unfamiliar, Computer Science Education Week is December 9–15 this year, and is a week dedicated to getting students and teachers excited about coding. The Hour of Code is just one venue that you can participate in to get your feet wet coding with your students. If you have never participated in the Hour of Code before, I highly recommend you take a moment and jump on over to the FAQ section to learn more about the awesomeness, as well as to give it a try in your classroom yourself! Although you can technically host an Hour of Code anytime throughout the year, you may eventually want to do more in your classroom. CSEDWeek provides you with ways in which you can bring coding to your school. Regardless if you are a CS Teacher or a classroom teacher, teaching the fundamentals of computational thinking assists students with their critical thinking skills. Below is a brief list of some of my favorite tools.


Code.org
Price: Free | Privacy Policy | Ages: K-12
This absolutely free …
Recent posts

Privacy, Security, & Safety

It’s 2020 (just about) – do you know where your students' data is?

As National Cyber Security Month (October) has come to an end; and as the dawn of New York State’s proposed Education Law §2-d protecting students' Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is upon us here in The Empire State, I found it a good time to share this playlist for staff development. I recently have used this at a forum where I had tech leaders, newbies, innovators, coaches, etc. take ownership in their learning and understanding of the laws and regulations surrounding privacy, security, and safety. Working collaboratively (or in solitude if preferred), they were able to contribute to a Padlet where further discussion was given after the chance of exploration and written reflection were given on their findings.

Interestingly enough, not everyone in the room was familiar with every regulation. Many awesome conversations and questions were had…. Especially around student privacy.

Of course I understood th…

Schoology Part 1: Online Discussions Embedding Flipgrid

Over the past few weeks I have been working with my colleagues on building online professional development (PD) courses using Schoology. As I went over the basics in Schoology (analytics, badges, updates) and spoke about course design, I wanted to draw attention to what online professional development could look like to teachers. As staff development specialists, we collectively analyzed and discussed what we believed to be an authentic online experience - one that teachers can emulate in their own classrooms. This brought up a conversation on the digital tools that are used everyday by educators, as well as certain settings found in Schoology. Instead of teaching about the digital tools that are widely used in classrooms (which is not the premise of their online PD, I take ownership of ed. tech), why not exemplify how they are used through online PD? This way teachers not only have the practice in the application, but can begin to understand the instructional reasoning behind using …

A Shift in Mindset for 2020

During the 2018-2019 school year, I created a regional Professional Learning Community(PLC) entitled "Technology in the Classroom". This was a diverse group of individuals who came from a variety of schools with a vast array of technology competencies. We met four times throughout the school year and conquered many educational technology tools, practices, and theories.

The last meeting of the year consisted of my PLC participating in a design challenge to solve one of the UN Global Issues. The premise of creating an environment in which they became a part of the learning process, was for them to experience learning first-hand that involved risk-taking, working with limited resources, presenting to a panel of judges (my wonderful colleagues) and, most of all, working collaboratively.

After the presentations to the judges were given, we reflected upon their personal experience partaking in the design challenge. Great conversations took place about the future of education a…

Not all who wander are lost…

I spent the majority of my career as a technology coordinator/computer technology teacher for students in preschool to 8th grade for the Diocese of Buffalo. I was thoroughly convinced that I was a great teacher. The thing is, if I was so great, then why was it that I began to despise my job and feel more like a programmed robot rather than a catalyst of learning? About eight years into my career, as I began reluctantly wanting to leave my profession, the answer became clear to me one wintry afternoon.

I also spent many years crafting my computer technology curriculum to ensure there was a scaffolding of skills that were “real-world” (yeah, right) and encompassed many authentic (to whom? Me?) experiences for my students. For two long years, I kept going back to the drawing board and reworking my curriculum, thinking that had to be the answer. Then, a turning point occurred one fated wintry afternoon coupled with an ominous snow-packed sky.

My computer lab had the computers all along…

Digital Literacy: Padlet Tutorial and Global

Technology is changing the way our students learn, read, and obtain information. We need to create a curriculum that nurtures this way of learning.

We need to help our students to learn how to close read both digital and print as well as close read video and imagery.
We need to teach students how to connect and collaborate on a global scale to create effective multi-media pieces that reflect the world in which we live.
Padlet is a great, free (with paid subscription) tool to enhance collaboration and communication by creating a digital wall of ideas to reflect about a particular topic.
For example, I have used Padlet with my 4th grade students and have connected with classrooms around the world to create a collaborative project. 
How do you connect with classrooms around the world? 
Sites such as ePals, Edmodo, Google+ are just some ways to connect! Or you can contact me personally- I am always up for a collaborative project!
Not familiar with Padlet. Help yourself to my tutorial here: Padle…

Certified BrainPOP Educator of March 2017

Can I tell you how excited I am? It is such a great honor that I have been selected the Certified BrainPOP Educator of the month for March 2017!

If you have been following me on Twitter or this blog, then you probably already know how passionate I am about using BrainPOP! I love the many features, like Make-a-Map, Quizzes, the ability to assign movies, and so on that it provides. I am now in love with BrainPOP's new feature, Make-a-Movie. {I will be demonstrating that feature for you shortly, as well as provide you with a lesson plan}

For my complete interview, hop on over to BrainPOP here.

Happy teaching!