Illinois Educators – Action Needed

Last evening, I received an email from the Computer Science Teacher’s Association listserv with a call for action. The contents of the email are listed below. I urge all Illinois educators to take a moment, review, and consider support this initiative. The reason that I feel so strongly about this is that for many years, I taught computer science courses in a high school. Due to the way the school decided to assign these credits towards graduation requirements, any computer science elective, including AP Computer Science was a free elective, not counting towards any departmental credit for either Illinois requirements or towards […]

What a Long, Strange Trip It Is

Today is day 363 of the metamorphosis of my professional career. It has been  a crazy, wonderful, chaotic, exhilarating journey indeed, culminating in opportunities to share at a variety of different locations across the country. We have had students present and created a pop-up Makerspace at two sites of the Students Involved in Technology (SIT) Conference, the chance to work with teachers in a 6 hour hands-on workshop on Makerspaces and the Maker Movement at the Illinois Computer Educators (ICE) Conference, travel to Orlando to do a 3 hour workshop on Makerspaces and the Maker Movement at the National Association […]

Paying it Forward / Paying Back

One week ago, on Wednesday, November 20th, I had the unique opportunity to engaged in two online experiences which simultaneously allowed me to both repay individuals who have been instrumental in the recent success that I am enjoying while at the same time, hopefully, pay it forward to encourage and inspire others. Encouraged by another “yoda” of mine, Bud Hunt, who challenged people to say something nice, I am taking a few moments out of my day today, on American Thanksgiving, to acknowledge and reflect on my experiences last week. During the evening, Kevin Jarrett asked me to participate in […]

Going Chromebook and Hangouts – Pt 1

This post is a dual part 1, both for the use of Chromebooks and for the use of Google Hangouts. Earlier, I received the following from a colleague, who gave permission for me to share this (edited for a student’s privacy) I just want to share a very exciting experience that the Phoenix (5th) class is having this week. A new student is unable to attend school this week for family reasons. However, thanks to technology help from Vinnie [me], advice from a middle school history teacher, the support of administration, and the fifth grade Specials teachers, this new student […]

Creating a Maker Mindset – K12 Online

One of the pure joys that I had this fall was working with my colleague, Sheryl Peterson, to create our K12 Online Conference presentation, STEAM: Creating A Maker Mindset. The K12 Online Conference is in its eighth year and this is the second time that I have had the pleasure of presenting. This conference presentation is difficult to plan for. Unlike a face-to-face experience, as a presenter you are unable to “read” the audience to see if they are accepting of the ideas. Unlike a webinar, the asynchronous nature of this conference does not allow for any audience interaction like you would […]