Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer of Josh



I am a huge fan of the old television show Seinfeld and am that nerdy guy that drops lines from that show on almost a daily basis. One of my favorite episodes is the “Summer of George”. In this episode George is claiming his summer as the summer he is going to do great things. While he ended up being Jerry’s relationship intern and ends up squandering the summer, I still like the idea of the Summer of George. Unlike George, I did not squander my summer and did quite the opposite. Here is my highlight reel from the Summer of Josh.

I attended ISTE 2011 in Philadelphia and met a great many of my PLN members in person for the first time. While there I was also able to present at ISTE Unplugged about Movie Magic in a Student Driven Classroom. I also attended and presented at the 3rd Reform Symposium in July. It was great to share my student’s work at my session on Student Driven Learning. In the near future I will be pulling both of these sessions down to post on my youtube channel.

I participated in a handful of smackdowns that produced a vast amount of new resources I am looking to try in class this coming school year. In addition, to the smackdowns, I was able to grab a ton of valuable resources through Twitter. Here is just a small sampling of the great tools I pulled during my summer “off”.
  • Came across this cool weather map and tracking site. Could see great potential in Science classrooms.
  • Found this neat listing of ipad apps geared towards Blooms Taxonomy.  
  • Read two great posts from Larry Ferlazzo about some great Social Science resources as well as some solid Web2.0 tools
  • Was sent this great listing of alternatives to the dreaded book reports from Scholastic. 
  • Rediscovered this great tool for citations in writing that has really improved since I last used it.
  • Read this great article about a Middle School that works from Ira Socol and want to try to make my classroom/school  more like it. 
  • Investigated the fab that is Google+ and still trying to wrap my head around it's value and long term use. Here was an interesting piece about how to use the Hangout feature in schools. 
  • Furthered my passion for student driven learning and continued to find support and encouragement through the writing of Angela Maiers on her blog. This particular post specifically resonated with me and how I wish all classrooms and schools operated. 
  • Came across this great post with tips on how to make your classroom more paperless
  • Investigated this list of ways to use one of my favorite tools, Evernote.

I am excited for the summer to come to a close and a new school year to begin. I hope you all get a chance to squeeze the last drops of greatness from summer and head back to school empowered and energized! 

The Shades Project


Many of you that read my blog have heard about our #googleshades project that a handful of us have tried to get off the ground. As of right now, Google has decided not to help sponsor this project. While we are all upset about this, we are determined to move forward with this project because we think it is a good one worthy of pursuing. With that being said, I am reaching out for help. I am looking for a sponsor willing to help out by supplying us with a few hundred cheap sunglasses with their company name on the side.

We want to take these sunglasses and ship a pair to classrooms around the world. For a more complete description of the project you can read about it on the original post I wrote.

Our goal is to see the world through the eyes of kids around the world. If you are interesting is helping out or want more information please contact me at stumpteacher@gmail.com