Friday, August 30, 2013

Tech: iMovie Trailers

This year I'm teaching a technology elective again...and I'm thrilled!  I love technology, and love how it fits into our mission at MRH Middle School, so the fact that I get to teach an entire class just focusing on that is amazing.

This past week in my technology class we spent time creating our own movie trailers about US using iMovie.  The requirements for this project were simple: use iMovie to create a movie trailer that represents you!  After we watched my movie trailer I made all about myself, the students set out to create their own.  A lot of the students busted out their laptop or cell phone's video camera at home or outside or even at volleyball practice to get some footage they could use for their trailer.  Overall, I'm thrilled with how all of these came out.  A couple students even made our class pet rat Marbles her own movie trailer!  You must check that out here.

Check out all of the students' trailers below!  Each one is amazingly unique and does an excellent job showcasing that student!  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Teaching #throughglass

Woo hoo!  It's a new school year and another notch in my teaching belt--this is year SIX of teaching for me--and I can't believe it.  It still feels like yesterday I was an undergrad in teacher education classes!

I apologize for the "lack" of blog posts the past several months; having a new baby around really turned out to be a time-suck :)  However, I wouldn't change a second of it!  I am hoping to make-up my lack of blogging (and tweeting too for that matter!) now that the school year is underway, my little man is in a nice routine (for the moment!), and I'm gung-ho to make this school year an awesome one for my 8th graders.

This summer was a great one; I got to spend almost every second with my handsome little boy--who arrived in May--and enjoy the unseasonably cooler weather in St. Louis.  I did however take a quick 24-hour trip to New York City to pick up my Google Glass.  Don't know what Google Glass is?  Check this out.  I was selected to be part of the Google Glass Explorers program (after my entry on Google+ was chosen by Google to make me a Glass Explorer) which gives only a few thousand people in the US early access to Google Glass before it's available to everyone.  I was shocked that I got picked, and honestly didn't think I'd be able to swing flying up to NYC to pick them up (one of the stipulations for being part of the program: you had to pick them up in either NYC, LA, or Mountain View, CA) with a newborn.  Well, with some crafty planning, a free airline ticket, and an accommodating cousin who lives in NYC, I was able to swing it and only be away from my little man for 24 hours.

Thus far, I am in love with my Glass.  They are so fun to play with and I love how they sync with my iPhone.  It's great to be able to take a phone call, post a tweet, snap a picture, read the latest news on CNN with them, or capture Scooter going for a dip in our pool.

However, one of the main reasons I wanted to get Glass was to use it in my classroom.  So often we see videos of teachers teaching--usually from a camera mounted in the corner of the classroom.  Those videos are great, but I really wanted to give people the "teacher's" point of view--what I see day in and day out in my classroom from MY eyes.  Google Glass allows me to do that and share it with you.

So, this year I'm planning on doing a blog segment project here called "Teaching #throughglass"--the #throughglass is the hashtag us Google Glass Explorers are using to tag our videos and pics we take using Glass.  These will be videos allowing you a glimpse through my eyes--the teacher's eyes--into the classroom.  You'll see the traditional classroom as well as our outdoor and community classrooms as well through our expeditions we embark on.  This project makes me feel incredibly vulnerable as an educator, but I'm determined to set that fear aside--and even overcome it!--in letting the world glimpse into my classroom and my teaching style in hopes of making me a better educator.  So, with that said, I embrace your comments and feedback, knowing they'll make me stronger and a better teacher for my kids both inside and out of the classroom.  Enjoy!

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