Friday, October 30, 2009

Voki Avatars in the Classroom

Next week, join me on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to learn how to create an avatar using Voki and embed it into Blackboard to use with your students.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ohio ACTE Conference

Its time to head to Columbus to convene with career technical professionals from all over the state for the 2009 All-Ohio ACTE Conference. I'm looking forward to seeing colleagues and learning more about the people I work with. I enjoy the chance to visit sessions and learn about how other career centers are adapting to meet the needs of today's students and of course seeing friends and meeting new. See you in Columbus!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's Your Facebook "Code?"

One of the things I find myself working to improve is my ability to "filter" not verbalize a thought simply because it crosses my mind. For two reasons, first, as a student, my grade card often included the comment "Talks Too Much," and second, what is humorous to me isn't always humorous to others.... For the most part though, I think I am less likely to "filter" when using FB. Is that dangerous? Is that more dangerous because I am in education?

I have a number of Facebook friends that are involved in education, teaching or otherwise. I want to ask those folks to offer their advice. What's your "code" when participating in FB.... Please answer the questions and/or offer ANY additional thoughts.

1. What line of judgement do you use when accepting or declining friends?

2. How do you decide what is or is not okay to list as your status?

3. What guide do you go by in posting pictures?

4. Do you believe educators are/should be held to a higher standard on FB? Why/Why not?

I hope to get responses from colleagues as well as educators from other schools. Join me in the conversation....What's your FB Code?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Professional Development Meme 2009


Summer can be a great time for professional development. It is an opportunity to learn more about a topic, read a particular work or the works of a particular author, beef up an existing unit of instruction, advance one’s technical skills, work on that advanced degree or certification, pick up a new hobby, and finish many of the other items on our ever-growing To Do Lists. Let’s make Summer 2009 a time when we actually get to accomplish a few of those things and enjoy the thrill of marking them off our lists.

The Rules:

NOTE: You do NOT have to wait to be tagged to participate in this meme.

*Pick 1-3 professional development goals and commit to achieving them this summer.
* For the purposes of this activity the end of summer will be Labor Day (09/07/09).
* Post the above directions along with your 1-3 goals on your blog.
* Title your post Professional Development Meme 2009 and link back/trackback to
* Use the following tag/ keyword/ category on your post: pdmeme09.
* Tag 5-8 others to participate in the meme.
* Achieve your goals and “develop professionally.”
* Commit to sharing your results on your blog during early or mid-September.

My Goals

  • Read the book Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham and participate in the book club conversation around it over at Dangerously Irrelevant. My hope is this activity will help me get over some of my digital stagefright issues.
  • Become proficient in Outlook and general office organization skills. (We just switched over to this software at work and there is a LOT of anxiety about it)
  • Teach more people about Web 2.0 and help them get over 'digital stagefright'.
  • While not professional, it is personal and it helps me focus on the professional....train for and finish the triathlon in August.
  • My Tags - for those of you without your own can put your goals in my comments if you would like.




    Melissa Seifman

    Tech Ed in Central Ohio


    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    When I was in highschool, I was......


    These are my ten words that describe me as a student. What were you like as a student?

    21st Century Students

    I'm guiding a small group of school leaders through Web 2.0. I have shared with them a video to respond to and posed the following questions....

    What are your thoughts?

    How is the 21st Century student "dumb" or "smart"?

    How is the 21st Century student different from the way you were as a student?

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Short, Sweet, and to the Point

    I participated in the ITSCO mixer tonight, along with 18 other presenters. We were limited to 20 slides that automatically advanced every 15 seconds. It really forces you to get to the point and then move on. Great concept for an audience with a short attention span. I'm wondering how it would work as an assignment in the classroom? Could be interesting!

    I met a fellow Career Tech Teacher from C-TEC, Mark Vukovic, who shared his students' use of Web 2.0 and Google Tools to complete web development for community service type projects. My other favorites were Stan McDonald from Delaware City Schools and Paul Ross from Bexley. Its good to see what other schools are doing! I wonder where and how we could do something similar in our area.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Fair isn't always equal...unless....

    A Twitter/Google Docs Book Club is forming for Rick Wormeli's book Fair Isn't Always Equal. I'm curious to join to experience a book club in this format, but honestly I'm a little overwhelmed at this point.

    But the book title, Fair Isn't Always Equal got me thinking about that concept. I use that phrase often when clarifying the PRAXIS definitions of "fairness" (B1, by the way). We don't necessarily have to treat all students equally in order to provide a fair educational experience, in fact, its known as differentiation. Yet, when dealing with teachers, I'm sometimes advised its best not to differentiate. To treat all the same is the safe approach for the group, but I don't think it provides the best experience for the adult learner as an individual. But its safe. To recognize a teacher for excelling, to recruit another for a presentation, these things sometimes ruffle feathers.
    So as teachers, do we believe
    fair isn't always equal
    fair isn't always equal, unless you are dealing with teachers, then equal is the only way to be fair.

    It was a rough day.

    Monday, March 30, 2009

    Remember Your First Year of Teaching?

    Governor Strickland has proposed a four year residency program for mentoring of new teachers into the profession of teaching.

    While I'm sure this won't happen overnight, I'm sure that change will come. There is already talk of no PRAXIS assessments next year.

    So, tell me, how can we best support teachers in their first year? What should definitely be a part of our mentoring program for entry year teachers? What should we not be spending time on?

    I look forward to hearing what others think. I look forward to redesigning what we do. Change isn't all bad.

    Text Message Reminders: Gen. X Teachers vs. Gen Y Students

    Interesting conversations I've had over the last few days. It all started when a student asked a teacher if they could text reminders to them about assignments and due dates. So far, I've only discussed this with teachers who would be considered Generation X and the overwhelming theme of their reactions is...."That's not my problem, these kids need to learn to be responsible." I guess I assumed that the teachers closest to the students in age would be the most accepting to this idea. Turns out their not! Am I the only one who gets bill reminder text messages? Combine that with students who have been "scheduled" by their parents for a long time and I think I understand why a student would request that service to continue. Is it enabling? Is it meeting the learners needs? What if the student had the ability to set up these text messages on their own? Is that possible?

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    My Lucky Four Leaf Clovers

    I am so lucky.
    I don't think about that enough.
    I am lucky to have my health, happiness, family and friends.
    At work I am lucky to be surrounded by supportive administration, great technology, teachers with a thirst for knowledge, and an educational concept that works.

    What four things are you lucky for?

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Pre School vs. High School

    I was in a preschool today and I watched the lesson unfold.

    It started with an introduction to a letter and its sound,
    then the phonics dance,
    then the sound train,
    then writing words with the letter,
    then circling the letters in the words,
    then a fishing game for the letter,
    then the students wrote the letter.

    Why does learning in pre school get to be so involved and then in highschool we use powerpoint and call that for the visual learner and the lecture for the audiatory? Seriously.

    This is NOT a workshop

    This is not a workshop, nor will any other posts in this blog be. This is not professional development as it has been defined for the last 10 years for teachers. Its my experience that a workshop rarely changes teaching. Experiences change teaching. What has been a professional development experience that changed the way you teach?