Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PLN Blogging Challenge: 11 Random Facts

Random Owl. Enjoy. 
At the beginning of winter break, my principal (@Dwight_Carter) presented me with a blogging challenge. Below you will find my completed "homework"! 
My 11 Random Facts

1. I was a member of The Ohio State University Marching Band and dotted the i on Nov. 5, 2005 on Senior Day.
2. I have two middle names. Yep, I'm that cool.
3. I thoroughly enjoy Phineas of Ferb on the Disney Channel. It's brilliant.
4. I am adopted.
5. I'm probably the only person you know that had his ENTIRE large intestine taken out. Long story, but I always have time to share it!6. When I was little, I had an obsession with painting and magic - and then I learned to play the double bass and the rest is history.
7. On Christmas Eve (2012) I cut the tip of my finger off with a mandolin ... and not the musical instrument. All together unpleasant. Use the guard they provide.
8. I love composing and arranging music. Though I have not done it for quite sometime, I'm getting back into it!
9. I learned in middle school that I can make flatulent noises simultaneously at three locations on my body. It looks like I am having a seizure, but it gets a laugh.
10. I am a beekeeper. Yup. ... and yes, of course of been stung.
11. I have an awesome 2 year old named Ewan who randomly makes songs up about potatoes ... we think it started with his affinity for french fries.

My Answers to Dwight's Questions: 

1. What’s the best book you’ve read in the last year? Critical Issues in Music Education, for my Master's degree program.
2. What person in history would you want to have dinner with? Leonard Bernstein
3. What’s the one thing you care about the most? God and family.
4. Who is your all time favorite cartoon character? Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (Phineas and Ferb) 
5. What was your favorite extracurricular activity in high school? Music. Music. Music.
6. Growing up, were you a nerd, jock, teacher’s pet, loner, or extravert? Music nerd.
7. What’s your dream vacation? St. Lucia, which was also our honeymoon destination.
8. What’s one thing you would invent that would positively change lives? ... still thinking...
9. If you weren’t an educator, what would do for a living? Compose/arrange/orchestrate music - and get stung by bees.
10. If you were to give a TED Talk, what would be your topic? Musical Literacy
11. What’s your sentence? He illustrated to students the joy of discovering, pursuing, and learning everything about something you love.

Now, For Your Homework Assignment

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4. List 11 bloggers
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate and let the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.
6. Post back here (in the comment section) with a link to your finished assignment.

My 11 Bloggers
1. Christina Hank (@christinahank) fellow GLHS Alumni
2. Chris Wagner (@mrwagnersclass) fellow GLHS Alumni
3. Charles Laux (@charleslaux)
4. Sarah Mayer (@musiced20)
5. Phil Nagy (@phil_nagy) time to start a blog my friend!
6. Brooke Menduni (@brookemenduni) - who is starting a blog!
7. Kelly Riley (@klsriley)
8. Tiffany Berting (@tberting)
9. Marisa Wren (@mwren13)
10. Joe Guarr (@jguarr)
11. Angie Adrean (@aadrean) 

My 11 Questions for You

1. What (or who) made you decide to be an educator?
2. Who is the most intelligent person you know?
3. Have you watched the entirety of the music video "What does the Fox Say?"
4. If you were a giant mega monster what city would you rampage?
5. What was your first mobile phone?6. What potential talents do you think you might have if you worked at them?
7. What do you consider is the most important appliance in a house?
8. What song sums you up?
9. Name your favorite Great Lake. Come on, everyone's got one...
10. Are you a morning person?
11. What would you call your autobiography?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Technology and the Craving for Interaction and Significance

My school encourages its students and staff to be active learners, to build and connect with their PLN, and engage in responsible ‘Digital Citizenship’. Over 100 staff members in our district use Twitter for professional endeavors and model appropriate social media use for our students. While other districts have restricted smartphone use in school, our district has adopted a different policy: teach students to use the mini-computer in their pockets to enhance their learning. There have been a few instances where administration has had to intervene, due to some poor choices; however, on the whole students use technology responsibly. 

The larger picture of this technology proliferation is really the 'need for significance' being played out. Blogger, MySpace (what's that?!), Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. are a collection of individuals sharing in order to connect with others in meaningful ways. There is a small part of us that places enormous value on the number of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, Likes, website visits, comments, retweets, favorites, and whatnot.  We sometimes link this to our self-worth, pride and acceptance as individuals. 

Students (and teachers) thrive in engaging environments where they feel accepted, because of the collaboration, peer interactions and creativity which occur. Would your classroom be described as such? What are some ways you can move toward this? Share in the comments below! Though some say technology is reducing face-to-face interactions, arts educators are (anecdotally) seeing that this ‘technology integration’ is placing even more young people on a trajectory toward the arts and vehicles for collaborative learning. 

Perhaps it is the .... 

1.  “disconnectedness” that is encouraging more and more students (in our district) to get involved in music, art, drama, speech, (etc.).

2. "connectedness" of technology that has 'wet the appetite' for authentic involvement and collaboration. 

3.  research about music education engaging every brain region and dopamine release playing out. 

4. fact that the arts demand active learners, where "no one is safe" to sit unengaged.

5. arts' inherent quality to bind individuals into a greater whole, and express meaning across cultures and languages. 

6. requirement of responsiblity and citizenship that are cornerstones of arts education. 

... and perhaps a sundry of other reasons. 

What are you seeing in your district?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

PLN Resources: Pearltrees and Interactive Rubrics

Pearl Trees 
This web-based platform combines elements of Diigo (social bookmarking) and Pinterest (mind-mapping) into a new collaborative environment to share and access anywhere.   

Interactive Rubrics
While looking through blogs written by members of my PLN, I was directed to a simple yet profound advancement in rubric design. Edutopia published an article by New Jersey educator Michelle Lampinen that includes a QR code within the rubric. This QR code can link to ANYTHING: video tutorials, Google Docs/Forms, etc. The possibilities are endless in helping students understand the desired elements for any rubric.