Posts by Dave Guymon
I’d like to know what Apple did to make it so difficult for me to put my iPhone down. You might feel the same way about your smartphone, tablet or laptop as well. Whether it’s you, your spouse, or your children that seem constantly connected to a device, it’s essential to strike a tech-life balance for not only our own personal wellness but the relationships that matter to us most.
Regardless of perceived academic ability, every single student who set about creating their very first computer game on PowerPoint software started thinking in ways that so many of us only hope for in our language, science, or math classrooms.
The effects of bullying, whether online or off, fall along a spectrum of negative consequences ranging from sadness to suicidal ideation. But interesting is that experiencing such consequences as a victim may lead to adopting the role of an aggressor in an attempt to regain some degree of control.
The game was hosted on Google+, and as each player logged in to his or her district Google account, I explained how the game would be played. Once everyone had joined the sessions’ Google+ Community, I walked each group through the first level where they learned about the basics of understanding Google’s social networking platform.
Currently, I have 35 online middle school students, 33 of whom I have met in person. Like Vygotsky posited, we learn through social interactions with mentors and teachers in our Zones of Proximal Development. But nowhere in his Theory of Cognitive Development did he say anything about having to go to a brick-and-mortar school to successfully do that. Apparently, my students and I are proving just that.
As a virtual middle school teacher, I no longer have to worry about hallway behavior, inside voices, and how to clean up at the end of the day. So, what am I supposed to do to teach my students how to make the best possible choices they can make in order to control their learning outcomes?
Why leave the comforts of a 5-star school where I had built a positive reputation as a very identifiable face in the community to teach at a school with a much lower ranking and where some of my students won’t actually ever see my face at all? I did it because I believe in the power of online technology.