Ask the Mentor

Teacher Magazine has given me the honor of participating in their new Ask the Mentor column this month. Readers are asked to post questions about technology integration in the classroom. After a couple weeks the editors will select a number of the questions that I will answer. The answers will appear online and in the print edition of the magazine. If you want to post a question, please visit the Ask the Mentor web page.

For those of you visiting from that site, let me give you a short overview about my experience integrating technology into my classroom.

  • WebQuests – This was really my first experience bring computers into my instruction. I was lucky enough to end up in a class that what was Bernie Dodge’s second use of WebQuests back in 1997. For the next five years, I worked with Bernie developing WebQuest related staff development for the San Diego City School District. I’ve written and integrated WebQuests into my world history, United States history, and geography classes.
  • Classroom Web Pages – I create my first classroom web site in 1997. Since that time I have had a web site for my classes that has included grades, notes, calendars, assignments, and resource links.
  • Classroom Presentations – I regularly use PowerPoint for direct instruction, combining video clips and images with words. Inspiration is another great tool I have used for class brainstorming sessions.
  • Digital Video – For both my world and United States history courses, I have implemented a major digital video project. I’ve received three different grants to support these projects.
  • Blogs and Wikis – While earning my MA in Educational Technology, I began researching the use of blogs and wikis in the K-12 classroom. Over the last two years I have implement three different wiki-based projects (see my NECC presentation). I have kept this blog for almost two years and have been reading blogs for three years. This fall, I will begin using blogs with my students.
  • Moodle – This past year I began using Moodle, a learning management system. Unlike a static web site, it allows students to interact online through forums, blogs, and messaging. This coming school year I am expanding my use of Moodle.
  • – You can explore this web site for more examples of my work. Use the navigation on the left side of the screen.

While I do teach at a “nice” suburban school, we are not technology-rich. We constantly struggle with a lack of resources (e.g. one open lab for 2400 students). I know many schools have much more technology while others have less.

Thanks for your interest and if you have a question, please visit the Ask the Mentor web page.

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One thought on “Ask the Mentor”

  1. Congrads! Congrads! Congrads!

    I never realized how much you used tech in your classroom. How do you plan to use blogs this year?

    My submission for the magazine is:

    What are some practical ways to get teachers to overcome a mental block they have about technology in the classroom?

    I see this issue all the time. Some teachers just are afraid of technology, regardless of the amount of training or demos that are offered .


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