My summer seems to be pretty busy and I am always feeling like I am doing mindless tasks. I made a conscious effort to make sure that I was completing activities that worked the mind this summer. The list below shows most of the activities that I am involved with during my “vacation.”
Teacher Feast– This is a week long training camp for teachers to learn technology for the classroom. It is a great model for professional development. I am teaching for two weeks. Not only am I sharing my knowledge, I am always learning new ideas while I am at the Feast.
Tech Feast– Tech Feast is designed for district or school Technical Coordinators and technically-oriented business decision makers. I am co-teaching a couple of classes on technologies used within the classroom.
I need to give a big thank you to Jim Peterson and all those involved with the Feast. I feel very lucky to be part of this group. I greatly appreciate the support I get from the wonderful people in District 87.
- An important project from District 87.
SMART Certification– I will be trained in July to become a SMART Certified Notebook and Response Trainer. This is a great opportunity to be able to learn more about SMART and have access to great resources.
My new iPad 2– I am having a great time learning this device. I know it is not perfect, but it does a great job and fits many needs for myself and my students. Go to IEAR.org to read teacher reviews of great apps for you and your students.
Zite– Is one of my favorite apps on my iPad 2. It is basically a daily magazine that finds articles that interest me. It connects to my Google Reader account and I also tell the app other topics I would like to read. It is a very slick looking app and I learn something new every time I use it.
Play some games
Words With Friends HD– This is a very addictive iPad game. I can play a scrabble-like game locally, I can play with random people, and I can hookup with friends on Facebook or Twitter. You can have multiple games going at the same time.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PC)- I am going to finish this game soon. If you need some action and have already played the Call of Duty series, then give this one a try. It is a lot of fun and can be challenging, especially in multiplayer. I play this game through Steam and it sells for $19.99.
My Classroom– I am moving from a portable classroom back into my school. They couldn’t keep me out forever. Although this is a difficult task, it will be nice to organize the things I need and purge the excess. I am also going to organize my files, books, and teacher resources. I hope this will make my classroom run a little smoother this coming year.
Update my Delicious Bookmarks– I just finished organizing my Delicious bookmarks. I stopped using the tool because I was frustrated with how it sorted. I am to the point where I should be able to tag my sites properly and if I need the bookmarks in a specific order, for a classroom activity, I will create a Jog the Web. As most of you know, this is an ongoing process and battle to keep up to date. I also created a new folder within my Chrome browser and I named it “New.” Any new bookmarks will be placed here. Each day I will place these bookmarks in the correct area. If I want them in Delicious I can place them at this time and then I can drop the bookmark in the correct folder within Chrome. I love how Chrome can sync bookmarks between computers. I know this looks like a process, but each person has to use what works.
All these activities pale in comparison to the time spent with my family. I feel very lucky that my wife and I both teach and can spend some quality time with our children. A balance has to be made between professional work and home. The biggest summer lesson for teachers is to spend time with the ones you love.
EdGamer note– Gerry and I will post an EdGamer podcast next week. Our “summer vacations” are very busy. Look for an exciting podcast next Saturday.