Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Year-in-review through photos

Mostly a personal look back at 2010 via my Flickr PhotoStream...

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!!!


January 2010: We started out the year on a sad note as we said good by to our cat, 'Mr. Kitty,' who owned me for the better part of 14 years. He meant a great deal to us and we were sad to see him go. A special thanks to Dr. Marissa Cruz at the Hawley Vet Clinic for her treatment and care near the end of his life.

February 2010: Erin and I visited the beautiful country of Costa Rica and had the adventure of a lifetime! Erin was nearly three months pregnant at this point and it was wonderful to have such a great experience together prior to welcoming our new baby in August.

March 2010: Our good friends also had babies this year...as a matter of fact, Karissa (pictured to the left) had her baby in June, Brynn (middle) in July and Erin in August. It was so much fun to experience the process with them throughout the first six months of 2010. This is a picture of the three of them at Karissa and Greg's place. 

April 2010: Erin's mom visited us and we went down to Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninusula to meet up with her brother and nephew....'twas great fun. We also had great fun visiting with my buddy Dave and his wife Sherrie who were in town for the Big Sur Marathon near the end of April.

May 2010: Bucky took every opportunity he could find to sit on Erin's lap during her pregnancy. Erin was roughly 6 months pregnant at the time of this photo.

June 2010: My family visited the Bay Area...Brother Mike and nephews Tucker and Trey visited us for over a week in June...we had a total blast hitting all of the great sights in the area. We mapped out our experience as well...

July 2010: Visit to Michigan to see the family. We had a fantastic time visiting with friends and family in Michigan. Pictured alongside Erin are nephews Quinn, Jack and Patrick at a shower that our family threw for us in Lundington!

August 2010: Weighing in at a very nimble 6 pounds, 3 ounces, little Morgan Kathleen Montagne was born on August 6 at 1:00 am!! This photo was taken minutes after her birth.

September 2010: Baby Morgan's birth announcement photo:

October 2010: Morgan's Aunt Mickey visited us for 5 days!

November 2010: Nana visits Baby Morgan...my mom visited us in the Bay Area for Thanksgiving week. It was so fun having her see Baby Morgan for the first time in person!

December 2010: Baby Morgan in the Christmas tree hat that her Nana made for her...this also happens to be the photo used in our Christmas card this year.

On Being Resourceful...

Teachers have always been a resourceful lot. Whether it is the student who shows up to class without their book, limited class access to resources, or only one Internet connected computer in the classroom, we just find a way to make it work. This has always been the case and its no different with digital learning tools. Have the need for photos? Have the students who own a cell phone with a camera take the photos. Need a quick website for a project your class is working on? Create a wiki in wikispaces or a blog in posterous.  

Yesterday in our French IV class we had the unanticipated need for a small team of students to do a quick recording and post it online for use within a google site that they were working on. The solution? One of the students had an iPhone so I asked her to install iPadio, do their recording, and then publish it online. After this was done, she embedded it on her team's site (I'm also embedding it below-its in french, which means I have no idea what the students are saying). All told, this process probably took 15 minutes-contrast that with the typical process of tracking down a school owned audio recorder/mic, doing the recording into garageband/audacity, editing, and then posting online.

I can imagine a bazillion other ways to use student owned iOS devices in our classes. Teaching music theory and don't have enough guitars/pianos to go around? Ask students who own an iOS device to install a guitar or piano app. Have a need for students to do some sketching, painting or drawing? Have interested students use a drawing program for their cellphone to try creating in the digital medium (see this piece from the NYTimes titled, "Subway Sketches").

As some of our students return from winter break in January outfitted with new digital devices, I wonder how we can ready ourselves to be resourceful and to make use of student owned technologies in positive ways in our schools.

What are some ways that you've been resourceful in your classroom with digital tools?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

2010 Edublogs Award Nominations

I'm happy to submit my nominations for the 2010 Edublogs awards via this post. While I'm often not a fan of these types of extrinsic awards, I believe the spirit of the Edublogs Awards is more growth oriented than anything else-and quite honestly, blogging (and most any online work, quite frankly)  is still in its infancy and needs systems these this to provide much needed incubation.

With that said, my 2010 nominations follow:

Best Individual Blog: Steve Taffee's 'Blog-Ed Indetermination'
Steve is clever, witty, and a damn good writer-be sure to add this feed to your reader--great blog that often times talks about technology infused pedagogy and methodology (disclosure-I work with Steve).

Best Teacher Blog: Katie Sauvain's 'Keep Asking' - smart, thoughtful and reflective teaching blog written by a middle school english teacher (disclosure-I work with Katie)

Best library blog: Castilleja School Library (full disclosure-I work at Castilleja School)

Best Use of Video: Dan Rezac's 'Mathedemics' YouTube Channel
Best Use of a Social Network: Paul Allison and Company's "Voices on the Gulf" project--an incredible community that has sprouted up to build solidarity with the residents of the Gulf of Mexico region who have been impacted by the BP Oilspill

Best Educational Tech Support Blog: Richard Kassissieh's 'Kassblog'
--I'm not nominating Richard because he is one of the few people to leave a comment on my blog...his work is much, much broader than 'Tech Support" and really is more focused on learning, but its a blog that I like reading and one that I feel is deserving of an Edublog award for sure.

Best School Administrator Blog: Jonathan Martin's 21K12 blog

Best Group Blog: Connected Principals

Best Individual Tweeter: Kevin Hodgson, aka, @dogtrax

Lifetime Achievement: Wes Fryer's 'Speed of Creativity'