My Geeky Year in Review (2009)

It’s the end of another year and a time to reflect upon accomplishments and express gratitude to the people who provided the support.

I’ve had another great year teaching at Boise State, taking on new responsibilities, presenting at conferences, and publishing a thing or two. My greatest accomplishment in publishing was contributing to and updating our EDTECH 202 textbook, which we have renamed Digital Age Teaching Skills: A Standards Based Approach. Chris Haskell, Connie Wyzard, and I collaborated on bringing this book up to date with the 2008 ISTE NETS for Teachers, including new technology tools and creating a companion website: http://dats.boisestate.edu.  It’s still a work in progress–we will be updating it again this summer, but for me, collaborating on a textbook is a challenge and a delight. I am especially grateful to Connie Wyzard for offering me the opportunity to do this. Thanks, Connie.

Chris Haskell and I have produced consistent episodes and live broadcasts of The Cool Teacher Podcast this past year, using ustream as our live broadcast portal and incorporating CamCam software to include multiple cameras and videos for our online viewers. I always learn a lot from Chris and enjoy working with him. Our Cool Teacher Podcast is now available through the iTunes Store, and we have our own website, coolteachers.org where we also provide feeds to our podcasts and individual blogs.

Chris and I continue to do conferences together. One in particular that stands out is our “Under the Gun Podcasting,” which demonstrates how you can create and publish a podcast in under an hour. You can view some of our conference resources at the following Google Site: https://sites.google.com/a/boisestate.edu/podcasting/.

My teaching role at EDTECH at Boise State has been empowered through the helpful guidance and support of our department chair, Dr. Lisa Dawley. Lisa has allowed me to take an active role in the implementation of Moodle in our department. In just a little over a year, we have almost all of our faculty using Moodle and loving it. We are using Moodlerooms as our hosting service, to save money on both hardware and personnel overhead, and for the most part, it’s working quite well. You can view our Moodle portal page at http://edtech.mrooms.org.
(Find out more about Lisa through reading her blog at Online Educator http://lisadawley.wordpress.com/.)

Our EDTECH 202 students now have a 21st century classroom, thanks to the support and generosity of our department chair and the College of Education. It was a challenge, but I was able to convince the people with the money to purchase Apple laptops, a SmartBoard along with a wireless tablet and document camera, a wireless microphone, movable and modular tables and chairs, and new carpeting and paint. A room that was dismal and inefficient for a classroom transformed into a bright, engaging, and useful space. My thanks go to Dr. Lisa Dawley, Dr. Ross Vaugh, Dr. Diane Boothe, Reggy Leone, and the people at Facilities and Maintenance for responding to my requests, fulfilling them, and helping us meet our needs. The room is also used for faculty meetings, presentations, and any other sort of meeting. (I kept my fingers crossed during the summer, waiting for the furniture to arrive, but everything fell into place harmoniously.)

I continue to learn more about drupal, an open-source content management software that has always intrigued me. I converted a static html website for a small educational research association (http://nrmera.org) to a drupal site and have plans to increase its reach and interactivity. I am grateful to Dr. Larry Rogien of Boise State in suggesting I become the webmaster for this organization and the ability to continue to work on their website.

So, what’s in store for the future? We never know for sure, of course, but my next blog post will list my goals for 2010 and how I hope to accomplish them. Stay tuned.

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