Blog


Tempus fugit

Tempus fugit ! 

While prepping for my new media class at McGill; I came across this old newspaper clipping from either the Montreal Gazette or Star. Must be from '78 or '79 ~ pic taken in my Intro to Mass Media class at PCHS. I remember both students Michel & Joan. Joan was one of my favourite students ~ so kind ~ I also taught them English.


The caption for the photo read "Problems with students stem from more than television". Yes, that's a reel-to-reel and yes I had a Kodak 16 mm film projector. I could pick up and slow down the speed of the film by gently pressing the film reel with my hands. I was quick proficient at this because if the reel was held too long the film would melt and burn. Every week I would drive to the Montreal Film Library to rent the films for the week.

Things never change with perception of technology and kids. These kids must be in their mid 50's now.

Going to be a Proustian week ~ as I'm also evaluating 3 students teachers at JFK ~ my old high school. 50 years ago I was a grade 8 student there. I haven't been in that neck of the woods for quite awhile now.

Fall ’16 update

I haven’t been here in awhile. My course at McGill just started. I am finished my Masters at U of M. Now the 'big' decision is whether to continue with Ph D in Digital Humanities or just relax or do something else! These days I prefer micro blogging via Twitter.

Work for MA finished & another Future Ready/GAFE Conference done!

I just submitted my last 2 term papers, so this means that my course work for my MA is complete. I presented 4 sessions at last weekend’s Future Ready Conference (https://qc.gafesummit.com/2016). I had great feedback from the participants. Life is good. Now the big decision to go for PhD or not !!

This made my day !!

I got this email today from a former student. This is what makes teaching the best job on the planet:

Hi Sam,

I never got to officially thank you for spending the time to generously brag about me. I obviously do not know what you wrote for me, but I can only hope that you’ve highlighted my best traits. I have to say that it’s sincerely heartening to have a mentor/an instructor who knows you and believes in your abilities. 

Thanks for all the guidance and help you have provided me with me, be it school, work or life. Your positive energy in the classroom still sticks with me today. I am very grateful for that one tech class that opened so many windows for me (pun intended). My website has gotten me freelance work from across the globe! 

Appreciatively, 

While teaching gets more and more challenging every year, the letter is a good reminder that we change, shape, and influence more lives than we will ever know.

Christmas Holiday ~ Yeah

I just wrapped up a busy fall and completed teaching my 2 classes at Mcgill (EDPE 640 and EDPT 200). The students keep getting better and better each year. I just submitted my paper for the course I’m taking at U of M (Women and Literature). I am working on a Future Ready Google site to support LBPSB schools who are embarking on this initiative in the next school year. This winter semester I will be taking a Contemporary Anglo-Canadian Writing (ANG 6190) and a literary genre course (to be determined). Can’t wait to watch  

Star Wars next week and most important of all spend time with family and friends. I plan to eat a lot and to relax. I need to recharge my batteries. This June will mark 40 years that I’ve been married to Dale and we can't wait for our European vacation in July (Almalfi Coast & Rome). 

My granddaughter, Maliyah, is now 18 months and I can’t believe how much she changes daily. Its such a joy to play and to babysit. She  definitely has a personality. Merry Christimas and Happy New Year to everyone.

Wow busy 2 months !

The past 8 week have just been insane. Between teaching my courses at McGill, taking my Woman’s fiction course at U of M, and supervising student teacher ~ it’s just been a whirlwind. As well, I’ve given 6 workshops for LBP on Google Classroom and GAFE. But best of all is the joy and fun of babysitting my granddaughter with Dale ~ as Nadia is back at work at Sherwood at 50%. Interacting with Maliyah is just beyond words :)

Back to School ~ yeah!!

This week we started baby sitting my granddaughter (Maliyah) while Nadia goes back to teaching. We are doing this on Mondays and alternating Wednesday mornings. My Women’s Literature class starts on Wednesday at U of M. I’ve also updated my EDPT 200 and my EDPE 640 class websites with new readings and materials. They are ready to be used by my students next week. The weather is absolutely goregeous and all is good with the world. I added this slide from George Couros to my Keynote presentations next week:

This will be a great way for me to introduce and emphasize the importance of social media in the student’s life ~ and the even more important role that teachers have in helping students to become good digital citizens.


Summer Reading & Getting Ready for Fall Semester

It’s been an amazing past month. The summer weather has finally arrived. We babysat our beautiful granddaughter Maliyah or MCB for short while Nadia worked at summer camp. I updated the course syllabus for both edpe640 and edpt200 both classes are already full with approximately 50 students in each class. Lots of journal readings this fall.

I’ve read many books including:

I’ve also been thinking a lot about emerging technologies in education in preparation for my fall class and I discoverd the OpenText project from UBC. I really like the materials they’ve made available to us not only in tech but in psychology, sociology, the arts, etc. I downloaded Teaching in the Digital Age by Tony Bates; while it focuses on higher ed. He gave me permission to adapt and make changes so it focuses on k-11 audience. Another project I hope to work on during the year.

Finally, I’ve started the Herculian task of organizing and cleaning up my study by getting rid of old tech books, keeping the literary stuff and just plain dusting. Needless to say my wife if very very happy about this project!


Badges

This upcoming school year (2015-2016), I want to start playing with badges both for myself and my students. 

I have kept away from badges because they remind me of stickers that teachers give to kids, you know the whole ‘punishment/reward’ (must read book on this topic is written by Alfie Kohn and titled Punished by Rewards). Mitch Resnick is also has some reservations on badges.

Colleagues that believe in badges tell me they’re just like badges designed for Girl Guides and Scouts and the idea is to celebrate achievements and do not foster competition.

We will see how my little experiment works out. In the meantime, here’s my first badge from remind (click on the badge for info on what remind does. Click on the badge below for more info on the remind app which I will test with my McGill students this upcoming fall.

Here’s the badges I hope to get this year if I don’t get bogged down in corrections, workshops, and presentations:

 I’m curious to see if the process will be challenging and fun or if it becomes tedious. I will post the badges on the main page as I earn them.

 Let’s see how long I am motivated to do this. Another reason I want to give this a try is because the New Horizons Report on Emerging Technologies lists ditigal badges as having potential .

Paper submitted ~ summer vacation officially starts

I submitted my paper for my course Constructions of Cultural Spaces yesterday. Dale is happy that all the articles and books lying around the house will be finally put away. I really enjoyed the course, probably the best so far, I liked the fact that the prof used films that were used to help us understand the main course themes. My tasks for the summer are to soak the sun, read several fiction books that have been sitting on my desk (Maisie Dobbs, the new Inspector Gamache book, Nora Webster by Toibin, etc.)

I also update the websites for the 2  courses I teach. On the personal learning I am curious to look at the Thinglink and EdTech Summer Camp activities. I may design a series of challenge activities based on this concept for our school administrators this fall. Anyway time to recharge my Kobo and start reading.

© Sam Bruzzese 2017