Select Page

Craig Polzen

  • It’s been a busy couple of years, but I am very pleased to say that I have made it to the end of the final CoETaIL project!

    The video embedded below represents a sequence of learning that took place over the […]

  • Ok, I admit it. I’m still a “lurker” when it comes to building an online Professional Learning Network (PLN). I’ve dabbled with Google+, set up a YouTube Channel and dropped a few comments on CoETaIL blogs here […]

  • We’ve been working with a flipped classroom for over a month now and I have been generally pleased with what I am seeing. My students have enjoyed the variety of activities and the choices that they have in […]

  • Craig Polzen wrote a new post, Game On, on the site Adventures in EdTech 1 year ago

    My final project is an interpretation of the Flipped Classroom model. While I have every intention of running a flipped format for the duration of my Geometry unit, my students and I have had great discussions […]

  • Craig Polzen posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hello Francois…

    An interesting post… and timely reading for me as I am starting to lean towards trying a flipped classroom for my final project. I too have always been skeptical about it from the perspective that a live “lesson” is much more interactive and invokes debate and discussion, rather than watching a video at home and attempting…[Read more]

  • Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

    I’ve been trying to come up with an idea for my Course 5 project for a while now. Originally, I had thoughts about something that […]

    • Hi Craig,

      I like your idea about revamping your geometry unit and I think that content area lends itself very well to implementing many of the ideas we’ve learned in this course. Geometry was always my favorite math concept in school because of how visual it is compared to other Mathematical concepts. Also, because it is very tactile I agree that it allows for increased understanding if facilitated appropriately. Since your students will be working with three dimensional shapes and the standard related to authentic application, I feel this will give them great opportunities to get creative in this unit. I also think you are very well on the right track ensuring that the assessment will include, a physical construction component, collaboration and sharing of their learning, which I think are all essential to learning in the modern classroom. Will you have tech involved in all aspects or just some? Also, will there be any inquiry or problem based approaches throughout the process?

      I think that this will be a perfect unit for you to include the flipped classroom approach because I agree that this will allow for better differentiated instruction. It also seem like there will be a lot going on with different students throughout the unit which will require much of your attention. The flipped classroom will free up more of your time for this. Best of luck and obviously you should create you own Mr. Polzen videos. The students will love them!

      Rob D

  • Craig Polzen posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hi Disha…

    Like you, I try to engage my students in meaningful investigations that engage them with choice, challenge and collaboration. While researching this week’s articles on PBL, PBL and CBL I was lost in the sea of acronyms.
    My feeling is that a good teacher looks at the students in their room and adapts a method to suit the activity…[Read more]

  • Craig Polzen posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hi Valya…

    Your comments sound strangely similar to my thoughts on our tech use at school.
    My feeling is that while we want for nothing as far as new hardware or software is concerned, the time that we spend on actually employing tech in a meaningful way is not great. If I consider myself on the SAMR scale… it’s not that often that I go…[Read more]

  • Craig Polzen posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hello Tech Coach…

    I like your realistic view that tech is a tool… sometimes needed, but sometimes not.

    I am an advocate of students bringing their own device (at the MS/HS level) as one of the biggest learning points with technology is understanding the wide variety of devices and platforms that are available. Being able to be technically…[Read more]

    • Craig,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my post. I feel your pain with the transition from PC to Mac. You make a great point about not forcing a device on a student. It may make it easier from an institutional perspective but is not so great for our learners.

      Andrew

  • Craig Polzen posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Thanks Chrissy.

    We have a Week Without Walls for our entire K-12 here in February that focusses on service learning. Some of the MS and HS students travel outside the Kingdom and have experiences without their digital tech.

    It would be interesting for the students who don’t travel to try a day during that week where we went “old school”, literally.

    -cp

  • Craig Polzen posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Hi Mariam… so Starbucks will still exist in 2031?

    I’d like to think that we teachers will never be obsolete… but who really knows. The advancements in tech are exponentially increasing and in our lifetime education has changed dramatically and will continue to do so.

    My feeling is that while the world around us is changing quite rapidly,…[Read more]

  • Craig Polzen posted a new activity comment 1 year, 4 months ago

    Hi Shane… thanks for the comment.
    Is there a perfect space? I suppose that varies between many factors… the students you teach, the climate you work in, your personal style, your subject and a willingness to change on the people that make decisions about school design and classroom architecture.
    As with many things in education, we teachers…[Read more]

  • Looking back at the many classrooms that I have worked in, I can trace the evolution from no devices to too many devices. In my first year of teaching I was lucky enough to stumble into a pilot program for the […]

    • I love the idea of a tech-free day with the reflection piece – a lot of high schools now have tech-free “week without walls” and whilst the teenagers baulk about it at first, the majority actually enjoyed the respite from being connected 24/7.
      It’s often a revelation to them that they can survive without the need to always “be on”.

      • Thanks Chrissy.

        We have a Week Without Walls for our entire K-12 here in February that focusses on service learning. Some of the MS and HS students travel outside the Kingdom and have experiences without their digital tech.

        It would be interesting for the students who don’t travel to try a day during that week where we went “old school”, literally.

        -cp

    • Hey Craig,
      I too, love the idea of a tech free tuesday. I think it is important for students to take a break and reflect on technology and their supposed reliance and “can’t live without it” attitude towards tech. I would happily bet that the students would love the time they are disconnected from technology because perhaps they would become more connected to life!

  • Will education as we know it change because of technology?

    This is the question that I have been wrestling with during the entire CoETaIL program. Technology is pervasive in schools, but does it actually […]

    • Hi Shane… thanks for the comment.
      Is there a perfect space? I suppose that varies between many factors… the students you teach, the climate you work in, your personal style, your subject and a willingness to change on the people that make decisions about school design and classroom architecture.
      As with many things in education, we teachers are flexible and adaptable to using whatever space is open to us to meet the needs of our students.
      -cp

  • I’ve been hearing about the idea of the flipped classroom for the past few years and to be honest, reflecting on my research this week, I don’t think I’ve given it fair consideration. Perhaps it was due to my […]

  • It was interesting to consider the differences between the multitude of acronyms floating around this week’s readings. What constitutes PBL from PBL or CBL and vice versa. Ideally, the choice of pedagogy that one […]

    • Craig – I enjoyed reading your post and the CBL guide. I can see you delving into this realm in your class and look forward to learning more from your experiences 🙂

  • I suppose that it might be time to abandon my childhood dreams of achieving samurai warrior status. There are a few hurdles that I would have to conquer to really make that a reality at this point. Luckily, I am […]

    • First, never abandon your dreams, Craig. If you will never achieve samurai warrior status then how am I going to make it on the Senior PGA Tour? Maybe we can work on our dreams together in some sort of cross-curricular experiment. 20% time? All fun aside – I agree that it is easier “SAMRing” in science than in math. I do think that the rich tasks and 3 act plays we have been working on lend themselves to climbing the SAMR ladder. As we are maybe not as tech savvy as our students are, or maybe not even as much as we think of ourselves, one way that I have begun integrating tech is by asking the students to identify how they would like to use tech in their learning and presenting of their learning. Most just decide to research websites and then create an iMovie that is uploaded to Youtube. But, a few students have talked to Kelly in the library about research strategies and have suggested sharing their learning through social media. We are all still learning how tech works within teaching and educational development. It is a process, but one that we cannot afford to pass up. Become a samurai, Craig…at the same time that you become a SAMR-ai.

  • Craig Polzen posted a new activity comment 1 year, 11 months ago

    Thanks for the comments Danieal.
    I am also one that enjoys that peaceful morning time to catch up and prepare for the day.
    In truth… I also enjoy the chaos of the day… and then the calm once again at the end.
    -cp

  • Craig Polzen posted a new activity comment 1 year, 11 months ago

    Thanks Bettina.
    Of course, I was inspired by your work on the tech use agreement poster!
    -cp

  • While I have always had an interest in graphic design and typography, I haven’t taken the time to fully apply my design interests to the presentations that I use in class on a daily basis. Too often, I think I […]

    • Wow Craig, for me looking at both of your tools, i think I came away with a better understanding from your revised edition! I loved how you used a real life example to engage the viewer. The simplicity of each slide, and how you drew over the pyramid to highlight where the dimensions come from I think was very powerful. Awesome!

    • Craig,

      As I went through the revised presentation it was the wee hours of the morning…and I was at work. I try to arrive early everyday to give myself alone time, catch up on my readings, prepare my lessons, and to get focused for the day ahead. However, that rarely seems to happen. I swear my classroom has a revolving door!

      Well this morning I liked that door! As I was reading your blog two different people came into my classroom to chit chat, the art teacher and one of our schools math teachers. Both of them were interested in what I was looking at and the conversations began. The art teacher instantly commented on the first slide, she liked it (way to go)! I guess there is a lot to say about the power of an image. Before I new it I found myself explaining presentation zen, design structures, and infographs to both of them. Then I began summarizing what I had just read in your blog.

      The conversation was rich and we sat discussing how we, as teachers, present material to our students, as well as how content is presented to us the adult learners. We all agreed that while technology is a crucial part of the 21st century learning it can NOT replace the teacher-

      I really enjoyed the blog link that you shared, especially the statement, “We need teachers who are part early adopter, part integrator, and part mad scientist. The modern teacher must be willing to take chances and able to figure out how not just how technology works, but how it works for each student, and where its use is most appropriate.”

      We discussed how presentations should tell a story and the presenter (the teacher in this case) should have a clear understanding of the material and should be able to lead the lesson. Your presentation did just that!

      While we understood what you were presenting we all agreed that it was a great visual complement to the lesson, especially if you have ELL learners. Your revised presentation was far more engaging, easier to follow (even for the struggling student), and was clear and concise.

      After watching various Ted Talks from Garr Reynolds and visiting his website, http://www.garrreynolds.com/preso-tips/, a few points that I felt were important that he emphasised are that a presentation should start strong, include SOLID content, be kept short and simple, have great design, and have an end in goal in mind- For me your presentation does just that.

      While I don’t know your delivery method or what your teaching/talking points will be in detail, your presentation was clear enough that I could understand the concept that you were teaching and how you were teaching the students to reach the end goal…and after many years of not using it I can now recall how to find that area of a square pyramid! Thanks for sharing.

      • Thanks for the comments Danieal.
        I am also one that enjoys that peaceful morning time to catch up and prepare for the day.
        In truth… I also enjoy the chaos of the day… and then the calm once again at the end.
        -cp

    • Craig,

      Nice work with your transformation! I’ll be honest, I didn’t quite make it through the pre-zenified one. The slides were informative, but I didn’t feel compelled to flip through them all. However, I DID check out all of your transformed slides. The images were engaging and interesting. My curiosity was piqued and satisfied with each new slide. Very well done. It’s good to be reminded about how to find the surface area of a square pyramid!

      I’ve been trying to settle on a digital resource to make more zen, but it’s tough as a “workshopper” who uses giant chart paper for everything. Actually, I can’t think of a time when I used a presentation for my students – weird. I do use Nearpod, which is a presentation tool that I haven’t been using as such. (What a revelation for me.) Thanks for your inspiration!

  • Load More