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James Rampley

  • Course 5 Final Project for COETAIL
    I am very pleased with the results from my tech class. I thought it would be a good idea to do what I would want if I was taking tech for a 3rd year in Middle School…I would […]

  • (This posting is an explanation of how I chose to demonstrate/practice my “Community Engagement” while completing course 5. While it serves multiple purposes, it is something I am interested in continuing after […]

  • (This posting is intended to be a share of my progress with my Course 5 Final Project in COETAIL.)

    As I previously stated on my prior post, I was trying to keep up with current technology within my tech class […]

  • (This is a posting that shares my intent on my final project and the steps leading up to how the project was decided upon.)

    For my final project this semester, I have been trying to decide what to do. Well, as […]

    • Very exciting! Especially given the amount of student-choice. I’m excited to see how this unfolds in your final project video. Well done you for taking a risk!

  • For the final project of course 4 week 6, I chose to redo a unit plan….or in my case, make one. My Photoshop Unit Plan was the unit I will be focussing on for this post. All the lessons were laid out for the […]

  • James Rampley posted a new activity comment 1 year, 3 months ago

    Disha,

    What a great posting! While it is a repetitive echo that I seem to never stop hearing, I think “Balance” is a word we always need to NEVER STOP examining. The redundancy of it is to continually keep each other, our society, and our lives in check. It is just too bad that the answer is simply complex. It is relative for us to examine…[Read more]

  • Applying tech is simply ironic when we are referring to a technology class. Of course we use tech. I thought it would be beneficial to share a little stereotype about some of the students who take my class. Many […]

  • James Rampley posted a new activity comment 1 year, 4 months ago

    Valya,

    Thank you for your post. I can see where you are coming from as I have come completely full circle on this. At my previous school in Central America, I too was hesitant about “giving up” that control as you stated. Then over time, I tried “the flip” and it worked….and ridiculously well, I might add. I had to add an accountability…[Read more]

  • James Rampley posted a new activity comment 1 year, 4 months ago

    Thanks for the response Mavis! I do think it may be a matter of time, the question is just a matter of when?! I know there are two stances here. If I truly ignore that I am teaching tech, I can see it being very beneficial to some students and just a fun elective for others. The unfortunate part of having it as an elective is that the students who…[Read more]

  • The Future is Always Now

    Teaching a continuously evolving subject like (MS Technology) I am always looking at a moving target. I get my sights set on something cool for students to learn (an app, a program, e […]

  • I’ve Been Played!

    As educators, I was borderline taught it was considered taboo to be doing anything fun. Immediately from the start of jumping into the classroom I learned that there was a curriculum we must f […]

    • Hi James,

      Your post really resonated with me. I think learning is fun. I think we have been taught to take the fun out of learning because we need to test and justify what we are doing. There were times when I was teaching my STEM class and the whole class was deeply engaged in learning and I felt guilty. How could they possibly pay me to do this? I was afraid that someone would walk in and wonder if the class was a fun park instead of a classroom and wonder what kind of a teacher I was. The truth was that the learning was good because my students were interested and motivated to learn. The challenge for teachers is to apply the same principles that we have in our STEM and Tech classes (that are perhaps more naturally fun) to subject areas where student interest isn’t so naturally high. It can certainly be done and using game based activities and gamifying the classroom are two good ways.

      The other reason why this post has resonated with me is because earlier today I witnessed your almost 2 year old daughter at the park today with my son. I could see her pushing herself with glee to try new things she hadn’t done before. She pushed limits and tested boundaries. By doing so she developed new skills and expanded on existing ones and she was loving every minute of it. I think the key question is…how can we encourage our students to learn like toddlers? The answer to that question I think is to make learning fun, like it was when you were a toddler.

      Andrew

  • James Rampley posted a new activity comment 1 year, 4 months ago

    Your post was the epitome of what I was thinking of posting this week Sean. Great post! I was recently listening to a podcast where the man serves as a radio talkshow host who is considered a “Tech Guy”. His job is to help others with technology related issues and simply talk about anything with a chip.

    Recently, he shared about his…[Read more]

  • James Rampley posted a new activity comment 1 year, 4 months ago

    Andrew,

    I think your endeavor is great for a final project! I too wondered what exactly your role would be as MS Tech Integrater, but I believe you have some great plans initiated all ready with MS. The little ideas you have implemented already have even helped me learn some new things….and I am the middle school tech teacher!!

    In my defense…[Read more]

  • Everything I am going to mention in this post is what I do in my classroom. However, I want to give credit where it is due….to the people who came before me and laid out the curriculum that I currently follow. I […]

  • Tech Today, Gone Tomorrow (Course 4 Week 1)
    Some of this week’s reading really made me realize that my job, as a middle school tech teacher, may be jeopardy. Thinking about the necessity of having a tech teacher […]

    • Hi James,
      What an interesting perspective that you have in reflecting on the jeopardy of your job! I’m sorry to say that in forming my thoughts on some of your questions, yes I do think your job is in jeopardy. The Edutopia article “Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?” (http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction) states that “Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process.”

      While you did highlight the importance of providing students with the exposure to different software – I do think a tech elective class gives them the TIME to do this, with support. Perhaps the balance is providing students with the time (and support) necessary in their classes to explore these tools. One of my students recently shared with me that he taught himself how to code through books and online lectures/videos via YouTube. Students are very resourceful at figuring things out that they need to know. Maybe we just need to give them more time and opportunity in our classes to do this?

      • Thanks for the response Mavis! I do think it may be a matter of time, the question is just a matter of when?! I know there are two stances here. If I truly ignore that I am teaching tech, I can see it being very beneficial to some students and just a fun elective for others. The unfortunate part of having it as an elective is that the students who truly lack tech skills (stereotyping here) are the ones that opt to NOT sign up for that elective. This is why I see it almost being counter-beneficial for fulfilling the “need” aspect of the class. On the flip side, I am continually uncovering new programs/software, apps, and means to which they can be embedded into tech curriculum and other classes.

        Just to list a few:
        -students setting up and designing items for the learning symposium coming soon
        -students making videos for different events at the school
        -students making slideshows to announce different news items in MS
        -students making posters to raise awareness/educate/promote other students on varying topics or fund raisers around MS
        To summarize, students are actively participating in helping to make our school better through various avenues requiring research, well thought design, and planning. It also incorporates a large amount of responsibility as those items need to be continuously updated or changed.

        So ultimately, I am using our tech class to do some really cool things, despite the metaphorical door closing on tech. Until that time, I will exhaust all avenues of learning opportunities through our MS Tech Class. Until then, nature will take its course. Thanks for the response!

  • Week 6 Final Project Course 3 – Making a Video

    As I mentioned in my week 3 posting, I have been using PC (Microsoft Windows-Based operating systems) most of my life. Aside from checking my email or browsing, I […]

  • James Rampley posted a new activity comment 1 year, 11 months ago

    Tracey,

    Please take heed to the comment Chrissy left about my posting. I will be making some “adjustments” to my posting in leui of this newly discovered information. I am sorry if I misled you at all. I truly thought that what I was doing was the right thing because even I am making a video for my final project!

    Good luck to you and I hope…[Read more]

  • Week 4 Course 3

    I never knew there were so many nuances that needed attention when making a video. My students were given the task of making videos representing their Week Without Walls trips. Some students […]

    • Hi James,
      Thanks for sharing those resources. I’m in the process for putting together a video for My course 5 project so I’m sure these will help.

      Video making is a multilayered task with so many components layered within. It’s interesting teaching these aspects to students but it requires a lot of time to teach and a lot of time for them to practice new skills.

      Check out Jim Sill’s website for resources: http://www.mistersill.com/ If you ever get a chance to attend a workshop or presentation by Jim Sill you should take it. My own understanding of video making hugely by attending a session with him and consequently that has had a great impact on my teaching and student learning.

      • Tracey,

        Please take heed to the comment Chrissy left about my posting. I will be making some “adjustments” to my posting in leui of this newly discovered information. I am sorry if I misled you at all. I truly thought that what I was doing was the right thing because even I am making a video for my final project!

        Good luck to you and I hope you are able to get this information to ensure that your project is done correctly. Cheers!

    • Fabulous list of places to find royalty-free music BUT please be aware that royalty-free and creative commons are still two separate things – they are not the same.

      Royalty free generally means that you pay a one-time fee in exchange for the right to use and don’t have to pay each time after that you use the music.
      Creative Commons music means you have been given permission to use (without having to contact the owner and ask – and usually without having to make any payments).

      This post has a list of places where you can find free, creative commons music.

      Your students also need to be aware that they can not use any music that has a creative commons license with a No Derivative Works on it – as adding music to a video is considered a derivative of the music. See here for more information.

      It can be very confusing especially when it comes to music – but I hope this helps!

  • James Rampley posted a new activity comment 1 year, 11 months ago

    Great presentation Frank! I viewed/watched your presentation and all I could think about it what great discussions could stem from that. Creativity is such a difficult idea to define, describe, and sometimes grade! I often times get students asking me how to complete an assignment. I respond by asking them to clarify which results in the students…[Read more]

  • James Rampley posted a new activity comment 1 year, 11 months ago

    I agree with you completely Frank! One major trait I was instilled with growing up was relating to the use of foul language. I was always told that if you cursed it meant you lacked the knowledge and depth containing a more intelligent degree of vocabulary which could easily replace some distasteful words used regularly. Of course we won’t talk…[Read more]

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