Guest Blogger: Peyten Dobbs

My background in technology looks like this:

This is a movie barcode from the film Jaws.

Why is my technology background similar to Jaws? Fear. Jaws is scary, and technology scares  me  used to scare me. A few years ago, I stood as a committed Luddite, an Emmersonian excuse-maker: “I didn’t need a smart phone. I have the trees,” I’d muse with a stubborn glow upon my face, secretly trembling whenever anyone mentioned wikis, blogs, or, gasp, twitter. “That stuff is for people who don’t have a real life and have to make up a digital one.”

Cut to the present moment. Luddite no longer, I actually think I’ve forgotten how to write with a pen. The words wikis, blogs, and twitter set me smiling, and I am an obsessed committed Mac user, despite my novice status.

Next year I will use my mac every day. I actually have had dreams about how to use my mac, so I’m starting to worry about the obsessed committed part of me. Nevertheless, they’re interesting ideas:

1) Make a film about dramatic irony where I’m sitting at my desk explaining it, and someone is sneaking up behind me with a squirt gun (or fake knife. Know your audience).  Show this film to my students, and then have them make their own short (1 min) films to explain difficult literary devices.  Put these films on a wiki/blog where they will always have access to them.

2) Start a blog for classroom management: we will keep all documents, and the students will write comments for quick formative assessments on the lesson. That way we can go back and see our learning over time, because they will tag their comments with their names (first names or initials only- stay safe!).

3) Continue to write to #20minwms on Twitter, but this time my students will tweet. Yes, twitter has proven to be another great formative assessment tool. Maybe later I will use screen shots of their old tweets as journal prompts for metacognitive reflection on their learning.

4) Use google forms to do a running formative assessment of the students’ growth over time in self assessment. No stress, lots of data, fast!

More ideas will be forthcoming. I just haven’t had enough dreams yet.

I’m a little worried about the organization of going to a paperless classroom since my digital filing system is wretched leaves something to be desired, yet I have resigned myself to the fact that learning is messy… both my learning and my students’ learning.

I know my technology movie-barcode now looks like Kung-Fu Panda:

from the blog: Cool Infographics

Full of fun, and I’m ready to face any obstacle coming my way!

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About epdwilliams

Junior High English Teacher The Westminster Schools
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3 Responses to Guest Blogger: Peyten Dobbs

  1. tsadtler says:

    Great ideas, Peyten! I love the quick clip videos idea. It will force them to think hard, drill down to the essential components, and due to it’s brevity will surely be compelling viewing. Fun!

  2. John Burk says:

    Great post Peyten. I love the links to the movie infographics. If you’re interested in learning more about some neat ways to organize your files (hint: one idea is to not organize much at all, and simply tag and search for stuff), I would highly recommend this podcast on Finding Files and Organizing by the Mac Power Users (Geeky, I know, but these podcasts are really informative).

  3. Scoot Dimon says:

    I’m still at “Jaws”…but I sure like Pandas a lot better…will get there! Scoot

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