So, what's new?
The last fifteen years of my public school service, I worked with alternative ed high school students in a small Michigan school district. I was lead teacher for the Even Start program in my district. Even Start was a government funded high school completion program for parents who had young children but had not themselves completed high school. Later, when the government funding went away (as it often does) the program opened up to all high school students, not just those with children, though they kept the day care and offered parenting classes.
During this time we used a blend of online learning using Moodle and face-to-face classroom learning. I love technology, so I took advantage of every opportunity to attend workshops in my district and in my state in an effort to improve my ability to use technology in my teaching. When given the responsibility for teaching computer classes, I guided my students in making blogs and videos. Why? Because I felt that as adults they would probably want to represent themselves online, as future business owners or just to network with like-minded people. I wanted to give them skills they could really use.
We did cartoon mash-ups, acted out puppet shows which they filmed and edited, created movies, published a newspaper, and created brochures and other documents. They made Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about issues of importance to them and created slide shows about their families and people they admired. The point of all of it was to put technology in their hands to empower them as adults. They learned to blog, edit, take courses via an online format, and how to network,
With the advent of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) I was no longer able to teach the math and science classes (except for GED prep), so I taught World History, U.S. History, Government, Economics, and Geography as well as literacy classes, Speech, and Drama. I also produced presentations for our department as my principal sought to share with district leadership about the progress our program and our students had been making.
So, fast forward to 2020. I've spent the past three years learning more on the tech side and now have a studio and enough equipment to finally be able to produce educational assets that can be shared with other teachers and with parents. The big job right now is refreshing my content and updating it for current teachers and parents. Frankly, there is SO MUCH to share it is sometimes difficult to know what to do next. For that, though, I am going to present the very foundational things parents and teachers might want to know. Then as questions come in, I will organize new presentations based around most widely asked questions.
Thank you for checking out Edubabel Online Learning. Please look for me on Locals.com. I have been talking to my friend Gretchen for years about collaborating online and she is finally ready to work together with me in this venture. She has moved her private school to an online platform and has a lot to offer parents and teachers who may be a little panicked or confused about the shift to home-based learning.
Please feel free to sent any questions you might have through the contact form on this site. Personally, I think this is a year of great opportunity for families who want more out of their children's education but who can't spend a lot on apps and tech. Believe me, as a teacher "free" has long been my favorite word. Expect me to share lots of free apps and links to great sites as we move through the 2020-2021 school year (and beyond).