- Here's a snippet of my bio from Google+
From my bio, you can tell I am mostly an East Coast girl, but that belies the fact. I have traveled widely, visiting more than 50 countries and lived for some time in two: Greece, where I backpacked, and England, where I attended York University, while completing my bachelor's degree in English. I have since earned my master's and doctoral degrees, and have been residing in Connecticut, where I teach courses at the University of Saint Joseph.
A bit more about me is revealed below where I discuss the blogs I've maintained for some of my courses.
I have maintained several blogs for my teaching. A few are listed below to help you get to know me. I have provided a short description of each:
- Integrating Technology and Literacy: this blog is used to post ideas for a course I teach in the spring. The course bares the same name as the course. Students in the course are graduate students enrolled in one of several master's programs at University of Saint Joseph. CT. A good number are enrolled in either our Reading and Writing concentration or our Educational Technology concentration.
- Computers in the Classroom is the first blog I started years ago on Blogger. Originally, the blog had another name because I included content for both my first year seminar course, Rebels and Justice Seekers (a film course), and my graduate education course, Computers in the Classroom. I developed other platforms for the first year seminar course, so the blog is now used only for the computer education course. This course meets in the fall and early summer. Students from a variety of education master's programs take the course. For most, it is an elective course. For those in the Educational Technology course, it is a requirement.
- Computer Connections is another blog I started because I wanted a blog where I could post ideas quickly and simply. Posterous worked well for this, and I generally offer this blog as an alternate site to Computers in the Classroom for students in that course. In addition, with rumors circulating about the possible demise of Posterous or other kinds of threats, I started to autopost the blogs on Computer Connections to a new blog created with Blogger, using the name Teaching Plus Technology.
I've used WordPress for my first year composition course, but this blog was used for students to share blog posts. Thus, no link is provided here.
Other tools implemented in my classes include wikis. Students create a class wikis. They also use Animoto, GoAnimate, XtraNormal, iMovie or another moviemaking program, Diigo, Pinterest, and lots more.
In the Integrating and Technology course, all students must create an ongoing course blog. Examples of these from my spring 2012 class can be found by using the page tab on the Integrating Technology and Literacy blog, Class Blogs Spring 2013.
Because we use the Google apps in this course often, it is easier for the students to use Blogger than WordPress. Almost all students in the course have had limited experiences with authoring tools, and their use of tech in their own classrooms is generally limited to the use of a Smartboard. We, thus, tend to keep the focus more so on teaching and learning than tech tools per se. For almost all, this is the first time they have created a blog. The experience of creating one moves them from the tone and style used in writing academic papers to a different mode of composing for a public audience and with digital tools. The hope is that they will soon maintain a blog in their teaching and get their own students blogging.
When I am not teach, I can be found running or on Twitter. These activities feed different parts of my brain. I use running for relaxation and creative thinking. Twitter is a wonderful way to network, find online resources, collect ideas for my teaching, and just in general meet new people and learn about new opportunities such as this MOOC, which I randomly found out about when I saw this today #ETMOOC come across my Twitter stream.
To find me on Twitter, I am simpy @judyarzt. I am also on Google+ again simply using my name, which is also my Skype name. It pays to have a short name, especially when using Twitter.
This is my first MOOC, and I have heard much about them--both pros and cons. But as with most concepts, it is hard to generalize. Getting my feet wet gives me at least more credibility, but still, generalizations will not be valid. Thanks all for listening, and as always, feel free to post a reply.
On another note, this has been a rough fall and winter for me. I come from Long Beach, NY, one of the places hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, and I live in Connecticut now, not far from the Sandy Hook school. I am struck by the fact that both have Sandy in their names and both use the initials SH, though in reverse. Here's hoping to a better year for residents of both places. As a result of their losses, I have been involved in several fundraising projects. This brings up the power of social media, which has been a real asset in organizing these projects and keeping in touch with people from both places.
Looking forward to the MOOC and hope I can keep up. I am teaching three graduate courses this semester, all being Integrating Technology and Literacy. It is good to be on the other side of the room--a student in a course, though as an instructor, I am always feeling as though I am student, keeping up with the changing times and shifts in education. Especially teaching a tech ed course, I find I am always learning, every day, every minute.
Please leave replies any time on this course blog. I wonder how well a large online class such as a MOOC works, where I barely know any one in the class. Those that I do know are simply the great folks I have met and interacted with on Twitter, including both the Couros brothers, whose names and identities I need to keep straight.