A FREE 47 Page Guide to Google Sites for Teachers
Heads-up: There’s currently no way to download this document, which is tremendously obnoxious (I don’t want to have to be connected to the Internet to read this), but it’s not my decision.
I watched a TED talk featuring Roger Doiron titled “My Subversive Plot”. he wasn’t talking about a movement to take over the world, though hopefully this idea is catching on and will shortly take over the food world. He was talking about kitchen gardening and the need for people to start growing their own food. As a Family and Consumer Sciences major, this is not the first time this idea was presented to me, and as an FCS educator, this was already something near and dear to my heart. I have grown a vegetable garden of some scale or variety for most of my adult life. In this country, most of us are so disconnected with our food and its production that we are unaware of how tenuous the system which feeds our world really is. Poverty and hunger are growing issues worldwide. How can gardening help? Roger Doiron mentioned that at the peak of the “Victory Garden” movement- that was a World War Two-era movement- 40% of the produce consumed in this country came from home plots. Gardening on that scale frees up so much of the food supply that could be shared with areas of the world where food production is difficult or impossible. Many people have a vision of perfectly manicured lawns, but what ideal does that vision serve? Grow gardens, not lawns!
What it’s all about out here!
As an educator, it is important to stay on top of new developments in our field. What better way to do this than to join a professional organization? These organizations plug you directly into those people whose job it is to explore the latest theories and practices, and inspire those of us in the field.
I currently belong to ACTE- the Association for Career and Technical Education. This organization is specifically for those in the fields of Family and Consumer Sciences, Industrial Technology, and Business. I have enjoyed being connected to this organization, as these disciplines are often not required subjects, and are frequently subject to budget cuts and downsizing. ACTE keeps its members abreast of legislation affecting our fields, and developments in school districts across the country. Frequent e-mails and newsletters provide members with up to the minute information about issues affecting our field. More information can be found at www.acteonline.org . Membership is free.
Other organizations for Family and Consumer Sciences are AAFCS- American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and NAFCS- Nebraska Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. Membership in these organizations is less expensive for students. For AAFCS, membership is $60. For NAFCS, membership is automatic when you join AAFCS. Check them out at http://www.aafcs.org/.
These organizations also hold conferences for professional development. This is a great way to network with other professionals in your field!
Last week I virtually attended the Technology Edge conference at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Since I live about eighty miles from Lincoln, attending this conference online was a very convenient option for me.
During the key-note address, the sound was not working for the online feed. I was able to text an instructor at the conference and she was able to communicate to someone and the problem was quickly corrected! Isn’t technology cool? I liked the point the speaker made that teachers who do not avail themselves of technological teaching tools will soon be guilty of educational malpractice. I am entering the teaching profession as a second career, but I am very excited that there are such wonderful tools available to me to make my job easier. It would be easy to stagnate and rely on old ideas, but to do so would be depriving your students of a world of learning opportunities. Besides, at my age, I feel that some techno-savvy increases my “street cred”!
I attended a session on building a class website using Google sites. This was a good preview for me, and has made my current classroom assignment much easier. I have enjoyed using these types of tools as a student, and I plan to use them as a teacher, and also for personal use. My own children are growing up and scattering (one in Kearney, one in Chicago) and a family website would be a great way to keep everyone up to date.
I also attended a session on LiveBinder and found that it lined right up with what I planned on doing to organize my curriculum materials, but I had planned to use ACTUAL binders. This online organizing tool will save me a lot of paper, ink, and time!
I tried to connect to a third session, but the Twitter one I was looking for was not connecting, and another one I tried had horrible sound issues, so I called it a day. I plan to check out more of these sessions as soon as they are available!
Today I created a LiveBinder to begin compiling curriculum materials. I created a binder for each curriculum area. You may view my binders at http://www.livebinders.com/shelf/my .
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