Monday, December 14, 2020

Fall 2020 Brings a New Format for CAPS Teacher Education students!

CAPS Teacher Education students took part again this Fall in the annual Kansas Northeast Regional Educators Rising Conference  This year, the conference took on a new format, as the entire conference took place virtually.  Students had the availability, on November 4, 2020, to attend virtual sessions offered throughout the day, including keynote presentations and breakout sessions on education topics.  Conference Logo designed by CAPS student, Dasha Carver

Jeremy Anderson, inspirational speaker and author, launched the conference with his keynote presentation which encouraged the promotion of the teaching profession through his stories of how teachers helped to change his life and shape his future. @1jeremyanderson Other speakers included Kwame Sarfo Mensah, author of Shaping the Teacher Identity and From In Action to"InAction," @identityshaper and Tabatha Rosproy, Kansas educator and National Teacher of the Year @tabatharosproy.  Other speakers and sessions were offered throughout the day, and the conference ended with a cafeteria of university Zoom sessions during which students could learn about education programs at various universities.

Over the last several weeks, our Teacher Education students have spent time virtually observing and working in classrooms around the district. While Zooming into classrooms, students have been developing lesson plans and practicing the integration of technology to promote student engagement with elements such as gamification and augmented reality.

When not observing, they have participated in sessions with Cyndi Kuhn, instructor at Kansas State University; Kristin Asquith, Special Education Coordinator for the Blue Valley School District; Tracey Idica, NBCT educator and state coordinator from Hawaii, and others.  Also, while meeting virtually in our CAPS Teacher Education classroom, the students have been able to learn and practice classroom management skills and content delivery with student avatars in the SimSchool online teaching simulation.

Looking ahead, CAPS Teacher Education students are planning an online activity conference for elementary students called "Kids' Konference," developing a STEM lesson to teach remotely over Double Robot, working with Carrie Gardner and Lindsey Hallet of our Blue Valley Blended Learning Team, and continuing their intensive learning in the classrooms of practicing teachers.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Teaching Simulation for Practice

CAPS Teacher Education students have been working with SimSchool, an artificial intelligence-operated teaching simulation program.  The program gives students a chance to practice their teaching strategies in a low-risk environment with avatar students. 
After some initial training sessions, students, this week, chose various age levels, abilities, and subject areas to add more focus to their practice.  At the end of their sessions, the students get a report which analyzes their interactions with the “students” to determine whether or not they want to re-teach the same group or move on to another class of students.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

RIP Sir Ken Robinson

 I had the opportunity to meet Sir Ken Robinson at FETC in 2018.  I can't deny that I was kind of a Groupie and waited an inordinate length of time just to get a chance to speak to him, shake his hand, tell him how I valued his work, and have him autograph one of his books. 

Each year that I have worked with future teachers, I have played a few of Sir Ken's TED talks and had tremendous discussions with my students about his views and the example he set for charging forward and trying to reform education to provide the best opportunities for students.

I was saddened to hear that he passed away on August 21, 2020.  Though he is physically gone from our world, his soul and spirit for exciting educators everywhere will never go away.

I will continue to keep his spirit alive, and my students will always know his courage, his views, and his life as a great forward-thinker in education.


Friday, May 1, 2020

A New Era for Teaching...

If someone had told me that I would be teaching totally online for the rest of the Spring semester, I would not have believed them.  I do teach online for two universities, so it's not that I am a stranger to the format, but taking away the f2f opportunities of students in a hands-on future teacher program just wasn't in my wheelhouse.  As a result, I and my colleagues, who teach at a career center embedded in design thinking and project and profession-based learning, have had to re-think the way we interact with students who are also having a difficult time dealing with the change.

I feel for my seniors who lament that they are missing their proms and graduation parties, but I also see this as an opportunity for them (and us) to put things in perspective.  Missing a grad party seems minuscule compared to dying from a disease or losing one's financial support for family.  It is time to take a long look at ourselves and the way we manage and execute our daily lives.  My daughter mentioned that she had never seen so many families out doing things together.  While that is true, I fear for those students whose positive vibes were solely provided by their interactions with students and teachers at school.

This is a time when we can reimagine and think of what could be.  Education will likely never be the same after this.  Teachers have learned new techniques and districts have considered scheduling and operational changes.  Let's not let this time spent be wasted but rather used to reinvent ourselves and look forward to change.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The New Normal for us All

This week began a new era in our Teacher Education program history at CAPS...moving online.  The students were great and seemed eager to see each other again! 

Instruction will certainly change.  Normally at this time, the students in our program would be out doing internships in classrooms, observing, teaching, learning; however, we will be looking ahead to try to simulate activities as closely as possible to the college course curriculum we would be continuing face-to-face if this all had not happened.

That being said, it was GREAT to see the students' faces and catch up with what is going on in their worlds.  I look forward to many more Zoom calls and conversations as we proceed.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Kansas Educators Rising State Conference Results February 2020

The following students competed at the state Educators Rising Conference on February 11, 2020, held at Emporia State University.  As a result of their results, they have qualified to compete at the national Educators Rising Conference in Washington, D.C., June 2020:

Kateann Penrose, state Vice President
Madilyn Veatch, 3rd place, Creative Lecture/TED Talk
Molly Stasieluk, 2nd place team, Ethical Dilemma

Samantha Randazzo, 3rd place, Educators Rising Moment Talk
Mackenzie Paul, 1st place team, Children’s Literature K-3

Jaden Webster, 2nd place, Impromptu Speaking
Jaden Webster, 2nd place team, Ethical Dilemma
Veronica Weng, 2nd place team, Ethical Dilemma
Justin Pfeiff, 4th place, Impromptu Speaking

Dasha Carver, 1st place team, Children’s Literature K-3