After about a year, I have finally edited my portfolio from the Instructional Technology master’s program at Virginia Tech. I needed to redirect a lot of links in order to make sure everything functioned. Feel free to check it out if you are interested in that sort of thing. A link to it has a permanent home in my left sidebar under Links.
- My presentation with Glenda Funk and Ami Szerencse. Loved working with you ladies, and especially loved celebrating your birthday Saturday night, Glenda. Also appreciated those of you who gave me the positive feedback after the presentation.
- Meeting Joe Scotese. We’ve been friends for years, but we had never actually seen each other face-to-face.
- Meeting and having great dinner and conversation with Meenoo Rami and her college friend and college friend’s co-worker (and Glenda!). Loved it! The pizza was excellent.
- Going to the Art Institute of Chicago. It was right across the street from the Palmer House, and after my presentation I needed to decompress. There is absolutely nothing in the world like seeing those paintings up close.
- Forging deeper connections with Georgia folks like Kirstie Knighton, Karen Mitcham, and Kathleen McKenzie (Kathleen, I’m looking forward to being more involved with GCTE).
- As always, reconnecting with the Folger group. I loved working the booth with them on Sunday and meeting up at the Chicago Shakespeare on Friday night (Mike, you let me know when you are starting up that school).
- Meeting Ryan Goble and Richard Beach in the same session. Ryan’s mom is the coolest.
“Smart” Things I Did:
- Visiting the art museum. Sure, I missed a ton of good sessions that day, and I’m hoping to find at least some of them on the Connected Community or elsewhere, but really, it was so worth it to see those paintings.
- Planning my conference in Evernote. I had a whole notebook with all the sessions I was interested in, all the places I wanted to go, transportation information, hotel and airline reservation information, and session notes. Had I not done this, there is no way, especially without wifi access, that I could have figured anything out. I also learned how to send emails into Evernote. I didn’t know how to do that before, and it proved extremely useful.
- Buy a hat and gloves. Hey, it’s not as cold down here in the South. Still got windburn.
- Go to the EC Ning meetup.
- Save money and avoid the exhibits. Look, they are very cool, but truthfully, only the cheap/free paperbacks were worth my while. I didn’t want to carry home or have to mail a bunch of stuff like last year, so good job this year on saving space. Next time the convention comes to Atlanta, I’ll load up completely. Maybe.
- Find time to write. Yes, it was mostly on the plane and at the airport, but as a result of finding time to write, I am only a little behind with NaNoWriMo. Last year, I gave up after NCTE because I saw no hope of catching up.
I came away from the conference wanting to be more active in the EC Ning, MC Pop Ning, and Twitter conversations (especially #engchat). Thanks for the wonderful time, everyone.
On Saturday, I presented with Glenda Funk and Ami Szerencse on teaching the Hero’s Journey. Here you will find my slide deck and handouts. You can find the handouts Glenda and Ami shared here at Glenda’s blog.
Please feel free to share feedback about the presentation and/or add to our list of hero’s journey texts. The Google Doc Glenda shared is not editable, but feel free to add suggestions in the comments. Also, if you have questions or need additional resources, feel free to ask in the comments.
I wanted to add this video for folks interested in The Matrix as a hero’s journey text:
Thank you Glenda and Ami for being awesome co-presenters.
I will share my own reflections and thoughts about the conference at a later time, but it was wonderful to see you all, and Chicago is a beautiful city.
Just a quick update: I will be presenting at NCTE this year in Chicago. My name does not appear in the searchable program online because NCTE has not received payment for my registration. I am not sure if it will appear in the print program. I will be presenting with Glenda Funk and Ami Szerencse. Our session is G.41: Teaching the Hero’s Journey: Understanding our Past, Creating our Future. My part of the presentation will cover creating a course based on the Hero’s Journey, in which I will describe how I designed an elective course, including backward design, book selection ideas, and handouts I’ve used. It is in Chicago Hilton/Continental Ballroom, Salon B, Lobby Level on Saturday from 9:30 A.M. to 10:45 A.M.
Looking forward to seeing you there. Who’s going to Gino’s to get some pizza with me? I have been told that is the place to go. Oh, and now I hear Garrett’s Popcorn is a must, too.
I have been charged with training my faculty on Windows 7 and Office 2010 when school reconvenes in August. If you are familiar with one or both, please share something you think it’s important for users to learn.
For Windows 7, I am already thinking the new taskbar and folder structure will be critical, and for Office 2010, the ribbon, but I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about the training from a variety of angles yet.
photo credit: Dom Dada
If you are interested in and knowledgeable about the hero’s journey, archetypes, and the like, I would like to invite you to present with me. If you are interested, please leave a comment or contact me via email on the contact page. We can talk further from there.
Update: Thanks for your interest. We have a group. Cross your fingers for us that our proposal will be accepted.
Turning in my portfolio was the last thing I needed to do to complete my degree. If it’s accepted, I’ll have a master’s degree. I am happy to be finished, and I feel the portfolio was a great way to show what I’d learned. I do wish that my program had worked in opportunities to build the portfolio throughout the coursework rather than just at the end, but in the end, I think I did learn from the program, particularly during the last three semesters when I took Multimedia Authoring, Project and Report, and Portfolio Evaluation. I had a truly great learning experience in Multimedia Authoring. I learned how to use Flash and built a little grammar game. My instructor for that course was the best instructor I had in the program. Project and Report was great because I was able to create my own project, and I learned a great deal about manipulating digital audio and video and the Fair Use doctrine of copyright law. Assembling the portfolio allowed me to reflect on my learning. I have already begun using some of what I’ve learned at my school as a member of the Technology Committee.
On an unrelated note, I have been meaning to share a former student’s new blog with you for some time. Jake was an absolute pleasure to teach, and I enjoy seeing what he’s up to as he makes his way in college and the world. I was really pleased that Jake not only felt comfortable sharing the blog with me, but also with my sharing it with you. Jake’s an amazing photographer, and I’m very proud of him. Hope you enjoy it!
I am presenting at NCTE tomorrow morning at 9:30 at the Yacht and Beach Club in Grand Harbour Ballroom South. You can download and/or view all my session materials here.
Note: I think if you visit the presentation on SlideShare and download it, you can get the notes.
Here is my handout for my Macbeth performance task that I discuss as an alternative to a performance.
Here is a graphic organizer for my comparative video exercise for Act I Scene 1. I use the filmed versions of Macbeth directed by Jack Gold, Roman Polanski, and Geoffrey Wright for this activity.
Here is a Wordle made from the text of Macbeth that I use to introduce students to themes in the play.
Chris Shamburg’s radio play of the “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble” scene.
If you want to explore the UbD Educators wiki (Understanding by Design, ® ASCD) for a variety of resources, feel free to check it out. You don’t have to join to lurk; you have to join to contribute your own work.
Links to my previous work aligning Folger methods with backward design:
- Romeo and Juliet unit plan
- Macbeth unit plan
- Taming of the Shrew unit plan
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream unit plan
- Much Ado About Nothing unit plan
Blog posts about Folger/teaching Shakespeare:
- Shakespearean Insults
- Proof Folger Methods Work: Week in Reflection, 1/20-1/23
- I Noticed: Week in Reflection, January 12-16
- Taming of the Shrew
- Folger Shakespeare Mini-Institute
- Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet
- Teaching Romeo and Juliet: Part One
- Teaching Romeo and Juliet: Part Two
- Teaching Romeo and Juliet: Part Three
- Teaching Romeo and Juliet: Part Four
- Who Killed Romeo and Juliet?
- Julius Caesar
Links to other helpful resources:
- Folger Group on NCTE Ning
- Folger website
- Making a Scene: Folger blog
- NY Times Blog’s resources for teaching Shakespeare
- Folger Teaching Shakespeare Institute Wiki
- Donors Choose
If you would like to see the Shakespeare Made Easy activity I mentioned, please visit and join A Way to Teach. You’ll find a lot of great resources there.
If I can think of more stuff to add later, I will, so bookmark this post if you’d like to access it more easily.
In a couple of days, I’ll be Orlando-bound. I’m presenting on authentic assessment in Shakespeare with the Folger Shakespeare group. I do feel like a part of a family with those folks. If you want to check it out in person, come see the presentation on Saturday at 9:30 in the Yacht and Beach Club/Grand Harbor Ballroom, Salon South. It’s session G.46.
Some time soon, I will be posting my presentation and any accompanying handouts, etc. here and at the NCTE Ning.