I am a Doctor of Education, a National Board Certified Teacher, a Minecraft Global Mentor, and a contributing member of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. I have a California Teaching Credential, and certifications from Google, Apple, and Microsoft. For the past 30 years, I’ve taught both public and private high school English, web design, and elementary school educational technology with a focus on revitalizing student experiences through an immersive approach with interdisciplinary work and technology.
I nurture a learning environment where students create more than they consume. It is my belief that we have not yet fully harnessed what teachers and students can do with computers as part of the teaching and learning cycle. In our maker space workshop we imagine, create, program, and build robots, games, and applications. We also focus on digital citizenship and online safety. With my guidance, students have the opportunity to develop skills and habits of mind in preparation for a rapidly evolving world.
Guiding Principles —
Human development has not significantly changed in comparison to the rapid changes of technology and culture.
Relationships with parents and other students matter most — reframe using technology as something that happens inside of strong relationships.
Hands-on activities are essential (building with blocks or tools, digging in the dirt) and screens cannot replace them.
Kids still need help and guidance to use technology to become builders, creators, storytellers, and composers — they are not born knowing how.
Technology usage in families needs negotiation and practice.
In March 2020, during remote learning and lockdown, my classroom students and I met virtually to build communities and civilizations, puzzles and games of skill, imaginative structures and historical replicas, and to “be inside” a collective and collaborative space together. Instead of subject skills and content taught in isolation, we were able to immerse ourselves in mathematics, literacy, logic, critical thinking, as well as social-emotional group dynamics. My students and I used Zoom to connect and collaborate in learning how to code, build robots, and develop original video games. Learning, making, sharing, and revising — with ideas generated directly from student inquiry, while we struggled as a nation with how to reach students during this challenging time, this approach to online school was working well.
This year —
I am offering online classes for your kids individually and in small groups. They will develop skills in mathematics, language arts, critical thinking, and executive functioning through an immersive approach with computer programming (coding), robotics, and game design. Following their interests and questions, as well as what is age-appropriate, kids of all ages will have the opportunity to choose their challenge and can work in a variety of safe, online environments with me to develop these skills.
I work with students K-12. Activities include, but are not limited to, Minecraft, MakeCode, Scratch, Logo Turtle Art, MicroBit, Makey Makey, Hummingbird Robotics, LEGO Robotics, and Tynker.
I also offer a course for families in digital safety and citizenship.
Objectives and Outcomes —
- Through experiences with robotics and game design:
- Encourage, nurture, and amplify student inquiry
- Explore connections within core curriculum content
- Explore, learn, and use computer programming languages
- Enhance student literacy and numeracy
- Learn, develop, and use skills in problem posing, problem solving, and critical thinking
- Learn and develop executive functioning skills
- Solve problems as an individual and as a team member
- Engage in shared learning experiences
- Study the project building and development processes of peers to further one’s own processes
- Engage in generative draft processes of work, play, and exploration
- Demonstrate nimbleness and flexibility
- Learn how to deal with setbacks
- Present and share both project development and final test run