Finding Time for STEAM – NCAIS Conference


This Friday, 10/21/16, I will be presenting in room 6 from 10:15 – 10:45 at the Annual NCAIS Conference. I proposed this session last year as I think other schools could benefit on how I have approached developing the STEAM by Design Seminar.

Proposal Summary
Making, Makerspaces, and Design Thinking are powerful new instructional methods and concepts that many schools are adopting or trying to adopt. This session will focus on how a Middle School teacher started a STEAM by Design class in a schedule that did not have any room. Come to this session to find a place to add a STEAM by Design seminar in your school.

Proposal Description
Schools are faced with a dilemma when trying to institute new programs or classes. Most schedules in schools are already full leaving little or no room for creating new models of learning and teaching. Our Middle School wanted to have a STEAM class with Coding, Design Thinking, Electronics, 3D Design, 3D Printing, and Making. How do we add something to an already full schedule for students in a way that will not overload the students while also exposing them to these skills and concepts. The answer was to look at the area where students are provided time to study even on days when perhaps they do not need the time to study, or that they would like to learn something about STEAM and still have the time to study when needed. Therefore we are offering a STEAM by Design Seminar as a year-long class open to any seventh or eighth grade student who wants to take the seminar (provided they are also not a double foreign language student). The seminar will meet three out of the six days that their study hall meets. The STEAM by Design Seminar will explore these concepts and skills using the online resources (Project Ignite by Autodesk and CodeMonkey). With this approach, our school plans to infuse the STEAM concepts and skills related to STEAM and Making without wide institutional change that would require committees and time. If we fail, we iterate and adjust to the next design.

This is the presentation I will be using so please feel free to make a copy of

Reimaging the Textbook Workshop

Reimagining Flyersmaller


I am pleased to announce the Reimaging the Textbook workshop I am presenting for NCAIS. For more information visit the NCAIS website. This is a virtual workshop being conducted at the offices of Senn Dunn Insurance in Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, and the High Point office if Greensboro fills up. The training rooms available here are state of the art and used for training everyday. I am excited to do this type of training as it has been many years since I did a virtual session at NCSSM.

The workshop description and workflow is below:

New tools and the internet now offer a modern day digital printing press for teachers and schools. This represents a shift in how information is curated and shared. No longer must schools and teachers rely on publishers to provide information to guide the learning.

As Audrey Watters wrote in 2012

“The textbook as written and published also serves as a reminder that experts are outside the classroom. The teacher is not the expert. The students are certainly not the experts. Copyright means that the words of those experts is unalterable, uneditable, unsharable. Fixed. Protected”. “…. we needn’t write textbooks from scratch. We can remix. We can edit. We can extend. We can share”.

The following will be covered in this workshop:

  • Discuss the most popular formats for digital books ePub, AZW/Mobi, ODF and PDF.
  • Investigate leading resources which allow the teacher to create their own reimagined textbooks using free and open educational resources.
  • Practice making class resources with CK-12, Gooru, OER, along with software like iTunes U (Macintosh or Windows) and iBooks Author (Macintosh only).
  • Discuss the delivery to ensure that what you create will be readable by your students online, offline, or both.

NCAIS Educators Conference Presentations


I leave tomorrow morning for Concord, NC as I will be facilitating a session on Leaving Textbooks Behind at the NCAIS Pre-Conference Academic Fest. I am excited to lead this session as it will help me deepen my understanding on how to help Durham Academy address this growing topic. I am also doing a Rapid Reach 15 minute presentation on the topic of Digital Portfolios with Google Sites. It is the same presentation as last week just done at 5X speed.

I am going to embed my presentations below (and also on my other site) so that anyone can access what I am presenting. I hope to see you there.