I teach Composition at NOVA’s Annandale campus, and I’m also the campus Technology Applications Center (TAC) Faculty Mentor. This website is a place for you to find out information about me. Scroll down to read my blog below, or choose from the above links to see what I am teaching and/or working on this semester.
“I know, I know. I’ve probably lost you. Everyone hates essays” writes William Bradley in Utne Reader piece “Acquiring Empathy Through Essays.”
But just look at the title! Don’t we all need a little help in the empathy department? Would it help motivate student writers to create clearer, more precisely details works if they knew it would generate increased understanding of their position on subjects they care about from people they wish really cared? Yet another reason to revise the curriculum for “real life writing.”
Getting my mind focused on mobile apps for the upcoming Teaching Professor Technology Conference. I’ll be presenting there in 2 weeks!
I love the positive spin this TedTalks piece puts on today’s young adults.
Today is my first day back in the classroom. I’m so excited to meet my Wednesday Composition group! We are definitely going to talk about this list of challenges, and I hope by confronting possible pitfalls TODAY, we can find coping mechanisms for sidestepping them in the weeks to come.
This article proves a point I often make, which is that there are no right answers. I’m excited to add it to my introduction-to-research unit.
“Think essays are just something boring you write for class?” I love it when the Internet takes away all need to pull out my hair making decisions over what additional reading to recommend. This round-up of CNF essays was written just for my first semester Comp students.
Today I stood at the head of a classroom, presenting information about NOVA’s Technology Applications Center to new adjuncts. This was a change of pace for me after teaching only online classes for the past academic year. I actually had to get dressed and leave the house to meet my class!
This fall I’ll be teaching 3 hybrid sections of Composition I (ENG 111), and I’m also the new Annandale campus Technology Applications Center (TAC) mentor, which means I’ll be working with faculty and staff on technology training. I’m excited about this new development because it means I’ll be working with faculty from all disciplines, not just English, and I’m always excited to help my colleagues, since collaboration often leads to new inspiration in my own courses.
I’m also getting ready to present at a technology teaching conference in October. I’ll be talking about mobile apps similarly to the sessions I gave at the VA Blackboard Users Conference at George Masson University last fall and the Power Up Your Pedagogy Conference (PUP) at NOVA last winter. The big difference is going to be location: this time I’m flying to Atlanta!
What a lot of running around this year will be.
Today I did a couple of things for the first time. Anyone who says teaching online is not fun does not enjoy playing with technology like I do. For starters, I declared recently that I was going to embrace Evernote this semester, and I have already begun to do just that.
Yesterday I spent the morning reading a textbook chapter for an online instructional design course I am enrolled in this semester… (Yes, folks, the online teacher is also an online student!) I sat at my dining room table with the book and my iPad with the bluetooth keyboard from my desktop, and I used the Evernote app to type my thoughts, comments, and questions as I read. Then I got to a point in the chapter where I really wanted to capture a bulleted list. Instead of retyping the whole thing, I used Evernote’s camera feature to photograph it. I was so excited to see that it inserted the pictures right into my document, and then I was able to keep on typing under the photos. If anyone wants to see what that looks like, click here.
Today, as I lounged in bed taking a break from work–since that is one of the benefits of working from home–I found an article on my iPhone that I wanted to keep for one of my online courses. Instead of bookmarking it, I opened the Evernote app and copied the URL into a new note. That’s when I saw the audio icon. Instead of typing a note to myself to explain why I was saving the link to the article, I recorded one! Now that is interactive technology. Here’s a link to that file, in case you are curious.
Overall, I’m very excited about the potential for this multiplatform service. Evernote seems to be a great app on the mobile devices, and also nice to use when I’m on my desktop, which is an iMac, (of course).
You were just waiting for me to say that, weren’t you?
Note: this blog is not in any way supported by Apple.
Later this afternoon I’ll be presenting at NOVA’s PUP (Power up your pedagogy) conference. My session is called “Mobile Apps that Support Learning: How and Why Faculty Should Use Them.” I came up with the idea for this session last August, and immediately ran to my NOVA colleague, Nikkia Anderson, who is an Instructional Technologist for Hybrid Instruction. She and I collaborated on the development of the session, and today is our third time presenting it. You’d think I’d feel ready, like today would be a piece of cake.
But no, I awoke at 5am with new ideas and questions to ponder that would make my session even better. Here’s some last-minute reading I drummed up this morning along with my first cup of coffee:
Now, not only do I feel amped about presenting, but I’ve come up with an experiment for this semester: I’m going to embrace Evernote on my desktop (using the “Web Clipper” add on for Firefox) and also on my iPhone (using the mobile app) and encourage my students to use it (with delightful incentives, of course) to see how much it really enhances higher order learning in the online, mobile classroom.
I had no idea this project has already become a free-standing org! Another step forward in the promotion of creative nonfiction writing as an everyday, normal thing we all do. My MFA feels a little more valid.