Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rest well, Jonny. Ignite is amazing!! Looking ahead.

(Picture from the Boulder Adventure Film Festival website.) Summer's off to a really rough start. Today I found out that my friend, Jonny Copp, was killed in an avalanche while climbing in China. I'd known Jonny since 2004, just before the showing of his movie, Splitter. We'd been good friends since, getting together and talking about everything from rock climbing to teaching to adoption to whatever was on our minds at the time. He possessed a warmth, sincerity and joy that was incredibly infectious and seeing him always brought a smile to my face and heart. I will miss him always.

This time of year is typically my time to look back on the school year and reflect on things I thought went well as well as identify areas of growth for me. I incorporated a great deal of technology in my classes this year, which was falls into both categories. I still have some growing to do and kinks to iron out, but I definitely did a lot more experimentation in my classes than I have in the past. In addition to the technology piece, I did a great deal more group work than I ever have. Typically, I've found group work to be a bit of a management nightmare, especially when working with freshmen, but this year I bit the bullet and pushed myself to let go a little bit and let my students take the lead. I'm glad I did. The live blog collaborative sessions revealed a great deal about my students and their capabilities, and their presentations went quite well.

Which brings me to my next point. Ignite is an amazing format for student presentations, especially for students who aren't used to doing presentations. The 15 second time frame for each slide really discourages the reading of slides, and sticking to the 20 slide/five minute format definitely ensures that students will reach the time allotted. Sticking to the 15 second per slide format also means that those students who would normally rely on videos to fill time aren't able to, and it keeps the more... verbose... students to a reasonable time frame as well. I will definitely continue to use it, especially for underclassmen. We even got an invitation to join IgniteDenver, which is pretty cool. I plan to check out a few presentations on my own first, then open the door to my students to attend and present at an event. Here's a great blog entry that I'm going to share with my students on how to put together an Ignite presentation.

Other things I will continue to use next year: Google Docs,, blogs, podcasting, Google Sites, Ning, Edmodo, CoverItLive, TextTheMob. I want to add: OpenZine, PhotoStory, MovieMaker. I'm sure there's more I'll end up using, especially with the Global Learners' trainings coming up this week and in August. Should be fun!!


  1. Hi,
    Looks like you have a wonderful group of students.
    There are photos of a project my teens did in our backyard for Jonny over here. I know his parents appreciate all the love being sent their way.

  2. Todd, thanks for leaving a comment. When my husband (Army surgeon) gets back from overseas, doing surgery on soldiers and locals alike, I'll see if he'd like to meet your students and talk to them via a blogcast. Or who knows? Maybe he'll have time while he is still there.

  3. That would be awesome... thank you for the offer!!

  4. Contact me through my blog. Email is on the sidebar. He's on Skype.