Posted tagged ‘education’

Google Calendar for my Classes

March 27, 2008

For a couple of years I’ve tried to make some kind of online calendar for my classes. At first I was trying to update a list of assignments just using HTML.  To do that I had to open the file, update it, then load it up to the server. It took too long and I couldn’t keep up with it.

Now I use Google Calendar. In Google Calendar I’ve created a separate calendar for each class. Everyday I go into the calendar and update what we did for that day. I can also put upcoming assignments and events.

Here is the magical part: I have embedded the calendars into my website. Now when a student goes to the Algebra part of my website they are looking at the algebra calendar. The geometry students go to their website and look at their calendar.

To do this in Google Calendar:

1. Click on the arrow next to the name of the calendar you want to embed and select calendar setting.

calendar1.jpg

2. Customize the settings as needed and grab the HTML code they give you.  Put that HTML code where ever you want your calendar to show up on your website.

calendar2.jpg

Now I just update the Google Calendar and my website is always up to date.

As I get caught up with everything I plan to have a link to all the worksheet and notes we go over in class. So any student can go to the website, look at what we did that day, download the notes, download the worksheet, and be totally caught up with class.  I’m living the dream!

An Analogy for Teaching High School

March 22, 2008

A friend of mine in college had a knack for explaining everything with a hamburger or car analogy.  I’ve been working on an analogy for teaching.  Here is one using a trip.  I think I would use it as a first day intro speech.  The idea is borrowed from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for Families.  He talks about a family as a plane and how you need to stay on course.  This is something like that.

Here is what I would say:

You are all about to take a trip.  We all leave today.  The destination is clear.  At the end of the trip we will all need to be at the place where have all the knowledge and skills from this class.  You will have gotten to a place where you can continue on to a new journey next year. 

Some of you are taking off in jet airplanes, some in helicopters, some in cars, others might be getting on your bike, while some might just be lacing up your shoes to get walking.  How you get there is not important but what is important is that you are taking your own way.  It is not worth it to get in someone elses car, or try to jump up on someones plane so you can spend all year in the passenger seat taking naps.  You need to get there your self.  You can fly together with others, caravan together, or even hold hands with someone else as you walk down the street.  If your in a car you might honk at the biker as you pass to encourage them on.  

Those of you walking will not have a chance to let up.  You will need to continue down your path everyday.  The jet pilots could possibly take some extra time refuelling but they must also make sure that they reach the destination by the end of the year.

My job is to keep everyone on course.  I will make it clear where we are going.  Along the way I will let you know if you have the right coordinates or if you are going down the right street.  Whenever you start to get off track I will let you know.  I am your GPS locator, your map, your compass, and your guide.  You can always ask me for directions. 

It is your job to keep moving.  I’m going to tell you how sweet it is at the end of this trip.  I’ll give you encouragement at major milestones.  I’ll even sit right in the passenger seat if you need me to.  I can’t pedal for you, I can’t press on the accelerator, and I certainly can’t fill your shoes.  It is up to you to keep moving forward.

That’s all I’ve got so far.  I’ll add more as it comes to me.