Mariane goes to Washington! College and Career Readiness

This summer, I was invited to present in Washington D.C. to a group of researchers and individuals who impact policy on College and Career Readiness as well as my dissertation topic on a college access program for the economically-disadvantaged.  What an incredible experience!  I was humbled by the audience of brilliant minds!  The day was filled with discussion and the exchange of ideas as well as thoughts on our Nation’s direction in this area.

I’ve shared my presentation and hope you’ll take a look at the Microsoft video I’ve linked as well.  The future of “work” is exciting and requires us to rethink how we approach educating students on work/life balance in addition to the critical thinking, metacognitive, and problem-solving skills we’ve been working towards through common core and 21st century skills development.

What an amazing opportunity – I am truly blessed.



Open Textbook Resources and one more university!

I had the pleasure of attending an Open Educational Degree Pathway presentation last week that I think will be transformational in this field. Some impressive data was shared including that OER Textbooks will grow to over 35% next year!

Following are some of the OER Textbook Resources that were shared at the presentation. I intend on providing these to our faculty in order for them to make better choices when selecting books to deliver their curricula:

In addition, Saylor was mentioned during the presentation as well. However, what I didn’t know until I went to the website today is that up to 30 credits obtained for FREE from Saylor will be transferable into programs at a number of reputable, accredited colleges including the University of Maryland, University College; Colorado Technical University; and, Thomas Edison State College, to name a few. Here is a link to Saylor’s Transfer page:

More and more, open access to education is becoming a priority. This is, of course, evidenced by Obama’s commitment to free education for all students in the first two years of college. However, the open education movement has been pushing in this direction for some time now, and I am excited to see it gaining more traction!

Vision of the Future

Microsoft has done it again by publishing an awesome video that provides a vision of the future of work.  While many of these technologies already exist, this still seems “sci-fi” to many people when I I show it during a presentation.  I wonder what kinds of conversations it might spark in the classroom!


I’m researching some content regarding motivation today and came across content I’d like to preserve for myself in this blog and, of course, share with the world.

First, here’s one I plan to use soon:

Here’s the companion from Chris Brogan:

I’m adding this Coke video on not a book by its cover: 

I have more research to do in this area, but this is a start!

CUE 2014 Closing the Achievement Gap with Web 2.0 Literacy Strategies

On March 22nd, 2014, I presented the following at the annual CUE conference in Palm Springs, CA.  In spite of an 8am start time on a Saturday, participants were actively engaged and came up with great ideas on how to integrate these tools into daily instruction.  I learned as much from the participants as they learned from the workshop!  Many thanks to each of them for making this a great experience for all!

e-Learning Strategies Symposium

Earlier this month, we presented at the first CLRN/CUE e-Learning Strategies Symposium in Costa Mesa, CA.  It was a sold-out event complete with wonderful speakers and breakout sessions.  Our presentation, Shift for Global Readiness: Blended Learning Models for the New Economy, is embedded below.  Please feel free to post your questions or comments.  What do you think about the impact of the economy on education?  How does education have to shift to meet those needs?  Do blended models help to address expectations of business and industry?



Increasing Virtual Engagement

I’ve been challenged of late by the perfunctory approach to addressing education using virtual and blended approaches.  It is as though one can transfer teaching and learning “in tact” from the brick-and-mortar to the virtual environment without making significant adjustments to ensure student engagement.

How do you assess engagement in the brick-and-mortar classroom?  Is it their voices during discussions?  Is it the submission of homework assignments?  Or, is it through mandated summative assessments? And then, how does assessment change once the setting is changed to the virtual classroom?

My students were reflecting with me on current virtual pedagogy and they questioned the use of discussion boards in place of face-to-face discussions.  In that capacity, they felt — and I agreed — that the discussion board seemed forced and artificial.  It appeared to them a means for quantifying course participation rather than one that should produce and inspire deeper learning.

Through this discussion, I realized a few things.  First, one cannot substitute in-class discussions with virtual ones.  Second, I don’t believe virtual discussions are meant to function as substitutes.  Rather, they should help to free the voices of the shy students, empowering them with time and a sense of security due to the intervening computer screen.  And, they should help to develop the argumentation skills of all students, including the more vocal ones.  I also realized that the quality of the discussion and peer responses are strongly correlated to: 1) the students’ in class experiences that I have facilitated, if this is a blended environment, and 2) the quality of the questions/prompts that I have posed.

Earlier this week, I attended a session at the ISTE conference that addressed the discussion board dilemma.  The presenters provide a free discussion board software solution called CollaborizeClassroom.  On this website is a resources section filled with several wonderful documents including one that specifically addresses The Art of Asking Questions and another that another that shares how we as teachers can Help Students Say Something Substantial.

The discussion board is a fantastic tool that supports collaboration, presence, engagement, and the student experience.  However, it’s time now to move from flat transactions to dynamic interactions with the help of this valuable tool.

Glogster Student Work Example: To Be Continued…

I have created a sample Glog for my students to reflect on when creating a poetry project next semester. It’s part of a larger assignment description I developed through my Leading Edge Teacher Certification and am looking forward to implementing in August.  What do you think?  Is this a strong use of web 2.0 tools?  Does this project employ critical thinking and problem solving skills?  Are students required to demonstrate content-area competence?

You can see my sample Glog below.  It’s still a draft, but I needed a good student example to help guide the way. Looking forward to posting examples created by students who are bound to be far more interesting and creative than me!

I Just made a Voki Regarding my Vision for Digital Literacy!

Web-Based Educational Tools

So many tools, so little time!  The internet has facilitated teaching and learning by putting innumerable resources literally at our fingertips.  Here are a few that can be used with students instantly: — Create thinking maps and brainstorm your next project or paper — A Creative way to identify keywords — Make interactive, multimedia posters of subject areas or interests.

(Note: the link above takes you to awesome examples of glogs!) — Search any subject and watch as a multimedia presentation of that subject is created “on the fly” Students (and teachers!) can create beautiful visual portfolios on this site to share with the world — If YouTube is blocked at your school, you might find the resources you need at TeacherTube — Wiki’s are excellent tools for online collaboration; you can create one for your students for free at Wikispaces — Blogging is a wonderful way for students to share their writing with you, classmates, and the world.  Think of it as a portable electronic journal.  Wordpress provides some very professional template options, too.

Integrating these tools into instruction is simple when you make sure your students are the ones creating!  With a bit of preparation, these tools will provide students with long-lasting access to their work and a portfolio of their growth over time.

As a writing teacher, I would be remiss if I didn’t share my favorite resource for writing lessons.  With templates and wizards galore, has tools I never dreamt of before to help inspire developing writers.  I’ll post more of these resources for you in future blog posts, but this is a great place to start!

%d bloggers like this: