With the new year, it’s time to reflect, plan, and show gratitude. Last year, my blog and Twitter accounts attracted more followers. Both now have 1K+ followers. It’s been a slow and steady increase, as I’ve engaged with educators worldwide since 2010 on Twitter, WordPress, and other social media tools. It’s not about quantity for me but quality. I want to thank you for your comments and positive responses!
New Academic Blog: I invite you to read my guest blogs on the new AACE Review. AACE stands for the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. I’ve been involved with this organization since 2014. They host several teacher/IT conferences such as the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). My first blog was on grit and learning. This month, I’ve written one defining computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and sharing media selection criteria for CALL from researchers (forthcoming). For next month, I’m preparing interview questions for a CEO about a new speech recognition API.
Tech Tip: As for new tips, I’m using Grammarly for the first time and loving the free version. I have the Chrome extension. The application checks your grammar and spelling in all writing situations including emails, blogs, and learning management systems. Grammarly sent me a report on my usage that was very insightful. This is a great way to check your past work, too. I work as an instructional designer at my College. No one generally checks my writing unless I ask, so I’m going through all of my online content. I’m doing the same for my personal blog and website! And yes, it would be a great tool for students to use.
Note. This blog originally was co-created with my friends and family on my personal Facebook account to share publicly with my readers back in 2011. We live on the Gulf Coast and have weathered many storms.
Here’s a list of items and actions to consider when preparing for a hurricane:
At least $100 cash to $500 if possible (1s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s, 100s and a roll of quarters) because ATMs or credit card machines may not work.
A large ice chest with ice, healthy drinks, snacks & any extra medications needed.
A bath tub full of water in case it’s cut off. You have about 40-50 gallons of fresh water stored in your water heater; you’ll need a hose to drain H2O heater.
Batteries and flashlights (or solar-powered or hand-cranked flashlights), candles and matches, and manual can opener. Don’t assume the batteries in the junk drawer are still good.Check them in advance. Place items in convenient location for when you lose power.
Remove any loose items around the outside of the house that could be lifted by strong wind.
Board your windows.
A first aid kit with a variety of items. Check to see if anything expired.
Toiletries for at least 2 weeks (e.g., diapers, wet wipes, feminine hygiene)
An emergency evacuation plan AND a shelter-in-place plan.
Duct tape to repair items.
Make sure your car’s gas tank is full. A gas can for emergency. Gas pumps run on electricity, so if there is a power outage, it won’t work.
Keep shoes on at all times and by the bed. Foot injuries are most common after storm destruction. Select thick-soled and closed-toe shoes.
Heavy duty gloves for handling debris.
A weather radio.
A small grill that uses those little green propane tanks or your large backyard grill will do.
A generator (if you can afford it).
It’s a good idea to have your pet micro-chipped for locating if lost and has updated anti–rabies shot, etc. At the very least, make sure you pet has a collar with ID tag.
Make sure your tetanus vaccine is current in case you have to handle any rusty nails among the debris aftermath.
Make copies of your critical information/important documents and place in a water-proof bag.
Last, think about the environment in your immediate area. Consider removing any dying trees in your and your neighbor’s yard, placing lawn furniture in the garage, and preparing for your pets. After one hurricane, the neighbors’ beehives were displaced/scattered and there were bees everywhere. I couldn’t go outside for 2 weeks due to my allergy to bee stings. This list is based on personal experiences. For professional advice, visit the National Hurricane Center.
I wanted to celebrate the milestone of reaching 1000 followers on my blog! Thanks to all of you who subscribe to Teacherrogers’ blog on WordPress. My first blog post was in 2010, but I didn’t really become active until 2011. This will be post #139. I also blogged for TESOL International Association during 2011-2012 on their website. Additionally, I blogged for a workforce education nonprofit I spearheaded in 2007-2009. Some of those blogs have been republished here.
As a subscriber or regular reader, you know that I strive to provide you with relevant information on instructional design, learning theories, integration of technology and social media into the learning environment, as well as specific information in my areas of interest (second language acquisition, gaming, and e-learning). My blog posts also serve as an archive of my learning. This provides me with a place to review and reflect. I hope my blogs have provided you with the information you needed or, at the very least, an idea or link to follow up.
Thanks again for following me on this journey of social blogging! Please join me in this celebration by leaving me a comment.
Thank you for all of your comments and re-sharing of my blog. I’m so humbled to have such a growing readership. I hope I have created some useful content for each of you. Let me know if you have a topic of interest that I might can blog about. I also renewed my Podbean podcast and hope to interview educators, instructional designers, game designers, and innovators on learning. Let me know if you’re interested!
Since my beginnings on this blog in 2011, I tried to make it practical. In 2015, I decided to transform my blog into a scholarly one as I near the end of my doctoral program of study. I’m slowly going back to previous posts to update them to include citations and more precise advice based on research.
In 2016, I will continue to blog at least once a week to share my learning with you. Blogging is my way of reviewing information to help me remember. It also helps me to synthesize information to share with the educators I work with now. Whenever I find myself explaining something verbally, I check to see if I have a blog on it to share as a follow-up. If I don’t, I write one. My blogs have become job aids!
This is the year that I start, and hopefully complete, my dissertation on gaming for second language acquisition. I will share more on this topic once I complete the proposal.
I’m not sure when it happened, but my blog subscription increased from 100+ to 700+ readers! Thank you very much for your readership. My blog is my landing strip to all of my projects, so I take great care in keeping it up-to-date. It also reflects my learning curve, as I post my homework assignments from my doctoral studies in instructional design. It’s very encouraging to know that all my effort in sharing is actually being received. To celebrate, I thought I’d share a festive machinima I filmed at a cast party in Second Life. I’m the cat avatar. Enjoy!
I’d like to share my schedule of face-to-face workshops that I’ll be giving this school year. I work at the Innovation in Learning Center (ILC) at the University of South Alabama. They host ongoing professional development workshops for faculty and staff for online teaching. I work for the ILC as a graduate research assistant. My work includes designing, developing, and delivering professional development to faculty to support student learning. If you live in the Mobile area and work at an institution of higher education, you are welcome to attend one of these workshops. Additionally, graduate students in instructional design and development at USA can attend, as long as they register in advance. There are many more listed at the ILC website.
My 2013-2014 Training Schedule at the ILC:
Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Relay: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 9/6/13
How to Make Your Online Course Accessible: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 9/19/13
Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 9/20/13
Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 10/11/13
Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Relay: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 10/23/13
Emergent Technologies: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 10/30/13
Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 12/3/13
Sakai 101: Communication Tools: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 12/12/13
Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center (ILC), University of South Alabama (USA), 12/18/13
Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Studio, ILC, USA, 2/3/14
How to Make Your Online Course Accessible: ILC, USA, 3/31/14
iClickers, ILC, USA, 4/15/14
Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: ILC, USA, 5/30/14
“The more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled.― Paulo Freire