Common Sense Media + iKeepSafe = Awesome Parent Night

Common Sense Media + iKeepSafe = Awesome Parent Night

Last week I had the privilege of representing Common Sense Media at a Parent Night in a neighboring school district. The topic was supporting children in the responsible use of social media.  I was the first speaker and was allotted 15 minutes to introduce parents to the wealth of resources Common Sense Media offers parents, starting with an opening 30-second video: …and then moving on to share a quick sampling of: Video Reviews (for movies, TV,books, games, apps) – Rated for…

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Tule Lake Internment Camp – From first-hand accounts

Tule Lake Internment Camp – From first-hand accounts

I have not yet visited the Tule Lake Segregation Camp (AKA Tule Lake War Relocation Center), but as of Monday, thanks to a text message from Kathleen Watt (Time of Remembrance Co-Director) and a Tweet from Larry Ferlazzo, a trip to this remote area of Northern California is now on my 2016 to-do list. Kathleen and Larry both shared a link to Charles Lam’s NBC News article: Senate Bill Would Name Tule Lake, Largest Japanese Internment Camp, Historic Site. “Tule Lake War Relocation Center”…

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Treasure Languages Event: Storytelling in two voices

Treasure Languages Event: Storytelling in two voices

“Each language is shining a little torch somewhere. These are treasures for the whole of humankind.”   Nicholas Evans (Language Matters, PBS) I’d like to start this post with a shout out to language researchers Robyn Perry (University of California, Berkeley) and Steven Bird (University of Melbourne, Australia) for the incredible work they are doing through the Aikuma Project to preserve dying languages. Robyn has been a featured guest blogger on the TOR Talks blog (a project I co-direct with my school district colleague Kathleen Watt) and…

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Veterans Day Question: How can you be a refugee and a soldier at the same time?

Veterans Day Question: How can you be a refugee and a soldier at the same time?

Last weekend I had the privilege of joining Daniel Clune, U.S. Ambassador to Laos, for a Saturday night dinner with 300+ guests (mostly Hmong, Mien, Khmu, and Lao refugees from the Secret War), followed by a less formal, more intimate Sunday brunch. The dinner ignited a conversation and invitation for Sacramento’s Laotian community to give back to Laos by contributing to its much needed economic development.   Many of the people who attended the Sunday brunch had also attended the Saturday…

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Fall Cue 2015 – Some awesome takeaways

Fall Cue 2015 – Some awesome takeaways

Loved the energy, innovation, and conversations shared at last week’s Fall CUE Conference. Definitely two jam-packed days! Below are some of my takeaways: Writing in the Shed – Lisa Nowakowski shared a wonderful resource for English Language Development (ELD) students: The Literacy Shed, a collection of short video animations with no narration. Lisa has her students collaborate on developing a storyboard for what they think would be a logical dialogue. To narrate the videos, students use the record option available through SnagIt. What…

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Keynote Speaker Models Digital Citizenship

Keynote Speaker Models Digital Citizenship

On Saturday, technology visionary Rushton Hurley blended educational insights, humor and inspiration in his opening keynote for my district’s September Digital Kids, Digital Classrooms event. Rushton shared a number of thought-provoking tips during his Seeing Ourselves presentation: How to avoid C.I.S. (Comparative Inadequacy Syndrome) by reminding yourself “The only person who you need to compare yourself to is the you who you were yesterday.” When students are supported in creating content for an authentic audience, their question changes from “Is…

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“Oh no they didn’t!” – Modeling good digital citizenship

“Oh no they didn’t!” – Modeling good digital citizenship

I blog often about digital citizenship topics. Part of my day job (technology integration specialist for the Elk Grove Unified School District) involves supporting the teaching of digital citizenship across grade levels and subject areas. Beyond the school day, I co-curate the Digital ID Project. Back to my day job. For the past 7 years, as the co-coordinator of our district-wide digital citizenship program, I’ve teamed with our very talented graphic designer and web specialist, Kathleen Watt, on all components…

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Opportunities for students to practice digital & global citizenship

Opportunities for students to practice digital & global citizenship

As we head into the new school year, I wanted to promote several awesome opportunities for students to tackle current issues and make their voices heard … and build their digital footprints and ePortfolios in the process. Aikuma Project – For the past couple of years, I’ve co-facilitated an oral histories project for my school district to preserve the stories from a little known chapter in the Vietnam War: the Secret War in Laos. And that is how Robyn Perry, a recent graduate from Berkeley’s…

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Rethinking Digital Citizenship – It’s ongoing

Rethinking Digital Citizenship – It’s ongoing

One of the hats I wear as a district technology integration specialist is coordinating our digital citizenship program. I’m lucky to share the responsibility with a very talented and like-minded colleague. She and I have been on what seems like an ever-changing journey for about 10 years now, stemming back to the days of “MySpace hysteria,” when we called the topic Internet Safety. As social media tools and venues grew, with our students making good and bad choices, we soon…

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More Than Words – Middle School Kids on Literacy

More Than Words – Middle School Kids on Literacy

I love it when students speak out on issues that impact their learning – such as ways educators can promote – or kill – a love for reading. Of course, having the always-learning, ever-inspiring Jim Bentley encouraging his 6th graders to delve in and create a documentary really helps in moving a project from vision to reality. Here’s the driving question Jim’s students worked on during and beyond the school day: How can we as filmmakers show middle schoolers the importance…

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