Thursday, August 14, 2014

I'm so excited for this year!

I'm totally excited about this coming year.  I'm starting my 13th year, and I can say I haven't been this excited about what the year will bring in a long time.  I'm adding some pretty exciting things to my class.

1.  Gamification

For the past 9 years, I've been teaching World Cultural Geography, a non-AP geography class.  I've struggled many times each year to find a way to make it meaningful to the students.  It is hard to get my 9th graders to find interest in some of the content.  Well, after spending some time researching gamification, talking with Tom Driscoll through Twitter and phone, I've decided to take the jump and gamify my World Cultural class.  We are going to be members of the WIA (Wildcat Intelligence Agency) working our way throughout the world as an elite group of operatives, helping to solve many of the crises in various countries and regions.  I'm super excited about the potential this will have for my class.  Hopefully, it will energize me as well.  I teach just one prep of this class, so I need something to make me want to be better for them.  I will be continually updating my blog with the successes and failures of this project.

2.  Augmented Reality

I started using this last year in both of my geography classes, and I LOVE the excitement it creates in the room.  I'm very excited that I get to work closely this year with Brad Waid and Drew Minoch , of #2guys fame, as they transition to their roles at DAQRI.  I've created a few things that we will be using at the beginning of the year to try and get the students excited as well.  I envision many of the challenges from the gamification will be delivered to the teams via AR.  As the school begins to incorporate this more and more into each classroom, I am very excited about the possibilities.  I'm excited our science classes will be using the element cubes and the Anatomy 4D programs as well.  I can't wait for their visit in September to get the faculty on board and excited as much as I am.

School starts on Monday.  I can't wait for it to come.  I'll keep you posted on the successes and trials throughout the year.