At the ISTE 2010 conference in Denver a couple of weeks ago, there was a lot of excitement in the netTrekker booth. Booth visitors got sneak peak at the exciting changes coming to netTrekker for back-to-school. We had a full line-up of great customers presenters sharing their own best practices for using netTrekker in their classrooms. And we had over 125 educators participate in our Explore a New World of Personalized Learning passport game. The game required educators to learn about the new enhancements coming to netTrekker, find out how netTrekker helps personalize learning, and attend one of the many customer-presented workshops.
The lucky winner of the passport game was Roderick Hames, Business Education Instructor at Crews Middle School in Gwinnett County Public Schools, in the metro-Atlanta area. Roderick won the grand prize of a brand new Apple iPad and a one year netTrekker subscription for his school. We asked Roderick to share a little bit about himself, and it sounds like the netTrekker subscription and the iPad will fit perfectly into what he’s already doing to engage students with technology in his classroom. He shares some great examples below of how he’s made the print-to-digital transition with digital content and project-based learning activities. Thanks to all who stopped by to see us at ISTE, and congratulations, Roderick!
About Our Winner
My name is Roderick Hames and for the past 19 years I have taught computer applications, keyboarding, programming, entrepreneurship, and web design using both Mac and IBM to middle school students. I hold an Ed.S degree in Business Education from the University of West Georgia. In addition to my teaching assignments, I also serve as Program Specialist which is a leadership position at the county level to help facilitate staff development and other needs for a group of 25 other middle school computer teachers.
My website: http://www.crews.org/curriculum/ex/compsci/ is widely regarded as a hub of resources for not only my own students but teachers around the country as innovative and engaging relevant lessons. I also work after school coaching an intramural sports program. I have presented at numerous national, regional, state, and local conferences. This was my third time presenting at ISTE (formerly NECC).
I do not use any text books, my entire curriculum can be found online. My activities are project based and student centered. I work my units around a theme for each grade level. For 6th grade it is city planning and urban development. For 7th grade students learn about leadership character qualities and for 8th grade students focus on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. I work hard to create my lessons as realistic and engaging as possible. I also strive to make harder lessons video based so student can learn at their own pace. My passion is to see kids who can successfully use technology as a tool to accomplish a project that would otherwise lack creativity and skill. Since one of my passions is seeing young adults prosper and reach their full potential, using technology is a great tool to bring out hidden talents in children. I love to see kids who problem solve and can express themselves in creative professional ways using technology.
I am excited about winning the subscription to netTrekker and an Apple iPad. I fully expect to see kids who would have struggled presenting in class fight to use the iPad to present.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend ISTE2010 this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be involved! Even though I have been quite busy with work, I am still checking in on Twitter and Facebook to see what people were talking about, join in on a uStream session, and read blogs coming from the sessions.
Here were some of my favorite tweets from ISTE2010 today:
- web20classroom One of the first things to think about when teaching kids about Critical Thinking is to examine where information comes from.#ISTECT #ISTE10
- oswego98 Favorite quote of the day: Teachers have the right to hide in a cave but they don’t have the right to drag students with them #iste10
- TeachaKidd: Chris Lehmann: “We teach kids, not subjects”
- mtrump : Technology doesn’t improve education, it changes it……TEACHERS improve education. #ebc10 #ISTE10
If you didn’t have the privilege to attend ISTE 2010 in Denver, it’s not too late! Try backtracking to see if there are any videos available from sessions on ustream.tv. You can search either by #ISTE10 (the official conference hashtag), #ISTE2010 (another popular hashtag), or by the presenter’s last name (such as Chris Lehmann). I have even found a few interesting videos on YouTube! Plus, you can check out blogs about ISTE from those who attended. Some of my favorites include Tim Childers, Vicki Davis, and Jeff Utecht.
Of course, one of the funnest things to do at the conference is visit the exhibit hall. It’s like a candy shop for educators! You can see what’s new, find new potentials, and reconnect with old favorites! If you visited the netTrekker booth, you have probably seen a sneak peak of changes coming in the fall and learned about netTrekker’s new partner, NSTA.
I am so looking forward to next year’s ISTE. Philadelphia, my birthplace, will be the host for a conference that is more than technology – one that reaches all areas of education. I hope I get to see you all there in person!