Introduce Yourself

Preview

Welcome

Welcome to the course. Wonderful to have you here. I look forward to learning with you as we introduce-yourself-explorethe power of Internet as it grows in what it can do and what it knows about us.

Who Are You?

Please take a few minutes to leave a comment below. Introduce yourself to the instructor (me) and other students who are, or will be, taking this course.

Include as much information as you feel comfortable providing.  Suggested ideas include:

  • Name
  • Where and what you teach
  • Why you are taking this course
  • Hobbies
  • View on the state of education today
  • Hopes and dreams for the future.
  • Anything else that lets us know how interesting you are

Social Media

I really enjoy connecting with my students during the course and later on as well.  Please be sure to follow me on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn.  Here is my information:

Gravatar

Please consider, if you have not already, a Gravatar for this course.  It is a wonderful way to begin crafting your digital reputation.  It is put together by the folks at WordPress and simply awesome.

Here is some more information from their site:

“Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?”

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Sign up here
 

michaelbollYour Instructor

Here is my standard bio I put up when I sign up for various services.  I generally add my bio to most sites. This helps me to create and control my own reputation on the web.

Michael is 21st Century Learning’s Director of Professional Development and Learning where he leads the development and delivery of the online courses platform. He produces high quality content through the 21st Century Learning blogging platform and 21clRadio program.

Michael is a passionate educator who loves helping students, educators and parents to harness the transformative powers of technology. Michael is also the co-founder and former board chair of an inclusive preschool in Shanghai and a highly experienced Technology Coach

Michael is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Educator and Co-Principal Investigator for the International Schools In Asia Edition of the Horizon Report

Michael has taught in The Northern Marianas Islands, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, China, and now, Thailand.

Back to: Build Your Website Now!

84 Comments

  1. My name is Adeline Reamer. I teach 7th grade Language Arts at Centennial Middle School. I am taking this course to stay better connected with students, parents, and colleagues. I realized this year that I have not been doing a great job in keeping up with the technology that my students use in their everyday lives. I hope that by creating a class website and using social media to keep them informed, my students will be more connected to the class.

  2. Nice to meet you Adeline!

    Your students will surely be more connected to you and your class. Hopefully you will find that a website pulls off work from you in other areas. I think it is important to not add, but to find ways to make yourself more efficient. A website has really helped me.

  3. Name: Ron Mona
    Where and what you teach: I work for the marketing department under the title of Corporate/Alumni Relations for Concordia International School Shanghai
    Why you are taking this course: A good portion of my work is done online and I want to have a greater understanding of websites and how to best use them in connecting with Alumni in addition to all social media outlets
    Hobbies: Music, Cooking, Spending time with my wife and kids, working out, Crossfit,
    View on the state of education today: The state of education is becoming more challenging in regards to keeping up with the changes that are occurring. With the speed at which technology is changing and forming our lives, I see that education has to adapt more quickly to stay on top of the speed of change.
    Hopes and dreams for the future: See my children marry, have kids and live productive lives and enjoy more days with my wife.
    Anything else that lets us know how interesting you are: Nope:)

  4. Hey guys! My name is Ally Mona and I’m not a teacher… and I’m no longer an admin at an international school BUT I am now a business owner and am in need of a highly functioning website! I’m originally from Rhode Island USA and I’ve been in China 9 years. Ron and I (see above) have two precious daughters and love living and serving here in Shanghai! Looking forward to this course!

  5. Hello everyone! I’m Tina Truong.

    Where and what you teach: I’m currently a substitute for the David Douglas School District in Oregon, but endorsed in Social Studies (9-12) and Special Education (7-12).

    Why you are taking this course: When I do settle down into a position, I would love to integrate technology into my classes. I find technology can be used to get teachers thinking more creatively; on the other hand, it can also assist in engaging students! I also enjoy learning about this ever-changing realm, but have never gotten far through self-teaching. I’m hoping this course can better guide me towards creating an effective site.

    Hobbies: Creative writing, fencing, sci-fi/fantasy television, exploring parks/hike trails with my dog and video games (lazy day guilty pleasure).

    View on the state of education today: It’s both disenchanting and exciting at the same time. It seems like the achievement gap keeps on growing; always a lack of funding; quantity of facts over quality of learning… However, it’s exciting in the sense that schools/classrooms are gradually adopting a more inclusive model; with the technology now, the world just got bigger; more opportunities for creative thinking and alternative methods of teaching.

    Hopes and dreams for the future: I’d like to see my parents retire – stop having to work so hard and simply enjoy life. My sister is nearing graduation with her Bachelor’s; I hope she is able to discover a career she is passionate about. Oh, yes… and my own set of keys to a classroom!!

    Anything else that lets us know how interesting you are: I’ve only just finished my formal education three years ago, please me gentle with me! In all seriousness, I’m really looking forward to this course and possibly meeting fellow educators!

    • Great to meet you Tina and welcome to the course. It is ALWAYS great to hang out with people in the early part of their career. You can give a perspective that many of us need to see, read and understand.

      I teacher overseas and it is great. If you are ever interested in the overseas teaching world, let me know.

      Have a great course.

  6. Hi Everyone,

    My name is Sarah Bouwer and I teach 7th Grade Humanities at Concordia International School Shanghai, China. I’m taking this course because I am looking for practical ways to earn college credit for recertification. I love technology and I think there are some great things I could learn from doing this course that can be applied both in and outside of the classroom. In my spare time I love to travel and do anything that involves a beach and water sports.

    I think that, when allowed, education today can be pretty exciting and innovative. I love hands-on, exploratory, and project based learning and believe this is the best way to learn. My dream for the future is to be able to combine my two passions: education and poverty reduction/ intl. development into something tangible that will make a difference in the communities that I am involved with.

    I look forward to this course!

    • Welcome to the course Sarah. I think I have met you in the past. Maybe at Concordia? Your two passions are well suited for combination. Looking forward to hearing about your plans for those two. Sounds very compelling.

  7. Hello! My name is Stacey Hauser and I teach 3rd grade in Medford, Oregon. My school is over 100 years old and my classroom looks out on a cow pasture. 🙂 We used to be a small country school, but have grown to over 600 students. I am taking this course to better communicate with the parents and students in my class and to earn some PDU’s. This is my 20th year teaching. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, knitting and hanging out with my 8 year old daughter who was born in Kunming, China. I’m looking forward to creating a fun and interesting website for my students and families!

    • Welcome to the course Stacey. I love Oregon and miss it every day. I spend my summers in Bend, but work and live here in Shanghai. We have lots of parents at our school have adopted a child from China. Always nice to see a happy family after all the stress and hope it takes to finally complete an adoption process.

      I do hope this course helps you communicate with students and parents. Let me know how I can help!

  8. Hello everyone!

    My name is Jacinda Forster. I am originally from Oregon, but I have been living in Santiago, Chile for the past 11 years. I came down to teach in Chile for a year and I fell in love with the country and one Chilean in particular!

    I work at an all girls pre-k to 12 grade Catholic school in Santiago. The school was started by the IHM sisters from Philadelphia, so even though it is a Chilean school, we celebrate American traditions such as Thanksgiving and the 4th of July. At Villa Maria Academy I coordinate the English program from 3-6 grade and also teach one course of English to sixth grade students.

    I am taking this course for many reasons. We are currently on summer break, which for me is the perfect time to study something new. I love learning, especially about technology and feel that having a webpage will be a way I can better connect with my students. I chose this course in particular because it sounded very interesting and also fulfills requirements to renew my teaching license.

    In my free time, I love to read, cook, and get together with friends. I enjoy going to new places and challenging myself to do new things (play guitar, knit, arts and crafts, etc.)

    Education in Chile has been changing, but in my opinion, not necessarily for the good. There is an enormous focus here on high stakes testing, but very little focus on teaching quality. In my classroom and with my teachers, I have tried to push for student-focused, project-based learning, but it has been a challenge. Teaching students to think on thier own is the exact opposite of way education works here.

    After taking this course, I hope to create a website that will allow me to be able to connect more with my students. Within the website, I hope to have spaces where they can build on what we are leaning in class and also be challenged to expand that learning. I also hope to share what I learn about webpages with my colleagues.

    I’m looking forward to learning together!

    • Wonderful to meet you and thanks for sharing some information about yourself. Sounds like Chile’s education is changing in much the same way the USA is. For some reason, testing seems to be the only metric certain politicians see as legitimate. Makes teaching more interesting project based lessons much more difficult. I do hope this course and the building of the website will help you along the way.

  9. Hello everyone!

    My name is Jacinda Forster. I am originally from Oregon, but I have been living in Santiago, Chile for the past 11 years. I came down to teach in Chile for a year and I fell in love with the country and one Chilean in particular!

    I work at an all girls pre-k to 12 grade Catholic school in Santiago. The school was started by the IHM sisters from Philadelphia, so even though it is a Chilean school, we celebrate American traditions such as Thanksgiving and the 4th of July. At Villa Maria Academy I coordinate the English program from 3-6 grade and also teach one course of English to sixth grade students.

    I am taking this course for many reasons. We are currently on summer break, which for me is the perfect time to study something new. I love learning, especially about technology and feel that having a webpage will be a way I can better connect with my students. I chose this course in particular because it sounded very interesting and also fulfills requirements to renew my teaching license.

    In my free time, I love to read, cook, and get together with friends. I enjoy going to new places and challenging myself to do new things (play guitar, knit, arts and crafts, etc.)

    Education in Chile has been changing, but in my opinion, not necessarily for the good. There is an enormous focus here on high stakes testing, but very little focus on teaching quality. In my classroom and with my teachers, I have tried to push for student-focused, project-based learning, but it has been a challenge. Teaching students to think on their own is the exact opposite of way education works here.

    After taking this course, I hope to create a website that will allow me to be able to connect more with my students. Within the website, I hope to have spaces where they can build on what we are leaning in class and also be challenged to expand that learning. I also hope to share what I learn about webpages with my colleagues.

    I’m looking forward to learning together!

    • Wonderful to meet you and thanks for sharing some information about yourself. Sounds like Chile’s education is changing in much the same way the USA is. For some reason, testing seems to be the only metric certain politicians see as legitimate. Makes teaching more interesting project based lessons much more difficult. I do hope this course and the building of the website will help you along the way.

  10. Hello,
    My name is Kateri Davis, and I teach computers and drama to 6th-8th graders at Briggs Middle School, Springfield, OR, USA. I have been teaching 20 plus years and have seen the use of technology evolve. Although I have worked with several website platforms over the years, and have several classroom and personal websites, I have not used Word Press yet so am interested in learning its capabilities. Outside of school, I am an avid aviculturist, working with softbill and zoo-type birds. I enjoy writing and have published books and articles on aviculture. I’m looking forward to this course!

    • Great to meet you Kateri. I think you will find WordPress to be a super platform for you and your students. You can build an entire class organization using WordPress if you want.

      Enjoy!

      Mike

  11. Hello all,
    My name is Jim Pegoda and I teach Art at Southridge High School in Beaverton Oregon. Although I primarily teach Photoshop and Illustrator classes I also enjoy teaching traditional studio art classes.

    I am fortunate to work with colleagues who have an incredible amount of integrity who work hard for our student’s success. Our district suffered major setbacks during the recession with hundreds of layoffs and transfers. Through it all, my colleagues have shown incredible grit and determination in trying to maintain the quality of our student’s educational experience.

    I am really excited about this class, and I look forward to creating a media rich website for the art classes I teach. My goal for the site is to support student learning and create another avenue of communication with parents and the community.

    I am an avid photographer and painter. I also love surfing, fishing , camping, hiking, hunting gourmet mushrooms, and most recently, long board skateboarding.

    • Great to have you hear Jim! I look forward to watching you design an incredible site. It is so great to have artists taking this course as you all help me and the rest of us to better understand what makes good design and art on our webpages.

  12. Hi there. My name is Jen Muir. I teach grade 4 at Concordia International School Shanghai. I enjoy playing the accordion, drawing pictures of cats, and practicing the art of butchery… nah I’m just kidding. I enjoy average things- like spending time with my husband and kids, working out, spending time with friends, etc. I’m taking this course to obtain credit for my masters program, and because Michael Boll is a pretty groovy dude.

    • Welcome Jen! How exciting that you are an accordion player. I think you may be the first person to take this course that has that particular school. We all look forward to watching you on your WordPress journey.

  13. My name is Veronica and I taught for 5 years at the 4/5/6th grade level. I had my daughter 5 years ago and have not gone back to teaching. Instead, I started to work on a nursery (specializing in growing fruit rootstock.) I do not have definite plans of going back to teaching, but my license will expire this year and I want to keep it current. I would like to take this course so I can actually help develop a website for the nursery I work at. We already have a website, but it was set up by someone else and it is way to complicated for me to figure out how to update!
    I am passionate about having my hands dirty, growing my own food, and having my daughter grow up outside as much as possible! With that said, I know technology and all that it encompasses are a reality that I need to embrace! I have been rather hesitant to join any social media sites but also know from a business stand point that it is a way to connect to customers!

    • Thanks for joining us here Veronica. Sure, keeping your license current is a great idea. I must say you may be the first person who works in a nursery to take this course. So great to have your perspective. For sure you will want to consider jumping onto social media sites. It is a way for you to continue to connect with people who share your passions. If you are looking for a way to make it a little easier, check out http://www.hootsuite.com

  14. Hi Michael. My name is Ajay Rundell and I am currently a high school teacher in The Dalles, Oregon. I teach two high school science classes a STEM class with freshman and an elective plant science course who are mostly juniors and seniors.

    I enrolled in this course because I would like to have a highly functioning website for students to access course material outside of the school day. The school district has a website platform that they use but I don’t believe that it is as good as wordpress will be. I would also like to know how to make websites outside of the school district platform. So much information is online and I feel like it is a bit of a disservice for educators not to have their classroom material available online. Providing another way to communicate with students and parents in my opinion is key for students success in school.

    In my free time I enjoy playing recreational sports with friends, hanging out with friends in the outdoors and cooking and eating great food.

  15. Name Dan
    Where and what you teach I teach at Evergreen high school in Vancouver WA. I teach A.P.U.S. history and regular history. I am in my 24th year of teaching.
    Why you are taking this course: I am taking this particular class because I want to learn some of the details of web design. We have access to a class web site
    but it is not easy to use and I would like customize it. Also I coach track and I would like to post videos of my runner’s races.
    Hobbies: Not a lot of hobbies, raising four kids is pretty much it.. I love spending time with them and my awesome wife.
    View on the state of education today: Very interesting time to be in education. In twenty-four years I have seen a lot of changes and different programs. What I see today
    is a lot of pressure to pass kids through the system and maintain a high level of student learning at the same time.
    I have always believed technology can give the classroom teacher an extra tool to reach students.
    Hopes and dreams for the future; See my family life a of giving and sharing. I believe our talents are not for ourselves but for the betterment of others.
    Anything else that lets us know how interesting you are:

    • Hi Dan,

      Great to meet you. What system are you using for a website right now? Sorry to hear it is not working out well for you. WordPress is a super platform and I hope you find it meets your needs. Video is a great idea and people LOVE to see more than they like to read it seems.

      Sounds like you have an awesome family; wonderful news.

      Enjoy the class and stay in touch.

  16. Hi everyone!

    My name is Skye Hanna and I am currently teaching Technology at a K-5 elementary for the Portland Public School District in Oregon. Next year I will be teaching Kindergarten…which is pretty scary, but exciting at the same time! I’m looking for a good platform to communicate with parents and something to compliment the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained over the past two years. I’ve seen other teacher’s websites in the past and have been so jealous! I’m excited to have a website up and ready to go for next year. We are currently on a year round schedule, so I will get to meet my new students in the middle of July.

    • Hi Skye,

      We were on a year round schedule when we lived in Colorado a while back. LOVED IT! We could run off and ski and avoid the crowds. 😉

      Have a great time in the class and enjoy all the cool things you can post for your Kindergarten parents.

  17. Name
    Where and what you teach
    Why you are taking this course
    Hobbies
    View on the state of education today
    Hopes and dreams for the future.
    Anything else that lets us know how interesting you are

    Hey,
    My Name is Matt, I teach full time as well as coach and work as a freelance photojournalist in Bend, OR. I teach photograpy, graphic design, and journalism.

    I have used a bunch of different website platforms before (and dabbled in WordPress) but never really got a full wordpress site up – our district is now supporting wordpress sites and I want to really nail down a website for my courses that ties in all the various web resources I use.

    If I’m not working I am usually on my bike training or racing.

  18. Hey,
    My Name is Matt, I teach full time as well as coach and work as a freelance photojournalist in Bend, OR. I teach photography, graphic design, and journalism.

    I have used a bunch of different website platforms before (and dabbled in WordPress) but never really got a full wordpress site up – our district is now supporting wordpress sites and I want to really nail down a website for my courses that ties in all the various web resources I use.

    If I’m not working I am usually on my bike training or racing.

  19. Hi,

    My name is Tina. I am a high school science teacher in the Spokane, WA area. I am taking this course so I can set up a website to provide links for my students to visit interesting math and science websites and news stories. My hobbies are hiking, snowshoeing, geocaching, photography, birding, quilting and cooking.

    • Great to have you hear Tina and thanks for jumping into the program. Building a website to keep students interested with interesting things is perfect. Soon you will be able to share things with your students in a whole new way. They will much appreciate the effort you put in for them and will surely take full advantage of it.

      Welcome to the course!

  20. Hello,

    My name is Kira. I am a science and health teacher in Portland, Or. I am taking this course to better connect with my students on a technology platform and to supplement student engagement with more independent learning opportunities. My hobbies are reading, sketching and spending time with friends and family. My hope for the future is to be at a school for longer than a temporary position in the next couple of years.

    • Gosh, yes a full time, non temp position is the way to go! I hope it all works out for you. Once you get your WordPress site up and running both your students and your principals will surely think you are awesome and give you all you deserve. Hey, if you are ever interested in teaching overseas (in a permanent position) let me know. Science teachers are popular.

      Welcome to the class!!

      • Hola!
        My name is Colin and I am a Spanish teacher in Portland, OR. I’m taking this course because I want to connect better with my students through technology, and facilitate the organization and access of my classes with a website. This is the end of my second year in a full-time position and I’m finally feeling like I don’t want to quit the profession. It’s been a rough start, but I’m starting to feel a shift. Thank goodness!

  21. Hello! My name is Alexia Hamilton. I teach math (Pre-Algebra to Algebra 2) at St Helens High School in St Helens, Oregon. I am taking this course so that I can have a more individualized and accessible website for my students, along with earning credits for salary advancement. My hobbies include baking and CrossFit, along with reading, Netflix marathons, and Sudoku.

    • Welcome Alexia! Great to have you here. Nothing like building a website for summer fun! I hope you find some time for a few Netflix sessions this summer as well.

  22. Hi – I am Catherine and I am living in South Korea working at an International School. Before moving here, I lived in Washington and Oregon State. I consider myself a coffee swilling, rain loving, true North Westerner. I am a librarian and looking forward to learning how to create my own website for my library. My youngest is a senior this year and that brings with it all the tugs on the heartstrings. I love hiking, being outside, skiing (when back in the NW) and listening to my son’s varied taste in music.

    • HI Catherine,

      Turns out we have much in common. We call Bend our home in the summers, but are enjoying our overseas time here in Bangkok. Great place to live, but a little warm sometimes! Would trade your chilly air, but only for a day or two. 😉

      My daughter too is a senior and reality is starting to take hold. Especially as she stresses out about all the college apps she has to get done!

      Have a great course and stay in touch.

      • We do have much in common. Trying to get my son to finish his college apps this long weekend. It will take a lot of pressure off.
        Bend is a great place to call home – winter or summer. We just had our first really cold week- 19F. A bit too cold for me, but I am getting used to it. I would happily trade some warm Thai days for it!

        • I hear you. Just turned in the application for USC today. Three down and three more to go! Because my daughter is submitting for the film program, she has to turn in a huge number of supplemental essays, pieces of work, etc. It is nuts!

  23. Hi Mike – Dave here … finally. Still working at the tech facilitator at AISG. I’ll miss you in HKG for 21CLHK since I’ll be in Hawaii. Going to meet the daughter from Spokane there … is it half way? Oh, and her boyfriend just happens to work in Honolulu. We have some great stuff going on in the PD department this year – paradigm shifting. Looking at getting the maker movement to find its way into the MS and HS as well.

    Thanks for doing this website project – should be interesting.
    Dave

    • Hawaii sounds awesome! Lucky you. We will be doing fun here in Thailand, but that is not too bad either. 😉 Thanks for jumping into the course. I look forward to working with you in the coming weeks.

  24. Hello, I am Darlene, working as the MS/HS teacher-librarian at the American International School in Guangzhou, China. I use Word Press for the Library page but want to develop my own website for a personal online presence as well as for certification. For hobbies, I read a lot for work and for fun, working jigsaw puzzles on holidays, walking/hiking, watching movies, and crafting.

    Currently at our school we are discussing the Makerspace movement which I’m really excited about. It doesn’t have to happen through the library but am eager to support this kind of innovation. I’ve been learning more about what skills will be required for future employment and the more education offers opportunities for students to become creators, verses only consumers, the more likely they will have not only the knowledge but also the skills to problem solve and collaborate in the work place.

    • Welcome Darlene! Great to have you here.

      We are talking about the same thing at our library. We should connect at some point and compare notes. Our ES librarian is really on board and excited to make it happen. Not sure what it will look like though, so that is a bit scary!

      Enjoy the course and stay in touch.

  25. Hi everyone! My name is Mary. I have taught 3rd-5th grade (general education and special education) for the past 15 years. This year, we moved to Hawaii (husband’s job) so I am taking a year off with my daughter before she starts kindergarten next year.
    I am taking this course to stay current with the technology available and hopefully create a blog (in the future I would love to create a class website).
    My hobbies include home improvement projects, crafts, reading, camping, hiking, or just about anything that keeps me moving.
    As for the state of education, I would love to have the freedom to do what I know as an educator would have the biggest impact for each individual child. I want my students to be successful, both now and throughout their lives.
    My hopes and dreams…live life to the fullest and always strive to make this world a better place.

    • Hi Mary. Thanks for introducing yourself. I guess taking a year off in Hawaii could be alright! 😉 What a great year to take some time to spend with your daughter. Many years ago, my wife and worked on the island of Saipan in The Northern Mariana Islands. We loved island life and all the outdoor things to do.

      Have a great course!

  26. Hello,
    I am Meredith Jones, a real newbie with computer design….hopefully I will find the needed patience to master this skill as I believe it to be very exciting artistically. I am a music teacher with the public schools in Washington state. I am also a visual artist. Some of the web sites I have seen have been so inspiring. My goal in developing web sites is to be able to provide needed information along with developing a visual site of interest.I have many hobbies: art, rock hounding, antiques, building on my farm house and raising golden retrievers along with being a single mom. I am sure I will enjoy discovering what others in this class will be sharing.

    • Welcome Meredith. So glad to you here. I think visual and performing art teachers have a real advantage when building a website like this. You get to show off all the awesome musical performances your students make. Something they and their parents will treasure for many years to come. Enjoy the course and I/we look forward to your work.

  27. Hello everyone! My name is Bryan Keith. I currently teach middle school Physical Education at Concordia International School Shanghai. I currently use my school’s wordpress site as a platform for my students to access google forms. I’d like to learn more ways to utilize and build the site further. I like mountain biking, snowboarding, and playing beach volleyball in my spare time. It’s difficult educating students today to succeed in a job market that currently doesn’t exist. My specific educational hope and dream for the future is to find and develop a new appropriate way of assessing students in Physical Education classes.
    I have two super cool daughters, Brielle and Malene, and a very sweet wife, Alana!

  28. Hello, My name is Mark Collins. My first career has been in computer engineering. I spent over 25 years designing hardware, writing software and validating pre-silicon behavior of some of the world’s most complex semiconductors.
    I taught high school math for 3 years before returning back to engineering for 5 more years. I now realize that I can no longer accept the fact that the great recession’s initial blockade to stay in teaching was a permanent predicament. I am beginning the process of re-certification and hope to be back in the classroom in the fall of 2016!
    I have been involved in geocaching since 2002, shortly after its inception. I hope to be able to excite math students with the possibilities of connecting real life tools such as GPSr to their world inside the classroom.

    • Hey Mark. Great to see you here. With your background, I suspect the tech side of the class is going to be a breeze. LOL. Of course, as you know from computer engineering, the design of the site, the look and the content to put on the site is what can take up time. Those creative decisions are surely something that pulls us all in.

      Have a great course and stay in touch!

      Thanks,

      Mike

  29. Hello, My name is Ann Burnside. I taught full-time for 32 years, all ages from kindergarten to a college writing class. I now work part-time at a school library because I still very much enjoy the students. I hope to use my website for an on-line book club, and then perhaps branch into other topics. I believe education should be engaging, interactive and fun. My hobbies are reading, riding horses, camping and fishing, and being outdoors.

    • Hi Ann. Wonderful to meet you and welcome to the course. Wow, what a career of 32 years. That is fantastic. Nice to see you continue in the field so your talents are still available! Building a website for a book club is a super idea. I look forward to seeing it.

  30. Hello, my name is Konstantine Birulin. I am a elementary school counselor. I am taking this course because I am interested in creating a website that parents and kiddos at my school can access and for a credit to renew my license. I enjoy anything and everything that has to do with outdoors. I recently discovered a new passion for exploring urban outdoors with a longboard. It’s a great way to slow down and enjoy life and to go slow enough to keep up with my four year old daughter on her bicycle. As far as the future goes, I look forward to continuing helping kiddos reach their full academic potential and helping them meet their social/emotional needs as much as I can.

    • Welcome Konstantine. Great to have you here. I think you may be one of the first counselors to take this course, so that is awesome. What a great idea to have a place to share resources and ideas. Longboarding sounds like fun to me, but I think I would be so worried about falling that I might find it a way to increase stress in my life. LOL.

      Have a great course and stay in touch with any questions.

  31. My name is Melina Maltese. I teach 7th grade Science at Centennial Middle School in Portland, OR. I’m taking this course to be able to design a website that is more intuitive for students and family members to use as a way to stay informed and connected to my classroom. My hobbies are ultimate Frisbee and gardening. I think our education system is at a great turning point where technology can be used to really enhance and engage students in a way it hasn’t be able to previously. With so many new teachers entering the workforce with a greater focus on technology integration, there is the potential to see a real change in the way our classrooms and classwork is designed.

    • Hey Melina! Great to hear from you and welcome to the course. I used to play Ultimate. Such a great game and way to stay in shape. Websites are a great way to bring more technology to classrooms as you know. So happy you are here and that you see the future in such a positive way. Stay in touch along the course!

  32. My name is Shannon Smith. I teach 8th grade math at Scenic Middle School in Central Point Oregon. I currently have a very simple website, so simple in fact that it is slightly embarrassing. In the past year I have made some dramatic changes to my grading and teaching by using a standards based grading system. I am looking forward to showing off a site I can be proud of and is more useful for students and parents. It is the first week of summer break and I am finally getting started with the course. I love teaching to the point where I find myself exhausted at the end of each year. A week of rest, and then I am looking forward to spending some free time gardening and enjoying the outdoors with my three dogs.

    • HI Super Shannon. Great to hear from you and welcome to the course! Yes, standards-based grading is quite a change for many of us. Summer is a fun time to work on a website for sure. I like working on my sites as well. Love your enthusiasm with teaching. So fun to read that. Stay in touch.

  33. Hi there, my name is Ben O’Halloran and I currently reside in Yakima, WA. I taught m.s. math/science for 11 yrs in Yakima, moved to Kauai and taught 1 yr of m.s. math, then moved to Spokane and taught for 9 yrs in a highly specialized behavioral program (h.s. level) for 9 yrs. I’m pretty much in touch with the tech side of education, and have built my own websites for every district I’ve worked for, keeping them current on a weekly basis by updating lessons, providing access to current progress, etc. I am new to this particular website/blog builder and am really interested in how I might use it for either my next classroom or possibly how I might apply it to a tutoring business that I own/operate. I really enjoy all things tech, and the normal old man stuff like fishing and golf. I hope to continue using the latest tech in my classroom as I believe building a students ability to put current technology to positive use is one of the most important things we can today for them.

    • Yakima, then Kauai? Wow! Love that island. Such awesome place. Given your background in web design, you are probably really going to like WordPress. It can scale and grow to fit many (most) of your needs for web design. Especially for an online business. At that point you might want to move to a paid version. More on that later and the current free version is perfect for this course and learning what you need to learn. Welcome to the course!

  34. Hello, My name is Seaghan Herron. I live in the beautiful Flathead Valley of Northwest Montana. I teach English Language Arts at Glacier High School. I believe that, like many other facets of society, our profession is at a cultural crossroads. Our students are more digitally connected than ever before and the digital world is often a comfortable and familiar place to connect with them. I am taking this course to find another way to connect with students and share learning. It is my hope that the website I build here will not only help me connect with my students but also be a portfolio boosting opportunity.

    • Great to meet you Seaghan. I appreciate what you say about education at a crossroads. I wonder if we have not been there already for a while. Hey, building a website will surely be a great way to connect with students and anybody in your community, such as parents, who are looking to learn more form your class.

      Enjoy!

  35. Hi! My name is Dana Murray-Hilpert I am a health and fitness teacher in Spokane Washington. I am a mother of three adult children and two dogs.
    I have been a health and fitness teacher for the past 9 years 7 at a middle school and now at an elementary school. I simply love healthy living and helping to create a healthy future with our children.
    The school and gym are my happy place and what I do is my lifestyle not just a job. I love it! Everyday!!
    My hope is to create a fun fitness page for students as well as adults that encourages and engages people to live happy healthy lifestyles.
    I am very concerned about drug acceptance in our culture and will do my best to promote healthy choices and positive fun activities for all! Super excited to make an amazingly great website! Thank you!!

    • Welcome to the course Dana. Love what you are doing for students to promote a long-term view on health and wellness. My daughter just graduated from high school this year and thanks to health teachers like you, she has a clear understanding of how important exercise is and avoids eating junk food when possible. In fact she serves as a good role model to her father who seems to have less discipline than she does!

      Have a great course.

  36. Hello,
    My name is Marcy Maroney, and I am taking this class in a collaborative group, including Seaghan (see comment above). As a teacher who is not a digital native I sometimes grow frustrated with new technology, although I really appreciate all its advantages. I am looking forward to working my way through this course and expanding my technology comfort zone. I teach at beautiful Glacier High School in Kalispell Montana. I teach AP Literature, Shakespeare, and Acting courses; I plan to build my website around my Shakespeare course.

    • Hi and welcome Marcy. Building a website around a Shakespeare course is a great way to get started! I think you will find the skills you pick up during the website building process will transfer to other areas of technology too! Stay in touch and have a great course.

  37. Hello,
    My name is Greg Adkins and I am taking this class in colloboration with Seaghan Herron, Marcy Maroney and Chris Adamcyk. This fall I will be teaching Acting I, Acting II, Acting III, Acting IV and Speech & Debate Workshop at Glacier High School. In addition to working in the Wolfpack Theatre Company, I am also the Head Coach of the GHS Wolfpack Speech & Debate team. I grew up in the beautiful Flathead Valley and have been teaching and coaching in the Kalispell Public Schools for 22 years. My wife teaches 4th grade in the district and my son Brock will be a senior at Glacier High this fall, and my son Mac will be a 6th grader at Kalispell Middle School.
    I have some experience with websites–designing and maintaining the Wolfpack Speech and Debate website and the Kalispell PeeWee Baseball website, although I truly feel like a novice and am excited to learn Word Press.

  38. Hello,
    My name is Greg Adkins and I am taking this class in collaboration with Seaghan Herron, Marcy Maroney and Chris Adamcyk. This fall I will be teaching Acting I, Acting II, Acting III, Acting IV and Speech & Debate Workshop at Glacier High School. In addition to working in the Wolfpack Theatre Company, I am also the Head Coach of the GHS Wolfpack Speech & Debate team. I grew up in the beautiful Flathead Valley and have been teaching and coaching in the Kalispell Public Schools for 22 years. My wife teaches 4th grade in the district and my son Brock will be a senior at Glacier High this fall, and my son Mac will be a 6th grader at Kalispell Middle School.
    I have some experience with websites–designing and maintaining the Wolfpack Speech and Debate website and the Kalispell PeeWee Baseball website, although I truly feel like a novice and am excited to learn Word Press.

    • Hi Greg. Welcome to the course. So awesome that you have experience with websites already. That means you can tackle one of the biggest challenges in making a website: Content! Also you likely know what you want to do and just need to figure out how WordPress handles making that happen. I hope you will find WordPress to be a flexible platform that lets you do even more than you did before! Stay in touch as you build.

  39. My name is Chris Adamcyk and I currently teach English at Glacier High School in Kalispell, Montana. I teach English classes of sophomore speech & media, and 11 AP language & composition. I am taking this course collaboratively with Seaghan, Marcy, & Greg. Teaching is a second career for me and I’ve been teaching for eight years. About ten years I drastically changed my life by moving from New York (city) to Northwest Montana. This involved not only a change of geographic but also career and lifestyle as well. Now I’m extremely happy with my professionally and personally rewarding career. Love pretty much everything outdoors and what the Flathead Valley has to offer – hiking, fishing, hunting etc … I’m late to the technology game – the fact that I still own & use a flip phone and not a smart phone should give you some idea as to the extent of my knowledge base. I enjoy learning more about the craft of teaching and enthusiastically look for ways to expand my classroom repertoire. This class is something that I know will help me and my students but I must say that I feel a bit overwhelmed and over my head as I embark on this journey.

    • I have had a few students from Montana in this course, but I think you are the first transplant. All the others seem to have grown up there. ANyway, welcome to the course. Sounds like it is the right place to be for you to be. Flip phone? Wow! That goes to show the lasting power of a very popular design. I bet your students think it is rather cool. Have a great course and stay in touch!

  40. My name is Marcy Kime and I am a kindergarten teacher at Bess Maxwell Elementary School in Crescent CIty, CA. I currently live about 30 minutes over the border in Brookings, OR. I am taking this class to learn how to manage a website easily so that I can post photos and information for my parents, as well as having easy links to Remind 101 and my email to stay connected with parents easily. I have two kids, 14 and 11, and when I’m not spending my time with other people’s kids I like to be with my own. I spend much of my non-work time shuttling kids to soccer and surfing, and at the grocery store and in the kitchen, since they seem to eat constantly. (: Living in the Pacific Northwest I have become an avid reader, especially in the long, wet winters. I also enjoy roadtrips, and travel when financially possible, enjoying coffee with my girlfriends, being creative with my kids in our art studio, and visiting my friends and family back home in the Sierra Foothills and the San Francisco Bay Area. As far as education goes, I would love to see us throw the entire system out and start from scratch with a basic structure, and giving teachers the freedom to lead their classrooms with creativity and design they believe works best for their students. My dreams for the future…once my kids are off to college I will move back to Sierra Foothills in CA, own a tiny house close to my mom to help her out as she gets older, travel, cross country ski, hike, possibly teach abroad, and enjoy the SUNSHINE again that I have missed in the 8 years I have been here. I am looking forward to this class to improve my technology skills. I have created some very simple websites/blogs, but have never kept them up or added to them, feeling like I never truly used them, and certainly not to their capacity.

    • HI Marcy,

      Crescent City eh? I was married in Eureka down the way there where my wife grew up. Do you know Bill Hartwick? We went to college together in Chico, CA. He is a principal now.

      Oh yes, the sun! We lived in Shanghai, China for eight years where there was not a lot of sun. Clouds and pollution tossed it away, but we now live in Bangkok, Thailand where we get more sun than we can handle. We are in Bend, OR right now for another few days before heading back.

      Yes, a website is a great way to communicate with parents. Especially parents of younger students. I have seen many teachers build sites to share photos of what is going on in the classroom and the parents love it! While the teachers at my school (http://isb.ac.th) still use WordPress for weekly updates and other information, they are now mostly using Seesaw.me to share daily happenings during school. You might like it and you can use it for free as a teacher.

      Have a great course and stay in touch!

  41. Yes! I do know of Billy, he is principal at Pine Grove, up the road from me…I have heard he is a great principal. (: Funny…small world!

    I will check out Seesaw.me, sounds interesting. (:

    Marcy

  42. Hi, I’m Janelle,
    I have been the director of a couple learning center child care programs in Tri-Cities, Washington where I have also taught Pre-K and many ages in children’s ministries at our church. Presently I’m between jobs. One way I’d like to use my website is as a venue for sharing some lesson plans I’ve compiled through the years.
    I enjoy planning lessons, directing VBS and child care programs. Children’s ministry is my passion. God Almighty is my strength and inspiration. For fun I choose hiking, canoeing, camping, cooking, and reading.

    • Hi Janelle. Great to meet you here. I see you have a passion for working with children in ministries. If it would be helpful to you, would you be interested in building a website that helps promote those activities?

      Stay in touch!

  43. Hi, I’m Katie. I teach the Business Education classes at Elgin High School in Elgin, OR (a small, rural community in Northeast Oregon). I am taking this course so that I can learn to create a class website to better serve students and parents and for continuing education purposes. While many people have negative views on the state of education today, I truly believe that we as educators can make a difference in the lives of each of our students. While much pressure is put on state testing and the like, I believe that it is our duty to teach our students life skills that will help them to become contributing members of society.

  44. Hello Everyone,
    I’m Carly and I’m a gen ed Language Arts and Social Studies teacher. I teach 7th grade at a middle school in Portland. I’ve been teaching for nine years. While I’m certified to teach reading, writing, and history, I’ve also taught science, math, and P.E.. My passion lies with teaching Language Arts and Social Studies and I’m very happy with my position and colleagues. I feel very lucky to be an educator.
    My personal life is very busy. I have twins that are 8 months old, a dog, and a husband. I play soccer and run whenever possible. Being a parent has really changed the amount of time I put into work outside of the classroom and I really enjoy the way I’ve been planning and grading this year.
    I look forward to building my own website and learning more about creating a unique, working site that students and parents can visit.

  45. Name: Ranjani Krishnan
    Where and what you teach: Lincoln High School, Portland: Mathematics
    Why you are taking this course: To make my website more user-friendly and accessible to my students
    Hobbies: Music, Cooking, Reading, Hiking
    View on the state of education today: Bewilderment
    Hopes and dreams for the future: To merge my life’s values with the values of my workplace
    Anything else that lets us know how interesting you are: Nothing I can think of.

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