Author Archive: markpmeyers

The Death of a School is Like a Death in the Family

As I begin my second year at my current school, I’m thinking a lot about my former school, a school that no longer exists. After 45 years of educating children in the community, the school closed at the end of last year. I taught there for four years and my son attended for five years. I …

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Logo and Scratch: Coding Through the Generations

Logo, the educational programming language created in 1967 to teach kids how to program, was years ahead of its time. Using a “turtle”, the language had kids giving instructions to make it turn in multiple directions and create fascinating line drawings. Seymour Papert, one of the creators, explains how the language works in a wonderful, …

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When the Teacher Becomes the Student

Exciting and humbling: that’s how I describe my role as a middle school technology teacher. Exciting because I get to use all the cool new toys: video editing software, game design software, new PCs, robots, tablets, etc. Humbling because many of my students learn the technologies faster than I do. This year is especially humbling …

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Connecting and Communicating

As the old sayings go, “Teaching is an isolating profession.”  and “Every classroom is its own world.”  I never really understood those phrases before I started teaching.  How could teaching be isolating when you are around students all day?  Its own world?  There are classrooms of kids right next door! But when I finally had …

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Quest for the 21st Century Classroom

Last year I was given the task of finding a 21st century classroom. Being the geek-turned-teacher I am, I imagined smart boards on every wall and touch screen devices for every student. So we visited a few schools and spoke to their teachers and students. Some had iPads for every student. Some had technology over …

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Educational Technology Is Not About Technology

I’m a technology guy first and a teacher second.  At least I used to be.  I have a B.S. in Computer Science and 12 years as software developer so technology has been my life for many years.  But the last 8 years of teaching and parenting has changed my philosophy about technology.  Building desktop computers, …

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Technology Beyond the Computer Lab

Remember the days when you went to the computer lab to do your class projects?  Computer labs:  imposing places with strict rules and sarcastic, awkward geeks who were supposed to help you instead of making you feel like a total idiot for asking how to print.  I remember very clearly because I used to be …

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Video Game Design: Teaching Reflections Part 1

As a lifelong gamer (both tabletop and video), I view games as more than just diversions or time-wasters.  I view them as learning tools.  Tools than can teach skills like communication, collaboration, logic, patience, problem solving, critical thinking, reading, math, and many more.  But many games have a bad reputation as being violent, repetitive, or …

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Geek-turned-Teacher: Once a Geek, Always a Geek

My wife is f0nd of the saying, “Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.”  This year, I got exactly what I wanted.  After struggling last school year with grading, lesson planning, and getting used to being a classroom teacher, I finally earned a position I’ve been working towards for almost …

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Geek-turned-Teacher: The New School

2010 was a watershed year for me. It was a year I left a school and a teaching  job I knew was wrong for me. A year, after six long years, when I finally got what I really wanted. Honestly, I knew a high poverty, mostly African-American school was not a long term gig for …

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