Southern G.R.I.T.

Great Resources; Inspiring Teachers

iNACOL Teacher of the Year Nominee Kim Lockhart

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How long have you been teaching virtually? And why did you go into Virtual Education?

This is my third year as a virtual teacher at Georgia Cyber Academy. Initially I decided to go into Virtual Teaching because I felt it would be a good transition back into teaching. I took off several years to be with my daughters while they were young and I had a friend who worked for GCA. After speaking with her I decided to give it a shot. The better question is not why I chose to be a virtual teacher, but who I choose to remain a virtual teacher. I see the huge need virtual education serves our students. Not every student is meant for a Brick and Mortar School. I teach students coming from an incredibly diverse backgrounds and educational abilities. I feel that I am able to reach some of the un-reached students by teaching them in a virtual setting.


What is your No. 1 highlight in teaching?

My number 1 highlight is any time a student tells me that they truly understand the material we are covering. Maybe they had trouble mastering this topic in other classes and/or other schools, but for some reason the way we worked through it in class allowed them to finally grasp the concept. A close second to this is when students continually come to class, participate, and are excited for the next one. I can't force students to come to my class every day, I have to make them realize the need to attend and honestly give them a reason to come back read to learn.

Have there been any hard times in teaching?

Of course :). Teaching, virtually or in a BAM, is hard work. There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want to get done. One of the most difficult aspects of my job is trying to make certain families and students realize the importance of education. They need to realize that just because they go to school in a virtual environment doesn't mean that it is any less rigorous or less of a "real school".



If you could share just one thought with fellow teachers, what would it be?

If you don't take teaching in a virtual environment seriously then neither will your students. We get to serve some of the most unserved students and families and we need not take this lightly.


For new teachers coming into the profession, what advice would you offer them?

Give it time and trust the process. I see so many new teachers burn out in the first few months, but if you give it time you will really learn to love the job and the families and colleagues you get to work with.


What is your favorite word? Hope

What is your least favorite word? Honestly... moist

What sound or noise do you love? My children laughing

What sound or noise do you hate? Sniffling (like when I tell my kids to blow their noes 15 times before they actually do :) )

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Professional soccer player

What profession would you not like to do? Podiatrist (I really don't like feet)

TEDxToronto - Drew Dudley "Leading with Lollipops"

Southern Regional Picnic ELA PLC Grades K-5

Monday, Oct. 26th, 12pm

This is an online event.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/JarasRoom

Please come and meet other ELA teachers in the Southern Region.

Time is 12 pm Central

Topic: Closed Reading-Strategies to help student interact with the text in the virtual world

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Southern Regional Picnic ELA PLC Grades 6-12

Monday, Oct. 26th, 12:30pm

This is an online event.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/JarasRoom

Please come and meet other middle and high school ELA teachers in the Southern Region.

Time is 12:30 pm Central

Topic: Closed Reading-Strategies to help student interact with the text in the virtual world

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Southern Regional Picnic Math PLC Grades K-5

Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 12pm

This is an online event.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/JarasRoom

Please come and meet other Math teachers in the Southern Region.

Time is 12 pm Central

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Southern Regional Picnic Math PLC Grade 6-12

Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 12:30pm

This is an online event.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/JarasRoom

Please come and meet other middle and high school Math teachers in the Southern Region.

Time is 12:30 pm Central

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Southern Regional Picnic Science PLC Grades K-5

Wednesday, Oct. 28th, 12pm

This is an online event.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/JarasRoom

Please come and meet other Science teachers in the Southern Region.

Time is 12 pm Central

Topic: Moving toward the Next Generation Standards.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Southern Regional Picnic Science PLC Grades 6-12

Wednesday, Oct. 28th, 12:30pm

This is an online event.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/JarasRoom

Please come and meet other middle and high school Science teachers in the Southern Region.

Time is 12:30 pm Central

Topic: Moving toward the Next Generation Standards.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Southern Regional Picnic History PLC Grades K-5

Thursday, Oct. 29th, 12pm

This is an online event.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/JarasRoom

Please come and meet other History teachers in the Southern Region.

Time is 12 pm Central

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Southern Regional Picnic History PLC Grades 6-12

Thursday, Oct. 29th, 12:30pm

This is an online event.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/JarasRoom

Please come and meet other middle and high school history teachers in the Southern Region.

Time is 12:30 pm Central

WONDERFUL WEBSITES:TEACHER RESOURCES

Congratulations to the Southern Regional September Winners. We are so proud of you!

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OFF THE SHELF: BOOKS FOR EVERY TEACHER

Snaps Around the Region.

Send your snaps and shout outs to JNaquin@k12.com

THE HONEY HOLE: A sweet spot of educational wit for the month

Harvard University Brings New Dimensions to TV Classroom, Online Learning

by Seth Livingstone

Lights, camera . . . student interaction.

Anyone questioning the current impact, benefits, or the future of online education need look no further than Harvard University, where the newest high-tech classroom is really no classroom at all.

It’s a television studio, complete with a sleek sound stage, an upstairs control room, and a video team, headed by a producer who calls the shots from a variety of camera angles.

Sure, the professor remains the star, but the students are active participants in each real-life, real-time episode.

The technology is so impressive that National Public Radio (NPR) recently posed the question: Has Harvard Quashed Virtual Classroom Naysayers?

As class begins, the instructor is front and center. Everywhere he goes, he is trailed by a worker with a hand-held camera. Behind him towers a wall of students’ faces, reminiscent of the The Brady Bunch intro.

Those students comprise both the audience and supporting cast. Up to 60 students from around the globe can simultaneously tune in on their computers to be part of the unscripted, live, learning event.

Harvard Business School rents its studio from WGBH-TV in Boston, a public broadcasting outlet which has long provided classes and instruction on TV—everything from science experiments and foreign language instruction for kids to Julia Child, the “French Chef,” when she was only available in grainy black and white.

Fifty-some years later, it’s another world. The nature of Harvard’s production—part of a project known asHBX Live—meshes a futuristic feel with a very “now” time element. In fact, these are not class sessions designed to be recorded for future consumption. These are for instructors teaching in the moment, answering a student’s question in real time or even generating an instant online poll.

Before launching its TV classroom, Harvard sent school officials to NBC’s sports studio in Stamford, Connecticut, to study how reality shows are produced. Harvard also hired a production crew to man the control room, where instant choices are made from dozens of camera shots.

Harvard Business School has long been known for its case method approach, a teaching technique that traditionally relies on face-to-face contact between students and professors. In a recent example, as the class debated the value of Uber in the world of urban transportation, students were, indeed face-to-face, even though one was a businessman in Australia and another a web developer in Arizona.

Business Professor Bharat Anand poses the question: “Big number or small number? . .. Is the company worth 50 billion dollars?”

When a student is called on to answer, that student’s face appears on screen. The pressure is on. Right, wrong, or debatable, the student’s response is captured with complete candor, sometimes adding a touch of comedy to the lesson.

Anand says that Harvard’s classroom studio replicates the intensity of a classroom—something which can be difficult to achieve in virtual learning situations.

“We’re trying to create a constant energy as well as feed off what the professor says, the project’s technical director Peter Shaffery told the Associated Press.

Students have said it’s the closest thing they’ve experienced to being in a classroom.

“There are some things we can do with technology which we couldn’t do in the physical classroom,” Anand told NPR.

One advantage for the professor is the chat ticker at the bottom of the screen, enabling the instructor and producer to evaluate student thoughts and comments in real time.

In addition to holding some 100 class sessions in the studio within the next year, Harvard intends to use HBX Live to host presentations when its business students travel around the world on global study trips. The university hasn’t revealed how much its new virtual classroom costs or how it plans to charge future viewers.

“It’s almost like we’re building an infrastructure,” Anand said, “and now we’ve just got to let the imagination run.”

Such imagination, in concert with ever-changing technology, will fuel the future of the classroom and online learning, in which K12 is already a recognized leader.

Seth Livingstone is a writer and associate editor for Learning Liftoff. Seth is a veteran writer and editor who has spent much of his career in sports journalism covering multiple Olympic Games, Super Bowls, World Series, and Daytona 500s. He covered the Boston Red Sox throughout the 1980s and 1990s before joining USA Today and Baseball Weekly in 1999. He maintains his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America and is a Hall of Fame voter. Seth holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and has also worked as a substitute teacher (all grades and subjects). He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and has two grown children.

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Join us ONLINE OCT. 29 as we welcome Tom Thelen, one of America's top youth motivational speakers and author of "Victimproof: The Student's Guide to End Bullying." He will be speaking to K12 families & friends about the growing problem of bullying and how we can "Be the Change."