Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Follow-up on SBA's & Response

This is a follow-up to the previous post showing you how to use SMART Response to make summative and formative assessments more effective... especially for the SBA's!


Standards Based Assessments (Alaska)

If you’ve been a teacher, you know the value of practice when it comes to standardize testing… If you are like me, you would also like to know how your students are doing before the official test, or maybe you just want results faster than say… next fall! Try using your SMART Response System next time...

~Click this link to find out how~

Let me know if you would like any help...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hot Corners on Mac

Besides the Hot Key shortcuts, one of the most useful things I have learned about computing with a Mac is the ability to secure my machine at the drop of a hat (especially in the classroom). My method of choice is a hot corner. There is no "lock" in the hot corners, but there is a way to do it... Just make a Hot Corner start the screen saver, then require a password to wake from screen saver!

First open your System Prefs:
Then go to Expose/Spaces:
Now find Security & select the following check box:
Try it out... and, HEY, while you're in there... 
Set up your other corners with helpful features like I have done:

Well, let me know what you think... :)

Hot Keys on Mac

On of the best things I have done to improve my computer skills and efficiency while using my Apple computers over the years is to learn shortcuts. Certain keystrokes are common knowledge, but others are less widespread.
Here are the basics:
COM+C/COM+V & COM+N - Copy/Paste & New 'whatever'
COM+Z - Undo
>>Most used by Your's Truly
COM+TAB - Last application opened; hold COM & tap TAB to cycle through (or use mouse to select)
>>Super fast app switching (Not that you would be Facebooking in Safari & working in Firefox or anything...)
COM+` - (it's next to the 1 key) toggle through a single applications multiple windows
>>If you are compiling data in Word/Excel from multiple files this is great (or listening to Pandora while browsing in a second window)
COM+1.... - Switch to Spaces (1-10); also try COM+arrows...
>>Organizes work spaces
SHIFT+COM+F - Full Screen
>>great for presenting or just removing distractions
COM+SPACE - Spotlight search
>>I never use the Finder anymore

Okay, well try those out and if you have a favorite share it here!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

TEC 538 Final Project

This is the Final Project for TEC 538 (Module 8).
Please click through the following videos.


Click here for Place Based Learning! The following video demonstrates this idea.

Continue the presentation by clicking below:

Click here for Challenge Based Learning, and then watch the video below:

Continue the presentation by clicking below:

If you have any further questions, please post them below or email the Blue Team members.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quality Assessments

Have you ever talked to an educator and the subject of assessments comes up? Most of us (educators) are familiar with summative and formative assessments and the differences between the two. But does that mean we all use them effectively?
I think not.
Tests and quizzes are the standard assessment type for most teachers, but what does that mean? Paper based tests are one method of gathering information from students but they lack immediacy. In some classrooms teachers have scantron readers where teachers of students can get instant feedback, but then the test is limited to multiple choice questions. If teachers use more effective methods, such as essay and short answer questions, the time between the test and feedback can be days or even weeks!
Quality assessment should have three features: immediacy, richness, and validity. By immediate, I mean the feedback should be instant when possible. It should be interactive in the case of formative and meaningful in the case of summative. It should also be rich in sound, video, and multimedia whenever possible. Hands-on, physical activities, and other engaging assessments produce greater student outcomes and are generally more fun!! Having fun is okay, right?!  Of course it is, as long as the test or quiz assesses the objectives or standards listed prior to the event in question. Valid tests are also differentiated to meet the needs of the learners. This means it provides for multiple learning styles and allows for multiple means of engagement.
All in all, quality assessments can come in a variety of forms. They can be online, in blended learning environments, project based, completed as a group, individually, or any combination of the above. As long as the facilitator/teacher provides quality objectives, multiple means of interaction and completion, and clearly defines the expectations (such as a rubric), their assessment will be effective.

To learn more about this subject and the related research check out the work for Dr. Robert Marzano.


For a free simple solution to formative assessments try www.polleverywhere.com http://www.polleverywhere.com/

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Holiday Season Fun

Holiday time means fun time for your classroom.... There is always an energy buzzing through the halls of schools across America during the fall and it starts with Halloween. I thought I would share some fun resources this week and kick off the Holiday season.
Halloween Fun!

Would you like to carve a pumpkin on your interactive whiteboard?! 

Click Here

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Multimedia in the Classroom

Multimedia in the classroom is one of the easiest ways to affect change. Sound, video, and interactivity can engage and inspire learning. "Digital natives" don't just want this type of learning environment, they need it... Watch my video below:

Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Visual Literacy

Visual literacy can play a vital role in any classroom for a variety of reasons. In 21 Century classrooms, students have come to expect a richer and more engaging experience than in years passed. Without quality, meaningful, pertinent images to explain complex ideas and concepts beyond the realm of a single spoken language, much is lost in the teaching process.
When discussing the idea of visual literacy in modern classrooms, rarely is the question “if,” but “how?” Teachers should focus on the process and delivery of these images with much thought and consideration.

Common mistakes include:
-Images with too small a pixel size
-Images with copyright protection (plagiarism)
-Having too many, or images that distract from content.
For more information about quality presentations see: 

If you would like to save yourself the trouble of finding the images described above, start thinking about web 2.0 tools. Many times, teachers can stream content from the web to be used in whole group instruction on IWBs or interactive projectors! Teachers can also email, IM, or handout links to fun and academic websites for individual and small group instruction… With a little digging, teachers can find quality content for any grade and subject.
For more information on great web 2.0 resources check out my Delicious:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Recent Travels


Much of my job as an education consultant requires travel around the state of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The last month has been especially exciting and I thought I would share the experience with you.
I travel to "hubs" around the state, such as Fairbanks, Bethel, and Dillingham. These locations have maintained runways for jet access. Many times, though, I must board smaller single engine fixed wing aircraft to visit more remote locations.
The past two weeks have taken me to Fairbanks, St.Mary's, Mountain Village, Hooper Bay, and Bethel. See the map below and try looking it up for fun in Google Maps!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Spoken Text Video

Okay, this week I am going to share a trick I use for "reading" my class assignments while at the airport or on a plane, which is a substantial part of my life... I created a video of my own, but I am unable to find a host and YouTube doesn't seem to want to approve my video... at any rate, someone else has already made one, so here it is!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


This a blog about the life and the legend of Sam Bourgeois, education consultant. Far from my Louisiana home, this young adventurous teacher traveled thousands of miles to relocate to rural Alaska. I worked in a small 'Bush' village of Alaska Natives (Yup'ik Eskimo) for almost 6 years. In that time I integrated technology daily and won aclaim in several areas. I went paperless in 2008 and presented at various conferences on my successes and methodolgy. Througout my career I have always been interested podcasting and the use of video production to give students "voice." In this endevor I have won several awards related to student video editting, culturally relavent educational strategies, and classroom usage of multimedia.
Now out of the classroom I have attacked the professional development world with the same zeal I had in Togiak, AK. Over the last 14 months I have developed and collaborated to create approximately 20 workshop-style days of technology integration courses. The delivery of these courses keeps me on the road, or more accurately, in the air. With an area nearly 3 times the size of Texas, Alaska is the land of the Bush pilot. When I go to work it generally is through an airport without security, on a plane with less than 15 seats, and with enough gear to survive a few days if need be.
Thanks for following my first post, and I hope you enjoy the read!