I am currently a full-time, classroom teacher. I started teaching in 1993 and have had rewarding experiences in a wide variety of roles including exchange teacher (Australia), resource teacher (educational technology) and vice-principal. But it is as a classroom teacher that I have learned and continue to learn the most.
My teaching practice has been supported by lifelong interests in science, technology and psychology. This blog began not only as a response to various people who encouraged me to share my ideas but also as response to educators from whom I learned a great deal who took the time to share online (for example, one of the earliest blogs I read and learned from was Chrissy Hellyer and I still remember this post that inspired me).
I have written articles and blog posts pertaining to educational issues that often involve competing tensions or issues such as instructionism vs. constructivism/onism, learning vs. education, oppression vs. empowerment, learner centered vs. teacher centered, play vs. work, learning to code vs. coding to learn, using technology vs. integrating technology. Sometimes, I write about false dilemma fallacies such as iPad vs. Chromebook, block vs. text coding, and so forth. Actually, I hesitate to characterize any issue using an X vs. Y structure because no debate is ever that simple. Reality is almost always located somewhere on a continuum between extremes. Nevertheless, I find X vs. Y and handy way to summarize and simplify as long as the caveats are noted, too. All thoughts and ideas expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect my employer.
I have been a maker for my whole life. As a kid I took apart almost every gift I ever received and then built other things from the parts… such audio mixing-boards, loudspeakers, robots, and radios. I spent endless of hours building with cardboard, string, tape, paper, and Lego. I also loved to write stories, create photographs and videos, draw, and write music. Creating and building things were/are the only times in my life when I experience flow so that has become a significant line of professional inquiry for me:
- How can educators support a maker learning culture in the youth of today?
- How do we foster both creativity and critical analysis as equal players in the educational endeavours of teachers and students alike?
Other things I have written:
- Modeling an Analogue Clock in Scratch (February 2018, TVO Teach Ontario)
- Connected Library: It’s About Time (January 2018, Teaching Librarian)
- modernlearners.ca podcast notes (October 2017 – June 2018)
- 5 ways to turn the ‘hour of code’ into the ‘year of learning’ (November 2017, Code Like a Girl)
- Learning Design by Making Games (in Scratch) (October 2017, Code Like a Girl)
- Finding the Math: 2D Figures in Scratch (September 2017, Code Like a Girl)
- Star Wars and the Micro:bit (June 2017, Code Like a Girl)
- Scratch is the Right Place for Coding (May 2017, Code Like a Girl)
- Dear Apple, Google & Microsoft (May 2017, Code Like a Girl)
- Coding, Thinking, Reflection & Transfer (April 2017, Code Like a Girl)
- Turn the “Hour of Code” into the “Year of Learning” (December 2016, Code Like a Girl)
- Empowering Modern Learners (November 2016, Peel District School Board)
- Should Students Use the Internet while Taking Tests? (February 2013, Learning & Leading with Technology)
Places where I share:
I try to post resources and share ideas in various places. Here are a few:
- Twitter: @cashjim
- Blog: makelearn.org
- Medium: @cashjim
- Podcast: modernlearners.ca (episodes: 0-35)
- Scratch: JimmyC
- Prezi: user/jim
- YouTube: my channel or my school channel
- website: Scratch Mathland