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Testing the Limits

Tori Mazur

May 3, 2017

Appreciating the Change

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Our students wrestle with the right balance of content and task navigation, but we are the ones who hesitate to tap, click and swipe with confidence.

 

The Internet of Things isn’t going to be static nor consistent.  The user experience will improve so long as instructional designers are employed to apply more scientific principles to student products, not just the consumer market.  


We’ve learned a lot in this first year of our pilot program, perhaps mostly about ourselves as adult learners in the Age of Change.

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Tori Mazur

January 24, 2015

Staying In Touch

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"They have been out of the classroom too long."

"They are out of touch with how it really is."
"They should spend a day in my room and then try to tell me how to do my job."

Sound familiar?  I fear I will become one of them, but communication has always been key for quality relationships and it's what I hope will keep me "safe". 

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Tori Mazur

December 19, 2014

Jekyll & Hyde From Testing

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My administrators know the challenges I face in a dual-role.  When they interviewed me during the summer, I was sold on the idea of coming to my school to work with the adults in the building, integrating technology and supporting literacy efforts.  There was a caveat though.  The other part of the job posting on the district's website said "Testing Assistant".  Total misprint. Clerical error. Now I'm constantly battling myself as Jekyll and Hyde.  How many different people are you on a daily basis?  

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Tori Mazur

December 8, 2014

Inspiring Minds

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One of the things I love most about this time of year is the opportunity to reconnect with inspirational material and the creators.  Thanks to YouTube, I can create a Master Class with each of the heroes on my "Guru List".  I recharge my batteries with media and the makers.

Movies, music and books give me energy by feeding my mind and uplifting my spirit.  The leisure time of the holidays affords me time with characters and emotions, sounds and harmonies, colors and textures.  All the things that enliven the senses are abuzz with the start of the marketing frenzy that is the shopping season.  

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Tori Mazur

November 29, 2014

Connecting Digital Lives

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https://flic.kr/p/b5iJuF​At the start of the year, I had high hopes for sparking conversation with parents when I produced the laptop orientation sessions for our freshmen. We wouldn't allow the computers in our 1:1 program to go home until parents attended an information session and signed the paperwork.  I ended up sharing information that the district wanted them to know about fees and some other tips for care.  Next year, I think we need to do more. 

I had an interesting conversation with a parent who wanted us to keep the loaner laptop at school because her son was only using it to play games and watch music after school. By the end of the conversation, which was partly a need for her to vent about his suspension, she agreed to take the laptop up at night and give it back in the morning. Parents are learning right along with us.

Some have learned the hardest lessons.

Digital Native image by T. Faltings licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 2.0.  No changes have been made.

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Tori Mazur

November 12, 2014

High-Stakes, Not Hostage

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I survived Testober.  My first October as a high school Testing Coordinator was spent eyeballs deep in spreadsheets of students and their schedule data.  It was challenging enough to coordinate the movement - and test security - of several hundred students, displace teachers and their untested students so I could have their rooms, and find places every class period to put all the bodies. Now it seems as though our state and district want to up the ante by adding technological challenges as we move to high-stakes testing online.  

Before we go all in, there are some things that teachers need. 

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Tori Mazur

October 26, 2014

Living in the Wild, Wild Web

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The year was 2000. The web was akin to the Wild West.  It was exciting and unbridled.  There were no rules.  There were no sheriffs.  In some ways, the internet is still in its adolescent period. We've just added everyone and his grandmother to the show.  It's hard to think about what's acceptable and to be pro-active about teaching it, when the changes come so fast now.

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Tori Mazur

October 15, 2014

If the Shoe Fits

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https://flic.kr/p/ovKsFR

As a new addition to an established staff and faculty, I am forging connections in my physical workspace at the same time that my digital network is widening.  

Being a Connected Educator, for me, means I must plug in to an existing network of relationships in my building and community.  This year in particular, I see that we don’t truly “get” what someone else’s job is...unless we’ve stepped into their shoes.

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Tori Mazur

September 21, 2014

More Than Lip Service

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We celebrated Hispanic Heritage in our small downtown this weekend.  It was an opportunity to see the community (of all shades) come together to celebrate our diversity and unity. 

Rather than write a post about the challenges some of our Latino students face, I decided to introduce and curate a YouTube playlist so a few primary voices could tell their own stories.

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