Featured Stories Archives
Byon February 27, 2013 12:51 PM
Article by Jessica K. Parker, Assistant Professor
What's one of the best things about living in the digital era? With access to the Internet, we can all be authors! This wasn't always the case. I grew up a consumer and I watched TV and listened to the radio. The only things I created were mixed tapes and video recordings of athletic events. Today, youth grow up as both consumers and producers. Why not capitalize on this by having students create media texts! Here are three powerful tools that students can use to author their own content and demonstrate understanding.
Storybird: Storybird is an online collaborative storytelling tool that gives users the ability to read, create, and share books online using original art and their own writing ideas. Students can make visual stories with artwork from illustrators and animators around the world! Storybird can inspire anyone to turn images into narratives. Want to learn more? Here is a digital handout on Storybird designed by School of Education Master's students, Kristina Beltz and Carol Wise.
Jing: Use Jing to take free screenshots or make screencasts. Have credential students annotate aspects of student work or images of their classroom walls. Have math students talk through their process of solving a problem by recording their own computer screen. Give directions for homework by annotating the document using Jing. You will need to download the software, and Jing saves all your work to your computer. I attached my own example of an annotated Yoda!
Byon February 5, 2013 10:50 AM
Congratulations to School of Education Assistant Professor Megan Taylor for recently being accepted as a 2013 STaR Fellow! The Service, Teaching and Research (STaR) Project is an induction program for recent doctoral graduates in mathematics education. The program, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a 12-month experience that networks early career mathematics educators (in the first or second year of their first academic appointment). The Program focuses on three themes: research, teaching and service as well as leadership development To be eligible for this program you must have your doctorate in mathematics education and be in your first or second year of tenure track at an institution of higher education in the U.S. As a STaR Fellow, Megan will have the opportunity to attend a week-long Park City Mathematics Institute this summer, get extra support as she continues her research agenda and collaborate with a strong cohort of other mathematics faculty to strengthen her teaching practice.
Megan Taylor is the newest faculty member in the Curriculum Studies and Secondary Education department and the Single Subject Credential Program here at Sonoma State. Her research focuses on secondary mathematics and teacher education. Megan has taught 6th-12th grade for twelve years and believes that in order to improve public mathematics education in the U.S., improvements on teacher education are necessary. Her recent work investigates how mathematics teachers use textbooks and explores ways they can be do it more effectively to improve classroom learning.
Single Subject Program Candidate Franklin Matthews 'Went the Distance' to Reach His Goal of Becoming a Teacher
Byon January 22, 2013 10:34 AM
Article written by SSU Student Melissa Marengo
Franklin Matthews never thought he would one day become a teacher. At SSU during his undergraduate studies, he originally declared a business major. Eventually, he switched his major to Kinesiology where he began working as a basketball coach and personal trainer. Parents of kids that he was working with suggested to him that he become a Physical Education teacher because he seemed to work well with children and enjoy teaching them. He thought he would give it a try and began taking some pre-requisites for the credential program during his senior year in 2008.
He then took a brief leave of absence from the school and moved down to the Peninsula with his wife. Wanting to continue his schooling and get his teaching credential he went to San Jose State who would not accept his transfer credits. Instead of starting over with them, he spoke with Dr. Karen Grady here at SSU who encouraged him to do the program up in the North Bay, despite the long commute. Franklin said that all of his teachers worked around his schedule and his busy commute to allow him to get his credential and fulfill his dream of becoming a Physical Education teacher.
Franklin would commute by bus everyday from East Palo Alto to his classes in Rohnert Park. He got his student teaching opportunity at Petaluma High School, which he described as a "blessing in disguise". He was having a hard time finding a student teaching job and Petaluma High was his last hope. He said his experience there was great and he learned a lot about full inclusion for all students. During his time in the credential program what he learned most was classroom management, the importance of gaining student respect and understanding, and developing strong relationships with your students that will leave a lasting impact on their lives.
With the help of all of his professors and fellow students at SSU, Franklin was able to graduate from the Single Subject Credential Program for Physical Education and is now working with kids in the South Bay. Franklin works at a non-profit organization which partners with Stanford University called East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring. He works with about 25 students every other day after school as the High School Group Coordinator. He teaches them life experience as well as offers help with college applications. Franklin Matthews would like to thank Dr. Grady, Dr. Marker, Dr. Victor, and the entire Sonoma State faculty and staff for being so supportive and flexible with him through out his credential program experience. He says he would not have made it where he is today without them.
Byon December 19, 2012 5:14 PM
Person Theater's house was filled last week with people gathered to celebrate a new group of teachers who have completed their credential programs at Sonoma State. This group of students will move on to work as public school teachers in elementary, middle and high schools in California. Most have completed the program over the course of two or three semesters, including many hours of work in clinical practice, working with a mentor teacher and a university faculty supervisor to gain the important practical experience needed to begin their career as a teacher.
Dean of Education Carlos Ayala and President Ruben Arminana delivered opening remarks for the evening's celebration. Faculty from the School of Education's Credential Programs spoke, offering kind and supportive words to the students as they begin their teaching careers. A student speaker from each program offered remarks at the ceremony: Sarah Kremple, Yasha Mokaram and Jaime Alexander each spoke about their own experience in the program, and their passion for teaching.
In her address to the Multiple Subject Credential Candidates, Dr. Susan Campbell noted that this is an exceptional group of motivated teachers saying, "You have also taken your own students beyond their immediate worlds and shown them how to be active citizens in a humane democracy. With your guidance and leadership, your elementary students have cleaned up local creeks, sent letters to active military personnel, sent food and cards to needy families, started school recycling programs, and made scarves for residents in eldercare-all this within the umbrella of academic learning as they also learn how to read, write, research, and interact within school. You have changed the world and we are proud of you."
Dr. Viki Montera offered her congratulations to the group who completed the Education Specialist Credential Intern program, "who have earned their credential while also serving as full - time teachers in area schools." Dr. Montera acknowledged the tremendous effort that required, since these Special Education Interns "are responsible for their students' success at work while simultaneously being responsible for their success here at SSU. A balancing act and a remarkable feat."
Dr. Karen Grady acknowledged how challenging it is to earn a credential in California, and offered words of advice to the beginning middle and high school teachers: "
Remember to be kind to adolescents. Even when it is hard to do, put the kids first" and stressed she the importance of maintaining a professional community, advising "...remember that you do not have to manage it all by yourself--the Lone Ranger is actually not a good metaphor for being a great teacher. Find like-minded colleagues, go to conferences, become members of your professional organizations. You will need to do this to be your best, to stay sane and healthy, and to keep growing."
The inspiring ceremony concluded with a slide show of photos of the teachers at their student teaching field sites, and a reception for the graduates and their guests.
Byon December 18, 2012 10:41 AM
Sonoma State faculty, staff and administration got together on December 14 to honor Professor James Fouche's retirement from Sonoma State's School of Education after twenty years of service. Dr. Fouche came to SSU as the Dean of Education in 1992 following a post as Dean of Education at Winthrop University in South Carolina. During his tenure as Dean of Education, Fouche contributed in many ways to the campus and community, including the establishment of the Educator in Residence Program, work as a partner on the design for Technology High School, and a co-author of the North Coast Beginning Teachers Program, along with many other projects and initiatives. In 1997 he transitioned to a faculty position in the Curriculum Studies and Secondary Education Department and spearheaded many successful state and federal grants, including work for the advancement of bilingual teacher preparation (Projects BECA and PITA), and many notable initiatives to the advancement of educational technology for teachers: Digital Bridge, Light Bridge and SMART. More more recently he was a partner on the EnAct grant project for accessible technology and Universal Design for Learning. Together these grant projects brought millions of dollars for educational research and innovation to Sonoma State and our public school region.
At the retirement celebration, colleagues shared stories of working with Dr. Fouche over the years, noting many examples of his steady leadership, collegiality, vision for innovation, and dedication to helping teachers and students that characterized his career. Retired faculty joined the celebration, including Jayne DeLawter, Rick Marks, and Marty Ruddell. Dr. Fouche's roots in Louisiana and his well-known dedication to Gators football were a theme at the party too, including a cake decked out with an alligator staring down a seawolf, surrounded by blue and orange icing. The School of Education faculty presented Jim with a gift of a framed Matisse print in honor of the occasion.
Jim and his wife Kathy look forward to this new opportunity to spend more time with their family, especially their two young grandchildren.
Byon November 26, 2012 2:33 PM
Imagine a classroom where middle school students learn geospatial awareness by taking a virtual tour of the moon, or a lesson where special education kids improve their vocabulary with Garage Band. These are just a couple examples of projects that will be featured at the Teacher Technology Showcase this Thursday at Sonoma State University. At the Showcase, twenty four pre-service and recently credentialed teachers will demonstrate lessons that they have created to help build student engagement and support student learning.
School of Education Assistant Professor Jessica Parker designed the event, which provides beginning teachers the chance to share creative ideas for ways they plan to use new media tools in classroom experiences. Dr. Parker, who teaches educational technology at SSU, notes that the focus of the event is not just on the technological tools the teachers are employing, but also on the content objectives as well; how are they creating a better learning environment for students through technology integration. At the showcase, presenters will have the opportunity to converse with experienced teachers and administrators from local schools, graduate students and faculty about the lessons they designed.
Presentations will include examples of lessons built for mobile devices, the use of web based collaboration tools, video screencasts for flipped classrooms, wikis and more. The presenters come from a range of teaching environments and student age groups, from early education, elementary, secondary, educational leadership and special education, and they will provide examples of for kindergarten through senior year of high school and beyond.
This is the second year that the SSU School of Education is hosting the Showcase, which this year has support from Google, KQED and Edutopia. The event will take place on Thursday, November 29, 5:00-7:00 PM in the Student Union Multipurpose Room and is free and open to the community. (Please note that parking on campus is $2.50).
Can't make it to the event? Follow us on Twitter for highlights: @educationSSU #ssuedtech.
Byon October 24, 2012 1:42 PM
The School of Education will officially launch a new undergraduate major in Early Childhood Studies with lunch hour celebration of children, learning and play on the Stevenson Quad on Thursday, November 1, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The new major will help prepare students to work or pursue graduate study in education, health and other professions that serve young children and their families, leading to better health and education outcomes as children grow into adulthood.
"Early investments in children help all youth, regardless of the barriers they may face, to increase their personal achievement, thus breaking the cycle of disadvantage that perpetuates inequalities in the United States," says Associate Professor Chiara Bacigalupa, faculty advisor for the Early Childhood Studies program.
"In order for these advantages to be realized, however, early childhood program need educated professional who understand the complexities of providing effective care and learning opportunities in today's diverse communities."
The major is a multi-disciplinary course of study will prepare students for a variety of career paths, including:
- Infant, toddler and preschool teachers
- Administrators of programs for young children and families
- Professionals in health fields, including child life specialists
- Pre-requisite work for the multiple subjects credential for elementary school teachers
- Pre-requisite work for the special education teaching credential.
The November 1 launch celebration will include interactive exhibits from the Sonoma County Children's Museum, play-based learning activities and the chance to meet representatives from agencies in Sonoma County that offer support services to children and families.
Byon October 17, 2012 2:07 PM
The goal of the Single Subject Credential Program is to prepare candidates to be successful secondary teachers for California Public Schools. Achieving that goal requires a study in teaching theories and pedagogy, balanced with valuable practical experience working in classroom settings with a professional mentor. This year the Single Subject program is impementing a new model for student teaching, called co-teaching.
Dr. Karen Grady and Dr. Susan Victor have been working closely with teams of teachers and single subject candidates in five local schools for this pilot: Altamira Middle School in Sonoma, Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, Petaluma Junior High School and Lawrence Jones Middle School in Rohnert Park. Teams from the schools came to Sonoma State campus and participated in special workshop so they will be ready to put the model into practice in Spring semester 2013. Grady hopes to expand the model to more schools in coming years.
Co-teaching is defined as two teachers (mentor teacher and teacher candidate) working together to teach groups of students - sharing the planning, organization, delivery and assessment of instruction, as well as the physical space. Co-teaching involves a continuing partnership where the lessons are all prepared collaboratively and taught as a team. Both teachers are actively involved and engaged in all aspects of instruction. This differs from the prevalent model of student teaching in secondary classrooms where student teachers are expected to solo teach for the entire semester of student teaching. In the co-teaching model student teachers both team teach with their mentors and solo teach.
The co-teaching model has been used and evaluated nationwide, and shows benefits not only for beginning teachers, but benefits for student learning. One high school student remarked, "While one is teaching, the other comes around and asks if we need help. It makes it easier to get around to everybody." The research shows that this model enhances classroom management, supports different learning styles and increases student engagement and participation. Another student noted, "I think we learn more because there are two different teachers in the room - which means they teach different ways - which means they know different facts - which means you're going to learn a lot more."
Mentor teachers have a lot to gain from the model too. Teachers who have implemented co-teaching in their classrooms noted that not only do student teachers perform better through the collaboration, but that they themselves feel a new energy for teaching, have experienced professional renewal, and have been better able to try new things because they are working in a team.
Byon September 28, 2012 10:31 AM
Janet Hardcastle retires today after twenty five years of dedicated service to Sonoma State University. When she started working here in 1987, her first position was with the Intensive Learning Experience Program for the Communication Studies Department. But shortly after that, she took a position with the School of Education, where she has worked ever since. From 1989-2001 Janet worked as the assistant to the dean in the School of Education, before transitioning to the world of educational technology grant work, where she has truly made her mark over the last decade. Janet has been the administrator of three major federal grant projects sponsored by U.S. Department of Education, and has worked closely with teams of faculty from Sonoma State and other partner institutions. These projects include Light Bridge: Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology, Ensuring Access through Collaboration and Technology (EnACT) and EnACT - Partnerships, Technology and Collaboration, EnACT-PTD.
Two weeks ago, the campus celebrated her retirement with a send-off party hosted by the School of Education. Faculty and staff from across campus, as well as other retired SSU people and family members came together at the Terrace Room and Patio at the Commons to thank Janet for all the good work she has done for Sonoma State, and to wish her well. Colleagues Gayle Graff, Jim Fouche, Brett Christie and Emiliano Ayala praised her for years of professionalism, precision, dedication and collegiality. They credited her with much of the success of their grant work, because she brought so much knowledge and expertise to the complex world of federal grants. Janet was at the hub of all their work, and for that they are forever grateful.
The School of Education presented Janet with a commemorative Waterford vase and a framed picture with photographs of campus to mark the occasion. Janet noted that she loves Sonoma State’s beautiful campus, and while she will no longer be working here, you will likely in the future see her here taking a walk, maybe pushing one of her grandchildren’s strollers, enjoying the beauty of the trees and gardens here at Sonoma State, truly taking time to make the most of her retirement.
Byon September 10, 2012 10:24 AM
Sonoma State welcomes Melba Pattillo Beals to campus on September 27, 7:00 PM in the Cooperage. Beals is a journalist and member of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who were the first to integrate Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas. Beals' book Warriors Don't Cry chronicles the events of 1957 during the Little Rock crisis, based partly on diaries she kept during that period. She also wrote White is a State of Mind, which begins where Warriors left off.
In 1958, the NAACP awarded the Spingarn Medal to Beals and to the other members of the Little Rock Nine, together with civil rights leader Daisy Bates, who had advised the group during their struggles at Central High. In 1999, she and the rest of the Nine were awarded the highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal. Only three hundred others have received this. Beals will be discussing her book and experiences.
This events is free, but you need a ticket to attend. Stop by the SSU Student Union Box Office to get a ticket. Tickets will be available to select freshman classes this week, and opened up to the community starting Monday, September 17.
Check out a clip here about Beals and how she grew to love learning, books and libraries: