Graduate Studies Archives

ieSonoma annual event to feature Emily Pilloton, Dan Pallotta, and Adam Braun: June 7-8

By Pamela Van Halsema on May 12, 2015 2:20 PM

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A young woman whose first crush, MacGyver, sparked her love of constrained problem-solving and tinkering and led her to found Project H Design, a nonprofit teaching youth to design and build their future with heart, hands, and hammers.

A Harvard graduate who invented the multi-day charitable event industry with the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Days, events that altered the landscape of options for ordinary individuals seeking to make an extraordinary difference.

A college student backpacking across the globe who asked a small boy begging on the streets of India what he wanted most in the world and whose answer would lead him to found an organization that has built over 300 schools serving over 30,000 students around the world.

What do these three remarkable individuals have in common? Aside from being called to action through their personal life experiences, these innovative leaders will be the featured speakers at an important community event taking place in Sonoma County on June 7 and 8, 2015. The third annual ieSonoma: innovate | educate event is scheduled for Sunday, June 7 at Sonoma Country Day School in Santa Rosa and on Monday, June 8 in Weill Hall at Sonoma State University's Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. Participants may choose to attend one or both days.

Get tickets from www.iesonoma.org

ieSonoma events are intended to provoke attendees' thinking and challenge previously held beliefs about teaching and learning in the 21st century. Over the past two years, some of the best thinkers in the world have shared their ideas for innovation in education at ieSonoma: Sir Ken Robinson and Dale Dougherty in 2013, followed by Sugata Mitra and Nirvan Mullick in 2014.

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This year, three dynamic speakers will take the stage: Emily Pilloton, Dan Pallotta, and Adam Braun. Each brings a unique story about how they have made a difference in their respective industry sectors by embracing innovation and challenging the status quo:

Emily Pilloton is an educator, architect, and humanitarian activist who believes that design and building can excite learning and citizenship. She developed and is now teaching a design-build curriculum called Studio H that engages the minds and bodies of high school students through real-world, built projects. Originally launched in rural Bertie County, North Carolina, Studio H is now based at REALM Charter School in Berkeley, California. Emily will be one of the keynotes for the Monday morning event.

  • dan_pallotta.jpgDan Pallotta is an entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian activist who is changing the way the public thinks about charity and change. He is best known for creating the multi-day charitable event industry, and a new generation of philanthropists, with the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Day events. His 2013 TED Talk, viewed by 3.5 million people, argued that "the way we think about charity is dead wrong." Dan will be the keynote for the Sunday evening event, and will also be one of the keynotes for the Monday morning event.
  • braun.jpegAdam Braun is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases access to education for children in the developing world. His book, The Promise of a Pencil, describes how an ordinary person can create extraordinary change. Adam will be one of three keynote speakers at the Monday morning ieSonoma event.
  • With the three speakers' stories in mind, ieSonoma is adopting "A Call to Action" as its theme this year. ieSonoma 2015 promises to be an important public gathering of education and community leaders who are interested in transforming education and rethinking the way we view the institutions and organizations that play a role in preparing students for success in the 21st century.

    Additional details on the speakers can be found at www.iesonoma.org. A sell-out crowd of 750 on Sunday and 1000 people on Monday is expected for the event.

    About ieSonoma

    ieSonoma is a partnership of educational institutions and the larger community dedicated to exploring the research, theory, and practice of preparing young people for success in a rapidly changing world. In 2013, the Sonoma County Office of Education joined with Sonoma Country Day School and Sonoma State University to spark innovation and collaboration in the local education community. More than 25 other organizations are also supporting ieSonoma through sponsorship of this year's annual event, including:

    Gold: 

    John Jordan Foundation

    Silver:

    Alexander Valley Vineyards, Community First Credit Union, Lake County Office of Education, Petaluma City Schools, Piner-Olivet Union School District, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects Inc., Santa Rosa City Schools, Santa Rosa Junior College, Sonoma Academy


    Bronze:

    Bellwether Farms, Bergin Glass Impressions, CalStateTEACH, Career Technical Education Foundation Sonoma County, Community Foundation Sonoma County, First 5 Sonoma County, Girard & Edwards, Jardesca, Mendocino County Office of Education, North Bay Leadership Council, North Coast Beginning Teacher Program, Sonoma County Department of Health Services, Sonoma County Human Services Department, Whole Foods

    Additional support from:

    The Press Democrat, Vintners Inn, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts

    Webinars Explore Making in Schools, Features Panel of Maker-Educators

    By Pamela Van Halsema on December 2, 2014 10:38 AM

    Making in K-12 Schools Webinars: Part 1, Wednesday, December 3 and Part 2, Wednesday, December 10, noon PST

    To join the webinars, go to http://educatorinnovator.org/webinars/

    2 webinars december 3 and 10 for Making in K-12 Settings

    Join School of Education Assoc. Professor Jessica Parker, along with several Bay Area maker-educators as they discuss the role of "Making" in schools.  Set up as a forum, these teachers will share stories from their own experiences in the classroom--from elementary up to high school--incorporating making into the curriculum and both creating and maintaining a culture of creativity

    In Part 1 of the two part series, on December 3, the panel will focus on how to set things up to foster hands-on, interdisciplinary maker projects and events which successfully support student learning.

    In Part 2, on December 10, they will discuss the kind of professional development that they themselves need as educators to implement these programs and adopt a 'maker mindset' as a teacher.

    The Maker Movement

    Making emphasizes learning-through-doing In a social environment. Maker culture emphasizes informal, networked, peer-led, and shared learning motivated by fun and self-fulfillment. Makers encourage taking risks and experimentation with materials from simple to high tech equipment, they set up opportunities to build and tinker and create. Robotics, woodworking, crafting, 3D printing, and machining are just a few examples of projects used in Maker Spaces all over the world top inspire through project-based learning.

    The notion of tinkering and Making has become popular world-wide and is now truly a movement capturing the imagination of young and old, across cultures and disciplines. Maker Media, based here in Sonoma County, has been the hub and helped build this movement around the world with their publications and their Maker Faire events.

    This global community consists of inventors, artists, engineers, and many other types of people with all kinds of backgrounds. This movement is taking many in the direction of successful independent creativity that is allowing for outside the box thinking and knowledge expansion and growth.

    This kind of thinking is a great fit for project based learning and creative problem solving curriculum in schools, as well as creative and artistic development.

    The Maker Educator Certificate Program

    This webinar is hosted and produced by the National Writing Project's Educator Innovator initiative (educatorinnovator.org), and is affiliated with the Maker Educator Certificate Program offered by The Startup Classroom at Sonoma State University. The certificate program offers a selection of mini courses to help educators of all kinds (not just school teachers) learn how to start and maintain MakerSpaces in their own setting, and become part of a network of Maker Educators.  

    To learn more about the Maker Educator Certificate Program visit www.thestartupclassroom.org/maker-course/ 

    Education Graduate Research Fair Thursday Highlights Current Work by Master's Candidates

    By Pamela Van Halsema on November 17, 2014 4:45 PM

    Grad-Research-PosterThe Master of Arts in Education Program at Sonoma State University is pleased to present the Fall Graduate Research Fair on Thursday, November 20, 2014 from 5:00-7:30 PM in Schulz 1121.  

    In this poster session style event, sudents who have just completed the program will present their findings related to their thesis and cognate projects Programs represented range from Curriculum, Teaching and Learning to Special Education to Educational Leadership and more. The Fair provides these students an diverse audience of faculty, local educators and fellow students to share and discuss their ideas and research.  

    For local people contemplating entering the Master's program, this a wonderful opportunity to get a closer look at the kind of in depth work that candidates pursue in the program. The School of Education is accepting applications now for admission to Master's programs to begin in Spring and Fall.  The application window for Spring closes on November 30.  To learn more see www.sonoma.edu/graduate/

    The event is free and open to the public.  

    Alumna Kaki McLachlan selected as 2014 PBS Digital Innovator

    By Lina Raffaelli on June 20, 2014 3:15 PM

    Kaki McLachlan at the 2013 Teacher Technology Showcase at Sonoma State

    Kaki McLachlan shares an interactive project at the 2013 Teacher Technology Showcase at Sonoma State

    As education is rapidly running to catch up with today's digital advances, institutions have begun to acknowledge and reward educators who are helping pave the way through useful and creative classroom strategies.

    PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program is a year-long professional development program designed to foster and grow a community of ed-tech leaders. Each year PBS hand-selects 100 digitally-savvy K-12 educators who are effectively using digital media and technology in their schools to further student engagement and achievement.

    School of Education Alumna Kaki McLachlan, graduate of the Single Subject Credential Program and Master's in Education in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, has been selected for this honor for the 2014-2015 school year.

    "When students use technology in the classroom it allows them to take ownership of what they are learning," said McLachlan. "It is also an engaging way for students to gather up-to-date information in a variety of ways and share what they have learned in more exciting ways then ever before!"

    Kaki McLachlanShe acknowledges that all the new technology can be confusing for teachers. "New amazing resources are available each and every day for teachers. At times, it can be overwhelming, but it's not necessary to know it all!" Trying a new technology with students can be a risk, and doesn't always work perfectly. She notes, "It's important to remember, as a teacher, that not every lesson is going to be a success. This is especially important to remember when you begin to implement new projects with technology in the classroom. It is okay to fail! We are students too."

    McLachlan teaches science and technology to 6th-8th graders at White Hill Middle School in Fairfax. In addition to teaching life science, this year she took on two brand new technology elective courses focusing on digital citizenship and media.

    Throughout the year McLachlan will participate in various virtual trainings in educational technology. As a Digital Innovator, she is expected to lead several professional development activities in the 2014-2015 school year to share her innovations with other educators within her school and district 

    The PBS Learning Media Digital Innovators Summit was held in June, hosted at the PBS headquarters in Washington D.C. You can learn more about Digital Innovators by following the event on Twitter at #pbsdigitalinnovator and #pbsdisummit.

    Why Learn About Being an Entrepreneurial Educator--an #Edupreneur?

    By Pamela Van Halsema on June 13, 2014 11:38 AM

    Guest Blogger Dr. Paul Porter, SSU Professor of Educational Leadership

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    Educators + Entrepreneurialism = Edupreneurialism

    "Edupreneurialism?"  Just another term or something meaningful?  As an instructor in this course The Entrepreneurial Educator, of course, I lean towards the term having great meaning.  For too many years educators have avoided any ties to business, and business has criticized education's graduates.  This artificial separation has led to neither side being able to benefit from the depth and wisdom of the other.  Every business must see itself as a learning organization.  Every school and student must see themselves as a bit more like a business. 

    If we are to truly move to 21st century learning and embrace the concepts of the Common Core, our students (and teachers) must begin to think of themselves not as passive recipients of knowledge but as finders and shapers of their own future.  In the course we explore the concept of every student and teacher seeing themselves as an "economic unit of one,"  not in just a financial sense, but with the belief that each student must, early in their education, begin to see themselves as responsible for developing themselves, for marketing themselves, for discovering their passions and for aligning these passions and interests with the realities of today's world.  This is not a task for a career project as a senior in High School, but a way of thinking that needs to be nurtured at an early age.

    Come and join us in exploring this concept. Begin looking at yourself as an entrepreneurial educator. Our course begins on June 23 and is hosted on Canvas.net.  Enrollment is free.

    Education Specialist Clear Induction Program at Sonoma State University

    By Pamela Van Halsema on June 12, 2014 11:29 AM

    education specialist clear induction program now accepting applications for Fall 2014The Educational Leadership and Special Education (ELSE) Department is pleased to announce that we have preliminary approval from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to offer a Clear Education Specialist Induction Program.

    What does this mean for you? 

    All teachers are initially issued a preliminary credential, which must be "cleared" within a period of time after it is earned. The induction process has been designed based on research that indicates that teachers are more successful, and that they stay in the profession longer when they have been provided support during the early years of their career. The CTC has given candidates holding a Preliminary Education Specialist Credential two options to receive early career support and clear their credentials: Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA), or a university based induction program. Now that SSU has an approved program in special education, you can pick us to complete your induction into the profession of teaching!

    Advantages of the SSU Induction program over BTSA include:

    • The option to clear your credential even if you are not employed as a teacher.
    • A one-year timeline to complete the clear credential.
    • Coursework aligned with our master's degree program in special education; you can earn 12 of the 30-36 units you need for the MA by completing induction.
    • Core induction courses offered in a hybrid format;
    • Come to campus on 5 Saturdays, do the rest of the work online. 
    • (This will account for 6 of the 12 units you need to complete for induction).
    • Supportive professors and rigorous instruction, similar to what you enjoyed as a SSU credential candidate.

    We will offer the Clear Education Specialist Induction Program at SSU for the first time in the fall semester of 2014. Find more information and an application on our website: http://www.sonoma.edu/education/else/clear-induction-es/index.html  We will be taking applications until August 10. We hope you will consider being a member of our inaugural cohort of clear credential candidates!

    Please contact Dr. Jennifer Mahdavi (jennifer.mahdavi@sonoma.edu) with any questions you have about this exciting new opportunity.

    Maker Day in Marin Showcases How Teachers and Students Integrate Creativity and Science

    By Pamela Van Halsema on April 2, 2014 9:11 AM

    The MAKER Movement has taken hold in many schools around Northern California. Over the last several years interest in the grass roots MAKER Movement has grown. MAKER Fairs around the world have attracted hundreds of thousands of people. Now MAKER is beginning to spill into schools and be used by innovative teachers seeking to provide engaging, hands-on, authentic learning experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics.  

    You can find out what MAKER is all about the 1st annual MAKER Day on April 12 at the Marin County Office of Education.See how the future is being imagined,invented, designed, programmed, and manufactured by Marin County students.Meet the MAKERS and have fun with the hands-on exhibits. Everyone is welcome--teachers, kids, families and more-- and it's free! HERE to register.

    GO Green and ride your bike to MAKER Day on April 12. Valet bike parking courtesy of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition!

    The Marin County Office of Education and partners Autodesk, Microsoft, Edutopia, Intel Clubhouse, Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Lego Play-Well, Buck Institute for Education, and Bay Area Science Festival are hosting MAKER Day on April 12, from 10:00-4:00 at the Marin County Office of Education, 1111 Las Gallinas Avenue, San Rafael. Experience the excitement, creativity, genius and the "do it yourself" ingenuity of our students. More info at http://make.marinschools.org.

    The School of Education encourages both pre-service and in-service teachers to take advantage of this opportunity to see how schools are incorporating the MAKER mindset in their classrooms.

    Professors Kathy Morris and Debora Hammond Honored with Goldstein Award

    By Pamela Van Halsema on January 31, 2014 3:31 PM

    Dr. Kathy Morris

    Dr. Kathy Morris, Goldstein Award recipient

    Sonoma State has named two faculty members as this year's recipients of the Bernard Goldstein Award for Excellence in Scholarship.  These faculty demonstrate a strong commitment to the teacher-scholar model here at the University.

    The award recognizes the important connection between faculty professional development (scholarly creative activities) and enriched learning environments for students.

    Dr. Kathy Morris received her Ph.D. in Educational Studies - Teacher Education from University of Michigan. Since joining the Sonoma State University faculty, Dr. Morris has authored or co-authored five peer reviewed publications, completed two book chapters and six other publications. In addition, she's participated in 38 conference presentations since 2003 alone.

    Dr. Morris has been a Carnegie Fellow on two different projects; The Goldman-Carnegie Quest project related to elementary school mathematics teaching and the MSRI Carnegie Elementary Math Project. For the past five years Dr. Morris has been a Principal Investigator and Co-Director on grants totaling three and a half million dollars. This includes a current $500,000 State grant related to the California Common Core project.

    This work has led to her current book project on effective strategies for implementing Math lessons. Dr. Morris was instrumental in the design of the MA in Mathematics Education through the School of Education. Graduates of this program are teachers who go on to take leadership roles in the K-12 education system.



    Dr. Debora Hammond

    Dr. Debora Hammond, Goldstein Award recipient

    Dr. Debora Hammond received her Ph.D. in History of Science from University of California, Berkeley.  She is an international expert in the history of systems thinking; she has given plenary talks six times for the annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences. She has over 20 publications on topics which range from systems thinking, to food, education, ecology and sustainability.

    Her book, The Science of Synthesis; Exploring the Social Implications of General Systems Theory was published in 2003. She has also been an invited speaker, workshop organizer or participant in over 28 conferences and events. Her two recent publications in 2013 are "Reflections of Recursion and the Evolution of Learning" and "Systems Theory".

    Dr. Hammond works with graduate students in the Hutchins Action for a Viable Future MA program, and as Coordinator of the MS in Organization Development. Dr. Hammond has the honor to be selected as an invited participant to the 2014 International Federation for Systems Research Conversation which will be held in Linz, Austria. This biennial event gathers a team of researchers together to work collaboratively for a week on a shared theoretical paper.

    The vision of Bernie and Estelle Goldstein is definitely reflected in this year's "Goldstein Awards for Excellence in Scholarship" winners.  Each recipient will receive $1,500 to support their ongoing scholarship efforts.  Debora Hammond and Kathy Morris will be formally recognized at the annual Exposition of Faculty Research event that will be held later this spring.

    'Taste' of Graduate Study Available to Newly Credentialed Teachers

    By Pamela Van Halsema on January 10, 2014 1:40 PM

    If you just finished your credential in Fall, the School of Education has a unique offer for you to get a little taste of what graduate study in education is like.  This might be just the right opportunity for those teachers who may be waiting to begin a full time teaching position in Fall, but have more flexibilty in their Spring schedule.   

    For the semester immediately following completion of the credential program, students at SSU are classified as a "continuing education student." During that time (and that time only), students are able to enroll in one or two classes leading toward a Master's In Education degree through Open University, with instructor permission. For this unique opportunity, students do not need to apply to SSU or School of Education program for this offer to be valid.

    The fee structure is $280 per unit through Open University.

    Courses are offered one night per week, usually at 4-6:40 or 7-9:40 pm, or on Saturdays, and may have a hybrid model wherein some classes meet face-to-face and other sessions are constructed online through Moodle (or some other platform).

    The spring 2014 course offerings are listed on our web page at http://www.sonoma.edu/education/graduate/electives.html. Not all courses are appropriate for students exploring the program as some have pre-requisites. But many of the courses will be useful for any teaching career and will apply to your MA degree if you apply and are accepted later on.

    The process to enroll through Open University can be found at the Extended Education web page at http://www.sonoma.edu/exed/misc/open-university.html

    Generally, the steps to follow are:

    1. Look over the course offerings and determine if you wish to take any of the courses listed.

    2. Get the REGISTRATION form in the Extended Ed office and secure the instructor approval and department chair approval to enroll in the class.

    3. Pay the fee of $280 per unit, or $840 for a 3 unit class, $1,680 for two classes. (Note, this is significantly less expensive than the normal SSU graduate program course fee structure.)

    4. Start attending classes the week of January 13.

    While engaged in the course or courses, seek advising, review the programs we offer and, if appropriate, apply to that program in the spring for consideration of fall enrollment.

    Note, attending courses as a "continuing education student" does not automatically allow you entry to that program--you must still go through the normal application process later if you decide to move forward with the advanced degree. No more than two courses taken through Open University can be applied toward your MA degree. The instructor must approve your enrollment.

    To see what MA concentrations we offer and connect with one of our faculty advisors, see our Graduate Studies webpages for more detailed information.

    SSU's Teacher Technology Showcase Fosters Dialogue & Innovation

    By Lina Raffaelli on January 8, 2014 2:08 PM

    Where can you play PacMan with a carrot controller, walk on the moon, and play a digital piano using Play-Doh, all in one evening? One month ago, educators and students gathered together for the Teacher Technology Showcase, and were able to do all three in this year's interactive Maker's Space.

    The annual event, now in its third year, is an open house for creative thinking about how to effectively use technology in teaching. Thirty six presenters shared and demonstrated their ideas for lesson plans, tutorials, and tools, all designed to improve learning and student engagement. The event gathered over 200 attendees, including SSU credential and master's degree students, SSU faculty, staff, and alumni, and Bay Area educators.

    Posters around the room encouraged participation and dialogue with phrases like "Choose to be Creative," "Create classroom activities that don't yet exist in the world!" and "Ask me how this meets the needs of all learners." One of the graduate students who attended said, "I really appreciated the opportunity to talk with the presenters about the benefits for students."

    Watch the video slideshow:

    This year the School of Education welcomed the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) as a partner for the event. Presenters from SCOE provided many of the hands-on Maker Space activities, and helped spread the word out about the Showcase to local schools. Technology Showcase supporters Edutopia and KQED also sent representatives to present and share information about the resources and tools they offer for the classroom.

    Presentations covered a broad range of topics, and were aimed at various teaching levels, including elementary, secondary, and special education. Presenters shared their utilization of various websites including Prezi, Wix, Twig World, and Moodle, as well as a handful of useful iPad apps used for behavioral change, teaching science, and verbalizing emotions. In an attendance survey many participants said they appreciated the relevance and practicality of the presentations, as well as the broad range of topics and grade levels included.

    One of the goals of this event is to help educators see creative and practical uses for a variety of applications for the classroom, and encourage them to try out some of these new ideas with their own students. To help them put the ideas into practice, each of the presenters created an online version of their presentation which is available online on the School of Education website. One elementary school principal left saying, "I have homework!" commenting on how there were so many things to learn at the showcase.

    Read about the Tech Showcase in the Sonoma State STAR