Encouragement in the online environment….priceless

It seems we too often get wrapped up in the online tasks of grading assignments, checking due dates, answering emails, etc. I recently sent a simple email to an online student commending her on her work and encouraging her to continue her education beyond an Associate Degree. WOW…did that ever open the floodgates for this student. She is pursuing a degree with another technical college in the state and just happened to be in my online course this summer.

To quote “You’re a good instructor, Jane. You make me wish I was at your school to see what the rest of you are like. Keep it up. Too many of you -maybe not at Green Bay- have forgotten what it’s like to be in a student’s shoes. A gentle touch and a kind word get more out of us than backing us in a corner and screaming in our faces does.”

Starfish has been a great start, but even a simple email can really give a student the lift they need!

Blue Spark on the NWTC Marinette Campus…

Did you know that a Blue Spark has been lurking on the Marinette Campus for years?  Perhaps it has been smoldering waiting for the SPARK to catch?  It is part of the NWTC Art Collection.  It has even been recreated by staff in miniature version and sent to faculty serving overseas as a reminder of their NWTC home!

Artist:  James LaMalfa – Check it out:  Blue Spark Continue reading


Wow!  It’s hard to believe that in less than 1 month (28 days to be exact), I will be teaching my first live theory class here at the college! While I am super excited, I cannot even believe how much my head is spinning!  There is so much to know and remember…..but I can’t help wondering though……will I remember it all?  As a new educator, one’s head and thought processes go everywhere…..it’s almost like one suffers from “shiny object syndrome”.  HAHA!  I love researching new ideas and finding great new techniques to incorporate into my class, so, if anyone out there has some great CAT’s or ice breakers or other classroom teaching strategies and are willing to share, feel free to share with me!  I would love to try out more new things!  Soon the spinning will stop and I will be thoroughly enthralled in my class!  But for now I am researching and developing and pondering all sorts of educational things! Stay tuned……….my new educator update will come at a later date; for now, I need to finish putting it all together! Have a great day!


Engage Creative Learners

Think Outside the Box

Can college students be similar to elementary students?

  • Anxious on first day
  • Unsure if they will get along with their teacher
  • Will the class/subject be too hard
  • Excited to talk to friends
  • Not enough sleep the night before
  • Disruptive classmates
  • and the list continues…

The reasons for the items listed above may be different, but many of the symptoms are the same. After watching my daughter’s 1st grade teacher prepare young minds for learning, I wondered if I could use some of her strategies to prepare my adult learners. Continue reading

You… Only Better

Ah, the New Year and time for resolutions which inevitably have something to do with losing weight, exercising more, eating healthy etc. I say improve your image INSTANTLY and engage your students! What more could you want on just the second day of 2014? How do I do this? Use avatars in your on-line and in-person environments.

An avatar is a figure or character that you can create and customize the way you want. Using an avatar can convey the same old information in a jazzed up, visual way.There are many sites out there but one that was introduced to me in a teaching methods class awhile ago is http://www.voki.com. This site lets you create an avatar that can speak! Further it even can translate into a few languages. The basic site is free although even the more advanced version is only $24 for a year. While listening to an avatar (as compared to your own dulcet tones) is creative, realize more than 20 minutes of content by anyone can be… well… less than engaging. However, this is a fun way to present material that might otherwise not be listened to.

So give it a whirl and let me know if you like my new look for 2014. Created in only 3 minutes with no exercise, broccoli, or loss of productivity: http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=9179432&height=267&width=200