Tag Archives: video

What are you doing?

The video was produced by my son. This is our first poetry video. We are working on a new video as I write.

My third daughter is teaching herself how to play songs on her keyboard. She learned the opening to “Purple Rain” for me.

I took my daughters to a crane viewing site by the river to learn how to draw landscapes.

I know life is challenging right now. I am teaching English online. My kids are attending college through kindergarten on line.

It is tough in so many different ways. But maybe this is also an opportunity. An opportunity for you, for your family, to do something you didn’t have time for… to do something outside your normal routine before the pandemic. Maybe, just maybe, now is the time to build your skills to go after your dreams.

What are you doing, today?

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Family, Life

Life Lessons About Fatherhood

Life has hit me with some serious dots lately… dots that reveal the importance of fathers. Let me share the dots with you in an honest and vulnerable post…

Dot 1. We are reading the book Night by Elie Wiesel. One of the themes is about family that develops into the father-son relationship.

Dot 2. I am preparing for a local poetry slam. One of the poems I have decided to use is about an old photo of my father and me.

Then in a single night, life hit me with three dots. Two of the dots are surface level moments, but then the last dot shook me. I’ll get to that.

Dots 3 and 4. Saturday night I was traveling to Lincoln to pick up my second son from his first job as an intern for Striv. He was working on the highlight videos for state volleyball.  He had been in Lincoln since Friday morning, shooting footage of games and then editing video for the introductions before the championship games. Dot 3 was just being a dad. A proud dad. The time on the road allowed me to think about life, about being a father. Dot 4 is a song. I grabbed some CDs to listen to on the road. One of the CDs was Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor. The song, “He Say, She Say,” deals with the effects of a son without his father.

Then the last dot… Dot 5. A moment that has been scrambling my spirit, even today. I tried writing a poem… I have written a version of this post, like five times, what you are reading is just me deciding to write as truthful as I can.

I had to stop to gas up the car on my way to Lincoln. I pulled up to the second row of pumps. There was a white truck at the first row of pumps next to the store. From my angle I could see the front end of the truck and the driver’s side door which was open. I couldn’t see the person filling the tank because of the gas pump. I was going through the routine of filling up the car when I was struck by a voice from the truck.

A little boy said, “Dad… I’m sorry Dad!  Dad? I’m sorry…”

My chest collapsed. Tears stung my eyes. I could hear the sorrow and fear of abandonment. I could see him, strapped into a car seat. Eyes wide. Head moving back and forth looking for his father. Feeling alone. Needing to see his father’s eyes, to hear his dad say that he was still loved.

Then he said it again, louder, with a tearful edge, “Dad, I’m sorry!  Dad? Dad, I’m sorry!” (Yes, I am tearing up as I write this.)

His dad doesn’t respond. I know as a father that I have had to calm myself down at times before I interact with my children. So, I don’t think much about the child’s dad not handling the moment right then. I finish filling up the tank and get back into the car trying to handle my emotions.

I think about all my students who have rough family lives. I think about my own children who have said that they are sorry… but I can’t figure out why my heart hurts so bad… I get onto the interstate still dealing with the waves of emotions crashing in my chest.

When it hit me… The little boy’s voice mirrored my own pain. Even at the age of 48 I fight that feeling of abandonment and fear the boy reflected in his apology to his dad. Without getting into my messy life story, I haven’t had a relationship with my father since I was 10 years old. I know that part of the destruction of that relationship is my decision. But that doesn’t change the feelings of being lost and unloved that I battle with almost everyday.

If you are a parent reading this… Love your children. Hug them. Read to them. Tell them they are forgiven. Give them a foundation that allows them to follow their dreams. I know what it is like to grow up without these things… it hurts, even decades later…

4 Comments

Filed under Family, Life

Our Story Part II

It is late Sunday evening, and I don’t know when you might read this, but let me share a few highlights of the week. The following moments are parts of other people’s stories and mine.

My oldest son is in Baltimore for National FBLA competing in Public Speaking.

A coworker headed home for a family wedding as her marriage is in the process of ending.

My other son spent time in Indiana on a basketball trip with his high school team. They visited the Milan 1954 Hoosiers MuseumHoosiers gym, Butler University, and played a basketball game against a school also named Adams Central.

I spent a morning working in my new classroom (more on that later).

I attended the funeral for the son of a colleague.

Two of my daughters were in their first play, 101 Dalmatians Jr.

An instructor shared that her daughter moved into her home with her four kids because the daughter’s marriage was ending.

I finished an excellent graphic novel, I am Alfonso Jones. I highly recommend this graphic novel.

Finished making the third movie of the trapped trilogy.

We attended a wedding for my niece. They dated for over four years.

Our Story

This past week was filled with stories: heartbreak, new beginnings, happiness, and history. It is incredible to think about all the stories being written right at this moment. Some filled with joy, while others are experiencing pain and heartache. Someone right now is trying to fight off doubt and fear, while at the same time a couple is welcoming a new child into the world.

A great story is not without pain or without love. I don’t know what words you are writing right now for your story. But I do know that your story is important, that the words are yours and they need to be written by you. There will always be plot twists that surprise us, but remember, you get to write the next scene… write from your heart.

2 Comments

Filed under Family, Life

Coursebook

Overview:

Coursebook is a personal video textbook.  Coursebook features videos from Ted, Khan Academy, Stanford eCorner, Yale, Railscasts and other educational sources.  You can also connect your Facebook and Linkedin accounts to see what your friends are studying with Coursebook.

 

Why I like it:

Coursebook is a simple idea, but designed so well that it is easy to get lost in learning.  The idea is to build your own learning path by selecting videos to watch.  Coursebook then keeps track of what you have watched, which ones you have tagged to watch later, and even which videos you have started to watch. The app then gives you recommendations based off your course work.  You can share your videos through Facebook and Linkedin; also you can share with the Coursebook community.

You can access your course work on their website, too.

 Use in the classroom:

This app is perfect for flipping your classroom or enhancing your curriculum.  At the moment Coursebook is just over two years old and you can’t just type in any keyword and get video results.  But I see great potential in what they are developing, and it can release the ownership of learning to the student.

For example lets use the study of cells in a high school class.  How can Coursebook be used in this situation?

First, I did a keyword search with “cells” and Coursebook provided 11 results.  The top three videos are “Using nature to grow batteries,” “Transplant cells, not organs,” and “Printing a human kidney.”  What an interesting way to enhance information about the importance of cells in our life!  What if there was a day or a project in the science class that allowed the students to connect the classroom lesson with a video of their choice?

OK, now let’s expand that science class to the whole year.  The student can build a coursebook with videos of their choice for the whole year.  If there were videos you wanted to use in your class, you make sure all students add it to their playlist.  This is the power of the flipped classroom idea.  It’s not about just watching a video, but about watching something that sparks the students’ imagination and you, the teacher, providing them the freedom and time to work with their ideas and questions.  With Coursebook the videos can be watched anytime and anywhere, the classroom is where you take that spark and ignite their learning.

Share your ideas with me via Twitter (jdog90).

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Student Work, Technology