Summertime in Northern Michigan*

Ahhhh, summer… June, July and August… Are you feeling more relaxed just reading those words? I know I am! It’s interesting, though, because summertime has come to mean something very different to me over the years. When I was younger, summer was all about the beach: tanning, swimming, meeting friends, and relaxing. I lived in Benzie County, and there was a beach in every direction that we turned! All roads led to water! Although I still enjoy the occasional beach day, summer is now also about time to expand my horizons.

Back then, “we didn’t have no Internet”,*  but my how things have changed! This summer, I’m hoping to write another blended solution course for our district. I currently have Applied Technology and Media Services I, II and III; as well as Applied Technology and Office Skills I and II. I plan to add a third trimester to office skills and maybe look into an Applied Tech class for students interested in the teaching profession. These courses allow students to enroll in experiential learning classes in our media center and in our school offices. Another similar course that we offer students is Student Mentor. In each of these courses, the students have a daily assignment with a supervisor someplace in the district. The actual teacher, however, is either me (the district Media Specialist) or one of our high school counselors. We have recently made the switch to Moodle, so I’ve had a chance to reevaluate these courses and to consider expanding the blended course offerings.

As you are “trying different things”* this summer,  consider ways in which you could either extend your existing classroom or actually create a new course that would enhance the opportunities provided to your students.  And before you know it, you’ll be singing, “Now nothing seems as strange as/When the leaves begin to change,” and it will be time to take your new courses for a spin!

(*Rock, Kid. “All Summer Long.” Kid Rock Southern Rock Tribute. Copycats Entertainment, 2008. CD.)

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