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Thursday, September 4, 2014

TUIT: Makenzi Hunter, SSE

When I asked several Southside staff members for a SSE teacher that comes to mind when you think edtech, the name Makenzi Hunter (@makenzihunter) came up repeatedly.  That perfectly corresponds to her peers recognizing her as the 2013-2014 Southside Teacher of the Year.  I interviewed Makenzi about her use of edtech.

Welcome to Edtech Elixirs!  Please introduce yourself to our blog readers.  
My name is Makenzi Hunter and I teach visual art to K-5 students at Southside. I am beginning my 4th year of teaching. I first learned of integrating education and technology in graduate classes at UofL. I was introduced to Prezi as a graduate class assignment and continued my own exploration after that.

How have you used your document camera to create a blended learning environment in your classroom?
In my classroom, the document camera is essential in preparing for instruction. Most of our projects are divided into 3 or 4 class periods. I use the document camera to record myself creating the artwork required for each class period. I play the video while introducing the lesson and it remains on while students are working to serve as a continuous model.

I heard you have used Aurasma, which is an Augmented Reality (AR) iOS/Android app.  Tell us about it.
The SSE related arts team was looking for an engaging way to present one of the Seven Habits of Leader in Me to the staff. The music teacher, Erin Jump, read about the app Aurasma and brought it to the group. Each of us created an Aurasma profile, recorded a video discussing part of the habit and uploaded it. We asked the staff members to bring their device to the meeting and download the app. Staff members were then able to walk around the halls, point their device at the prepared document [which triggers the video to play], and learn about the habit at their own pace.

What other edtech tools are some of your favorites?
I use Socrative as an assessment tool, SafeShare.TV for showing videos from YouTube and Evernote as an organization tool.

How important is it for an art teacher to integrate technology?
I feel that being an art teacher requires the use of technology. My students will only learn so much from the limited knowledge and experiences I have to offer, so I feel that it is my obligation to expose them to far more than that. I want to offer students the opportunity to visit a museum online,  converse with an artist through Skype, leave feedback for one another on a digital platform and document their experience through the use of technology.

What tools have you heard about recently that you are wanting to try out for the first time?
I am interested in trying Flipgrid as a tool to gather student feedback and Nearpod as a way to have more interactive instruction.

Any advice you would like to share with other teachers wanting to integrate edtech?
My advice to teachers wanting to integrate technology would be to only try one thing at a time. Full integration lends itself to trial and error which can be frustrating. Choose one tool that blends well with your current style of teaching and give it a try.

I want to thank Ms. Hunter for graciously giving her time.  She definitely deserves a #ShelbyTUITshoutout!

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