Martha Miller-Plumb December 2011
The Professional Development staff at TCCSA is privileged to work with some fantastic teachers in Ashland, Holmes, Medina and Wayne counties. Each month we’ll be focusing the spotlight on a teacher who is using educational technology in the classroom on a regular basis with awesome results. We’ll tell you a bit about them and show you how they are using technology in the classroom to improve instruction and learning. If you are, or know of, a teacher who deserves the spotlight, please contact one of the PD staff at TCCSA and we’ll take it from there! We hope you enjoy our Teacher Spotlight and gain some new ideas for integrating educational technology in your own classroom.
Martha Miller-Plumb teaches English at the Wayne County Schools Career Center.
Martha’s Educational Background includes:
-Master of Arts Malone College Specialization: Education, Curriculum and Instruction
-Supervisory Certificate equivalency Master’s level classes in media.
-Bachelor of Arts Walsh College Major: English (With 7-12 teaching certification in English).
-Associate of Science: Kent State University
Her teaching experience includes:
WCSCC since 2002 to present
Stark State College since 1992 to present
Martha’s philosophy of education and vision for this year:
“I am a big believer that a person should know how his brain works so that he or she may use it more efficiently. Therefore, I have gotten audio versions of the books that my high school classes read. This year, I may be able to offer students a loan of Ipod Touches instead of CDs for this purpose. I’m attending another Webinar on October 13th on this topic. I post class assignments and homework (along with attachments) on line using Schoology. Over the summer, I took a one-week course about teaching the reading of technical writing. Two of the five days, I got to work on this from home. I was able to use this with my classes at the beginning of the year. I am happy to be part of a Technology Pilot program at WCSCC, as well as, the Technology Advisory Committee.
Martha is always excited and willing to experiment with new teaching technologies. Examples of her classroom integration projects are:
Greek/Mythology Unit: Each student chooses an entity, then researches and places research results on in a PowerPoint template. Each student presents his or her entity to the class. Class members take notes and are tested in a “Who am I” type of quiz.
This unit also includes using Google Earth to show Greece and Italy (including Mount Olympus.) The classroom is arranged to resemble the central court of a wealthy Greek house. Pictures of reconstructed central courts are on the board. Students use the Internet to research about the entity and to find how the entity is connected to today (business name, city, town…). They also watch video clips of some of the stories.
From these stories, the class defines what a hero was then and what a hero is today. Building on this, students use computers to write their own hero or super hero stories related to their Career Center trades.
Shakespeare Unit: The Shakespeare unit is used to help students make cultural references and to understand how language is connected to history, money and power. Interactive resources include music and Power Points beginning with Henry VIII and ending with William Shakespeare. The class also examines Shakespeare’s possible motives for his writing. The class also reads Macbeth.
Using Google Earth, a 3-D Globe Theatre is reconstructed. Clips of the Dr. Who episode which was filmed in the real Globe Theatre are viewed.
A PowerPoint Jeopardy is used for review before tests.
Throughout the year other new technologies including Moodle and Schoology are used to post resources and blogging.
Martha teaches college-level classes at WCSCC too. She uses on-line copies of teacher’s edition of the books for Effective Speaking and Interpersonal Communication and gives tests through the Angel/Blackboard system. During the second semester in her Interpersonal Communication classes, each class put together a website to post information about their public service project. This assignment pulls the whole class/semester together.
Anecdotes from former students:
“I always enjoyed your classes because they were clear and concise, while at the same time never failing to be both interesting and creative. Your use of props, formal and informal speaking (or even lack thereof), and interactive lessons that required us to think outside of the box helped me to absorb the material that you were teaching in a way that made it impossible to forget.”
“During your lessons you would often have us use the schools computer labs for various research and virtual learning classrooms. I can remember several of your classes being held inside the computer lab so that your students could utilize every means possible to ingrain the information you were teaching. During many of your lessons you provided us with the chance to bring our own knowledge of modern technology into play to display our understanding of the material at hand.”