FlashNHistory
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FlashNHistory

History of Website

 

In 1992, computers were just beginning to make their way into the classroom. I was the first person at my school to be interested in using computers for learning activities with my students. Our school was fortunate to have a wonderful librarian who was also interested in technology. Thanks to Ms. Jerri Gurley, the librarian we purchased the following programs, Ami Pro, CorelDraw, and by 1994 Instructor Toolbook. With these programs, it was possible to create interactive programs and computer based tests for my high school students.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing so I began searching the Internet for other people who were using Instructor Toolbook so I could use with my students. It was through the Internet that I met Stephen Hustedde, a college professor from Arizona. Stephen was much more advanced than I was in creating activities; he was also using Instructor Toolbook and creating amazing crossword puzzles and other interactive learning activities. Stephen and I became friends through numerous phone calls and emails. All the while he was sharing his knowledge with me and guiding me along as I became more adept with programming. Eventually, we both switched over to Adobe Flash and once again Stephen was my mentor. With his guidance I began creating the first of over 200 learning games that are now on this website.

Next, I was able to put all the above into a learning situation. Mr. George Alexander, principal at Etowah High School hired me as a social studies teacher and programming instructor. The cool thing about Cherokee County is as I learned from Mr. Alexander was that they had a technology department at the county office that helped any teacher with their computer  programs. In addition, if you took the classes taught by Debbie Childers you could obtain computers, tablets, clickers, smart boards, and projectors. It was awesome, so not only were you learning but you could put into practice what you learned. At Etowah, all teachers had websites where students and parents could access lessons and classroom information at any time.

Mr. Alexander was able to start one of the most innovative programs ever started. He picked a core group of teachers that would teach with laptops and the internet. Eighteen lucky students were issued state of the art computer laptops from Dell. Later, we added tablets. Mr. Alexander got us a breakage contract with Dell so students could break or damage their computer without them paying for the cost. This group had to have keyboards, hard drives, and screens replaced before the year was over. The student laptop plan turned out to be a complete success. Not only were these students computer savvy but they were also motivated to bump their learning to AP classes. When the year ended, the students had to turn in their laptops so they could be cleaned for the next group. They all came back the following year to see who got their laptop. It was at this point, we changed the way we made programs from Toolbook over to Adobe Flash. The years with Mr. Alexander, were my best and most productive years in education.

  Though I have retired from teaching, I still enjoy designing activities that help students learn and as always I know I can depend on Stephen to give me direction and assistance when I need help.

 


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