Thinking Forward – Welcome 21st Century

I came across this video and realized just how fast this push for educational technology is moving and I am so glad to be a part of it.


My World: First Digital Story

So it took me quite some time to figure out what I wanted to do my first Digital Story on. And after much thought – I said to myself: “Self, why not do it about your world”. And the more I started contemplating this thought – the more I tried to define what My World meant. Without further ado — this is what I came up with.

This is my world…

Digital Storytelling: The Journey Begins

So I am pretty excited about this Digital Storytelling piece of the etmooc. I have been taking some time and looking over some posts relating to the topic and I came across one of the nicest stories I have seen thus far.

This video was uploaded by Linda Pemik and just hit home. It uses music, video and text in such a way that they all come together so beautifully bringing a smile across my face with every single image that passes by: Linda’s Story

I look forward to letting you all know how this journey comes along.

I am Rudy

The Past

Dominican Face

I was born in Salcedo, Dominican Republic in 1984 and came here illegally when I was 4 years old. I grew up in Queens, NY and was a product of the public school system of NYC. After 17 years, I received a permanent residency and at the age of 18 received a Full Tuition scholarship to Wheaton College, MA. As the oldest of three and the first in my family to go to college – the pressure was on. I successfully completed my Bachelors degree in Sociology and proceeded to work a few years of Human Resources in the Private Sectors for companies like Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers. For about 2 years I was responsible for Human Resource Information Systems and Technology training. It was there that I learned I had a knack for digital systems and teaching others how to use them to make their jobs more efficient and at times more informative.

I have always had a passion working with those younger than myself. I guess looking back, I was definitely meant to be an educator of sorts. I have been tutoring and teaching others since as young as I can remember. You know, the more I stop and think about my actual past and where I am today — it is just absolutely fascinating to see how much my past experiences have prepared me for where I am right now at this moment doing what I am doing with my life.

The Present

IMG_2117I am currently the Digital Learning Coordinator at The Dreamyard Preparatory School. This is a brand new role that was created in lieu of the Common Core initiative to promote 21st Century Skills in the classroom. Below are three projects that I am currently exploring and attempting to implement in my school:

Establishing an Online Presence: 

I have begun exploring this by first creating an email address for every student in our school under our schools domain name. The creation of email addresses and the move to accustom students to using their emails and logging into a “dreamyard” account allows students to familiarize themselves with a valid digital identity associated with their place of learning. Through the use of these email accounts, students are now being exposed to Google Drive and the many tools it offers for an emerging digital learner.

Integrating Technology into Classrooms: 

I have been researching several tools that enhance a students learning across all subject areas. My major areas of focus this year are Literacy and Math. I am currently in the process of building a curriculum with my colleagues using Empower3000 (Differentiated literacy tool) and IXL math (online math practice and assessment). Through the use of systems like these, our students are beginning to recognize the role that the internet and computers can use in their learning. It breaks away from the traditional pencil and paper approach to learning.

Exploring MOOC’s as an alternative to Traditional Credit Recovery: 

One of the greatest challenges of working in an underserved school is the fact that students are not earning their required credits on time. Credit accumulation is a crucial component in a childs High School career. The only available credit recovery options are students having to go to PM School, Summer School or hand in projects that many times are of no interest to the child. The learning process is bypassed and a credit is turned into nothing more than an empty product. I aspire to create MOOC’s that can in fact be structured in a way that will allow students to become independent and productive learners while producing work that is of interest to them and everyone else who is participating in the MOOC. Doing this will require master teachers in content areas as well as people interested in this particular approach. This is a goal in process.

The Future

MOOC-WordleMy future is simple: To revolutionize the way young people view “learning” and to help young people understand how much fun learning can be when you are invested in it and it is directly related to their interests.

Why #etmooc?

moocA colleague of mine emailed me about this MOOC and was intrigued by the idea. After having participated in the orientation, it just blew my mind at how amazing a learning experience with so many people all over the world involved was, is and can be. I hope to experience this process and see it for all of its glory. I want to be a part of such a new and innovative way of learning and hopefully one day provide opportunities like this to all of my students.