I am an enthusiastic middle school computer technology teacher from northern New Jersey. I am married to a fellow computer tech teacher, and we have a beautiful daughter named Toby. After teaching all subjects in a fifth grade position for two years, constantly aiming for tech integration and exciting 21st century projects, I was lucky enough to transition to an ICT position in our 1:1 iPad middle school this past year.
In this role, I have the opportunity to work with each 6th, 7th, and 8th grade student for six weeks out of the school year. My goal as an edtech teacher is to expose students to relevant and innovative technologies, while also creating authentic projects through Problem-Based learning, Coding, and Design Thinking. I place emphasis on CREATION: we don’t simply play games, we make games. Each student leaves my class having made several impressive, technology-based artifacts with their iPads and computers.
Each day, I try to create a culture of innovation in my classroom by fostering a student-centered culture and encouraging students to “fail forward” with a growth mindset. I also attempt to tear down the walls of my classroom by having all students create websites to house their work, sharing them with the world, in addition to using our class Twitter account to connect with other classrooms, students, and educators.
I mirror this mindset professionally, as I’m very active on Twitter myself – constantly discovering and sharing new ideas with my Professional Learning Network online, and at workshops and conferences.
Based on my educational philosophy, Pixel Press is the perfect place to be an Educator in Residence. I first learned about the organization through Twitter. After initially reading “draw your own video game,” I decided that I had to give Pixel Press Floors a shot. I loved it. More importantly, my students loved it. I found the creativity, coding connection, design process, supportive educational materials, and the innovative technology to be amazing for my students.
Once I heard about the release of Bloxels, I connected with Robin Rath, CEO & Co-Founder, and suggested that I could help spread the word about this awesome game design and coding tool. Not only are Pixel Press’ inventions fun, cool, exciting, relevant, authentic, and challenging, but they also give students a unique voice that they aren’t often provided in school. I’m thrilled to be helping Pixel Press help educators put Bloxels into students’ hands.
Please connect with me on Twitter @robert_kalman, or shoot me an email at robertkalman (at) gmail (dot) com.
– Robert Kalman