Something New! by Dr. Sheila Pope

cropped-cropped-20170423_185636.jpg

I have been super busy evolving and changing my mindset. On January 30, 2017, I made some tough decisions that propelled me to my next level. Many of you know that I have has a small business for 10 years. However, I considered it to be my part-time business. 

In February, I decided to pour into my small business so it can become a major contributor into my multiple streams of income. I am proud to announce 

HUB Certified

The Resource Center has been certified as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) by Texas Comptroller. What does that mean? It means my business is a vendor for the State of Texas.  I am also going to be a vendor of other agencies. Yes, that means I am now an employer for multiple people instead of a few.

Thanks to this awesome group, NAACP’s SMAART Incubator,  lead by Mr. Allen Provost, chair of NAACP Economic Chair Committee, and Khufere 

A SMAART group of business people

Qhamata,  I am surrounded by African American entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas and plans. Khufere Qhamata, called Q, helped me move to the next level of branding myself in the publishing industry. Thanks to Q’s fabulous knowledge of the publishing business, I have my own publishing company under the umbrella of my company, The Resource Center.

Under the umbrella of The Resource Center, I have also earned my first tech client, Peoples United Summit 501c3 (nonprofit).  I am their website designer. I also built their social media platforms, and I manage those platforms.  

I make sure their mission and goals are visible via social media. I am helping to build their brand.  I am finally a CEO of a tech company! Peoples United Summit and my company, The Resource Center, have partnered together to serve the Sunnyside Community. We are focusing our efforts on improving education in the schools and ending sex trafficking. 

Supporting Worthing High School

My partnership with Peoples United Summit has helped me see myself as a Superintendent, CEO, and an employer.  It is an exciting time in my life.

I also joined this fabulous group on Facebook called Courage to Earn-The Community (closed Group with 2.3K Members). I am learning so much about using my blog to earn serious income. The women in the group are powerful entrepreneurs.  More important, they support each other, and they share valuable information that is practical to use.

I have more to share, but I will stop here. I will start posting weekly blogs from this day forward. I have had a ton of false starts with other business partnerships, but they paved the way for me to reach this level in my adventure.

Dr. Pope

Advertisements

My SMART Board

Written by Dr. Sheila Pope

smart-board

Well, it finally happened; I have fallen in love again! For the last 10 years, I have taught my English classes at Texas Southern University (seven years) and Worthing High School with my personal Epson projector, my Logistics speakers, and my laptop computer. Finally, when Worthing’s students and teachers moved into their new building and classrooms, we were given new technology.

I love all things tech! I loved and cherished my Epson because I paid for it out of pocket. I understood the value of having a large screen,  great visuals and clear, loud audio in a classroom. Yet I could not interact with my content until now.

I walked into my new beautiful classroom and was instantly interested in playing with my SMART BOARD. No one provided training, but I did not really need it. At first, I just tried to move the screen up and down with my hands. I like making the text shrink or expand with my fingertips. I started downloading more of its software.

Gradually I began to develop strong feelings for my board. The more I played with it, the more I appreciated its capabilities. One day last month, my baby crashed. I was sick! I always incorporate tech into my lessons.

When it was working, I started playing my videos using surround sound. My computer was always locked into its docking station. Then, I was given a remote. The IT guy, Mr. Albert, reset my baby when it crashed. After the crash, I was more determined to learn more about its abilities.

Video: Falling in Love with My SMARTBOARD 

I learned it has so many superpowers! I became excited; I laughed as I learned what real interaction and engagement with content meant. I quickly learned I loved my SMART Board!

Today, I am a part of the SMART Board community. I am still learning what it can do, but I love the way it makes me feel when I annotate text on the screen. I love pasting stamps. I think the spotlight is my favorite tool.

This is the beginning of a beautiful love affair. I cannot teach in another classroom without a SMART Board. When I attended a training at another campus, I passed by a classroom with a chalkboard and laughed. I did not think teachers were still using a chalkboard. I am blessed to work in a district that promotes high-tech tools.

There are a few issues with my SMART Board, but the joy I feel when it works makes me continue to love it.

Tech in My Classroom

by Sheila Pope, PhD

This month, I was determined to introduce my students to various apps. They have worked so hard on STAAR and they needed a break. Well, I needed one too! Using technology is relaxing to me.

I decided I wanted my students to go outside and enjoy Worthing’s beautiful landscape. Believe it or not, my students had not taken the time to “smell the roses.” Many of them asked, “Do we really have roses on campus?” We used ThingLink application to make our photos interactive and engaging. The kids were everywhere and they really enjoyed using the app. I wanted them to share their experiences using ThingLink. Therefore,  I introduced them to WordPress.com to create a blog.

Next, we used Screencastomatic.  I used my webcam and my recorder to record my actions on the screen. My students wanted to know if they could record themselves playing videos. Being an old school Centipede game player, I recorded myself playing the game. Most of my students downloaded the software immediately. They will use the software next week to record a video for class.

We used Khan Academy’s grammar application for the first time this year. When I think of Khan Academy, I think of their math tutorials but they have added a new focus- writing My students needed to review basic grammar and this program was just the help I needed. My students loved the fact they could compete with each other too. I also gave my students with the highest scores treats too. Everyone earned participation point regardless of their scores. It was a win-win situation!

My students needed to improve their vocabulary skills, so I created classes on vocabulary.com. I had planned to use Vocabulary.com last year but did not do it. This year, my classes are on fire! The application feeds their need for competition and it helps them learn at a rapid pace. We have a common goal to become the top school on the Vocabulary Leader Board

Moreover, I played a very exciting game of Kahoot with my students. We read “Animal Farm” and we watched the movie. I felt a quiz was the perfect ending to the unit. All of my classes played and each of my classes loved it. The Assistant Principal came in during the game and she was so happy to see all of the students engaged. My students were loud but they were thinking too! Next, my students will are going use Kahoot to create reviews and quizzes for their peers.

The last app I introduced to my students was Educreation.com. It allows students to annotate, to record and to create videos in a short amount of time. Today, my students used the app to  demonstrate how to solve STAAR edit and revise questions. I was so happy to have some of my students share some of their work with Jennifer Gingerich, the Discovery Ed Consultant. My students worked as a team to create their projects.

https://www.educreations.com/lesson/embed/38488987/?s=3aCNPx&ref=embed

I started this process on April 4th and we have been moving rapidly. Next year, since our school is fully a PowerUp school, I will integrate the apps into my classes earlier with very specific activities. I think my students will stay engaged more and I will have more fun too.

My Writing Process Blog Tour by Sheila Pope

My Writing Process Blog Tour1975002_10203179337583343_1691525101_n I’ve been invited to join the #mywritingprocess blog tour by Dr. Allana Todman-Da Graca, the author of Tomorrow Can’t Wait and Temple: Self Discovery Through Truth. I met Dr. Todman-Da Graca as a PhD candidate at Capella University. Today, Dr. Todman-Da Graca is an artist and a professor. My instructions are to answer three questions for you: 1.

What am I working on? Writing: I am currently completing my dissertation. I have published an e-book, Writing Essentials: Strategies to Master Freshmen English and Writing Placement Exams. I plan to submit an article for a journal submission this month. Well, I blog frequently too. However, for the next two months my dissertation is my primary focus. Therefore, I will post my thoughts about the process.

Recordings: I am creating videos for my On-demand Lecture Series too. This is a complicated process. I love the challenge of creating and using technology. My writing process encompasses using technology and my experiences to create little snippets for my audience to “see” into my world.

2. How does my work differ from others in that genre? My e-textbook is different from other books because it has been written for English language learners, veterans and an urban audience. The book provides strategies for learners with special needs such as dyslexia and post stress disorders. Most books with an emphasis on placement exams do not address learners with special needs.

3. Why do I write what I do? My Publication The first reason I wrote my e-book was to incorporate my love of technology and the English language. I also needed a textbook for my non-course based WRIT 101 course that would incorporate all of my teaching needs. I wanted to show students how to conduct research, how to develop strong sentences, and I wanted my students to be able to access their material from any electronic device. Moreover, I understood students needed to know where to focus their time when preparing for placement exams. More important, I understood how important it was for students of different races to see themselves in a textbook. Finally, this book was created to address learners with different learning needs.This content of this book addresses various learners and their learning styles.

My Blog My blog focuses on various topics.  I talk about everwebsite photoything from gardening to politics.  My struggle to complete my PhD will take center stage for the next couple of months. I think my blog is different from other blogs because I share my experiences from a female middle class point of view. Although I am an instructor, I am a student too. My views on education varies depending on which set of lens I use. In my posts, I share my honest personal opinions. I use my blog as a place to express my views, my fears, and my faults. Moreover, the blog questions other people’s position on sex, socioeconomic standings, education, and politics.

Publication Spotlight by Sheila Pope

Great River Technologies Blog
Greatriverblog.com
Great River Tech Twitter Account
@GreatRiverTech

I am honored to have my first publication, Writing Essentials: Strategies to Master Freshmen English and Placement Exams, spotlighted by Great River Technologies. The interview and was posted on the publisher’s website and Twitter feed (click here to read the interview). Digital publishing in the future. I am glad that I am actively playing a role in the future of education and publishing.

If any of you want to publish a digital textbook, I suggest you contact Michelle N. Smith, Senior Acquisitions Manager, at Great River Technology@ msmith@greatrivertech.net or by phone @1-512-663.2834.

Working in My New Studio: The Garage by Sheila Pope

New Studio
May 5, 2014 Moved into New Studio
Focused!
May 6, 2014 I am Focused!
Finished the Ad for Writing Essentials 101 On-Demand Lectures
May 7, 2014: Finished the Ad for Writing Essentials 101 On-Demand Lectures

I love the commercial that asks: If Bill Gates, Micheal Dell, and Steve Jobs created products that changed the world in their garage, why can’t you? I responded: I can and will!

I have a home office, but my children are too noisy to make videos. It is difficult to wait for them to go to sleep, to stop tattling, and to wait for them to sit down and be quite. Once I start on a project, I often work until midnight or later, but I get distracted by other “time consumers”. I have to grade papers too!

I am launching my On-Demand Lecture Series this month. I must make several professional quality videos. I needed a recording studio. So, on April 5, 2014, I decided to use the garage as my recording studio.

Using my new studio, I have worked until midnight on April 5, 6, and 7, conducting research, watching videos on YouTube, and practicing what I learned from the videos. Tuesday was not pleasant because I had two bags of stinky trash in the garage. Yet I created my first advertisement called “Advertisement for Writing Essentials 101 5.7.14” (see previous posts) using Keynotes, Premier Pro, and iMovie.

The first video was good, but the one I posted tonight was much better. Watching a 4:36 second video by AllAboutMac27 was life changing. I learned how to eliminate Premier Pro and incorporate iMovie. It sounds complicated, but thanks to Royalty Free Music.com, AllAboutMac27 and Northern Tech, I was able to quickly create a professional quality 51 second video.

It is amazing what you can learn from two 4-9 minute videos. I am pumped about producing my own on-demand lecture videos. 

Reinventing Yourself by Sheila Pope

Michelle Smith, Acquisition Manager for Great River Technologies
Michelle Smith and her new author

Almost two years ago, I attended a Teaching and Learning Excellence Center (TLEC)  workshop on how to develop a winning proposal to submit to book publishers.  Two powerful African-American females presented. One presenter was an editor for a major publishing house and the other presenter was an editor with a successful publication record. They explained the process of getting a book published.  

The Seed

I knew I wanted to write and publish a book. The seed was planted, and I never let an idea slip into oblivion. A couple of months later, I was given an opportunity of a lifetime. I talked via email and on the phone with Michelle Smith, Great River Technologies  Acquisition Manager and Instructional Consultant; we talked how we could incorporate my love of technology and English with their need to produce digital textbooks. It wasn’t long before we  decided to meet and discuss the process. I love teaching and using technology. I knew I had a niche in the book publishing market. I wanted to write for an urban audience. A year earlier, I had developed a hybrid WRIT class at Texas Southern University. Writing this book would solve several of my needs as an instructor. Before long, I was signing a contract and discussing royalty payments. 

Teaching with Technology

I am a proud NERD and a former computer programming major. I love teaching and playing with various tech tools. Snagit, Camtasia, Prezi, Xtranormal (no longer exist), YouTube, Adobe Creative Cloud, and my Bamboo tablet were just a few of the tools that I planned to use to create an interactive digital textbook.  I planned to use Adobe Illustrator to draw my own original art work for the publication. I submitted the blue print for my book and the GRT team liked it. Billie Jo Hefel, project manager and Michelle Smith discussed timelines and GRT’s expectations of me.  I thought I was going to crank the book out in a five months. Instead, I started focusing too much on the technology behind creating videos and other activities instead of focusing on the book’s content. Before I knew it, July had passed and December was fast approaching. Michelle was supportive, but I felt the pressure. 

First Edition

My digital textbook was my chance to reinvent myself as a published author and as an expert in my field. I was given a chance to design a book from start to finish. I had the freedom to do anything I wanted. Yet I did not know if I could deliver.  By December 2012, I had produced a short e-book for my hybrid WRIT 101 class. I could teach without having to bounce all over the internet to find materials. My students could have all of my content and videos in their hands on multiple devices. All of my WRIT 101 classes were held in a lab, a digital textbook was the right medium for what I wanted to do. I ran blindly into the future of textbook publishing. My dream had materialized. My book had a name, Writing Essentials: Strategies to Master Freshmen English and Writing Placement Exams; it had an ISBN number and customers.  Although I produced the book on time,  I knew the first edition of the publication did not represent my capabilities.

RepairmanMajor Changes Implemented

In 2013, I went to work on correcting my mistakes. I reinvented my book and myself as a writer.  I spent hours conducting research on writing placement testing requirements for college freshmen in Texas. I studied strategies to help students with dyslexia. I learned tools to offer students that are classified as English as a Second Language learners; I determined veterans needed unique tools and strategies to utilize in college classes.

I decided I would rewrite my textbook, and I completed it in one semester. I added twelve chapters with research based strategies to help students pass their writing placement exams, and to help freshmen college students improve their English. I worked hard to provide my students with a book that was filled with practical and useful videos, images, and exercises. Today, my goal is to add more activities that will help students learn how to conduct research, use electronic databases, and to integrate reading and writing exercises.

Writing Essentials
The new edition of Writing Essentials
Partnerships

April 29, 2014,  Michelle and I had a working lunch at Fogo de Chao. We discussed ideas to market the publication. I told her about my other partnership with Everyday Intellect to produce On-Demand Lectures online. She talked about all of the latest updates on Great River Technologies’ Website and my website. I was able to show her finished activities included in the textbook.  I was selected for an author’s spotlight on GRT’s blog. Today, I am more excited about my book. I feel supported by Great River Technologies. They are watching me grow as an author. I have reinvented myself and my brand.  Next, I am going to teach On-Demand Lectures using the book’s content in some of my Everyday Intellect Workshops starting May 10, 2014.

Michelle Smith and Myself working lunch