Greetings Students, Parents, Teachers and Community Members,

I am super excited to work with you. I’ll do my very best to serve your students and you. I welcome your advice and ideas as I continue to transition into this new working environment and community.

My wonderful, wise and beautiful partner, Shannon, and joyful daughter Didi have also joined me here. While we miss our Denver friends already, we’re pleased to be surrounded by such intense natural beauty and wonderful people.

I first started working with a computer when I started my career as a teacher in 1996. I taught first graders at the creative arts school in Flint, Michigan. My classroom had a computer… but I didn’t know what to do with it. It sat there the first month as an expensive “attendance machine.” Back then I preferred to mark absences on paper. It was easier. It wasn’t until someone showed me the Internet that I realized how useful a computer can be. Imagine writing a story that potentially anyone in the world could read. It’s the ultimate Gutenberg machine! I told my students about it and that was the beginning. They loved the idea and started writing stories to share. My cousin set me up with some web page software and away we went. Within a week the kids were publishing stories that their parents and family members could read. Granted most of the parents didn’t have computers, but we all have access to the public library and school computers. There were also parents out-of-state that would faithfully go to the library each month just to read their daughter’s and son’s stories. This was the beginning of a life-long fascination with the Internet.

In 1999 Shannon and I moved west to Denver where I began working with 3rd graders with Aurora Public Schools. There I continued to infuse learning with technology wherever it offered the best support to students. With the encouragement of my magnificent wife, I pursued and received a Masters degree in Educational Technology from Lesley University. The arrival of the degree was perfect timing. The director of the Department of Instructional Technology had heard about the way I infused my instruction with technology and asked me to apply for a new job posting as an Education Technology/Information Literacy Coach.

From August of 2003 – August 2006 worked with teachers, administrators and students on how to use technology to achieve their goals. Due in large part to my use of technology in differentiating instruction, I was asked to work with cohorts of Gifted and Talented students. I gladly accepted. These students were clustered each year into my third grade classroom. The timing was quite perfect. As I studied new topics while earning my masters, students were able to experience new technological pursuits during Enrichment. By far, my favorite activity was helping students create robots and watching them successfully follow commands.

From 2006-2007 I worked as an Instructional Technology Teacher at a K-8 school. It was the school’s grand opening. It was great fun getting all of the technology up and running. I had great support from my colleagues at the school and in the district of course. Everywhere I go I seem to encounter incredibly helpful and talented people.

July of 2007 I re-joined the Department of Instructional Technology to become an Instructional Technology Coach. During this time, my favorite project was working on developing free and Open Source solutions for students, teachers and administrators. So much of the technology that we need to get our work done effectively and efficiently is free! Essentially I’ve been teaching students, teachers, and administrators how, why, and when to use applications such as WordPress, Moodle, Google Apps, Mahara, and a wide selection of other web 2.0 tools.

I’m thrilled to work in Telluride as an Enrichment and Technology Teacher. Keep checking www.earthtree.org as the year progresses. This is where I’ll be posting student work and information for parents and teachers.


Christopher EarthTree