Before anything…there was Enders Game.

Discussing the overwhelming progression of science-fiction novels is one that would take it’s own research. However, one thing that has always stuck out to me was the influence of one of the most iconic science-fiction novels that has come to the literary community, Enders Game.  Even with being a New York’s Best time seller and holding rank 3 under Top 100 Science Fiction, Fantasy Books: Readers’ Poll done by National Public Radio, I never find someone that is an avid reader that enjoyed this book or have even heard of it. By far, it is one of my favorite books to read when I have leisure time, when time permits, of course.

The plot of this book follows our main character, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. Ender lives with his kind but distant parents. Tension surfaces in the family when Ender is drafted into the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training, after his sadistic brother, Peter, and his loving sister, Valentine, didn’t make the cut. For over hundred years, Earth has been at war with a hostile alien race. To develop a secure defense against them, the government has been working on a program that creates extremely gifted and intelligent children and trains them as soldiers.Ender's Game Pic 2

Quickly, Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and he becomes very respected in the Battle Room. Here, child soldiers play mock battles in zero gravity and Ender is very good at it. The absolute downside to this is that the artificial community of young soldiers is very difficult to thrive and grow up in. Ender, specifically, suffers greatly from the isolation, rivalry of peers, pressure from the adult teachers and an unsettling fear of the alien invader. Added on to this, he suffers from many psychological battles including loneliness. Will he become like his cruel brother he remembers or will he become the general Earth needs? It has been a hundred years since the war has been going on and quest of the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments but will he be the one that holds the abilities to remake the world? If, that is, the world survives.Ender's Game Pic 3

This book is targeted towards students that are in grades 6-12. It is one of the first successful science fiction novels written towards a young adult audience. There are different themes towards teenage development and identity that are explored all through the book. The book creates and interesting environment with an exciting setting that keeps the target audience in interest. The book is about a boy who is very similar in age with 6-12 year olds and is seen as a character who is always developing throughout the novel.

With not only being a novel that provokes serious questioning, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, gives the readers a hero’s memories. That is, they have had the experience of dealing with very large difficult moral issues. These issues deal with the conflict of personal identity and what society itself wants you to be. Is it morally right with how society wants you to act or should you fight the wrong that is being done by the ones around you? A lot of this personal development leads to making personal sacrifices along the way. Our hero also takes personal risks, imposes self-discipline, and submerges themselves for the good of the group. With these memories and experiences, they take root with the readers which creates an exceptional powerful story. Students can find similarities in personal growth and exploring their own identity with this novel. It explores the questioning of one’s self and the consequences that come with our actions, good or bad. This novel, when taught with intent, can be a reference to students when they are faced with difficult situations and question their own personal morals.


Thank you fellow Bloggers!!!

Sometimes to understand different ideas we need to reach out to those that are around us to gain some new information. While in Educational Media Applications, I was able to work with other students and learn from them while they learned some things from me. Below is just a couple of people that I worked with and learned new things from! Take a look at some of the things that they showed on their blog and then check them out for yourself!

Sara Middendorf-Check out Sara’s blog to learns some cool things that have to do with math! She also has a very interesting post on TPACK! TPACK stands for Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge. Like SAMR, which is talked about on this blog, TPACK is a frame work to understand and describe the different kinds of knowledge that is needed by a teacher to effectively practice technology and enhance it for the learning environment! To check out the post click here! If you would like to see her blog click on her name!

Hannah Pecard-Check out Hannah’s blog to see a lot of posts about teaching in general. Being another Math Educator, Hannah has a lot of resources for those that are struggling in teaching math and also looking for different ways of teaching it. One post I found interesting was her post on a flipped classroom. A flipped classroom is a new wave of instruction where all of the components of teaching are flipped. The instructor gives out different lectures that students look at before hand and then they present the concepts to the class and instructor. In the post, she explained the benefit and the concerns to the idea. She also put down some interesting tools that she has shared in her post to help those that are interested in it. To check out the post click here. Otherwise, if you would like to see Hannah’s webpage, click her name!

Wesley Wingert-Check out Wesley’s blog to get advice from another fellow English Educator! He has many resources that teachers can check out to help them along with the educational process. One of his post’s that I enjoyed reading was his Google Drive post. Even after working with Google Drive all semester I still learned some new things from his post! Remember, Google Drive is free for all users and you can use Google Docs, Spreadsheets and even Presenter on it. You gain a good amount of free storage and you can back up all of you pictures! Take a look at the original post here! Otherwise to see his full blog, click his name!



Using Google Hangouts!

If using a google based classroom or not, Google Hangouts is a great way to be able to communicate with other classrooms close and far. Similar to Skype, Google Hangouts is a video calling software that allows the user to call multiple people at a time. When looking to the classroom, teachers and students can use this application to talk to fellow peers and collaborate with them. For teachers, Google Hangouts can be used to communicate with other teachers in the district to brainstorm ideas for a change in curriculum. The same district though is just a small step. Teachers can talk to other teachers that are miles away! Understanding how other countries teach can be beneficial to increase the diversity of types of teaching. For students, they can be given the opportunity to work with others on projects or even interview different cultures for a project. Students can also use the application to work with others in the same school for group projects. Overall, the use of Google Hangouts can allow students to collaborate and communicate with others on a new level. To show off their work, you can also do a Google Hangout Live which then records your talk and places it on YouTube. If you would like to learn more about this application check out the links below and take a look at Google Hangout Live that a couple classmates did with me!

Google Hangouts for Educators: This cool website is a great resource for educators. There are some cool tips and tricks on here!

Example of Google Hangout Live: This video features a Hangout Live made by some fellow students! Take a look at what we were able to do with one of the student’s nieces who lives 4 hours away!

Kahoot is a life saver!

Kahoot is a life saver!


One of my favorite things that I found while learning about the different assessment types here at UW-Platteville is a tool called Kahoot! This fun quiz is for the class to test what they have learned or what they may know already about a certain topic. Students sync their phones to an already made quiz and test themselves with the questions created by the teacher. It is fun and easy for teachers to set up and from what I have noticed, students love it. In fact, students will notice if a classroom does not use which is interesting when considering how to assess your students. This is a colorful and interesting way to keep the students interested and always be excited to be tested on the material. When signing up for a Kahoot!, the website offers many resources on how to successfully use one, but don’t worry, it’s not the hard to manage. If you need some help, check out these awesome resources that I have found that may be helpful to you!

Kahoot Guide: This PDF is directly from the Kahoot! Website. In it is a bunch of tips and tricks on how to make your Kahoot! successful!

Kahoot Tutorial: This YouTube Video is very helpful when first learning about Kahoot! and how to set up an account.

The SAMR Model

When teaching technology in the classroom, having guidelines or some sort of model is helpful, especially for those that are trying to incorporate the technology for the first time. One model that was helpful for me when learning is the SAMR model. The SAMR model was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura and, in the last couple of years, has been receiving a lot of attention in the educational field.

SAMR is an acronym that stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. Substitution is the first stage where technology is used as a direct tool to substitute some sort of resource in the classroom. It then moves to Augmentation where teachers begin to think for more functional improvements of the technology being used. These first steps are used for enhancement of the classroom, the stepping stones. The next two steps are for transformation of the classroom. The first being Modification. This step is to take the technology and look into redesigning the task around the certain tech. This step is there to help lead to the last step which is Redefinition. This is the end result of the SAMR model and is final creation of a new task, that at first was though of as impossible. The idea behind this is that the incorporation of technology is allowing the students and classroom to achieve things that at first was thought impossible. Each step is as important than the other. As you can see in the image below, you can’t have one with the other.


This model is very important for teachers who are trying to bring technology to the classroom. By following it and understanding the importance of what they are trying to accomplish, teachers will find it very simple to achieve this goal. Understanding the concept may be difficult at first but by researching what other teachers have done in their field can be very helpful! Below are some links that were helpful for me when understanding the concept of SAMR, hopefully it is just as helpful for you as it was for me!

8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle: This website has examples on how to bring the SAMR model to the classroom. In this article there are examples for social sciences, English and also Physical Education!

SAMR Model Video by Ian Dorsch: This a video on the overall discussion of the SAMR Model.

Common Sense Media: Hear from Dr. Ruben Puentedura, creator of the SAMR model, on how teachers can apply the model. You can also hear from other teachers and their experiences with the model!



IT’S GETTING CLOSER! Dance Marathon just had it’s Pizza Hut Fundraiser and boy did it go well! We raised almost 300 dollars for the event that is happening on April 1st! That is amazing! I have never been so proud to be apart of a project and work along with so many caring people! We are almost there and I hope that the event is super successful and that we make the most we can for the kids! I edited this picture to show our appreciation to Pizza Hut for all of their help!

Integrating into Technology: Let’s Make Some Goals!

As a future teacher, I hope that integration of technology is taken as seriously by other teachers as I am taking right now. There are many resources that a teacher can use in the classroom and technology is a large portion of that! In Educational Media Applications, we are trying to do just that. While taking this class at UW-Platteville, I hope that I can learn some more about certain technologies for the classroom; more specifically Apple Products.

Most of my life I have been surrounded by  PC and android when it came to technology. Apple though, has a strong presence in the classrooms across the nation. As a student, I have heard that many teachers use a Mac when they are preparing different activities and lessons. While being in this class, I would like to look into a Macbook Pro and see how it works with the classroom. Hopefully, by the time I graduate, I can learn whether or not I enjoy the Macbook and consider if I should get when for my teaching days. There are many apps on the laptop that are very helpful with the classroom and I would like to learn those as well. It would be easy to work with iPads in the classroom. With this, I feel that I would be able to give my students a better experience in learning. Macintosh-128k

Shakespeare As You Like It?

It is interesting to be taking a higher level English course here at UW-Platteville. Especially it being a class purely on Shakespeare. For this weeks class we are discussing the themes and character development within the play. It is interesting to note that this play is one that I have not heard of. In high school, the only works of Shakespeare that we ever looked into were Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.

ShakespeareAs a teacher of English, this class is required by the school. At first I thought it was going to be difficult and boring, this was because of the experience that I had from High School. I am so glad that I have been taking this class. It has really gotten me thinking about the different ways that I can question my students when it comes to Shakespeare.

The play we are looking at now is called As You Like It. This play is a comedy by Shakespeare and touches on many subjects such as identity and expression of love. This is a play that I would for sure bring to my classroom. It really gets me, as a student, thinking about what Shakespeare is trying to relay to us with the characters that he has provided us with. After learning about this play and others, I am excited to teach it in my future career. I have looked online for some cool lesson ideas and different ways that teachers can bring a more exciting look to the classroom when talking of Shakespeare. Check out these links at the bottom of the page to see some of things that I have found!

Shaking Up Shakespeare: Focusing on different Lesson Plans to get students involved in the classroom!

Shakespeare in the Classroom: This PBS webpage has loads of information filled with resources and different types of lesson plans that teachers can use for the classroom!

Hello World!

Hello everyone!
Homecoming 201Welcome to my blog! My name is Ian Dorsch and I am Senior at UW-Platteville studying English Education! I hope that one day, when I graduate from UW-Platteville, I will be able to use my degree to become an English Teacher! I’ve always loved the subject and I can’t wait to teach to other students!

In high school, my band teacher had a great impact on my life. Not just by showing me how to play an instrument but being a person that was there for me. During high school, being a teacher has been something that I have always thought about doing, but never followed through with it until my junior year of college. Seems a bit late to be making a decision like that, but engineering was not my piece of cake.  Now I am working to be a teacher and so far, I am having a blast! Hopefully my education degree comes quickly and I will be out at the schools soon teaching students why Romeo and Juliet is not boring and why we must quoth the Raven, “Nevermore”.

At UW-Platteville, I work as a Resident Assistant for Brockert Hall! This is my third year as a Resident Assistant and I have loved the job since I started! I love to put on programs that my wing is interested in, whether it be video game nights or camping trips. When it comes to things here on the wing, I always work towards building the community that everyone wants to be apart of.

Star WarsWhen I’m not working on academics or the Resident Assistant job, I like to fill my time up with things that I like to do. One of those hobbies is video games. Whether it be Minecraft, Halo, or Pokemon, I can usually find something that I can play that interests me. When not playing video games, I love to read. Whether it be a good fantasy like Harry Potter, or a historical fiction by Dan Brown, I can always find my way into a great book! When it’s not a book, movies are next, Star Wars being my favorite!

On this blog you will find a lot of posts about what’s going on in my resident assistant job, some short stories that I have been writing, and maybe some reviews on some recent movies that have come out! Also, keep an eye out for some cool things on education! With it being my future career, talking about it and sharing is beneficial for all of us! I hope you enjoy your visit and have a wonderful life!