Help Desk Blog

Connecting Multilingual Students via #ECGC16

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Representing student voice at this year’s past EdCamp Global Classroom event was an absolute privilege. As my first publicly available Spanish presentation, I was a bit nervous as to how the night would turn out. However, gaining the support of my teachers, friends, and educators from around the would reassured me that the presentation would turn out well.

When I was initially presented with the opportunity to represent student voice at the #ECGC16 Event, I was trilled to be given a platform on which I could share my ideas with the Spanish-speaking world. As the majority of my presentations are in English, it was truly rewarding to know that my ideas for a reformed, more innovative student-centered classroom were reaching the Spanish and Hispanic demographics as well.

Thank you to all of those who tuned in to the presentation and shared your thoughts with me via Twitter. If you would like to check out my presentation, “Buscame por Google- Se Reto” (Google Me- I Dare You), please check out the YouTube Embed below.

 

On Being a Coca-Cola Scholarship Semi-Finalist

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Timmy Sullivan Coca-Cola Scholarship

A little over a month ago, I received the incredible news that I moved on to the semi-final round of the Coca-Cola Scholarship! In its 27th year, the Coca-Cola Scholarship generously awards $20,000 scholarships to 150 deserving high school seniors across the United States. Beyond the enormous amount of scholarship, Coca-Cola scholars are indoctrinated into a community of prestigious individuals, forming life-long relationships with young entrepreneurs, performers, researchers, visionaries and dreamers, all with the power to change the world.

The reason I am so excited about moving forward in the scholarship is not just because I have been distinguished among over 87,000 applicants, but because of the potential a brand as renowned as Coca-Cola has seen in me. My efforts to reform public education, to bring student voice to global attention, and to promote digital citizenship have not gone unnoticed; rather, they are receiving an investment from the moguls of entrepreneurship, marketing, branding, and customer satisfaction.

For my birthday last year, one of my best friends bought me a book on the history of Coca-Cola’s marketing. Opening up this treasure was like uncovering hidden secrets, long forgotten but forever set in stone. In the book, an idea was presented that forever changed my outlook on Coke’s brand:

“Coca-Cola is not about the drink; it has never been about the drink. It is about making people happy.”

I began to notice just how happy Coca-Cola makes people- it is everywhere! During my exchange trip to Spain, my host family would ornament our dinner table with glasses of Coca-Cola. While in Granada, I stumbled across several Coca-Cola bars, serving refreshing drinks to tourists. Even yesterday, during a conversation about the scholarship with DigCitSummit co-founder Dr. Marialice Curran, she started singing “¡Una Coca-Cola y un sonrisa!”

To be recognized for my contribution to social change and educational reform by a world-renowned brand synonymous with happiness is an honor.

As I edit my application in preparation for the upcoming deadline, I decided to enjoy a classic bottle of Coca-Cola, allowing my mind to wander back to the origins of Coke. Once upon a time, this brand was just an idea by someone with enough passion to pursue it endlessly. After unrelenting dedication, unparalleled branding and marketing, and a community strong enough to bring Coca-Cola to every corner of the world, the team behind Coke is inspiring and empowering a new generation of young entrepreneurs with the same passion. I sit back, honored, and read over my application with “a Coca-Cola and a smile.”

Timmy Sullivan Coca-Cola Scholarship

 

Help Bring Students to #DigCitSummitUK !

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AZV-_HsW

After being the first student speaker at the inaugural Digital Citizenship Summit, I am excited to announce that I have been invited to present at the first international digcitsummit at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2016.

#DigCitSummitUK has been making some incredible waves, proving that when you work together on a common goal, greatness happens. Last week we had a thunderclap that made over 600,000 Twitter impressions, and we are building even more momentum to get the event trending on Twitter! Not only are we making a remarkable digital impact, but we are working on the ground as well. So far, over 7 unique countries from 3 different continents will be represented at the event. #DigCitSummitUK has truly evolved into an inspiring global event working to facilitate conversation on safe, savvy, and ethical use of social media for students. Read the rest of this entry »

Green Screening for the CustomerBloom Scholarship

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Timmy Sullivan Green ScreenEveryone should have access to a green screen.

For the second time since its installment in Burlington High School’s lower library, I used the green screen for an iMovie project. Why it has taken me so long to do so, I have no idea; it is an incredible piece of technology. Since I frequently pass through the lower library, as well as use the space for several club meetings, I often see students using the green screen to travel through time and space. For example, students making cooking videos for Italian are transported across the Atlantic, suddenly in an authentic Italian home; physics students take a rocket ship to space, where they are sucked up by black holes; history classes attend historic events, such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Last week I used the green screen to enter the CustomerBloom Scholarship Program. During Burlington’s Thanksgiving break, I dedicated some of my free time to using the space to record a video of myself answering the question, “what motivates you?” I then edited my video footage using iMovie. Again, why it has taken me so long to use iMovie, I have no idea.

Using both pieces of technology with little prior experience was exciting. I had no manual to go off of, no experience to tap in to. I was exploring. I got to experiment with all of the cool features of iMovie; I played with volume control, green screen effects, music, and overall video editing. Using the green screen was also very enjoyable; I was nervous at first that it would not work, to then be pleasantly surprised at its power.

My overall takeaway from filming my video is that technology is a powerful tool for content creation. I know many students who aspire to have a future in film and advertising, for whom the implementation of green screening technology is an incredible vehicle for research, practice, and design. In addition to serving the few who hope to enter the film and advertising business, many other students find great enjoyment from green screening. Every time I see students using the tool, they are always smiling. Who can blame them- it’s fun! Tools like the green screen are essential in fostering classroom creativity and inspiring students to think outside the box.

If you are interested in watching my scholarship video, it is embedded below:

 

My Very First TEDx Talk: It’s MY Education!

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It’s MY Education!

Timmy SullivanOn March 23, 2015, Burlington High School was the site of the first ever TEDxYouth@BHS TEDx conference. An event co-created by Nikhil Thakkar and Jenn Scheffer, the TEDxYouth@BHS conference brought students, educators, and professional speakers from across the country to present their ideas worth spreading.

In my talk, “It’s MY Education,” I discuss the need for public education reform, the changing role of today’s educator, and the benefits of creating personalized learning experiences for students. Sharing my passion for languages, culture, and communication, advocate for integrating technology across the curriculum to expand the walls of the classroom and to further personalize the learning experience.

My talk can be found in the YouTube embed below, as well as the manuscript, just below the video. Feedback, as always, is welcome!

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Presenting at the First National Digital Citizenship Summit

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Digital Citizenship SummitDigital Citizenship Best Practices for College and Career Ready Students:

An Inside Look at the Digital Citizenship Summit

Having just arrived home from presenting at the nation’s first Digital Citizenship Summit, I am eager to share the highlights of today’s event. Unfortunately, I arrived a few hours late to the summit, as I was taking SAT Subject tests this morning. I did, therefore, miss the opening ceremonies and keynote. No amount of standardized testing, however, could keep me from representing student voice at the conference! Though I arrived late, I was still fortunate enough to meet several ed-tech superstars, as well as watch the amazing Sarah Thomas entertain us with her drone. Read the rest of this entry »

OS X El Capitan: What’s New in Mac’s Latest Update

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OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan

New features, refined performance, more power.

Yesterday, September 30, 2015, Apple released the much awaited update to its previous Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite. Appropriately named after one of the most famous rock formations in Yosemite National Park, El Capitan brings popular new iOS updates into the hands of Mac users. As El Capitan is only a refinement of Yosemite, not much has changed aesthetically. Users can, however, enjoy a newly introduced San Francisco font. Additionally, the infamous “Color Wheel of Death” or “Beachball” has been updated to a smoother version of its old self; perhaps in an effort to soothe users experiencing slow performance.

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