Brian Rock's Page

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Brian Rock commented on Ed Vectus's blog post Two Useful Project Ideas you can use now in your Classroom for Student Engagement
"Guest speakers are also great for incorporating civics and government. There are lots of local officials (city council, mayor, freeholders) who would be happy to stop by and speak to your students for a bit. You can ask them about their day job…"
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Dan Hill's blog post Best Practices for Eduational Blogging
"I don't think my district's acceptable use policy lays out any guidelines for student blogging. Never really thought about it before, but it definitely should. As a rule, I wish they'd open up the internet more and allow people to…"
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Emma Sturgis's blog post How to Unlock Hidden Enthusiasm in Your Students
"I love service learning. It's a great way to tie in good citizenship and civics to other classes."
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Ava Sage's blog post New useful apps for teachers
"Kahoot is fun. I've used it as a review game for my social studies class from time to time. The kids like it."
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Shonda Foster's blog post Grad School
"Good luck! I ended up giving up on my Doctorate because I decided it wasn't worth all of the time I was investing in my dissertation. But my Masters degree (and the additional coursework I did toward my Doctorate) were well worth it."
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Christine Southard's blog post Technology Administrator/Computer Coordinator Questions
"One skillset that I can think of that might be required for an admin but not a computer teacher is network administration. Our computer tech at the school has to handle network issues, managing user log-ins, pushing out updates to computers…"
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Brian Robert Kissman's blog post Essential Questions for Meaningful Conversation - Story Analysis
"Interesting idea. I like using unifying themes and essential questions in my social studies class to relate historical content to civics and government. Never thought about the way that language arts classes could use similar themes and questions to…"
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Amrit Chhetri's blog post Cyber Crimes- The National Threats
"Cyber crime has become an interesting topic for discussion social studies classes recently. With the Russian hacking of the election, it's always coming up in current events and news."
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Rachael Murphey's blog post 5 Things High School Didn't Teach Me (But Should Have)
"Agreed 100% on public speaking. Kids are afraid of it, and too often we don't challenge them to do it. But that's the only way to get comfortable and be better at it. I insist on making my students do some form of speaking or presenting in…"
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Konstantin Kharchenko's blog post Education
"Agreed 100%. My district is obsessed with testing on the computer now, just because it's on a computer and it allows us to create "data." But they aren't concerned with the additional logistical problems this causes (securing…"
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Eileen Lennon's blog post My tech lesson when the internet is down
"Nice improv. I hate when I show up in the morning and find out the Internet is down..."
Oct 24
Brian Rock commented on Mathew Needleman's group Video in the Classroom
"I love photography and video as a hobby, and it's nice when I can incorporate it into class. Things like StudentCam are great tools for teaching civics, and I'm toying with the idea of having students record their own current events videos…"
Oct 18
Brian Rock replied to Elizabeth Davis's discussion Professional Development Tips in the group Professional Development
"When I was in grad school, I took a class on teaching math with technology. This was a bit odd because I'm a social studies teacher, but I loved that the class was explicitly about using technology (and I also like math). It was one of the best…"
Oct 16
Brian Rock replied to Aaron Locken's discussion Getting absent students make up work
"In addition to the idea of a class website, let me suggest a learning management system like Schoology or Google Classroom. A website lets you list out assignments and share resources, and that's great. But at some point, students don't…"
Oct 16
Brian Rock replied to Aaron Locken's discussion Getting absent students make up work
"This is the way to go. My first year, I kept a notebook of all the assignments we completed. It wasn't the most efficient way to do things. But a class blog, with a recap of what happened, a link to any notes or powerpoints, and the assignment…"
Oct 16
Brian Rock replied to Victoria Lawson's discussion Pop Quizzes...Good? Or Bad?
"I'm a big fan of open notes quizzes. I don't want to know what you've squirreled away in your brain and remembered. I want to know what you took the time to write down during class or while doing your reading. And I want to know…"
Oct 16

Profile Information

School / Work Affiliation
East Orange Campus High School
Twitter / Plurk / Other Account

I'm a social studies teacher in East Orange. I've taught U.S. History, World History, AP Government and Politics, and Financial Literacy.

I'm a big advocate of civics education, and I write a blog about improving civics education in New Jersey and throughout the United States. The Civic Educator contains a mix of methods, resources, thoughts on education policy, and spotlights of civic educators.

I'm also an active member of my union. I serve as an officer in my local and county associations, and I'm involved at the state level with the New Jersey Education Association and the National Education Association.

In 2013, I had the privilege of working with C-SPAN's Education Department as a Teacher Fellow. I helped the team develop lesson plans and materials for their C-SPAN Classroom website. These were of use to social studies teachers and other civic educators. In 2015, I worked for C-SPAN as a Senior Fellow. In that role, I worked on C-SPAN's Classroom Deliberations projects - a collection of lesson plans on controversial issues that draw on C-SPAN's video archives for source material.

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