Author Archives: JMVarnerBooks

About JMVarnerBooks

With the days of international travel behind him, J. M. Varner now exercises his language skills in his English classroom and on the page. A second life as an author affords him another way to encourage his students and fans to read, write, and think independently. Borrowing terms from noted media critic Neil Postman, Mr. Varner summarizes his 'Philosophy of Fiction': "Writing a novel is a creative process of World Building and Word Weaving. Authors build worlds in our minds; these can be fantastical worlds or fictionalized variations of our own reality. By writing and rewriting, we weave these worlds into words on the page." Mr. Varner is currently writing the next novel in the "Squirrel Hill High" series, a series launched with the debut novel, "Digital Me". Set in a fictional high school located in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Squirrel Hill High students and teachers live through true-to-life drama in the emotionally charged environment of the American high school.

eLearning Content Trends

Link to post: A short list of some key trends for elearning content development. I would add (and perhaps this goes without saying by this point in time) that it all needs to work well on mobile devices to … Continue reading

Posted in News, Teaching | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New: Google Drive Priority Workspaces

See video demonstration at the end of this post:

Posted in Tech Tips | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Discussion: Best Bluetooth Earpiece for Computer and Phone

I’m looking for a bluetooth earpiece (preferably single ear, but stereo possibly if the second earpiece can be left out / hanging) to use for both virtual teaching on a Windows 10 computer and with an Android phone. The bluetooth … Continue reading

Posted in Discussion | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Temporarily Free on Amazon: “Michael Payne (A Squirrel Hill High Short Story)”

This is a tie in to Mister Teacher Person that explores the backstory of one of that novel’s key characters.

Posted in Reading, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Virtual Teaching Goal for the 2019-2020 School Year

This school year, in my virtual classroom, I would like to incorporate more student screen sharing into live class sessions. When I’ve had students share their screens in the past years, it went a long way toward replicating that feeling … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Virtual Classroom Routine for Teaching Creative Writing

One successful routine I use at the beginning of my live Creative Writing virtual class sessions is centered around the following graphic: The key point of the graphic is, in essence, ‘To write better, write more.’ Toward the beginning of … Continue reading

Posted in Notes from the Classroom, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Method developed to ‘predict people’s personalities’ using phone accelorometers – ZDNet

“There are applications for this technology in social media with friend recommendations, online dating matches, and targeted advertising, but I think the most exciting part is what we can learn about ourselves,” lead study author and RMIT PhD student Nan … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment