Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stuff I wish I knew before....#1

I had no idea that it would be so hard to find baby gates! Who knew things like the floor trim would be an issue. The boys are super active now and we have 3 (yes, 3) various gates in the living room.

We have a super yard (I think that the name) it is huge- we love it. We have a gate-thing that leads into the kitchen. And our latest purchase a plastic gate that is REALLY tall.

Let's see how long it takes the boys to figure them out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Principal Tech Leadership Institure

Gerald Beimler- from Chicago Public Schools (655 schools-- 500,000 students)
ggbeimler@cps.k12.il.us

Data-driven decisions, tech integration leadership, standardized tests.

How it got started:
Convene- 100 principals came for interesting 2 days of PD
Grow to 6 days of training over the school year
Connect- Show them online tools- blogs and wikis to communicate
Year 1- Nets-A-- Online cohort and f2f, Yaar 2- Data driven focus
Goal: PBL is the annual improvement plan

NETS-A and Principal competencies from the district match well.
Has about 10 essential questions for principals.
PTLI Core Content-- Excellent list of items

EXCELLENT QUOTE: "Shared vision and commitment are the outcomes of a change process not the precondition"

Have teacher groups meet during regular scheduled time.

Management system:
Student data + ability to create flexible groups+ high quality teacher materials

Principals do Strategic Planning -- Data Analyis-- Data Driven Decision (Part 3 is what is usually missed)

D3- Teaching Learning and Leading

Transform- Principal begin to transform after 1 year.

How to recreate on a small scale:
Use google docs- have 1 mentor- use an online forum to share.
Susan Brooks Young- the agenda is posted, activities, and readings.(ISTE)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Alan November

Wow-- it has been much too long. I've decided that it is time to blog...for really-- on going, regular basis, and hopefully-- good information.

Today's blog is on thoughts about Alan November's talk at PDE for CFF.

At present the CFF budget is cut in half.....not good.

Alan's ideas on how to convince the state they've made a mistake:
1. Take it from the idea that CFF is about jobs! Economics! Social Security (Heard this from another person, too-- interesting).

2. Not as important What is said but WHO said it. Find that "mover and shaker" and get them to say "This is important...and here is why..." Energy companies, cable company, etc.-- What the top companies in PA do- what do they say they need, do etc.

3. Kids moving back in with parents-- went from 32% in 1999 to 65% now. It is about economics-- how do we make the younger generation independent.

On to Alan's preso...

1. How to use the internet/technology EFFECTIVELY! Example: Find info on the Pope's speech on Islam in Turkey. A basic search in google will give mostly WESTERN sources. NOT GOOD.
Search using country code .tr see what happens with host:tr pope speech riot

2. Find LATEST info on latest disease.....Example: use google scholar, search, recent articles, since 2008. OR "breast cancer" view:timeline

3. What do you do with a dead link....the Way Back Machine

4. Find the British perspective on American Revolution from university sites. (Use ac:uk in the search)

Teachers are more important that ever kids/people need to know who to FIND and USE and FIND MEANING information.

Definitions:
Data-- numbers
Information-- organized data
Knowledge-- Ability to apply information with meaning for problem solving
Wisdom-- When you start to ask questions, challenge your understanding of the world

Tools:

Skype

At Stanford every prof podcasts every lecture....Not sure that I think this is a great use of podcasting. Podcasts should be stuff OTHER than the lecture. Just saying....

Customized Search engine in Google. Ok-- this is seriously cool.

Search google in the UK or China etc. -- see their searches on "Global Warming" Example: http://www.google.co.uk/


What kids must do:
1. Tutorial Creators:
Find their own answers. Empowerment. Teachers don't answer questions.
Ex. Kids produce a podcast of their info.

2. Researchers:
Find their own answers. Empowerment. Teachers don't answer questions.

3. Collaborate-- Learning is a social event.

4. Official Scribe--Note taking (google docs!)

5. Contribute to Society

6. Curriculum Reviewers-- Have the kids find resources for the curriculum- bring them to the teacher.
In altavista: type is url:k12 (you'll find all the k12 schools in the country) (Host: only works with complete extension).

OR host:k12.ma.us whaling -- find schools (k12) that talk about whaling

Teach kids: Link Host URL in Altavista

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Warwick English Day- Keynote

Blogging notes:

Watching Jim Gates give a preso on why we need to change. Great balance of "why needed" and here are some ideas. Nice!

Coveritlive.com-- live blogging....cool.
UStream now has a password-- excellent
Skype in the classroom

"It's not about what you can do with a computer-- It's about what the kids can do with it."
Great quote Jim

What will the classroom of 2100 Look Like?
--Teachers shout out ideas-- no room, engagement, computer,

How will the students learn?
--Problem solving, collaboration, learn on their own

NOW-- Who will do this?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Really exciting news!

We've been trying to break down the classroom walls this year. My goal was to make it easier for teachers to reach out to other classrooms around the world-- or just across the street. So how are we doing this year....(just so we're clear -- the credit for all of these successes rests squarely on the shoulders of the incredible classroom teachers that I work with. Really cool people-- don't you think!)

1. One of our Elementary Gifted Teachers is connecting with a teacher in Alaska...Point Barrow actually. Brrrr.

2. One of our High School English Teachers is planning to be a part of Clay Burrell's writing project.

3. One of our Elementary Classes is going to iChat with one of our High School Spanish classes.

4. We just tested our Internet2 connection (had some issues with I2 last year) and the test was GREAT! I found a teacher in the midwest US looking to do some collaboration--- but at the moment he's having technical issues. But maybe that will materialize in the future.

So my point...none of these things were difficult to get "off the ground." In most cases, all I needed to do was say, "I have an idea...." and found teachers that were eager and excited to try something new. In some cases...a few too many teachers. The Spanish project had three teachers who wanted to give it a try. How great is that!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Powerful Quote

This came to me from a friend...

"It [isn't] about the laptops. You should use them when you think they are appropriate and can enhance and extend your students' learning. And you should leave them shut away in their comfy carts when they don't....Please, release the pressure - we are certainly not intending to place it upon you. Do what's best for your students - every day." - Karl Fisch

I found this to be extremely powerful. We say it all the time, "It's not about the technology. It's about good teaching, best practice, ideas, creativity, collaboration." The computers-- they should just be tools, vehicles to get to the end point. So easy to forget this, isn't it?