Summer Staff Development Budget – Reinstated

FundingWOOT WOOT! Tonight, I left my district Staff Development committee meeting totally thrilled!  My full summer academy budget from several years ago (previously cut in half), has been reinstated.  So, the brainstorming begins…. Here are some possibilities that I am tooling in my head.  Would love to hear feedback and other ideas!

  1. eLearning – Flipped, hybrids, fully online – Whether it is learning how to create 24/7  learning objects to developing  fully online courses, we need to break “school” learning from our classroom’s traditional 4 walls.  We have received some great recognition of our Flipped Math/No textbooks curriculum…It makes sense that we continue to  expand it to other classrooms or schools.
  2. Moblile Learning – iPods, IPads, BYOD – we have them all and we need a better understanding on how to integrate them into our classrooms.  According to a recent (HS) survey, 80% of our students have a device, yet only 22% of our classrooms allow them on a regular basis.  We need to understand their potential.  Of course, increasing the amount of online content will help  – but I feel we need to showcase the possibilities of using these devices to create learning artifacts vs. just passively watching videos or surfing the web.  The biggest challenge, finding/understanding apps/sites that are endpoint independent.  They are out there – we just need to put them in our “bag o tricks”.  Possibly find a MN expert to visit?
  3. Collaboration – At the top of this list is Google Apps for Education. While there are tons and TONS of cool and collaborative things that can happen in our classrooms…there is just as many time savers and opportunities to collaborate in our offices.  Right behind GAFE is social media and Web 2.0. So many tools, so little time.  Leaving with just 1 tool, is enough to begin the transformation of a classroom.  I might have to steal @Mark Garrison’s 50 sites in 50 minutes idea…. Or better yet – invite him. (Hmmm)
  4. PLN –  Why wait for district sponsored events to learn? There are many opportunities for us to connect to learning opportunities when we are ready to learn…  Not to mention, we can connect and collaborate with some fantastic people!  (and I certainly have – thank you PLN!)
  5. IWB – I know,  I know, not everyone is on the IWB bandwagon, but we have already spent the $ and have them installed in our classrooms. We need to improve our staffs use of these devices. Truly finding ways to make them Interactive (with students vs. the Sage on the Stage) is worth looking into.  Also looking at specialized training according to subject area.  Special Ed, Early Childhood, elementary math, reading, science – as well as effectively incorporating them at the MS and HS.
  6. Other possibilities… Utilizing Formative Assessments, Improving Reading, Math, Science instruction, Differentiation, RTI, PLCs.  Not all of our academy sessions solely focused on technology – so these are some opportunities.     I would LOVE to hear of MN experts who I could possibly connect with on these topics to have them come for a visit!

Below is the data I collect every year after our academy.  Thought it was appropriate to share.  I really would like to see the Teacher Lesson/PLPs increased.  Maybe the extra $ will help support that goal.  I also want to expand online learning opportunities – Anytime, anywhere learning is very appealing  – especially with busy summer schedules.  Here are the offerings from last year goo.gl/LtPxB.

Academy Data

Bears Professional Growth Academy 2012 will be August 7-9. Well at least the f2f opportunities.  Looking forward to another great summer of learning!

Making the case for Facebook in Education

DISCLAIMER – This post has links to  content that is on Facebook.  If you are reading this in a distinct who blocks Facebook you will not be able to view it without a filter bypass password!

During the MN State 2010 Memo conference, a media specialist announced to the group of a couple of hundred participants… “Osseo Public Schools has an opening for a Media Specialist. We filter, but we do not block content in our district. Wiki’s, Blogs, Youtube and Facebook are open and available to our staff and students”.

Youtube was open in my district only a year ago. Opening it up quickly moved Youtube from a “distraction” to innovation… and finally to a trans-formative classroom tool in less than 1 years time. Not only does it provide endless “just in time” video tutorials, curriculum support, it also has been used to showcase our students work. However, the transformation came when Math teachers decided to start posting SMART board lecture to it and use it as an integral part of their eCurriculum. (The Math department has decided to discontinue the use of expensive and antiquated textbooks and put all of their content online – but that is for another blog post!) Now, through the use of Moodle, Youtube, and other tools – students have access to learning resources 24/7. The cost for this tool = $0. The cost to support this tool = $0. The value of this tool in teaching, learning (including mlearning) = priceless!

Facebook, on the other hand, is blocked for students and staff in my district. In my own personal use of the tool, I am now recognizing that work and personal information are blurring. I subscribe to many educational Fan Pages, Groups, and have had some fantastic discussions with folks all over the world via Facebook! The comment by the Osseo media specialist resonated with me so much, that I decided I had to do something to start a conversation in my own district to consider opening Facebook to staff and students. If I were an innovative and talented teacher, who had a couple of job offers on the table:

  • District A: Great school district, great community, great kids, BLOCKS social media tools like Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook from staff and students.
  • District B: Great school district, great community, great kids, social media is OPEN to staff and students and teachers are encouraged to find educational use of the tool that all kids are using anyway.

Which one I would choose? To me its easy.   Sure, there may be those who would much prefer District A – but for district leaders – who do you want in your talent pool?

And so my journey began. The following presentation, Making the case for Facebook in education,  has been shared (f2f) with district leaders as well as our district technology committee.

While presenting, I spoke of the Osseo’s, the Mankato’s, and the District 287’s. All MN districts that I consider tech savvy, innovative, and have always been on the cutting edge in teaching and learning practices. (I also realize there are MORE MN schools than my short list!) At the request of my admin team, I developed a Google Form to find out if other schools block/don’t block Facebook and why. The form was dispersed to MEMO’s distribution list as well as other regional lists with the following questions:

Does your district currently block Facebook?

  • Yes – it is blocked for staff and students
  • Yes – it is blocked for students only
  • No – Facebook is OPEN for all students and staff

What is your district’s rationale for this decision?

I was very happy with the response. We had 67 people respond to the survey representing 59 MN districts. I decided to summarize the above questions and include the RATIONALE given by districts. View the full summary here (Google Doc).

Summary of information of the survey

Summary of respondents

My (UNOFFICIAL) analysis of the district’s rationale to block Facebook included these top 3 reasons:

  1. Safety/Content/CIPA
  2. No Educational Value
  3. Time Management/Distraction

My response to the top 3 reasons why MN schools block Facebook

Safety/Content/CIPA – In a district that blocks Facebook – most likely the only time those offices deal with Facebook is in the cases where there are discipline issues and cyberbulling. Because of this, It is hard for schools to recognize the value of something when a few of our students are not using the tool correctly. But when/where are we educating our kids on the proper use of these social tools? Many of our parents do not understand the technology nor the repercussions of posting inappropriate things on profiles. I truly feel it is our responsibility, as educational institutions, to be educating our students (as well as staff and communities) on the proper use of today’s social media – and first on the list should be Facebook. Why do we wait to have a Facebook discussion when the kid is in our office and in trouble?

As for CIPA, that is not a valid excuse. Please take note – CIPA only requires that schools (who apply for erate funds for Internet) block sites that are: obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors). If Facebook were “harmful” to minors do you think President Obama or even the MN Department of Education would have a Facebook Fan page?

No Educational Value – There is educational value with Facebook. We all need to do our homework. Besides what you already know or what you have learned from this post – here are other resources you can use to get the conversation started:

After doing your own investigations…. Start following educational entities and learn how they are using Facebook to share information as well as receive input from stakeholders.  Share what you learn/know with district leaders and staff. You should be having the same conversation in your district as we are in ours.

Time Management/Distraction – I realize that Facebook can be distracting to students and teachers. I realize that time management is always a concern and students and staff should be taught to use Facebook appropriately. If the rules are not followed, then we need policies to be put in place to address those issues. BUT, I also know that Facebook is distracting my personal time with learning. Excellent learning opportunities continue to occur for me while surfing my Facebook family and friends status updates. The potential for informal or incidental learning is tremendous and we need to figure out how we can tap into this!

I would like to complete my thoughts and say that if we continue to block Facebook in our district’s, especially for our teachers and staff, we may never realize the educational value Facebook has. As of today, my district is still blocking Facebook. But we are having the conversation! According to my results from a little survey of MN schools we are part of the NORM. Is this NORMAL good enough?

Headed to TIES

I am very excited to be able to go back to my TIES Conference this year.  As I reflect on my learning over the course of the last year, it is primarily made up of online resources like Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking/media.  Even though I have learned a tremendous amount from my PLN (Personal Learning Network), I also value the ability to connect face to face with colleagues out in the field.

Saturday

iPad in the Classroom
8:30-11:30

My PLN has been buzzing about this gadget for quite some time and I am looking forward to some hands-on training.  I am fortunate that I recently obtained access to one, and from personal standpoint – I LOVE IT.  I can do just about anything on this device as I can on a computer. Reading on it is amazing.  Even though I am a screen reader – I have found that the iPad seems a little easier on the eyes. I can watch videos, listen to music, and browse the web.  Some of the apps are absolutely fantastic.  So far, I am very impressed with the Music apps, children’s education apps, interactive simulations, and free books.  What I am hoping is to find out what others are using in their classrooms and figure out the best way to sift through the junk and get right to the good stuff.  I am also wondering what apps are worth paying for.  Right now, this device (as well as the iPod) is under consideration in our Early Ed classrooms.

Moodle Compact Design
12:30-3:30

I am very excited about this workshop!  I first witnessed this design back in October, while attending the Memo conference.   There is a new technique via Moodle that takes the “Moodle Scroll of Death” away and make it more compact. (Participants in online courses have to scroll up and down to get to their appropriate content.)  In January, I am teaching another 4 week “Facilitating Online Learning with Moodle” course to some of our teachers and I not only want to improve the experience for my participants but also teach them NEW design techniques.  I plan to apply what I have learned by actively working on my course @ this session.  I have also excited to meet and connect with other Moodlers!

Sunday

Google Apps for Education
8:30 – 3:30 –(all day – YEAH!)

Last January, our district transitioned to Google Apps for Education.  All of our teachers and students (grades 5-12) have an account and have access to Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and Sites.  It is simply amazing what we are doing in our district, schools, and classrooms because of Google Apps! It has transformed the way we create and share information and I truly believe we have different conversations because of this tool.  I am looking to learning new ideas of how we can further integrate Google Apps in our classrooms and of course networking with Google Apps users.  I am hoping I will learn about how other districts are using Google Sites for ePortfolios.  We had a couple of pilot projects this fall and any information I can bring back would be great.  I am a believer in ePortfolios as an assessment tool – not only is it authentic and meaningful to students, but it is also very relevant in today’s world!

Some highlights I am looking forward to on Monday and Tuesday!

Keynote – Monday AM: I am thrilled to be able to attend the opening keynote – Sir Ken Robinson, “Finding Students’ Passion” on Monday morning!  I have been following his work for some time and feel privileged I get to hear him speak.  Our district also is sending a team of teachers to the conference this day so I am really looking forward to how they react to his presentation and most of all, any follow-up discussions/ideas afterwards.

eLearning - FLickr photo by adesigna

eLearning - FLickr photo by adesigna

I am also looking forward to presenting at TIES this year.  On Monday, I will co-present with Blue Skunk Blogger, Doug Johnson – “A Guide for Teachers Using Social and Educational Networking Sites”.  Session is from 11:45 – 12:45.  Immediately following that session, I am presenting with our Math Department “Bidding Adieu to Textbooks” @ 1pm.  (Wow – is that going to be a tight schedule!)  I am very proud of the work these educators have done to discontinue the use of textbooks in our Math Curriculum and feel fortunate we get to share our story.

As for the other general sessions I plan on attending sessions that deal with:

  • Online learning
  • Effective assessment practices in the 21st Century
  • 1:1 Computing and/or Mobile Devices

After looking at my focus strands – I realize how they all related to one another.

I plan tweeting and blogging about my experiences during and after the conference.  If you can’t attend the conference but are interested in following the conversations, I suggest you follow the discussion via #ties10.

Synthesizing #memo10 – Ideas to take home

Reflections from Memo

Day 1 of the Memo conference, and I have been completely energized.  The day started out with an excellent keynote by Buffy Hamilton (@buffyjhamilton), the Unquiet Librarian.  Her message – “Beyond Balance; participatory librarianship for creating , connecting, conversing, and contributing” was highly engaging and motivating. (I tried embedding -didnt work..sniff)

Even though her target audience was media specialists, I found that much, or I should say most, of what she shared could be incorporated in any classroom, school, or district.  “Where does the library live? What are the physical and virtual spaces like?” – led me to think about our classrooms  and schools.  How do we build effective virtual spaces and more importantly how do we cultivate participatory learning in these spaces?  In her library, there is a sense of shared ownership of learning between her students and staff. Her goal – build on passions. Shouldn’t we also be cultivating this in our schools?

Her ideas to get started – map out your vision – literally. (please note learning environments on her map – thumbs up!)  I think I would like to try this technique with our district technology committee to assist with technology planning.  However, why stop there? This technique could be done in any classroom, department, committee, school, or district.  As we develop our plans, goals, vision – it is the follow thru that has the planning worthwhile.  “DOING vs. PLANNING” is taking your vision, your plan, and putting it into action.  Make sure your planning and visioning has plenty of input/approval from stakeholders (shared conversations)  – because when it is time to “walk the talk” it’s those folks that will need to help you deliver the vision.

eReaders

Next on my schedule… demonstration and discussion about eBooks by Dawn Nelson (@dawnrnelson) and Lin Salisbury.  I have to admit I am behind in understanding the opportunities with this technology and this was a great session to get me up to speed.  My take aways… library’s can purchase an ebook and share it simultaneously with up to 6 devices. (Barnes and Noble Nook or Amazon Kindle)  You then check out the device to the student. Within these books you can annotate, search, and even add audio (at a fee). There are a considerable amount of FREE ebooks and nooks are compatible with ePub.  Prices for Nooks start at $149.

What gets a little “muddy” is managing this.  Problems = 1 login account per 6 devices. Having 30 devices would require 5 separate accounts. Purchasing books is also a challenge.  BN only accepts credit cards and this has caused some issues in business offices.  One alternative is gift cards – but this is also a problem with school auditors.  The SCARIEST problem shared, (that left me shaking in my shoes) was that the Nooks are directly linked to your account and credit card AND as of right now, there is no password protection! OUCH! The workaround… librarians will put the nook in airplane mode which will not give the nook access to the internet.  However – how long before the student figures out how to take to turn the Internet back on? Hello Shopping Spree!   Management and security seem to be a problem right now but I am sure BN will eventually figure out a way to make it work better. I really like the idea so that leads me to wonder about the iPad?  From what I understand  – there are apps for BN or Amazon or a bazillion other useful programs.  I don’t have an iPad yet – I think its time.  Still waiting on the Google Pad. Hurry up already!

Another session with Buffy

“Strategies for Keeping Up with (Almost Everything)”. It was a no brainer…after the excellent keynote in the morning, that I was going to attend a session with Buffy Hamilton.  One of my goals this year is to help our staff develop their own personal learning networks (PLNs).  This session was perfect timing!  I love the title “Strategies for Keeping Up” ! Instead of a title like “Creating a PLN”, which can appear to be another new thing, and extra… this title makes developing a PLN to be more helpful to organize and manage information.  Some takeaways…” “Walk before you Run”.

Looking or explaining my PLN may look very scary for staff.

However, starting small and  “cultivating their passions” is key.  It is also beneficial to show the tools to help them organize information. Google Reader, iGoogle, Netvibes, ect…(personal note – I need to master iGoogle!)  Even if they do not want to share their thoughts publicly (tweet, blog) in this case…it is OK to be a “lurker”.

Presenting with Doug

Next I was privileged to co Present “To Friend or Not to Friend: A guide for Teachers Using Social and Educational Networking Sites” with the  Blue Skunk Blogger Doug Johnson (@BlueSkunkBlog).  Even though I was extremely nervous, the audience made me feel very comfortable. They were receptive to our presentation and there was a great exchange of dialog/ideas. Yeah – I learned too!   My take away from this experience/presentation.  First of all – Doug is a master presenter. He has a great talent in engaging conversation with the audience, and making it interactive.  This is something I need to continue to work on – instead of “showering the crowd” with information, it is more influential to guide them into conclusions based on ideas and information. (guide on the side vs sage on the stage)

My other take away…is that districts still continue to have problems with sites being blocked in their districts. Youtube is blocked, Wikis are blocked, Blogs are blocked, Social Networks are blocked. Sometimes it is the settings on the filter, but most seem to blame the  “Network Gestapo”.  CIPA is usually the excuse given to block sites. But take note – CIPA only requires that schools (who apply for erate funds for Internet) require schools to block sites that are: obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors).  Creating a classroom blog, wiki, or youtube channel is NOT HARMFUL TO MINORS.  Blocking these sites is a DETRIMENT to education and your students learning is being hampered.  Classroom innovation and transformation will never happen without access to these tools.  My advice, devise a team (include students), and a plan targeting the educational value (include baby steps). Showcase the innovation in other districts aka…what is NOT happening in your district.  Don’t stop at the Gestapo if you get turned down. Your administration and board may be much more receptive.  Booster Clubs and PTA can be also be effective.  Please do not give up the battle!

Here are a couple of youtube channels for your Bag of Tricks

Hanging with District 287


I’ll be honest. Being it was almost 3pm and after a day of total engagement, I wasn’t sure that I was going to get much out of “Stimulate your district’s Online Courses” with John Fila and Mike Smart (@moodleshare).  I was soooo wrong. Talk about save the best for last!  Right now our district is at a pivotal transition.  Moodle has made an entry in our district and we are beginning to develop blended moodle courses as well as fully online courses.  The course design techniques shared as well as the FREE courses/units (aligned to MN or National standards) were AMAZING.  A little background…District 287 received an E2T2 grant and had around 80 teachers apply to develop courses and units (after being trained). These teachers were from all grade levels and subject areas. What is very nice about the free units/courses is that you can go in and preview the content and then decide to download what you like.  Eventually the plan is to make them available at the Minnesota Learning Commons.

As for the design techniques – I can’t explain how excited I was to see this.  We have all heard of Presentation Zen but I have never witnessed Moodle Zen.  Stunning graphics and visually appealing.  No scroll of death!  There is a trick to it –I think between working with labels and hiding topics, (moodle terms) is how they do it.  They also have a very good eye for media design. They are now developing Minnesota Licensure courses for their staff to take.  They have a wonderful orientation course required of all their students. (they believe their success rates have gone up because of this requirements).  Hey John and Mike – you guys need a whole day session OR an online class that I can enroll in to learn this.  It is very unique and needs to be shared!  Where do I sign up????? Oh by the way – in their district they have a position called “Innovation Coaches”.  This is like a duty for a teacher or a .1 position in every building.  What an empowering position that must be!

Moodle focused professional development

I was recently asked whether or not Moodle should be a main topic in training our teachers and administrators in online learning.  Here is my response:

Moodle is a vehicle, a tool and/or container for online learning. There is no doubt in my mind as online learning or hybrid courses expand in our schools, that  teachers are going to need a session on tips and tricks in Moodle.  However,  what I see as a bigger need, is continuous sessions on how effectively utilize online learning to support and meet the diverse needs of our learners. Moodle is not the cure-all, and should not be the only tool considered in an storm of new tools and enhancements. A two hour session is great for our teachers who are hand-holding, hands-on learners. HOWEVER, more importantly… we will need to develop networks of learning to support this endeavor when teachers need it  – by teachers who use it… not when WE decide to schedule it. Online professional development, just as online learning for students, will be driven by the needs of each individual teacher.

As for the administrative training…that is a different beast. Many administrators, do not understand the benefits of online learning and have not “bought in” to its effectiveness. Many of them haven’t even taken an online course and now are the key decision makers in the policy and procedure of online learning? That is ludicrous. If you think of the journey to administration..it is supported by years of classroom experience, followed by some administrative theory and practice. This a whole new landscape!!! Should Moodle be the focus of this training? I say no. Can it be embedded? Of course. Our administrators should be encouraged to take online training, participate in the learning communities right along with our teachers.  Actually, I take that last statement back.. Why do we have to encourage this learning? Shouldn’t they WANT to do this for the benefits of our schools?

S.O.S – my distress call to you!

I remember just a few years ago, we focused on learning how to use technology tools.   I took a look at our technology curriculum (5yrs old) and that was pretty much what that curriculum was all about.   Learn to use the computer, Learn to use Office Applications, Learn to keyboard, Learn to communicate, Learn to find information on the Internet.

Lets fast forward to today. In just a short time, it seems as though the world has transitioned from learning how to use the tools, to using the tools to learn.  We can no longer use technology tools just for the sake of technology or because our kids are tech savvy!

David Warlick pretty much hit the nail on the head when he stated,

It is not a bad reason integrate technology – to motivate learners with more familiar information experiences.  But what bothers me is that it appears to ignore the greatest and most critical reason – that an increasingly connected, technology-rich, information-driven, and rapidly changing world alters the “what” and “how” of education.

We are no longer preparing children with the skills and knowledge that they will need for all of the rest of their years.  In my father’s time, it was common to graduate from high school (or not), take a job, and do that job for the next 35 or 40 years, retire, and live another 10 years.  Expectations were not much different when I graduated from high school almost 40 years ago.

But today, I suspect that much of what we teach won’t remain valid for five years after graduation – and that may be a generous statement.

Our focus should not be on using technology to make our students easier to teach.  It should be on crafting learning experiences, within networked, digital, and information-abundant learning environments, where students are learning to teach themselves, and begin to cultivate a mutually common cultural and environmental context for for their lives.

Online learning, Web 2.0, Social Media, and the Participatory Culture are all having disruptive affects to the learning of our organizations, classrooms, staff and students. These terms also coin new skills that will be relevant to our students as they leave our school and go to college and/or global workforce.

The new media literacies – Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

We have always been fortunate.  We have a great community, greatschools, great staff, and great kids.  But I am becoming increasingly worried that if we do not address these new learning environments and new skills needed to be TRULY successful in the 21st century, we are in trouble…

So what are our roadblocks?  I am not at all an expert here…but these are the big roadblocks I see to move us from a traditional industrial aged district to a 21st learning institution.

  • Education.  We need to educate ourselves to understand the affects the new media can bring to the learning table.  (This also means to be motivated to become a self learning organization.) This is probably the most significant issue because when we talk or hear about these new technologies and learning environments, it is very difficult to promote their use, when key leaders and teachers are not using them themselves.  A personal example is my recent use of Twitter.  I knew what it was, how it worked.  But I NEVER fathomed the learning potential of this new tool until I started using it.  This is my aha moment, what aha moment have you had lately?  Why not share it?
  • Computers.  I have seen a significant rise in computer use in our schools.  This is good!  As more teachers begin to utilize web/electronic media in their classrooms, our computer labs are becoming utilized more and more.  The problem is that we are also are utilizing computer labs for state and standardized testing.  We literally shut down our labs, for weeks at a time, to accommodate these tasks.  Take away the computer time, we are taking away their learning time.  The other day, I did a count of all the wireless devices (like iPods) in our high school and was amazed to find about 1 in 5 students are bringing these devices to our school.  Of course I would LOVE to see a 1 to 1 computer program in our school, but until then, maybe we should figure out how to utilize the devices our students already have access to.  They come to our schools with the Internet in their pockets… why not use these tools to our advantage vs developing policies to prohibit their use?
  • Time & Money.  This is probably the most difficult issue of all.  Our economy is down the tubes and we are stretched to the max with responsibilities beyond our control.  It is going to take some time and is definitely going to take some money to get there!   However, If we do not step up to the plate now, what will it cost us five years from now?  What affects will this have on our students, our community, and our society?

I know this may come across as doom and gloom, but I do feel that have an extraordinary advantage because we have very VERY talented people right here in our district and community.  What are your ideas? How can we start making a change today!  This is not going to be a one man show, but a movement by many!  So are you interested?

TIES 2008 – Opening Keynote: Daniel Pink – My Notes

This morning I am sitting at the  TIES  convention and waiting to hear Dan Pink’s opening keynote along with the other +1700 educators, administrators, teachers, and technology directors from all over the US and Canada.  (very impressive turnout by the way)  My notes are sketchy, as I was busy typing and listening.  (I apologize for that)  If you get a chance to see him – I highly recommend it!

What makes a good speech? Good speeches in general…always have 3 ingredients…brevity, levity, repetition.  Influence of a teacher – “repetition is an effective form of emphasis”.

Education and the economy  – purpose of education is not to deliver to employees to employers – allow every young person – achieve their full potential, well informed citizens, digital citizenship…

“We need to prepare kids for their future, not our past.”  (Fairfax, administrator)

Before the conceptual age we were told as kids… “get good grades, go to college, get a good jobs”.

Brains. Left hemisphere, Right hemisphere.  Last several years, because of technology, we know more about how our brains work.  Complicated and complex – elegant and efficient.  Different specialties – the left contains the logical, linear, sequential, analytical.  Right – Tasks, process at once, understand concept, facial expressions, synthesis context.

Our past – kids future.  past – Most important ability – were the  characteristics of left hemisphere and it was absolutely necessary.  BUT – no longer sufficient. Right Brain –  Big picture thinking, conceptual. ect.

The 3 causes that for our the shift in workforce in the states.  (This is also the Need for shift in Education)

Asia – 15,000 computer science degrees, upper class incomes in their country.  White collar jobs loss in the less 4 years is not an issue,  India has advantage in global economy.  Billion People.  15% of billion = 150 million.  US – last month –  just counting the those who work for pay in the US – 144 million.  If 15% make it to the status of being competitive  – then we have cit.  In 14 months – India will be the largest English speaking country.  English is the language of the global economy. Technology – cost of communication btw us and India is $0.  “Focusing on Routine is a death sentence.” This is the fault line between our past and kids future.  This skill is going out fast -right steps and have.  Accounting, financial analysis, programming. Anything that focuses on a series of steps or has one right answer will be unnecessary.

Automation- machines replace our muscle, software replace our brains.  Replace logical linear rule based side.  collaborative exercise – gov sites – figure what lawyer uncontested divorce – all steps.  Routine is off shore or gets automated. complete case.com affordable divorce solutions.  $249.  123Divorceme.com  Tax preparation. Turbotax.  Certain accounting is routine

Abundance – standard of living is breathtaking.  chart “consumption spreads faster today” –  material goods have migrated to above 80-90% of homes.  Telephone, electricity, TV, Computer, Internet, cellphone.  Storage Industry – $22.6 Billion industry.  We have too much stuff! In a world of abundance, there is a premium on getting something to people they didnt know they were missing.  Offering to consumer, has to be big and bold especially in recession.  Downturn – can still make it.

3 questions –

  • Can someone do it cheaper
  • Can a computer do it faster?
  • Is what your delivering in demand in an age of abundance?

What about STEM?  Not vending machines of right answers.  Evidence is not routine – ex. Silicon Valley, Google

“Non-routine savants”  Medical Schools – at art institute – part of diagnostic training.  Certain is routine, Ask right question.  Extraordinary observation skills.    Now measurable – those who have been thru art training are better than traditional medical training.  Art education is spreading among colleges however in elementary and secondary arts if first to go.  “This is a colossal mistake.”

Last Rant. Can you see the problem?

Technology today

  • Novelty
  • Nuance
  • Customization

Education today

  • Routines
  • Right answer
  • Standardization

6 abilities that matter most.

  • Design – make something beautiful, whimsical, emotionally engaging
  • Story – story matters, facts are free. facts in context
  • Empathy – stand in someone shoes, human ability.
  • Play – laughter humor games, in economy – shouldn’t be banishing
  • Meaning – not just accumulation.  What has meaning has purpose.
  • Symphony – Not just focus – ability see big picture, connect dots, and design something new.

check him out at – twitter.com/DanielPink

TIES 2008 – System Technology and Implementation with the NETS – my notes

Don Knezek, CIO ISTE and Lynn Nolan  co-presented the following sessions on “Systemwide Technology and Implementation with NETS”

Prepare kids for a world different than today.

Objectives –

What needs to occur

  1. Leadership Teams – principals, teachers, tech leaders, librarians
  2. Other Stakeholders – parents, students, community groups
  3. 3-5 year technology plan consistent with schools improvement plan.  Objectives, measurable benchmarks, responsibility, time lines
    1. Plan must be Dynamic rather than static – sustainable, creative in funding, celebrate successes

In 1998 the student standards were about how to learn technology  – In 2007 the standards are about using technology to learn – same with teacher standards.

Teachers need to Facilitate and inspire, motivate, and model digital age work and learning.  Design and develop digital age learning experiences.  Also need to promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility and engage in professional growth and leadership.

New proposed admin standards – draft
Official standards will be released at NECC in June!

  • Inspire and facilitate excellence throughout transformational vision and leadership
  • Create and sustain a digital age culture
  • Advance and model excellence in digital age learning and professional practice
  • Facilitate communication and collaboration among diverse stake holders
  • 2 more (sorry I could not type fast enough)

Tools to help observation, where can I connect with other who are doing the same things?

http://nets-implementation.iste.wikispaces.net

Teacher observation tools for principals- http://ICOT.iste.org

My opinion – ISTE is on the right track with their refreshes in standards.  My question – How and when will Byron begin to implement them?

TIES 2008 – Tech Director Bootcamp – My Notes

Bootcamp for School District Technology Leaders/CTOs

Denise Atkinson-Shorey, Centennial Board of Coop Ed Svcs, COSN
Sunday, Dec 7 from 12:30 – 3:30

I thought it was probably beneficial to learn what kind of skills I should be strengthening in my current position.  It was very nice to network with individuals in the same positions  and to hear their trials and tribulations within their districts.    Here are my notes!

Who is the CTO?

  • Strategist
  • Relationship architect
  • Leader
  • Technology venture capitalists
  • Information steward
  • Integrator
  • Educator
  • Utility provider
  • Lobbyist
  • Advocate

Tech Director Perceptions – Narrow Foccus, Control Freak, 1 step lower than God, Indispensable, Powerful, Order taker, Good listener

Reporting Structure K12

  • Report directly to Superintendent
  • Cabinet-level position
  • Instruction Technology reporting to Curriculum
  • IT reporting to CFO
  • Other

5 key areas for Technology Directors

  • Leadership and Management Skills (up)
  • Fiscal management Skills (up)
  • Tech skills (down)
  • Business skills (up)
  • Cultural/organization management skills (up)

COSN Nine essential school district skills

  1. Leadership and Vision
  2. Planning and Budgeting
  3. Team Building and Staffing
  4. System Management
  5. Information Management
  6. Business Leadership
  7. Education and Training
  8. Ethics and Policies
  9. Communication Systems

TIES 2008 – Exploring Google for Educators – My notes

Molly Schroeder, Edina Public Schools

Saturday, Dec 6 from 8:30 – 11:30

What a wealth of Google knowledge this Minnesota Google CERTIFIED teacher has!  I thought I had a pretty good knowledge of Google, but she took me a step further!  We played with:

My favorite resources was something called Google Lit Trips.  Basically the site teaches great literature by using Google Earth mapping out road trip stories from literary works.  Grades k-12!

Her agenda can be found here