Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday, July 25, reflection and Atomic Learning.  Resources for teachers to use in designing their learning as needed in the course of the work. has tutorials on teaching using the iPad.  This would be a good place for many to start, to avoid the "low tech use of high-tech equipment" (thanks, Bobby!).

From yesterday:  I used the three components of meaningful work, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose to convince my admin. assistant that adding 20 days to her calendar was just giving her more of a good thing.

The deterioration of divergent thinking is akin to Pink's writings on the decline of the six skills with age (and with education!).

Note to self: Yong Zhao's interview with Daniel Pink.

iTunes U: Something to share with, particularly, my high school teachers.  All free? However, couldn't find the iTunesU on iTunes or couldn't download the app.  Seems to be a common problem, from the comments section on the site.

MOOC:  Massive Online Open Course.  Opportunities for high school credit acquisition?  Follow up on legality of awarding credit based on MOOC content.  See for compilation.

NWRESD has an online school, ORVED, that is specifically designed to keep kids connected to their home school while allowing them the opportunity to take remedial or enrichment coursework that is not available or accessible to them in the home school.  Families or districts pay the cost, while ADM stays with the home district.

Keynote.  Good looking presentation aids.  Apple product.  Lots of good ideas for website and presentation development.  I should have procrastinated on starting my presentation for tomorrow.  As it is, I do have quite a bit of clip art included.  Not the cute stuff, though...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, reflection

I'm very interested to hear the Google guy (is that what the G stands for?).   When Todd shared on Monday that Google's fundamental business model is to be clean, easy to use and obvious (or words to that effect) I was surprised.  In my few forays into using my Gmail account, I struggle to do the most common tasks.  I can't find the buttons I need, can't figure out how to access/import contacts from another application and find the stacked email format annoying but can't figure out how to make it stop happening.  I can never remember how to sign into or use Google Docs and the whole Drive concept has gotten well past me.  Shhhh.  [Lower the lights] The presentation is about to thoughts to follow.

1.  Each Google page is a window into the internet.

2.  Why does my Gmail inbox now look different, with tabs across the top for Primary, Social, Promotions? What if I don't like the tabs Google has imposed on me?  How can I get rid of them?  And who decides under which tab an individual email would go?  Notification of comments on my blog for this class are appearing under Social.

3.  Google Scholar.  The cite function is terrific.  It could be a learning tool in and of itself in how/when to cite.

4.  Translate.  We've used this a lot.  We can use it more, in translating our psych. reports.  I wonder and will explore how it works on non-narrative documents like report cards.

5.  Custom Search.  Yay!   Finally a way to allow students who have misused the internet to continue to engage in academic work that requires them to go online.

6.  There are as many physically different brains in the world as there are people.

7.  Gamers persevere and cooperate.  These skills can be put to work solving real world problems.

8.  Teachers as curators.  My teachers are going to love that!

9.  Student Source.  Something any district can use?

I may just take G. up on his offer for a teacher to come visit Raleigh Hills K-8.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, reflection

Rumination on class discussions: At a skeletal level, we all seem to be on the same page.  We generally agree on how education is broken and the big picture of the elements of the repair/replacement/transformation.  I am so enjoying listening to my classmates put "flesh on the bones", with vivid examples of what is happening in individual classrooms, departments and districts.  My question: with all the great ideas, activities and thinking that is going on why are we continuing to move rapidly and unwaveringly in the direction of high-stakes standardized testing and common curriculum?  Where is the advocacy for a re-think, for a fundamental challenge of the underlying assumptions?   Our reform activities are taking on the tenor of subversion!

Thought on the Educational Technology article: The accuracy and immediacy of the factual information available with technology at our fingertips fosters the spirit of learning that allows our minds to grow.  Rather than getting bogged down in our discussions over some disputed factoid, we can tie up that loose end with a simple search and move along in developing our arguments, opinions and conversation. 

Thought on the 16 Digital Natives video:  Engage me, engage me, engage me!  Kids want to learn and are ready to learn.  We just need to keep them awake!  They are telling us how to do that and how to harness their tremendous enthusiasm and desire.  We need to listen to them and learn from them.  At some point, we will have to do so.  Sooner would be better than later.

Thoughts on iMovie exploration:  Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.  Here is my first iMovie posted on my first blog!  (Although the posting of a functional video has proven problematic and may still not work...I'm hoping one of my options below may work when actually Published...nevertheless, progress!).

Exported Final Project:

Exported Using QuickTime:


Regardless, I learned a lot and tapped into the spirit of creativity and owning my learning, which is just what I want for the students!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday, July 22, reflection

The inclusion of technology in the classroom in student driven, well underway and inevitable.  Our graduation rates and test scores make it clear that what we are doing isn't working.  Students are no longer engaged by the teach/test model or by books.  We educators can either get on board with technology based learning, or we will age out of our careers and the next generation of teachers will capitalize on the interest and skills today's students are bringing to the classroom.  We educators generally love to be the adults.  We also need to cultivate the willingness to be led and guided by our students.  Once they know we are genuinely open and interested, they can be eager to show us what excites them as tools for learning.
I believe one key is the recognition that each student brings a different passion to the use of technology and that is a strength.  Rather than trying to increase conformity and uniformity, we need focus on uniqueness and the contribution of the individual.


This is a test of my ability to create a blog post.