Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Twitter attacking Wyoming #WYOedchat

After participating in numerous "Twitter Chats" and seeing each state taking the bull by the horns, we knew it was time.

Bring on the #WYOedchat.

Tim Foley @Tim__Foley and myself @jpk38 will be co-hosting this session every Sunday Night at 8pm.  Summer is just around the corner so we are going to wade in with some unique topics and from some random locations, ISTE 2013, National Conference on College and Career Readiness and Common Core State Standards, NAESP,   Oregon, Boise and WASSP.  We will be holding impromptu "tweetups" throughout the summer.

We will be inviting guest moderators from around the state as well as globe to join in.  So spread the word and please tweet any suggested topics.

Our 1st topic on Sunday May 5 will be discussing 1:1 in schools.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The technology revolution..

AS I sit down and try to to digest all the great presentations and discussions from the TIE Conference, I am pondering where does the revolution go from here.

Having taught my whole career with computers and some sort of technology I can't help but think back to the beginning...my first year was 1999.  Students quickly showed me their new web tool, Napster.  Being located in a small, very rural school, this opened up music from everywhere.  The computer had no filters, so students quickly leveraged the schools technology to create many a mix CD.  Than we all got wise to the ethics of the situation and moved on.  The revolution had started, students understood the technology better than teachers and for the masses teachers would never catch up again.

Fourteen years later and where is the revolution at today. Richard Byrne, of blogging fame http://www.freetech4teachers.com/ gave the closing keynote at the conference today in South Dakota.  In it, he referenced not liking the "revolution" term. As the five hour drive home meandered on, I wondered about this educational technology revolution that has been on going for at least fourteen years.  The social studies teacher in me started thinking that the technology component might be better compared to a gorilla warfare situation. Now I know that the "Educational Gorilla War" doesn't make for as nice, clean headlines but sometimes the truth is messy.

So lets think about the gorilla methodology.   Attack at random times to try to cause chaos and inflict as much damage as we can.  Computers, projectors, Laptops, Internet, Elmo, Smart/Interactive boards, Ipods, Cell Phones, Ipads, Chromebooks, Kindle, Ipad mini....and the ammunition list could be much more detailed but I think we start to see.  The next wave always put schools behind and teachers left trying to get caught up. 

Can education win the "gorilla war"? I think as long as we buy into the next great revolutionary product we may never.  If we really start to to de-gadgetize education and get technology truly blended into the fiber of the learning environment than, no matter whats next(google glass, google contacts...) schools will be in front of the curve and the random deployments will be much more beneficial for our students future.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Change, has no place in Public Education.

After teachers return from conferences I always try to pick their brain and find out what was good and what they might change.  So when our latest group returned recently I was entertained by the answers.  "Had some good sessions and some bad ones. But the last one was a downer"

Why was that I inquired.

The summary went something like this; "These two teachers were talking about how all classes need to individualized to students interest and needs.  They were college professors who had no idea what they were discussing and in the end it sounds good but has no place in public schools."

As I pondered these words, I was struggling with if it didnt belong in a public high school than where did it?

As education continues to be in the news and teachers, millionaires, TV host and everyone in between try to fix education, what is holding it back?

I walked away trying to grasp just how much teachers are holding back meaningful change in education.  Even when we know something can help students we are resistant to it.  There have been so many articles about education that I have no intent in reinventing the wheel here, but I struggle with the numerous ways teachers justify doing the same things yearly.

Lead by example and than everyone else won't be so "gung ho" to fix the system.

Monday, April 15, 2013

1 Second Everyday

Today in class I was showing a segment of a TED video, Planning for careers that don't yet exist. and I started  pondering the possibilities of using this newly released app in school. 

Lots of teachers survey their students at the end of a class, some check at the end of the week and some do some sort of daily check for understanding.  So lets look at the survey option, do we get the real feedback we want from our students? 

So the premise of this app    1 Second Every Day     (.99 cents and the android app is coming) is that you get one second everyday to highlight what is important.  It than will piece them together for a compilation video of your events.  Over the course of a class. semester or full school year, students could create their video 1 second and one day at a time.   Will they remember and be more connected to what they are learning?  I asked my students if they could remember on important thing we did the first week of the semester.  A few of them had answers relating to visuals in the room but most struggled.  Are we past the,  "well if you took good notes you could just go back and look"?  Or more importantly has it evolved.  Can students show there clips at the end of  the semester and will it help you evaluate what your class is about?  I think seeing what was important to my kids daily compared to what I thought was important is a great building and learning tool for me.  Do students now have something to remind them of what was important?   Could you share your compilation with them?  One semester class = 90 seconds of video. 

I am very excited to have students start using this app and will share updates as they happen.
Any comments, brain storming  or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ipadio improvement.

As I have already discussed Ipadio and its Mobile phone use in schools.  I was overjoyed today to see that IPadio's Iphone/Pod/Pad app is now useable.  Please see earlier post to see how to use.

This tools has awesome potential for schools.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What if...

Havent posted in awhile but I am diving back in today.  After recentley reading the article on Forbes about business training programs, it got me thinking about schools. The article talked about trainging cost, and how using volunteer programs was a better use of dollars for training.

In the world of schools we volunteer all the time but it seems like a large portion of that is tied back into doing something for the schools. (Games, Dances, Dinners, Bingo...etc)  What if schools took an a different approach and encouraged volunteering specifically not tied to schools.  Would it help teachers and admininstrators intermingle with more community memebers and help create a more open feeling for people to come into the schools?  Would it help teachers and schools guard against burn out?

Just wondering if schools could use this model and really engage their staff and community?  Maybe this works with the Google 20% idea or maybe its just a Pay it Forward mentality.

If there is schools out there running with this please let me know.  Just wondering....What if?