Sunday, July 5, 2015

Quotes Ranging from Oliver Wendall Holmes to Will Richardson

“Ever since the first laptop emerged almost 40 years ago technology has been winning the race over pedagogy; that is, technology gets better and better, while instruction doesn’t.”
— Michael Fullan

“We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.”
—Oliver Wendell Holmes

“It’s time for libraries to stop functioning like grocery stores where people simply come to get stuff and start acting more like kitchens where people come to create and tell their own stories.”
—Richard Kong

“Problem finding is the first and possibly the most important process in creating or solving anything” 
—Katrina Schlageter

"We don't do technology initiatives. We do learning initiatives that are supported by technology.”  
via @parent_ocdsb

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Conference Overload, Myth of Innovation, etc.

Myth of Innovation in Education
Most new ideas have more enemies than friends. Education needs new ideas and people who can stand up and lead those ideas over rather perilous roads to completion. . . .Once they have the knowledge, teachers need to be supported in collaboration with others to refine, plan, and implement ideas. 

How to Avoid Conference Overload
2. Keep a 3-dance card
Too often I go to sessions and leave with an ever-growing list of things to try but no time to try them. . . .So now I go with a 3 card - that is, a note with three slots. As I hear about new and exciting things, I write them on my dance card to try when I get home. When I get to a fourth "cool new thing" I need to decide to bump an already penciled in tool or strategy or forgo it. While this was difficult at first, it was so liberating to leave with three big ideas to try out when I got home instead of dozens.

When School Leaders Empower Teachers, Better Ideas Emerge
“Distributed leadership is not ‘I empower you to do exactly what I say,’ ” said Chris Lehmann, principal of Science Leadership Academy in an EduCon session about how to effectively distribute power. Often leaders believe they are distributing power, but they are actually just delegating. For teachers to buy into a system like this, which asks more of their time outside class, they must feel they are professionals trusted by leadership.

Reimagining Genius Hour as Mastery Hour
The goal of the creative, passion-driven work our students are doing should be mastery. Mastering a concept, skill, or ability. It’s silly to believe that one year of Genius Hour will lead to true mastery, but does it help? Does Genius Hour build good learning habits? Do those habits then eventually lead to Mastery?

The (Accidental) Power of MOOCs
Perhaps one of the overlooked values in MOOCs is not in sharing Ivy League wisdom with the masses, but in teaching educators—and, in turn, improving traditional K-12 schools.

Capture blur-free iPhone vids with this tip
Your iPhone is set up as a still camera first and foremost, so it tends to automatically focus and expose your images. This is fantastic when you need a quick snapshot, but when you’re taking video, the constant re-focusing and exposure adjustment just makes everything look blurry and amateur.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My ISTE 2015 Presentation in Philadelphia

On Monday, June 29 at 12:45PM, I will be presenting onOutside of the Box Peer-toPeer Training Strategies in Room PCC 113A , Philadelphia Convention Center.

Here are my slides for the presentation:

Teacher Joe Gerardi describes the importance of creating a school culture of sharing among colleagues.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ed Tech Musings II

Last weekend I noted that  I am on vacation looking out at a gorgeous Lake Michigan sunset, and thought it would be fun to do a stream of consciousness blog of unrelated topics. I had an excess of musings so here are the rest!

*Without consciously deciding a policy we have started to lease almost all of our  tech equipment.  When I started in administration four years ago we bought most. At a tuition-funded school I actually think the approach is more just since the costs are shared more fairly by the students who benefit from the gear. This has not driven the change, but now that we've gone to leasing I am happy with it.

*I love creating the look and feel of the Multi-Touch books available at iTunes. Creating them is rather time-consuming and is more like creating a slide deck than composing. I urge our staff to publish through iTunes U "courses" instead. They are easier to create and can be kept current with little effort.

*Writing this blog twice a week continues to be a very good discipline for me and really helps me to "Keep my head in the game" in terms of ed tech. This is post 781.

*I am really glad that I created a couple of tech courses for teachers on our new learning management system (Schoology). It forced me to learn the basics, which put me in our teachers shoes.

*After commenting in my last post about my difficulty "unplugging" during vacations, my wife caught me texting during a hike. (She gave me a "pass" because it was Fathers Day!)

Caught in the act.

*I totally get it that some people want to get completely away from work on vacation and I honor that when so informed.  But I find it a little perplexing that the same people then tell me that they didn't want to "bother me" about an issue when I am vacationing even though I made it clear they should reach out via email, text if something comes up. Thoughts?

* I wonder technical skills schools or school districts now have for administrators.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Ed Tech Musings

I am on vacation looking out at a gorgeous Lake Michigan sunset, and thought it would be fun to do a stream of consciousness blog of unrelated topics.

*I find it hard to "unplug" on vacation for two reasons. I enjoy checking for sports scores, texts from family, Facebook, etc. And when I do it is pretty hard to avoid peeking into a filling email box or voice mails  2) I don't like the idea of being crushed or hit with bad news when I get back. How about you? Can you, must you unplug?

* I am genuinely surprised and happy that iPads hold value over time. We are collecting iPads from students on Monday for a buy-back. We are also also selling several of our three year old models. Apple put us in touch with a third party buyer who leads us to expect the following prices:

iPad 3 (Class of 2016)- $145.00
iPad 4 (Class of 2017) - $ 175.00
iPad Air (Class of 2018) - $ 185.00

* I have tried for the last five years to proselytize Mercy teachers and my graduate students about Twitter as a powerful source of professional development. Finally, I have achieved a convert in my Madonna EDU 6270 course. She followed  @cwhinsch,  @markbarnes19,  @sjunkins,  @kylepace  and @rmbyrne and she concluded, “Through this experience, I have found "Twitter to be a great social media site to further my knowledge on technology and education.”

*I am anxious to see the results of our recent iPad survey of staff and students (described in Thursday's post). I think we did a great job developing a survey instrument and administering it comprehensively. It is based on the ISTE standards which are rock solid.

*I love being able to place digital signatures and text on the many pdf documents I receive that require a sign-off. Saves me the hassle of download-print-scan. I can open the document sign, send and store to Evernote.

*This past school year, I took many visitors into our classrooms to see our technology in action. Generally I simply asked a big group of teachers if the kids would be doing an activity with their iPads that day other than taking notes or testing. I never asked anyone to "put on a show" and always felt proud and uplifted after visiting the classes.

It turns out that I am so full of musings that I will publish the rest in my next post.

Taken by moi at the Little Traverse Bay, MI  (June 18, '15)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Data Collection for Compelling Evidence of Success with our 1: 1 iPad Program

Two years ago we used the ISTE Standards to develop a technology survey of our 9th graders (class of 2016) and our faculty. We chose the 9th graders because they were the first class to use the iPad.

We published our findings in iMercy in the section called "Compelling Evidence of Success".  We decided to revisit these populations this year and will be publishing our findings in the updated edition of iMercy.

Our president, Dr. Cheryl Kreger, describes the methodology that we used:

I will give readers of the Drive-thru a sneak preview of the findings after the committed (lead by Dr. Kreger) crunches the numbers.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Planning ahead for 2016 Tech Talk

We will be holding our third annual Tech Talk for Educators on February 26, 2016.  Some new features are coming into focus.

* We are drawing large numbers of attendees to the conference and we would like to help teachers find sessions that better fit their experience with technology. In particular we would like beef up our offerings of more advanced topics and signal recommended experience levels for the sessions.

*In order to offer more sessions (some of were packed last year) I have compiled a very large list of possible additional presenters. Through my research I have found some real gems to add to our docket.

* We always ask attendees for feedback. Last year a several persons expressed a desire for "hands on" sessions. It is very difficult to accommodate much hands on activity in an hour session, so next year we hope to offer some two-hour workshops. We will probably require pre-registration for these, which will also help us to balance session numbers as these will necessarily be capped.

* Dr. Jason Siko, a popular session presenter in 2013 and 2014 will be delivering the keynote presentation.  We have been discussing his topic and tentatively the subject will revolve around possible educational technology futures.

* Jason also will be presenting four distinct sessions on how to align technology with good instructions. Each session will address a different theme and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone or complementary to his other sessions.

Stay tuned later this summer for more news about Tech Talk.

Attendees listen to Karen Bosch's 2015 Tech Talk keynote 

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