Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Movies to Develop Leadership in Educational Technology

As the year ends, I am republishing the Opinion Drive-thru's seven most viewed posts of 2013.  This is #1

During the first meetings of my Leadership in Technology College of Education course (ED 6270) at Madonna University I have used some short YouTube movies for both the face-to-face and online versions of the course.

Developing Professional Learning Networks
This is a one minute movie about an Australian teacher training program that shows teachers the benefits in using Twitter. After watching it, my students-- all full time teachers-- wanted me to prepare a lesson on it as well.

An Illustration of Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture
During our first class we looked at Reuben Puentedura’s SAMR Model, agreeing that at its very basic
level, the “flipped classroom” is more of a case of technology allowing for substitution of lecture supplied by technology for a live lecture.  In other words, it is not a “game changer” so much as a new strategy for using conventional methods. instruction rather than redefinition.  Jackie Gerstein’s video suggests ways to attain redefinition of instruction through flipping.

Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture
This is a fascinating video with all kinds of implications.  I am asking my students to reflect on the educational ramifications in our online discussion forum.

Ken Robinson: How to Escape Education's Death Valley
Ken Robinson is a titan of the TEd Talks series.  We are going to use his latest video as a way to break ground on pour big professional development project.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Screencasting Workshop

As the year ends, I am republishing the Opinion Drive-thru's seven most viewed posts of 2013.  This is #2.

This school year, the majority Mercy's faculty tote MacBook Airs. Yesterday, I ran a workshop for a about twenty colleagues, showing the screencasting capabilities of QuickTime and Keynote.  In order to fully take advantage of the time and make the experience as  "hands on" as possible, I "flipped" the workshop curriculum.  I sent them a presentation on the advantages of screencasting in advance.  Attempting to practice what I planned to preach, I did so via a Keynote screencast. The outline for this presentation was based on an article by Michael Ruffini:

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Why I Blog

As the year ends, I am republishing the Opinion Drive-thru's seven most viewed posts of 2013.  This is #3.

As part of our preparation for the ADE Institute in Austin, TX, this week we’ve been asked to do “some deep thinking” about our passions and practice as relate to educational technology.  One of the projects relates to some matter we consider that we are best at teaching, inspiring, leading, etc.

This has given me more anxiety than you might imagine, because when it comes to technology, I think I am pretty good or decent at a lot of things.  And some of the best ways I teach or for that matter, administrate don’t necessarily spotlight technology.

Then strangely, I had the urge to write a blog post about this dilemma . . . . At which point I realized that
2009 ADE "Baker Zone" movie
the blog itself was probably one of my “best things”.  

Now, this is not to say that I write the best blog by any means.  My posts are too long.  They don’t invite much conversation.  Too often they involve my own pre-occupations or simply “brag” about some activity at school that pleases me.

But I have been posting like clock work at least two times a week for going on five years.  This in itself is not much to crow about, but the discipline of doing this has really focused my mind on ed tech and caused me to be self conscious about what I am reading, planning, and doing.

The Drive-thru serves as a great bulletin board for my students’ accomplishments.  But writing regularly actually helps to instigate and refine the design of the activities that led to the student success.

Blogging here and at the school IT page is an exercise in transparency, but it also  sets the bar higher for me, when I write about ideas that have hatched or events in progress.  

I think this is even more important for Larry Baker the administrator than Larry Baker the classroom teacher.  As Lucy Grey has pointed out, the Drive-thru and the IT Blog have serve as a means for documenting my school's ambitious undertaking of Mercy 2.0.  

My readership has grown significantly, and it allows me to extend whatever educational leadership I have to offer beyond Mercy and the university course I teach.

Blogging is not exactly new or fancy or exciting.  But for me, it is a “best thing”.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Six Great Quotes about Education: Whitby, Wagner, Mark Twain and More . . .

As the year ends, I am republishing the Opinion Drive-thru's seven most viewed posts of 2013.  This is #4.

Public Domain Photo
“It is a great time to be an educator in the United States, and, simultaneously, it is the worst time to be an educator in the United States. On one hand, the advances in technology afford educators benefits never before available to advance their knowledge of their profession. On the other hand, the economy, culture, and misconceptions of education have enabled politicians and business leaders to vilify and attack educators and their profession.”
-- Tom Whitby

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing you can do is keep your mind young.”
--Mark Twain

"Great teachers have high expectations for their students, but higher expectations for themselves."
-- Todd Whitaker

“Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge.”
-- Tony Wagner

“Success is a product of time + intention, making mistakes and autopsying failure, learning and adjusting. It's simple once you learn the recipe.”
-- Kevin Honeycutt

“Those who don't innovate, depreciate.” 

-- Twitter via Vicki Davis.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tech Addiction. the Return of Analog, and other Blasphemies

As the year ends, I am republishing the Opinion Drive-thru's seven most viewed posts of 2013.  This is #5.

A Trip to Camp to Break a Tech Addiction
At Camp Grounded, however, we would no longer be bloggers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, consultants or any other title . . . .By removing the things that supposedly “connect” us in this wireless, oversharing, humble-bragging age, the founders of Digital Detox hoped to build real connections that run deeper than following one another on Twitter or “liking” someone’s photo on Instagram.

My Top Tech Trend for 2013: The Return of Analog
My students and I make fairly heavy use of digital tools: we use Google Apps, Google Sites, Twitter (follow us at #tokafe11 and #tokafe12) and Storify especially. But increasingly, we find ourselves sharing analog content.

The Challenges and Realities of Inquiry-Based Learning
The challenge: Right now, a standards-based environment forces teachers to straddle the inquiry process. Most projects employ performance assessment tools, but a majority of projects end up designed more for academic coverage than exploration and invention, which means they lack power and depth. And a more difficult issue looms: It is likely to prove impossible to objectively measure the more subterranean aspects of inquiry, such as creativity and critical thinking.

Booker on Twitter: Model for Pols or Cautionary Case?
if Cory Booker maintains his big lead in the New Jersey Senate race and wins October’s special election. With nearly 30,000 tweets and 1.4 million followers under his belt, the Newark mayor already stands alone among high-level politicians in the scope and highly personalized style with which he uses the social medium.

Three Things to Consider When Planning Video Projects
People are more likely to watch multiple short videos all the way through than one longer video of equivalent length. Consider having your students use the YouTube annotations tool to create a series of linked, short videos about a topic rather than one long video. 

Bookery: 10 Books and Author Widgets in 90 Seconds

Jeremy Johnstone via Compfight cc

Thursday, December 26, 2013

iWizards Rock the House at Tech Orientation

As the year ends, I am republishing the Opinion Drive-thru's seven most viewed posts of 2013.  This is #6.

When our ninth graders came to school, iPads in hand, August, 2012, forming a tech “club” was the farthest thing from anyone’s mind.  They were our first 1:1 iPad class, and all of the professional development focus was on the teachers.  In fact, we were unprepared to give the kids anything but the most minimal orientation to the iPads.

However, creating the opportunity for fourteen year olds who loved the iPad to
form, self-direct, and prosper was an initiative that impacted the entire Mercy High School community for the good.

On the first day of their formation, the iWizards began to compose this mission statement:

The Mercy iWizards assist, serve, and encourage the MHS community to integrate iPad technology into their lives. Our purpose is to learn about mobile technology and to help promote, technology use to the fullest advantage. As a student-run technology group, we vow to provide a helping hand to every student and teacher. We have a special interest in introducing new students to the iPad. The iWizards are here to help. 

On August 16, they lived up to this Mission in a profoundly impactful way.  They delivered a Mercy iPad tech orientation to all of our students.  The iWizards designed and taught this orientation.  The process took several weeks of before school meetings and a major dress rehearsal on the last day of school in June.  To their tremendous credit all  iWizards attended the lengthy rehearsal.  And each one maintained her dedication and came ready to engage our new students, last Friday.

The girls hand-selected nine wonderful staff members as mentors for their sessions who gave up the several hours for rehearsal in June and "show time" in August.  Of course our superb IT personnel, Tom James and Gary Bank supported this endeavor every step of the way.  Here are scenes from the event:

A shout out to our several staff members who assisted with registration and the wonderful photographs in the movie slideshow.  Huge thanks to Lucy Gray's workshop contributions as well.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Becoming a Digital School Administrator: Using Dropbox

As the year ends, I am republishing the Opinion Drive-thru's seven most viewed posts of 2013.  This is #7.

I prepared a video for my iTunes U course, entitled, Becoming a Digital School Administrator .The course contains best practices from building administrators who are "down in the trenches".  It was a great learning experience collecting those pieces.  

I have contributed some materials myself, and decided to create a piece on how I use Dropbox, which is probably the single most important cloud service that I use at work.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

"iMercy" Book Credits

iTunes page for iMercy

After several months of effort (and waiting!) we published iMercy, our high school’s Multi-Touch Book which describes our school’s innovative educational technology program.

The book was inspired by our Apple Distinguished School application.  Last spring we informally learned that in order to apply we would need to present a book about our program and complete a study showing the impact of our iPad 1:1 on our school

Consequently we formed two task forces

The Book Team
Susan Smith, Carol Shea, Angela Harris, Lisa Schrimscher, and Ann Lusch began gathering multimedia content for a book.  Susan started teaching herself iBooks Author and laying out the design of the book. She authored the critical Design Foundations section as well. Angela Harris began authoring sections of text.  Soon the rest of us began contributing book sections throughout the summer of ’13.

Our iPad 1:1 Study
In the spring of 2013 Dr. Cheryl Kreger, Ann Lusch, Cindy Richter, Chris Blitz, Tom James, and Chris Janusch devised a survey for all ninth graders and staff which attempted to measure the iPad’s impact using ISTE’s standards. Chris Blitz deployed the survey on SurveyMonkey and it was administered to all ninth graders and teachers.

In September ’14 when we received our invitation to apply for ADS we formally learned that our book needed to follow tight parameters. (Our first iMercy could only at best serve as a rough draft for some of the application) We also learned that our study would need to be integrated into the book. Most startling, we learned that any person with a recognizable image in a book chock full of them would need to sign a model release (students would need a parent to sign).

Several key persons stepped into the breach.  Dr. Kreger scrutinized the data from our study and began writing up our results for the book.  Chris Blitz,took these findings and created charts for our book.  Cindy Richter and Alison Kline-Kator turned some of these findings into video productions.  Furthermore, Tom James created content for the Flexible Learning Environment section of the application.  Our principal, Carolyn Witte vowed to get the entire school to sign off on the Apple-required model releases.  Office staff personnel, Pat Scheid and Mary Harkness collated all of the releases.

Gary Bank had shot hours of video for us over the summer.  In September he and Julie Earle devoted a full day to interviewing subjects for our application. Maureen Weiss and Marlene Wojcik assisted Julie in “dressing the set, and of course Julie helped review the hours of footage we captured.

Julie was enlisted to help me pull together the application, and her layout and editorial talents were invaluable.  But we also greatly depended upon the proof reading talents of Ann Lusch, Lisa Schrimscher, Carolyn Witte, Angela Harris, Barbara Baker, and Carol Shea.

I am very pleased with the product created.  But the process of collaborating successfully with so many great persons was the real reward.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Quitting Social Media, Subverting the System and other Ed Tech Topics of the Day

Why Quitting Social Media Is a Losing Proposition
Ironically, it may be the truly remarkable innovations that provoke the most criticism and angst in society at large. Properly understood, this is a tribute to their success. Tickle-me-Elmos and Chia Pets are unlikely to inspire much soul-searching, because they can just be discarded once the novelty wears off. Cars, by contrast, kill more than twenty-five thousand people each year without deterring us from buying more. . . . Social media is an innovation of this kind. We have allowed it to change us, such that there’s no going back. 

Online Education as an Agent of Transformation
Like steam, online education is a disruptive innovation — one that introduces
more convenient and affordable products or services that over time transform sectors. Yet many bricks-and-mortar colleges are making the same mistake as the once-dominant tall ships: they offer online courses but are not changing the existing model. They are not saving students time and money, the essential steps to disruption. And though their approach makes sense in the short term, it leaves them vulnerable as students gravitate toward less expensive colleges.

Do You have the Personality To Be an Inquiry-Based Teacher?
When a teacher comes out from behind the lectern, leaves the front of the room, kneels beside a student to coach them through a problem, offers feedback designed to promote confidence and perseverance, and becomes a true partner in the learning process, the relationship between teacher and student automatically shifts. It’s no longer about telling; it’s about listening, observing, and creating the channel of trust that opens up a personal connection between two individuals.

Subverting the System: Student and Teacher as Equals
[Scott Henstrand] presented problems for the students to solve: He challenged them to learn about physics by analyzing how children interact with toys and playground equipment, and to learn about the world of design firms by designing a playground for a real group of third-graders. He modeled the evaluations on the belt system in karate, and he enlisted students who had previously mastered certain skills to help evaluate the proficiency of fellow students. He also tried to encourage students to learn new things about themselves and their fellow students, in addition to the content areas.

Teacher Agency: Educators Moving from a Fixed to a Growth Mindset
Many educators feel forced into a paradigm of teaching where they feel subjected to teaching practices outside of their control. Then when they are asked to engage in a process of continued growth and development, many profess: “I don’t have enough time.”, “I don’t have enough resources.”, “I need more training.”, “I need to teach using the textbook.” ,”I need to teach to the test.”, “I might lose control of the class.”, “I have always successful taught this way.”

More Moolah for MOOCs: Coursera Raises Another $20M
Coursera, with 5.5 million students taking classes from 100 universities and institutions, is one of the largest companies in a crop of ed-tech startups. . . . Coursera now has a staff of about 70 people, and it is making some money by selling verified certificates that students can use to show they’ve completed a MOOC.


@notnixon via Compfight cc

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mercy High School on iTunes

Interactive book for the iPad 
iiMercy is a media rich book that describes Mercy High School's integration of technology across its curriculum and school life. Mercy's compelling learning environment features a required Design Foundations course which teaches students a rich variety of multimedia skills.  An iWizard technology team provides training and resources to the school community.  iMercy also reports tangible evidence of academic accomplishment using the iPad. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/imercy/id758126965?mt=11

iOS App 
Mercy High School App allows students, staff, parents, alumnae and supporters quick access to the latest Mercy news, events, activities and announcements. Receive push notifications, sign up for e-newsletters, upload a photo, submit a prayer request, view calendars and connect to Mercy social media. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mercy-high-school/id638441275?mt=8

iTunes U Courses
Becoming a Digital School Administrator   This course targets prospective and current school building administrators, but has useful resources for all educational leaders. Becoming a Digital School Administrator will expose enrollees to a rich variety of digital practices by principals and their assistants. Technology leadership through modeling is a dominant theme of this course. A unique feature is that the primary course materials originate from veteran building administrators who "walk the walk".  https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/becoming-digital-school-administrator/id692748991

Create a Student Tech Team at Your School  This course is designed to introduce you to an array of possibilities for establishing a student tech team at your school.  Tech team faculty moderators from California, Colorado, Indiana, Colorado, Maine, Michigan have contributed to this collection.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/create-student-tech-team-at/id713690027

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How Twitter Hijacked My Mind . . . . and other Interesting Topics

That Goddamned Blue Bird and Me: How Twitter Hijacked My Mind
I’ve never before gone mad for any type of technology. Even the Internet did not particularly seduce me before the Twitter portal. I used it only for e-mail, and for targeted research; as recently as 2009, I probably spent, on average, under 30 minutes a day online. I didn’t have a cell phone until 2004, didn’t have a smartphone until 2010. I only got addicted tocoffee three years ago. But then along came that goddamned bluebird, which seems to have been built with uncanny precision to hijack my kind of mind.

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Ilse

They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets.
As certain high school seniors work meticulously this month to finish their early applications to colleges, some may not realize that comments they casually make online could negatively affect their prospects. In fact, new research from Kaplan Test Prep, the service owned by the Washington Post Company, suggests that online scrutiny of college hopefuls is growing.

To Get Students Invested, Involve Them in Decisions Big and Small
When asked why he became a scientist, Nobel Laureate Isidor Rabi attributed his success to his mother. Every day, she would ask him the same question about his school day: “Did you ask a good question today?”
. . . . The hardest part about using design thinking in class is getting the question right and staying in the question. . . . It takes discipline for students to learn how to dig deep with focus on a design question.

Teacher Centered Professional Development 
My vision of professional development is grounded in faith in teachers, the institutions they work for, and the power of the broader community of educators around the country and the globe. Effective professional development should be understood as a job-embedded commitment that teachers make in order to further the purposes of the profession while addressing their own particular needs. It should follow the principles that guide the learning practices of experienced adults, in teaching communities that foster cooperation and shared expertise. 

13 Great Twitter Chats Every Educator Should Check Out
The word from educators in the trenches is that these chats are making a profound difference in how educators are improving their professional practice, providing ideas, resources and inspiration in ways never thought possible.

Technology is a Tool


Saturday, December 7, 2013

iMercy Now Available at iTunes for Free Download

iMercy - Mercy High School's Innovative Educational Technology Program is now available at the iTunes Store by searching "iMercy" or by this link:

This Multi-Touch book has been several months in the making.  It is packed with interactive multimedia. iMercy describes our school's integration of technology across the curriculum and school life.  The 27 page book features the iWizards tech team and our required Design Foundations course for ninth graders.  One section is devoted to our unique professional development scheme for our 1:1 iPad program. Another reports on compelling evidence of success of our educational technology program.  I think you'll enjoy taking a look and listen.

Search "iMercy" at iTunes

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Feature Article about Mercy Technology in Farmington Observer.

In the wake of our Apple Distinguished School award we are receiving some nice publicity about our technology program:

Mercy recognized for its commitment to technology in learning

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Crowdsourcing, Flipping and other Ways to Innovate in the Classroom

How To Use Crowdsourcing In The Classroom
Although crowdsourcing is a new term-du-jour, it is a critically important information literacy skill that we must be teaching our students. If they are to become life-long learners, they need to learn how to work together in digital environments and to effectively collaborate with others. If you value this type of literacy – like the Harvard Business Review describes – here are a few simple ways to begin this important journey with your students.
Flickr CC photo by James Cridland

Google Apps for Education Teacher Documented Workflows
These are examples of individual workflows within a set environment. These are often the result of unsuccessful experimentation. The idea is for teachers to take what works for them and modify others to fit their environment and their classroom practice.

Turning Education Upside Down
Clintondale was the first school in the United States to flip completely — all of its classes are now taught this way. Now flipped classrooms are popping up all over. Havana High School outside of Peoria, Ill., is flipping, too, after the school superintendent visited Clintondale. The principal of Clintondale says that some 200 school officials have visited.

What the Internet Means for How We Think About the World
My generation, and the many generations before mine, have thought about knowledge as being the collected set of trusted content, typically expressed in libraries full of books. . . .Yet, for the coming generation, knowing looks less like capturing truths in books than engaging in never-settled networks of discussion and argument. That social activity -- collaborative and contentious, often at the same time -- is a more accurate reflection of our condition as imperfect social creatures trying to understand a world that is too big and too complex for even the biggest-headed expert.

PD Roadblocks: Control, Compliance, and Permission.
Any course, or workshop that a teacher has ever wanted to take for academics, or for professional development was either controlled, or in some way approved by someone in authority. . . .Someone other than the learner directs the learning in this model, because it was designed around control, compliance, and permission. It would be a big plus if the needs of the learner aligned with the needs of the director, and I imagine that sometimes it does. However, that would probably be more coincidental than a planned outcome.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Interest in and Interesting Things about our iWizards

Lots of activity is occurring within the iWizards' organization, and they are also stirring interest across the state.

The iWizards themselves are planning four new initiatives:

1) One task group is planning a January 23 all-day workshop which will be devoted to planning the 2014 iPad Orientation for new students. This year an iWizard will co-facilitate the workshop.  In addition, the iWizards are determining their orientation teams in advance so that they can "hit the ground running" in the iMac Lab at school.

2) Another task group is developing a sophisticated web site for hosting group resources and tutorials.  Ideally the site will also further group communication and planning.

3) A group of ninth graders are exploring the possibility of building an iOS app to serve the school community.

4) We are working on an internship program that would allow iWizards to assist the IT Department during school and into the summer.

New iWizards brainstorming about their projects

Several educators will be hearing about the iWizards in 2014.  I was recently asked to make a presentation about our tech team at the Michigan Association of School Administrators Midwinter Conference.  I also had a presentation titled, Empowering YOUR iWizards accepted for the 2014 MACUL Conference in March. In addition I intend to present on our iWizards at our own Tech Talk on February 28.  In that instance, it my hope to include some of the iWizards in the program.

WWJ Radio Interview on Apple Distinguished School Award

Last week we sent out a press release announcing that Mercy High School has been named an Apple Distinguished School for 2013-15.

Greg Bowman of WWJ (CBS - Detroit) interviewed me for his one minute Making the Grade segment:

Page from iMercy describing our innovative learning and teaching.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mercy High School Named Apple Distinguished School

Mercy High School is pleased to announce that we have been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2013 to 2015 for our integration of technology across the curriculum and school life. The Apple Distinguished School designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments.

The selection of Mercy High School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment. All ninth graders are required to take a Design Foundations course which teaches multimedia skills in photo, film, animation, and web design. Students collaborate on writing, and edit each other’s work using iOS apps; text, video, and audio recordings. An iWizard student technology team provides training and resources to the school community. Several faculty members present at regional conferences on topics related to instruction using the iPad.

We are proud that at Mercy, students have the opportunity to be technology teachers and program innovators. The multi-touch book submitted with our application will soon be available for all to enjoy through iTunes. Stay tuned for more Apple Distinguished school developments!

Mercy Administrative Team

Apple Distinguished School
Apple Distinguished Schools are K–20 schools that provide 24/7, schoolwide, one-to-one access to Apple notebook computers and/or mobile devices to all students, teachers, and administrators. They demonstrate an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dylan, the Samurai, and a Country Priest

I've been creating more media this year than at any other time in my life. However, my educational technology creations garner a pretty limited audience compared to some earlier movies

In 2009 I was teaching film and got the notion that I would do movie reviews. For a time I was trying to crank out one a month. In most cases I did these in collaboration with published professionals, which was fun. These productions took far more time than you might think, and my hobby sort of petered out.

Nevertheless, these reviews are alive and well on YouTube, and still draw comments.  Some of them have now received thousands of views.  I thought it would be fun to share the top three.

Bob Dylan - Shapeshifter  is by far the most "popular", no doubt because of its subject.  It has almost 25,000 views

I have made a few Akira Kurosawa movies. My Seven Samurai Review has about 8,700 views.

Diary of a Country Priest Movie Review has also been popular, garnering almost 4,800 views.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Patience for the Unconnected, Doomed Roll-outs, and other Ed Tech Matters of the Day

Patience for the Unconnected
Connected educators may be the worst advocates for getting other educators to connect. Too often they are so enthusiastic at how, as well as how much they are learning through being connected, that they tend to overwhelm the uninitiated, inexperienced, and unconnected educator with a deluge of information that both intimidates and literally scares them to death.  

Teach Kids To Be Their Own Internet Filters
Students live in an information-saturated world. Rather than shielding them from the digital world, many agree the most effective way to keep them safe and using the internet responsibly as a learning tool is to teach them how to be their own filters. That’s not only a life skill, but one that’s important when researching. Older kids, especially, have the capacity to learn how to decide which online sources can be trusted and why.

When Wikipedia Is the Assignment
Shared, public online documents have characteristics in common with parts of the academic review process. "The shift to thinking about placing the term paper as a Wikipedia encyclopedia entry allows for another level of peer review," Groom said. Such entries have references and citations; allow for a process of repeated, continual editing; and encourage collaborations between authors.

How Twitter Tore Down My District's Walls
Photo by Rhys A. via Compfight cc
I began to notice a few staff from my district were tweeting with people outside our district about education topics that informed the contemporary learning work we were doing. One night while watching a heated discussion occur--140 characters at a time--among educators from Michigan, New Jersey, and my district I started to see them exert influence upon each other. They were developing and influencing each other’s practice. This was quite different than the normal process of controlled professional development that is usually determined by the district and delivered within the district walls.

Why L.A.’s iPad Rollout Was Doomed
The second big issue was a lack of training, professional development, and overall, a failure to recognize the human resource needs created by a big device rollout like this one. “Teachers were not trained in the system to manage the devices. Nobody at the school was trained. A couple people from the district that came out to sort of help and they had somebody at the school who was the de facto tech person, teaching teachers how to use it after it had been deployed,” says Contractor #1

Seven Pathways to a New Teacher Professionalism
We saw that no matter what our schools were asking “for,” what they really wanted their children to do fell into one or both of two broad categories: They wanted children to use contemporary technologies to interact broadly and consistently with the world in meaningful and deep ways, or/and. they wanted children to be makers most of the day, not just consumers. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Preparing Our Students for "The 21st Century"? Guess, what-- They were BORN in the 21st Century.

"There are still educators saying things like: We need to prepare our students for the 21stCentury.” Students graduating for the last two years began their education IN THE 21STCENTURY! The time for preparation has long past over a decade ago." -- Tom Witby

“Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change." --Stephen R. Covey”

"Passion leads to focus, tenacity, self-discipline & persistence. Passion evolves into deeper sense of self-purpose." - Tony Wagner 

"Technology is a resource and not a learning outcome." -- Barbara A. Russell

"If you want a kid to care about his learning, he needs to know you care about him. We KNOW this. I just don’t think we’re always that good at PRACTICING it." -- Michelle Baldwin

"Many look at tweeting and blogging as technocentric or even narcissistic, yet I look at them as ways of learning and connecting."  -- George Couros

Photo Credit: floato via Compfight cc

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New iWzards Take the Plunge

A new crop of iWizards were inducted into our technology club this week.  They are primarily ninth graders and will bring some new energy and ideas to our projects.  Several of the new girls pitched in at the Mercy Open House on Sunday.  Then all were welcomed at an early morning reception at our usual haunt, the Baggot Street Conference Room.  I took some photos at both functions with my iPad.

Experienced iWizard, Taylor,  pitches the iPad program to Open House visitors.

Simone-- a ninth grade iWizard-- gathers an Open House throng.

New iWizard reception, November 6.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tech Talk Taking Shape

The February 28, Tech Talk conference at Mercy High School is beginning to take shape.  Here are some of the planned sessions:

Passion-Based Learning With Everyday Technical Knowledge 
Keynote Presenter, Dr. Liz Kolb, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan who teaches courses on educational technologies in all the school's teacher certification programs.

Creating and Publishing eBooks on the iPad
Karen Bosch,  K-8 Technology Instructor at Southfield Christian School. Apple Distinguished Educator.

iLearning.iFlexible.iPad: Ideas, Tools, and Resources That Amplify Student Learning
Joanne Rowe and Julia Alder,  Digital Age Curriculum Coaches for Birmingham Public Schools and national conference speakers.

"I Hate Copyright" ("Finding Public Domain and Creative Commons Images")
Larry Baker, Associate Principal at a Mercy High School and Apple Distinguished Educator

Weebly, Webquests, and more with Web
Stacey Sharp, Teacher at Marian High School and completing her Master’s in Educational Technology at Madonna University.

Student Presentations... iPad Style
Alison Kline-Kator, teacher at Mercy High School with MA Educational Technology) from University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she is currently a doctoral student.

Teaching Science in a Blended Format: Predictions and Perceptions
Dr. Jason Siko, Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Grand Valley State University.

Web Portfolios for Students and Teachers Susan Smith, Art department Chairperson at Mercy High School, and also Mercy's team leader for Apple's Challenge Based Learning pilot in 2011.

Productivity Apps for the Busy Teacher
Zena Samona, science teacher at Our Lady of Sorrows School and B.S. from University of Michigan.

Check out the presentation details at http://tinyurl.com/nddzrv7

We are still accepting presentation proposals at the Tech Talk web site.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Discovery, Leadership, Creativity

“To fish, water is invisible. To students today, technology is invisible. It is only noticed in its' absence~like at school.”  -- David Truss

“40% of adults — including 46% of those ages 18 to 39 — own an e-reader or a tablet. That's more than double the numbers less than two years ago.” -- from USA Today / Bookish poll

woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

“I don’t do education for a living, I live education as my doing . . .  and technology has amplified my passion for doing so.” -- Jackie Gerstein

“A broad and longstanding consensus in leadership theory holds that leaders in all walks of life and all kinds of organizations, public and private, need to depend on others to accomplishthe group’s purpose and need to encourage the development of leadership across the organization. Schools are no different.”-- The Wallace Foundation

“Teaching is the art of assisting discovery”  -- Mark van Doren

“Creativity is nurtured by freedom and stifled by the continuous monitoring, evaluation, adult-direction, and pressure to conform that restrict children’s lives today.  In the real world few questions have one right answer, few problems have one right solution; that’s why creativity is crucial to success in the real world.”  -- Peter Gray

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Teaching Learning, Game-Changers, iPads, and More

The Shift From Teaching Content To Teaching Learning
In fact, this might be said to be the archetypal error of all secondary level and
By Alvimann
college level teachers. They often wrongly assume their students know how to think about what they are learning. I once was told by a HS English teacher when I wondered what they might do in their department to improve reading performance (which was weak), that “We teach English, not reading, in high school.”

6 Things We Know for Sure with iPads in School
Moments of rethinking how we deliver instruction, assess students and collect their work creep up immediately once iPads are in students' hands. This creates discomfort for teachers, but they must overcome being their own obstacle for change. As one teacher asked, "How do I grade their packet of notes for review now that their work will be in Google Drive?" I replied, "Well, how can you arrange it differently so that they apply knowledge instead of just copying it in a packet?"

The Biggest “Game-Changer” in Education
The real game changer isn’t something external; it is internal.  It is the way we think and grow.  It is moving from that “fixed” mindset about teaching and learning, and moving to the “growth” mindset.  It is thinking differently about education and understanding that all of us as people need different things to succeed.  

iPad and Education – No Longer A Debate! 
If the device isn’t suitable for a task then educators shouldn’t use it. There is no such thing as an iPad lesson. If it will enhance learning then it could be used. If it is not suitable for a part of the lesson, it stays in the student’s bag. There are many options available to educators to nurture learning – the iPad provides a few more.

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