Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
You don't know the border issues unless you understand the reality of the crossing - "...las cruces de los cruces."
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The only session I attended today was: Quick and Easy Computer Activities for Science and Social Studies given by Tammy Worcester. What an excellent teacher… she walked the audience through several innovative uses of PowerPoint, Excel etc with fabulous examples! I mean fabulous examples – will use several in my classes. Here is her web site – check it out:
The keynote was wonderful. Dr. Tim Tyson the principal at Mabry Middle School illustrated what is possible when there is an expectation that the students can contribute value to society now. The success of the middle school goes beyond anything I have ever heard. What a great presentation with illustrations of what is possible. If you read this you must check this out:
Well – the next NECC is in San Antonio, Texas….yahoooo! Congratulations to ISTE for an incredible conference.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Bottom line is: Our cheese has been moved!
- What if? Can you envision the future?
- Question the norm!
- Creative kids: learn first, technology second.
- In the new paradigm a Principal is now called “The Chief Learner”
- Be comfortable NOT knowing.
- Concentrate on the power of language.
- Think of higher purpose.
- Your role ought to be one to inspire!
- Learn to fly!
- Discovery is a process – ask the BIG IDEAS
The second session I attended this morning was on “Digital Media Tools for English Language Learners.” It was absolutely excellent.
Arturo Guajardo, Austin Independent School District with Susan Monahan presented their experiences using technology solutions with ELL students with great success. The web site is: http://eduese.pbwiki.com/FrontPage (I don’t think he will mind, the password is: Arturo)
This was an ideas-rich presentation. Congratulations to the Texas team!
I got to see great teacher displays – wow! Impressed by the Virgin Island displays and many others…
Here are kids explaining to adults the principles of geocaching and how they used it to do their environmental science project! Trish would have been proud…!
Monday, June 25, 2007
ISTE launched their updated version of the National Education Technology Standards for Students. This was a launch and a celebration of the cooperative work done by many professionals across the world with input from teachers to the board rooms of academia as well as industry.
The message is, “use technology to learn – not just learning technology…” This effort is the collective effort of 1000’s. What I have seen, impresses me – I just hope that in the long run it is not a camel (a horse designed by a committee.) Like I said the higher level labels on the NETS show promise:
The next conference was the One-to-One Initiatives: as presented by Anita Givens and Karen Kahan from Texas. They generously shared their experiences and successes. What is one-on-one?
The Technology Immersion Project is implementing an entirely new concept in educational technology—total immersion of teachers and students in technology. TIP steps beyond 1:1 computing experiments to completely envelope campuses in technology, extending learning beyond classroom walls and beyond the school day.
Check out the web site above (Click on the Texas Icon). The pilot program has turned out to be a success beyond what they expected. As a professional in the field I know what it means to do it right. Doing things right pays off when students have the technology at their finger tips and the infrastructure and programs are in place to support the work as well as that of teachers trained and eager to use these tools to extend student’s learning… Anita and Karen were more than willing to share their experiences. Amazing program.
We need to raise our eyes…and re-evaluate our strategy… Tom… what do you think?
Tools Incorporating WEB 2.0 – missed 1/2 of the presentation – looked very promising. This was a bit more tech-type… I will not comment on it.
This was a total disappointment. The PCs did not work, the speaker could not be heard… the topic seemed interesting: Creating Mind-Maps using FreeMind was not… However – it is “free” you can check it out at:
Exhaustion is setting in….. This was on finding grants and funding for distance education. It was sponsored by a vendor – go figure. It was very enlightening however because there is a multitude and variety of grants particularly in science that go untapped… humm.
V E N D O R - S H O W
What an incredible display of products, colors, sounds, and “grab” gifts galore! I should be able to get my pen and pencil supplies for 2007-2008 without any problems! Should save us money… will make Jill and Varda happy ;)
I am exhausted! T M I ! Lord willing see y'all tomorrow!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Ahhh that Canon XTi....hummm I am in love! The band was awesome too :)
What he was basically saying is: What is it that we (translate our students) will bring to the table? He says…. “only the essence of our creative spirit.” This creativity will be the new sources of value according to Zolli.
He explained that when new ideas are required we generally use or follow the following model:
Where in the first box – we are asked to produce/desing/invent a product in an isolated “think” mode the failure rate is 85%. While in the “look” box where the person can go out and see what is required the failure rate is 30%. In the “play” box, the product/problem gets redefined but leads to only a 20% failure rate. “Imagine” does not apply because there is no product… (gotcha!) In any case, he went on to expand that the NETWORK model however is much more efficient and produces much less failure – it means that someone who can freely interchange within the four paradigms is more successful...
This to me is important, but it is also a bit of a "duh!" This really should be nothing new to historians... think back about brokerage and leverage and knowledge that can bring things together: treaties, agreements, large concessions, etc... it is always the networked guy that pulls it off!
He gave another example of the value of networks: originally the value of networks were understood to be value = (# of notes)**2. He says the factor that is missing is participation – the true value is: value = (# of nodes)**”p” Where p=participation. The value is explosive when participation is attained!
He went onto illustrate the demographic transformation of the world and its implications – sobering actually. He outlined the factors of choice vs. complexity and also went on to redefine literacy – as a corollary of all the changes: how will we now “measure” literacy when the world’s knowledge is available on a device available to every student – give them a multiple choice-fill-in-the-bubble test?
He ended with an encouraging note to teachers to understand what is happening around them with themselves and understand their own Biases and Blindness and understand the futures we choose to bring our students.
Excellent keynote address.
The science behind the orchid exhibit, the "jungle" facilities, the Tissue Culture Lab, precious! After hundreds of digital images - it was probably still not enough... my Canon XTi was still craving for more! It is nice to have a 2 Gig memory card on the camera! :) Loved it!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Very rewarding and enriching.
“A primary goal of education should be the development and deepening of student understanding” (Grant Wiggins)
The first step is to establish the unit goals (standards) and the big idea(s) that encompass the goal. This is they key first step to the whole UbD endeavor. This “ideas” step is crucial and proved to be challenging and very thought provoking…
Wisdom from a master teacher regarding History big ideas:
“…not a summary but a question”
“…they help us understand current issues”
“…they are worth knowing, relevant now and always”
“…different people can have different answers to these questions”
Here are some for history topics:
- How free are you?
- Does power get abused if left unchecked?
- How do citizens of a modern nation-state respond, overtly and internally, emotionally and intellectually, during times of national crisis and personal stress? [very good one!]
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
The talent is innate but I am sure it is cultivated by the wonderful and hard work of the teaching staff. The variegated lights, colors, and dresses as well as the rich arrangements created a wonderful memory for the audience.
Congratulations to the staff, the students, and specially Janet and Jessica my science students.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
The standard public school induction model on the other hand is totally different… As I observe and experience the model in the flesh I will comment in the future.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Basically the approach is to have one form for a given unit to give to the student. So the student will self-assess their progress against a standard. It can be used obviously to drive other pedagogic strategies as well. The elegance of this approach is honestly sheer genius. Thank you Mark!
The student self assesses using the following matrix
Against – for example the Biology: Evolution standard 7. Here is the first one 7a
The teacher understands the ELEMENTS that make up this standard:
You can see how this will play out can’t you?
A student has to look at the COMPETENCIES, say, “define a phenotype” and ask themselves,
- I can recognize this when I see/hear it?
- I can talk or write about it
- I can do it
- I can teach it
Do you see the value of this tool?
It would be a LOT of work with in my opinion well worth the effort to achieve excellence in teaching and student performance.