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Archive for February, 2008

The presentation to public and non public administrators yesterday went very well. Thank you to all who participated in the VoiceThread, it was one of the tools that provoked the most attention, especially after hearing what many of you had contributed to the conversation. The majority of people in both sessions were not aware of the ability for anyone to join online networks, (other than students) but then again many had not heard the term Web 2.0 or Read/Write web either, so we spent time talking about the evolution of the Internet over the past several years as well. From my experience I have found administrators are more comfortable talking about what they don’t know when in the company of their peers, more so than when in the company of their building faculty. Yesterday, there were many questions which were great.

 

I asked all who attended to be advocates for teachers in their buildings or districts, teachers who may come to them asking to use a tool an IT department may have blocked. I asked them all to believe in their staff, really to go to bat for them, because I know many classroom teachers do not feel as though they could ever “win” against IT. And rather than make the argument themselves, they give up at the first “access denied”. We need to have technology literate administrators, just as Karl Fisch and Terry Freedman blogged sometime last year about it is no longer ok to be a technologically illiterate teacher; I feel the same way about administrative staff as well. How are classroom teachers to move forward without support and understanding of what they are trying to accomplish from their building leaders? If the people in decision making positions are unaware of the tools and the possibilities those tools provide for students and learning then I’m afraid any significant change is light years away.

 

I hope to be able to have administrative staff development in my district this summer, 300344706_bf2a918634.jpg and I hope as a result of yesterday’s sessions there may also be the possibility of offering something similar for all districts through the Intermediate Unit, as was done yesterday. I get impatient I know, thinking so many in people in leadership roles have no idea of the types of networks and collaborations we have at our fingertips. The resources we have available to one another and the sharing that takes place 24/6/365. I have to find a way to bring that awareness to my district.
Here is a link to a wiki I would like to use in the summer for any staff development I do on social networking, networked learning. Thanks to anyone who contributes.

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Meme: Passion Quilt

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The title I have given this picture is Dream What You Imagine. I have been tagged by Cathy Nelson, so here is my contribution to the Passion Quilt. I have chosen this photograph of the Northern Lights in Alaska because this is something I have dreamed of seeing in person one day. It is difficult for me to imagine something this beautiful and spectacular. My hope is students of all ages are always encouraged to dream, and to imagine the possibilities ahead of them, and that they receive the support they need during their education to achieve what they imagine is possible in their lives.

Here are the rules:

  1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
  2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  4. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.

Now I will tag the following friends:

Darren Draper

Vinne Vrotny

Sue Waters

Jeff Utecht

Carolyn Foote

    Image Source Flickr: Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang

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      Tomorrow, Wednesday February 27, I will be presenting the Bucks County School Administrators Association meeting. This is the first time I will be presenting to a group of administrators outside of my own district so there is a level of anxiety on my part. The topic I am speaking on is Participating and Learning in Global Communities. I have spoken to several people about presentations to a group like this, and what everyone has said is, talk about your own connections, Open PD, the fact that you can tap into the experiences and expertise of a global, passion based classroom online. So I hope to be able to convey my thoughts and feelings of participating in this networked world wide learning community. The impact on my personal and professional learning has been exponential, I never imaged I would have other educators so willing to help and collaborate with. I have created and published a VoiceThread asking anyone interested to follow the link and leave their own thoughts on how participating in global communities has made an impact on their learning and also talk about how these connections may have influenced their classroom practices. There have been 10 people who have recorded their thoughts, please feel free to add your thoughts as well. I think I am ready and I also believe it won’t be so bad; I believe I have a better understanding of the topic than most of those who will be in attendance.

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      OpenPD is in its second offering, the course has been going very well, wonderful participation, all those attending engaged, tools working extremely well. We had an activity planned for this week as a review of what we had covered last week. The assignment was to create a Google presentation in groups; members of the groups would be mixed, face to face and virtual. All sounds good, right? Well it did turn out great; all groups were successful in creating their presentations and sharing them, working through editing. The downfall was the communication during the creation of the presentation. We decided to use Skype chat, all had Skype accounts, but not all were as familiar with group chats in Skype, myself included and I screwed up. I had difficulty adding people to the group chat, I didn’t have everyone’s contact information, and not all were logged on to Skype so when I tried adding them to the chat it didn’t work. I felt as I did the first night of class in the fall, clumsy with the tools, and rather than assist those in the class with what the assignment was I felt I had the reverse effect and proved to be a hindrance instead. I should have been better prepared, and I apologize for that, at the same time it was a true picture of what it is like for a teacher to be a student in their own class.

      It has been suggested it may be in the best interest of my co teachers for me to step aside and let someone else take my place, someone savvier, and someone more literate with the tools. I know I don’t have a string of accomplishments associated with my name, not a blogger that is read or subscribed to, and not someone who falls into the category of any kind of name recognition in the world of education. I do believe strongly not all of us are made of that mold, but we all do contribute in our own way to challenge those we come in contact with to open their eyes to the possibilities we believe are relevant in the shifting landscape of education. I have felt being part of OpenPD has been a contribution I have been able to make, a time of collaborative learning for anyone interested. I have a lot to think about.

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