Friday, July 26, 2013

7/26 Reflection

7/26 Reflection

A small snippet of some take-aways and wonderings from this class...
  • I really enjoy the concept of blogging, and never really considered it as a tool for education and/or professional development until this week. 
  • Where, in my work with staff, can I point them in a direction and allow them to create their own learning?
  • What would a Wiki for instructional technology resources look like at SHS?
  • How might staff meetings change if our admin team incorporates and models more instructional technologies?
  • How do I balance my desire to change the world of education with my staff's reality of an ever-increasing work load and pressures of education?

7/26 Notes

  • Air Server - work around for Apple TV - allows your mobile device to display on laptop or computer (which, if connected to a projector, will then be displayed for all to see)
  •  Sugata Mitra 2010 TED Talk  - 
    • Amazing experiment showing how young, under educated children can interact with a computer and learn at amazing rates without direction or input from a "teacher."  What are the implications of this on our schools?  
    • How many educators might find this intrusive on their "careers" and dismiss it out of fear?
    • "If there's stuff on Google, why would you need to stuff it into your head?"
    • Does he really mean we don't need teachers, or is he saying teachers must adapt to a new model where adults facilitate learning?
    • What would happen if similar experiments were conducted with 15 year old's, 18 year old's, 25 year old's?
    • Is 1:1 really the direction we should be heading?  Would we miss out on learning as a social construct through dialogue, sharing, creating learning as a community?
  • Presentations:
    • Margaret: Why Right Brain People Will Rule the World - Theory that we are on the verge of transitioning from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age
    • Noelle: Drive by Daniel Pink - Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose = the three things that create motivation
    • Eric: Prepping his presentation to staff in his new district exploring our learning this week
    • Rob: Personal device policy development plan
    • Kara: "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug - Strategies in developing an effective website
    • Bobby: iMovie showing his process/path/growth this week and where it may be leading him in the future...
    • Jody: Prezi "The Power of a Story" - 
    • Cherie-Anne: Notability - A great tool for general note taking, but it can also be used to provide immediate and simple feedback from classroom walkthroughs
    • Becky A: Professional Technology Goals (SMART Notebook, Google Docs, Classroom Blog)
    • Becky S: Tech Plan to Support ELL Teachers (Flipped PD, ELL Blog, Data Collection for Small Districts)
    • Christy: Creating Innovators (Tony Wagner) - 7 Main Things (Think Critically and problem solve, collaborate, adapt <agility>, initiate, analyze, communicate, imagine <be curious>)
    • Amy: Video around 21st century skills and how to prepare our students
    • Jared: The Station - Radio station at Merlo
    • Lisa: My project is my process... Integration of video, sounds, editing, google docs into a single piece
  • Design of class is really about pointing folks in the right direction and letting us and our colleagues pave our own way and create our own learning...

Final Project

Final Project

Below is a link to an iMovie, with an imported PowerPoint presentation and audio track created in GarageBand, explaining Sherwood School District's Instructional Technology Vision.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

7/25 Reflection

7/25 Reflection

Similarly to previous videos we have seen in this class, I had seen today's before.  In fact, I have watched it many times over the last couple of years.  Each and every time I watch it, though, I take away something new and today was no different.

My thoughts today revolved more around the style of this video and how I could use it in professional development and how our teachers could use this as a learning tool for our students.  Imagine students in a Language Arts class creating small clips about a novel they are reading.  They wouldn't have to be artists to tell the story of their thinking.  They could "animate" stick figures, create digital "flipbooks," and/or insert still photos, while creating an audio track of their thinking over the top of it.  Instead of one, or a few, student(s) participating in a classroom discussion about the novel, each student is sharing their level of learning and understanding.

Once again, I'm leaving class today with more questions than answers which I think has been the beauty of this course.  The questions, wonderings and ideas are limitless...

Notes/Thoughts 7/25   -   Great tool for "how-to" videos, 5 licenses at L&C that students can access for a week or so at a time, more of a business application but many relevant tools to education

Center Court:
  • What will you do (in your context, in your circle of influence) first in the Fall?
    • Develop a presentation for district administrators around what we have learned this week
    • Summer Learning Wiki - beginnings of curated site for technology resources
    • Focus on the "why" in order to build momentum to do the "what"
    •  -  an open source site where readers vote on content - raises and lowers in feed based on readers' votes
    • PD - iMovie, Google Docs, etc.
Sir Ken:
Huge source of free curriculum, created and submitted by schools, districts, universities, etc.

Massive Online Open Courseware - MIT Open Courseware, Stanford, and more
Online Learning
Huge push (sometimes because of competition with other/neighboring districts).  Lot's of districts have used BYU and other resources, yet have had no control over content, curriculum alignment, etc. and still giving credit. 

Interesting dialogue around special programs and how to serve students and meet federal requirements (ELL, Sped).  Online charter out of Baker calls upon home district to provide services.  TTSD is a program instead of a charter and has deemed program is not appropriate for ELL students.  They refer them back to their zoned school.  They also screen IEP applicants to determine whether or not online program is appropriate or not and will deny an application that SDI cannot be met.

Effective Websites
  • Web Presence
    • Clear Vision and Purpose - should know immediately what it is about
    • User Focused Navigation - think about users, don't make users think
    • User Engagement -
    • Clear and Concise Messaging - Simplicity on front page is of high value

Effective Presentations
  • Simple
  • Limit Bullet Points
  • High Quality Graphics (especially photos) (avoid cheesy clip art)
  • Effective Charts

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

7/24 Reflection

7/24 Reflection

What an amazingly rich day of learning, discussions, wonderings, and opportunity.  In fact, there was so much packed into today's class I can only hope I documented enough in the Notes/Thoughts below.  I'm going to have to spend some significant time going back through the links below if I hope to truly comprehend the thinking and potential actions that came out of today.

I am most excited to share my learnings around the various google tools with my building colleagues, and the notion of flipped PD with our Director of Technology and Innovation.  I believe our district is on the precipice of something really special with our integration of instructional technology, and yet we stand little chance of creating a new reality without a reformed vision of professional development.

Notes/Thoughts - 7/24

Engaging discussion of instances where technology has not been used effectively:
  • Video lesson in first period, replay for subsequent classes throughout the day
  • Troubles with email correspondence - especially with parents
  • Social Media and its many effects on schools
    • Where is the line one what constitutes a disruptions to the learning environment?
    • Are there ways to embrace it to support learning, and how?
    • We need to get out ahead of communication because in the absence of truth people will create their own reality (and spread it)...
  • Low-tech use of high-tech equipment
    • One on one conversations with staff
    • Struggles with feeling like we need to over communicate because of the various modalities because some staff choose to only use one format
  • Districts limiting staff use of laptops during summer
    • A time when teachers would spend their own time using and becoming more comfortable with technology
Flipped PD   - An article in Education Week describing a transformed model of technology professional development in a Minnesota school district
  • What would be the first step if you wanted to begin down this path?
  • How do we balance tight vs. loose in order to build capacity and momentum?
  • Doug Bundy 
  • Google Notes/Highlights
  • Student Source  - Can search by standard and get resources (some have been created by students, while others are just curated by students and brought in/linked from other sites/resources) <currently about 250 separate modules>

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

7/23 Reflection

7/23 Reflection:

While yesterday was spent primarily at the 30,000 foot level, today was an opportunity to come down to earth and spend some time considering much more practical ways to increase our use of instructional technology.  I really appreciate the opportunity to "get our hands dirty" in iMovie.  I have spent considerable time in other video editing software (although it has been a while) and am impressed with the functionality of iMovie while still having some of the more advanced features.  I'm looking forward to spending some time this Summer and Fall becoming more comfortable with the program so that we can incorporate it into our building PD this school year.

I also enjoyed the opportunity to view a few more videos that challenge our thinking as educators.  While a little long (just over 14 minutes), I would also suggest the following video:

Tony Wagner
Video on the transformation  
schools must make

Class Notes:

Think about a time when you have seen technology being used effectively:
- English teacher placed entire class on Schoology
  • Google docs
  • iPads/Tablets for struggling learners
  • Doodle
  • Movies
  • ELL video conversations
  • ELL commercials
  • Problem solving in recording studio
  • Learning becomes real and relative
Chapter 1 from Andrew Zucker's Transforming Schools with Technology
  • How might some of the critic' views changed since 2008?
  • pg. 4: "For good teachers, educational technology is routinely providing capabilities that are not possible any other way."  An enhancement, rather than a new way of doing the same old things.
  • Technology cannot replace good teachers
  • Be mindful/responsible of when and who uses what technologies - is it appropriate for particular students (reading levels, etc.)
  • How do educators sort through the thousands of options available to them?
  • For-profit vs not-for-profit and the emerging middle ground: for-benefit companies
The Power of a Story (movies, films, music, etc)
  • Using iMovie
  • Some great video clips created.  It's amazing how some folks took seemingly meaningless and random video clips, and by adding text and music were able to create projects with value and stories. 
  • My sample video:

Monday, July 22, 2013

7/22 Reflection

  Summary of Day 1

Although the email Todd send out last week provided some clarity for what to expect, I was still not entirely sure what each day would look like and how we would tackle the enormous topic of "Instructional Technology" in a single week.  Today proved to be a wonderful opportunity to think philosophically about what is "right" for our students, while debating a few of the "how's" that inevitably arise when discussing systemic change.

Although I had previously seen both of the videos we watched today, it was interesting to view each of them again from a different perspective.  Both videos proved to be quite inspirational and thought provoking, and yet I also found them each to create a sense of frustration.  How can I, as one person, create more opportunities for our students to be innovators, creators, and evaluators of their own learning while still meeting the internal and external expectations of K-12 education in our state and nation?

Below are a few notes from each of the videos and discussions that stood out to me and caused me to reflect on my role in education:

 Notes From Two Videos and Subsequent Discussions:

 Learning to Change-Changing to Learn

Education ranked lower than coal mining in technological presence

"Every turned off device is potentially a turned off mind"

How would schools look if we created them today, rather than modeled them after yesterday?

"The death of education, but it is the dawn of learning.  And that is very exciting."

Conversation with neighbors about rebuilding schools from scratch, using textbook adoptions monies to invest in technology (1-1?)

Class conversations around digital equity, digital citizenship, our schools are one or more generations behind most other fields

Discussed the need for bridges between IT and Educators - In SSD, IT is a subset of Teaching and Learning headed up by a former classroom teacher and instructional coach with a strong vision for innovation through technology - Love her quote: "Students use technology to learn and learn technology to succeed."

Sir Ken Robinson TED Talk II - Bring on the Learning Revolution

2nd climate crisis: crisis of human resources - We make very poor use of our talents.  Divide the world into two groups: those who enjoy what they do, and those that do not.  (It isn't what they do, it is who they are.)

Possible explanations: Many, but high among them is education.  Human resources, like natural resources, are buried deep and must be sought out, dug up, etc.

Education revolution vs. evolution

Innovation must be the backbone of education

Abraham Lincoln: The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.

Under 25 see no need to wear watches (daughter: It's a single function device)

Human communities depend on a diversity of talents (reminds me of my time in WLWV when I would ask who was being trained to fix their BMW's)

Fast food model of education - conformity - everything is standardized

Agricultural model of education vs. industrial model

Conversation with neighbors about frustration caused by this video, in that I know in my heart this is the right work AND it feels impossible because of the many constraints placed upon educators from outside our system (Higher Ed, CCSS/Smarter Balanced, transcripts, parents' expectations, etc.)