Monday, July 21, 2014

 General Thoughts from Day 1 - EDAD 536

Despite my mental exercises and effort to make things different this time, as I entered the computer lab equipped with shiny MAC's feeling confident in my ability, my mindset was instantly transferred back to the days of my youth when I felt inept using computers and other forms of technology. I am not really sure when it started officially, but this fear of not being able to understand and master new technology has been long challenge resulting in a fear which I have had to work hard to overcome. How do I use that? What if I make a mistake? How come others seem to be so much more comfortable using technology than I?

I have come a long way, but as I reflect on today's interaction with the course material and my peers it is important I also remain aware of my own feelings, triggers, thoughts, discomforts, and understandings. This self work will be my means to a greater end with the hope that this experience will allow me to work through and mitigate some of the anxiety I feel.  I seek to challenge myself so that I can challenge and support my staff in new and innovative ways which I hope will allow them to use or incorporate technology to improve instruction, student proficiency, and build community.

As leaders we ask our kids to step into this "discomfort zone" or "area of vulnerability" each day. Today I find myself in that place which can not and should not be avoided knowing that in order to truly lead I can never forget the fear of failure real or imagined and the emotions associated with taking risks.

Learning to Change - Changing to Learn!

Initially my thoughts watching the LCCL video clip were, how could the facts bare this out? How could the field of education rank so low in the "effective use of technology" category?  Particularly, when so much time, energy, and money has been devoted toward improving in this area in the last 20-30 years. Is all of the tremendous effort and energy spent trying to improve for not? Really! How is it that we can live in a time where there is so much innovation, creativity, opportunity and accepted change and have these results?

From here my thoughts transitioned to the bigger picture of why is this the case?  The speakers in the video said many things which were true and inspirational.  As I thought about the perspective shared by each I realized the following: If we (educators) are to be the bridge between students and technology and yet kids are still "falling in the water" so to speak, then the bridge has to be modified significantly or rebuilt altogether.

The much deeper question I ask myself now is are my own barriers to change and resistance (that instant feeling of inadequacy that comes forth when time calls for embracing new technology) similar to what my staff experiences? Probably so. Are my challenges creating "holes in the bridge" that students slip through? Probably so. Are we, the adults a major part of the problem instead of the solution because of the fear we have of loosing control, showing our vulnerabilities, or worse yet failure? Quite possibly. How do I change my reality to mitigate my negative impact?

As one speaker mentioned, young people are learning in many different arenas outside of school often without the guidance of an adult.  I can choose to support this and help them navigate or stand by and hope I can reach them with my charm. Yeah right!  Do I fear becoming obsolete? No, but if I do not embrace this new world of variety in learning platforms, I risk not providing my students with enhanced optimal leaning opportunities to achieve at the highest level as they seek to become ready for the next stage in life.

Each day I observe kids who do not demonstrate proficiency in the classroom on day to day tasks or assessments, yet they use their smart phones and lap tops to communicate, accomplish multifaceted tasks, research and share information, and build community in an extremely efficient manner. This is powerful!  As a leader it is imperative that I embrace this reality and utilize it to my advantage. I am excited about the new era of incredible advancements in tech today that educators have at their disposal. In essence our kids are not waiting for us any longer to teach what they are curious about.

My youngest son (7) does not wait for me to teach him how to do something. Instead he finds an application or website to learn from or research something of interest. Before I can count to 5 he gets on the computer or phone and tries things out on his own.  If he doesn't find success he consults with his older siblings to who share how and process. The freedom this brings him will change his entire course of learning which is fascinating. I am fascinated by the possibilities of the very notion of school changing significantly in my youngest son's life time.   He learns how to use technology by trying and experimenting. I hope he

Now the question is how do I get there?

TED - Sir Ken Robinson -

Sir Robinson is getting at a real truth many of us feel in our hearts when he states that we suffer from a second major "crisis" in our world today.  No, it is not the "climate crisis" which is significant, popular, and a common centerpiece for debate. He speaks to the human crisis that exists were so much potential goes unused. This crisis although less talked about is as real and some would argue even more tragic than the first.  Aren't we limiting our ability to deal with the climate crisis if we don't tap into our human potential to solve complex matters from which the solutions to the climate crisis could come?  Like the common saying "we only use 10% of our brain power and capability," we similarly also only tap into a very small portion of the potential that so many of us possess. Even more painful is the fact that as Sir Robinson stated far too many people don't realize they possess in great ability at all and go through life never realizing what could be. Why is this the case? Our societies institutions, particularly the vast majority of our public schools, are based on an archaic model which lacks flexibility.

How our kids learn is changing rapidly, yet we still use methods from 30 years ago to attempt to engage them. We spend billions on interventions to counteract disengagement while at the same time our educational system slowly kills the passion and spirit of far too many young people who can not make the adjustment to its rigidity. We slowly cause kids to stop trying to dream, to think outside the box, or to strive to achieve for more than simply existing. We become conditioned to accept our lives as unchangeable and set in place. To accept the natural order if you will. After the spirit is eroded enough our young people eventually do what is safe and relatively easy.

I don't have the answers, but one thing has been made clear by viewing this video clip.  As educators we must fight this erosion process with all of our ability, resources, and talent. We are the keepers of the flame and must use innovation and creativity as a major source to reach the minds of our youth. We must move away from only using a linear education model which is counter intuitive to our natural way of dealing with and interacting with our world. Despite the many challenges we have to do all that is possible to customize the learning experience of those we serve and facilitate their ability to find their solutions.

Sugata Mitra - Child Driven Education

Truly inspirational!  Reviewing this video made me think of the saying, "If you build it they will come!" It reinforced the fact that human beings especially the young are naturally curious and inquisitive. At our core we yearn to learn. Regardless of country or background, the young seek knowledge and will obtain it however possible if given the chance. Our thirst for knowledge is wired in the fiber of our being. Sugata's statement that "in any country you can find places where good teachers won't serve" is so true despite the fact that these are the very environments where good teachers are needed the most. How can we change the conditions of these communities if solid educators are not involved? For those that believe learning can not take place in areas considered downtrodden or extremely impoverished this video combats this belief with telling evidence and should make everyone pause and think about what is possible.

"If children have interests they will learn!"  His theory is profound because it turns the present way we are going about teaching the vast majority of students on its head. No matter where students are in the world or what conditions they face, if they are are given the following: encouragement, someone who serves as a facilitator of learning unafraid to let students grapple with content in a safe environment, time to think and discuss information with others, tools in the form of technology (computers, access to the web, Skype capability, etc) any thing is truly possible!

General Thoughts for Day 2 

Center Court -

Great exchange regarding the following resources:  (I have a lot of research to do!)
  • Go Noodle -
  • Globalization Project -
  • NearPod -
  • Clickers -
  • Class Dojo -
  • Google App's -
  • Face Time -
  • Google Hangout - 
  • Evernote -

SAMR Model - 

Substitution - Modification - Augmentation - Substitution

Framework for using technology in the classroom.  Unique way of thinking that allows students to experience activities requiring higher level of thinking.  Language around technology integration.

The Media is the Message - Zong Zhao Article - 
  • Students spend several hours using various forms of media which far exceeds the amount of time they spend reading a book.
  • GOAL(s) - 1. To harness some of this time students use to create platforms to deliver academic content.  2. Move youth away from simply using various platforms to create and become producers of material.
  • To reach our goal 
  • Self reliant, using technology  
Guest Speaker - G. Bundy - 

Google Certified Teacher
Review Gigs

How did the journey begin? Google Earth
Educe - to draw out!

Google Culture/PD
Google Lit Trips -
Real World Math -
3D Printing - Sketch Up
School in New Zealand poor/School in Australia wealthy - earthquake
Virtual Class -

Kennedy School (Research)

Old school doesn't work!

Actionable -
  • Sir Ken Robinson, DRIVE -12 min RSA anime, Motivation comes from mastery, autonomy and purpose 
  • Dr. John Medina - "Brain Rules" we don't know a lot about how the brain works, but the what we do know is that the way we set up the world physically works against the way our brain operates, 
  • Daniel Pink - "A Whole New Mind" - The emerging economy is going to rely on our ability to design things.
  • Jane Mc Gonnigal - Students will use forms of technology (gaming) on a massive level. What are they learning? What are they become good at?
  • Coding - Kids want to be creative right away!
1 Thing You Can Walk Away With! -

Google Translate -
Google Books - 
Google Scholar - 
Google Alerts - 
Google Custom Search -

Restricting Choice - Safe Search 

Student Source - Student Created

What are the implications of creating more student agency?  

Are you kidding me?
At the conclusion of G. Bundy's presentation all I can say is wow! Impressive to say the least. Light-bulbs are exploding in my mind like a strobe light flicking during the "couples-only dance time" at the local roller-rink. The possibilities: using Google and other applications, some of which are free, appear almost endless. And to think I had no real awareness of these powerful tools. Why is that? Is it because I love staying in my comfort zone? Is it because I have been outside the classroom for some time now? Is it because our IT staff has been reduced to simply maintaining our system as opposed to exploring and sharing what is available and how it can be used? Is it because we lack a real, authentic, considered, comprehensive tech plan and thus a vision? The answer to all of these questions you might expect... yes.

How did we get here?  
Like so many other complex issues facing education there are a multitude of factors that have brought LEP to this place. I can dwell in the why which does nothing to advance the cause or deal with our reality or create a plan to move us forward. Yes, we are in a different place than many of my colleagues, but they to had to start somewhere. Pity parties do nothing to advance the skill level of the young scholars we serve. So the question becomes: How do I move LEP forward? If we strive to be student-centered and facilitators of learning who seek to give kids more autonomy and student agency, then what must we do?

Moving Forward - Action Plan - 2014-2015 (Draft)
  • As a collective group, recommit to LEP's Mission and Vision. (8/26-8/28 staff orientation)
  • Share research and thoughts from "heavy hitters", including Sir Robinson, Sugata Mitra, Zang Zhao, Daniel Pink, TED video clips etc., with staff  
  • Through article analysis and discussion, explore the possibility that student autonomy and teacher-as-facilitator is the way to go in the new era of learning and emphasize that this is the direction LEP is headed. (How does this tie into our mission and vision?) 
  • Survey staff to find out what technology teachers use regularly and how they came to know about it. (Survey - student created with support from IT team.  Due 9/16 - Compile and share out)
  • Create committee (including students, parents, community members, and alumni) to research and develop a plan for using technology at LEP, including setting goals for technology implementation.
  • Ask IT team share out new resources such as app's or web sites that might benefit teaching and create student autonomy
  • Once a month at staff meetings have designated teachers (grade level, content area, etc) share ways in which they have used technology successfully.
  • Create a electronic storing house for ideas and resources that can be shared and accessed by all. (Google Doc)
  • Create opportunities for students to share sites or app's that can be used in the classroom or outside to enhance learning.
  • Work with board to find outside organizations to fund and support long term vision  

General Thoughts from Day 3 - EDAD 536

Resources -
Drop Box - Electronic storage system, accessible
Screen Flow
Quick Time 
I Tunes U - way to create experience course on I Pad, can be used by PC USF - Lit2go
Clicker - Poll Everywhere (source) - Text alert system 
University of South Florida - Classics open source - Opensource books

Center Court - Poor Integration of Tech

Student Response System - Teacher requests - Equipment sat in a box. Show them how to use or apply the tech.
You Tube PD 
Utilize students to support the tech efforts
Headphones experience

Research:  Canby School District - Once a month a tour of a school
Professional Growth Goal - Including tech in your instruction 
Clayton Christiansen - Disruptive Innovation

Vision - What are the next steps after EDAD 536?

Sir Ken Robinson

Big Picture - Changing Paradigms

Education - Economic/Cultural Identity

Trying to meet the future by doing what was done in the past. System designed for a different era (Industrial - Interest/Imagining - Bells, groups, standardization)
No guarantee 
Raise Standards 
Smart People and None Smart People
This model has caused chaos = modern epidemic - ADHD medication at an all time high. Stimuli is coming from everywhere getting distracted from boring.  
The Arts are the victim!- Aesthetic experience is disappearing
We need more divergent thinking
We are all capable of genius which is eroded over time

Daniel Pink

Reward you get more.  Punish you get less.
MIT Experiment - Reward top performers etc. $
If mechanical task hen theory was applicable. If it required higher level of mental skills the theory did not apply. Rewards did not motivate
Pay people enough to take money out of the equation. 

Autonomy - Self directed = Engagement = 24 hours to do what you want = Creativity 
Mastery - We love to get better at things - Give it away! = Purpose 
If it is all about profit then creativity and innovation ceases to happen
Give staff an opportunity to have autonomy - PD days = presentation
The tech world it is different - Framework Think of something in our building that need to be improved and work on that

Dealing with the bureaucracy!

Flipped PD -
  • Coaching is the key to teachers using technology effectively in the classroom.
  • Teachers will not utilize technology or other innovation if unsupported. 
  • Human factor - Is at play we all love to have a safety net. Someone 
  • I think the concept of flipped PD is a great one. In order for teachers or anyone for that matter to take risks they have to have a support system.
  • Delegate
  • Model what you do with the kids
  • Provide incentive for teachers to read the nut's and bolts

Building a Web Presence -

  • Clear vision and purpose 
  • User focused navigation 
  • User engagement
  • Clear and Concise Messaging (High Qualities)
  • Simplicity
  • Examples: Rocky Mtn. College, American School of Bombay, Fairview Middle School 
  • Presentations - simple, limit the bullet points, "The slide is not the presenter the person is." stay away from the cheesy graphics
  • Resources - Google graphics, Creative Commons, Presentation Zen - Book, Slide Share, Infographics
  • Suggestions - 

General Thoughts from Day 4 -

Undocumented Immigrant Program 

General Thoughts from Day 5 - EDAD 563

Center Court –

What did we forget?
·      Using video for observations.  If you’re doing something really cool in your room I am going to video tape it.
·      “Brain Rules” – Integration of senses (evokes emotion)
·      E-Books and their impact
·      Open Source - Providing good material for free to all is the new order
·      LOR – Learning Object Depositories – May allow teachers to do their
·      The inventor of the original Wiki is from Portland
·      Principal Source??

 Resources –
·      Engage New York” - Math – program online and free
·      Google + online forum, video chat hangouts
·      Photobooth –
·      GoToMeeting – online virtual meeting website
·      Evernote- all in one information collection system
· – way to post photos
· – internet
· – critics opinions about books, movies,
· – web design templates
·      Quicktime – module
·      Google Forms

Sugata Mitra  - Video
Building a School in the Clouds
What will be the future of learning?

Where did school come from?
The Age of Empire - 300 years ago, English Empire- paper/ships created a global computer=the beaucratic machine, schools will educate the people who will then work for the beuarcracy
Must: be able to read, do math in head, and write legibly

So what are we going to do with the design?
“Schools are not broken, but outdated!”
How is present day schooling going to prepare students for the future?
Why are all the rich people having all of these genius children?
Computer in the wall for the use by anyone (browsing)
Computer in the outer rural areas (teach ourselves English)
Granny Nurturing

What will it be tomorrow?
Could it be that at the moment you want to know something you can’t find it. 
Are we making knowing obsolete?
Brain shuts down when in high intense moments threat tests
Calling on Grandmothers –Granny Cloud
Let learning happen! 
Teacher only raises the question!

My Wish
Design a future for learning where wonder leads to learning
Driven by big questions

Presentation Nuggets-
Tech Committee Book study
Power link
Animating a Power Slide
Talent Ed – Performance evaluation tool

Mantra -
No excuses!  We should not be held back by a lack of technology in our learning spaces.
Let learning happen!

Final Presentations
Doug – My Journey using Prezzi
Celina – Teacher Evaluations & Feedback
Angella – Brain Rules –
1.   Survival
2.   Exercise - “Talk Business While Walking,
3.   Sleep Well
4.   Stress
5.   Wiring – Set up connection
6.   Memory
7.   Sensory Integration
8.   Visual

Breck- Webpage for class
Debbie – Evaluation tool for drop in that is connected to the school improvement plan, feedback Balance student talk to teacher talk
Anne – Visions of Grandeur – Thought this would be a simple process, which turned into a huge ordeal
Michael – Communication tools “Technology is not the answer it is simply a way to support inquiry” One to One bring your own tech.  Google + can be used for PD follow up, group project follow up, - cannot organize documents, social community, can’t directly upload documents, photo booth
Robyn – Using tech to streamline the discipline paperwork using classDojo allows you to reward students for good behavior
Seth – Edmodo – Inquiry based, “Me shutting up” creates better outcomes for those I serve,” May do’s and Must do’s, directions, anchor papers, mini-lessons, calendar w/due dates, polls, links,
Yolanda – Website -What is Early Academy, website creation, celebrate my teachers, allow community to get to know them as people, video presence, school improvement plan on website = transparency, professional development
Bonnie – Blog – creates a short sweet version, kids bored fleeing to online school,