Tuesday, October 28, 2008

At the NSBA T+L Conference in Seattle

We arrived in Seattle yesterday and got a chance to walk around the city. It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed the views.

I like the venue for the conference this year - the layout seems compact in comparison to the sprawling layout of Nashville last year. I have my day planned and will be live blogging from the sessions I attend.

Here is today's schedule (all times are PST):
7:30am Breakfast Speaker on 1-1 Computing Room 4C2
9:15am Keynote Room 6ABC
11:15 Vendor Floor
12:30 Showcase Luncheon Room 4C3-4
2:15 CTO Forum Room 4C2
4:15 Vendor Floor
5:00 Meet up with Group
5:30 Dinner @ the Space Needle
7:30 Meet up with others

Friday, October 24, 2008

Post 10/24/2008

  • New findings on the social nature of the brain reveal the need for principals to fashion a school culture of warmth and trust.

    tags: DLC

  • New findings on the social nature of the brain reveal the need for principals to fashion a school culture of warmth and trust.

    tags: DLC

    • Psychologists have known for a century that people do their best when they experience both high motivation and manageable stress; when people are undermotivated or overstressed, their performance suffers.
    • during inspired moments of learning, students experience a potent mix of attention, interest, and good feelings
      • Teachers did their best job and felt most satisfied when they perceived that the school head

        • Led flexibly rather than sticking to needless rules.

        • Let them teach in their own way, holding them accountable for the results.

        • Set challenging but realistic goals for excellence.

        • Valued their efforts, recognizing a job well done.
    • headteachers, data analysis found, could best create such a climate when they were firm but fair and had a “people first, task second” attitude, addressing teachers' personal needs as well as their collective goals.
    • Six Common Leadership Styles

      Visionary. Inspires by articulating a heartfelt, shared goal; routinely gives performance feedback and suggestions for improvement in terms of that goal.

      Coaching. Takes people aside for a talk to learn their personal aspirations; routinely gives feedback in those terms and stretches assignments to move toward those goals.

      Democratic. Knows when to listen and ask for input; gets buy-in and draws on what others know to make better decisions.

      Affiliative. Realizes that having fun together is not a waste of time, but builds emotional capital and harmony.

      Pacesetting. Leads by hard-driving example and expects others to meet the same pace and high performance standards; tends to give Fs, not As.

      Commanding. Gives orders and demands immediate compliance; tends to be coercive.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Post 10/23/2008

  • Works Made for Hire under the 1976 Copyright Act

    Under the 1976 Copyright Act as amended (title 17 of the United States Code), a work is protected by copyright from the time it is created in a fixed form. In other words, when a work is written down or otherwise set into tangible form, the copyright immediately becomes the property of the author who created it. Only the author or those deriving their rights from the author can rightfully claim copyright.

    Although the general rule is that the person who creates a work is the author of that work, there is an exception to that principle: the copyright law defines a category of works called “works made for hire.” If a work is “made for hire,” the employer, and not the employee, is considered the author. The employer may be a firm, an organization, or an individual.

    To understand the complex concept of a work made for hire, it is necessary to refer not only to the statutory definition but also to its interpretation in cases decided by courts.

    tags: copyright

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: Poverty

How appropriate that today would be Blog Action Day and Focus on Poverty. Based on a recommendation by Dennis Richards I just finished reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. The book itself is a biography of Dr. Paul Farmer and his lifelong crusade to cure the world of illness by setting the example in the world's most diseased locales in the wost conditions (Haiti, Peru, Russia) but it is really a cry out against those that are blessed that are turning their eyes away from the poor. After reading it I believe that what Dr. Farmer is trying to point out is that poverty is the root of the cause of what ills the world - not just sickness.

So what is the connection here to my edtech blog? Simply this - our world is now open to the eyes of our students. Technology makes it possible to with a couple of clicks able to read about poverty, TB, or AIDS which is faster access to print resources than we have ever had. It also allows us to make it more powerful through images or video. It even allows us to find great organizations that our kids can help support like XDRTB.org.

More importantly we need our kids to learn how to use the tools around them to act as change agents to make their world a better place.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Post 10/09/2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Post 10/08/2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Post 10/04/2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Ebb and Flow

This is now my 4th year out of the classroom. This is significant to me because I remember thinking back in my 4th year of teaching that I was finally catching on. I was able to focus more on my students than my teaching. I automatically was able to do menial tasks and certain challenges from when I first started teaching became second nature.

I am not there yet in this role.

This transition has been harder for me. Some of it comes from changing districts in the middle of it. I am sure that if I had remained as a Tech Coordinator at Conant I would have it down by now. However, there is one thing that I am beginning to keenly understand.

The ebb and flow of Instructional Technology training and support.

July through September is nuts. There is so much happening that every misstep or problem seems disastrous - that you won't recover or get on track. School starts and teachers and students settle in and you are able to get back into a flow. The tech team begins to get over the mountain of help requests - they start to be closed faster than they come in. The focus changes from deployment of technology to teaching students and teachers how to use it. Hopefully in that process we help our teachers to teach more effectively and challenge our students to learn.

This week we had Charlene Chausis in to work with our staff development team. I finally felt like we were taking that step and beginning to move forward with what is really important in educational technology - Education (thanks for the help Charlene!).

Soon the ebb will take us into the planning process for next year's technology. Next week the focus will be on goal setting for my team. I really expect that this will help us greatly.

Here is to knowing that I am still learning...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Post 10/02/2008