Wow, cool! Alan November!

Premise:  Kids don't have valuable jobs in our society anymore.

Jobs Kids Should Have:

Screencast creators!  Video creators!

Gathering More Info for "The Dream"

Last year I attended a session by the folks in Stanly County who have implemented a 1:1 laptop project. It was AWESOME. Well, they are back to give an update, so here I am! Haven't given up on the dream of having laptops every day for my kids...gaining more ammo!

The Horizon Project - North Albemarle - 21st Stanly (taking the county 1:1)

Presented by two tech facilitators. Their program started with discussions with Apple (note to self - start discussion with a PC rep). Changed their titles to 21st Century Skills Facilitators.

Now in their second year with 4/5 grades; now moving to 3rd grade. Moving to Albemarle Middle School as part of the 21Stanly Project; 6th grade this year, 7/8 next year.

Laptops do not go home with the kids, basically for safety reasons for the kids.

Their main start up group consisted of about 60 kids!!

Francis Bradburn going before the Blue Ribbon Commission advocating for removal of the 8th grade computer skills test! YEAH! However, admins need to set the expectation that technology be integrated on a daily basis with or without a test.

Teachers in Stanly feel the training from Apple was relevant and very supportive of their ideas. Apple Classroom of Tomorrow - based on research. Dell contracted Pearson Learning for this type of training?

Every one of their classrooms has an access point. Use MacBooks.

Check out North Albemarle Elementary School

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 5

Effective Partnerships with K-12 - Keith Krueger, CEO CoSN, Mark Nieker, Pres. Pearson Education Foundation, Bev White, CTO, Wake Co Schools

  • Education typically largest recipient of funding from foundations, individuals (after religion)

  • Essential to our competitiveness, our children's future, belief that K-12 needs help

  • Many of today's partnerships don't take off, or meet the needs of participants

  •  What doesn't work:

    • thinly veiled sales pitches

    • donated stuff schools haven't asked for

    • well intended/not thought out

    • unsustainable "model" programs with no plan

    • chasing money for someone else's priorities/make sure resources match your mission

    • higher ed partnerships:  major disconnect, tendency to do narrow proof of concepts, useless language, little dissemination

    • govt: complicated application process, different priorities, lack of dissemination

  • What does work:

    • meeting real needs of K-12

    • high quality, vendor neutral information

    • working in coalition

    • using language of K-12 (not business)

    • foundations tend to be sustainable and provide freedom to be creative and think out of the box

    • govt:  some really good NSF (for example) projects have been done

  • Self Criticism K-12

    • K-12 is totally unique and alone

    • "poor us" mentality - willingness to take anything that is given

    • historic suspicion about companies

  • Need to have mutual vision

  • Must have right partner(s)

  • scalability & sustainability

Nieker, Pearson:

  1.  Partnership must be commonly describable by all involved; must include flexibility

  2. Good documentation - things that go well and things that don't

  3. Scalability - is it replicable?

White, Wake Co:

  1. Spoke about the partnerships with Centennial's 8th grade laptop initiative. (SAS, NCSU, Friday Inst)

Question:  How do we invite partnerships in rural areas where there is little industry/big business?

Answer:  Willingness to dialogue with business, not ruling out small business, parents that are involved in business, demonstrate the disconnect between the school classroom environment with the business environment, clarity of expression of needs.

Daniel Solomon, Dean, Physical/Math Sciences, NCSU

America Competes Act due to be signed by both houses.

Diversity is an issue in STEM - namely women and African Americans

Intentionally think about the problem from multiple perspectives

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 4

Cyberinfrastructure - Break Out Session

  • Making it available to the masses

  • Creating computerized classrooms - financial implications that accompany this

  • Possibility of using iPhone for computing in the classroom

  • Need for professional development - both in technology and the content areas

  • Issues with relying too heavily on technology - "deskilling"

    • kids can't make change

    • kids use calculators, but don't understand the concepts behind it

    • kids can't read maps, because they've only been using GPS

  • Learning thinking skills as opposed to memorization and test-taking skills

  • Diane Oblinger - papers on this generation of learners

  • Assessment is a big issue

  • Greater student interaction

  • Schools need Instructional Tech Facilitators (with tech and curriculum background)

  • Where is the media specialist's role in all of this?

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 4

Sally Howe, Associate Director, National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology R&D

  • NITRD Program Goals:

    • Provide foundations for continued US tech leadership

    • Accelerate development and employment of technology for global leadership

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 3

Working Breakout Session

  • How can we better prepare students for the literacy demands post secondary?

  • Not involving our kids in their own education, they are not responsible for their learning.

  • Not enough critical thinking, high level problem solving in the K-12 classroom.  How do we facilitate that in the classroom?

  • Classroom management is an issue.

  • Professional Development is a great need.  Pre-service training for new teachers needs to improve.

  • Relevancy in math and science classes needs to be improved and addressed.

  • Allow students to drive more of the content.

  • Does the teacher wearing too many hats take away from quality instruction?

  • Assessment requirements take away from true learning/quality learning.

  • How can we make assessment relevant?

    • formative assessments

    • e-portfolios

    • performance assessments

  • Community involvement is important

  • Parent empowerment to be a part of the educational process; matching professional development for parents

  • Moving from a traditional report card to a standards based report card?

  • Place greater funding and emphasis on teacher effectiveness.

  • Public doesn't understand the need that exists

  • Communication across government, school, and other public stages need to increase

  • How do we maintain sustained student interest in learning?

    • global communication/collaboration

    • empowering them by celebrating their creation of new knowledge

    • creating student centered environments

  • Concern about losing a large proportion of kids interested in science/math as early as late elementary/MS up through post-secondary.  Does the system defeat itself through staunch assessments and a critical value system?

  • Expose students to role models and careers; as well as a support system to encourage them to stay in the STEM programs.

  • Middle school years are critical as far as career development plans.

  • High expectations and encouraging students in their abilities

  • What can we do to prevent losing kids from the STEM areas?

    • professional development

    • stimulating students to become critical thinkers, life long learners, solution finders, risk takers

    • content through experience/experimentation

Susan Patrick - CEO, North American Council for Online Learning

  • focus on K-12 virtual schools and online learning

  • opens access for students and teachers

  • more and more jobs these days are focused on online telecommuting and flexible schedules

  • Singapore - 100% of their systems have online learning - online is blended with the traditional program

  • mentioned the Partnership for 21st Century Skills' 6 key elements of 21st Century Learning (*21st century assessments must match the 21st century skills)

  • Sharing Research to Inform Policy

    • Online learning expands options

    • Online learning is growing rapidly

    • Online learning is equal or better in effectiveness

    • Online learning improves teaching (although a lot of training is needed)

  • Michigan April 2006 first state to require online learning

  • the US spends more per pupil on education than any other nation (besides Switzerland), yet we are not seeing results

  • "Silent Epidemic" study by the Gates Foundation on high school drop outs

    • 88% had passing grades

    • 69% were not motivated to work hard

    • 66% would've worked harder had they been challenged

    • 81% called for more real world opportunities

  • Millenials:

    • Kids spend more time online than they do watching television

    • see information as free

    • like to collaborate virtually and face to face

    • 96% say doing well in school is important in their lives

    • children are much more involved in decision making at home

  • Cyberinfrastructure - integrates hardware for computing, data and networks, digitally-enabled sensors, observatories and experimental facilities, and an interoperable suite of software and middleware services and tools.

  • simulation-based engineering

  • Examples:

    • Micro Observatory Online Telescope at Harvard

    • iLab Network - pairing kids with scientists using high powered microscopes to learn

  • Students use the computer an average of 15 minutes per week at school!

  • Need more and continued training for teacher use

  • Student and teacher access for technology

  • Use of digital content tied to state academic standards

  • Need to measure and SHARE with policy makers the successes of our tech programs

  • Creativity is highest at 6 (100 questions a day), terminal seriousness at 44 (2 questions a day), bounce at retirement

  • Need to take risks, continue to question to move our efforts forward

  • Leadership = Trust, Integrity, Passion

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 2

Michael Lach, Head of Math and Science, Chicago School District

  • 430, 000 students, 27, 000 teachers in Chicago City Schools

  • Lot of emphasis on local control; believe in the support of communities

  • Ranks 49th among the 50 states in the share of education funding

  • Still making good gains in both science and math

  • CO's + NSF = Math and Science Initiative

  • Tools and support, increased content knowledge, extended learning opportunities all used to enhance the learning of science and math

  • Use Math Thematics and Connected Mathematics as the main programs 6-8; Elementary Math Trailblazers and Everyday Mathematics

  • Standard Scope and Sequence in Science

  • Can correlate test score improvement with those educators who attend professional development on an ongoing basis

  • They pay for teachers to take grad classes at several universities to add endorsements to their licensure

  • School leadership is KEY!

  • What we need more of:  formative feedback, leadership, equality in opportunity

  • "Computers are not magic, teachers are magic" Craig Barrett, Intel

Sharon Schulze/Colleen Karl - NC Science House

  • Science House emphasis on hands-on inquiry, research based programs, teacher training

  • 14 full time staff/lots of part-time; 16 years of experience

  • Partnerships with many business/industry

  • Year round ed programs for students; summer camps

  • K-12 Teacher support - manuals, content courses, workshops, extended programs

  • Bennett's Millpond Environment Learning Project

    • student learning

    • teacher involvement

    • community engagement

    • new partnerships

    • environmental citizenship

    • experimental design and research

    • Junior/Senior year

    • Model of Place Based Learning

    • increased professional networking

    • SCOS connected to outside learning

    • teachers/students feel a part of the scientific community

    • real life practice collecting and analyzing data

    • encourage the kids to design their own equipment

    • making kids aware of new career possibilities in the sciences

Bette Manchester, Director Maine Learning Technologies Initiative 

  • 1:1 initiative began 6 years ago

  • promoted by Seymour Papert to Governor Angus King

  • time and money spent working with teachers PRIOR to giving the kids the laptops

  • program aimed at creating equity of resources for students and staff

  • from the beginning it was not about the test scores, it was about learning!

  • another goal was to increase collaboration between students and their teachers through the technology

  • focus on PBL!

  • commitment to change needs to be systemic, there need to be purpose, move to learner centered, PLC's, culture of risk taking

  • must build communication networks, virtual networks, training leadership teams, student teams (annual conference with all involved)

  • assessment for learning practices - training/resources (templates, etc.) provided to the teachers

  • involved teacher leaders (classroom teacher at building level), media specialist are both part of the teacher support component

  • Maine Virtual Library

  •  Math teachers had the hardest time using the laptops - received a grant to help support this need

  • NSF grant - Ecoscience (using simulations for math/science); currently in pilot programs across the state

  • Creativity/Innovation, Critical Friends Groups, Inquiry based learning

  • Project's foundation begins with quality classroom teachers, not technologists.

  • Leadership is EVERYTHING!

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 1

Blogging live from the Friday Institute:

Audience is a cross-section of educators (primary-university), government, business.

Brave New Schools, How Computers Can Change Education - written by new director of Friday Inst.

Remarks from Katherine Moore, NC State College of Ed

  • 1:1 pilot project started with 8th graders at Centennial MS

Remarks from Jim Goodnight, CEO SAS Institute

  •  Spoke of the 21st Century belonging to Asia - US is not feeling the "clear and present danger" it needs to in the innovation/brain "war".  We've got to teach to our technologically savvy kids!

Keynote Speaker - Alan Kay - Viewpoints Research Institute (non-profit dedicated to children and learning)

  • "It's the fundamental changes that make the big difference."

  • "If there was ever an air guitar nation, it's the United States."

  • We don't need more scientists and engineers, we need higher quality scientists/engineers.

  • "Distracting Ourselves to Death" - whenever you reset what is "normal" it makes it difficult to allow constructive criticism

  • "Science is a debugging process for our bad human brains."

  • Mentioned Francis Bacon and the beginnings of real science

  • No reason to make a distinction between the STEM areas to/for children.  They should be interconnected.

  • The Internet has killed criticism because there is so much out criticism out on the Internet.

  • Believes that more knowledge is gained in Science through reading because you can't experiment with everything in Science.

  • $100 laptop includes Etoys (worldwide authoring tool)

  • Adults who teach children generally lack sufficient fluency in math thinking.


  • Never give simulations that are already written, the child should be the one to create the variables and experiment with them.

  • Must use phenomenon that are in the child's world as part of the investigation.

  • Lillian McDermott - physicist who studies how people learn science

Definitely need to spend some time with the above links!

Big6 Webinar

Am blogging live as we sit at the CO participating a webinar on Big6 Research model.

  • Valued skills   #1 Problem Solving  #2 Information Use (Fall 2001)

  • Big 6 - the six steps people go through to process information and solve problems

    • Task Definition - Define the information problem

    • Information Seeking Strategies - Brainstorm range of possible sources

    • Location and Access - Where are the sources?

    • Use of Information - Engage (read, hear, view, touch)

    • Synthesis - Organize information from multiple sources/present information

    • Evaluation - Judge the product effectiveness

  • Creators believe that implementing this model by teaching the steps one at a time while giving a real world problem in which to implement each step is best.

  • Big 6 is non-linear - can jump back and forth in the process

**Webinar is not going well...we're 35 minutes into a PAID webinar and the main speaker has yet to login and get started.  His cohorts are backpedaling quickly!  I think we will be asking for a refund...

Critical thinking skills embedded in Big6 and it is transferable across grade levels and subjects

  1. Task Definition:  Teaching students to ask good questions.   Rewriting problem in their own words.  Having student brainstorm key questions that accompany the problem.  Identify key words in the problem.  Clarifying what information they need.

  2. Information Seeking Strategies:  Brainstorm and prioritize list of sources.  Discussing criteria for selecting sources.  Learn differences between primary and secondary sources.

  3. Location and Access (Finding Stage):  Independent gathering of resources.  Online, library, knowing whom/how to ask for help.  Using various clues in the assignment or book to help locate helpful resources.

  4. Use of Information:  Engage.  Skim/scan, distinguish between fact/opinion, note taking skills, putting things in your own words, quoting correctly

  5. Synthesis: Production stage

  6. Evaluation:  Judging the product and the process that they have gone through to reach the end result.  The metacognitive portion of the process.

Must see instruction as a series of problems to solve with decisions for students to make.

* I really don't see how this is new information, or a new strategy for teachers.  I find it hard to believe that these people are "selling" this as a new model.  I think good teachers who assign any kind of research assignments/projects have been conducting their lessons using this framework for years...

* Moderator (Bob Berkowitz) just commented that he nor many others use Bloom's Taxonomy any more...  VERY DISAPPOINTING that an educator would make this comment.  After all, it seems that his model is based on Bloom's. ??

The conversation among our group members related to teachers still assigning research projects like, "Do a report on Adolph Hitler".  To me, these kinds of assignments lead to the frustration that was expressed by our librarians.  There is no substance, no ties to today's real world, and absolutely no applications for the great Web 2.0 tools that could enhance the child's learning. The kids don't know what they are supposed to be learning or why!  So when the media specialist asks questions of the students, the kids shrug their shoulders.  It is unnecessary in our schools today.   Our next example was a social studies class who had been assigned to read a biography and write a report.  "Why was this assignment given in the first place?" is my first reaction!!  What relevance does it have for the kids?  Where is the 'rigor and relevance'?

Photo:  Duh! 

The Silver Lining?

Today's Ripple and Splash ~

Remaining positive can be a difficult thing to do as the dreaded EOG testing approaches.  Many of the forums I have been a part of this past week have been filled with lamentations concerning the stress of NCLB and NC standardized testing!  From the math workshops being frantically conducted in our county, to speakers and scientists at the 1st Annual Event of the NC Science, Math, and Technology Education Center, to the Annual Celebration of the Kenan Fellows, to my graduate class being conducted via Polycom with educators in Arizona and Missouri, the tone is dismal!  This year, above all others I have experienced, seems to be the worst!  Teachers are worried, kids are stressed, administrators are in a panic, and the entire school system could implode at any moment!

However, in an effort to provide teachers with tools they need as they review, our Principal asked that all projectors (we don't have one per classroom - YET)  be moved to the classrooms of 3-5 grade math teachers.  I created some wikis (Gr. 3, Gr. 4, Gr. 5) with math review sites and content, and several teachers have created great PowerPoint reviews to use with their SMARTboards.  Now, as you walk down the hall, projector lights are burning, ELMOs are displaying manipulatives to small groups, and kids are engaged in math!  Qwizdom sets are being checked out to review skills, and we have had to order more cords and splitters for the increased need!  Although not the seamless integration with Problem Based learning I hope will come, it is a start - a hook, so to speak!  Maybe, just maybe, after being "pressured" to use the technology, they won't want to give it up!!

Photo:  Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining 

Grab the Kleenex!

Today's Ripple and Splash:

Had read this story before, but it's so much more powerful with the music and pictures. It is touching and brings back to the forefront, the real reason we are teachers! (Thanks for sending the link Aunt Lynn)
Watch it here:

Photo: Children Playing


Finally, a chance to blog!  Ahhh.... Thanks to her great sharing abilities, my friend Danita, shared the fantastic alternative to YouTube for those of us in blocked schools.  I immediately put our great 5th grade rappin' math teacher's 6 videos up on TeacherTube!  Well that was a week ago, and already the videos have had over 5,000 views!  And lots of great comments from other educators!  Mrs. Burk, the rappin' math teacher is in the building!  Just as cool is that she had me video her kids performing the math raps in class and their video has had over 2,000 views!  We even had another educator comment that she was glad to see the raps in action with the kids after watching Mrs. Burk's own videos.  Very cool!

Another first for us occurred last week when my son's teacher, Mr. Mize (who is a totally awesome 3rd grade teacher, and also part of my Master's cohort), and I Skyped with our classes.  Mine, of course, was Mrs. Lopez's third grade class whom I had stolen (or she had generously shared) so I could teach 10 science/technology integrated lessons (check out their soil wiki here) I had developed for grad class.  Both Mr. Mize's class (at the opposite end of the county) and my adopted third graders had been studying soil, and were near the end of the unit.  The kids had all written questions for each other and took turns coming up to the microphone.  It was amazing!  They couldn't wait to explain what they had learned and it was interesting to hear the different activities that went on at both schools.  If only I had videotaped it!  We were so proud!  Can't wait to do it again!!

Photo:  Kids At Play

Blogging Live from MEGA - Laura Fogle's Presentation

"Conversation on Cybersafety in 21st Century Classrooms"

Laura Fogle, Technology Educator/Tech4Teaching

Web 2.0 is here to stay!  Pointed out that John McCain and Barak Obama, both have a MySpace account, and that Dora the Explorer (kids' cartoon) has podcasting/vodcasting on her site!

YouTube bad press and other media "hype" (mentioned Lee County fight club situation) evokes "highly reactive response" from general public.  DOPA, DOPA Jr., State Initiatives, Local Policies all reactions to this response.

"Real Concerns"

Online predators - 71% reported receiving messages online from someone they don't know (  Need to know what real statics and real numbers are!

Proactive Response:  Protection, Responsible Use, Education and Advocacy

Used analogy of giving pointed scissors to kindergartners is not appropriate, but that doesn't mean we should ban all scissors from the school.  We teach them using rounded scissors and allow them to be guided in learning how to use the tools!

Gave out different colored strips with a question as well as several delicious link sites. 

Danita and I have this question:  "What policy changes would you recommend to address Web 2.0 concerns?" (How ironic, as this is the very issue that was heatedly discussed at our ITF meeting earlier today.)

Our Ideas: 

Policy committee for community buy in, parent involvement, student involvement, teacher representation, school board rep; staff development in Web 2.0 tools, gather large amounts of information - what are others doing?  What are the discussions in other areas?

Educating Others about web 2.0:

conversations with parents, show sites at PTO, show them how to set up their own accounts, encourage parents to be involved with their kids' sites, share guidelines.

Can you use Web 2.0 tools in the classroom safely? 

Lab guidelines that need to be read, discussed, and signed by each student who enters the lab.  Students told the history on each computer would be checked, consequences set up.  Teacher must be engaged, actively involved, highly structured assignments/activities.  If you wait until the students are adults, they will never have the experiences they need to grow, put responsibility back on the student with well defined consequences and follow up.

Is student activity on social networks a school issue?

What if students post fictional sites of teachers with negative content?  Mentioned a Leading and Learning Article - Point/Counterpoint.  If the activity a "substantial and material disruption to the learning environment" the school has jurisdiction to intervene in the situation?  Download material and copy for the parents to view?  Check with ISP provider to locate offender.  My Space is working to help out in these situations, ie. taking sites down, as well as any comments they've ever made.  Social networking sites are working to alleviate some of this negativity.

Suggested having a panel discussion with policy makers, social network reps, law enforcement, teachers, parents, etc.  GREAT IDEA!!

Although we could have continued this terrific discussion for hours, the meeting had to close!  To be continued....

Blogging Live From MEGA - Joselyn Todd's Presentation

Joselyn Todd - MS Science Dept. Chair/Cary Academy/Teacher Editor: MidLink Magazine

wwwikis - Presentation wiki for today (PowerPoint is included here)

Joselyn has started out discussing much of the web 2.0 vocabulary, most of today will be about wikis. 

Nature Magazine article comparing Wikipedia to Encyclopedia Britannica - comparison of errors found in each.

Designates editors and formatters in her classes to make the wikis look appealing.

How does the wiki fit into the big 21st Century Literacy picture?  Allows for collaboration, thinking critically, self directed learners, technology integration, global learning, content development, creative thinking, intellectual freedom.

Why use wikis in classroom?  Easy to use, FREE, Allows teacher monitoring (times of posts are in the history) Intellectual creativity creates Life Long Learners!

Kids assigned to teams and asked to spend 15 minutes working on "their" page for homework.  When she looked back at the history 148 edits had been made on the page the same day the wiki was created!  Used the history to see who had contributed and when.  Used the information the kids had put on the wiki to sense what she needed to reteach or go over.

Joselyn includes David Warlick's citation machine link for her kids, on the wiki front page.  She uploads her documents and screen casts (vodcasts) for her kids to use as reviews or when she is absent.  Took apart the periodic table and each kid did a podcast of an element.  Her kids also incorporate YouTube videos to demonstrate their chemistry concepts!  The kids use the teacher's YouTube account to put the videos they have made/selected, up on the wiki.

If she sees errors in the wiki contributions, she points them out privately to the student and THE STUDENT makes the edit.

Cary Academy uses no filters.  Policy at the school which tries to instill responsibility.  Good stuff outweighs the bad stuff.  The school has a recording feature, so she can go to the student's account to check where they have gone on the web.

Grading?  She asks, "who did not contribute to the wiki last night?"  The kids are aware that she has the ability to use the history to check this.

Has the kids create questions for the test (and answers) and post them on one of the pages of the wiki, along with their name.  The wiki is then used as a study guide, and she uses 20 of those kid-created questions to create the actual test.

Created a blog out of a wiki for her kids.  Only members can comment.  There is a direction page, so kids know how to use it as a blog.  Kids have their own page, they copy and paste the blog prompt given by the teacher, and then blog about it.  Others add comments (kids who comment write their name on the board drawing a line from their name to the origianl blogger's name - so everyone knows who has gotten a comment, and who needs a comment - GREAT IDEA!).  Students must then ammend their original blog after reviewing the comments.

"It is my job to educate them on how to use these tools...whether they are using it for educational purposes or not..." Joselyn Todd 

"How will we effectively teach them [students] if we are ignorant of it ourselves." Joselyn Todd

"Do not confine your children to your own learning...for they were born in another time." Hebrew Proverb

Time Out!

Sometimes we get too caught up in thinking we need to save the world of education! To be quite honest, trying to just stay afloat ourselves, say nothing about helping others in the journey, leaves many of us frustrated, overwhelmed, and a little CRAZY!  So here are a few "Time Outs" - can you hear my whistle?

Flickr:  Ref Jer

1.  Check out this very addictively fun site called The Impossible Quiz!  You may need to set a timer near your computer, or the next time you look at the clock it might be 3 AM!  Thanks to my sister, Kathy, for sending it to me (although I think it was really an invitation to a challenge - she's very competitive!).

2.  I got a chuckle out of this metaphor and had to pass it along!  I first saw it on Steve Dembo's blog  It is entitled NCLB: The Football Version.  Good ahead, laugh!

Free Web Tools for Online Collaboration

Harry Marriner and Keenan Tusing - Pender County Schools

  • Talked about a tech camp they conducted June 2006 (8-12) 3 groups of 4 kids spread out among the school

  • Goals of the camp: Expose students to interactive and collaborative online tools, create presentation using non-face to face collaboration.  What a neat idea!!

  • Used PBL format - given a challenge that was research based; unable to talk face to face; worked from different areas in the school

  • Used Gaggle email accounts, stored files in digital locker, utilized message boards, chat rooms, and the blogs

  • - interactive collaborative whiteboard; need valid email; can comment or make changes on it

  • Learner Blogs - blogs for kids from same people as edublogs

  • Chat Room - -free account up to 4 rooms; admin can monitor all of the rooms; can send files right into the chat room to share; archives chats; can keep it private by inviting members - can turn guest access on and off

  • started every day with an email - kids had to check their email for the day's assignment

  • wikispaces - kids could use the wiki to collaborate on ideas and share research information that they are collecting

  • Collabortive Drawing - invite others to draw something with you; can save drawings

  • Class Chatter - allows class to communicate through student blogs without student email accounts.  You create a classroom, add names of students, give them a password to access the site

Great session, I think this is something we really should look at doing!  What a unique idea to collaborate only online!!  How much more real world can you get?!!

Think Differently, Teach Differently

Establishing a Digital School Environment - Stanly County Schools

Matthew Barfield, Tech Facilitator and Laura Kerr, Principal (in the finals for NC Principal of the Year!)

WOW!  These folks are from North Albemarle School and presented on their Horizon Project in which they have accomplished a 1:1 laptop program in their 4th and 5th grade classrooms.  Each of the 100 students has a laptop assigned to them (although they do not take them home).  The workshop began with a live video conversation via Skype with two of their teachers back at the school who spoke glowingly of teaching in a digitally-immersed environment.  Cool!  They reported several positive outcomes from the year and 1/2 they have been piloting the project.  These included less teacher prep time to create meaningful lessons (not sure how that is accomplished, because I would think for the first while it would be the other way around), greater student engagement in content, enthusiasm, responsibility for their own learning, increased maturity level, and that they are more apt to do what you are requesting because they see a purpose in it.  They also report greater time on task, and less discipline problems when the kids are using the laptops - makes sense!!

The 4th and 5th grade classrooms have undergone an entire makeover.  The desks were removed to bring in tables so the kids could collaborate while working on their laptops, projectors are mounted in the ceilings, ACTIVboards (equivalent to our SMARTboards) have been mounted on the walls, laser printers have been installed, and a color printer is shared by the two grade levels.  Online textbooks are being utilized, as well as online extension activities, virtual field trips, and webquests.

The very passionate principal, Laura Kerr, sees the laptops as "an accelerant to active learning".  She has designated every penny of her Title One budget (being a school of over 85% free and reduced lunch) to this initiative, stating that it is the way for the school to be moving!  They are looking at implementing the project in the 3rd grade as well, next year, seeking funding from private foundations and area businesses (like banks).  She invites local commissioners and area business people into the school to see the fantastic things they are doing, and how this movement will positively effect the future of the community; believing that if they can see what wonderful things the kids and teachers are doing, funding will follow.

Training on a daily basis is conducted by Matthew Barfield, the school's ITF, and early training by Apple was conducted so the teachers would be able to teach the curriculum effectively through the Apple applications.  The presenters estimated the cost of the project, including the staff development, at around $700 per student.

Further information can be found at North Albemarle School's website under the Best Practices link!

We need to take a visit!

Photo: M with Laptop

Best Technology Practices in Elementary Schools

Tracy Gregory and Joan White - Perquimans County Schools

These teachers have put together (3 years in the making) great resource materials organized by SCOS units.  All units have been saved to discs which the teacher can use as she works through the unit.  Lessons are built to be kid-friendly including voice over narration to accompany text and emmergent-reader friendly web links.  The ones they shared were science related, and included many strategies to help develop literacy skills as well as science content skills.  There are activities for the early finishers which are related to the unit, engaging and interactive, as opposed to busy work in the form of another worksheet!  Written text throughout the activities includes hyperlinks for vocabulary words so students can view definitions as they go. 

They were selling their CD's for $15 (a bargain given the amount of great content and activities on it).

Also cool, Brain Pop now has Brain Pop Jr. which is currently FREE!  Did you catch that?  FREE!!  Can't wait to show my teachers!

On to the next.....

Picture Perfect Presentation

Teaching students how to gather, organize, and present information using graphical, audio recording, multimedia, and digital photography.

Tammy Gruer - Union Hill Elementary 

  • Students (2nd grade) were studying sound.  Grant provided DC-1 six Digital Camera Explorer Kit ($215), Califone AX12 microphones, CPS (Classroom Performance System) remotes, LCD projectors (Hitachi), Mobile Multimedia Presentation Cart (Highsmith) - everything is contained in the cart ($348.00), Targus Remote presenter controller, tripod with micro fluid head (Highsmith)

  • What makes this sound? Project - Discussed and listened to various pitches (on ppt slide).  Also went over vibration the same way.

  • On Riddle slides, the kids used clip art for pictures, text for their riddles, sound links for voice over when they read the slide and sounds to accompany the riddle.

  • United Streaming has audio clips as well as several free audio sound sites.

  • Kids used the digital cameras to take pictures, clip art, or animated clip art for their riddle multiple choice items.

  • Rubric used so students know all the elements to include on their slides.

  • Teacher Evaluation sheet was filled out to gauge success of collaboration.

  • Also used digital pictures taken by students, and then drew on them to identify shapes the kids are studying.

Outstanding session with great technology integration strategies!  Everything tied to SCOS with terrific evaluation tools to use at the end of the project.  Really need to look into the Digital Camera Kits - small, rugged, easy to use!

Audio BookTalks - Creating Lifelong Readers

Audio BookTalks - presented by Pitt County (Carol Johnson)

  • Scores increase 21% when techs, teachers, and media collaborate together.

  • Uses Audacity, called companies to receive tools, mp3 with recorder (Sansa), Logitech mics (desktop and headsets), 300 Gb external drive for storage (kept in media center) ALL OF IT WAS FREE!

  • Starts out with filling in a worksheet with information about the book - Lesson

  • Designing web site in BETA stage, where students will eventually be able to upload to a state repository of BookTalks.  Director needs to call her to gain access for our kids.  Site will be organized by grade level (elem, middle, high), author, AR level, genre, title, etc...

  • Disc she is giving out contains all program downloads and directions.

  • - sound/music mashing site

This appears very similar to our book podcasts that we have posted on Podomatic.

Digital Storytelling

Session 1 - Digital Storytelling (Pitt County Schools)

Great deal of the way the brain is wired is visual in nature.

  • Parents and kids did storyboard at home, came to school to type text.

  • Storybook Weaver Deluxe, Movie Maker, Photo Story was used as well.

  • Sharing NC stories putting in Movie Maker format.

  • Teacher Academy session (apps due the 30th) to learn digital storytelling.

  • Handouts provide sites for free clip art, music, and copyright issues.

  • Use the feature to get rid of the black boxes that surround the photos.

  • Used it to narrate poem, demonstrate social issues.

  • Provided prompts, and then had to construct a project demonstrating his/her opinion.

  • After sharing the digital story with another class, have the viewing audience use it as a writing prompt.

  • One True Media - site where you can post your digital stories; free version allows you to import your own photos, but you must use their music.

  • - free graphic organizer software?

  • One third grade teacher had her class create "I Have a Dream" presentations.  They each had a template, brainstormed, and collaborated in groups of 4-5 to create their show.  They researched MLK's dream to help them create theirs.

Did she just say the Spec Ed kids didn't come to the library because there was no reason for them to come??

Doesn't grade them other than if they do at least 1 minute they get a 100. ??  No rubric is used or other means of assessing by the kids themselves.  WHY????

Doesn't post anywhere other than the common folder.  WHY???

Illustrated how to use Movie Maker by having audience members come up and add components.

If I had not had to sit in the very front row of a packed house, I would've left.  Disappointing in that the presentation was not organized, and they seemed to be at such a beginning stage in using it, the audience knew more about how to apply it in the classroom.  Not much was mentioned about the steps taken with students to reach a final product.  More of Movie Maker tutorial at the end.

Oh well....

Image Play

Photo: Play Time

I'm so excited!  Just found out a new way to insert images!  Hat tip to Danita!

Jumping onto Technorati

Technorati Profile

Hooray for Vermont!

First, let me say that I am so excited about taking part in Will Richarson's preconference workshop tomorrow!  As an avid reader of his blog, Weblogg-ed, I can't wait to see and hear him in person.  I'm sure it will be a very rewarding and information-packed day!  Stay tuned...!

As I was catching up on cleaning out my aggregator, I came across the exciting news that Vermont is planning to provide high speed broadband Internet access to all of its people!  Although we relocated to sunny North Carolina twelve years ago, I still consider myself a proud Vermonter, and am thrilled for all of the rural families there!  I can't wait to contact my good friend, Kim, who continues to teach in a rural elementary school near our home town to see how this all pans out!  Here's hoping North Carolina will follow Vermont's forward-thinking lead!

Photo: N. Danville, Vermont Covered Bridge

I'm a Skype-er!

Had to write about two new tools that I've actually been able to figure out!  Thanks to Danita's help, I'm officially a Skype-er!  I must admit it is a very liberating feeling, knowing I can speak to and see others through my computer!  It is one thing to read about it, and even very cool to watch it done (David Warlick's Skype with Vicki Davis at NCect 2006 preconference wiki workshop), but to actually do it yourself brings a little bit of a geeky rush!  Even got the webcam to work!  Now to plan some fun ways to use it with our students.  Danita and I are planning to have some of my elementary kids interview some of her 6th grade science "experts" via Skype.  Should be great!

I have also been working on a powerpoint presentation that I will be giving tomorrow in my graduate class (which is a weekly videoconferencing-based class with 3 other sites.  Our professor is in Arizona, and two other sites from Missouri join us - way cool!) on a chapter in the book, Cultures of Curriculum (my assigned chapter was "Confronting the Dominant Order" - more to come on a future post).  I really wanted to embed a video from YouTube to better illustrate the social experiment carried out by third grade teacher June Elliott back in 1971.  Not being able to figure out how to do that in PowerPoint, I just put a link on the appropriate slide.  But in doing so, I worried that I needed a back up just in case the Internet was down, or the connection not working during class tomorrow night.  Thank goodness for Wesley Fryer's Post "Power Of Digital Text" which alerted me to the idea of saving YouTube videos using the free YouTube Downloader.  I also needed to download a free FLV player because that is the file extension with which the videos are saved.  Now, as a back up plan, I have the video saved on my hard drive!     Now I can go to bed!  AHHHH!

Photo Credit:  Just Too Tired To Continue!

A Feather for Your Cap!

This post is a huge shout-out to my good friend and talented colleague, Danita!  And it comes at the perfect time!  After emailing back and forth yesterday about an interesting (and depressing) dinner outing she had with fellow educators last week, I had not been able to stop thinking about her lament.  What can we do to encourage educators doomed to become extinct industrial-age dinosaurs to use technology?  In my comments to her, I voiced that I was going to focus my efforts on those educators who are working hard to change the way they teach, mainly because I am assured that my energy will be put to good use!  I have begun to shine huge spotlights on teachers in my school who are trying new technologies, engaging their kids in projects that are collaborative, thought provoking, and technology-infused!  I have posted their class projects/products on our wiki, in emails (cc-ed to the superintendent and others at the CO), on my blog, and anywhere else I can think to put them.  Guess what?  My phone is ringing off the hook!  Teachers calling to check out the new ELMOs, the Qwizdom sets, the projectors!  It is like with children in our classrooms, praise and support goes much further (and promotes fantastically infectious energy) than complaints and constant nagging!  I'm going to continue to focus on the courageous educators around me!

Now, back to the reason for this post!  My son, Carlos, a 7th grader, came home today excited that he had gotten to see the new wiki of his social studies teacher, Ms. Unangst.  They read some laptop guidelines from it as a class, and then, using the laptops, were guided to a link on the wiki where they worked at a geography website.  Although this lesson did not utilize the wiki in the collaborative sense, it's a start!  Just the fact that my 7th grader, who rarely speaks about school unless provoked by his meddling mother, was excited about it speaks volumes!  Way to go Danita, for continuing to open the eyes of educators at our middle schools!  Some of them ARE listening! 

Flickr: Black Swan Cocktail Cap

Playing with New Toys!

Well, we had a great trip to the Legislative Technology Day event in Raleigh on Tuesday!  One of our fourth grade teachers and three of her students presented their Great Kapok Tree movie.  They had fun telling the legislators about how they used Audacity to manipulate their voices.  We were very proud of them!

Meanwhile back at The River this week several teachers have played with our new Elmo Document Cameras and word is spreading fast!  Teachers will have to start planning early to sign up for them, which is great news!  Our new Qwizdom sets are also in great demand, as more and more of our staff give them a try and realize how easy they are to use!  The kids LOVE THEM!  Here's hoping all our new toys are checked out every day, and that there is a waiting list!

The Great Kapok Tree Readers' Theater Version by Mrs. Shuey's 4th Graders


Food For Thought

I was just reading one of my two "allowed" reads from Education Week online, a commentary by C. Jackson Grayson, Jr., chairman and CEO of APQC, the American Productivity & Quality Center, entitled, "Benchmarking:  What It Is, How It Works, and Why Educators Desperately Need It".  The main thrust is to explain what benchmarking is (an active and disciplined set of steps to determine how a best-practice organization achieved a benchmark, then to learn that, and finally to use it in your own organization), and how it could improve the quality of today's educational system in the US.  The section that really caught my attention and made me pause to think follows:

There will be some academicians, researchers, and policy people who will be horrified with my recommendation that all 6 million teachers, principals, and administrators be involved and empowered to search for and adopt any best practice that works for them. Their objections are reminiscent of the management terror evoked in the 1970s and ’80s, when the Japanese automobile industry (Toyota in particular) adopted a model that involved assembly-line workers and empowered them to make decisions that would assure quality control. They could literally “stop the line” until a problem was solved—by them.

U.S. managers said, “It won’t work. Those employees don’t have the judgment, skills, or attitudes to make those decisions. They’ll goof off, quality will go down, costs will rise.” But for those firms that followed the empowerment model, the reverse happened. Quality rose and costs fell, because employees were trusted, trained, and treated as competent professionals. The federal No Child Left Behind Act assumes that educators won’t or can’t make the right choices on hiring teachers and choosing teaching practices. Are educators less committed than business employees? I doubt it.

I suggest that we drop the “highly qualified teacher” and “research-based practice” requirements from the law. Accountability mandates would be kept at current high levels, but administrators and teachers would be involved more directly in reaching them, and empowered to search for and implement best practices that work for them. This is a radical proposition, I realize, but our education system is going to fail under its present behaviors and assumptions about how to improve—namely, by setting high goals and then micromanaging key processes. It was a mistake in business, and is a mistake in education.

I would love to know what you think!

Photo: Old School Sign

Excitement over Wikis!

Wow, now I know the rush a pyromaniac must feel when she strikes the match!  Yesterday ten brave souls ventured into the world of wikis with me, and the wildfire has begun!  I am so excited!  One of our third grade teachers was so addicted to working on her new wiki last night, that her husband actually had to ask her if they were having supper!  AND, she actually dreamed about wiki pages!  Wow, an ITF's dream!  (Great story Lauren!)  Then if that wasn't great enough, one of our 5th grade teachers called me into her room where she was showing her kids her "just out of the oven" wiki!  Their homework for the night included adding some information to the Social Studies page where they are beginning a study of the Civil War!  (Way to go Mrs. V!)  I couldn't be more proud of our teachers here!  I will happily post about their developing wikis (with links) after they have some time to populate them.  They'll be worth the wait, I can tell already!

Photo:  Ice Fire

Interesting Thoughts on American Math Skills

Although I have come to dread snow days (maybe because I have three boys at home!), I did get a lot done today on one of my Master's projects.  Our cohort is working on creating Teacher Resource Books (TRBs) with at least 10 lessons included, as part of our independent study seminar course.  The focus is on integrating Earth Science with other curricular subjects.  I've asked to "steal" a third grade class for their unit on soil, and have been designing a unit that will integrate technology and math with  hands-on, inquiry-based science.  I miss having a class of my own, and am really looking forward to getting into the classroom again!  Any great soil ideas???

I was reading an article from a recent issue of Riverdeep's Classroom Flyer, which I receive once a day in my inbox.  The article was very timely, especially after meeting with our county Title 1 Teachers and Director.  We were informed that our 3rd grade math pretest scores were not as high as we would hope, and that further program development would be directed at K-2 Math.  We had a good discussion about the need for students to develop critical, and multi-step thinking skills in math.  The following quote is from a guide designed to help K-2 teachers set up math centers and activities in their classrooms that would promote just this kind of thinking.  It is published by The Center For Innovation in Education (1990).  Probably better known for their "Math Their Way" series.

Below is a table taken from a chart in the The Piaget Primer (the ages have been rounded off to the nearest year), (p. 92) which shows the average age when children conserve for each type of measurement.  The age ranges are based on Piaget’s earlier studies.

Average Ages of Conservation*

Number......................................... 6 - 8 years

Linear ............................................ 6 - 8 years

Solid amounts .............................. 7 - 9 years

Liquid amounts ........................... 6 - 9 years

Area ............................................... 8 -10 years

Weight ........................................... 9 -11 years

Solid volume ................................ 8 -10 years

Displaced volume ........................ 11 -14 years

Ed Labinowicz states in The Piaget Primer, (p. 92) that there are some surprising differences between the ages reported for Swiss and American children. The developmental sequences remain the same. However, there are many reports that American children achieve the “landmarks of development” at a later age, particularly at advanced levels. Labinowicz feels this discrepancy is reflected in the surprising low percentage of formal operational thinkers in the American adult population.  Perhaps the reason there’s a low level of “formal thinkers” is that the American schools have typically focused on workbook mathematics requiring children to fill in right answers. The focus is on mastering computation rather than understanding mathematical processes and patterns.

Ouch!  Sometimes the truth hurts.  The article (chapter) goes on to provide some great ideas for creating daily math opportunities for young kids, by the way!

Photo:  Christel Hendrix

Two Great Finds!

The first great find was discovered as I searched for some informative, yet fun activity for one of our 5th grade teachers.  She is putting together stations for the 100th day of school, and the whole theme uses pennies!  100th day isn't just for Kindergarten!  She is very innovative and wanted one of the stations to be technology-based, cool!  So in my searching, I came across the US Mint's Kids' site!  What a treasure-trove!  Although I only had a chance to look at a few of the activities and links in their "clubhouse", it is a very kid-friendly place!  The section I think we'll use for the station is one of their interactive cartoons called, "Birth of a Coin" which walks you through exactly how the coins that end up in your couch are made!  Very neat!  I had no idea!  Since so many grade levels' SCOS includes the teaching of money concepts, wouldn't this be a great place to pique student interest!

The second great find came as I read Wesley Fryer's post, "Singing, Not On the Test".  Take just a minute to click on the NPR link and listen to the 2 minute song.  You will chuckle and shake your head in dismay at the same time!

Picture:  Fountain of Wishes

Given the choice, I'd pick Vanilla!

Taking advantage of a very surprising day off due to some ice on the roads (I still have to chuckle at what will close the schools here in the South), I worked on my curriculum for the Green 'N Growing Project and LearnNC.  NC State Library's Special Collections Archive has digitized a great collection of photos and documents related to the history of Home Demonstration and the 4H program.  In cooperation with LearnNC, they have asked teachers around the state to develop some lessons which incorporate these primary documents.  Although I was always more of a "shop" girl myself (my son's wall displays the wooden gun rack I made back in middle school), I did take Home Economics class and even made a skirt (no pockets, no zipper!) and a lopsided pillow!  So, being the challenge-obsessed person I am, I agreed to create some lessons!  Wanting to incorporate as much technology as possible, I decided to create a Powerquest (thanks to some training last summer at Teacher Academy) which would guide the students through many of the archived photos.  But I also want to make it as problem based as possible, so the kids aren't just aimlessly glancing at old photos.  So, I was reassured to read Ben, The Tech Savvy Educator's most recent post, Chocolate Ice Cream and Mario Bros.  The part that ruminates the most for me is this:

Too often I feel that computer labs are seen as the exact opposite of this experience. Teachers will walk their kids in (quietly! No pushing), sit them down, talk them through logging in, carefully explaining each step of the process. The lesson is some predetermined exercise or activity on a website in which the students must follow step by step instructions and all they really end up caring about is hurrying up to finish so they can go to their favorite game site and play an inning of math baseball or some other game. The spark for learning is nowhere to be found, just the drive to finish and go play. Too often this was the case in my early teaching with computers; do as I say, make sure you follow the steps, then you have free time afterward. I’m thankful that I’m learning from wonderful veteran teachers, so that the experience I had today of kids eagerly chatting away about their favorite video game character or ice cream flavor was a rewarding one for them and myself. In a way, it’s important to remember that students need choices on the computers just as much as anywhere in the school, just different choices than what game to play.

Sound familiar?  What if we actually gave them choices and (gulp) decisions to make on their own??  They might actually learn something!  Oh, my....

Picture:  Fork in the Road

How many ITF's does it take to....

Finally!  Excitement!  It is so nice when you have a day when everything on your to do list gets done, AND WORKS!  It started with converting Mrs. Shuey's class readers' theater Powerpoint (complete with the kids' manipulated voices for the characters - all done by them!) into a movie.  It actually happened quite by accident.  I had her ppt. open, trying to figure out how we would get the voices and slide pictures imported into Movie Maker, when I noticed the Camtasia toolbar in the upper left!  After some manipulation of the settings, and a couple of botched saves, voila!  A wonderful movie (didn't know you could do that with Cam)!  I was thrilled even further when I remembered how to upload it to my YouTube account, and then onto the Deep River wiki from there!  Yes, my day could've ended happily there!  But no, it got even better!  This afternoon, while meeting with the other ITF's from our county, we figured out how to get the kids' "podcasts" (audio book reports and stories) from Audacity to the desktop, to iTunes, to our new shuffles!  Hooray!  And it is SO easy (after four of us put our heads together!)!  Maybe this technology stuff really will work!!  Now, where did I put tomorrow's list?

Photo: Let's Put Our Heads Together

New Math I Like!

Isn't it funny how just at the point when you are feeling the most overwhelmed in life, God sends you a message?  That message came for me tonight (only five hours after my stressed out post for the day!) when I read today's blog post from Vicki Davis (Cool Cat Teacher).  I think I must've said AMEN aloud about twenty times!  Make sure you read "Sometimes You Add To Your Life By Subtraction".  Here's to enjoying one ripple at a time!


Stress? Nah...

Just received an email containing 2 syllabi from my Graduate Professor, Dr. Charles Matthews, at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.  I am part of a new cohort in our county who will be taking part in a wonderful distance ed Master's program from UMSL.  We will be participating through videoconferencing each week for the next few months.  Very exciting, but also very scary.  With the exception of attaining my National Boards, I have not taken any seriously studious classes since undergrad at Lyndon State College back in my home state of Vermont (almost 17 years ago!).  Just looking at the pace and amount of work involved in the coming classes stops my heart for a moment.

In addition, I'm finishing up my Kenan Fellowship project (yes, Dr. Annetta it will be completed come hell or high water!), a multi-user, online simulation science game using the terrific ActiveWorlds platform.  I also am working on some curriculum for a project through LearnNC and the Green and Growing Project (due in March).

However, as I look at the stacks of notebooks I have compiled to keep myself organized over the next few months, I can't help but think of the wonderful work going on in the classrooms around me.  Podcasts of book reviews being recorded, movies being made, blogs being written, voice-enhanced powerpoint shows being constructed - and that is just to name a few of the things our KIDS are doing!  Thank goodness for the inspirational work of our KIDS (and their hardworking teachers striving to bring out the best)!


iTunes Alternative?

Was going to continue with my New Year's Resolution to blog more, and answer the meme tag from Danita.  Having read the "big guys'" (guys to Yankees includes women!) answers to the very popular meme circulating the blogosphere, I tried not to curse when I got the tag!  But that will have to wait another day.

After meeting with Lee and Debra today and talking about projects we could develop for the iPods, I think Will Richardson's post today is very timely!  He writes:

It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that the convergence of all of this will fit in our pockets. It has to. The culture is demanding mobile computing, and it’s being driven by our kids. And I think we need to start looking at ways to leverage that ability.

Where to start? Experiment. A first step might be to go to Mogopop and put together a lesson that can upload to an iPod.  Not a phone, I know, but that ability will be here sooner than you think. It’s an easy way of getting your head around how it might play out.

So I visited Mogopop for a short time... may be worth looking into!  What do you think?

Back to Blogging in 2007

Okay, I've finally caught up on my blog reading!  My RSS feed (Bloglines) had approached the 100+ unread blog posts.  The higher it got, the more I procrastinated reading!  I think I felt so tired and burned out prior to the holidays, I just chose to ignore the increasing number.  Same with writing in my own blog.  But after re-kindling the fire, I have set as one of my 2007 resolutions, to blog more often.  And after coming across a great quote in one of my favorite blogger's posts I know that shorter, more narrative accounts of the successes and challenges of my daily work will prove to be more beneficial to me (and hopefully to Danita who is, I think, the only other reader!)  The quote goes like this:

Found at Gaping Void, but it originally was written in its entirety here.
Write not for others, as there are too many.
Write for yourself, as there is only one.

Ahh yes, too much pressure in trying to be philosophical in my postings (I'll leave that to the edublogexperts!).  Here's looking forward to tomorrow's short post!

The Thinker

The Thinker