Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Youblisher turns your .pdf document into an online magazine. You can then embed that magazine in your blog, website, etc. I've chosen to use my resume as a sample, and it follows. Perhaps someone from an island paradise is looking for an energetic, enthusiastic Web2.0 educator and will stumble upon this blog, find my resume, and whisk me off to the islands.
More likely though, my wife, kids, and mom will look at it an be amazed....by the technology...not the resume...Isn't this a neat way to publish .pdfs though? I'm going to use this in school to publish newsletters, I think...
Big thanks to @jenclevette for giving me the idea to wordle my resume, it makes a great cover page!
If you've ever worked with a capable student who struggled with succeeding in school, you know that there are a lot of factors influencing students' dispositions toward school. I believe if we help shape our system to better meet the needs of our students we will be doing what we can about the factors in our control!
To that end, I was thrilled to find the following video on the Educator's PLN ning site tonight. If you liked his talk on TED, you will find this JUST as appealing. He covers essentially the same content, but goes into more depth and takes a broader view of the need for creativity. The overall result is, as usual, brilliant! It is 65 minutes long, and I hope you enjoy it:
Sir Ken Robinson from NYSCATE on Vimeo.
- Clarity of purpose is developed through action. Clarity develops while you act.
- It is specific leadership behavior that causes positive movement.
- If you want to get somewhere you have to have a clear, shared vision of what you want to achieve.
- Make your focus student learning. Be specific to the instruction.
- Do a small number of things VERY well, instead of a large number of things pretty well.
- We must have a bias for action.
- Relationships are the foundation upon which all lasting change occurs.
- We must expect the implementation dip, where we fall back before improving, but must PERSIST (a focus throughout the day) and fight through it.
- We will learn about implementation DURING implementation.
- Communication is essential, but, communication without implementation doesn't mean much. It is almost wasted effort.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Obviously, I never thought when I was a child that we would have the powerful electronics devices common today. Taking that notion even further, I believe, the idea that there is a device that can harvest the power found in the AIR borders on incomprehensible to me. Really? They can do that? Amazing. I'll be watching to see if this makes it to market.
And then I will buy one!
That's if it works, of course. I've seen lots of amazing ideas run out of steam on the way to the finish line. I've may even have some of my own crazy schemes, errr, ideas, not make it to reality. Or I may not have.
What do you think? Are we mere steps away from batteries that never need recharging?
Monday, January 11, 2010
Here is Alex, Olivia's big brother, reading the letter my wife and I wrote and sent in with Olivia. Thanks very much to Olivia's teacher, Ms. Kraig, who played Alex's video for the class.
Just as we are lucky to have her with us, Olivia is lucky to have an awesome big brother like Alex!
The pizza lunch was awesome this week too. Thanks very much Ms. Kraig for making the kids in your class feel so special!
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
"Teachers are often reluctant to share their ideas about effective instructional practices to meet the varying needs of students. Often they are afraid that they will be "wrong." Talking about page numbers and dates carries less risk. "
The PLC teams in our district are doing very well, but I sometimes wonder if enough time is spent developing the proper relationships in order to function effectively as a team. I know as a principal, I never had enough time to work with all of the teams, and other potential mentors were equally as busy. Reflecting on these rules, and reviewing the vision for the teams, may be a very useful exercise!
Explore 120 years of amazing discoveries, fascinating maps, and the world's best photography with The Complete National Geographic. This definitive collection of every issue of National Geographic magazine, digitally reproduced in stunning high resolution, brings you the world and all that is in it. Use the advanced interface to explore a topic, search for photographs, browse the globe, or wander on your own expedition.
Can you imagine having EVERY issue of the National Geographic Magazine available digitally? If you move, they weigh nothing to take with you. Can you imagine how many hours you'd spend poring over the maps, pictures, and articles?
What do you think that might be worth? My first thought was that it would come at a premium. As it turns out, the regular price (on the Geographic website, here) is only $69.95, but it is currently on sale for $59.95!! I think that is an incredible deal. For those seeking a higher level of personalization, you can get them preloaded on a 160 GB hard drive, with your name laser-etched into the shell, for $199.95.
I want....and I know a couple people for whom this would be an amazing gift, too.
This could be a great resource for schools to look at too...and as the size of hard drives increases and prices drop, can you imagine sending your child to school every day with information like this, plus a collection of other resources readily available, at their fingertips? The possibilities are impressive!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Early last year I read that had been on my list for some time, called A Whole New Mind, and I felt it crystalized many of the thoughts I have been having about changes that we are witnessing in society. It also addressed and supported my belief that our education system needs to be more personal for our students (and ourselves), and gave me great optimism about the future that my children are going to be living in as adults! The book's author, Daniel Pink, connected his thoughts to my world, and I'm fortunate that I now have another chance to reflect on what he has to say.
Yesterday, I happened across a video Daniel Pink has posted on Vimeo, which is also related to a presentation I saw him give on TED a while back and to his new book. Motivation is the topic, and Pink's video from Vimeo, titled Two Questions That Can Change Your Life, are expertly addressed in a very entertaining way.
If you have ever spent time working in junior high school, then you have had many talks with students trying to find a way to motivate and inspire them to (force themselves to) learn what is going on in class. I think the two questions Pink offers might help guide discussions on this topic in the future...
The Two Questions video is short, and embedded below. I dare you to watch it without thinking passionately about the future, or wondering how it might apply to someone you know, or even yourself! While this sort of internal motivator may not appeal to everyone, it might be exactly what some people are looking for to give them a sense of focus that may have been missing before. When life gets busy, our priorities sometimes get shuffled to the side while we deal with other, ultimately less important, distractions. Fun as they may be! Asking ourselves these two questions might be exactly what is needed to get back on track.
Now, after watching that short video for inspiration, I have embedded Daniel Pink's talk from TED (July 2009) below too. It is approximately 18 minutes long and my money says you will find this one very interesting too. Watch it, and then do what I do. I'm going to buy the new book Drive!