Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The times and the talk aren't changing, much

More talk about changing the school calendar for public schools. The premise is if students are in school longer, they will score higher on the state standardized test AND not loose what they learned in the regular school year. Add to this the renewed discussions about teacher quality, teacher preparation, and the "need" for real reform, it is no wonder people perceive discord in the hallowed halls of education.

We need to remember that the act of learning hasn't changed much. Granted, technology has given us access to a wider array of tools. These tools may deepen and enrich learning. They may provide access to a wide variety of sources and resources that were previously unavailable or were limited in their availability. But the technology has not "changed" learning, it has expanded opportunities to learn. Technology has shifted the physical place of learning from a classroom to a bench, to a park.

There are so many voices clamoring for change it can be difficult to listen. We may need to change, we may need reform. But we may really need to understand that learners, or students, will always and forever be asking questions. It is our job, our duty, our mission to help them as they search for an answer.

Change is a part of life. The act of learning may not change, it evolves, it is always adapting to other changes around. The WHAT of learning changes. The HOW of learning changes as technology changes.

But, the WHY of learning is so intimately personal that we cannot change that. We respond, we react, we engage, we enrich, we empower ... we learn, and we teach.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 15, 2010

New and old technologies

I am not worried about scraps of paper. I am really trying to use more technology. Figure that the technology can improve my productivity. I started using Simplenote. It is a web app, platform and browser independent. In the case of notes, any technological advantage can help. I am bombarded with information each day, and keeping the avalanche organized either requires a handful of notes, that must be transcribed and added to a calendar, contact list, or document.

I can create a note with Simplenote, sync it to my iPhone, iPad, or any computer. I can tag notes, search by tag or other term, publish a note as a web page, or email it. And I can delete them when they are no longer needed.

No more scraps of paper for me.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I Am Thankful For

I am thankful for my friends and colleagues.

I am thankful to be able to work with people who are genuinely involved in improving teaching and learning.

I am thankful to find ways to integrate technology and impact learning as well as teaching.

I am thankful that, even though I may not know the answers to their questions, we can ask questions and eventually find an answer.

I am thankful that I can smile and laugh, and struggle.

I am thankful that I learn each day, and every day.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

What I've learned

I've really learned a lot, from others, and by myself. Mostly, from others. It's always easier to listen to others and learn from them. Learning how to ask questions, really good questions. Watching all of the nonverbal communication cues.

And, I still keep learning.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Assessment, reform, and transformation

Given that professional development, good professional development, can improve teaching, introduce technology, and build community, transformation is possible. Assessing professional development requires time. Change takes time. Professional development takes time. Change is not only involvement and participation, but reflection.

Reform is measured by movement. Transformation is measured by enhancements in teaching, engaging learners, providing opportunities for sharing with others.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The flow of technology

As technology goes, I am becoming more and more impressed with the iPad. It is so fluid and flexible, I can focus on content creation, and not on technological issues. I think, I type, and I update my blog. If the technology is truly transparent, pervasive, and powerfully portable shouldn't it be used more?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

My Google Chrome Extensions

Currently Used Extensions for Google Chrome (From Left-to-Right)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Strategic thoughts about technology

Technology requires a shift or change in the culture. The notion of a common digital device takes on even more significance. The common device, the personal device, is multitouch, allowing users to quickly, seamlessly, and effortlessly move through content. The device, the pen based input device provides users the ability to take notes, annotate content and create graphical content.

Technology enhances the learning environment, and should not disrupt the learning environment. A small, powerful, portable and pen based device becomes the device that naturally compliments learning. This device is a natural fit for learning, and is seen as a natural extension. It is intuitive and does not disrupt.

Technology requires a change or shift in teaching. As the common digital devices become more transparent, they are used in all classes. As the devices become more powerful, teaching needs to push the boundaries to meet the power the devices offer. A pen based device provides a greater force for change. This new digital device combines traditional and contemporary elements of teaching and learning.

Technology can reshape, reform, and transform the individual aspects of learning and teaching. As technology continues to evolve it is more important to view the uses of technology rather than the specific technologies. This is mobile, portable, powerful and personal technology.

Remembering that technology is a device, a tool, a mechanism, a personalized and personal part in the learning process. The device should be powerful enough to accomplish any instructional task. The device should support the display, creation and sharing of multimedia.

Technology will never improve learning, but provide access to divergent ways of thinking due in part to the multimedia or different media that may be used.

The growth of technology should not be seen as a limiter in the educational process, but an opportunity to grow, to engage, to reflect, to think, to problem solve and to heighten and refine collaborative and communicative skills.

Technology strategically deployed can continually reform and transform education. The availability of a common device, a common pen based device, can radically change the landscape for learners and teachers alike.
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