Tuesday, November 16, 2010


We consume a lot.  Reflect on what you consume.  Although this video is part of an effort to educate the one campus about their consumption in a creative way, it is a good opportunity for all to reflect.

Do you have suggestions on how to innovatively engage a community on a dialogue about their consumption?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Be Contagious

"good educators share useful tools with each other."

Several weeks ago, during a PD session with MS teachers, I shared a Web 2.0 tool called Wallwisher.  It wasn't the point and just happen to be a small tool that I used during the time together.  I used it in that specific session because I wanted participant-to-participant interaction, rather than participant-to-facilitator interaction.  It worked well for my purposes.

From there, one of the administrators attending went on to share it with our school leadership team and use it in a meeting.  One of our coordinators then proceeded to use Wallwisher with MS and HS staff during PD days.  From there, some teachers took and applied it to their classrooms and students engaged this tool for learning.

When I first introduced this tool, I had no idea it would spread in this manner.  I'm sure that others may have heard about it from other sources than just inside our community and my original introduction.  However, good educators share useful tools with each other.  I love it when students say they know what we did in professional development because their teachers all tried it out on them the following week.  It means the PD was useful and applicable.

If you are a technology leader (formal or informal), share useful tools with your colleagues.  And don't just share a link, share how you used it to enhance learning.  With many tools or technology integration activities, you can do this in a 5-10 minute casual conversation.  When other educators see how it impacts learning and your enthusiasm of the impact it had on your lesson, they are much more likely to implement it for themselves.    Be intentional in your leadership, regardless of your formal position.

Oh, and by the way, this applies to much more than just technology.  Be contagious.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No More Excuses

It may not be comfortable, but educators have to be savvy enough to quit buying the 2.0 version of the dog ate my homework.

A blog post by Alain Meyer entitled "A New Era of Homework Excuses" caught my attention.  He talks about how students take advantage of teachers and their ignorance when it comes to technology.  Technology becomes the excuse for whatever a student has failed to deliver.  I think he has a point.  We allow students to take advantage of us in our attempts to extend some grace.

CC Aaron Jacobs
I recently sat down at lunch with a student who had failed to give a presentation the previous day for the teacher sitting next to her.  She forgot her laptop that day.  Really?!?  We are 1:1 laptop school.  How do you forget your laptop?  I questioned her further.  I asked her if she really had the presentation done.  Of course, she said, yes.  I questioned her further about what the timestamps on her files might tell me.  She dodged the question and we had a laugh, moving on to other conversation.  I have no doubt that she took advantage of the extra time to work on her presentation to say the least...and probably didn't have it ready to begin with.

While in college, I've worked for hours on a paper and then lost a half day's work.  Did that change the due date?  Nope.  Work faster, stay up later, and make it better the second time around. The other day I was working on a document and lost it (due to my own user error).  That work did not suddenly go away. I had to redo it and still make my deadlines.  It's the real world and although grace is nice, we need to push students away from excuses and toward responsibility.  I suppose having them take responsibility for their own learning is a major goal here.  Life doesn't always wait for the planets to align.  Sometimes we get curveballs at the worst possible times.

As educators, we continue to integrate more technology in the classroom.  We need to hold students accountable.  I'm not advocating losing all understanding and graciousness with students. We just need to use it a little more sparingly and hold ourselves accountable for some learning in this area.  It may not be comfortable, but educators have to be savvy enough to quit buying the 2.0 version of the dog ate my homework.