I've moved the blog!

I've moved my blog to www.coolcatteacher.com as well as all of the posts from this blog. Learn more...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Get some Java and Spend some Time with Jane in Java



Educators who share and really understand the transformative power of teaching and connecting are inspirations! They can be halfway across the world and their energy and zest for living and learning can be felt like the sun lights planet earth.

So, a big shout of Thank you to my friend Julie Lindsay for finding Jane Ross (a/k/a Jane in Java) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/janeinjava
Blog: 1:1 in Practice at Sinarmas World Academy - http://1to1inpractice.blogspot.com/

This is seriously one of the most choc full, amazing blogs I've seen in ages. From her amazing student presentations at the mall to her really cool ebook on Moviemaking with kids, to first grade keynotes about what they eat for lunch (as part of the playnormous competition going on now)- the work they are doing will amaze you!

Maybe what some people need here in the USA (and other countries who have rested on their laurels for so long) is to spend a little time with a cup 'o Java with Jane in Java to CAFFEINATE their desire to progress and move ahead. 

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/29/2009




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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Twitter is a Tool not a Panacea



Who on earth would research TWITTER?

Just read an article over on Education and Tech entitled There is Not Research About Twitter ( a response to EdWeeks Article about Twitter in the Classroom.)

"There is not research but as more and more teachers start using Twitter in a variety of classroom projects, it seems the practice will be the only empirical foundation to let children get away with their multitasking and huge capacity to use social media tools like Twitter."

I don't know where Milton has his facts about teachers using twitter in a lot of classroom projects, but I don't see it.  I see teachers using it to connect and create projects - USUALLY it is the teacher tweeting something out to get a response. I see a very very small few teachers like me using Twitter to allow their students to connect to experts in their field and each other as well as to understand online leadership and Web 2.0 networking. (I am the exception except for the profs doing this at the college level.) But as for wide uses of Twitter in the classroom - where is it?  We connect each other but is it in the lesson plans... I don't think so.  The stereotyping of students here and that somehow "letting students get away with multitasking" I find insulting to the teachers I know who use Web 2 in the classroom.  It is so not about "letting them get away" with something but more about getting learning into their brains.

Here is my response. 


Just one thought here.  To me, yes, there is something to be said ABOUT The tools but to point to the tool itself as needing research, to me is quite missing the point.

It is HOW the tool is used.  For example, a hammer is quite useful and essential for building a house but if I use it to hammer in all of the screws the house will fall down. 

Just as blogs and wikis are being seen as tools that can be used, the question here is NOT about twitter but the underlying technology of microblogging.  If you look at Edmodo and Youth Voices and how they are using microblogging, it is quite useful. 

Using ticket to leave in the classroom is one of the best researched tools out there (asking students to answer a critical question before leaving class.)  If this practice is done on paper or tweeted should be irrelevant - it is the practice that counts.

Twitter is certainly NOT appropriate in many cases but it DOES, however, network the teachers to help us put together projects and things in the classroom for the students.  There are cases  where it CAN be used with some older students but really, an Edmodo or other microblogging site like Plurk may be better suited in some instances.

This is SOOOO not about Twitter and it shouldn't be.  When researchers researched search engines did it focus around Google or around search engines?

Microblogging is the underlying trend and if it is something to be used in the classroom, the appropriate site should be selected based upon the PURPOSE of what they are doing, the local legal and school policies for safety and the specific objective of what they are trying to teach.

Twitter is 140 characters for goodness sakes it is good for something but certainly is only a small subset of what we use the Internet for.

I had a really good teacher one time who I recall saying.  "I will do whatever it takes to teach, even if it includes dancing on my desk."  If it makes sense to me and it is a tool I can use, I'm going to use it and I hope that researchers are wise enough not to get trapped into thinking a company IS a technology it represents.

Google has rocked,but now a third of my students prefer Bing.  Second Life was cool but now OpenSim and ReactionGrid are where we have gone.

It is about how we  use the tools!  I'd like to pull out a quote that I left on the article from edweek where a commenter had said that the world "is becoming STUPID" about the fact that anyone would use Twitter in the classroom for anything.

"I use twitter for my classes all of the time and my students even use twitter. It is very useful. For example, if they are reading an author who is living, they can follow the author and ask questions and even get a response. Or, when we are using Reactiongrid and we have a question, the students can tweet the founders directly. Like anything it can have good or bad uses - distractions and also positives.

Twitter like all of these other items is just a conduit and certainly as we know about conduits they pretty much are a channel for whatever the humans put into them - whether a piece of PVC pipe carries the chocolate in a chocolate fountain or raw sewage - it isn't about the pipe but about how the pipe is USED. It is the same thing with Twitter, Facebook or any other tool: it is all in the use.

Some people, like James here, think it is dumb to use Twitter in this way - well he just uses his conduit differently but truly there are as many uses for twitter as there are for the telephone!"
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/28/2009




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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Net Neutrality: Without it we have MOUNTAINS amidst the FLATNESS





Note: I would like to give you a concrete example. Surely, there are much bigger issues with net neutrality than just some school project that has heretofore touched only relatively few schools at this time. It helps to understand examples, so here it is.

So, if you're wondering what net Neutrality means, it means that if two teachers who are across the world from each other want to create projects using free tools and let other teachers participate FOR FREE without any cost whatsoever for their school  that many people will not have access to that.  It means barriers for this.

There are already organizations out there charging for participation in their projects and who knows at some point we may have to have that model just to keep things going - but our hope and dream is to keep this thing going and get enough money generated on the side and enough supporters (like Elluminate) who will help us with administrative costs so that schools that choose to collaborate with other schools can have a high quality, free, open project to participate in with their students that aim to produce students who are educated at the highest level as it relates to Information Technology and the current trends.

Whether you're talking Flat Classroom, Digiteen, or Eracism or any of the other future projects we're talking about -- if for some reason we had to PAY to be accessible on certain networks these things couldn't be free.  (i.e. if a particular project made money off schools and took part of that money to pay an Internet company to allow their project through and block free projects in competition then schools wouldn't be able to participate or have the option to go with the free project.  Thus, through blocking, those free projects would in essence be limited to participation in areas that allowed the project through the firewall.)


How could we share?  How could we invite? How could we include?

I'm a capitalist but as a capitalist I believe in COMPETITION.  And competition means that we should have access to THE Internet, the true Internet to mashup and work with as we need to.

It means that open models should be given a chance to evolve into something more substantial - if that is their path to trod.

It is hard enough to collaborate globally but with  something like this passed, we will have even more complex issues.  Right now, US Public schools can be very hard to collaborate with because they can hardly access even the most basic tools.  This could make it hard to reach not only the students in the USA, but the volunteers who give their time to make this happen.

I'm just trying to figure out how legislation that would do such things as only allow access to certain commercial content would be a good thing?  (Except for somehow supplanting some costs to commercial vendors from the end user.)  But, hey, you get what you pay for in this case.

What the passing of legislation that kills net neutrality does is CLOSE the OPEN.  It puts MOUNTAINS amidst the FLATNESS and it UNPLUGS the CONNECTED.

Give me liberty, give me Internet.

(Hat tip to Stephen Downes and Dr. Alec Couros for the link to the video.)

Look for the Happiness Drain and PLUG IT!



You've heard of a time suck?  Something that wastes your time and just sucks it down the drain.  Time management people teach you to watch for the little things that suck your time that add up to a total loss of productivity.

So, I'd like to encourage you today to watch for the Happiness Drain.  These are the tiny little things that drain away your happiness and joy in life.  These thoughts are spurred on by the edutopia article, Teach Yourself How to Be Happier

I think that to me one of the most important things I do is to guard my joy.  You know that you tend to become like the people you are around (this is why spouses start to look alike over the years!)  We mimic one another's facial expressions and phraseology without even realizing it (thus the spread of common imspeak and emoticons among teens in common groups.)

So, ask yourself - are there relationships that are sucking the happiness out of my life?  Are there people who are never happy and they are just killing me?  You know that there ARE people who you can move away from and there are those who we must love unconditionally.  (I put my husband and family in the UNCONDITIONAL category so when they are down I GOTTA listen.)  But I'm talking about the category of people in your life who you do not HAVE to be around.

This would be places you go (beauty shops, groups, etc.) or people who you hang around.

Ask yourself these questions:

Does this person (or group of people):
  • Talk about positive things as much as negative?
  • Teach me new things?
  • Make me laugh?
And perhaps to me the biggest question of all is:

Do I like myself and how I act when I am around these people?

If not,  take a look and see if you can find a way to reduce contact (if you cut off completely then you risk offending them) and replace it with positive things that buoy your attitude:  listening to music or inspirational books, reading and learning something new, laughing, making a new friend, or being kind to someone who needs it.

We cannot control everything but there ARE things that we can control.  If you see that a whirlpool is stirring in your life that sucks your happiness into its vortex of doom every time you get near it -- time to paddle elsewhere!

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/27/2009



  • Write up on some flat classroom topics and what we're doing in my class this year.

    tags: education, flatclassroom, inthenews, press

  • Fred Haas' reflections are so very real when it comes to ambitious global collaborations. I had to laugh as he said about NetGenEd (last spring's project): "Without question it was a mildly harrowing but ultimately rewarding experience."

    The learning curve is TREMENDOUS but once you have it under your belt it is similar to your first year of teaching or boot camp for someone in the military. If you're wondering if this sort of thing is for you, take a read of Fred's very real reflections.

    Julie nor I NOR ANY global collaborator will ever say it is easy - if it is perhaps you're not having to be as engaged as perhaps you need to be. However, it is most rewarding!

    tags: education, learning, flatclassroom, edu_trends, bestpractices, www_world

  • Students do need time in the sandbox as this teacher from Madrid shares on her blog (how they introduced the math manipulatives in first grade.) My response:

    "Sandboxing is ESSENTIAL. It is low threat, high exploration, high experimentation mode with whatever tool is at hand, and is part of my upcoming book ClickSmart as it relates to software. But as you’ve so eloquently put here, sandboxing is important to do with just about anything!"

    tags: education, clicksmart, sandbox


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

Monday, October 26, 2009

Striving to Wiki-fy my room



I have just got to take pictures of my room for you, just been so busy.  But this year, I wanted to wiki-fy my walls.  I want the very walls of my room to be places where students express and share what they are doing.  I've done this in two ways.  I have used velcro to stick small dry erase boards EVERYWHERE and also have used brightly colored duct tape to designate certain areas on my wall for certain types of things to be shared.

But I think that perhaps what Angela Maiers shared Sunday Night on her blog is what I really want to do!  Idea Paint.  Their official Ideapaint website has some interesting applications for school but perhaps my question is... if Ideapaint works, why are we even buying dry erase boards?  Has anyone tested the heavy use of a school on this?  Is anyone using it now? So, let's try it out! 

Also, I turned up a link for a free sample of Ideapaint from Momblognetwork -just fill out this form.

IdeaPaint How To Video


IdeaPaint in Action Video



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/26/2009




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

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Web 2.0 Teaching is Hard



This blog post is for Gerry Paille from British Columbia (http://twitter.com/tuchodi) who asked me on Twitter to explain a tweet about that Web 2.0 teaching is not easy. Here, Gerry, I Hope this is something you can use.

When you play basketball yourself - you work on your shot and you practice. You're in your own mind - your own head.

But then, one day you grow older and become a coach. Now, you have to get in the minds of other people. You have to not only understand basketball but psychology and team dynamics, motivational speaking, and the technical aspects of equipment. You have to not only see a player for what he/she is today but for what he/she could be. (Like how much are they going to grow in 3 years.) You have to put people in the best place that suits the team and not necessarily the person. It is a much more complex task than just managing yourself.

This particular example embodies why using Web 2 in teaching can be more challenging than the traditional test and lecture because you are moving from just speaking and giving a lecture and having them memorize and take a test to methods that require much more individualization and personalization as well as more collaboration. Each person has to ENGAGE. They have to JOIN. They have to WRITE.

They are moving to a more active tense which quite honestly, can make the teacher TENSE.


"Mrs. Vicki, I cannot join the space? Mrs. Vicki, I cannot find anything? Mrs. Vicki, what do I do? Mrs. Vicki, I am lost? Mrs. Vicki Mrs. Vicki?"

(Most teachers have nightmares where their name is called over and over and they don't know why.)

You are evolving into a coach.

Now, good teachers can be coaches and not use Web 2.0 tools, however, if you are using Web 2.0 in the classroom you HAVE to be a coach.

You cannot do it for them (the golden rule is that I never touch the mouse) - you have to teach THEM how to do it. (Isn't that what we are supposed to do anyway?)

This, my friends, is why I tweeted the other day that if anyone thinks using Web 2.0 in teaching is easy is not doing Web 2.0 teaching. Web 2.0 teaching gets past the tools (signing up and USING the tools for the sake of the tools) and allows the tools to mash together to create learning experiences.

This is not something any of us have perfected, I think. (For example, I fell flat on my face trying to work out with my students using some of the Skype extras this week and wasted at least 20 minutes!) However, this is something we aspire to!

So, using Web 2.0 tools in teaching is not easy but it is worth it.

It is worth it in engagement and thinking skills and the polish that comes from being buffed and buffeted by the sandpaper of the problems we face any time technology is involved.

The world we live in is full of change, technology, problems, frustration, and lots and lots of people and these are things you cannot condense to words and put in a textbook but are only written upon the textbook of experience when you engage students in positive learning experiences online.

WatchKnow Has Launched: Wiki-fying Educational Videos




This wiki based site organizes videos that will help kids learn:  meet WatchKnow.  In fact, don't just meet watch know, edit it a bit while you're at it.













How to Edit on WatchKnow



Just one catch, dude -- the videos it indexes ARE HOSTED ON YOUTUBE!!!  So, can you allow youtube videos without allowing youtube in your school?  I don't know but I do know that again, we are faced with this seemingly age old discussion of adding some sort of layer on top of youtube videos that Bud the Teacher and I discussed some time back. (See his post: for Vicki: An Expanded Tweet) and my original post on Youtube edu.

Again, Bud keeps coming back to the point that somehow he thinks I'm advocating youtube censorship!  NO such thing.  This is about repurposing youtube and making it work in such a way to be usable for education.  I'm not sure yet, but suspect that something like WatchKnow will do just that: but those who filter are going to have to figure out how this could work.

Hat tip to Gary Sanger and Stephen Downes for this one.

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/23/2009




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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Heading to Oz or Ossifying? The whirlwind of debate around Libraries



Doug Johnson and Joyce Valenza have written an article on School Library Journal that is tearing through the blogs of librarians and media specialists like wildfire this October. If you want to come to the cusp of the debates swirling around libraries and media centers like Dorothy's Cyclone that took her to Oz, this is the article to read because truly, the items here hit at the core of school change.

One piece particularly hit me as a teacher was the part on creative commons where Doug and Joyce say:

It is also time to share with teachers and learners the rationale for Creative Commons and other emerging concepts that are less restrictive than traditional copyright licensing.
Are we helping our students understand the issue of intellectual property from the point of view of the creator, not just the consumer? Librarians need to help students assign rights to their own creative works. They share information about a new world of sharing while respecting intellectual property.

Gosh.  We talk about creative commons but I'm not looking at them as Creators as I ought to!  I'm missing something here.  In the past, I've taught them how to pick the proper license but pretty much I sort of led the decision making for them -- I need to advise them and teach them to MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION.


If you read the article above and want to view the responses that are garnering the most attention, Doug writs over on his blog about "Practicing Visionaries" and the responses he has gotten as did Joyce in her forum post on her Teacher Libarian Ning.


I think what I like most about this conversation is how this is being hashed out in public with thoughts between librarians.  I think what I like least about this conversation is that truly public isn't public because it is on the Internet - on Doug's blog and Joyce's Ning and so many librarians, media specialists, and teacher librarians cannot access these things at school to be PART OF THE CONVERSATION.


Truly I feel that every librarian I know wants to do a good job and wants to improve their library but they just don't know how.  My favorite book I've read thus far is from David Loetschner The New Learning Commons: Where Learners Win because it just makes so much sense.  But again, I am NOT a librarian nor a media specialist and really can only reflect on what I see that I'm missing from my own teaching where it intersects with the teaching parts that are threaded throughout Doug's article.

So, pull the librarians and media specialists in and let them converse and not only let them converse but let them change. 

Wonder where this whirlwind will take things.  You know there is something to be said for talk, particularly among people who ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING as I believe so many of these are.  So, read up, learn, and decide which of these points apply to you and your organization and what you should do to improve your media center.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Very Convincing Deceitful Web Pages that Install Spyware: Teachers, You Gotta Use your Noggin



This is a web site designed to LOOK like your computer. I am passing this along because it looks so much like a legitimate page on your computer.

One of our teachers called me over and I captured the screenshot so I could email it out to the other teachers at my school and also so you can see it as well. You can tell this is a scam because the URL is showing in the web browser bar.

My teachers are great about NOT clicking when they have a question and they skype me or ask me and boy, do I appreciate it.

So, here is a shout out today to one of our third grade teachers Mrs. Donna Worsham for using her "noggin" (as we say in South Georgia) and figuring out that she should call me and not click.

If you don't know ask someone who does.  Using your noggin is going to save your school time and money because it is easier to keep problems from happening than to fix them!

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/21/2009




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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/20/2009




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

Monday, October 19, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/19/2009



  • Excellent article on what Google wave is intended to be: a step up from email to allow for document collaboration. OK, now I finally get it. Seeing people talk about it replacing twitter, etc. I was like "nah - not with THIS" but seeing this blog post made the light go on - a must read for those who want to truly understand what google wave is for and to not get so hyper about what it isn't.

    tags: education, google, googlewave, workflow_software, virtual_communication, worldonline

  • I love these views from my student and her use of the term "horizontal" teaching - I think she has inadevertently hit on a very important concept for us teachers to understand.

    "Everyone has different views, different things they are good at, and different things they know. In a classroom, the teacher used to stand in front of the students, and lecture all day long. Now many of those teachers have started to teach "horizontally". This means that the teacher doesn't necessarily stand in front of her class and lecture, but works with the class, not only teaching them, but allowing them to teach her new things as well.

    This video gave me different opinions and opened my mind to a flattened world. I agree in many ways with Mr Friedman, because I personally do not learn well by having someone lecture me, it is very easy to get distracted, and by learning horizontally, I can interact with my teacher and classmates, and I feel like I learn so much more, because not only do I pay attention, but the fact that I am interacting, and experiencing what she is teaching helps out a lot."

    tags: education, learning, fcp, flatclassroomproject, edu_trends

  • Excellent overview of Thomas Friedman's lecture at MIT which gives essential information on the history of globalization as written by a tenth grader. This is excellent writing and a nice overview of what he says in the fifty minute video. (She also embedded the video.) Excellent work.

    Miller also writes for Terry Freedman out of the UK, in a column called "Ask Miller" and I think her writing skills have been honed and improved as she has written for Terry as a ninth grader. She is a product also of the flat world as she has worked to write in a Google Doc for a person across the Atlantic Ocean!

    tags: education, flatclassroom, worldonline


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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/17/2009




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

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Keynote I'd Like to See at ISTE 2010: Vote and Share Yours




This is your time to contribute.  A massive debate is emerging over at ISTE's keynote discussion forum and as part of this massive edublogosphere (maybe it should be renamed edutweetosphere?) ISTE has crowdsourced one of their keynotes for ISTE 2010.  I've put in my two cents.

Right now, two of the proposals that seem to be running through twitter are Kevin Hunnicutt's proposal and that by Scott Mcleod.  I'll share those proposals and then my personal thoughts and then share with you my own proposal for the keynote.  (note that just because someone proposes it DOES NOT MEAN that person is going to DO the keynote - right now it is about content - phase 2 is about speakers.)

From Kevin Hunnicutt  (go to the ISTE forum to cast your vote for this one.)





Thoughts from Me:


To me, it is not just about the trends.  I think that ISTE will be chock full of trends, tools, and tactics.  I think that keynotes should take us past the cool factor into that gray place in our cerebral hemisphere that connects new pathways between our left and right brain to help us understand how to effect change.

Scott McLeod has a good point on his post that we must impact leaders.

But to me, it is time to pull in the research on change and the book that has totally transformed my thinking and put the transformation at my school in overdrive has been the Influencer: the Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson et. al -- if we have the chance to ask ISTE for what we want - I think we should consider not just asking for more of the same.  If I want trends, tools, tactics, I have those in all of the sessions.

But we want to change all attendees of ISTE.  We're not talking tactics, we're talking strategies of change.  Influencer talks about two types of change leaders that need to be involved before change can happen:  formal leaders and opinion leaders.  We have got to tap into BOTH.

Yes, I love tools and I totally adore Kevin Hunnicut, the man who proposed this (He's the founder of Tweetwood Mac, after all ;-)  but I really think that this keynote should be more and we should push ISTE to ask for some people who can transform our thinking.

The authors of Influencer who also wrote Crucial Conversations are those I wish that they would bring because they are not just about hype, but are about transformational change based upon the research and can inspire us as individuals to be the kind of people who transform classrooms.

This about helping these children in our classrooms who are desperately needing to be reached in the ways that they learn.  These kids are drowning and dropping out of school.  We just don't need to talk about more tools that are going to leave so many glassy eyed and lost but about making a difference in the ways we can to have wide scale positive incorporation of technology into the classrooms in ways that reach kids.

I just feel like that the tools will change by next year but that if we can learn how to effect change then we can be transformed.  My prop is http://iste2010.uservoice.com/pages/30480-iste-2010-conference-keynote-topic-suggestions/suggestions/353624-transformational-influence-finding-and-leveraging-the-small-behaviors-that-make-a-big-difference?ref=title

but also take a look at Scott McLeod's which is in the same vein.

Scott McLeod's Proposal (go to the ISTE forum to vote and discuss)





So, since I posted the original thoughts, a pretty cool conversation is happening -- I'm including it here in reverse order:


Vicki Davis
Scott, the research shows you need BOTH. So if we can incorporate both wouldn't that be a better keynote? Again, I think this exclusive approach limits people because NOT ONLY admins will be at ISTE but people from all areas. Shouldn't the keynote be more of an appeal and of use to everyone and not just to admins. Let a smaller session be just for admins but let a keynote be for all of us.
Otherwise, you end up with unempowered, disheartened teachers and IT staff who know that because their principal is not on board that they have no hope.
Patterson also wrote a book Crucial Conversations which is about this very thing -- how can teachers, IT directors have the crucial conversations that turn admins and principals into advocates of technology and not opponents. YES, we absolutely have to have admins on board it is ESSENTIAL but if we cannot be an admin we should be able to influence an admin.

Scott McLeod
Vicki, I'm a big fan of the Influencer book, but the research is pretty clear that opinion leaders / teacher leaders / IT leaders / whomever get stymied if formal leaders (principals, superintendents, boards, policymakers) don't get it. Why? Because it's the formal leaders that have control over all of the important variables: money, time, personnel, organizational vision and direction, etc. Teacher / IT / opinion leaders are an extremely important part of the equation - and I'm a strong believer in shared, distributed leadership - but the bottom line is that formal school leaders must be the key focus if we want long-term, systemic change to occur.

Vicki Davis
Scott, the research shows you need BOTH. So if we can incorporate both wouldn't that be a better keynote? Again, I think this exclusive approach limits people because NOT ONLY admins will be at ISTE but people from all areas. Shouldn't the keynote be more of an appeal and of use to everyone and not just to admins. Let a smaller session be just for admins but let a keynote be for all of us.
Otherwise, you end up with unempowered, disheartened teachers and IT staff who know that because their principal is not on board that they have no hope.
Patterson also wrote a book Crucial Conversations which is about this very thing -- how can teachers, IT directors have the crucial conversations that turn admins and principals into advocates of technology and not opponents. YES, we absolutely have to have admins on board it is ESSENTIAL but if we cannot be an admin we should be able to influence an admin.

So, aren't you dying to hop in here and chat on this one?  Then, please do by going to the ISTE forum with Scott's Proposal and weighing in.

OK, so, it is no mystery that I'd like Patterson or one of the authors of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
, and Crucial Confrontations: Tools for talking about broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior at ISTE.  They research change and isn't that what we're talking about?  Don't we believe in research based best practices or do we just want to hear the anecdotes of another person who may or may not apply to our situation?



Here it is in text form:


Transformational Influence: Finding and leveraging the small behaviors that make a big difference

The current research on positive influence (Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Patterson et. all) talks about high leverage behaviors and promoting systemic change using the 6 areas of influence. We need to look at the research of change as it relates to incorporating the technology in ways that research shows will improve learning.
But we're dealing with people here - until we get past the technology and learn how to work with people, we will forever be stuck talking to each other. There are areas where systemic change IS happening.
We should try to get Patterson or one of the speakers to ISTE and also have them lead a panel of educators (principal, admin, IT director) to talk about the 6 aspects of change and help people consider the human aspect of what we're trying to do as well as build upon the research about positive change in organizations.
It should also include a component about what it takes to be an opinion leader, the person who truly can transform an organization. Yes, technology is important but until we understand the people we will forever be relegated to being underutilized and mis-implemented as the regular classroom remains unchanged.

Does it really matter what Kevin, Scott, or Vicki think anyway?
So, here is the beautiful thing. Sure, Kevin, Scott, and Vicki can hammer away at each other sharing their thoughts and opinion and surely that may influence the opinions of some.

But Scott, Kevin, Vicki or anyone else cannot truly vote in this keynote.  This keynote is the first crowdsourced keynote from ISTE and I clap and would yell with a million voices a thank you for the gutsy move that this took to say "Hey, let's let people do this."

So, this will morph, change, evolve, and be hashed out by you and me and all of us.  And I"m going to tell you something - if you don't jump in here and vote or talk or propose, you lose your right to complain.

That's right.  You have totally given up your complaint ticket by abstaining on this one.  This is your keynote my friends and I don't care WHO wins this should not be about who is liked the best but about what needs to be said and what we need to learn as educators.  Personally, I think that the leading topics aren't what we need as a keynote, but hey, I'm only one person.

Get in there and vote and share:  Power to the People!



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/14/2009




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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/13/2009




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

Monday, October 12, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/12/2009




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

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/07/2009




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

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Daily Spotlight on Education 10/06/2009



  • QR Codes are an important new technology that use something called hardlinking.

    tags: virtual_communication, mobile, govt_business, education, www_world

  • Just got this in my email. I could see some really fun, funny public service announcements -- cross curricular project for science and technology. This is what they sent me:

    "The contest challenges students in grades 4 through 8 to use their biology and entomology knowledge, as well as their creativity, to create educational public service announcements (PSAs) that discuss the health and property risks posed by household pests. The grand prize winning entry will receive $3,000 for their school’s science department! We know that this award could mean a lot to one of the many schools in the country that are being forced to cut budgets and programs in this difficult economy.



    As a non-profit organization, NPMA is committed to science education, and never promotes specific products or services. I know that Cool Cat Teachers covers a wide range of topics, but we are hoping that the many science teachers who read your content would be interested in the contest for their schools. We would deeply appreciate your help in spreading the word about this fun and educational contest. The press release below has more information on the contest rules and details. Additional information, including sample PSAs and lesson plans for creating PSAs, are available at www.PestWorldForKids.org."

    tags: education, science


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Disqus Comments for Cool Cat Teacher Blog