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Monday, July 03, 2006

Perusing the Top 7 of Jeff Utecht

I love the name of Jeff's blog: The Thinking Stick.

He has posted his top seven of the past year and I've had him on my list to read today.

It's not the Technology Curriculum anymore -- its the Information Curriculum?

In his first post Nets in the 2.0 World, Jeff uses find and replace with interesting results as they update their technology curriculum. He finds the world "technology" and has the computer replace it with "information" with astounding results. With this simple act, he has put his finger on the pulse of what this whole Net evolution is about.

It's not about the technology any more, its about the information!

This is apparent to me this past year as I used older Pentium III computers and remained on the cusp of innovation with blogs and wikis. Technology as long as it connects to the Internet becomes more irrelevant by the day. It is becoming as ubiquitous and expected as pen and paper. What is written on the computer becomes more important. I think that teachers who leave out the digital portion of their subject are neglecting a wealth of incredible information.

The Best Professional Development in Existence

In My 25% PD, Jeff outlines how he uses bloglines as his professional development tool of choice. I echo his sentiments 100%.

How I think Professional Development Should Evolve

In fact, if we are going to evolve PD, I would suggest that courses should be rewritten that allow a PD course to be spread over a 10 week period with 1 hour a week split between bloglines, blogging, and a course wiki with other course participants. One way to change teachers perceptions of this new technology is to allow them to see how handy, easy, and transformational it is.

(I have a feeling that some that offer PD wouldn't like this model because it would require ten weeks of work and a less "take the money and run approach." I think that as teachers from various schools in a discipline work together that great synergies and change will emerge that will be far beyond the person offering the class.)

An incredible Fiddler on the Roof metaphor you may want to use in Staff Development

I love his Traditions post as he uses a metaphor from the Fiddler on the Roof. He parallels the three daughters with three points from technology. It is brilliantly written, uses excellent research to back up his points, and I think would make great material for a staff development discussion. All I can say is, "Wow!"

Teachers admitting they don't know the next step in technology

And I can't help but smile as I read, "We Don't Know what We don't know," as Jeff has teachers admit that they actually don't know what they need in the classroom in terms of technology. I have found that one of the greatest hurdles is to get a teacher to use the technology themselves. When they begin using it themselves and see that it does not waste time but saves time. (That is why I'm an advocate for a professional development course as I listed above.)

Why teachers should be allowed to personalize their computers

I simply love his post about the need to allow teachers to personalize their own computers. I think every technology administrator should read it and LEARN from it.

Take time to read blogs

Jeff is a brilliant writer and I love reading his work. He is one of those "in the trenches" bloggers that keeps me fired up and energetic. One risk of becoming a prolific blogger is that one will forget about being a more prolific reader.

Reading well written, informed blogs, is simply an essential part of being a 21st century educator.

Take time to read others and also, take time to read and evaluate yourself.

When you post your top ten (or 7 as in Jeff's case), make sure you tag it mytop10eduposts or link to my site so I can find you!

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