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Showing posts from March, 2012

Assessing personal growth - what is your SOaP score?

To calculate your SOaP score, the word "care" must be used as a verb - to be concerned for, or to make provision for.

Making one's mark in life should involve the caring or providing for oneself and others.  Where could people demonstrate or perform care?  Can habits of caring be measured in order to advance personal growth?   The acronym, SOaP puts a focus of assessment on three areas of caring; Self, Others, and Places.

The challenge of this growth assessment is to identify and measure the degree in which care is being performed or demonstrated.  Current teaching philosophy and best-practices rely on frequent practice with metacognition - or knowledge of one's knowledge or performance.  This could include, self-evaluation, peer-evaluation, and reflective practices.  Progress can be quantified by clear learning objectives, frequent, formative assessments, and scoring rubrics that monitor skill development towards mastery.

SOaP self-assessment, is going to be based u…

One-Click Wonders

Following a theme from one of my earlier posts, I am promoting the concept of a one-click classroom.  Alliteration aside, this refers to the teacher's and students' ability to get to their most prized web tools within a single click of their application dashboard.

As our district prepares to unleash a 1:1 pilot, we are doing our best to support the following expectations or themes: Device independent applicationsCost-neutral applicationsReduction / elimination of paper-based instructionIntegration of Core Curriculum and NETS standardsClose the digital divide by leveraging mobile technologies and high-speed connectivityPromoting a "Digital Evolution" in our schools Recent developments, and conversations with teachers and students have caused me to re-evaluate my recommendations for essential web tools of a connected classroom.
I am currently building out two blended courses; one for professional development for teachers using mobile technologies for instruction, and t…

Sharing Tweets in the PHS Student Cafeteria

Twitter is an important social media tool to the adults at Palatine High School.  Not so much with the students.  Keith Sorensen, Director of Instructional Technology for D211, came over to help me raise some awareness and interest in Twitter as a medium for connecting with students.

We set up a display and discussed a PPT presentation on the cafeteria "big screen" during our four lunch periods.  While there was some curiosity as to what we were doing, most students did not have a genuine interest in Twitter.  An overwhelming majority of students had their cell phones out.  They seemed to be playing games, texting friends, or updating their Facebook status.  Facebook was the social media tool of choice for most students.


The students were polite and receptive to our questions - yes, they like to be heard.  Our new district blogger, and Principal Steiger also stopped in to visit with the students.  There was a fund-raiser for Leukemia set up at the table next to us.

Even tho…

What should we do on Fridays?

In an earlier blog post, I proposed a nationally standardized academic calendar consisting of six weeks of school followed by a two week break, year-round. I also proposed a four day, "in-person" school week, Monday through Thursday - with Fridays away from the school "building".

That begs the question, "what should we do on Fridays?" Anyone who walks the halls of a school on a Friday would recognize the winding-down feeling that permeates many settings. Movies being shown, games being played, tests being given. But where is the learning? How can we maximize learning for teachers and students on Fridays?

My proposal suggests that we spend time away from our schools on Fridays. Just so there is no confusion, we would be away from the school building on Fridays, but we never lessen our commitment to learning. Fridays would be reserved for family, fitness, connected learning, and skill sharpening. In short, Fridays become a personal growth and learning day!

Man…

What is on your bookmarks bar?

Some recent discussions at work have revolved around the question, "What are the five or six essential web 2.0 tools that you would find in the top drawer of you Internet toolbox?" Another way of describing this would be to ask, "What are the essential links that you keep prominently on your bookmarks, or favorites, bar?"  Or, best yet, what are those sites that need to be within a single click of you at all times?

Here are the sites that populate my bookmarks bar in my Chrome browser - see if some of them are the same as yours.
Outlook Web Access - work email is becoming less prominent, but I hate searching for the OWA link to sign in to my work email.  I should save myself the one-click and sync Outlook to Gmail.  But like, many of you, I prefer to keep my work email and personal email in separate bedrooms.Google - A big-time, no-brainer here -  my iGoogle dashboard (including Gmail) is getting steadily replaced by my new workhorse -  Google+.   That said, Googl…

Radical Changes for US Schools

Many people seem to agree that education is in need of some significant changes in order to improve our standing in an ever-changing world economy.


Here are some thoughts that I have on the topic of 2ndorder educational change...
Institute a nationally standardized year-round academic calendar (6 weeks on / 2 weeks off)  Set the intervals such that major holidays such as Christmas and Independence Day are celebrated during breaks.  The advantages of this include; greater retention of learned material, opportunity to continue with digital content during breaks, economic advantages include conserving transportation and energy costs, establishing consistent child care patterns, and establishing year-round windows for family travel and recreation.Establish a consistent daily schedule for school, while removing the non-essential "fluff time".  For example, school time is reserved for 8:00am - 3:00pm while learning time is offered 24/7 through web-based, or technology channels.Four-…