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Showing posts from May, 2015

Our Confounding 1:1 Question, Open or Focused?

Moral Dilemma - is a situation in which there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which completely resolves the situation in an acceptable way.

Nearing the end of our first year of full 1:1 implementation with iPads, our learners are wrestling the question; Should mobile device usage be open and autonomous, or restricted and focused to curriculum?




Option One (Open) - As school technology coordinator, I have recently experienced a professional rebirth as a result of getting better connected to a personal learning network. Social media interactions and ubiquitous access to information have allowed me personalize my learning while also allowing me to share my learning transparently with others. Several of my colleagues have enjoyed similar awakenings with their professional learning. Their experiences are helping to shift pedagogy resulting in a more student centered, digitally connected, collaborative learning environment. These teachers indicate learning experiences ha…

When Mother and Teacher Collide

#TeacherAppreciationWeek - Earlier this week, social media was peppered with requests to thank teachers who have significantly impacted our lives. How fortuitous for me that Mother's Day occurs so close to Teacher Appreciation Week since my mom is the teacher who has had the most significant impact on my life. Mom was actively involved with our schools, but never as a professional educator. Nevertheless, I've learned more from her than any of my "traditional" teachers. Mom never positioned herself as instructor for my brother and me. She shared what she was learning, took interest in what we were learning, as well as, what we wanted to learn. Our current conversations frequently center on current events, what we're currently reading, and of course, the weather.


There weren't a lot of rules in our household, we were expected to know the difference between right and wrong, live by the "golden rule", and to always put forth our best effort. Mom has a gi…

When Flint Strikes Steel; Teacher Appreciation

In the spirit of teacher appreciation day, and at the prompting of my friend Dylan Rogers, I am sharing my story of how an unassuming, and caring economics professor provided the spark and inspiration that launched my fulfilling career in education.


Dr. Daniel Kauffman was my professor of Macro-Economics at Winona State University in Minnesota. A college sophomore with an irregular sleep schedule, I typically sat in the front row of the lecture class to stay awake, and engaged in the lesson. At the time, I was undecided on a major, and I was working fiercely to get my academic life on track. 

On this particular day, the topic was cost/benefits analysis for decision making. I did the pre-reading, and I was thoroughly prepared for the discussion. Dr. Kauffman's wife was nine months pregnant, he said the phone call could be coming at any time. As luck, or chance, would have it, Dr. Kauffman did get a phone call early during his lecture. He scanned the room, and asked, "Who would l…