Tuesday, September 29, 2009

textercise

alternately titled, 'a new PE curriculum'

And I shall never leave the house again.



I'm thrilled that I found this new workout regime, and I'm confident it will replace my old workout plan:





Yep. That one.

fruit smack

alternately titled, 'time to pull the fruit off the tree'

Any press is good press, so I said 'yes' when two 10th graders asked if they could interview me for one of their class projects.

The interviewers provided me with three questions, in advance:
  1. How does the amount of technology at Springfield compare to other schools in the area?
  2. How does the amount of technology at Springfield prepare students for life after high school?
  3. How do the interactive white boards help students learn?
#1 is relatively easy to answer. In fact, I told the students that with a little research, they could gather all the data they would need.

#2 is an edutech dream question. I grabbed my inflatable podium and embarked on my amazing eighteen minute, TED-friendly, spiel. The students, awe-struck, reminded me that class is a rigid 87-minutes and begged me to answer #3.

And answer I did. And answer I do, because this question comes in many forms, from many people of varying ages.

The tool is meaningless. Its impact and value is dependent upon the meaningful integration on the part of the teacher. Students note that most teachers just 'write' on the board, doing nothing different than what they did on the white boards. However, students don't recognize that writing on the board is a positive step for teachers. Teachers are now being asked to re-learn how to write and erase. That can be a massive assault on one's confidence.

Mounting the board is unsettling for many teachers because other techy-tools tend to be small, portable, hide-able.

Teachers wonder what the board can do for them. In a way, their question is no different than #3 above.

This is low-hanging fruit, but if it's low enough, it's bound to whack a lot of people in the face.

Monday, September 21, 2009

hello faculty,

There is now a Twitter (stop laughing) feed on our district home page (why are you still laughing?).

Let's share good news via this wondrous service. To do so, email me any delectable tid-bits and I will add said updates to the Twitter (really? still?) stream (now you're just being immature).

Don't know what to Tweet? Here are some examples:
Good Tweet: Suzy Studentberg took 1st place in the District One Cross Country meet.

Bad Tweet: I ran over a squirrel. Twice.
Again, any good news that you would like 'tweeted', let me know.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

one session at a time

If I'm persuasive enough, if I offer treats that capture yummy and anachronistic elements, then teachers sign-up, and attend, hour-long interactive white board training sessions.
In an after-school setting.
Offering no extra-pay.
No flex-time.
But popcorn? Yes. And Sour Patch Kids. Mixed in for incongruity and puckering.
The training topics are basic and rarely about 'this button' or 'that Flash-based cube', even though the agenda would read otherwise. Instead, the sessions are theory, mental exploration, and pedagogical re-ignition.

Heads tilt. Eyes move up and to the right as jaws shifts just left of center. Teachers are in that moment, the welcome pause. They've reached acceptance. The IWB has something they never once considered:

Value.

And it happened thanks to conversations and questions. No one ever pressed a button.

That'll be the next session.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

day one, now what?

Didn't take long for the copier to break down.



Now, if everything goes according to current anti-technology sentiments, no one will ever use the copier again.

(aerial coverage provided by chair)

Sunday, September 6, 2009