Monday, December 29, 2008

Obama Educational Change

The winds of change are blowing from a new direction. President Obama talks about education changes that we need. In a study done of educational leaders of this country here is the results.


70% believe that the new president will make a difference in Educational Technology in Schools

30% don't believe that he will make any difference


Lets give him a chance to become the change agent and lead us in a new direction and a strong future for all of are children.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Missouri: Schools Takeover Upheld by the supreme Court

An article that has been run by the Associated Press on December 18, 2008 said this “The Missouri Supreme Court has affirmed the state takeover of the St. Louis school system, which has struggled for years with poor finances and student test scores. The decision on Tuesday backs the appointment of a three-member governing board that has run the St. Louis school system, Missouri’s largest school district, since it lost accreditation in June 2007. Members of the elected school board have remained in office but are largely powerless. Elected board members had urged the Supreme Court to invalidate the Missouri Board of Education’s decision removing the district’s accreditation. They also sought to strike down the state law allowing the transfer of powers to an appointed board if the St. Louis district lost accreditation. The Supreme Court rejected all their arguments, essentially ending the power struggle.” This precedence will allow other states as Michigan to take further control of Detroit Public school if they don’t get there act together. NCLB is here to stay, so we can embrace it and use it to make are systems responsible and do what needs to be done to help are students or just sit back and wait for the state to step in take control.

The problems with the Universal Service Fund (USF)

Be for I begin a rant about the USF program and how it is just another tax let me say that it has help us and many school to get internet to the district. Now for why I think the program should be dismantled and start over at square one.

1. The USF was first started in the 1934 to help provide phone service were phone service was not cost effective for the phone companies. It allowed equal access to all citizen rural and city. So when Snowy and Rockefeller came up with legislation to allow school to reduce cost of phone, internet and server equipment. They were to give a higher priority to rural schools and oh by the way let’s include those poor schools that have high free and reduced rates. Well this sounds good till you look at the statistics and a majority of priority two money ends up in the in city school, why would this be as rural school were to be the priority not the city schools. Well were are the free and reduced rates the highest, it is the inner city school in the rural Thumb of Michigan the highest school is in the 70% on the USF matrix. Were inner city Saginaw schools are 90% reduced rates schools. Well then we will implement a three in five year rule so that everyone will have a chance at the priority two money, right? Yes this will fix the problem well it is five years into that and guess what we still don’t see any priority two money even at 67%. SHOW ME THE MONEY.

2. Why do we get money for phone service? How many of you had phone service before USF program started 12 years ago. We did and we still have the same service that we had then. In fact this has not in my estimation helped us free more money up to help wire or get technology in are school system. So stop paying for phone service and place this money to a better use. Such as allow us to buy fiber plants between the school system so we can consolidate services increase the access of internet and cut the phone companies out of there monopoly dictatorship.

3. Why do we have to fill out so many forms for priority one service as the internet and phone service? Reduce the form filling for priority one services as Internet and if they decided to keep phone service against my just recommendation as seen in number two.

So stop the insanity either give the tax payers a break and get rid of this USF Fee on are phone bills. How does that saying go as it relates to the USF Fee? If it walks like a duck, quaks like a duck then it must be a Tax, Oh ya I mean a duck.

USF Year 12 Important Dates

It is that time of year again to start the new USF process. Just recieved your last check for year 10 USF. You are in the middle of year 11 USF with all paper work done till June 30, 2009 when you have to submit your BEAR 472. Well clock is ticking on your 470 and 471 window. Don't miss the dates or your cariage will turn into a great orange pumkin.


Last date to post

Form 470 for the FY 2009
application window: Thursday, January 15, 2009

Form 471 for the FY 2009
application window: Thursday,February 12, 2009

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Net Day Speak-up

Speak Up Banner

Let your voice be heard in Washington DC click on the link about and fillout the survey. Let the political leadership of this country hear what student, Parent and Teachers think about are educational policy in this county. SPEAK-UP before Dec. 19 2008 to be counted.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rod Rock and pedagogical change in elementary classrooms

This article was written a few years back by our principal Rod Rock. Rod was a visionary leader that I enjoyed sitting down with and having conversation on pedagogical changes. We were looking at the time to pass a bound issues that would build a new elementary school. It was a chance to build the classroom of the future and bring our teachers into the 21st century. In this example it took two of the philosophy that I have described in earlier writings. The first is to stay the course and the second is a strong visionary level five leader.

Here is the link to the article http://tech.usa.k12.mi.us/Articles/Technology_usa.pdf

Friday, November 7, 2008

NCLB - Can all children become engaged learners

This blog is about Geffory Canada and his pasion of truly leaving no child left behind.

Here is a quote from Geffory “I don't accept excuses about kids not learning. You can't blame the kids ... If a child does not succeed, it means the adults around him or her have failed.”

I beleive this statment with all my heart. We just need to find that switch that turn the learners on to life long learning. If we find this switch and find there interest children will preform at a level that we can not imagine.


NPR Link to Geffory Canada http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96667434

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Educational Technology - Michigan: Spelling Word Podcast

Educational Technology - Michigan: Spelling Word Podcast
http://edtech-mi.blogspot.com/2008/10/spelling-word-podcast.html

Spelling Word Podcast

Here is a podcast of this weeks spelling words.


(Here is a Sample)

No Document Left Behind

OK so this is a spoof to the last message posted on NCLB. I have ventured into uncharted territory again, Yes and it hurts. Well we started the long term discussion about what to do with all those file cabinet full of documents. Well at first it seem like a simple thing right. throw some documents on a scanner and place them on the server in a PDF format and walla presto magic you have document retention, HOLD ON THERE TEX. Come to find out there is public law passed on the retention times and how though shall store them. I will write another post soon on what the ANSI standards numbers are and where you can purchase them. Yes that is right they are copy righted and you must pay for the word for word verbage. If you want some people have summarized the Standards but if you want the fine detail you must purchase a copy for your records.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No Child Left Behind

NCLB
If you ever wanted to know what kids think about NCLB here is your answer. This young man say what most adults can't so eligently why we need to do what is right for all student. Even if the political winds are possibly pushing us into the parels of the rock. We still need to make sure we are doing what is right for all students.

http://www.dallasisd.org/keynote.htm

Instructional reasearch website

Need to find research on instructional technology to see what the effect is on student learning. Here is a website that you can do searches on use of instructional technology in education.

http://ies.ed.gov/

Monday, October 20, 2008

Please leave comments!!!

Please leave comments, I need your feedback on what you would like to see addressed at this blog. I see lots of hits here if nothing else leave a comment of where you are from so other people can see where all the viewer are coming from.

Thanks hope to hear from you soon!

Is it time to change the name of the Department of Technology to the Department of Learning?

After listening to the Director of Technology Bruce Umpstead for the State of Michigan. It changed the way that I think about instructional technology. Mr. Umpstead talk about maybe it is time to change the director of technology talk about how maybe we need to rethink what we call now the Department of Technology. My superintend Dr. John “kip” Walker has challenged me a number of years back to think differently about technology, I think he said it this way, “Technology should not be used for the sake of using technology, but instead how is it going to effect student learning”. Since this we have try to make sure that every time we have a conversation about technology be it in School Improvement or technology committee meetings that we make sure we keep it in this context. Two years back we were setting the goals with teachers so we try this little exercise to help us all keep it in that context of student learning and outcomes. We had the sixty teachers break into groups of 5 or 6 they then took a 30”*40” peace of paper and wrote there priorities of technology and then had to come up with how each one would effect student learning. We then complied all the items and there outcomes and gave each of them 5 votes on there top five choices. This left use with a list where we picked the top 5 items that received the most votes. In doing this we also could see how the teachers planed to change student learning with these technology priorities. What was the outcome the number one item was Elmo document camera units for each room we obviously this moved the number two choice ahead of it Projection units for each room and then the third item was CPS units for all teachers. The next year we turn priority one into a reality by adding projection units to every instructors room. The buy in was overwhelming and all teachers had a good start by the time there units where mounted in how they would use this instructional technology to help student learning. We are now working towards the second part of the goal and with document camera prices dropping rapidly they are not far off from becoming a reality. We have a few units so that teachers can develop and model how they will affect student learning with are students.

Meet Bruce Umpstead
www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-6530-62765--,00.html

FY 2007 USF 472 Due 10/28/2008

FY 2007 Recurring Service Invoice Deadline:
Only one week remains to file invoices with SLD for discounts on recurring services received during the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Next Tuesday’s October 28th invoice deadline applies to both applicant BEARs (Form 472s) and service provider SPIs (Form 474s).

Just in case any of you were panicing today or tonight because you thought you missed the deadline here it is. Last year it was 10/20/2007 I was panicing today when I could not find the date and then I seen a message with this date in it tonight. Good luck and 470 time is just around the corner.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Disrupting Class (new book)

School is about to start and we will be off and running for another school year. Is it just me or do the summer seem to get shorter and shorter. The teachers are back and we are in the thick of getting are system preped and ready for another run till the end. I have just finished a new read. It is Disrupting Class, This is a great read. I so it on the shelf and thought to my self that sound like a bad book but as they say, "never judge a book by its cover." That is all so true as if most people judge me by how I look they would would think I am much diffrent then I really am and we will just leave it at that. This book is a book about educational Technology and how the author thinks it will change education system in the US and over the world. He ties his thought in to economics and buissness. He thinks that in just a few short years that we will move away from monolithic instruction mills as we have today and over the 50 or 60 years to student centered instruction. he also points out in this book that if we don't change the amount of educational time for learning for each student as they need it, and we try to get them all educated and the same rate that we will have variable results. If we want consitent results we must varie the amount of instructional time to meet each students need. this book is a must read for Technology and instructional people.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

One to One Laptops are on the horizon

One to One Laptops are on the horizon
Well I was one of the most vocal Directors in the state of Michigan against the one to one Laptop program. The big reason I was so opposed to the One to One Laptops was the cost. They were delivering Laptops that were in the $1500 price range. There is no way on this green earth that we could afford to buy a laptop for every student in are school and to change them out ever four years. The cost would have been for are district of 900 students $1,350,000 every four years even if you leased them for four years it would cost the district $354,375 a year.
Now with this said I think we are very close to this paradigm shit with the release of several sub $300.00 Laptops and the Indian government saying they are working on getting a sub $100.00 laptop into the hands of every student. Let’s run these cost with the above student count assumption. 900 at a cost of$100.00 per student it would cost $90,000.00 to out right buy them and if you leased them for $22,500.00 for four years. that could be the factor that makes this program take off.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Technology workers wages

How do you compare to other technology workers in your state with wages and benifits? Take this survey and you can see what other technology people are getting. the survey takes less then 5 minuets and will help us all to see where we are at in the pay scale of technology workers.

Survey
http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB226MZUW4DYD


Survey results
http://www.zoomerang.com/Shared/SharedResultsPasswordPage.aspx?ID=L232Z8UN8RAW
Yesterday SETDA (State Educational Technology Director Association) releases the first whitepaper report from the Vision 20/20 Action Plan series
" High Speed Broadband Access for All Kids: Breaking the Barriers" this report addresses the growing concern and critical need for high-speed Internet access among our districts and schools. Check out the link to view. This report goes on to talk about bandwidth demands for K-12 school today and in the near future. This is a must read report.

Link to the report
http://www.setda.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=270&name=DLFE-211.pdf
George Lucas testimony to Congress 6/24/2008
Edutopia

Here is a short list of what he talks about in his testimony in front of congress.
  • Erate program
  • Edutopia
  • Teachers as facilitators
  • Internet access for all students

http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/testimony-of-george-lucas.pdf

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lesson Plan American Civil War

Lesson Plan American Civil War

By Fred SharpsteenCMU-Saginaw EDU 595

Grade Levels: 5th – 9th

Overview:
In the videos, textbook, and lectures, you will learn about what was going on at a time when the North and South differed economically and socially, political compromise could no longer stop the division between the two, states' rights versus the constitution, tariffs, division of labor, and slavery. Legislative mandates all led to the Civil War. In this lesson plan you will learn about these and be given a chance to second-guess the leaders of the day and, with hindsight, talk about how it could have been handled differently.

Materials needed:
This section covers (Knowledge: Blooms Taxonomy)

Video:
Title American Civil War, the Causes of the War.
United Learning copyrighted (1996).
United Streaming: http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/
Time: 30 Minutes
Textbook:
The American Nation, Publisher: Prentice Hall
Other:
Computer/Microsoft Publisher: As learned in Computer Ligature Class


Objectives:
Watch the video and take notes for later discussion. Read chapters on the Civil War in your text book. Write a couple of paragraph summarizing reasons that the South wanted to start a Civil War.

  • (Knowledge: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Comprehension: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • Week 1

    Construct a time line of event leading up to the start of the war and until the end of the war.
  • (Application: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • Week 2

    Using a Wiki in your group, talk about “legitimate” reasons why the country went to war and list major events of the war. Each team will create a list of reasons and major events. Refer to textbook, class notes, and notes taken from the video.
  • (Analysis: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Synthesis: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Evaluation: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • Week 3


    Using Podcast, Screencast, Microsoft Publisher or a Camcorder, create a news clip or newspaper headline and story of a big day in the Civil War.
    Examples:
    1. The first shot fired.
    2. The last day’s events of the Civil War
    3. A major turning event in the war or prewar.

  • (Comprehension: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Application: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Analysis: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Synthesis: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • Week 4


    Write a one-page paper on what emotions played in the Civil War. Defend or critique the South’s reasons for going to war. How are thing the same or different now with the South?
    Note: post the papers on the blackboard server
  • (Knowledge: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Comprehension: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Application: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Analysis: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Synthesis: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Evaluation: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • Week 5

    Write a one-page paper on the Civil War Could it have been stopped or prevented in your opinion? Defend or critique if going to war was inevitable.
    Note: post the papers on the blackboard server

  • (Knowledge: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Comprehension: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Application: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Analysis: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Synthesis: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • (Evaluation: Blooms Taxonomy)
  • Week 5



    Formative assessments:
    You will weekly check to make sure that assignments are turned in. Also a quiz will be given each Friday covering weekly topics. This rubric is how weekly projects will be assessed and scored.

    Rubric:
    Points
    1 –3
    3 - 5
    6 - 8
    8 - 10

    Needs work
    Meets some of the requirements
    Meets requirement
    Shows mastery of subject
    Write paragraphs
    Missing point of the war
    Most of the points of the war
    Good job-summarizes the war
    Excellent job-covers all points and other events of the war
    Construct a time line of events
    Missing many points in the war or prewar
    Missing some points of the war
    Has all major points of the war and prewar
    Has all major points of the war and prewar and other points of interest
    Using the Wiki in your groups to come up with a list of reasons the war started
    Weak participation
    Some good points
    Good points and good participation
    Excellent points, excellent participation
    News clip or newspaper headlines and story
    Needs work
    News items need more content
    Good headline good new article
    Excellent news headline
    excellent news article
    Write a one-page paper
    #1
    Needs work
    Covers some points and thoughts on reasoning weak
    Covers all points and some good reasoning
    Covers all points and well thought out reasoning
    Write a one-page paper
    #2
    Needs work
    Covers some points and thoughts on reasoning weak
    Covers all points and some good reasoning
    Covers all points and well thought out reasoning

    Summative assessments:
    Final test will be on all material covered over the section also question of the Civil War on the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) will be evaluated on the next MEAP test to make sure that we are meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in these state standards.




    State Standards Covered:
    · State: Michigan Subject: Social Studies
    Grade: 5
    o MI.I.1. - Measure chronological time by decades and centuries.
    § I.1.1. - Measure chronological time by decades and centuries.
    o MI.I.2. - Identify and explain how individuals in history demonstrated good character and personal virtue.
    § I.2.4. - Identify and explain how individuals in history demonstrated good character and personal virtue.
    o MI.I.3. - Interpret conflicting accounts of events in both Michigan and United States history and analyze the viewpoints of the authors.
    § I.3.2. - Interpret conflicting accounts of events in both Michigan and United States history and analyze the viewpoints of the authors.
    o MI.I.4. - Select decisions made to solve past problems and evaluate those decisions in terms of ethical considerations, the interests of those affected by the decisions, and the short-and long-term consequences in those decisions.
    § I.4.2. - Select decisions made to solve past problems and evaluate those decisions in terms of ethical considerations, the interests of those affected by the decisions, and the short-and long-term consequences in those decisions.
    Grade: 6
    o MI.I.1. - Construct and interpret timelines of people and events from the history of Michigan and the United States through the era of Reconstruction and from the history of other regions of the world.
    § I.1.1. - Construct and interpret timelines of people and events from the history of Michigan and the United States through the era of Reconstruction and from the history of other regions of the world.
    § I.1.2. - Describe major factors that characterize the following eras in United States history: The Meeting of Three Worlds (beginnings to 1620), Colonization and Settlement (1585-1763), Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1815), Expansion and Reform (1801-1861) and Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877).
    o MI.I.2. - Identify and explain how individuals in history demonstrated good character and personal virtue.
    § I.2.2. - Identify and explain how individuals in history demonstrated good character and personal virtue.
    § I.2.3. - Select conditions in various parts of the world and describe how they have been shaped by events from the past.
    o MI.I.3. - Use primary and secondary records to analyze significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation prior to the end of the era of Reconstruction.
    § I.3.1. - Use primary and secondary records to analyze significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation prior to the end of the era of Reconstruction.
    § I.3.3. - Show that historical knowledge is tentative and subject to change by describing interpretations of the past that have been revised when new information was uncovered.
    o MI.II.5. - Explain how elements of the physical geography, culture, and history of the region may be influencing current events.
    § II.5.3. - Explain how elements of the physical geography, culture, and history of the region may be influencing current events.
    Grade: 7
    o MI.I.1. - Construct and interpret timelines of people and events from the history of Michigan and the United States through the era of Reconstruction and from the history of other regions of the world.
    § I.1.1. - Construct and interpret timelines of people and events from the history of Michigan and the United States through the era of Reconstruction and from the history of other regions of the world.
    § I.1.2. - Describe major factors that characterize the following eras in United States history: The Meeting of Three Worlds (beginnings to 1620), Colonization and Settlement (1585-1763), Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1815), Expansion and Reform (1801-1861) and Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877).
    o MI.I.2. - Identify and explain how individuals in history demonstrated good character and personal virtue.
    § I.2.2. - Identify and explain how individuals in history demonstrated good character and personal virtue.
    § I.2.3. - Select conditions in various parts of the world and describe how they have been shaped by events from the past.
    o MI.I.3. - Use primary and secondary records to analyze significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation prior to the end of the era of Reconstruction.
    § I.3.1. - Use primary and secondary records to analyze significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation prior to the end of the era of Reconstruction.
    § I.3.3. - Show that historical knowledge is tentative and subject to change by describing interpretations of the past that have been revised when new information was uncovered.
    o MI.II.5. - Explain how elements of the physical geography, culture, and history of the region may be influencing current events.
    § II.5.3. - Explain how elements of the physical geography, culture, and history of the region may be influencing current events.
    Grade: 8
    o MI.I.1. - Construct and interpret timelines of people and events from the history of Michigan and the United States through the era of Reconstruction and from the history of other regions of the world.
    § I.1.1. - Construct and interpret timelines of people and events from the history of Michigan and the United States through the era of Reconstruction and from the history of other regions of the world.
    § I.1.2. - Describe major factors that characterize the following eras in United States history: The Meeting of Three Worlds (beginnings to 1620), Colonization and Settlement (1585-1763), Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1815), Expansion and Reform (1801-1861) and Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877).
    o MI.I.2. - Identify and explain how individuals in history demonstrated good character and personal virtue.
    § I.2.2. - Identify and explain how individuals in history demonstrated good character and personal virtue.
    § I.2.3. - Select conditions in various parts of the world and describe how they have been shaped by events from the past.
    o MI.I.3. - Use primary and secondary records to analyze significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation prior to the end of the era of Reconstruction.
    § I.3.1. - Use primary and secondary records to analyze significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation prior to the end of the era of Reconstruction.
    § I.3.3. - Show that historical knowledge is tentative and subject to change by describing interpretations of the past that have been revised when new information was uncovered.
    o MI.II.5. - Explain how elements of the physical geography, culture, and history of the region may be influencing current events.
    § II.5.3. - Explain how elements of the physical geography, culture, and history of the region may be influencing current events.
    Grade: 9
    § MI.I.2. - Select events and individuals from the past that have had global impact on the modern world and describe their impact.
    § I.2.3. - Select events and individuals from the past that have had global impact on the modern world and describe their impact.
    § MI.I.3. - Use primary and secondary records to analyze significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation since the era of Reconstruction.
    § I.3.1. - Use primary and secondary records to analyze significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation since the era of Reconstruction.
    § I.3.2. - Challenge arguments of historical inevitability by formulating examples of how different choices could have led to different consequences.
    § MI.I.4. - Analyze key decisions by drawing appropriate historical analogies.
    § I.4.3. - Analyze key decisions by drawing appropriate historical analogies.
    § I.4.4. - Select pivotal decisions in United States history and evaluate them in light of core democratic values and resulting costs and benefits as viewed from a variety of perspectives.
    § MI.II.1. - Describe how major world issues and events affect various people, societies, places, and cultures in different ways.
    § II.1.1. - Describe how major world issues and events affect various people, societies, places, and cultures in different ways.


    Resources:

    Video:
    American Civil War, The: Causes of the War. United Learning (1996).
    Retrieved February 20, 2008, fromUnited Streaming: http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/

    Textbook:
    The American Nation, Publisher: Prentice Hall

    Technology involved with this lesson plan
    § Streaming video
    § Desktop Publishing
    § Camcorder
    § Podcasting
    § Wiki (PBwiki.com)
    § Goggle Groups
    § Blackboard

Instructional Design - Theoretical Research Overview

If you ask any educator why they decided to become a teacher you will hear them say things like, to make a difference in a teaching are young people, or the gratifications of seeing children learn and grow. It is also that time, when but if only one student comes to you and says, “I want you to know how much of a difference you made in my life back in 6th grade.” This is what makes teaching all worth it in the end. In order to have meaningful learning, we need to have instruction. Meaningful learning is what we will talk about in this instructional design paper. We will look at what makes best practices in the design of instruction and we will compare and contrast two styles of instructional design.
Before we look at instructional designs we will first try to define what is meant by instructional design. If we look at the webpage made by Sara McNeil of the University of Huston she describes it this way, “Instructional Design is the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction. It is the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs. It includes development of instructional materials and activities; and tryout and evaluation of all instruction and learner activities.”
Over the last year are cohort group has looked at many facets of instructional design. I will be using what we have learned from the book, “Essentials of Educational Psychology” by Jeanne Ellis Ormrod and the book Educational Assessment of Students by Anthony j. Nitko and Susan M. Brookhart in this paper and my presentation project.
The two instructional design methods that we will be looking at are the, “ADDIE model of Instructional Design Process” and “Backward Design by Wiggins and McTighe”. The best description that I have read about what instructional design is, comes from the Leslie Owen Wilson’s website she explains it as this, “In writing curriculum or developing instructional task the following needs to be considered. If you use the metaphor of those Mylar pictures in textbooks that showed the varied layers of topography, or the parts of the human anatomy, then writing curriculum is a similar process it is like developing a series of layers until it becomes a whole picture.” I think this is a great illustration of instructional design, for if we forget any one of the layers of design then we may miss the whole picture that the student gets and they will not achieve mastery of the subject.
The first design that we will look at is Backward Design, the process has a three step approach they are, Step one Identify desired results, step two Determine acceptable evidence, and step three plan learning experiences and instruction. In step one, we need to identify what is the important learning objectives that we will cover in are instruction. These learning objectives can come from the state standards or district pacing guides. In step two, we will determine the evidence of good assessments to use to determine the depth of understanding with pretest, post test and performance assessments. After administering pre test assessments we may need to make mid course adjustments depending on the group of students understanding of the learning objectives. We will use the post test and daily test to make sure that students have created relevant understanding as they move up the levels of blooms taxonomy. The step three, we will plan the learning experience and instruction. This is where we look at the different strategies that are research based to enable the students’ skills towards mastery of the subject mater. This is the meat and potatoes of being educators; it is where we work on different strategies to make sure that all happens for all children as they develop true understanding of the objective.
The second design that we will look at is the ADDIE approach to instructional design. This process is arranged in five steps. Step one is Analyze, step two is Design, step three is Develop, step four is Implement, and step five is evaluate. In Step one of the ADDIE approach we look at Analyze, in this step we look at who are the learners, what are the objectives, what are the strategies that we can use to help the student achieve mastery. What can we use as assessments, and how much time do we have to meet these objectives. In step two we look at the instructional methods that we can use to help the students to reach mastery of the subject. We look at lectures, home work, projects, and other instructional lessons. In step three we look at tools that we can use in the creation of instructional tools. In this stage we look at creation of assessments tools. In step four, we look at Implementing, this is the part of the instruction were the students is given the instruction and the students are prepared for the lessons that will be delivered to them. If step five, we evaluate, this is where we use formative assessments. These assessments are made up of six stages. The first is evaluation of goal specifications, the second is preparation, the third is data collection, the forth is data analysis, the fifth is revision, and the sixth is recycling. In Stage one is the formative evaluation, this is where we determine goals for the stakeholders. The second, stage the preparation having the correct measurement tools. The third, stage is data collection this data is feedback from the students. The forth stage, is data analysis or to tabulate the data and evaluate. The fifth, step is revision where we modify the outcome to try to raise the data above the goals. The sixth, step is recycling this is where we move to a summative form of assessment. In this assessment we look at the student outcome can be used in the continuing improvement model to help us refine are instruction to help students in future groups gain depth of knowledge. It also helps us look at the students to see how many students reach mastery of the subject and what objectives were achieved or missed.
These two instructional design tools have some similarities and some differences. First I will compare these two systems. They both have the same outcome, it is to help students achieve mastery of the subject area. They both recommend using best instructional practices and theory in educating student with many forms of instruction. They both talk about assessment as a key component in deciding what students prior knowledge is. It also allows use to look at the final outcome with the summative assessment to see how we can improve are instructional practice to help the student to achieve student mastery. Both systems also look at what the target objectives are that we need to cover to make the students successful.
There is some significant contrast to the two system of instructional design. The first is that they start at opposite extreme of the educational process. The Backwards design looks at what we want for the final outcome for the students to be. In this step we are looking at learning objectives or pacing guides or state standards. Where the ADDIE system looks at other factors as who are the group of learners or who is are audience. It also looks at what are deliveries method will be, and how much time we have to complete the learning unit. In the backwards design we next look at assessments that we can use to make sure learning objective are being covered. Whereas the ADDIE system makes the assessment part the last part of design in instruction. The last and final step of backwards design is the planning for learning instructional methods and instruction. Where the ADDIE is Data collection, analysis and revision of instruction then evaluate with summative assessments.
I find the backwards design to be a process that is easier for me to follow and to be the more logical approach to instructional design. Both methods in the end accomplish the same goal of helping students to learn and achieve mastery of the subject. I also like the temples that have been created by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe to help in developing instructional materials to meet the Backwards design concepts. But no matter which process you find to meet your needs, they both have the same basic objective to help the student to learn the subject and to evaluate the learning with formative and summative assessments.

References
ADDIE:
Davidson-Shivers, G V, Salazar, J., & Hamilton, K M (Sept 2005). Design of faculty development workshops: attempting to practice what we preach. College Student Journal, 39, 3. p.528(12). Retrieved May 19, 2008, from Academic OneFile via Gale:
http://0-find.galegroup.com.elibrary.mel.org:80/itx/start.do?prodId=AONE
Peterson, C. (Fall 2003). Bringing ADDIE to life: instructional design at its best. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 12, 3. p.227(15). Retrieved May 19, 2008, from Academic OneFile via Gale:
http://0-find.galegroup.com.elibrary.mel.org:80/itx/start.do?prodId=AONE
Welty, G. (July 2007). The 'design' phase of the ADDIE model.(analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate). Journal of GXP Compliance, 11, 4. p.40(13). Retrieved May 20, 2008, from Academic OneFile via Gale:
http://0-find.galegroup.com.elibrary.mel.org:80/itx/start.do?prodId=AONE
Backwards Design:
Shumway, S., & Berrett, J. (Nov 2004). Standards-based curriculum development for pre-service and in-service: a 'partnering' approach using modified backwards design: the end result is that pre-service teacher education students are becoming more excited about their teaching profession. The Technology Teacher, 64, 3. p.26(4). Retrieved May 20, 2008, from Academic
OneFile via Gale:
http://0-find.galegroup.com.elibrary.mel.org:80/itx/start.do?prodId=AONEMcTighe, J., & Thomas, R S (Feb 2003).
Backward design for forward action. Educational Leadership, 60, 5. p.52-55. Retrieved May 20, 2008, from Academic OneFile via Gale:
Understanding by Design. Winter 2001 v36 i144 p839(2)Adolescence, 36, 144. p.839(2). Retrieved May 26, 2008, from Academic
OneFile via Gale:
Copy Right 2008 Sara McNeil Accessed on 5/21/2008
Copy Right 2005Accessed on 5/21/2008

Text Books:
Ormrod, J., (2006). Essentials of Educational Psychology. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.Nitko, A., & Brookhart, S. (2007). Educational Assessment of Students. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Wiggins, G., & Mctighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. City: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Deve.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Student assessments by M/C testing and T/F

How many teachers do you know that after giving their class of student a multiple question true/false question test then take the test and correct it and do an item analysis? Is it one out of a 100 or one out of 1000. If a teacher never does an item analysis, how do they know that their question have and validity or reliability at all? Did you ever give any consideration to true and false question analysis? If you have taken a class in probability you know that if you flip a coin 100 times that it should read heads approximately 50 times out of a 100. So you can use the same thought process and realize that if less then 50% of the students get a question right, that their is some reason that they are choosing the incorrect answer. Is it a poorly wrote question?The way to check the reliability of a multiple choice question is a little more difficult. It is a statistic concept where you check how many of the top students choose a correct response compared to the lowest scoring students, choosing a correct or incorrect response and the correlation of the two. I will explain this in more detail in another Blog.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Internet penetration in are homes China vs United States

After reading an article in April 26, 2008 (IDG News Service) here are some interesting stats on the Internet in the homes in China and the United States.
China has 16% of its residents on the Internet, or about 221 million. Their are an estimated 19.1% resident Internet user world wide. The United States we has an estimated 72% of its residents on the Internet or about 218 million, as of March of 2008. We as a school district did a survey of are parents in the Unionville-Sebewaing area and found that the one survey reported 92% home penetration. We felt this was very good for a rural community.

Reference
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9080583&source=rss_news50

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wage Survey Technology workers in Michigan

Technology Directors in K-12 Schools in Michigan

15% make from $25,000 to $40,999
20% make from $41,000 to $50,999
18% make from $51,000 to $55,999
20% make from $56,000 to $70,999
15% make from $71,000 to $85,999

32% have worked 1 to 5 years at there job
48% have worked 6 to 12 years at there job


14% have an Associates Degree
45% have a BS Degree
18% have a MA Degree

This survey was conducded by 79 technology workers in the state of Michigan on 6/26/2007
for a look at the full survey see
http://tech.usa.k12.mi.us/wage_survey.htm

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Video is it the bigest consumer of your network

We all know how much bandwidth video can consume on your network. A recent study of Internet traffic in general shows that video now makes up more traffic then was consumed by all ip traffic in the year 2000. Wow that is a huge statement, the study also showed that video consumes 40% to 50% 0f most networks traffic patterns. So what this tells me is that if we don’t start to address are WAN connection I.e. start building fiber to hook all schools together that we will have two options in the future with are LAN. Start Packet shaping and cutting back on Video traffic or face the fact that we are out of bandwidth, and watch the users come unglued when they can’t get to their needed application or the video starts to jitter.
The study referenced comes from Networkworld March 31, 2008 Issue page 8 Your Career could hinge on convergence.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Results of the Speak Out About Technology Survey

Here are some interesting fact from the national survey that was open to student, teachers, parents and administrators of schools on Technology Education.

  • 54% of students are interested in Sicence, Technology, Enginering and Math (STEM) careers
  • One-third of teachers say they would like to teach an online class
  • 84% of administrators say educational technology enhances student
    achievement
  • 63% of parents say they know more about childs schoolwork and grades
    because of school technology

What are your thoughts on these findings?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why are validity and reliability important in classroom assessments?


By Fred Sharpsteen
Wrote 3/25/2008 Rev. 7/5/2014

Without reliability of assessments you can’t have validity of the student’s gains or mastery of the subject. The reason for this is if the assessment tools are not reliable, as in you can't come up with the same results repeatedly. Then you can't find the level of proficiency of a student or a group of students. If this is true then you can’t use these tools with any validity to the ability of the student.
Test question must be statistically normalized before you can use them to determine if a student or group of students are meeting a level of proficiency. This is my concern, when we develop common end of quarter assessment to see if student are gaining knowledge needed to pass the Standardized test. I believe that these common assessments may not be a valid predictor of how the students would do on a standardised test. Also as we tested student and determined that some of the question were not reliable and then change the question by modifying it or removing them. we are changing are baseline and it would make it difficult to make any comparison between the groups of students being tested. Another issue concern is in the state of Michigan when they have done standardized testing they are comparing school success by comparing different groups of students instead of the same cohort group. The data gain from this practice is of no use in determining educational best practices of a school and there effectiveness.

What are the keys to successfully integrating technology into education and making a school good to great?

by Fred Sharpsteen

Introduction to technology education research paper

What makes a school’s technology educational system move from being good to great? Is it a school that spends thousands of dollars on technology? Is it a school that lives on the leading edge of technology innovation? Perhaps it is the school that uses only the latest teaching methods. Well, as you will see after reading this research paper, no amount of money or technology can change an educational system by itself. There is no magic bullet to make children learn. It takes some basic skills and lots of hard work to change a system from being a good system to moving it forward to become a great system. After reading the book, Good to Great, I found that there are many parallels between great businesses and great educational systems, as described by Good to Great researcher Jim Collins.
There can be two types of good to great systems. One is a pocket of greatness and the other is organization-wide greatness. I will try to demonstrate this with some examples of how you can have a small pocket of success in any organization.
The first concept is it takes “level five leadership” within the organization, as described by Jim Collins. This leadership means that the organization would have great leadership at all levels, from the Superintendent down to the teachers, for the organization to become great. They are broken up into five levels of leadership; hence, the term “level five”. Level one is a highly capable individual member, such as the teachers in an educational organization. Level two is a contributing team member, such as a person on the School Improvement Team. Level three is a department chair or a lead teacher that is a competent manager. Effective leaders would be level four, such as principals and assistant superintendents. Level five is the executive or the superintendent and boards of education.
The second concept is: “it takes a hedgehog concept”. The hedgehog is based on a little animal with sharp quills. In “The Hedgehog and the Fox” by Isaiah Berlin, the author divided the world into hedgehogs and foxes, based upon an ancient Greek parable. “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one basic thing. He is a simplistic little creature and doesn’t do many things in his life, but what he does he will do well.” So what is it that they do? They survey from the foxes out there. If the hedgehog is trapped by a fox, he rolls into a ball and the long needles similar to a porcupine’s protect him. Jim Collins describes the hedgehog concept as three interconnected circles that overlap. Where all three overlap is the center where you should focus your energy of change. Number one is “What you are deeply passionate about.” Number two is “What you can be the best in the world at.” And number three is “What best drives your economic engine?” As educators we can look at these factors and can see how they should be implemented into the school improvement system. Almost every educator that I have ever talked with about education and what is important to them speaks about why they originally went into education. They talk about their deep passion to teach and help others and their love of children. This leads into the second factor that if we have that drive from number one then lets work together to get the best out of each one of the students. Lets encourage them and foster a deep desire for them to want to learn. This brings us to number three. It is much harder to come up with an analogy in education, but it is the success of helping children fulfilling their destiny to graduate and be successful in life. This is the economic engine and is the educational system output instead of a cash flow. It is not good enough to just have great educational graduation rates. Instead, we should have productive graduates that are ready and skilled to move on to the next phase of their life.
There is also a concept called “the Stockdale pyridine”. James Stockdale talks about his time in prisoner-of-war camps where he was held from 1965 until 1973. He talks about how the prisoners who thought they would get out of this any day were less likely to survive than the prisoners who believed they would never leave. It has to do with will power to stay the course. So, maintain the faith while you are working on changing the systems. Know that it may take many tries before we get to the point of greatness.
Another factor as described by Jim Collins in making a school good to great is getting the right people on the bus and the right people into the right seat on the bus. He also talks about getting the other people off the bus if they don’t want to be on it or should not be on it. This analogy refers to having the right person for the right job in an institution. An example would be having a highly qualified teacher in his area of expertise teaching that subject. In other words, don’t put a math teacher into a history class and expect him to teach this subject with mastery if he has never had history classes. Having the right people on the bus also means finding people that deeply care and are willing to help the school become great. If they don’t, lets help them off this bus and get them on a different one.
The last concept is “the flywheel effect”. A flywheel makes one rotation with limited speed, then another, and another, picking up speed every time it rotates until it hits break through speed and we start having great success. It is not one program, such as one-to-one computers in schools, but it is combining that with a magic piece of software. It is one good change at a time that ends in a successful outcome. How many times have you heard an older staff member say, “just wait until this project fails and we will then just move on to the next new strategy. I am not going to change all my materials until I know it is going to be implemented.” This is why we need to make sure that when we establish a new strategy the leadership is fully behind it to make sure that it will be successful. Also, another strategy might be to do a core test group. Then work out the problems until the problems are solved with a “get it done” style staff. You then would roll out the change in a larger group. This way we can make the flywheel effect continue to pick up momentum until our organization hits break through speed.
Does technology make the difference in good to great schools? I think if we look at many schools we find that it is not the technology that makes a school great, but it is all the other factors described in the introduction of this paper. To prove this, we can look at when the government gives money to schools that are AYP (adequate yearly progress) deficient, they most likely don’t have great leadership established and/or do not adequately train staff in the new program. The outcome of the program will not be successful or come close to reaching its potential. Lets look at some research that demonstrates this. In the report by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) called “Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement”, it says, “Educational technology is not, and never will be, transformative on its own. But when decisions are made strategically with these factors in mind, technology can play a critical role in creating new circumstances and opportunities for learning that can be rich and exciting”. What are the keys to successful technology integration? Level five leadership is demonstrated in the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) report called the “Critical Issue: Technology Leadership:” Enhancing Positive Educational Change written by Gilbert Valdez, Ph.D., “Knowledgeable and effective school leaders are extremely important in determining whether technology use will improve learning for all students. Many school administrators may be uncomfortable providing leadership in technology areas, however. They may be uncertain about implementing effective technology leadership strategies in ways that will improve learning, or they may believe their own knowledge of technology is inadequate to make meaningful recommendations.” This statement follows along with the beliefs in the book “Good to Great” as it describes “Level Five Leadership”. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a great leadership organization that has helped schools with technology integration into the curriculum. One of its roles has been working with educators from across the country to establish technology standards for all students, teachers, and school leaders. These standards are called the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). There are six main points of the NETS for students that we need to make sure they learn in order to make them successful learners.

Basic operations and concepts

Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems.

Students are proficient in the use of technology.

For the technology natives as the students compared to us, the technology immigrants, this standard is well covered in most educational settings. In fact there are advocates out there that say that someday we will be able to drop this as a requirement because they feel that all students will come to school well prepared in the subject area.

Social, ethical, and human issues

Students understand the ethical, cultural, and societal issues related to technology.
Students practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software.
Students develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.

This is a standard that we need to work harder for. As a community as a whole, we are lacking in the ethics, not just in technology but also in our culture.

Technology productivity tools

Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.

Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.

There are some neat tools in this area, such as Blogs, the Wiki, and even MySpace if it is used appropriately.

Technology communication tools

Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.

Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.

I think a good example of this is You Tube and how students are using this to send their message. Again, we need to make sure that this is being used responsibly and with ethics and that morals are being considered.

Technology research tools

Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.

Students use technology tools to process data and report results.

Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.

The Internet has given us a great research tool to help collect data and information. With all the new books and research papers being written daily, there is no physically possible way to find all this information without tools such as Google and other search engines.
Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools
Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.

Although a computer at this point cannot have logical thought processes like the human brain is capable of, it can help us make logical choices. An example of how computers process is a simple spreadsheet where if a factor equals a value then this is to happen. These are great tools that can save us countless hours in processing data. The NETS standards for teachers and administration can be found at http://cnets.iste.org/index.html. These are important tools for all educators to help gain the leadership skills that are going to be needed in the future to help make successful students in our culture.

How can we have just a pocket of greatness? If you are a department chair, you could exhibit great leadership and make sure that your department has the right people on the bus. You can also further make sure that you not only have the right people on the bus, but you can make sure they are all in the right seats, i.e., that they are highly qualified to teach the subject they are placed in. You could further make sure that everyone is trained to become a master teacher and that they know the proper and appropriate use of the instructional technology. Finally, get the flywheel effect going, one success at a time, until the flywheel is spinning fast enough so that you have breakthrough success. Keep the faith. It is a long journey and there will be no quick fixes to becoming great. If you think of yourself as just always being good and strive to become great, you will reach your goal and only others will think of you as being great. Just as John C. Maxwell talks about in his book. “360 Degrees of Leadership”, you can be a leader at any level in your organization. You also now know that you can help the organization by starting a pocket of greatness at your level.

Conclusion

Lets look at how we can make a successful transformation from the 21st century learner into an engaged and accelerated learner. One of the strategies is the “crawl, walk, run”. It can be a very effective approach, even during times of rapid and radical technological change
, as described by Jim Collins. We need to take those first few baby steps until we feel confident that we can go a little further without use of some of the aids till we are finally off and walking without any help. “The good-to-great schools used technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it.” Here are a few examples I found that I feel fit into this category. One is the Classroom Performance Systems (CPS). They are like TV remotes used for summative and formative assessments. The other product was the Scranton Performance series. This is a web-based student assessment that can check students’ knowledge based on the state standards down to the grade level content expectation (GLCE). Both these tools seem to help motivate, give quick feedback, and allow the educators to quickly find students’ strengths and weaknesses.

I think you could also make a good argument for this fact by Jim Collins. “The idea that technological change is the principal cause in the decline of once-great schools or companies (or the perpetual mediocrity of others) are not supported by the evidence.” Furthermore, “How a school reacts to technological change is a good indicator of its inner drive for greatness versus mediocrity. Great schools respond with thoughtfulness and creativity, driven by a compulsion to turn unrealized potential into results; mediocre schools react and lurch about, motivated by the fear of being left behind. The good-to-great schools used technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it. None of the good-to-great schools began their transformations with pioneering technology, yet they all became pioneers in the application of technology once they grasped how it fit with their systems of education.” Wow! This is a powerful statement. In other words, as we are making the transition, we may not realize it but we have morphed from an ugly larva into a beautiful butterfly. I also found his thoughts on giving technology to an organization without the systems in place and watching it fail, as described in this statement, very intriguing. Jim Collins says, “You could have taken the exact same leading-edge technologies pioneered at the good-to-great school and handed them to their direct comparisons for free, and the comparisons still would have failed to produce anywhere near the same results.”
So, after doing this research, I find that it is not how much money we are going to throw at these schools to close the technology gaps, but rather it is instead the implementation, the leadership that drives a school to become great instead of accepting the fact that they may be good. It is getting the right people on the bus and the right people into the right seats. This is what will make it all work to help educate our children to their full potential and beyond in this flat world with great global competitiveness.



Works Cited

Collins, Jim. Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2005.

Collins, Jim. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. Great Britain: Collins, 0.

Friedman, Thomas L.. The World Is Flat [Updated and Expanded]: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.

"ISTE National Educational Technology Standards." International Society for Technology in Education Home. 02 Oct 2007 .

Mahler, Jonathan. "The Prisoner - New York Times." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. 01 Oct 2007 .

Maxwell, John C.. The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization. Toronto: Thomas Nelson, 2006.

“NCREL North Central Regional educational Laboratory.” Home. 03 Oct. 2007
<http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te800.htm>


"Welcome to Jim Collins.com." Welcome to Jim Collins.com. 25 Sept. 2007 .

Friday, February 15, 2008

Imagine a Technology Blackout Day

Examine the Effective Use of Technology in Your School and Community

By Fred SharpsteenUnionville-Sebewaing Area SchoolsTechnology Support Coordinator

Have you ever stopped for a moment on a busy day at your job and wondered what it would be like if we didn’t have computers and all the modern technology to make our daily lives more productive? Well, on April 20th you will have this opportunity if you choose to do so. The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) asked all schools across the country to do just that. Take a moment to reflect and think about how things would change without technology in the learning environment.
What is technology? Is it the computer that sits on your desk? Is it the PDA or cell phone at your side? Actually, the Webster 7th New Collegiate Edition of the dictionary defines it as, “The totality of the means employed to provide objects necessary for human sustenance and comfort.” I like to define it as this--a tool that helps us complete a task faster or easier. One of the tasks that have seen the greatest changes in technology is farming. Farming is one of the oldest uses of technology to mankind. It has allowed our population to grow numerous times over by helping us provide greater quantities of food and other innovative farming techniques.
In this age of modern innovations, we need to make sure that our boys and girls are challenged by not only a demanding curriculum but we also need to challenge them with higher level thinking skills. We need to give them modern technology in order to aid students and the community in productive learning and problem solving skills for life.
So, as you go forward on the 20th of April, 2005, take the time to think about and imagine what your life would be like without modern technology. If we don’t offer these tools to them in the future, how will we teach our young people the skills they will need to be productive and successful citizens in the next century?

To find out more about this event, go to
http://www.technologyblackoutday.com

Rethinking the Technology Paradigm

Author Fred Sharpsteen

A month ago I went to the Technology Conference. At one of the seminar, "Education on the Internet". I was having one of those moments on this day, as I have every now and then. Are we doing the right things in our society and schools with Technology as it changes so rapidly. The presenter stimulated me to think with these items that are listed. Think about these Items and how they relate to thing that you have heard people say about computers and modern technology.
· Teacher's Conference 1703: Students today can't prepare bark to calculate their problems. They depend on their slates, which are more expensive. What will they do when the slate is dropped and it breaks?
· Principal's Association 1806: Students today depend on paper too much. They don't know how to write on slate without getting chalk dust all over themselves. What will they do when they run out of paper?
· National Association of teachers 1907: Students today depend too much upon ink. They don't know how to use a penknife to sharpen a pencil. Pen and ink will never replace the pencil.
· PTA Gazette 1941: Students today depend on these expensive fountain pens. They can on longer write with a straight pen and nib.
· Federal Teachers 1950: Ballpoint pens will be the ruin of the education in our country. Students use these devices and then throw them away. The American values of thrift and frugality are being discarded.
· 1992: Students today depend too much on the hand held calculators.
By the way what ever happened to the Slide Rule that every engineers had until the middle of the 80's? After looking at these things that have been wrote in the past. There was that sudden moment of clarity for me, that we each experience now and then. Yes we are doing the right thing as a society with computers and modern technology. Other words I would be writing this article on bark.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

cascading style sheets (CSS)

cascading style sheets (CSS) is a neat way of making pages so that users can change the way that they see your web pages. This could be very useful for people that might be seeing impared. This way they can set-up their web browser so that when they go to webpages that the basic font is larger then normal. So when building web pages in the future make sure to keep this in mind. I never thought about it but it makes sence now. Also with CSS you can qiuckly change the look of a all the pages at a website if you use a seperate CSS page that all your html or php pages look at for styles.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ning Social Network

Ok can social networks be a good thing for education? I think so and here is why. Buissness wants workers to have good communication skills, They want people that can work with a group and think out side the so called box. Well here is a chance to get students talking about a project and we can keep it in a group setting. Yes Myspace is a social network but using Ning would give you a little more control of the social site. Here is the link to my Ning site check it out.

http://edtechpro.ning.com/

Although this is not part of are class requirements I decided to set-up a Ning Social site for are Educational Technology Professional group. It is really kind of neat as it allows you to chat with others in the group if they are online and you can see when they are online. Also it offers a place for blogging and/or group discussion on a topic. This is Just another tool to get people to collaborate.

Do check it out!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Top 10 Tech Trends

In the January 2008 Volume 28 Number 6 of Technology & Learning. It list the Top 10 Technology trends in education.

1. Data mining is earning its keep.
2. Cyber-Bullying is in the spotlight.
3. Twenty-first-century skills have a foot in the door.
4. Digital content is on the rise.
5. We like learning at leisure.
6. Personal responders are sweeping teh k-20 market.
7. Mobile tools are driving the path of education reform.
8. Bandwidth is suddenly an issu.
9. The penguin is snow-balling.
10. The participatory Web.

http://www.techlearning.com/

http://www.techlearning.com/story/showArticle.php?articleID=196604927

Friday, February 1, 2008

How to use a Wiki

What is a wiki and how could I just it as a teacher? First of all wiki is Hawaiian for quick, in this use it mean quick edit. You and a group of people can quickly edit a web page and collaboratively make changes to the site. Here is a quick example of a use. A Boy Scout troop wants to plan a camping trip but they do not have a pack meeting for a month and they want to go before the warm weather of summer is gone. So Joe the pack leader creates a Wiki site a PBWIKI. He titles the page Troop 589 Camping trip and list these Items. The first column is Items he has for the outing, the second column is items need for the outing. Under the have he has tent, cooking gear, matches. Under the needed he has hatchet, three days of food. Next Fred goes to the site and places in the have column places hatchet he then goes to the needed and place snake bite kit, flash light and batteries. Eric then goes to the site and places in the have column snake bite kit, 3 days of food and batteries. He adds no new items to the needed. Jake logs-in and places in the have column flash light and no new items in the need column. So they now have all the things they need with no other communication then just the Wiki. So they now need to pick where the camping trip will take place so any one of them can start by adding a new page of title where to go camping and start a list of places and a column for suggestions. It is that easy and quick. There is also a short You tube video that will graphically show you an example of how a wiki works. Well go and give it a try I think you will find it fun and an easy way to collaborate.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-dnL00TdmLY

http://pbwiki.com/

Thursday, January 31, 2008

(Good to Great) The Conclusion

So let’s look at how we can make a successful transformation into the 21st century learner into an engage and accelerated learner. One of the strategies is the “Crawl, walk, run can be a very effective approach, even during times of rapid and radical technological change”
, as described by Jim Collins. We need to take those first few baby steps till we feel confident then we can go a little further with out some of the aids till we are finally off and walking with out any help. “The good-to-great Schools used technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it.” Here are a few examples that I found that I feel fit into this category. Classroom Performance System (CPS) they are like TV remotes used for summative and formative assessments. The other product was Scranton Performance series this is a web based student assessment that can check students knowledge based on the state standards down to the grade level content expectation (GLCE). Both these tools seem to help motivate, give quick feedback and allow the educators to quickly find students strengths and weaknesses.

I think you could also make a good argument for this fact by Jim Collins, “The idea that technological change is the principal cause in the decline of once-great Schools or companies (or the perpetual mediocrity of others) are not supported by the evidence.” Further more “How a School reacts to technological change is a good indicator of its inner drive for greatness versus mediocrity. Great Schools respond with thoughtfulness and creativity, driven by a compulsion to turn unrealized potential into results; mediocre Schools react and lurch about, motivated by the fear of being left behind. The good-to-great Schools used technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it. None of the good-to-great Schools began their transformations with pioneering technology, yet they all became pioneers in the application of technology once they grasped how it fit with their systems of education.” Wow this is a powerful statement in other words as we are making the transition we may not realized it we have morphed from an ugly larva into a beautiful butterfly. I also found his thoughts on giving technology to an organization with out the systems in place and watch it fail as described in this statement very intriguing, Jim Collins says. “You could have taken the exact same leading-edge technologies pioneered at the good-to- great School and handed them to their direct comparisons for free, and the comparisons still would have failed to produce anywhere near the same results. “
So after doing this research I find that it is not how much money we are going to throw at these schools to close the technology gaps. It is instead the implementation, the leadership that drives a school to become great instead of accepting the fact that they maybe good. It is getting the right people on the bus and the right people into the right seats. This is what will make it all work to help educate and educate are children to there full potential and beyond in this Flat world with all this global competitiveness.

(Good to Great) What makes a great school Introduction

What makes a school technology educational system move from being good to great? Is it a school that spends thousands of dollars on technology? Is it a school that lives on the leading edge of technology innovation? Maybe it is the school that uses only the latest teaching methods. Well as you will see after reading these bolg post no amount of money or technology can change an education system by it self. There is no magic bullet to making children learn. It takes some basic skills and lots of hard work to change a system from being a good system to moving it to becoming a great system. After reading the book good to great, I found that there are many parallels between great businesses and great educational systems, as described by Good to Great researcher Jim Collins.
There can be two types of good to great systems, one is a pocket of greatness and the other is organization wide greatness. I will try to demonstrate in this with some examples of how you can have small pocket of success in any organization within this paper.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

USF 471 Form Deadline approches

To all of you unfortunate workers that have to file all the Universal service fund paper work also known as the USF. The form 471 deadline approaches very soon. This is a gentle friendly reminder that is time to get off your duff and get thoes 471 forms in. Remember it means money to you and your school. :)

Good luck!

The 471 window closed at 11:59 P.M. Feb 7, 2008

SLD web site.
http://www.universalservice.org/sl/

(Good to Great) Level 5 Leadership

Level 5 Leadership

The Leadership concept in the book “Good to Great” talks about “Level five leadership” within the organization. This leadership means that there is great leadership at all levels from the Superintendent down to the teachers for the organization to become great. They are broke up into five levels of leadership hence the term “Level five Leadership”. Level one is a highly capable individual member as the teachers in an educational organization. Level two is a contributing team member as a person on the school improvement team. Level three is a department chair or lead teachers that are competent manager. Level four is effective leaders as the principals and assistant superintendents and Level five is the executive or the superintendent.

So are you helping to lead the organization at your level?

If you would like to learn more about leading in your organization at all levels I would encourage you to read another of my fivorite books. "The 360 degree Leader" By John c Maxwell

http://www.maximumimpact.com/

(Good to Great) The Bus


In this Blog we are going to talk about the Good to Greeat bus concept. In this part we will be talking about if all the right people in your organization on the right bus. If they are on the right bus are they all going the same direction as your organization is. Also are they in the right seat? If they are in the wrong seat maybe we can just move them to the right seat. If not then we need to help them off the bus so they can go and find a bus going in there direction and that has a seat for them.


1. Are they on the right bus? You know who these people are they are always looking at moving a diffrent direction from the mission of the group. They are holding the group back from being great by not pulling there weight. So help them off the bus!


2. Are they in the right seat on the bus? Some times people are meant to do what they do it comes natural. The Hedge Hog type people. But some times we take and place very talented people and put them in the wrong place in the organization. As a level 5 leader you need to identify these people and move them to a diffrent seat on the bus. Placing a person with a major in history in to a advance math class, is not having the right people on the bus in the right seat.


In order for us to become a good to great organization we need to have the right people to get this job done.

Monday, January 28, 2008

(Good to Great) The Hedge Hog concept


This is a small creature that doesn't do a lot of things in life, but what he does he does well. He Eats, Sleeps and just keeps from being eaten by preditors like the Red Fox. When they are in danger they roll into a ball with there sharp pins ready to stick there attacker. Jim descirbes this as when you try to find the things that we are passionate about in life. Things that we do because we have a natural instinct for and we are good at and love to do them. If you are good at building houses then build houses.

1. What you can be the best in the world at (and, equally important, what you cannot be the best in the world at).

2. What drives your economic engine.

3. What you are deeply passionate about

These three things help make the Hedge Hog who he is. Take some time to think about what you do good and write them in three circles. in the area where the there circles overlap is your area of greatness. Find this area and work on these skills.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Going from a Good School to a Great School


I would encourage each of you to read the book by the author Jim Collins, "Good to Great". This book was wrote for business but many of the topics work with schools or social sector also. In fact Jim wrote a small addition "Good to Great the Social Sector" I find that his work also can be used in education when it comes to Technology. Technology will not be the difference in any school making it a great school or on the other side holding a school back from becoming great. Over the next few blogs I will talk about his work and how I see it relating to technology and helping accelerate a school to going from being good to great.

Here is a link for some of Jim Collins work
http://www.jimcollins.com

Fred Sharpsteen

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Do we need a State Wide Fiber network in MI.

Every day that goes by are Internet bandwidth requirements increase. We at Unionville-Sebewaing Area Schools (USA Schools) put in a 56K circuit to the Internet in 1994. Since this time are bandwidth requirement have jump higher over and over every month and every year. Why is this? as we find more application in education the usage increase with the educational demands. Also there has been a continuing development of new application for the Internet. Some of the more notable application are streaming audio/video, Google earth and many more multimedia applications. We currently have 5.0 to 6.0 Mbps available to are school and I am afraid this will not be enough in just a Short while as I watch the analysis from the network traffic flow. We can not wait for are state government to come to are rescue we need to take this on and move the ball forward. One organization that could be helpful to the process is Merit the University of Michigan. They have currently installed fiber between many of the State colleges. Are job if we take on this project is to look at cost effective ways to partner with an organization like Merit or are local Health system and government agency to build fiber condominiums to are local communities. So Tech what are your thoughts on this subject?

Monday, January 21, 2008

First post to the my Blogger page

Well this was painless and I can see how a teacher could use this to set-up a private group discussion site for his class in fact. this would be a great way for are Technology team to start exchanging ideas for our technology group.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Text List

Novell Blogger linux SUSE DNS DNSStuff TAG MACUL MS Microsoft PPT DOC XLS Watchguard DOS Technology TechEd education K-12 K12 Schools School Sebewaing DIG Records A MX mail

About Me

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I am the Director of Technology at a K-12 School system.