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.

(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

(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

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