Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 4 - Publishing_Leadership Final Post

I have selected to submit my research to the North Carolina Technology In Education Society 2012 Conference.  My research details a program still in its infancy in North Carolina Public Schools so the timeliness of sharing my research in how Learning Management Systems increase test scores, engagement and collaboration is information that is beneficial to technology educators.

Thinking Out Loud #1
Thinking Out Loud #2
PowerPoint Presentation

Friday, March 25, 2011

Week 4 - Free Choice

“Technology is more than a tool, it’s an essential component of everyday life that frames their world view.”  Is there any wonder why our students dread some classes but look forward to the teachers using SmartBoards, Mobi, and Web 2.0 technologies?  Students are engaged when they are able to integrate tools used in their personal lives in the classroom.  The “gotcha” moment of my lesson plans are when I am able to connect the reasons behind learning a particular objective to students’ lives.  If this is the moment of connection, why aren’t more teachers welcoming cell phones, iPods, video cameras and more into the classroom?  We are teaching the digital generation but the bulk of educators do no more than turn on an overhead projector and lecture their students on the lesson of the day.  It’s time we start teaching in their world instead of the world we were raised in.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Week 4 - Publishing_Leadership Project part 2

The Moodle operating system is an open source software package similar to Blackboard, Schoology and FSO.  The program is still gaining popularity in North Carolina, especially in the public school system.  The North Carolina Technology in Education Society (NCTIES) appeals to North Carolina K-12 technology educators. As one of the aforementioned educators, Moodle has become a large part of my personal and professional life as I prepared for my Action Research project, attended the training, trained others and taught students how to utilize the Learning Management Software (LMS).  The 2012 conference theme is all about learning and teaching in the digital age.  LMS programs such as Moodle is one of the greatest vehicles for “Engaging Generation Now”. The ability to present my research findings on how to use Moodle to increase engagement and standardized test scores is the perfect workshop for the upcoming conference.  According the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Moodle is not only being used to instruct students, but teachers are now using the LMS for professional development.  This development ensures that a presentation on Moodle is timely and very necessary as traditional classrooms move toward a blended/hybrid format.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Week 4 - Response to D. Thai

Dien states: Chapter 11. Creating Frameworks for Possibility: How do I take this flash of insight and make it into daily thing? And how do I share this with others? Good questions. I would agree with the book that vision is the key of creating framework for possibility. If I'm going to be a leader, I need to set up a clear vision not only for myself but for my team to vividly see the vision for our team goal and commitment. By establishing a vision, the team will be inspired to create more cool ideas and ways to accomplish the task. Not just being a leader, I think by having a vision of what I want to do in my daily life will help me to more a decisive maker and thinker.

My response: You are correct, it is important to establish a daily vision but sometimes the vision is tainted in education by the constant bombardment to increase test scores, maintain order in the classroom and constantly trying to deliver innovative lessons.  There was a time in education when teams planned together instead of meeting to discuss the latest academic dilemma.  I want to reestablish that vision beyond the confines of our cohort.  Perhaps sharing the Art of Possibility with my colleagues is a good start.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week 4 - Response to P. Devoto

Paul stated: Often I have a lesson plan that is awesome. Surprisingly to me, the students don’t seem to respond to the lesson idea in the same way I had anticipated. In these cases, it’s my job to enroll the students so that they see the potential value in the lesson. Once they buy in to the idea they become an active partner in the work and the learning increases tremendously. In this case, as Mr. Zander says “lighting sparks from person to person, scattering light in all directions.”

Paul, I love the feeling of excitement when planning what I believe to be an awesome lesson. I come in extra early or stay late the night before simply to set up my room in the best possible layout. I’m literally bouncing like Tigger when the kids enter the room because I know that once introduced the will be just as enthusiastic as I. Sometimes this excitement is wiped away when the kids discover they have to do something new and untraditional. When the kids do not see the potential value in the lesson I lose a bit of my spark but as you mentioned, I only have to reach one student to create a blaze. This is a very interesting observation, Paul. Thank you for sharing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 4 - The Art of Possibility

Have you ever noticed the fiery burn that illuminates before a match reaches its full potential?  That is where we as future EMDT graduates exist right now.  We are on the brink of a beautiful existence but like a match, it can end in a moment if we do not allow others to see our spark.  This is what the final section of the Art of Possibility speaks on.  We have the tools but just as Dr. King had his dream, we must also create a vision to create a ‘framework of possibility’ for the students and colleagues we encounter.  By moving from I to We, we begin to focus on being inclusive and something very unlike the only child in me, consider what is best for all that we encounter. 

As we end the near of our journey, cohort, remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi and “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I wish you the best of luck.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Week 4 - Publishing_Leadership project part 1

The North Carolina Technology in Education Society (NCTIES) Conference is one I discovered about one week before members convened earlier this month.  Several of my fellow media specialists planned to attend and asked if anyone wanted to share a room.  What?  Huh?  How can it be that I am oblivious to this unique opportunity?  Well, never more.  NCTIES is an organizational website that I follow several times a week and I believe that a presentation on Moodle to my fellow North Carolina educators is timely and fits the mission of NCTIES nicely.

The mission of NCTIES is to provide leadership in educational communications and technology by linking all who hold a common interest in the use of educational technology and its application to the learning process.

Week 3 - Wimba Response

His Royal Badness decided to take on Internet giants eBay and YouTube for infringing on his copyright.  According to to the article, Prince wants to "reclaim his art on the internet".  Prince is interested in controlling his music rather than have it shown via grainy cell phone footage.  Prince, have you checked out the video quality on a Droid?  I’m just asking. 

I understand the reason for copyright but as the man Prince paid to remove the unflattering footage states, "As soon as they are taken down, more spring up the next day.”  Copyright is to protect the creator but is this type of publicity harming or helping people like the androgynous one?  As a person who is extremely excited about attending my first Prince concert next week, I am grateful for a sneak peak of what this talented man will bring to the stage.  For the record, my cell phone will stay in the car. In the meantime, enjoy this clip of Prince’s recent concert at Madison Square Garden, courtesy of YouTube (before it is removed).

Week 3 - Response to L. Infante

The recognition and assumption of our own mistakes needs to become part of our daily practice as an example of humility. Leaders need to show they are also human beings and can make mistakes as anyone else. The work of leaders is hard because they need to show humility, be inclusive but at the same time they need their team to have awareness that they are still the leaders. Unfortunately the line between leadership and control, and leadership and partnership can disappear in an instant. Sometimes people can confuse leadership as authoritarianism and partnership as anarchy. I think it is huge work and an enormous responsibility to be a leader. That is why it is important to train people on how to lead and know a balanced way to manage leadership. I personally think that a good leader uses words that give others encouragement about their future, empowerment to feel creative and refreshment to visualize things from a positive perspective and attitude.

Luz, this first sentence struck a chord because I work with a few teachers who feel it is their duty to humiliate middle schoolers.  While I agree that it is to our benefit to be humbled every so often in order to remain grounded and effective leaders, I think we must be careful when correcting a child.  Can’t you imagine a world when a lesson in humility didn’t bore a hole into our souls?  This is the mark of a true leader.  One who can take criticism and learn from it. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Week 2 - Wimba Response

Fair Use is a touchy issue in schools, especially in my role as the library media specialist.  My principal recently approached me about beginning a school movie night.  Ouch!  I thought.  How in the world can we get away with this without breaking copyright laws?  As usual I go to the media specialist listserv to get the opinions of the other "library ladies" and few men in our district.  I was directed to a site that sells movie licenses for school use which protects our school from lawsuits.  Another media specialist told me that it's okay as long as the parents stay with the students.  My thoughts went to all the movies we show during the last few days of school. We certainly do not have parents with our 850+ students so are we breaking the law?  Indeed we are.  I found a couple of interesting websites for Fair Use Guidelines for Education Media and Intellectual Property- read them and tell me what you think. 

Hmm, I wonder if it is worth my sanity to delve into the Disney debate?  Probably not. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Week 2- Response to M. Dohn

Week 2 - Response to H. Indelicato

Week 2- The Art of Possibility

Is it possible for a 35-year-old woman to transform her professional and personal life by simply understanding and identifying the source of my potential?  Maybe.  The first four chapters of the Art of Possibility are designed to get one started on such a quest.  The authors encourage us to shift our focus, which will enable us to view opportunities in a new light.  By utilizing the example of the nine-dot challenge, we are forced to think outside the box.  Secondly, and especially as students and educators, we tend to focus on measurement such as standardized tests and grade scales to prove ones worth.  However it is more to our benefit to embrace an optimistic outlook on life that allows us to step into a universe of possibility.  When we take this stance to set the context and let life unfold we can start assuming that people, more specifically, our students can do well despite what the 12-point font states on their IEP.  It’s time to move beyond the stress others may bring and start moving our young charges and us toward accomplishing great things.  Lastly, if I can assume greatness of others then I can become a contributor to that greatness.  By contributing to making others great I am making a difference that may be repaid in unknown amounts in the future. As Emily Dickinson once stated, “Dwell in Possibility.”

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week 1 - Wimba Response

I,  like several of my classmates was a bit taken aback by the surprise of submitting our AR projects for to a conference in attempting to get our work published.  It is a wonderful idea, but I believe many of us would have changed the scope of our projects had we known they are to be submitted to a professional organization at the beginning of our EMDT journey. 

The bottom line is that despite the exceptional learning process, some of our projects were not as successful as we may have planned.  If this is the case, how can we go into the Leadership Project with confidence?  I'm interested in hearing your ideas.

Week 1 - Comment to S. Giroux

Week 1 - Comment to T. Bockler