Blog Archive

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What is your role and what do you do for my child in your district?

This post is gonna hurt some feelings... I'm sorry friends, but we can do better...

It is time to bring back a little bit of old school, "WHAT THE WHAT" in regards to our funding and uses of these funds in school. This is why I shared this old post about choosing people or tools. It seems like a pretty simple option to offer or build upon. 

What would happen if we released the control aspect of our IT teams and instead invested into teaching them or asking them to build next iterations of the same tools we currently find ourselves beholden to. I keep reading about IT and curriculum leadership, leveraging the power of technology through google apps and chromebooks...

Really?

I am having a really hard time celebrating the "successes" of so many "stick in the mud" leadership teams and supports pontificating their latest adoption or initiative. Unless you have been asleep the past ten years;  what is happening now with access, inquiry, collaboration, publishing is years delayed and still a "diet" version of what we know we need and what we know will TRULY support inquiry, reflection, and iteration.

We have to be better and more accountable than that, right? There has been at a minimum; three years of fixed mindset or job rationalization as pilots, small tests, and other doomed to fail half assed attempts at change have dissipated. We are just now realizing the power of google apps and chromebooks?
Conveniently after WASTING, yes WASTING, millions of dollars on static solutions anchored to misdirected initiatives and philosophies. I wonder how many millions is spent across the country on CCSS alignment and resource collection when... ahem... EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING NEARLY THE EXACT SAME THING.

If my child was building and aligning the exact same thing that another student in her class was doing, I would be so frustrated. Yet, we have adults making top teacher salaries literally building the EXACT same thing as their colleague across town or across the country.

It's been interesting watching IT departments in Education institutions scramble to find their "role" in this cloud centric solution. This usually means spending a lot of money on tools that at one time, they would have or were hired to build or solve. Now, we have empowered the "experts" so that they can spend the tax or grant money, take it directly away from classrooms, and then listen with a smile as these same folks call themselves "managers" or SMEs to this private, money making, school and teacher fund ciphoning, disconnected for profit tool or idea. I am so over these school and district  contracts that suck money away from classrooms and rationalize multiple positions and/or roles, so that we can "analyze" or "make sense of the data" to "help kids"

Come on now.

We can and MUST be better than this friends. Follow your school or district's funding from source to output or as we love to call them now, "stakeholder. "I have a lot of friends in IT. I love them. All of them. But they are wasting their time. Time in meetings about product X designed to do Y. Or, in "brainstorming sessions" to spoon feed company X on why and how they need to better deliver Y.

I have always been a huge proponent of investing in people and not tools. http://mwacker.blogspot.com/2010/06/what-are-you-investing-in-people-or.html

Look around your district this week. Look at the top heavy, nepotism safe, distracted vision and roles from two key departments;  curriculum and instruction and IT. How much of this bloat, could reimagine and invigorate your child's classroom tomorrow?

Full disclosure, I have a lot of friends that are not going to like this out loud post... If that is you, I'm sorry.  Let's brainstorm ways to make your role truly child centric and productive, while also building on your own skills and talents. Because, "managing a tool",  or "aligning your curriculum to common core", and other hidden non-jobs is driving me batty.

My baseline starting point...

Empower our teachers with the tools, bandwidth, and space they need.

Get in to a school ASAP and work with teachers, kids, admin, support staff and publish your own ideas and learning from each day out loud.

Loosely or as a project; audit your school and/or district funding

My hope is after you read this you will be motivated to invest in the core tenets of change. Or perhaps you will be motivated after looking at this critically and possibly in a mirror and say, "we could do better for our children"

I'm tired. I'm disheartened. I hope I am not alone...
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pre Summit Bootcamp Seoul, Korea 2013

Google Apps for Education Certification Bootcamp offered by the EdTechTeam serves two purposes: to raise awareness about how Google Apps can be used in education (with students and among colleagues), and to prepare participants to pass the Google Apps for Education Qualification Tests.

http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BVDIdpvIQAA4cdy.jpg

via Storify http://sfy.co/jSAz

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Google Forms, Refreshed | Google Drive Blog

These are really nice features to roll out, but I have a feeling that we are going to see a lot more of the features we want from the output (spreadsheets) and the forms itself (images perhaps?) Love that my toolkit just expanded and became more collaborative and all I did was open up the app. So cool.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Google + mention feature in Blogger

There are a couple of things that I really like about mentioning someone in a post and thereby replying, or by bringing someone in to a post that you're reading from blogger.


"If you really want to grab someone's attention when you share in Google+, try mentioning them using the '+' or '@' signs. When you do this, the person may receive a notification that you mentioned them in a post (depending on their notification settings.) They'll also be able to see the entirety of the post on which they were mentioned even if the post wasn't originally shared with them."
A couple of important notes:
  • You can only mention people who are on Google+
  • As you type, an auto complete list of people will appear
  • If author or commenter "locks" the post you will be unable to share or comment


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Unleashing creativity in Google’s CSI:Lab | Official Google Blog

I especially love the idea of know and own what inspires you.;) "Take a peek at five tips to help you embrace the CSI:Lab spirit and add more creativity and innovation to your everyday life—whether it be at home or at the office! Know and own what inspires you. Understand where your inspiration comes from and do it 10x more than you do now. For example, if your inspiration comes from museums, then go to museums 10x more often; if your inspiration comes from people, talk to 10 new people each week. Think like a child. Be open and question everything around you. Try not to pre-judge thoughts or ideas; develop them. Dive into something new. Involve yourself in areas at work where you’re unfamiliar with the content and want to learn more. People are generally happy to share their knowledge and you can often teach them something too just by bringing a fresh perspective to their work. Play with fun and unusual materials when developing an idea. We all constantly use our computers and paper and pen, so think outside the box to get your mind flowing. Want to “prototype” a solution you’ve thought of? Grab some pipe cleaners, construction paper, LEGO figures, feathers...you name it! See how the materials inspire you. Invest in your physical space. Having a supportive environment can make a big difference, so learn how what types of space inspire creativity. To create a more open, playful environment, try a flexible workplace with no offices. Or, help ideas flow more freely by making lots of whiteboard space easily accessible. For example, at Google’s Mountain View campus, we’ve created our own innovation space, called “The Garage” (a nod to the iconic Silicon Valley workspace). “The Garage” is big enough for 170 Googlers to use the area to create, collaborate and experiment"

via Diigo http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/unleashing-creativity-in-googles-csilab.html

Googliciousness: Unleashing creativity in Google’s CSI:Lab | Official Google Blog

I especially love the idea of know and own what inspires you.;) "Take a peek at five tips to help you embrace the CSI:Lab spirit and add more creativity and innovation to your everyday life—whether it be at home or at the office! Know and own what inspires you. Understand where your inspiration comes from and do it 10x more than you do now. For example, if your inspiration comes from museums, then go to museums 10x more often; if your inspiration comes from people, talk to 10 new people each week. Think like a child. Be open and question everything around you. Try not to pre-judge thoughts or ideas; develop them. Dive into something new. Involve yourself in areas at work where you’re unfamiliar with the content and want to learn more. People are generally happy to share their knowledge and you can often teach them something too just by bringing a fresh perspective to their work. Play with fun and unusual materials when developing an idea. We all constantly use our computers and paper and pen, so think outside the box to get your mind flowing. Want to “prototype” a solution you’ve thought of? Grab some pipe cleaners, construction paper, LEGO figures, feathers...you name it! See how the materials inspire you. Invest in your physical space. Having a supportive environment can make a big difference, so learn how what types of space inspire creativity. To create a more open, playful environment, try a flexible workplace with no offices. Or, help ideas flow more freely by making lots of whiteboard space easily accessible. For example, at Google’s Mountain View campus, we’ve created our own innovation space, called “The Garage” (a nod to the iconic Silicon Valley workspace). “The Garage” is big enough for 170 Googlers to use the area to create, collaborate and experiment"

via Diigo http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/unleashing-creativity-in-googles-csilab.html