Friday, December 28, 2007

When Will They Grow Up?

Most parents would agree that we dream our own children will do more, and be more than we have been able to accomplish ourselves. The landscape for those future accomplishments is becoming more complex, as is life itself. Young adults are spending more time and money on post secondary education and are finding independent adulthood further away. Will Richardson has a thought provoking article in his blog, Emerging Adulthood on this very topic.

Local Teacher Going Green

We know that teachers affect the lives of students and sometimes those affects are not seen for years if ever. However, one local teacher has seen the affect her teaching has had on her students, their families and their pocket books. At a time when we are trying to focus on "Going Green" Donna Robinson has taught her students that helping save the environment is as easy as changing a lightbulb.

Monday, December 24, 2007

We need to talk

One of the sometimes less pleasant duties of being a leader is having difficult or challenging conversations with our colleagues. This article from Judy Ringer at Pegasus Communications provides a structure for having such a conversation that will help for a successful outcome, and hopefully avoid any deterioration into defensive, emotion-based dialogue.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Web 2.0 Safety

A Web 2.0 Approach to Internet Safety

Are your students safe? Are your policies up to date?
In this paper, Shirley Hord describes the Joyce and Showers staff development model and relates it to a change model derived from school improvement studies. Noting the fit of the two models, Hord suggests successful strategies for a comprehensive approach to changing teachers' practices which include developing and articulating a vision, planning and providing resources, investing in training, monitoring progress, providing continuous assistance, and creating a context conducive to change. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. Read at

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Missed Systems Change 2007 ?

If you missed Systems Change Conference, 2007, view this highlight video of the keynote speakers: Neil Howe, Gary Marx, and Rick Melmer.

Systems Change 2007 - Highlight Video

Monday, December 10, 2007

Effective Leaders Facilitate Change

Hord, S. (1992). Facilitative leadership: The imperative for change. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.Read at
The text contains research that supports six categories of actions that are used by effective leaders to facilitate change. These include developing a culture of readiness for change, promoting the vision, providing the necessary resources, ensuring the availability of professional development, maintaining checks on progress, and providing the ongoing assistance necessary for change to occur smoothly.

ITunes U for You

I just returned from a meeting/training that explained a little more about ITunes U and how it can be used.
Basically, some of the major universities, including MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and others have put some or all of their course content online. In fact, some of the courses at Duke now require the purchase of an ipod, rather than a text book. These and others have used ITunes U as a one way to disseminate the information to everyone around the globe. This is an amazing resource. You can get to the ITunes U library and listen to many educational lectures or see presentations, video, slideshow w/audio, etc.
These resources don't cost anything, only to have ITunes downloaded on your computer.
The possiblilities of using these podcasts in the classroom are endless!

Check it out at
Official Announcement:


Quest Atlantis

Do you want a new way to teach lessons while utilizing technology? Then you should take time to check out Quest Atlantis. Quest Atlantis was developed by the Center for Research on Learning & Technology at Indiana University. The program takes students on quests through four different worlds: Ecology World, Culture World, Healthy World and Unity World. Each world comes complete with a teacher unit guide that is attached to McREL learning standards. Each unit has several lessons that have students work through various quests, classroom discussions and real world observations. Goals and benchmarking is also laid out at the beginning of each unit so that teachers and students know expectations and know if the expectations were met at the end of each unit. The various worlds deal with contemporary issues for example in Ecology World students focus on the interdependent relationship between people, plants and animals. Current global issues are addressed and students are asked to hypothesize and come up with possible solutions to problems facing the world today. With high quality graphics and varying worlds I believe that Quest Atlantis could be a great tool to engage students in learning with technology.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wikis in the Workplace

Wikis can be used in many ways. For example, you might want to read about how some innovative teachers are using wikis in the classroom. Wikis can also be used to quickly accomplish administrative type duties. Here at TIE, most of the staff use wikis to post recent work and presentations, so that our constituents can easily find our handouts and other information they may need. Sometimes when we present, we will have more people than we expected and rather than mailing or emailing our handouts when we return to our office, we can just give them our wiki address and they can get the information they need without waiting for us.

A few of us TIE staff members on the data team use an internal wiki space that we keep updated for team members to know which of the districts' charts and lists still need finished. It helps the team stay organized even though we are often on travel and don't have time to track each other down to talk about what pieces of work are finished.

Through the Power UP project, (Title IID) I have been given the opportunity to work with teachers to effectively integrate technology into their teaching. We use a wiki space to post all the information participants need. We have recorded sessions which are posted, in case a participant misses the session. We post information about effective technology integration, different "power sources", or tools that can be used to integrate, and the teachers will be using the wiki space to post their technology integrated units, so they can be shared, not only with us and each other, but with any teacher, any time, any place. Visit our Power up site, all created on a wiki to learn more.

Other examples of how wikis can be used:
- To keep track of schedules, lunches, calendars, other types of information.
-To keep track of changes in events
-To use with daily announcements (disctrict or school level)

Is your school a wiki user?