Thursday, October 25, 2012

Moving forward

Started this post several weeks ago then put it on the back burner while I was out doing professional learning classes. Of course, what I observed during this time, were groups of enthusiastic educators ready to grow.  However, to make a difference this needs to be the norm not the exception. The 20th century is still impacting our move forward to 21st century learning.
Here are some facts:
Schools still block and filter. Instead of trying to understand it block it, filter it and make no effort to attempt to learn the technology. What is right for our students should be the main focus.
Schools still allow teachers to use excuses such as" I don't do technology" or "Wikipedia is of no educational value." These "educators" are still out there preaching they are on board yet still need help opening a new tab or cutting and pasting. According to Scott McLeod "What hope do these teachers have of providing meaningful, technology-rich learning experiences for their students? What hope do these leaders have of creating and adequately supporting powerful, technology-rich learning environments for students and staff? Little to none."
Most cell phone policies require teachers to confiscate them if they see them or "put them in this bucket while I teach the class mentality." Another form of blocking, instead of maximizing this tool through poll everywhere, Evernote or other apps.
Students in most schools power down for the day when they enter school. In the 21st century we need to give students the tools and get out of their way. Then amazing things happen.
Students despite career aspirations still must take whatever the school offers despite the vast availability of online courses. Are we limiting student access to just what we know?
We are twelve years into the 21st century, how can we move beyond the outdated methods of the last century? My solution is we move forward together with more collaboration, communication and conversation which should lead to more creativity.
What are your solutions?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekly Diigo Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Favorite Apps and Websites (Part 2)

Here is Part 2 of my list of favorite apps and websites.

Twitter-  My 24/7 Professional Learning tool resource. I connect with innovative minds from around the globe.This is the one tool I utilize each and every day and you should too.

Zite- An app and a website that allows you to select categories, for me Education, Professional Development, Gardening and Zite searches the Web for related articles. Then the articles are presented to you in newspaper format. Zite searches the Web so you don't have to.

Blogs/ Wikis- These are the two tools that I utilize the most over the last several years. I'm still amazed that more educators aren't aware of the potential for these tools in the classroom. We have created these in every Professional learning class I've taught for the last five years and I enjoy watching these new bloggers progress each year.
For wikis, I use PBWorks, however wikispaces is very similar.
For blogs, I use blogger but Wordpress  and EduBlogs are good platforms too.
Google Reader- Part of the Google set of tools. It aggregates all the blogs I follow and informs me when there's a new post to read. Si instead of going to each and every blog to search for new posts, I go to Google Reader and it's all there for me. Another tool I use frequently.

New Apps
Songify- Speak and the app transforms the words into a song.
Photoshop Express- A great app for editing photos from your phone

Mr. Gerry Kosater

There are two paths you can choose but there's always time to change the one you choose