Friday, October 16, 2009

One Thing On My Mind

Well, I'm back after two days of ITEC conference & two days of illness and I have just one thing on my mind...David Warlick's Keynote Address. His main focus was on "Literacy & Learning in the 21st Century," and how lack of information is certainly not an issue any longer. Students need to know how to sort through the never-ending deluge of information to be smart consumers. They need to have the ability to "mine" the information fields and be able to search out and discern reputable information. He noted that WikiPedia often takes an educational hit because of the nature of a wiki---anyone can edit it. It often posts warnings that material may be biased or incomplete, yet how often do text books post that warning?

We are now in an age in education which we are preparing learners for a future we can hardly imagine. It is not like that of our "factory" past. As educators, we need to adjust our very pedagogy. What worked 25, 10, or even 5 years ago is in the past. Warlick states we should not teach from our pasts, but for the future of our learners. We are now in an era where if a child cannot figure how to advance to the next level in a video game, the answers are only a mouse click away. Warlick even cites a personal example where he was in the middle of our country, looking at an unmarked pyramid & was wondering what it he tweeted on Twitter. From across the globe, in Austrailia, an answer came back. The gal on the opposite side of the world saw his tweet, Googled the information, and tweeted him within a matter of minutes. Not only do we have this world of information at our fingertips, we can now harness it and direct it to come to us through things such as RSS feeds, iGoogle, Twitter, etc...

As we prepare the Sioux City Community School District with the 21st Century Classroom equipment, I think having David Warlick speak to our troops is vital to the success of this project. Equipment is just equipment. Just as overhead lighting is now ubiquitous, so must the "tech. stuff." This equipment is not the magic bullet...our wonderful educators are, and I am so very lucky to be able to work along side them in this endeavor.

Week 10 Oct. 12- Oct. 16

I'm back..... I didn't have the chance to blog last week because I wasn't at work. My wife gave birth to daughter number 3, so I figured it was a reasonable explanation as to why I wasn't at work. But man alive, coming back to work after taking a week off stinks. Emails to catch up on, appointments to move around, meetings that popped up, but most of all, just getting back in the swing of what is going on.
I spent some good time this week trying to figure out the elementary web sites. How can we improve them?? How can we make this easier to use?? Our solution..... looking at different companies. We need something that is more user friendly. Teachers time is valuable and don't need to be wasting it updating a website that takes 5 steps to complete a process that should take 2 steps.
Also this week, we received our new CPS Pulse response system. So far I like them a lot and are very easy to use. I hope they are more durable than the previous type we had.
Unfortunately at times this week I ran myself in 2 directions at once and had to bail on a couple of appointments. Teresa I will make it up I promise!!!