Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hot School Tech Gadgets

So, all the buzz this school kick off season was not shoes, not backpacks,but tablets. And let's be honest here it's also been about Apple's iPad. Truth be known, I an posting for the first time right now from my very own iPad.

The million dollar question could be "Is the iPad going to be a game changer?" The easy answer is yes. I think that "yes" sells short the magic behind the iPad in the classroom. However elaborating on just what makes that magic is much harder...

The size - Easily my favorite aspect. I've lost my iPad on my desk underneath a single sheet of paper! It's lighter than each and every textbook that my student's are issued in my school.

Ed apps - Yup, this will be a game changer. Key word, WILL. While several great apps for learning exist, we have yet to see many topics even approached. Plus there is a flood of crap apps out there. Apps for Ed might not yet sell me on the $500 model just yet.

Sex appeal - Yes again. Kids want them, they require little to no IT time and a less expensive than most laptops purchased every day in very school in the US.


Oh yea, beats iGoogle hands down...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rim Country Camp Video

All of us at Rim Country Camp are excited about summer 2012 where we will be kicking off our adventures designed especially for International School Students. Here is a little test Video that we made to show off the great locations that the camp will go to. Later this summer, we will debut some real videos with the team doing the adventures.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summertime Reading

I've been M.I.A. for a great stretch of time now, but I'm ready for summer and a new approach in the fall. With new technology in hand and a clear focus for next school year, I'm always looking forward.

Things to read about this summer: 

 - Teaching Boys Who Struggle in School: Strategies That Turn Underachievers into Successful Learner

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cell Phone Use In Schools

NPR's All Things Considered story on Cell Phone Use among all teens. We're now above 75% daily users.

A. This begs many questions. Should we stop banning cell phones from Class?
B. How could we use cells in class?
C. How could they be used to be environmentally friendly?
D. Who has a strong argument against their class use?

I, for one, want to rid our schools of expensive, wasteful, useless paper planners. The cell phone can do the same thing and better.


Video Update

I'm currently working on producing a several videos that all stem from my lecture that I gave at ELMLE. They will take several days before I roll out the first of these as I'm working on the production quality and improving how they sound and look.

More coming very soon.

Any topic ideas from the lecture, team building or use of data in the classroom?

Friday, January 21, 2011


At ELMLE, enjoying the chance to share ideas with some great people.

If you came out to my presentation today, I would like to thank you kindly. As you can tell, I get fired up about my program and I truly enjoy presenting and sharing.

If you have questions, ideas or want to continue to dialogue, please feel free to here. What did you like or dislike about my "team building and data" presentation.

Again, Thanks!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grade Tracking Worksheet

Video Number 2. Still Rough. I'll be adding in some sort of flashy video intro and better voice pieces, but hey, it's a start.

This one highlights the first piece that I implemented in my classroom on the way to being 'highly effective' some years ago. Give this a try if you don't already do it!

Leadership means you're supposed to lead

Dangerously Irrelevant: Leadership means you're supposed to lead

The Scott McLeod, (blogger, professor, consultant, funny man) has made the clear case that we don't want administration or school boards to tell us how to teach or to prevent us from being innovators in the class. He used an anonymous example of a school board telling a teacher what to do. 

"No one else is doing this in our state, so why should we?"
-is the response from an unknown school board in reply to a teacher who is doing something differently.

Is the board right? Is the Teacher right?

Honestly, we will never know.

Now, if the teacher had been collecting data, disaggregating it into graphs of some sort and providing the school board with those results, then this teacher would have a leg to stand on. Don't be surprised when some adult walks into your class and does not agree with your teaching methodology. This can and will happen to all of us. So, we need to be ready for that day, not caught off guard and told "no."

Writing excellent assessments that can then be easily graphed and communicated to others (students, colleagues, parents, admin and school boards) is your best tool. Collect as much as you can, and for years. Note and show where the limitations of your strategies are, and what you are doing to solve them. Show the evolution of your practices, and compile this information into folders or on the computer. Don't over do it, just do what is also beneficial for you and others immediately around you. Share the data with the students so the too may buy into your teaching and their own learning.

Here, your best defense is a well planned offense on your effectiveness.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Five Finger Agreement.key

Here is my First Attempt at a Educational Video on youtube. It's rough, but I've got many more to go. So if you are looking for a great way to begin your team building event, give this a try.