A Good Meme Causes Reflection

The meme

I hate internet memes.  I have to be honest in saying that I never respond to them.  The place they feel especially strange is on my blog.  This is one of the few places where my learning is allowed to run about unfettered.  Perhaps the meme concept feels like high school did back in my day when I was given really specific things to perform for a particular assignment.  We all know that growth occurs from many of those situations where we have been forced to think within the guidelines of a particular set of “rules.”  However, I have always seen the inside of my Edublogs dashboard as a place where I run the show, dictate the pace, put forward the agenda, and set the course for my own growth.

With all that said, I felt since Tania Sheko tagged me in this one…  it was one I couldn’t refuse.  Tania writes Brave New World from her home in Australia.  Tania is a faithful contributor here at nashworld, and someone whose work and opinions I respect deeply.  So really, that makes it pretty easy to see why this was my first official play-along with a blogging meme.  I can’t quite think of a better reason to step to the plate for such a thing, for this is a meme of reflection.

Eye project Day 10 - Observe

This meme is the “4R’s” meme for bloggers.  I am to troll through all of my old posts and pick one that fits each of the following R’s:

RANTS

RESOURCES

REFLECTIONS

REVELATIONS

I am to point to a post that fits each of the categories and tell why it was important, why it had lasting value or impact, and how I might update it for today.

Reflection

Actually, I spent some time back in April around the time of my first “blogversary” pulling an excerpt from each post throughout my first year behind the wheel of this blog.  I stuck the outline on a separate page entitled: Year One Archive.  So actually…  I had a pretty slick little tool for surveying all of my posts for this reply.  Still, this little exercise did require some pretty deep reflection to pick just one for each of the R’s.  So for that-  thanks Tania.

Rants- this could fit any number of posts here.  However, I chose a post from last November for this one.  Increasing Our Level of “Vitamin A was a post about the need for administration at all levels to step up and improve their support and modeling of current educational technology within the profession.  I challenged administrators to book a trip to Washington D.C. for NECC 2009 and the unveiling of the refreshed NETS-A standards for leaders in this area.

This one was posted at 10:00pm on November 13th.  At noon on November 14th our district’s Chief Operations Officer, Rick Hartigan, was sitting at the table in my principal’s office to let us know that, “he has heard the call” and that the district “was supporting this ideal and behind us 100%.”  I had received timely feedback here before then, but I think you can see how impactful that little post was.  What was the follow through, you ask?  Mr. Hartigan booked a trip to NECC and attended like a pro.  In fact, I remember one particular afternoon when he accompanied me to the “blogger’s cafe” to chat with some of the member of my burgeoning PLN.

The blogger’s cafe at an event like this is the most locale on the premises.  I quickly introduced him to Wesley Fryer, Dean Shareski, and Terry Kaminski.  The five of us stood and chatted about some of the more crucial aspects of an educational technology “upgrade” in schools today.  Rick stepped up and asked as many questions as were sitting on the forefront of his brain, and those three graciously took the time to share their input.  That one set of events did potentially more than anything else I have done on nashworld to date.

Pencils and Moleskines 04

Resources- this one was tough.  In the end, I chose the one single post with the most comments to date, Trolling my PLN for Edtech Vision.  In all seriousness, this is a classic post to demonstrate the fact that sometimes the comments on a post are far more valuable than the initial content.  This was, of course, the goal of the post to begin with.  You should proceed through that comment field with a pen & paper (or your stickies app) and record as many titles and names as you can.  This is a true wealth of information and opinions from what I consider to be some really top-notch thinkers.

Reflections- This category could mean many things.  Nearly all of my posts fit this one in some way.  Yet, Inspire First, Instruct Later required perhaps some of the most personal reflection.  This post was written close on the heels of a family death and the birth of my youngest little girl.  As Clay Burrell noted in the comments, “Good luck on the newcomer, and sorry about the loss of the old-timer.  Quite a cycle you’re experiencing.” The meat of the post speaks to the affective needs of our students.  I argue here that these needs must be met before trodding down any sort of prescriptive curricular path.  The closest competition (and this one treads awfully close to “revelations”) is the poem-post I dropped after the birth of our youngest daughter, Neve.

Revelations- Since the first three speak to the educational technology and instructional coaching elements of my life as an educator, I thought it apropos to toss in one from the world of biology.  Where are the seeds in an orange? speaks to the disconnect our children have with the very food they nourish themselves with on a daily basis.  That day, a student of mine confessed during a lab that he had never seen an orange with seeds.  In the real scope of things, this scary fact is likely is as important, if not more, than any of the aforementioned.  Not only are young people detached from the food they eat as actual biological entities, we as educators may as well be increasingly detached from the world our students have grown up immersed in.

So in keeping with the spirit of virality (if I may coin that term) I am to tag a few others to continue the meme.  No, this will not keep you in God’s graces.  It will certainly not bring you great wealth from the shores of Nigeria.  It may not even make you happy upon first considering it.  However, I do respect these folks, and would certainly enjoy seeing their responses to this project.  It did make me reflect, Tania.  So thank you.  Oh….  and don’t forget to tag your post with:  #postsofthepast.

The Dance of Joy

My turn

I hereby tag Michael Doyle, “Science Teacher” who constantly inspires me; Punya Mishra, “Punya Mishra’s Web” who is about as creative a person in our field as can be; Shelly Blake-Plock, “Teach Paperless” who has recently been one of my favorite bloggers; and Steve Dembo of “Teach42” who put us “on assignment” with his 30 Days To Being a Better Blogger challenge last Autumn.

Artwork

*”Eye Project Day 10 – Observe” by Lee Jin Young on Flickr
*”Pencils and Moleskines 04” by Paul Worthington on Flickr
*”The Dance of Joy” by G a r r y on Flickr
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Four Pillars of Technology Integration

I spent far too much time today on this image…….

Four Pillars of Technology Integration

But first

What are the key elements required for a transformation of teaching and learning through the use of technology?  There are obviously many reasonable ways to look at this.  From what position do you view this issue?  Are you a teacher, instructional coach, building principal, technology facilitator, director of technology, chief administrative officer of some flavor, superintendent, parent, or student?  For you, this issue will likely run through the filter of your current position.

It will also run through the filter of your experience.  Are you an eighteen year old student who lives a life that is highly digitally integrated, or are you a teacher of 20 years or more who is just now trying to become familiar with the Internet as it relates to teaching and learning?  Are you a superintendent or head of school who is beginning to open to the importance of a smart approach to technology integration, or are you a technology facilitator who has been a digital evangelist for the past five to ten years?

Those filters should all be applied to the problem of how to retool schools along the lines of technological transformation.  (Though I didn’t think it worked in the title of this post, you will see below that I would rather use the term transformation as opposed to integration.)  At this point, the vast majority of school systems are behind the curve in this area.  Being this far behind might just have one distinct advantage.  If there is no way to see any of the individual trees in a forest, you are likely going to be forced to start your mission with a whole-forest view to begin with.  This is not a bad thing.  It allows you to realize two important things:

1) You don’t need a flashlight.  It’s not that dark in there anymore.  Trust that there are others who have proceeded down this path before you, and they have learned many important lessons.  Collaborate.  Learn from their successes and failures.  Do not go it alone.  Resist the temptation to slap a digital device in the hands of each student and call it success.  Have a plan.

2) Rarely do we get to make decisions with the clarity that a little distance provides.  Take your time (but hurry).  Ask yourself: what can we do with these new tools available today that we couldn’t do before?  If we could remake our curriculum any way we wanted, how would we do it?  Think transformation of the way teaching and learning is done in your district, as opposed to integration into it as it exists.

Allow me to run this challenge through my own filter for the next several paragraphs.  For more on my filter for these ideas, consult the About page.  Also-  I certainly do not profess to know all of the answers.  I am currently sitting on top of a nice little foothill of educational technology leadership…  and staring up at some pretty massive peaks ahead.  Allow me to talk about a few things that make these peaks seem climbable from where I stand.

It is my belief that all schools (and/or school systems) need the following four pillars below any technology “integration” effort…

Catracas

An Innovation engine

All systems need what I will call an “innovation engine.”  Whatever the system, whatever the setup, schools and school systems need pockets of sponsored innovation.  Without some folks directly charged with instructional innovation with digital tools, we will always be just trying to fit technology into what we do on a day to day basis.  It is far better to build innovation directly into the system, and to foster it purposefully.  I know this may seem somewhat fringe in the world of public education, but it can’t afford to be much longer.

“At enlightened, forward-thinking companies, managers understand the connection between learning, innovation, and higher productivity — in fact, employees at these companies may even be encouraged to spend time learning and experimenting with new technologies.”

~Joe McKendrick, FASTforward

So who will drive this engine of innovation in your school?  Will this be a technology facilitator?  Will it be a technology coach?  Perhaps an instructional coach.  An ad-hoc committee of teachers?  A requirement of your leadership team or department heads?  If you are thinking of this from a district perspective, where does this responsibility land?  Will you just hope for it, or will you truly sponsor innovation in new approaches to teaching and learning afforded by digital technologies?

Erector Set

Administrative support

An innovative technology leader will be of little use beyond their immediate world without direct, purposeful and inspired administrative support.  Administrators:  join forces with your innovation team.  Learn what they learn.  Push them to new heights.  Allow them to bring innovative approaches to the classrooms and teachers of your school.  Support your teachers every step of the way as they slowly transform the classroom environments they create toward new and better approaches to learning…

…and then hold them to it. Hold staff accountable for bringing their skills up to the present realities of the 21st Century.  We’ve been living passively in this century for almost ten years now.  It is time for all of us to sit up and take a direct and active role in the changes happening within the learning profession.  Without strong administrative support, advocacy, and supervision, no real and lasting changes of this magnitude are possible.  Guidelines for such leadership aren’t exactly guesswork.  Grab a copy of the NETS and familiarize yourself with these standards today if you have yet to.  They come in three fine flavors:  for students, teachers and administrators.

wwwwwwwwwwwwwww access

Unfiltered ubiquitous access

So now you have innovation closely coupled with administrative support.  With those two things, you can get a pretty immediate return for your buck, provided one more terribly important thing:  that you don’t filter the very usefulness out of the web. A school can have instructional innovation and local administrative support and still fail with regard to technology integration.  How do you kill innovation quickly?  Tie it down.  Even today, many schools filter all of the good, interactive raw materials right out of the web, just when it is becoming increasingly important.  Figure it out.  Ask a school who only lightly filters.  Ask.  Don’t assume there isn’t another way.

Our school system does currently block Facebook and MySpace.  However, our general approach is to put the filters in place required by law, (keeping out the really creepy things) and then keep the real Internet open for education.  Yes, that means we have open access to YouTube, Flickr, UStream, Ning, Twitter, Blogs, Wikis, etc…  We have our hands on far too much fuel for innovation to even worry about looking at Facebook and MySpace at this moment.  They are where our students already are.  But for now, we are luckier than 95% of school districts I encounter with regard to open access.  This fact has allowed us to move quickly toward figuring out the advantages and disadvantages of these powerful new tools in an educational setting.

Oh, and ubiquity.  Access to these tools must be easy and everywhere.  Soon after access is all around you, it doesn’t even feel like “technology,” it just feels like the way things are done.  This is a good thing, for when technology becomes invisible, we can finally focus on the value added from new uses of these tools.  The world is moving quickly toward wireless access in all corners.  If your school isn’t wireless, then only your students have wireless access.  That’s right-  via their phones.  You have a cell phone policy that bans their use in your school?  How is that working out?  You might be surprised.  Many of your students likely are on the raw, unfiltered Internet via the 3G connection of their cellphone more often in the classroom than you care to admit.  Why ignore this,  or worse yet, why punish it?  Embracing might just be the answer.  Some serious thought, study, and stakeholder input should be focused in this direction.

If your school isn’t at a 1:1 ratio of students to laptop computers… and the students don’t take them home with them night by night, all year long… then you don’t yet have an ideal learning environment for 2009 by most accounts.  Until then, however, there are other ways until that time to assure ubiquitous access.  Our school currently employs laptop carts at a ratio of better than 2.5 students to one computer.  60 of these machines will also be available for checkout from our Media Center in the fall.  Our Media Center/Library will also be open well beyond school hours.  It isn’t perfect, but it is allowing us to move ahead intelligently.  We are moving quickly toward the 1:1 environment that seems inevitable in schools.  Moving in that direction in a smart and purposeful way is the strategy we’re employing.

Nice Helvetica.

Instructional model

So now you have innovation on the ground level, administrative support, and unfiltered access.  Be proud.  If you can honestly say this characterizes your school or school system, then you are in a very small but fortunate minority.  You work with smart, visionary people who know how to plan and have been doing so for some time now.  If your lone goal is to have students, teachers and administrators all gleefully pushing buttons and gazing at computer screens…  then your work here is done.  Congratulations.  However, if what you were wanting out of this nationwide technology push was something a bit more…  substantial, then you had better finish reading.

The fourth pillar of “instructional model” is more than a quick soundbyte allows.  I see three levels of this notion with increasing value as follows:  1) You have thought about and encouraged good instructional practices in your building/district.  2) You have a well-articulated plan for effective instructional practice that is building or districtwide.  3)  You have a true learner-centered instructional model in place in grades K-12 that credits the constructivist nature of human learning.

I am fortunate to say that though our district has awakened late to the call of real and purposeful transformation via educational technology, the toughest of our four pillars has already been built.  The final pillar of a student-centered model for instruction that is carefully stated, professionally-developed, supported, and supervised…  is just freshly in place.  This is not so say that fluency in adopting this philosophy of approach is yet there, but the crucial first step is complete.

As I stated earlier, we are looking up at some pretty tall challenges ahead of us.  Locally, we have unfiltered access to all of the content and interactivity the web affords.  We have pedagogical experts in district leadership positions who have put in place an ideal instructional model for the future.  We have a quickly multiplying group of administrators at both the district and building levels who are responding to the call of the digital world, and we are making plans to foster innovation and creativity in our classrooms.

I feel like I am at the foot of a mountain that a handful of good people have climbed…  20,000 feet below the summit, yet armed with the best climbing gear and support I can get my hands on.  The immediate future should be interesting indeed.

I don\'t understand the question...

Where are you?

So where does all of this leave you?  How many of these pillars have been already constructed around you?  What have you done to help in that construction?  What do you see as the greatest challenges in this mission?  What can I or others do to help?  Are there other pillars that you believe I have missed here?

This post was initially intended to be a part of Leadership Day 2009 as conceived by Scott McLeod.  I am posting it at 1:30am on July 13th instead of on July 12th.  This is not to shabby considering my two baby girls thought that since it is technically summer here…  it should feel like it today.

Leadership Day 2009

***This post ended up being nominated for “Most Influential Blog Post” at the 2009 Edublogs Awards.  Nifty nomination.  Thanks much:

Artwork

*I created the Four Pillars image above from the original raw image: “OSU Columns 1” by Steve Betts (Zagrev) on Flickr.
*Catracas by [ cas ] on Flickr
*Erector Set by vgm8383 on Flickr
*wwwwwwwwwwwwwww access by squacco on Flickr
*Nice Helvetica. by William Couch on Flickr
*I don’t understand the question… by flynnkc on Flickr
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SCIENCE : POETRY : HISTORY

Good conversations

This rather dull snapshot was taken with my phone at the recent NECC 2009 conference in Washington, DC.  Funny.  Sometimes it’s the non-conference things that really push my thinking forward.  EduBloggerCon was one of those, “sit around with smart folks and discuss and debate self-selected topics of interest in education” kind of days.  What, you don’t have those every day?  Ok, I’ll admit it- sadly neither do I.  One of the sessions in particular, led by Jonathan Becker was entitled: “Where School Reform Meets Madonna:  Can public schools fundamentally reinvent themselves?”  The rule in this one was that if a “tech tool” was even mentioned that the violator would have to stand on the table and sing.  EduBloggerCon is certainly an “unconference” about more than edtech tools.  Good conversations do more than stimulate your brain during the immediate time in which they are occurring.  Good conversations are those that change the way you see the world in some small way from that point on.

Washington Public Library

The building above is found in Mt. Vernon Square and has an interesting history.  A much better close-up view from Wikimedia shows that this was one of Carnegie’s libraries.  The building was also recently a City Museum and still serves the Historical Society of Washington, DC.

While walking the city with Jeanette and Luke (Principal and Asst. Principal at BHS) during lunch at EduBloggerCon, we ran across this building.  Initially, I was interested in the architecture.  However, upon closer inspection I became much more interested in the three bold words embedded into the marble front of the building:

SCIENCE  :  POETRY  :  HISTORY

These three words, especially appearing below the phrase: “DEDICATED TO THE DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE” were enough to haunt me the next couple of days.  By the way, I had probably better let you know that if you came to this post looking for answers… prepare for a 10:1 question vs. answer ratio from this point.  Sorry about that.

A light word study

Let’s talk about those three little words.  Do you have thoughts on this triplet as it was laid out so many years ago?  Truly any three words could have been chosen, yet these are the three that were cut into rock.  For one, I am a pretty big fan of all three of those words.  If you dig through the “poetry” tag here on the blog, you’ll certainly find a thing or two that relates over the past year.  Science is the obvious one.  I have been a science teacher since 1992.  Further… for me, history so often provides not only context to the world in which we live, but also connections in and amongst all fields of study.

But I live out my days in an American high school.  Where are the other two great core areas of study?  Where lies Communication Arts, or English, or Language Arts, or…?  Where do we fit Mathematics?  Perhaps the folks who laid out this building saw those as modes of communicating the ideas of science and history.  And poetry?  Perhaps this is the art that takes human communication to creative and innovative heights.

altered playing card - inspiration - davinci

Step outside a moment

Imagine a school where the base subjects are those three: science, poetry, and history.  What would that look like?  Now of course I’m not suggesting we look away from all of the other myriad courses in our world such as practical arts, physical education, etc.  My friend and Principal, Jeanette Westfall, would be quick to remind anyone discounting the importance of the “non-core” subjects, that these courses (and their teachers) represent about 60% of our school today.  Anyone pushing this part of high school life aside would be someone with a rather narrow view of the American high school scene of 2009.

But instead of seeing a focus on science, history, and poetry as narrow…  what if we saw it as something much larger?  What if we found a way to teach all of the subjects we care about today within this framework?  Could that be done?  What if we dissolved our hallowed curricular walls and found a way to deliver all of those wonderful bits of learning through very broad lenses such as these three?

I can see a million problems.  Where does engineering fit?  Engineering isn’t really science.  It is most usually an outgrowth of science.  Engineering is science applied to life.  However, aren’t the best examples of engineering a marriage of art and science?  There are others of course.  I welcome the discussion following this post.  Writing online is great like that, right?

23, 24

Insurmountable?

Perhaps the largest thorn in the side of such an experimental approach is our compartmentalized teacher certification system.  Not only that, but with most of us as products of such a linear, territorial system- could we even create a small number of schools that could do this at a high level?  I understand why this is different in secondary vs. the elementary world.  The content knowledge required in the higher grades in 2009 is daunting for sure.  I get it that most folks couldn’t deliver calculus.  Most of us couldn’t prepare teenagers for college-level physics or a journalism program either.  And yet, what percent of your student body did I just include by mentioning those two courses?  More importantly, perhaps restructuring schools toward a more integrated nature seems more daunting to the “closed four walls” of the typical classroom.  Perhaps those who have opened up the walls of their classroom to colleagues near and far can more easily imagine a new and innovative structure for schools.

Of course this couldn’t really fly in a public school today, could it?  But then again, how is what are are doing right now working for us?  Many universities have “honors” programs within the normal school.  These programs are often about collaboration and integration of subject matter to create a more relevant and rigorous environment.  The same goes for gifted ed classes.  It seems that we continue to create opportunities for both our most talented kids as well as those who display “buy-in” to the system of schooling as it is today.  Of course I think this is a great thing.  But, what about the massive chunk of the teenage populace who see school as not immediately relevant to their lives?  What needs to happen for us to imagine a learning environment that is chunked up in some way different than we have already tried?  The huge numbers of disaffected or otherwise uninterested teens can’t wait much longer.  I wonder if their vision could be any more comprehensive.

3d glasses

As is often the case…  far more questions than answers here today.  Once again, I’m appreciative for the ability to think aloud in a loose forum full of smart and enthusiastic people.  What about those three overarching “subjects” mentioned above?  Are there three you’d propose alternatively?  Hopefully an idea or two will be left stirring in your head.  Feel free to share below if so.

Artwork

*science:poetry:history via iPhone by me
*altered playing card – inspiration – davinci by Blazing Moon on Flickr
*23, 24 by Rob Shenk on Flickr
*3d glasses by dryxe on Flickr
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Spheres of Influence

How fun is this?

Three years ago I moved into a position of instructional coach for my building.  The majority of my days are now spent as a content-generalist coach focused on helping teachers improve pedagogical skills.  Our opt-in model keeps the conversation focused on one thing:  pedagogy as opposed to content.  This is a very smart model for honing in on the “P” sphere of Mishra & Koehler’s TPACK framework.  However, perhaps even smarter is the fact that I am not completely removed from being behind the wheel of my own classroom.  Teaching my own class is a way to assure my attachment to at least most of the day to day experiences of our folks in “the trenches.”  My opinions on instructional practice and concrete strategies are only as good as my ability to pull them off in my own classroom.  I say this for perhaps a different reason that you might think.  The core of my role as a coach is to question, to advise, to consult, encourage, and inspire my colleagues toward better and better things.  It really isn’t about “me.”

TPACK framework diagram

That said, my ability to move down any strategic path toward best practices in instruction with a teacher is directly tied to both my familiarity and comfort level with that mode of learning.  Put simply:  you can’t talk the talk without walking the walk.  So during the day, I teach Principles of Biology during period three as well as Marine Biology.  Marine Biology is a special case across the board.  The program was created in 1999 and and includes night classes from 7 to 9pm on Mondays, a roster made up of students from our three local high schools, and a week-long field study on the coral reefs of the Bahamas each April.  Did I mention yet that my district respects and fosters solid innovation?  For that, my students and I are terribly lucky.

To my original point

Seriously.  Blogging is such a reflective act for me.  So often I start down a simple path and quickly realize there is far more under the hood to discuss.  So with that out of the way, allow me to introduce you to two of my newest colleagues:  Jennifer Toalson and Alex Paolillo.  Interestingly, between the two, they teach quite a range of subjects: General Biology, Environmental Science, Microbiology and Genetics.  More interestingly, they were (somewhat recently) Marine Biology students of mine.  Our department has a total of less than seven FTE’s.  Therefore, here are two-sevenths of my immediate world.  Jennifer was a member of the 2002 Marine Biology class and Alex was a 2004 member.

Alex & Jennifer discuss the finer points of pipetting.

Jennifer joined the Benton Science Department last year and was an immediate success.  As the oldest of seven, she is a natural at building relationships and getting the most out of younger folk.  Jennifer’s Dad is also a teacher of industrial arts at a high school across town.  Alex, who will begin his teaching career this fall, also comes equipped with a teacher’s pedigree.  Alex is actually the son of two teachers and his father was at one time the Director of Secondary Education in our city.  And yes…  in my prized image below, you’ll see Alex attempting to feed bread crumbs to seagulls from his bare chest in The Bahamas.  Tell me this isn’t going to be fun.

How many of you have been lucky enough to have two former students as direct departmental colleagues?  How fun is that?

I can’t tell you how excited this makes me.  Again….. I am now only a really a small part of the science department at my high school.  However, with a wife who is the Department Chair, it is even more exciting to see our immediate world become so infused with young, enthusiastic blood.  One thing I can say for sure about Alex and Jennifer:  they really want to make a difference in the lives of young people.  With that, anything they want to work hard for in this profession will come to them.  Not only do I remember their high school days as fun-filled, I now have spent time with them as colleagues.  The following pics will give you a glimpse of them in their (recently) younger days as Marine Biology students.  One might wonder if perhaps holding a sea urchin or encouraging sea gulls to feed from your belly makes one a likely candidate for biology educator in later years.  I am staring to believe so.  (funny now to see them so young again here in the next two images)

Jennifer in HS

I recently thought about doing a quick and dirty post that mentioned these two coming on board as biology teachers.  (as biology teachers, biology teachers in my hometown, and as biology teachers in my current school)  The day it hit me was a few weeks ago when Erin, Jennifer, Alex, and I spent the day at a biotechnology workshop in Kansas City…  (many thanks to Erin for organizing the day’s events.)  Overall, we had a great summer day of re-connecting to the past and teambuilding for the future.

Alex and the seagulls

In closing

Since Marine Biology began in 2000, some of my former students are undergrad marine biology students.  A few are even PhD candidates.  People frequently ask about those.  However, the demographic that isn’t often inquired about might just be those who have lived their entire lives in the center of the continent…  who love biology…  love the energy of youth…  but cannot find a better reason to move that far away from a strong family/friends network.  I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this as of late.

See what this does?  I start out with an idea to post a simple image from a recent workshop and I end up tacking it on to personal connections, people-to-people connections, coaching, and the TPACK framework.  When I began blogging a just over a year ago in April-  it was done as a “proof of concept” exercise.  That has blossomed into the mess you now see.  The bottom line is:  You cannot imagine the effect blogging will have on your future learning unless you are actually doing it.  This truly is a new genre of writing.  It is more than empowering for the everyman who embarks upon it.  Give it a try.  What are you waiting for?  And while you’re at it…  give my two new colleagues a shout out from the masses.  They will soon be getting an earful from yours truly about establishing their “digital footprint” and getting connected as a professional.  I am excited about being a leader in the “T” (in TPACK) revolution in the Saint Joseph School District.

Stay tuned…

Artwork

*TPACK framework courtesy of Punya Mishra and Matt Koehler
*The rest…  me.
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