Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lou Douros, Freepath Software

Overwhelming! Fantastic possibilities. One that really stood out- mainly because of ease of use- was, a great tool for quickly connecting multiple video conferencers (new word). While this is of no interest to anyone- not even me- I must say that the wealth of resources is tremendous. I had no idea just how much was out there! I will cut this short in order to explore.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Richard Kassisseh

Very compelling argument for social networking. The most socially active kids off-line are also the most socially active kids on-line. The long held belief (held by me) that the Facebookers/MySpacers/texters are lacking in face-to-face interactions was debunked by Richard.

Particularly interesting were the variety of social networking sites- both strictly social and professionally focused ones. Here are some interesting sites that were referred to in class... ] ] ]

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Steve Langford-CIO, BSD

Equity throughout the district... Same issue rears its' ugly head in each of our districts. As we complete a district wide technology audit the question of how to achieve equity in all schools throughout seems daunting- new schools have all the newest hardware ranging from document cameras, ceiling mounted projectors, new lap top labs, all new computers, etc... Meanwhile, older schools may not have a single document camera and older computers. With tremendous disparity between fund raising capabilities at the higher SES schools compared to the lower SES ones, differences in prioritization at the building administrative level, and differences in existing infrastructure and equipment conditions, it is an amazing task to move a school district toward technological equity.

While we didn't arrive at the answers, the discussion was interesting. Thanks go out to Steve for taking the time to share with us... BTW- NCSD has its' Director of Technology Services position open and posted.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Don Woodward and Web Design

Let me start with an apology to Todd- Sorry for making fun of the BSD site... It was a bit irresistible you must admit. While initial work with Google sites and Weebly showed limitations (very preformatted with little customizability), web-based designing for us amateurs is wonderful. While it's easy to demonstrate limited patience when exploring these site creators, it doesn't take much to figure them out- pretty intuitive.

A very informative and interesting presentation by Don. Great insights- especially since NCSD is about to launch a new, district-wide set of sites. I think that we have achieved uniformity across our district with enough flexibility for each school site to demonstrate its' own character/flavor. Check out our site beginning on 2/15/09.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Paul Navarre and maintaining a web page

On Paul's website (for Net Interaction) he says, "A website is only as good as the content. A flashy website might impress once. A website with useful and up-to-date content will impress everytime, and encourage frequent visits." One of the great challenges I faced as a teacher and face now, as an administrator, is how to keep a web page current and interesting. This is a challenge as I do not wish to spend significant amounts of time updating my page(s). As a teacher it was a bit easier as there was a weekly posting for homework and class news (that was 5-9 years ago when I was teaching). Now, there seems to be less motivation and need for me to keep my page current. As I look at other principal's pages they, too, seem to be rarely updated- perhaps the current newsletter letter is posted, but rarely more. My goal as a principal will be to create and maintain an engaging site that includes a podcast.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sugata Mitra

This speaks to issues of equity...

"ET should reach the underpriviledged first and not the other way around"- The relative increase in student achievement is tremendous if ET is placed into the highest need schools compared to when applied to the high performing/more affluent school settings. The study that showed student achievement drops proportionately the farther away the school is from Delhi was interesting (check out the video if you haven't seen it). Was this a result of lack of technology or of lower teacher job satisfaction?

Interesting- without training, kids with no prior schema are able to learn not only about how to use the computer, but gain foreign language and other concepts/skills. That just the introduction of a computer in a village/rural town can enable students to learn new things speaks to the power of technology in our societies- Would this be the experience in non-western societies? I think to my years in Senegal. Would the kids of Keur Momar Sarr be engaged?

Here is the link to this presentation...