Archive for the ‘Inside my Mind’ category

Webcaster in the Making

July 20, 2007

I’ve been really busy the last few weeks. It all started about six months ago. I really enjoy listening to educator podcasts like Speed of Creativity and Bit by Bit among others. I was happy, then came along live interactive webcasts. I was hooked! I started participating in weekly shows at edtechtalk. At first it was just as a listener to a live show. I then stated going into the chat. One day I discovered Skype, I could voice my opinion on a live show. There was no turning back then. I have been recording my own podcasts. I did a few last year in my office position and this year as a teacher. Podcasts are great as a professional reflection tool for teachers. I will continue to produce these on my blog. I even have tried a few with students. But having a one man show really isn’t fun. I got the itch to try webcasting and what can I say, I had to scratch. One Sunday I asked a teacher in the chatroom if she would be interested in being a cohost on a webcast. At first we were both hesitant but she entertained the idea. In the same week another regular at edtechtalk asked me if I was interested in starting my own show. Just like that the It’s Elementary Webcast team was formed. We started to plan our webcast. We asked for feedback from the edtechtalk community. About 4 weeks later we produced our first show. The first show on blogs in the classroom was cool, especially after all the editing 🙂 We even got a new member, our first guest became part of the team. Now we are about to do our second show on Webquests on Monday July 23rd at 23:00 GMT (4:00 pacific and 7:00 eastern). We also signed up for the webcast academy. Wow! the things that happen when you follow the yellow brick road.

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Effective School Technology Leadership

July 4, 2007

So how are you spending your 4th of July? I am here enjoying some time off. Looking forward to a barbecue and fireworks this evening at my daughter’s middle school. I am also responding to Calling All Bloggers! by Dr. Scott Mcleod from Dangerously Irrelevant. I have been an educator for the last 12 years. I had the opportunity to step out of the classroom for four years. I just came back this past school year. I was able to work closely with the leadership of my school and directly with the principal. As I reflect on my experience, I consider myself fortunate. I worked with a principal that was able to listen to new and innovative ideas and help in making them happen. This process is not something that happened overnight. It was a professional relationship built on trust. We (leadership of the school and teachers) were there for the same reasons. Our mission (not just the cliche) was to provide the best education possible for our students. Sometimes adult conflicts came up around the implementation of programs or the decisions involved in moving a school forward. Once the dust cleared we were able to ground ourselves on the same basic premise about taking it back to student learning. In regards to technology in schools. I tend to agree that it isn’t about the tools. It is more about the effective use of whatever tools are available to us. We can spin our wheels complaining about what we don’t have or wish we had. At one point I was able to “convince” our school to provide the hardware. We bought over 100 computers to be distributed to 30 classrooms. We bought other “cool” toys also. I quickly learned that the desired effect or use of technology wasn’t going to happen by osmosis. It wasn’t until the tech committee and the leadership team agreed on an implementation plan. This implementation plan was to be long term and focused on professional development not only for teachers but also for the administrators. We spent a week on retreat planning for the initial steps of this program. This was only the beginning. It was not all success. The challenges still persisted as we went back to our school. We spent a lot of energy and time resolving basic issues regarding the check out of hardware. We started to “embed” the use of tech tools into our leadership meetings. We supported the use of web 2.0 tools through workshops for teachers and parents. What effect did this have on our students? That kind of data isn’t easy to quantify. I have now moved on to a different school. Our principal was also transferred. I feel that the effect has been that I took these skills to my classroom. I also know that my principal took this vision on the use of technology to her new school. It really does go back to our kids. Whoever they may be now or in the future.

Read Write Web Class

June 16, 2007

I am not referring to teacher class I am completing this week. I am referring to building and maintaining a Read Write Web Classroom. These last few weeks have given me a good overview of the different tools available to my classroom. There continue to be challenges to integrating technology in classrooms in lausd. Professional development is the first step in producing lasting change. My teacher blog continues to be a place to reflect on my teaching profession. Regular postings here help me find my own path in teaching. Keeping and maintaining a student blog allow me to showcase the learning that is going on in my classroom. It is like a virtual bulletin board. I will also use my classroom blog to coach my students in learning literacies that will allow them to participate in a flat world.

Sunday SnowClones

June 10, 2007

O.K. I listened to Dave Comier’s Presentation in FOE2007 on Tuesday June 5th. I tried to follow the presentation regarding snowclones. (Not a lot of sucess). Now today I am back. It’s interesting how we can come together to explore learning. Presentation was fast paced at the beginning and then it came down to earth. What is it to belong to a community? Being and creating networks. I still not sure I understand the concept of what a snowclone is. Am I exploring / researching/ doing my own learning and leaving a record for me to go back to. Flagging and RSS coming together to a central place. Last words. See you at edtechweekly!

technorati tag foe2007scm

Social Networks for Teachers

April 29, 2007

Interesting conversations going on at Edtechtalk around social networks. The discussion for me centers on the use of Ning and Classroom 2.0. Here’s my take;

I participated at our local edtech conference this past week. The reason I bring it up is because the conference offered round table discussions. It was a conference with over 1000 participants. It was disappointing to have only a few teachers participate in these F2F discussions. So as an early adopter, where do you find others? I played around with Ning and Classroom 2.0 and I wasn’t impressed. Maybe I am spoiled by the edtech folk here at edtechtalk and the Worldbridges network. I have been following the conversations going on at Teachers Teaching Teachers, 21st Century Learning, and Women of Web 2.0 I understand it can be difficult for a classroom teacher to find “Web Presence”. It takes time and persistence. I spent some time this morning and responded to the blogs that you posted. I am looking forward to doing some more work this year. We all have to share the load. So, where are we going with Educationbridges Elgg? I liked the idea of the walled garden. But even here most people must find it difficult to have individual blogs and then post and be part of a community. Looking forward to participating on the Community Forum.

Remember; Don’t take any wooden nickelz. 🙂

I’m Back!

September 7, 2006

Hi everyone. It’s been a busy time of year. I’ve managed to stay out trouble the last few months. I am looking forward to having a very cool year. I started teaching 8th grade this fall. (Day 6) I am still in Survival Mode. As the year progresses I plan on incorporating some tech into my teaching. Exciting things are happening over at edtech talk. Dave and Jeff are doing an excellent job in bring the ed tech community together. Bye for now.

Life in the Big City

March 13, 2006

I seem to be very busy lately. It was raining most of the weekend and very cold (high 40’s is freezing for us city folk in LA). And I missed CUE. I’ll have to try again next year. I have’nt kept up as much with my bloglines. When I get over 500 unread items I know that I am too busy. I did listen to one of my favorite podcasts One Big Head. He seems to be right on in regards to tech in K-12. The spring is full of “testing”. The Big State tests are coming to a school near You. I have to get my game face on and prepare myself to enter the Zone. I have to pace myself so that I Can Get Things Done. I was pleased to see that two bloggers from my school are coming back. Mozart and 1007 seem to be active. I hope to offer a tech class at my school. I haven’t worked out the logistics yet but, it should be fun. STILL busy with NCLB. It is not about being able to develop the action plans. We can do that with ease. Its the collaborative effort that is needed to AGREE on the direction of the school. How are the actions plans going to be implemented? How is the progress going to be monitored? These seem to be questions that are harder to answer. So, that’s life in the big city… bye.