Thursday, July 24, 2014

Exhaustion...but in a good way!

Uhhh! I am tired. I should have done my blog first thing before I left class. A lesson in time management I guess.  It makes me also think about the conversation I had at lunch the other day with a few of my colleagues from class.  How do we minimize our workload, and rather maximize each opportunity. For example:  I have been taking hand written notes...then I have to transfer these to my blogs, a multi-step process right?  A better option is starting to record in all the various options that exist technology wise, (directly in the blog, notepad, and even the new one I learned about, Evernote!) Old habits die hard I guess.

For my first exposure to IMOVIE, I would have to say I truly enjoyed the exploration. Though I paled in comparison to many of the others, I felt good about what I learned, especially being able to incorporate Garage Band.

Tonight was a crunch trying to get my project done. Main difficulties using google presentation: I could not figure out how to insert a word document onto the google presentation and scale it down. I even tried emailing it to my google account and storing it in my drive.  Oh well, maybe one of you can help me with it in the morning.  I really want it in my power point in order to contrast what I was going to present to my staff before this tech class...which was super boring...kind of like the video I used in my presentation because it was the only one for PPS I could find on teacher evaluation collaboration.  You will see!

OK, exhausted...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Digging Deeper the optimism started to fade... a bit!!! I was right on board with my optimistic self during Sir Ken Robinson's RSA Anime clip, feeling charged, and motivated, but as our discussions became deeper and more of the complexities we face in education surfaced, I started to feel the weight of the work.  Many of us do indeed feel like our hands are tied, but all I can say is, putting one foot in front of the other, begrudgingly, just does not work for me anymore. 

I really want to make sure it is understood that I do not take the conversations we are having in class as well as in small groups and with individual colleagues, lightly.  As I sit and reflect on each of the conversations I had today, I began to recharge, and remember the notion of significant bite sized take aways.  I have to remember that I initially rated myself as a 1.5, but am starting to feel more like a 2, mostly because of the wonderful tools we are learning to put into practice.  Yes this is very technical, rather than Adaptive thinking, but this is where I am at.

This evening, I put myself into the frame of mind like Pink talks about...what if I just had fun with this and practiced browsing, and let myself explore. So, I took a couple of hours, which is a lot for a new mommy, and just played--online.  It was awesome and very stimulating.  By the time I got to working on my final project, it did not even feel like work, and I am thrilled at what I am putting together. It actually means something to me, and I actually want to share what I learned, which in the past, I might of hesitated with something so new.

Lastly, many past stories flitter in my mind. One in particular is lasting. I remember a scenario where I worked on a group project in an ELL class I was taking this last year.  The project required some type of presentation (poster, PowerPoint...the usual.)  In my group, there was this up and coming new teacher, who talked about "Prezi" and "Google Presentation."  I'll never forget how most of us in that group looked at him when he tried to stray from PowerPoint. 

When I process this scenario, through my current lens, it reminds me of how often we dismiss one another when we are pressed for time, and just stick to what we know.  I wished I would have listened to this new teacher, and asked him to demonstrate and share.  Our presentation could have been dynamo!!!  Even further, I place myself in his shoes, and his audience as my staff.  What will they think as I try bring them new approaches like that teacher did?  Crafty PD is my vision.  Of course this is still work in progress, but I feel the answers are just beneath the surface, and are attempting to rise as I dig further into the tech & "Modern" world.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Bigger Picture

Today was amazing! When I see someone living there passion and sharing it with students, families and communities, I know there is hope for others to follow in that same path! G is a dynamic individual! Surprisingly, considering I rate myself as a 1.5, today was more inspirational for me as opposed to feeling overwhelmed. I felt the passion of a 4. The knowledge and tools he shared ranged from immediate attainability to what some may consider unreachable for the moment, but to me that is is something to strive for.  I love this side of education, it is a true model for differentiation at its finest.  Expanding on this line of thinking I reference to the tools he shared like Google Earth, Sketch up, and Google search tools.  These are all things we can take right now and has made my immediate life much easier.

Now for the hard part. G set the bar high today, and as I discussed with some people, they either felt overwhelmed, and/or a calling to implement these huge ideas and possibilities. After all, as educators we are doing work that is high stakes, and high risk.  Our students lives and success depend greatly on our influence and guidance.  Because I am an optimist, and believe in the service of education, I cant help but look at the glass half full.  I want to tell them that they are amazing...and thank god they are  warriors on the battlefield of education..preparing, and going on these intense reconnaissance missions of learning.  Someone needs to take a risk, and the good thing is that we are not alone. I believe in strength in numbers, and my heart tells me that technology is a huge way that is unifying us as we speak...multiplying those numbers and numbers of people who are aligning in thought...ORGANICALLY!

In summation of today, I leave with endless possibilities that exist in the realm of education and Tech. And I look forward to sharing resources with individual staff members to begin with in my building, thus gradually building my techy allies! Lastly, and above all...I cant wait to learn more from all of you! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ted Talk clip day 1 response & reflection

I sit here a bit perplexed at what is being illuminated in some of the videos we just watched.  When I visualize a graphic that puts students at the center as the "Learning to Change, Changing to Learn" clip suggested,  and attach connecting lines/bridges to all the places they learn...libraries, museums, communities, online, TV, seems endless!  The larger concept that has struck me, is the suggestion that school is no longer the sole place where students are being educated, and even further being educated effectively!

Schools are still disciplining students for using electronic devices rather than utilizing this type of technology to enhance learning. Many of us still do it! As questioned in class, is it about time and space to develop these pathways?  Is this one part of a larger equation?  As a mode that will reach a learner in seconds, the possibilities are endless...right? So what would our America look like if we used Technology in the way the Ted Talks offered? 

I imagine a world, one with fluidity, where we can "inspire, inform, address, contrast," and much more to reach generations after generations with such advancements in Tech.  High interest does equal education! However, I cannot imagine a world without the live human/teacher/in a classroom contact aspect of things. This is what I think I heard Sygata Mitra hinting upon in "The Child Driven Education" Ted Talk.  The reason I say that human contact is critical pertains specifically to the trust and safety built from observation, interaction, and face to face with a child/young adult that has been abused, suffers from mental illness, etc... I am curious how online learning/Tech could even begin to touch this issue?

Lastly, I have my suspicions, but am still trying to work through the who, how and why these decision makers (small minority) have so much power over us, the (larger population) to standardize education in the way they have?   I agree with Sir Ken Robison, get back to the Organic, Organic, Organic...process rather than the standardized, linear approach! So many of our minds want to naturally work this way anyhow! In dealing with opposition, I have learned that to dismantle, one must know it well, and counter well.  The more we who have the numbers speak our truth through rapid technology, my hope is we will regain what perhaps we once had before the standardization period, which is freedom and fluidity of thought and consciousness driven by passion.