Archive for the ‘Human Resource Development’ Category

whirlwindWhat a whirlwind school year!  It is hard to believe that it is over.  My posts to this blog (lack of posts!!!) are a barometer of how busy I was especially over the last few months.  I am preparing for summer professional development workshops, and I wanted to share my resources (A work in progess over the next few days; so, please check back as I add information).  If you have anything to add it would be appreciated (Please add your suggestions to the comments, thanks)!

Summer 2009 Workshop Resources (My PBWorks Wiki)

Alan November I am pleased to have the opportunity to be able to see and hear Alan November when he arrives to visit our school district next week. Alan’s writings have been important and they have influenced me to work to find ways to help students learn and grow. I had the opportunity to attend the Building Learning Communities Conference in Boston last July 2007, and the conference, workshops, and wonderful people I met and conversed with were inspiring. Our little part of the world is moving forward as we look for ways to embed technology in the learning process, and Alan’s influence is a big part in that process. I look forward to Alan’s time here, and I know my colleagues will benefit from what he has to say. My hopes are that his inspiring words will lead to more action. This is a really big deal!!! Can you tell I’m excited!?! 🙂

Next week is also the one year anniversary of when my wife, children and I visited to interview for my position as educational technology specialist and Dianna’s speech-language pathologist position.  If I had been told I would be in the presence of Alan November one year later I  would have thought it was a dream!  What a difference a year makes, and I am so fortunate to have had the experiences I have had over this period of time.  The heart of it all has been the wonderful people I have met and been blessed to work with.  We are in the midst of something great, and as I have had more opportunities to work with students as of late, I know more than ever we are working with precious souls that need our guidance in an ever changing and complicated world.  My fifteen years in public education is such a short period of time, but I have gained a better perspective because of people like Alan November.  I would call it focus, and that is what people like Alan help me to do:  focus on things that are most important and things that matter most!  Working with young people and shaping a better future is what it is all about, and my lens is aimed at doing all that I can to be a positive influence in that noble cause!

Today is a continuing education day in our district and several offerings are on tap for staff to partake of (Several offerings are associated with Atomic Learning tutorials!):

Blogging (WordPress)

Web 2.0 (Vicki Davis)

Quia (Another Tutorial Resource:  Hot Potatoes)

Microsoft Office Word 2007

SMART Boards & CPS Clickers

Early Childhood & Technology Integration

cornucopia I have been involved in a “cornucopia” of events, tasks, meetings, trainings, and decisions over the past few days. Monday consisted of virtual mentor training with administrators in the district and CPS clicker system training for staff at one of our middle schools. I have been piecing together technology “equipment” orders in between solving multimedia issues, and we trained for deploying parent portal access to our web-based student management system to be done next week during the middle and elementary schools’ parent teacher conferences. I visited a second grade classroom and observed a lesson that was facilitated with clickers. I “fixed” a SMART Board today, and had many wonderful, thoughtful, and vital discussions about the future of education and technology’s role in the process. There are so many things that happen during each week and it is exciting to be a part of it all. Tomorrow I have the pleasure of travelling with two fourth grade classes on a field trip as their podcaster. I plan to use Gcast, iTalk devices with iPods, and of course we will piece together video clips for a future final product. Maybe a “cornucopia” isn’t the proper term to use for all of this, but hey, ’tis the season, and I am thankful for all of these opportunities. Peace!

Whatever it Takes This morning I had the opportunity to join my new professional learning community group made up of some of the administrators in our district. We chose to study the book “Whatever it Takes: How Professional Learning Communities Respond When Kids Don’t Learn” by Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker, Gayle Karhanek, and, Richard Dufour over the course of the school year. We discussed several issues we face in our leadership positions and best of all shared exciting things that are happening in our professional lives. It was a refreshing and uplifting meeting for me, and I appreciated the setting and especially the people that I will continue to share with.

Later in the day I had another iPod mini-class that went very well, and I feel the seeds are growing bit by bit here in my new district. There are so many people to reach, and I know it is important to continue to help build a network of learners that embrace technology and look for ways to integrate it into their curriculum.

As of late, there has been discussion of not merely integrating technology but rather embedding the technology in the learning process. Read Jeff Utecht’s post (see preceding link) and the thoughts of those that have chimed in to discuss this idea. I think it ties into the subheading of my blog: How to seamlessly integrate technology in the classroom. Oops! There’s that word integrate again! 😉

As a side note, here is a humorous video clip from Late Night with Conan O’Brien on BG (Before Google), or has Google always been around!?!

Madison Middle School This has been a busy and exciting week for me. I had the opportunity to teach another SMART Board mini class on Tuesday. We had parent teacher conferences last night and this morning and deployed the parent portal portion of our student information system. Many parents stopped by our display to gain their access code that allows them to view their children’s grades online. Special thanks to Connie, and it was a pleasure to work alongside her!!!

This afternoon I took part in a professional development with the staff from one of the middle schools in our district, and we learned about RSS and everyone left with a brand new blog added to their arsenal of teaching tools. I look forward to following up and supporting these great teachers in their pursuits of blogging, and I hope that it becomes a useful tool for many of them and their students.

This middle school staff is great, and I have to admit each time I am with them or in their building I wish I was teaching with them, sharing their students, and being a part of what is very special. Their instructional leader is superior and a person that I am honored to work with. They may not even recognize the excellent situation they all have, and if they do I hope they cherish it, nurture it, and hang on to it with all their beings. Madison Middle School, I am completely impressed with you all. Thanks for letting me be a small part of all you do!!! Peace!