Day 5: Breakfast and a School Visit

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Today we have the day off, so of course I am still working. Kind of. I have a good friend who teaches Math and is a tech coach as well at a school just down the road, and we get together regularly to talk shop. Today after breakfast he brought me to his school to show me some of the things they are working on with technology. This district passed a technology referendum around 10 years ago and thus have a lot going for them in that realm (including 7 part time tech coaches just for their HS, versus just myself for four buildings). This room is their technology room, for lack of a better term, and the photo shows multiple (I think there were 9-10 total) iPad carts. Additionally, the room is set up to be a presentation and recording center with cameras, screens, and computer inputs all over the place, not to mention apple tv (really a no-brainer anyway). A really cool space.

I am really looking forward to having another person with whom to converse about all things technology integration in light of my new position. We are even talking about doing visits once school starts to see how teachers in other districts are using technology. Always nice to have someone else to bounce ideas off of!


Day 4: The Shakopee Way

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Today we had our All District meeting where our superintendent introduced new goals in the district. The picture above is goal number one. I sat on one of the focus groups for hiring this superintendent, and one of the things that impressed us was his ability (as demonstrated in two previous districts) to unify the schools under common goals and vision, with positive results. This is his second year, and I am looking forward to seeing where this unification leads the district.

Additionally we heard from Eric Chester, a motivational speaker specializing in helping organizations (primarily on the business side of things) deal with the general entitlement (his words) of generation Y. His speech was generally good, though there were a few odd pieces (when giving an example of 2 good and one bad student, the bad student was the only one with a non-white sounding name, for example). Even so, it was a good speech for us to hear, with two main solid points;

1) Eric claims that the old adage “If you do what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’ve always gotten” is false in reference to teaching today’s youth. If we do what we’ve always done, we’re going to get nothing.
2) Work isn’t always fun, but part of any job is to do the job no matter what. I think this applies just as much to us as teachers as to the students; things like dressing professionally, getting to work on time, and obeying rules are certainly worthy of mention for some teachers.

All in all, it was a nice start to the year, and I can’t wait for students on Tuesday!


Days 1-3 revisited: The Switch to WordPress

I couldn’t do it. I tried to stay with Posterous, but I kept having problems. Then there is the mobile apps; WP blows Posterous away there. Lastly, I just really like WordPress.

So I just wanted to link to the first three days of my 180 days photo blog here; the rest of the day swill be posted on this blog.

Day 1: A New Beginning as an Edtech Specialist.

Day 2: Commitment to Graduate

Day 3: Cleaning out the Physics Room


Day 3: Cleaning Out the Physics Room

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Today I did a bit of cleaning to prepare for impending students and found my stash of old CBLs. It definitely makes me appreciate newer methods of data collection in science education, for which this was the precursor!


Day 2: Commitment to Graduate

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Today we were introduced to a program called Commitment to Graduate. The speaker, Lisa Spain, was very motivating and is working with us throughout the the year to increase both our graduation rate as well as the college or career readiness of our students. We (staff) are excited to use this program to increase our students perceptions of the value of education, both here in HS and beyond.


A New Beginning as an Edtech Specialist

Day 1: Teacher Workshop Week

Here’s to the start of my picture a day project! This blog was inspired by Frank Noschese, who blogged with a photo and short caption on each and every school day last year and called it the Frank Noschese 180. Many others have picked up on this idea, including me. So here’s my first post of approximately 183 (one hopes). 

This year I embark on a new journey, as I will no longer be teaching full time. I will be teaching half time (which means 2 sections first semester and 3 second semester), and the other half time I will be helping other teachers enhance their classrooms with technology. What is interesting is that I am the Technology Integration Specialist for four (4!) buildings; the High School, where I teach, two Junior High buildings (both 7-9), and a 6th grade center. Today I present to the high school staff about my job, and my ‘picture’ for today is an embedded copy of my presentation. Please note that my presentation style is to use very minimal text, so you are missing a lot by not hearing my (awesome) voice as well. Enjoy!