Lessons learned?

   At our campus we’ve been working on a professional development strand on student voices, and as I wrote about recently, held student panels in order to get feedback from our student body. One thing I learned during the session is that our students, too, are suffering from information overload and we need to be providing more help and to provide more time when possible.  What have you heard from students about how they learn?  What are things you’ve tried or would like to try in […]

Hearing student voices

Our campus staff development started its second strand last week–centered around the theme of authentic student engagement.  (Our staff development period is built into the school day once each week).   To begin the series, we on the staff development committee decided to invite panels of students to speak to our staff about how they learn best, their interests, and obstacles to learning.  We met with students ahead of time and gave them a framework of questions to work from, like how  they learn best, what […]

Balancing act

   Yesterday morning (since I woke up at 4 a.m.–still on CST, evidently), I walked down two blocks to the cove at Pacific Grove(near Monterey, California).   If you look closely at the photo you can see the seals balanced on the rocks here, scooting themselves onto the boulders in the cove, while the waves crash up against them.  They move slightly with the waves, but adjust themselves by lifting a fin, or raising their tail, and somehow manage to stay balanced on the rocks.  Meanwhile other seals frolic and […]

K12 Online–Putting the “pedagogy into the tools”

   Last week, we began our campus inservice by viewing Darren Draper’s “Pay Attention” video, which generated some complex discussions.   Bill Martin, an English teacher at our campus, commented afterwards that he felt it was critical to be thinking about the pedagogy involved in using the tools that Darren challenges us about in the video. Chris Lehmann and Kristin Hokanson have posted similar comments on their blogs as well recently, and I agree completely.  Chris comments after posting an incredible interview with his students at SLA about their learning:  “As we think about […]

Staff development that makes a difference

I’ve had staff development on the mind lately. In his post “Why Staff Meetings Matter”, Chris Lehmann writes that “a faculty is greater than the sum of its parts.” He goes on to say: “That’s why it’s important to read articles together, build wikis together, agree on school policies together. That’s why it’s important to take the time to set goals together. “ I’m been watching Mr. Holland’s Opus for the first time while I write this, and listening to Richard Dreyfus sing the John […]

Like schoolkids

I feel like a giddy schoolgirl this morning–just having so much fun interacting with other educators around the world who are also giddy about what they are doing. While most of us in the U.S. were sleeping, Jeff Utecht of Thinking Stick in Shanghai was testing out a new site called WizIq (a new site that is a virtual classroom, with chat, sharing, etc.) and holding a skypechat to discuss it.   Then as I was just getting up, my Skype started ringing, and Chris Betcher(in Australia) was […]

Off to a good start

  Today was great.  My day started out with my computer “ringing” me because I was being invited to join a Skypecast workshop that Clay Burrell was conducting from Seoul. Pretty neat way to be woken up!  (I must be turning into a total geek 😉 ) Then at school today, I assisted our principal in setting up equipment for a presentation she did with our new teachers, which was forward thinking and enthusiastic.  I was thrilled to realize she was using Karl Fisch’s video […]

Beginning anew. . . again

In keeping with the theme of staff development,  I thought it’d be a good time to look back at Ken Pruitt’s three questions for school districts, which Scott McLeod highlighted on his blog in July. I’ll take the liberty of re-posting his questions here: What are the 21st century skills we want our teachers to model? How can we provide consistent and relevant training to 200 teachers? Will adequate resources encourage teachers to integrate technology into their curriculum? At our campus we are grappling with […]

What motivates you?

School started in earnest for me on Friday, and I’ve felt a little dispirited.  On the one hand, I have learned so much this summer that I am enthused and eager about implementing.  But the tasks at hand right now aren’t necessarily those that will even get me there, but things I have to get done.  It’s reminded me of feelings reflected in a post that Chris Lehmann wrote about his own sense of disconnection as he started inservice.) I’ve been aware that I’ve felt somewhat muddled the […]

The Long View

I’m joining Patrick Higgins today via Skype for a workshop he’s conducting on web 2.0 for teachers in his district.   The plan is for me to share the Vietnam Wall project that our English 3 AP students completed last spring, so I’ve been looking through my post about it, re-viewing some of the student projects, and looking at the wiki we created to support the project. In looking back (and looking forward), I can see so much better how to work with the other teachers […]