21st century schools

The vision committee I’m a part of just shared a presentation with our faculty based on our site visits to California, about the ideas we’re bringing back to our campus. It brought back to me the excitement of the trip, the excitement of feeling like a education professional, and the excitement of believing that so many of us on our campus have so many untapped passions and abilities.   At the end of the presentation, we ask: I have to admit, and this isn’t the first […]

Spring in Texas

Today is the first official day of Spring Break for most Texas schools, and thankfully, the weather will actually be spring-like also! Most of us are long overdue for a mental break!  I’m looking forward to time to read, reflect, and mainly just rejuvenate.   It’s enjoyable just to be in Austin for the break–SXSW started last night, which is our huge music, film, and interactive technology festival and it creates this incredible sense of energy here.  Independent films are showing all over town and […]

Search with a twist

   I’ve noticed more students using Cha-Cha lately, which is a search engine with a twist. You can search yourself, or search “with a guide.”  When you search with a guide, a chat window comes up and the guide immediately starts completing the search.  As they find results they post them on the screen, and you can chat with them as they look or clarify your search. It’s easy to use, though I found the results faster myself than with the guide.  But I think perhaps […]

Friday chipotle blogging

      Welcome to our second “Friday blogging” day on our campus, where we ask our staff or outside contributers to rush on down and spend a few minutes reading and commenting! Feel free to join in…. Note:  (If you are visiting the blog from elsewhere, the Chipotle blogging is a campus joke, by the way, based on a much-welcome donation of burritos). photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/150465821/

Ethical questions

How can we help our students use wise behaviors online? That question has been getting a bit of discussion lately because of a recent article in the New York Times. I’ve been thinking it would be interesting to compile a collaborative list of online “ethics” questions for students to discuss and consider. The article has been getting some interesting discussion in the blogosphere, for example at the Science Leadership Academy. How do we deal with opening boundaries for students to participate while helping them understand appropriate and […]

Spreading the word

Karl Fisch at Fischbowl, created a video called Did You Know? earlier this school year, and shared it with his staff at Arapahoe High School in Denver, as well as posting it on his blog.   Scott Mcleod of Dangerously Irrelevant, a professor at University of Minnesota, modified it slightly (with Karl’s permission). The video was posted on other blogs, and today I received it in an email from a teacher and our principal here.  It’s now circulating via email and in the corporate world. Karl […]

21st century skills in the workplace?

Text messaging while in class, listening to an iPod, and skimming through Google links, the behaviors our students are demonstrating in the classroom are the ones they are also carrying into the workplace. This post  on Assorted Stuff drew my attention to the Pew Internet study, Digital Natives Invade the Workplace, (among other studies on Pew’s site).  The study summarizes five ways in which our multi-tasking, ever-“on” students are changing the workplace. All of these have relevant implications for the classroom. First, video games–over 70% of teens and almost […]

A tribute

On a personal note, I would like to pay tribute to Beth Rogers.  For those readers outside our campus, Beth was the librarian at our ninth grade center, a facility which is attached to my library. She passed away this morning after a several year struggle with cancer.   She was vivacious, spirited, and smart.  I hate to use the cliche that she was courageous, but she really was.  She worked even when ill to train our new staff before she retired earlier this fall.   She had […]