I did a double take when I saw this at the Charleston Children's Museum. While it may look like a trash can, you'll notice that it's a place both donations and suggestions. Great idea since both benefit the organization. Just got me thinking about how we accept feedback in our school. Blair Peterson...


This past week, I talked with a senior executive who was talking about a dual challenge: reducing the tyranny of email and ensuring that people actually TALK with each other. She mentioned a challenge she issued: No Email Fridays. Each Friday, nobody was allowed to send an email to a person in the same building. They had to physically get up and walk to that person or call them on the phone to discuss an issue, share information, or any type of interaction. She was concerned that people were hiding behind their computer screen, typing out emails when people were ...


Here's an excerpt from a local newspaper article entitled Learning, FACEBOOK Style: At first glance, the first graders in Mrs. Stephan's classroom at Scenic Heights Elementary in Minnetonka appear to be chatting online with their pals, Facebook-style, instead of learning math. As their classmates' names pop up - listing favorite foods, pets and hobbies - their eyes stay fixed on their screens. Each student follows a turtle that scales mountains, windsurfs and embarks on other adventures, based on how well the child correctly answers math questions. Minnetonka is one of the nation's first school districts to try Planet Turtle, a ...


Written over 200 years ago, when a cell phone or computer were not part of one's imagination, the Founding Fathers crafted the Fourth Amendment for the then new United States of America. In an attempt to prevent the anytime, anywhere searches and seizures that had once been prevalent in the British Colonies in North America, they wrote, The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place ...


It was in the 1990s that I was first exposed to an electronic book. It was during the Texas Educational Technology Pilots which were arranged by Robert Leos and Anita Givens in Texas. These individuals remain my shining hope for the potential for leadership with technology in schools. Together they were light years ahead in their vision for what interactive books could mean for students, and what technology could mean for schools. Now as Apple releases the iPad, I see the true potential for their dream to become a reality. I wish I was as half as intelligent as Jonathan ...


Educational reform requires that each of us be accountable for taking action to create the changes we propose . As Scott Mcleod mentions in his post, "We Are the System" too many of us blame others for the lack of progress we seem to be making towards the transformation of teaching and learning. Each of us needs to lead from where we are, wherever we are. There are far too many teachers who wait for the Principal to initiate change, Principals who wait for the Superintendent, Superintendents who wait for the School Board, School Boards who wait for the State Education ...


Jaime Escalante died this past Tuesday at the age of 79. In case you are not familiar with him, Escalante was a math teacher, who, against huge odds, successfully taught Calculus to students with very limited math experiences and instruction. Over the years, Escalante's students scored incredibly well on the AP Calculus test. In my opinion, the best teacher movie ever made was the telling of Escalante's story. If you have not seen the film "Stand and Deliver" go rent it now. If you saw it a while ago but you do not remember much, go rent it now. This ...


As school leaders, we have the responsibility to Facilitate learning environments that are respectful, empowering, and engaging for students Create workplaces that are respectful, empowering, and engaging for staff Prepare students for what is and will be, not what was Build trust, not erode it Be buffers, not barriers and so on… We can point fingers. We can blame others. We can rail against the system. But we must recognize that we are in charge of the system. In essence, as stewards of school organizations, we ARE the system. We create the system every day. We must point those fingers...


"A second fundamental factor in the mental development of the child is the role of exercise and of acquired experience in the actions performed upon objects. There are two types of experience, physical experience, which consists of acting upon objects to abstract their physical properties and logico-mathematical experience, which consists of acting upon objects with a view to coordinating the result of the actions." -Jean Piaget I had an eye opening experience this past Monday as I attended a workshop put on by Shauna Smith, Nick Sanham, and Glen Bull at the 21st International Conference of the Society of Technology ...


Typically, whenever I read something telling me I need to contact my legislators, I automatically put my head down, hoping no one will call on me. I realize no one is in the room with me. I just hope someone else will do it. Do you ever feel that way? It's human nature to put off what we don't like doing or what we don't understand. But I have come to realize that I need to become more comfortable with this task. And I am trying to figure out what the obstacles are that keep me from having a more ...


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