A consistent rally cry heard throughout educational conferences and conversations is the need for more teacher input into future education policy and practice. Those on the front line know best about what our children need,  but have far too few options to share their suggestions and concerns with the researchers and policy makers BEFORE the decisions are made.I am thrilled to see this beginning to change. I am very honored and excited to present to all those concerned about adolescent literacy and learning an opportunity to share your thoughts and concerns with the team at The Carnegie Corporation...


Recently I attended a Professional Development day for principals where we had the opportunity to discuss the Carnegie Report, Reading Next. During the meeting we did a jigsaw read and so in the interest of full disclosure I have to state that I have not read the report cover to cover although I have reviewed it since the meeting. The primary focus of our meeting was on the "Fifteen Key Elements of Effective Adolescent Literacy Programs" The list includes both instructional elements and infrastructure elements which work in concert with one another. As an administrator I certainly have a responsibility ...


I have been advocating for changes in education to improve the quality of life for teachers, students and administrators for my whole career. Over the last three years I have added using Web 2.0 technologies to communicate, create, and collaborate on the Internet to my list of what needs to change and what holds promise. The PLN (Personal Learning Network) I have developed inspired me to return to teaching after many years as an administrator, most recently as a superintendent of a seven school district. No words can express how grateful I am for all that this Twitter community ...


When I am asked to help districts save money or financially justify the paradigm shift to One to One computing, one of the first things I suggest they do is audit their technology energy use. Shifting from traditional desktop PC's to laptops, netbooks, or thin clients can save significant amounts of money, to say nothing of it being the environmentally correct thing to do. A typical desktop computer uses between 65w-250w of electricity. A typical CRT monitor uses 80w and an LCD monitor 35w of electricity. You can get the actual amount of energy usage by checking the label on ...


CNN currently has a news link titled Six Steps to Creative Breakthroughs. They are: Look behind you - Investigate the history of what worked, what did not work, and what might have worked given different scenarios. Lose the routine - In other words, 'Play!' This might be reading, hitting seminars, attending conferences, etc. Taking time away from the routine of preparing, teaching, grading can have great rewards. Use the brains you hired - Let employees (i.e., teachers snd ) take risks and not be penalized for failure. Get cozy with customers - Get to know the needs of students, ...


It seems as if we all do it. We embed pictures, illustrations, charts, graphs, videos, text, and other stuff from the internet into our blog posts. I see it every day, and I do it myself. I have always tried to give credit to the creator, author, photographer, or illustrator by listing his or her name and the link to the original item. For example, I have taken photographs from flickr.com and added them to a blog post. I also have included who posted the picture on flickr to give proper credit. Based on an email I recently received, ...


You get it. It's the 21st Century and social media has changed society so much that you understand the need to make technology a transparent part of the learning environment as part of meeting the growing needs of students and society. Assuming we understand this social phenomenon and have started critical, actionable conversations within our schools, our focus inevitably turns to professional development and shifting teacher mindsets as part of the transformational puzzle. The question I continue to raise is whether we should discuss these technologies as tools or instructional strategies. For systemic success, I believe must stop thinking about ...


Do you ever have those days where you wonder if there is a sign on your forehead that says "Bring Conflict Here" because it keeps coming up and getting in your face? I've had a couple of those days lately. They can be wearing, can't they? I've heard some administrators say that they avoid conflict. That statement intrigues me. Now, let me clarify. I'm not the type of person who wakes up every morning hoping for some conflict nor am I someone who likes to stir up the pot to get some conflict brewing. I can enjoy a conflict-free day, ...


Last week, the latest version of "Did You Know" was released. Like the previous versions, it was filled with stats that were surprising and also thought provoking. The statistics are there to jolt us to action and to make us, as educators, realize the world in which we live and teach. One statistic that really shocked me was the fact that in the last 2 months, more hours of video have been uploaded to YouTube than all the broadcast hours of TV of the four major networks since 1948 combined! This is an astounding statistic because it has so many ...


I recently returned from a state-wide teacher education conference, NC-ACTE. This is a local conference and thus tends to deal with local issues....yet I was glad to see some major issues introduced. One was brought up by our Teacher of the Year. Being a foreign language teacher, it is only natural that her luncheon talk dealt broadly with intercultural communication, embracing technological change, and the need for cultural exchange. These are points I advocate every day. The one point however that made me scratch my head is this idea of 'competition.' We often hear rhetoric such as "America ...


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