Going Open Beyond The Hype

Before October 2015, when the #GoOpen movement began and helped inform educators and district leaders about the impact of openly licensed educational resources, the topic was rarely part of any conference. But at ISTE 2017, I saw several sessions (10 to be exact) focused on open educational resources (OER). With the uncertainty at the U.S. Department of Education and a constrained budget, it’s now up to states and district leaders to own the OER movement and begin strategizing, implementing, and sharing their OER process. District leaders need to move their schools beyond the banners of #GoOpen and start sharing proof points and models of success so that we can all learn from each other. I hope that at ISTE 2018 we will have more districts sharing their #GoOpen stories and highlighting their successes and challenges. Continue reading “Going Open Beyond The Hype”

Student led learning design

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Lawrence Public Schools in Lawrence, KS. It was my first trip to Kansas and aside from Jayhawks basketball, my only other connection to Kansas was the Wizard of Oz. My other connection was through Jerri Kemble who is the Assistant Superintendent of Innovation and Technology for Lawrence Public Schools. Jerri’s work has been driven by a silly book she read titled The 1:1 Roadmap: Setting the course for innovation in education. In her quest to roll out a 1:1 iPad environment, she noted a particular chapter that discussed a course I designed at Burlington Public Schools. This course was not your typical course, but rather a hybrid of many skill sets we hear about in educational discourse today.

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Reflecting on leadership

Someone very special in my life recently recommended I read “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This book was first published in 1936. And, while most of you reading this post were not even a thought at that time, the lessons are timeless. Daniel Pink states,Some readers might find Carnegie’s advice dated and a bit cheesy. But beneath the prose’s peppy surface lurks wisdom, one reason the book continues to sell seven full decades after its publication.” Despite the rapid change in communication and how we engage as a culture both locally, globally, and digitally, the advice of Dale Carnegie has never been more important.

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Step back and focus with Instructional Rounds

What you are about to read is nothing new, nor is it innovative. But, it is common sense and I find myself continually in conversations that discuss mandated professional learning as well the intrinsic motivation for faculty to seek out professional learning that supports their profession and the career path they chose. I am, as well as the education profession, is out of medical analogies to compare this to. The simple fact is why does this continually surface in a profession based on growth mindset, lifelong learning, and preparing young minds for an unpredictable future?

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Threading the needle

img_5871I have written a lot about getting outside of your comfort zone both inside the classroom and outside of it. In 2008, I was selected as the faculty commencement speaker by the class of 2008 and delivered a speech that shared the story of my roller skating birthday party when I was ten. The theme of my address focused on the premise that in order to find success, one needed to adapt, modify, and apply skills in an ever-changing world. And, to use the best and most efficient tools at your disposal whether they were digital or analog. The experience, the journey is part of the human experience. If we miss these opportunities we stand to not only deprive ourselves of the wonders of life, but the next generation of leaders.

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Open The Future

CC Public Domain via Pixabay
CC Public Domain via Pixabay

It’s rather difficult these days not to trip over the word innovation within the educational ecosystem. The word is embedded in job titles, books, academic courses, etc. Innovation is shiny, eye catching, and looks great on a resume. It signals to a greater audience that you are doing something unique, that has never been done and moving the needle forward within your respective discipline. And, despite the prevalence of the word innovation in education we often find ourselves looking outside of the classroom for innovative ideas. But, what if we looked within our classrooms for innovative ideas and amplified the voice of educators?

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Thank you

First grade is the earliest year of school I can recall in vivid detail. If you’d ever like to hear my first grade stories, be sure to check out my upcoming podcast (maybe). This was the year first year we had to wear our catholic school uniform, the first year where we had desks instead of collaborative tables, and the first year that we didn’t have naps built into our school day. Needless to say, I still long for those mid-day naps. It was also the first year where you had homework and had lunch with the older grades. My first grade year was a crucial milestone in my educational career and one in which would shape me for years to come.

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What’s Going on?: An ISTE 2015 Reflection

I attended my first ISTE last week in Philadelphia. It was large, constant, and rewarding. Essentially, it was a really great family reunion. ISTE is not about technology. ISTE is not about Twitter follower counts. Simply put, ISTE is about relationships. And, how we leverage those relationships as educators to move our schools and our country forward. In education, relationships and conversations are the two most important initiatives a school can employ.

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It’s About School Culture, Not Devices

In the process of wrapping up another school year and preparing for my ISTE 2015 presentation with Lyn Hilt on Designing and Sustaining Digital Environments on Monday, I am drawn into reflecting on my work with technology integration over the past decade. What I continually discover in my reflections is that my work and my job are not about any device or app at all. In fact, my work is about people and how they think, interact, and create. In essence, every technology leader should be an expert in human learning, sociability, and inquiry.

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