OK. I think this will be great news for many schools who are still clinging to Windows XP. Microsoft will keep supplying anti-malware updates to Windows XP until april 15, 2014. The March 2013 date caused an outcry among many and we've been working hard to update all the XP machines with extra RAM so they could go to Windows 7. But with the machines working so well on XP many of us wonder why we should dispose of machines that work so well especially in cash crunched times. Take your time - you've got a little longer although for us in the US if they'd go through June 2015 it means we can get 2 more school years out of XP machines. In a sign of the times, it can make all the difference between some kids using technology and some not.
Must read letter over at Edweek from a mom of one child who died at Sandy Hook and one who survived... if you want to be affirmed and remember why you teach, this is the post you should share with everyone.
"Your courage will support students who are left out and overlooked, like the isolated young man who killed my daughter. At some point he was a young, impressionable student, often sitting all alone at school. You will have kids facing long odds for whom your smile, your encouraging word, and your willingness to go the extra mile will provide the comfort and security they need to try again tomorrow.
When you Google “hero,” there should be a picture of a principal, a school lunch worker, a custodian, a reading specialist, a teacher, or a bus monitor. Real heroes don’t wear capes. They work in America’s schools.
"When I asked my son’s teacher why she returned, she responded, 'Because they are my kids.' "
Being courageous requires faith. It took faith to go back to work at Sandy Hook after the shooting. Nobody had the answers or knew what would come tomorrow, but they just kept going. Every opportunity you have to create welcoming environments in our schools where parents and students feel connected counts."
Can you design a school to promote healthy eating? There are things every cafeteria can do (read to the end.) This is a big problem and something we need to address. Every school should have a fruit basket near the checkout. It is a no brainer, but do we?
"Just walk into the cafeteria and you can see this is no ordinary elementary school.
"One of the most striking differences is the openness of the eating space," said pediatrician Dr. Matthew Trowbridge, who also consulted on the project.
Students can look into the area where the food is prepared, and they can look outside to a planned school garden, where vegetables will soon be planted."
Principals and administrators should print out this infographic and discuss it around tables. This is a link to an infographic about happiness at work. Interestingly, the 3rd happiest job in the US is a "teacher" (although I bet this has changed.) Also, those who have security in their jobs tend to be happier. Also, if you have highly engaged and satisfied employees you have a better organization. Is that a surprise?
What will people say about you as a principal or leader when you are gone? Here is a touching post written by a technology teacher in mourning. I also want to point out that this is one case that spammy comment scumbags make me mad. Add your kind comment of condolence so a good person can be remembered well. I hope the author will take off the spammy comments. (This I one reason I love Disqus, which can be added to just about any blog. I stops the comment spammers cold.)
But the excuses and lead is a great post for administrators to read. Spawned as he watched excuse after excuse scroll past his Twitterfall from a Twitterchat, this excellent post is worth a read. Further proof that when we connect, we put our finger on the pulse of changed and have the conversations that need to happen. Read and respond. Great job, Dave!
One of the things I have as my "big three" this year is the concept of a paperless portfolio using adobe acrobat pro. I'm a member of Adobe ed exchange and am using it to find all kinds of great resources. This page has links to best practices for eportfolios, digital assessment, as well as streamlining admin tasks. Useful resources. The cool thing is you can annotate with video, audio, an text and pdfs move very well onto ipads and devices like that.
Evernote for administrators from TJ Wolf in North Carolina is a simple, easy to read guide to a tool that can be put on just about anything. It has become my personal filing system for everything. Nice guide.
Parent involvement is highly correlated with student success. Here is an overview of some meta analysis done through Harvard's school of education.
7 pointers on school improvement. Make sure you delve down into the expanded conversation of these 7 down on the webpage.
Must read article that is tearing through the blogs of librarians and media specialists like wildfire this October. If you work with libaries and media centers this is a must read and must pass along if only to spark conversation (and oh, it has.)
Many people have not read the Youtube Community Guidelines. You should report any videos that break these rules to youtube - everyone should have a youtube account and be able to do this. Today, a student had a bad video linked to hers -- I had to go to another place to report the other video but you can do this!
"Don't Cross the Line
Here are some common-sense rules that will help you steer clear of trouble:
* YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content. If this describes your video, even if it's a video of yourself, don't post it on YouTube. Also, be advised that we work closely with law enforcement and we report child exploitation. Please read our Safety Tips and stay safe on YouTube.
* Don't post videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, under-age drinking and smoking, or bomb making.
* Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it.
* YouTube is not a shock site. Don't post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies or similar things intended to shock or disgust.
* Respect copyright. Only upload videos that you made or that you are authorized to use. This means don't upload videos you didn't make, or use content in your videos that someone else owns the copyright to, such as music tracks, snippets of copyrighted programs, or videos made by other users, without necessary authorizations. Read our Copyright Tips for more information.
* We encourage free speech and defend everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. But we don't permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity).
- YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content. If this describes your video, even if it's a video of yourself, don't post it on YouTube. Also, be advised that we work closely with law enforcement and we report child exploitation. Please read our Safety Tips and stay safe on YouTube.
- Don't post videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, under-age drinking and smoking, or bomb making.
- Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it.
- YouTube is not a shock site. Don't post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies or similar things intended to shock or disgust.
Only upload videos that you made or that you are authorized to use.
revealing other people’s personal information,
Another must read motivational post for those in leadership from Doug Johnson. I love the part where he says this time of year he needs to wear iron underwear b/c everyone seems to want to take a bite out of his a*%!
Criticism is so tough to deal with, especially when you feel a lone. This is something I've been taking on the chin lately at our school and sometimes it really makes me want to quit. I think it is because as connected as I am with all of these amazing educators, right now in terms of technology, I don't feel very connected with the teachers at our school, largely because my workload barely gives me time to go to the ladies room!
I love this post!
The Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Educators (TPCK) is now available via wiki. Looks like some excellent resources and research articles here.
I adore this post about being the obstacle or the answer from a participant in the workshop on Monday. These insights are excellent and this school MICDS has some of the most visionary, progressive teachers and administrators! It is refreshing to be here. Elizabeth Helfant, their IT director, is unbelievably sharp! Totally amazing woman with the energy of the Energizer bunny. Wow!
This lost of the top 100 Management and Leadership blogs may have some great blogs for administrators and headmasters to read.
This is a cool grant requiring a 100 word essay about how technology benefits and helps education and is one I'll be doing in the fall -- it is only open to schools in the US but it is public and private -- check the website for rules and good luck.
Info from their site:
"Each year, Samsung's Hope for Education holds a contest where students from schools nationwide can write a 100-word essay about how technology benefits and helps education. In 2008, the top winner receives a grand prize of over $200,000 worth of Samsung technology, Microsoft software and cash grants from DIRECTV, as well as the SCHOOL CHOICE® educational television programming package. Entries are open now. Contest will run until August 31, 2008."
Each year, Samsung's Hope for Education holds a contest where students from schools nationwide can write a 100-word essay about how technology benefits and helps education. In 2008, the top winner receives a grand prize of over $200,000 worth of Samsung technology, Microsoft software and cash grants from DIRECTV, as well as the SCHOOL CHOICE® educational television programming package. Entries are open now. Contest will run until August 31, 2008.
Time for K12 online conference proposals:
"We are pleased to announce the call for proposals for the third annual “K12 Online Conference” for educators around the world interested in the use of web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice. This year’s conference is scheduled for October 20-24 and October 27-31 of 2008, and will include a pre-conference keynote during the week of October 13. The conference theme for 2008 is “Amplifying Possibilities.” Participation in the conference (as in the past) is entirely free. Conference materials are published in English and available for worldwide distribution and use under a Creative Commons license. Some changes in the requirements for presentations are being made this year and are detailed below. The deadline for proposal submission is June 23, 2008. Selected presentations will be announced at NECC 2008 in San Antonio, Texas, USA on July 2.
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