Monday, March 28, 2011

iPod iPad iCant be bothered, iM in denial ?

The stories from people who have heard their ADE Joe Morelock speak are impressive. I think this is a good example of ipods ipads being done well. Read the links, click through, interesting stuff.

Canby School District have an iPod touch & iPad 1:1 Programme
Every 3rd grade child gets an iPod Touch/ iPad.
They have shown some huge increases in literacy and maths scores.
Main wiki on iPod use.
Using iTunes as a Digital Portfolio.
The teacher action research blogs - the stuff that is actually happening.
Using voice memos for reading fluency.
Geeky stuff on syncing.

They are not electronic worksheets.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Q & A

Question : Is Mary Chamberlain not renewing her contract with the MOE because she sees what is on the horizon and just cant stomach it?
Answer : You bet ya.
Question : Why has it taken Pat Lam two seasons to finally put pressure on Joe Roks.
Answer : He now has an assistant coach who isn't a "yes man".
Question : Why do i cringe and hide when i hear eportfolios ?
Answer : The teachers do hours and hours of work and the leaders take all the glory and the kids couldn't really give a shit especially in two years time.
Question : Why is the labour party such a load of shit ?
Answer : Because Phil Gough is as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.
Question : Have Auckland University sold Astlle to the ministry of Education?
Answer : Who knows but its a bloody good rumor, and we will all be forced to do eAstlle as national testing kicks in.
Question : Does anyone actually give a shit about facebook privacy settings anymore?
Answer : No not really.
Question : Does Ken Robinson have anything else to say other than, education was built on an industrial model and now times have changed but education hasn't?
Answer : No, but he is very charming and witty.
Question : Will anyone run an educational conference where the social networks will form the guts of the conference?
Answer : Not while we bow and hail international peddlars selling their glossy crap.
Question : How long will it be until schools run real coffee shops?
Answer : It depends if you are an inner city tosser school, or does it?
Question : Is twitter for twits.
Answer : Shit yes.
Question : Should schools be operating without Facebook and Twitter?
Answer : Not really, but the tweeter will have to be a twit, see above.
Question : Was that bad shit in Japan or what?
Answer : Unbelievable.
Question : What do all the high school teachers doing Cambridge exams do after September 3?
Answer : Tutoring of course ($$ kaching), at "some" schools they even tutor kids they teach, using the school as a base! tut tut, wheres your ethics?
Question : Who can actually hear Stewie Griffin?
Answer : Brian (the dog, thats for you mumbleboy) and then after that its situational.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweating the small stuff

Talking with a Christchurch Principal we chatted about the change of thinking in staff. Things that were trivial and unimportant have been placed in the trivial and unimportant box. This has been the default stance by so many people, including the many teachers in the christchurch area. People have been forced to take things the way they are and to not sweat the small stuff. I remember having a long conversation with my sons high school principal about how his school had travelled to India and worked with schools in the poorest parts of Delhi. When he returned to school he had a saying that was called "A I" which stood for "After India". The things he saw, the hardship, the poverty, the loss of life, the living conditions, brought so much reality and balance to his outlook. He believed this experienced was life changing stuff.
Recently the same Principal wrote in their newsletter about how wearing a neck tie was :
"about being aspirational in dress standards"
"boys gain confidence and are simply more teachable once they adopt aspirational and clear dress standards"
and this classic was that, wearing a tie :

"is seen in the minds of boys as being aspirational and being serious about their exam marks"

Clearly this Principal has completely forgotten his "after India" experience.

Often we have special needs students and they are very hard work. Over the years I've seen these kids come and go, they provide a massive challenge to schools. The parents can often be stressed, many times I have heard people judge these parents. I always pause and take a dose of reality, imagine being that parent, they have that special needs child forever. These people live with a massive dose of reality.

My questions are -
How long does this dose of realism remain ?
How can teachers, school leaders and parents not living in situations of true hardship get a dose of realism ?
Who is a true realist on your staff, and do you admire them ?
How do they act, and what can we learn from them ?
Is it fair to fob things off that is the small stuff, but is important to them ?

Seems its a juggling act sweating the small stuff as well as avoiding sweating the small stuff.