Sunday, September 26, 2010

More on transitions

I find myself caught between websites, blogs, PLN's, social media experiences ... etc. ...

I'm now going to focus energy on a blog for "work" ... as opposed to a blog for a blog's sake ... I have learned tons since I entered the blogosphere last year ... now I value Twitter and the value of the PLN (Professional Learning Network), I have a new position in a new school district, and my energy and efforts are moving from general growth to coaching, guiding and leading a new system.

For now, I will focus on writing and posting to my "work site":

I may return to the blogspot ... I may not ... I am in transition, trying to find my way ...

My New Web Presence and Effort - Including a new Blog

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More iPad app suggestions from a colleague

1. Readdledocs - 
2. Digits - a good calculator with a tape.
3. Newsy - video news source.
4. Roboform - a password manager application.
5. Kindle - reading books.
6. iBooks - reading books.
7. Quick Office HD - for creating and viewing office documents on the iPad.
8. Say It Mail It - for creating a very quick voice recording and then EASILY mailing it to myself as a reminder or to someone else.
9. ToDo - a task manager that syncs with ToodleDo via the web.
10. GPS Drive HD - a navigational unit for the iPad.
11. Doodle - an easy way to schedule appointments with many people.
12. Dragon Dictation - voice to text that can be pasted into emails or documents.
13. NPR - National Public Radio
14. USA Today - for the news junky.
15. Google Earth - pretty cool!
16. Howcast - videos on how to do anything.
17. AP News - for the news junky.
18. WordPress - for posting to my blog.
19. Solitaire City - for a get away!
20. GoodReader - pdf viewer.
21. iAnnotate PDF - a very good PDF application with similar features to Readdledocs.  (Plus, you can write and highlight with this application.)
22. DocsToGo - sync files from your computer to the iPad.

iPad apps for education

As a new user of the iPad, I am seeking (and finding) quite a few suggested applications. From colleagues in professional associations, and the Tweets from my PLN, I have been learning a TON.

The iPad is becoming a NEED rather than a WANT in terms of productivity, coaching teachers, staying connected, and leading.

Here's one link to a source of apps from one leader ...

Friday, September 17, 2010

First Animoto Video

Create your own video slideshow at

Pilot Choice-Based Professional Development

Recently the faculty looked at plans for growth and professional development from a multi-modal and differentiated perspective. As research about student learning shows, students learn and grow more when they have choices and a “voice” in their learning. In my experiences, adult learners also learn and grow more when they also have choices and a voice in their learning and development. As readers of the blog know, I consider myself (and all administrators) in a position to coach, guide, and mentor the professionals in our schools! It is incumbent upon we leaders to support, nurture, guide and grow the teachers and teacher leaders in our schools. My two cents worth regarding choice based adult growth has a few options. One involves learning through technology and another involves learning through analytical study with interviews and observations and coaching

From my extensive PLN (examples shared through Twitter posting) I have been exposed to countless applications and web-based offerings that teachers can use to impact student learning directly. One example that I am beginning to work with is Edmodo. Through a “facebook” like interface, with a “moodle” like infrastructure, Edmodo is my first effort at engaged, collaborative, “high tech” learning at my school. My aim is to identify 3-5 Web 2.0 instructional tools this year to interested teachers through the voluntary/pilot Edmodo project. The first of these modules will be about using Voice Thread for educators. I will report back via the blog about successes, challenges, and “take-aways” from this experience. So far, there are several teachers who have voluntarily signed up for this pilot learning-by-choice professional development initiative. Teachers can sign up at any time and they can engage in any, all, or none of these modules throughout the school year.

Another option for growth and coaching involves a teacher going through a structured interview with me; an interview typically used for selection, but in this professional development concept, one used for development. After the interview, the teacher will be observed by me, not for evaluation, but for development purposes. Among the topics in the post-interview and post-observation conferences will relate to the themes of excellence predicted to be observed from the interview, and the themes actually observed during the observations. In addition, a growth plan may be mutually developed by looking, in-depth at the interview “results” and suggestions.

By offering options and providing choice and voice, the staff development has a greater likliehood of becoming job-embedded!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Twitter - new connections for me

Recently, my interactions with Twitter have opened up new professional connections and instructional opportunities and growth plans for the school district where I am the superintendent. Twitter is a professional learning network (PLN) for me - through the tweets of others, I am linked to the educational leadership world I am excited to be a part of. Through the lists/connected groups like #edchat, I can find resources like the blog at: - endless leaders, teachers, 'techhies', around the country and the world with whom I share professional interests. Twitter is also connecting me with local news outlets for breaking news and information. I re-tweet (share others' tweets) when I feel those who follow me might like the information. From time to time I share an original tweet with a link or information or a request for information or to promote a project at my school. The social media opportunities and networking and learning and growth I am realizing and enjoying through Twitter is/are something I want to share with you with the hope you can benefit from its power as I am.

Top 50 Educational Technology Blogs ... Link from Twitter

A link from my Twitter PLN:

top 50 education technology blogs

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Power/Reach of social media

This year we started a Facebook page to promote our school district and increase communication. The year started last week ... here are the stats so far:

Facebook user stats

124 monthly active users (+50 since last week)
47 people like this (+14 since last week)
14 wall posts and comments this week (+14 since last week)
791 visits this week (+415 since last week)

Wow! Talk about "reach" ... social media is amazing and powerful ... our goal is to supplement not supplant traditional communication methods ... we'll see how it goes! So far - so good.