Monday, October 27, 2008
At times, "foot in mouth" disease is rampant on his part. He was at it again last week, although this was a very mild case. One reply came from a fellow tech coordinator who said:
"Maybe you could just sugar coat things a little? I like to reflect on a quote from one of my favorite movies, A Few Good Tech Coordinators.
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has firewalls. And those firewalls have to be guarded by routers with access lists an supported by Technology Coordinators and Network Administrators. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Wetech? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly Wiki. You weep for Carmen Sandiego and you curse the Technology Coordinators. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Sandiego being lost somewhere in the world, while tragic, will eventually be found. And my existence, while Open Source and incompatible with Vista, saves bytes...You don't want the truth. Because during deep system scanning, in places you don't talk about at WAN and LAN parties, you want me on that firewall. You need me on that firewall.
We use words like binary, HTML code, script...we use these words as the Internet backbone and to a life spent downloading something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very network I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a flash drive and go blog yourself. Either way, I don't give a widget what you think you're entitled to!"
I thought this was a stitch. What do you think?
(Thanks to Jason Schenzel, Technology Coordinator at Newman Catholic Schools in Wausau, WI for the original post).
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
At our annual Emerging Technologies Forum just prior to NECC, SETDA participants were treated to the "Ed-Tech Gladiator Challenge" featuring David Warlick and David Thornburg.
SETDA wants your help -- help us identify some bold action steps!
Here are a couple of examples from or original SETDA Session --
STEM Education: Achievement and Innovation : What is America’s next Moon shot? This group will develop a strategy to ignite the innovation in America’s students and identify effective approaches and tools to support an expanded Math & Science curriculum that is rich with technology integration to ensure America’s continued strength in the global marketplace.
RESPONSE: The Moon shot is sustaining/dealing energy, food and water shortages/issues.
- Require each state to develop a strategy (local, regional or state) to implement multiple STEM academies (ie. similar to Illinois Math and Science Academy) to support a minimum 5% of total state student population.
- Establish a real-world problems registry at regional, state or national level that describe current problems and solicit classes and educators to come in and collaborate with industry to develop solutions.
- Require each student to maintain a K-12 e-portfolio of their learning that MUST show evidence of accomplishing 21st century skills. ePortfolios will be scored using rubrics based on state standards that have been aligned to state or national content standards and are tied to ISTE NETS-S.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
One new session this year to our event list is the Ed-Tech Gladiator Action Plan Challenge set for 11:30 am - 1:30 pm on Sunday, June 29. From the looks of the session description, it appears Mary Ann Wolf and the SETDA staff have done a great job in not only securing two top notch speakers, but have also created a participatory event for SETDA members and its corporate partners.
Below is a brief overview of the session. Let me know if this is something you might enjoy or if you have any BOLD Action Plan recommendations I need to take with me to the event!
Ed-Tech Gladiator Action Plan Challenge
Mary Ann Wolf – Opening on the Class of 2020 Action Plan & Introduction
David Vs. David: David Thornburg and David Warlick will each have 20 minutes to provide a insights on education that is both futuristic & inspiring Presentation.
Gladiators Action Plan Challenge: Dare to be Bold! Two teams of 8 to 9 tables. Each table will receive ONE of the following topics to consider:
- Powerful Broadband Access for All: Breaking through the Barriers
- Empowering Teachers: A Professional and Collaborative Approach
- STEM Education: Achievement and Innovation
- Individual Learning for Every Child: Data Usage for Personalized Instruction
- Accelerating Change through Systemic Reform
- Robust, Rigorous, & Right-on-Time Learning through Online Courseware
- Systemic Reform Models (TIP, eMINTS, IMPACT, etc.)
The Action Plan Challenge Goal: To come up with one action step per topic that crystallizes a solid, bold, action step that will help policy makers create district, state and national legislation.
Each David will push their groups by walking by tables and asking challenge questions to get the groups thinking boldly. Each table will pre-assigned with half corporate executives and SETDA members for a nice mix.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
- They believe any type of podcasting or streaming will affect attendance and thus reduce revenue. - and/or-
- ISTE has made a deal with a vendor to be the "official" caster or streamer of the event and thus wants control over the content. -and/or-
- ISTE is afraid of not enough bandwidth availability.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Although SETDA approached Ed Week, the people there have been very responsive and willing to talk about how to improve the current efforts. They did mention that the research division, led by Chris Swanson, is very short-staffed, so recommendations should be tangible and reasonable – but SETDA believes that is possible, especially if SETDA offers to review the questions.
In talking with Ed Week and a few SETDA members, we see several particular areas of focus for our call, including:
- Indicators used to determine access (please see link at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/03/27/30sources.h27.html for details on how computed).
- Survey questions used to determine use, capacity, and other discussions.
- Theme for next Technology Counts (i.e., STEM, funding, virtual learning)
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
@sjciske's 5 Essential Twitter Truths
1. Not every tweet I produce is profound and not every @reply I send will be acknowledged. I consider myself a fairly decent writer (journalism undergrad, professional newspaper experience) and somewhat funny (intentional or not). Yet, it took me a while to have people warm up to my way of communicating in 140 characters of less. Some people have the gift of gab - it doesn't work in the Twitterverse. I follow only 120 or so people - other follow many more than me - and it can be overwhelming figuring out what to respond to and at times, what to post. Relax - it takes time to get to know people online, which brings me to the next essential truth.
2. If you don't fill out your profile with name, URL, place, etc.....chances are people will not follow you. Spit (spam on Twitter) happens and I personally choose not to follow people who do not fill out their profiles. Providing a URL allows a person to see what your about, what you do and your likes or dislikes. If someone following 3,000 others wants to follow me, fine, but for the most part, unless the profile is filled in - nada on my part. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my 120 on a regular basis. You can control who you follow and who follows you. You can keep it simple or go huge, but for many, the profile part is essential. In fact, I have personally gone to every one of the URLs listed for people I follow - sort of a Twitter background check.
3. Finding a friend or colleague on Twitter and following people they follow is a great way to wedge yourself into the community or personal learning network (PLN) you desire. Whether its EdTech, quilting, LOLkittens, roller coasters, food or politics -- look at friends and colleagues for advice or for introductions. It's never too late to join and become active in the discussion!
4. Twitter is a great way to learn about (_you fill in the blank_). Most of my followers/following are involved in some type of educational technology, yet I have learned so much about other topics: traveling, parenting, cooking, cultures, favorite teams and others. Some people like to be in the center of learning and others hang on the edge. It is easy to tell in the Twitterverse who is who. Everyone can contribute if they desires. People announce blog posts, conferences, tweetups and links to uStreaming content. It is there for your consumption. Or not.
5. If you blog, Twitter will energize you to blog more and blog better. I used to think that blog posts needed to be long, thoughtful and on heavy or weighty topics. Boy, was I off base. I now now that blogging is multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. In reading other blogs, I feel better able to write my own, contribute to the community on a more regular basis. And this post, I believe, will be the start of that!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
The visionaries I am writing about today had nothing to do the technology, the web, web 2.0, Student 2.0 or anything else we see today, unless you happen to venture in to a school library in Wisconsin.
FEEs, FINEs, and FOREFITUREs or Why Wisconsin likes Speeders!
Wisconsin is unique in many ways - and I am not talking about Brett Favre (retired or not), the Packers, cheese, bratwurst or beer. The visionaries I am talking about were the founders of this great state (motto: FORWARD) who developed a plan to provide funds for school libraries and inserted it into the state's constitution in 1848.
The Common School Fund Library Aid (CSF) is an annual entitlement program to all Wisconsin public school districts that distributes the net earnings from the Common School Fund, one of the state trust funds set up by the Wisconsin Constitution.
As directed by the constitution, the beneficiaries of the CSF are the public school libraries of the state. Each year in April, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) informs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) of the total interest that has accumulated in the Common School Income Fund.
The principal of the CSF grows by about $25 million each year through revenues from:
- Civil and criminal fees
- Fines and forfeitures
- Wisconsin's Unclaimed Property Program
- Timber sales on Trust Lands
(NOTE: Thus in Wisconsin, speeding really does pay - it pays right into the fund that assists school libraries!)
The BCPL, whose current Executive Director is Tia Nelson, daughter of Earth Day founder and former US Senator Gaylord Nelson, is in charge of the managing the board whose mission is to "Manage Trust Lands and Trust Funds for the Benefit of Public Education in Wisconsin." Through the use of timber sales, investments and interest, the BCPL funds the CSF. I should note that the BCPL has the power to loan money to school districts, cities, counties and other governmental agencies usually with interest rates less than commercial lenders - so some school districts will borrow for building programs at a lesser interest rate and the interest they repay on the loan goes into the CSF! A win-win if I ever saw it!
This principal is invested in loans to local governments and school districts and in state and local bonds. The remaining funds are deposited in the State Investment Fund. The annual earnings of the CSF are distributed on a per pupil basis each spring with more than $375 million distributed over the last 25 years.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI) calculates each school district's allocation, basing the amount on the number of children ages 4 through 20 living in the district. The allocation is sent to school districts by May 1. Districts must spend the total Library Aid allocation for appropriate library materials by June 30 of that same year.
In the school year 2006-07 the CSF provided $29.2 million worth of library materials to public schools in Wisconsin - not toooooooo shabby! Of course, there are rules and restrictions on what can be purchased with the CSF but for the most part, the CSF is a driving force in keeping our Wisconsin school libraries well stocked.
What is disappointing is that with the continuation of "Revenue Limits" placed on school districts in Wisconsin, more and more districts are using the CSF as the ONLY source for library books and materials.
All this started with the visionaries in 1848 thinking that a great way to provide the needed books and materials for school libraries should not fall just on the back of the school district residents. I really believe the genesis for this idea came from the fact that in 1848, book cost was high and that stocking a school library needed a boost or head start.
Who would have thought this idea would pump over $29 million a year in school libraries 150 years later.
CSF is distributed to every school district - no application is needed. A truly wonderful program!
Any other state have such a program? Anyone envious of this program? Your thoughts?