May 29

I was just like you…

Dear Administrators,

I feel like I need to share some really good news with you. And I am not alone. See, I was just like you!

source: en.wikipedia.org

During these past few months I have opened myself up completely to the 21st century. I went full board, having never created a blog, wiki, uploaded a video, nor participated in ANY social media prior to this year. I have never been a techie, or desired to acquire the newest gadgets (Honestly, I held out for a long time from buying compact discs).

I will admit it… I was scared. I had nothing good to say about facebook, twitter, google, blogging, and I too felt that I had learned all I needed to know about the computer (Hey, I was a wiz at the Microsoft office suite). As long as I could get on the internet, I was fine. I knew how to search for things. I could find articles, and resources, or so I thought. As an educator, my mind was made up: we are not allowed to participate in this new found social media stuff anyway. It was all “trouble” and the “devil’s playground.”

I was good. All good. I knew a lot more then my predecessors. I have worked with administrators in the past who didn’t know how to turn on a computer. They couldn’t text, or had no idea what a url was. They were just fine, and some almost reveled in their learned helplessness. Let’s face it, I thought, there were hundreds of thousands of effective principals since the beginning of time who never even wrote an email.

source: kerrywills.wordpress.com

Then a strange thing happened on my way to being comfortable. I found out that as a 38 year old first-year principal, who was a self-described progressive in education, that I was already a dinosaur (insert dinosaur sound). I have called educators dinosaurs before. Gulp. We all know how that story ended: Extinction! Well, I didn’t want to be extinct.  And I don’t want you to be either! I had ask myself some tough questions: Am I modeling 21st century skills for my teachers and students? Am I really progressive? Do I really know where education was going? The answers were clearly, NO. So I DID something about it. I TOOK a LEAP. I got off of the comfortable road!

So, this is your homework assignment for the summer.  You need to start something. Depending on where you want to grow, there are plenty of resources. And I am willing to help, and so are all the connected educators near you, and thousands more are just a click away. Actually, we are all just a click away from you!

We are not trying to keep anything from you. We want EVERYBODY to be connected. This is not a competition. Rather, it is a privilege that you are in the position you are in. With the gift of being an administrator, there is a responsibility to your teachers, parents, students, and most of all, to yourself. Now, what are you going to do with this precious gift?

Ask yourself these questions….Here are some resources for you.

I want to know how to access the cutting edge information on education. Where do I start?

Twitter.com - It is free, and you will have access to Professional Development at your fingertips 24/7. I recommend to start with the following educators:

@NMHS_Principal, Eric Sheninger, High School Principal

@stumpteacher, Josh Stumpenhorst, Teacher

@PrincipalJ, Jessica Johnson, Elementary Principal

@web20classroom, Steven Anderson, Technology Supervisor

@gcouros, George Couros, Principal and founder of Connected Principals

I want to know how tell my classroom, district or school’s story? Start a school blog or a personal blog using (Blogger, edublogs, or Word Press).

Justin Tarte, Life of an Educator

Dave Gentile, The Road To Excellence is Always Under Construction

Pamm Moore, Learning to Lead

Spike Cook’s RM Bacon School Site, RM Bacon Weekly

Curt Rees, I know this much is true

How will I be able to do all this? You have to make time. Just like the teachers you are frustrated with, you can’t punch in and out. You have to be willing to put in the time, and be committed.  The more you are connected, the more you will become inspired by what folks are doing.

How can I learn all of this? Like the famous book by Anne Lamott Bird by Bird you have to start small and take it one bird at a time.

I guarantee that you have a teacher in your building or an administrator in another building that can help you out with your transition to being connected. You just have to open yourself up to the possibilities.

For those of you who are reading this because you are connected, my challenge to you is to print, email, forward, or even read this to another administrator that you feel could benefit.

Remember, I was just like you!

Resources:

My Prezi on Social Media in Administration:

http://prezi.com/thmleuo19vp2/copy-of-copy-of-social-media-for-administration/

Great Article on the Power of the Principal:

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2012/05/the_power_of_the_principal.html

Twitter accounts for Technology:

http://paper.li/DrSpikeCook/1333674940?edition_id=300ef930-a924-11e1-a2b7-00259071bfec

 

 

 

May 28

Memorial Day: Taking a day for remembering

My Father Joel Howell

Every year my wife and I try to attend a Memorial Day service and talk with our children about the importance of the day. We have attended parades, services, and even visited local parks.

 

 

My Brother Billy Howell

Although we never served, my wife and I have a lot of family members who did. My father (deceased)served in the Army during  WW2, my brother was a career Navy Seal, and his son currently serves in the Navy.

 

 

 

Theresa's Grandfather Anthony Caratozzolo

My wife’s family also had many who served. Her father was in the National Guard, her grandfathers (both deceased)were in the Navy during WW2, one Uncle was a Green Beret in Vietnam, and another Uncle is a Commander in the Coast Guard. This is just the immediate family.

 

 

Henry in his camo room

We teach our children to “thank a vet for his/her service” whenever we see them around town, in a store, or at a restaurant. My son, through the power of Call of Duty, has his whole room camouflaged, and he has already told us that he would like to be a soldier. Who said video games had no positive impact on children?

 

Theresa's Father Anthony Caratozzolo

So, thank you for a taking a few minutes to read this post. For me it was the least that I could do to remember those who have served both in my family and my wife’s family. In some small way, we are all making a difference for the future as we remember the past.

 

 

Theresa's Grandfather John Fredella

 

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/memorial-day/

 

 

May 21

Conversation with a Futurist Part 5

During the ASCD12 conference in Philadelphia I attended a session with Futurist, Watts Wacker. He began the discussion by saying that he did not come to answer questions, but rather to ask them. He immediately had my attention. Then he began to speak, and I tried my hardest to keep up. Here is the stream of conscious notes I took. In order to develop deeper understanding I took the notes, and separated them into 5 parts. I also worked with a mind-mapping genius to bring the text, and concepts to another level. I hope it hurts your brain like it did mine.

Part 5 of 5

Who would be crazy enough to tell British Petroleum, after one of the most major oil spills in the history of the world that they should partner with Greenpeace? Watts did and now it is Beyond Petroleum.

So you need to think BIG. Explore your curiosity. Why not challenge convention?  How about play? We are players who enjoy having fun. Seriously, when was the last time you had fun?

Think about innovations vs. conception. There are some people who can innovate and there are others who can create. Creatives are not always great conceptualizes and yet, conceptualization can be taught.

Reflect on the concepts of asymmetry, and maximizing your weakness. What is your golden ratio?  How do you live in virtual space?

Why did we stop teaching philosophy in schools? Philosophy helps us understand:

Ethics

Language

Community

Knowledge

 

 

If you have a problem to solve, try to use physics. Ask yourself what is leadership? Then ask yourself these questions:

Do you know who you are?

Are you being true to yourself?

Are you setting goals?

Are you developing lasting relationships?

Do you ask for help?

Are you standing up for your beliefs?

Do you help others?

Do you take responsibility for your actions?

Are you looking your best?

Does your head hurt yet?

Missed parts?

Part 1

Part 2  

Part 3

Part 4

Resources:

ASCD 12 Virtual Resources: http://ascd.social27.com/ASCD/ASCD_Home

Watts Wacker’s web site:  www.firstmatter.com

Triz-Journal: http://www.triz-journal.com/

Joseph Kony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony

Kony 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kony_2012

May 14

Conversation with a Futurist Part 4

During the ASCD12 conference in Philadelphia I attended a session with Futurist, Watts Wacker. He began the discussion by saying that he did not come to answer questions, but rather to ask them. He immediately had my attention. Then he began to speak, and I tried my hardest to keep up. Here is the stream of conscious notes I took. In order to develop deeper understanding I took the notes, and separated them into 5 parts. I also worked with a mind-mapping genius to bring the text, and concepts to another level. I hope it hurts your brain like it did mine.

Part 4 of 5

Pintrest Logo

Fortunately, Art is back and it begets design. Take for instance Pintrest. Have an idea about a design? Try Pintrest? How about a bulletin board? A garden? Want to create your own art? Try Pintrest. Then, you can print your creation in 3D. Heard of that? 3D printers are a reality. (see video below)

Is life is too short or is life is too long? We are working diligently on improving everything from our medicine, diet, exercise, and general quality of life. We have the beginning of diet based on blood type. We have exercise routines established for any type of workout you would want to do, or not do?

source peoplejam.com

Remember Maslow? Watts asked this question to the audience, “What is more important to us? The anticipation of the event, and remembrance of the event?”  I can remember being a kid and anticipating an upcoming event. I would think and think about the event. Anticipation. Or I can think back to those special events as a child. Memories.

RM Bacon QR Code

Literacy provides us with the ability to read and write. Now you can read and write your own code, your own apps. Why wait for someone else to do it? We are learning to love to learn. Think about inspiration, what inspires you? You can literally explore whatever inspires you.

source: art.com

Watts uses the Cowboy way. When you are out on the ranch there is no time for euphemism. You need to be direct and succinct and you don’t need no fancy words. He spent time as a cowboy on a ranch helping people. Even though he is a world renown Futurist, people only saw him a Cowboy on a ranch. People will treat you like the role you are. Try to be something, and people will treat you as such. Start today by telling people you are a _______. They will treat you as a ________.

Here is a story on 3-D Printers:


Missed parts?

Part 1

Part 2  

Part 3

Resources:

ASCD 12 Virtual Resources: http://ascd.social27.com/ASCD/ASCD_Home

Watts Wacker’s web site:  www.firstmatter.com

Triz-Journal: http://www.triz-journal.com/

Joseph Kony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony

Kony 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kony_2012

May 10

Conversation with a Futurist? Part 3

During the ASCD12 conference in Philadelphia I attended a session with Futurist, Watts Wacker. He began the discussion by saying that he did not come to answer questions, but rather to ask them. He immediately had my attention. Then he began to speak, and I tried my hardest to keep up. Here is the stream of conscious notes I took. In order to develop deeper understanding I took the notes, and separated them into 5 parts. I also worked with a mind-mapping genius to bring the text, and concepts to another level. I hope it hurts your brain like it did mine.

Part 3 of 5

Einstein theories are now laws. We all grew up hearing about the theories of Einstein because at that time that is what they were… theories. Each of those theories, through the scientific process, has been proven.

There is a dichotomy with the Establishment vs. the Movement. For instance, the current President ran on the platform of hope and change as the movement. Once elected, he became the establishment. Listen carefully in the fall as the new election cycle unfolds. The other side will be talking about… change. The lesson is each side needs to respect the other side. Why? Because sooner or later, the position (establishment or movement) will change.

traxarmstrong.com

Game play has changed. Think about what games were like when you were growing up? What is the object of monopoly? Chess? Checkers? Scrabble? To beat your opponent. Have you watched any of the new games in town? Ever watch someone play Call of Duty? The object is to beat the game not each other. Now major gaming is collaborative. Not just collaborative in the sense of the kids in the neighborhood playing together at someone’s house. It is a worldwide collaboration through technology that pairs up anyone who has a system. X-Box will even provide statistics showing who is playing around the world.

So the kids are playing differently, so shouldn’t we provide them with something different in the classroom? There really should be no more lectures in the classroom, it will be (should be) all collaborative. Learners, with an understanding of their role, can work together to solve a problem. Sound familiar?

 

Missed parts?

Part 1

Part 2  

Resources:

ASCD 12 Virtual Resources: http://ascd.social27.com/ASCD/ASCD_Home

Watts Wacker’s web site:  www.firstmatter.com

Triz-Journal: http://www.triz-journal.com/

Joseph Kony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony

Kony 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kony_2012

May 7

Conversation with a Futurist? Part 2

During the ASCD12 conference in Philadelphia I attended a session with Futurist, Watts Wacker. He began the discussion by saying that he did not come to answer questions, but rather to ask them. He immediately had my attention. Then he began to speak, and I tried my hardest to keep up. Here is the stream of conscious notes I took. In order to develop deeper understanding I took the notes, and separated them into 5 parts. I also worked with a mind-mapping genius to bring the text, and concepts to another level. I hope it hurts your brain like it did mine.

Part 2 of 5

There is a Renewal of Thought. With that said, is it a renewal or a merely a shift?

sabotagetimes.com

Although some feel that our votes do not matter, we really can vote against anyone. For instance, Joseph Kony’s reputation was taken down with the help of Social Media. How did it happen? Kony 2012 was a film created by Invisible Children that advocated the capture and persecution of the Ugandan Leader Joseph Kony for the alleged atrocities he has committed against children. The campaign began on March 5, 2012 and the goal was to have him arrested by December of 2012. As the video went viral, the world spoke – over 86 million times.

Google is in everything, and they are ahead of everything. Want an answer to a question? Google it. Want directions, web sites, mail, social media, computers, software, and information? You got it, google. In this age of uncertainty, business is competitive, predatory, symbiotic, and parasitic. Yet the goodness business model exists. All we need is do right to do well.  Did you know Panera bread is experimenting with a pay what you can model? The underlying philosophy is that business is an obligation. For example, Toyota has an obligation to providing the most cost effective automobiles, but that is not their mission. Toyota’s mission is to be your car company for life. Simple as that. In addition, me is now a business model.

careforpa.org

It is clear from the age of information that there lies an opportunity to learn anything you want. You can learn more than your doctor about something. That was almost impossible just 25 years ago. We revered doctors. Now they are a means for us to get our own medical treatment. We all have the ability to develop our own algorithm about whatever we want. Authority is no longer a thing. Been in a classroom lately? The students, with their access to hand held devices (calling them a phone is so last age) that can instantly reveal that the teacher doesn’t know everything.  Uh oh, teachers, embrace that or the students will send you packing! Be your own self authority.

 

 

Missed Part 1?

 

 

Resources:

ASCD 12 Virtual Resources: http://ascd.social27.com/ASCD/ASCD_Home

Watts Wacker’s web site:  www.firstmatter.com

Triz-Journal: http://www.triz-journal.com/

Joseph Kony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony

Kony 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kony_2012