July 30

Starting at page 100: My Skype With Paula Naugle

12-12-11-The-ever-awesome-Ms.-Paula-Naugle-4th-grade-teacherWhen I was young, my mother told me it was rude to ask a woman their age. I have always remembered that and for the most part, have adhered to it. However, today, as I skyped with the infamous Paula Naugle, I couldn’t help but wonder about her age. See, age plays an important role in her story.

 

A few years ago, Paula was considering retiring. She had put in 30 years of teaching, and admittedly was feeling the effects of burnout. She attended the 2004 ISTE conference for 3 days and walked away from the experience realizing that as much as she knew about education, she knew nothing about 21st Century, connected education. It peeked her curiosity and left her wanting more.

 

Fast forward five years to 2009 and Paula continued to provide the best education to her 4th graders in Louisiana. Yet she still didn’t feel connected. She revisited the concepts from her ISTE experience and put together a grant proposal to redesign her learning environment. She ended up winning the grant which was 15,000 dollars! She used the money to purchase netbooks, interactive white board, and other goodies.

 

paula-brenda-at-receptionPaula then connected with Jan Wells a fourth grade teacher from Kansas. They worked together for 4 years connecting their 4th graders on various assignments, before ever meeting in person. Once they did meet in person, it was like they had been reading the same book and were able to start at page 100. Paula credits Joan Young for coining that phrase describing when connected educators meet in person. “We end up knowing so much about each other online, that when we meet, we already know so much about each other,” said Paula.

 

plnaugle_1372958072_81Similar to most people who become connected, Paula lurked and learned on twitter and blogs for some time. She didn’t think she had much to offer, but that all changed as she learned and connected with other educators throughout the world. As you check out her blogs, wikis and twitter, you will see that she has so much to offer!

 

Paula is committed to helping educators get connected. She is a tireless leader and when she goes to conferences she makes sure to spend time in the “newbie” lounge. She loves to pay it forward! When connecting educators to social media, she often shows them the graphic on Jeff Utech‘ blog (The Thinking Stick).

 

As for the future of education, Paula wants to see a 10-15 minute social media period added to the school day. That way, no one will have an excuse for not having the “time” to connect and learn. Since Paula came out of her comfort zone of 30 + years in education, she feels that other educators will be able to do the same and that will have lasting impact on our understanding of learning. She sees blended learning opportunities  become more prevalent. Paula also sees education becoming more individualized.

 

And I listened to my mom…. I never asked Paula her age because we started the conversation on page 100.

 

Take a few minutes to watch Paula’s story in her own words.

 

Connect with Paula

on twitter

on her classroom blog

on her classroom wiki 

#4thchat (every Monday at 7pm CDT)

on her professional blog (no wonder her initials are PLN)

 

July 27

Dangerously Relevant: My Skype with Scott McLeod

McLeodMost of you know Scott McLeod from the legendary Shift Happens videos. I can remember being at an in-service a few years back and watching Version 1. I was mesmerized. I ended up showing to to 7th and 8th graders because I thought kids needed to know how quickly the world, their world was changing… “We are preparing students for jobs that don’t exist.” I can honestly say that the seed that was planted by Scott ended up eventually leading me to becoming a connected educator.

 

I was fortunate enough to sit down with Scott as he returned from San Francisco where he purchased Google Glasses. Scott said that he rarely jumps into new technology, but with the Google Glasses he couldn’t resist. He is excited about how the Google Glasses will enhance classroom instruction, observations, walkthroughs and instructional rounds. I asked him what he “saw” when he looked through… He said it looks like a computer display a few feet ahead of you.

 

mcleodtwitterspaceboy2

Scott’s twitter pic

I was joined on this skype with one of my 5th grade teachers, Ryan Hudson. Ryan and Scott hit it off immediately because Ryan is the type of teacher that Scott has created… innovative, risk taking, student centered, and grounded in 21st century instruction.

 

I asked Scott to talk about Shift Happens. It all started with Karl Fisch. Karl wanted to do a PD session on the changing nature of the world. All Scott did was clean up Karl’s video, shorten it and put it on his blog, and it went viral.. The rest is literally history… It’s been a wild run, 60 million viewers..So, I asked him if “shift” happened? He said its happening slowly…human, social, organizational factors continue to hold us back from truly shifting… Many are still not ready for it… Many are not ready for the shift!

 

Scott talked a great deal of the future of education. He sees a continued movement to one-to-one devices. More kids will have a device and wireless will be everywhere. In addition, Scott believes that more and more districts will realize that learning doesn’t have to tied to the school day…traditional hours, but rather a more open and flexible structure.

 

If schools and student learning will change, I had to follow up with a question about teacher Professional Development… Scott talked about the one size fits all model for learning and if its differentiated and individualized for students, then it must be for teachers. Social media will help with this he added.

SMcLeod

Scott is always hard at work!

Currently, Scott is working on two rather large projects. He is doing research on connected principals and how they use social media and web 2.0 tools. With that, he is working on a checklist for principals and administrators who want to become more connected. He is leaving no stone un-turned in this research. He will be looking at job descriptions, postings and matching that with day to day responsibilities. He really wants to learn more about how technology is really being used, and how districts are documenting the process.

 

Scott was such a personable guy. He really took time to talk with Ryan and I. In fact, he encouraged Ryan to look at the University of Kentucky Doctoral Program that he was influential in developing. Scott said that the UK program is an excellent opportunity for educators to earn a doctorate in School Technology Leadership.

Learn from Scott:
Scott McLeod’s website

Scott McLeod on Twitter 

Scott’s CASTLE Project 

 

What Scott and his Innovation Team are reading?
Influencer:The New Science of Leading Change 
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Touch?

July 20

Lead like a Cricket: My Skype with Joe Sanfelippo

joe s

Joe Sanfelippo District Lead Learner

I had the opportunity to skype with Fall Creek School District Superintendent Joe Sanfelippo the leader of the Crickets. I’m sure by now you have heard the crickets chirping through social media…. if not, you have to check out #gocrickets on twitter. In preparing for the interview, I had to brush up on my knowledge of crickets. I went to buzzle to research the characteristics of crickets and what I found was quite symbolic. Did you know that crickets can survive in almost any type of environment, and they play an important role in bringing balance to the ecosystem? #gocrickets!

 

Joe started his journey into social media as a better way to get information to people. He immediately saw the benefits of celebrating what is going in school and telling the story of his district. During his first year he “lurked” on twitter and was able to bring global ideas and best practices back to Fall Creek. As his comfort level grew with social media, Joe began to share the news with his fellow crickets.  He stayed true to his mission of being a servant leader… as he said, “If I am leading this organization, and I want others to be connected, I had to be learning along with everybody else. This learning helped me connect with parents, students and teachers in a much different way then I had before.”

 

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Everybody wants to be like Joe

In March, Joe attended the national ASCD conference in Chicago. It was during that conference he met many of the educators he had been following on twitter in person for the first time. He found out how much he had in common no matter where they were from. Joe and I met at that conference in Chicago and we attended the Maya Angelou Keynote together. Having been part of Joe’s PLN our conversation flowed naturally…. I felt like I had known him for 20 years!

I asked Joe to share his experiences as a connected superintendent (one of the least represented groups in the connected world). He says that his Board of Education is extremely supportive and loves how social media has helped the district improve its global awareness. The local media have covered several stories about the district which has served as an additional support network for the district. Joe balances his tweets between telling the crickets story on the athletic field, in the classroom, on the stage or on the playground.

 

Joe feels his job as the district lead learner is to help parents, teachers and students gain access to resources. He doesn’t mind leading the charge. Joe also sees the power of using social media to connect with his leadership mission and vision. “There is not a person who doesn’t know about my philosophies on education because of social media. It has opened up a whole new avenue of transparency and lines of communication,” he said enthusiastically.

 

599756_333598616731417_1888658378_nJoe also sees the power that social media plays in the marketing of his district. Kids tweet him questions during football games, and parents have immediate access to him. There is an renewed pride in being a Cricket. The Fall Creek School district, which is a PK -12 building with 800 kids, is the perfect location for Joe. Even though it is a small town in the mid-west part of the USA, the Crickets now have a global awareness due to Joe’s commitment of “telling the story.” Nowadays, wherever Fall Creek paraphernalia is, you are sure to see the #gocrickets!

 

When I asked Joe where he sees education in the  future he didn’t hesitate to say… Personalized learning. He hopes that in the future that students will have choice and voice in the process. He doesn’t see traditional schooling going away, it will get better. Schools are made of people who teach the way they were taught, and the systems keeps going on.

 

Want to learn more about Joe? Check out these resources

Follow Joe Sanfelippo on twitter

Joe Sanfelippo’s blog 

Follow the Crickets #gocrickets

Fall Creek Teachers on the Red Carpet 

News story on the new playground 

Joe Sanfelippo did his doctoral work on the implementation of PBIS…. Checkout this screencast

July 17

Why Innovation Matters

Source hubraleigh.com

Source hubraleigh.com

As educators we are faced with a myriad of challenges in the near future. As compared to our predecessors, there is an increased accountability, responsibility and workload in education. Principals have increased observations, walkthroughs and monitoring of student learning objectives. Teachers must ensure that their students are progressing as outlined by their state monitoring. Yet, despite all of this we must innovate. It is not a question of how, but more so why.

 

If you look at these changes in education as another excuse why you will have no time to innovate, then you are falling into the trap. If you are in a position of compliance, then guess what… you are short changing your most precious resources… students!

 

In order to innovate you have to look beyond the present. As an elementary school principal, I try to remind myself of the year the students will graduate high school. For instance, the little kindergartners that will be entering my building in September will part of the class of 2026. Wow, 2026. What will the world be like? That’s why we have to innovate!

source http://blog.lifespantechnology.com/

source http://blog.lifespantechnology.com/

As you plan for the upcoming school year make sure to remind yourself why innovation matters. You have kids, not widgets, that you have to educate. Don’t make excuses for everything you can’t do because of increased accountability, but rather innovate in spite of these changes. Your kids need you and we need you!

 

 

July 16

The Paradigm Shift: The Principal’s Evolving Role as Instructional Leader

Here is my PowerPoint for the presentation The Paradigm Shift: The Principal’s Evolving Role as Instructional Leader through the EIRC on July 17, 2013.

 

This workshop is designed to help school leaders find out how to…

  • Model 21st Century Leadership
  • Encourage staff to use tools to connect with parents and teachers
  • Redesign staff meetings to meet the needs of the common core
  • Make sense of digital curricula and how it impacts teaching and learning
  • Use data to drive school culture and climate
  • Use “Process-Centered” decision making

July 9

Richard Byrne: Free Technology for Everyone!

This is the second post in my summer 2013 series of people who are making a difference.

 

Richard_Byrne.2Picture being up in Maine, faced with opportunity of teaching a new subject and needing help….Where would you turn? Who would you turn to? In 2003, Richard Byrne was faced with these same questions and he turned to the internet. We all know the internet was much different back in 2003, but according to Richard, it was exactly what he needed, and exactly what his students needed.

 

Fast forward to 2013 and Richard Byrne has become an enigma in technology education. His blog, Free Technology for Teachers, has been viewed a gazillion times, has won Edublog awards since 2009, has over 5,000 followers on Google +, and has over 35,000 likes on Facebook. If you have never accessed the site, you have a lot of reading to do. As of July 9, 2013, Richard has 7,503 blog posts. Yes, 7,503 blog posts!

 

When I asked Richard to talk about his blogging process, he said that it has evolved over the years. At first, his posts were more about him, and now they are meant for his audience… us! In his first post on Free Technology for Teachers, Richard discussed his mission… to provide free resources for teachers to increase academic success. 7,502 posts later and Richard is staying true to his mission! In addition to being free, Richard ensures that his resources only take someone 10 -15 minutes to utilize and implement into their classroom. Yes, I said free!

 

richard byrne 3During the last year, Richard gave up his full time teaching position to focus on his blogging, speaking and consulting work. What started out as a labor of love, has afforded Richard the opportunity to travel around the world and meet amazing students and educators. He encourages new bloggers and web 2.0 users to keep going and be persistent. He also said that it is important to know why you want to blog and to stay true to that mission.

 

When I asked Richard about the future of education he did not hesitate to say, “We will see in a very short time the end of the computer lab.” He envisions an educational world that is focused on personalized learning devices to help student solve problems, access information and create something new. He doesn’t have particular advice for the platform (ie. mac vs PC) but rather he feels that districts should figure out what works best for their schools.

Take a look at this animoto about his recent trip to where the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp will be held:

Make your own slide show at Animoto.

 

Want to connect with Richard?

Twitter  

Facebook

Free Technology for Teachers 

Google+

 

July 8

Thought you should know about 2045

Are we ready for this?

I was recently made aware of the 2045 Initiative. Are you aware of this initiative? If not you should be…

I watched the GF2045 video. Basically, this video is a guidepost  to what the next 40 or so years will look like as we embark on a journey that will change the very nature of our existence. Although some of it may be far-fetched, there are many possibilities that we will experience in our lifetimes, and certainly in our children’s lifetimes. Take a few minutes to watch this video:

Hopefully this video and the web site has made you think about the changing paradigms in this world.

 

As educators, are we ready for this?

 

July 5

Blending the future of learning with Rich Kiker

This is the first edition of my summer 2013 Learning Project.

kikerTalking with Rich Kiker was like talking to one of my high school buddies…. He is energetic, focused, futuristic, passionate, funny and loves to push the envelope.  In fact, when I asked him what type of student he was in school, he laughed and said, “Terrible! I was more concerned with selling sneakers, fooling around, then I was in school. For me, school was boring!” Yes, Rich and I would have definitely hung out in high school (and college for that matter).

 

I actually first met Rich at Educon in January. He came into the session I was facilitating (with Dana Sirotiak and Danielle Hartman ). He immediately breathed light into the discussion and made this remark that stuck a chord with me… “We need to invest in bandwidth.” Simply stated. Passionately delivered. Yet, I understood exactly what he was referring to…. No matter the device, app or online tool, if your bandwidth is not large enough to support it, your 21st century learning opportunities are meaningless.

 

Rich is a risk taker. A few years ago he gave up the comfort of tenure and a full time teaching  job to start his own company, Kiker Learning. At Kiker Learning he built one of the most successful consulting businesses in education. He blends learning through face to face, online and hybrid. In addition to building Kiker Learning, he came back to the public education realm as the Director of Online Learning for the Palisades School District. Rich blends learning with the best of them!

 

kiker trainerAt Palisades, he works with the district to provide online learning opportunities for teachers, students and administrators. His vision is to meet the needs of the various stakeholders in a blended learning atmosphere. So whether kids want to take an elective, are Gifted and Talented, need remediation, or get assigned to a course, Rich ensures that their needs are met. Rich uses resources for the program such as K-12, Blackboard, edmodo and the Blended Schools Network. He believes that the online curriculum should complement the mission/vision of the public schools and address the common core as well as the local curriculum requirements. To me, Rich is creating a paradigm shift within the system by blending the learning.

 

kiker w peopleWhen I asked Rich to talk about the future of education, he wasted no time in telling me that it is in bandwidth! He used the example of how the global learner can learn from a kid in Singapore through YouTube, but if the bandwidth isn’t there, then how can they access it? Rich believes that the investment also needs to be in the Human Resources of a company. He thinks its time to “stop buying stuff” and move to a digital space. He sees MOOC’s as the opportunity to let students and teachers build the process of their learning. He sees great value in continuing the social aspect of schooling. Rich values the art of teaching and the important place a teacher and student have in the learning continuum.

 

The future of  learning is Blended through bricks and clicks.

Suggestions by Rich

  • Project Loon – Balloon powered internet for everyone
  • The Element – by Ken Robinson – A great read for finding your passion
  • Be Our Guest – Great read for understanding the importance of customer service
  • Google in Education – Check this out for learning opportunities beginning in August
  • MentorMob – An ambitious project to re-imagine how learning works
  • Seth Godin –  Linch Pin – Want to make yourself indispensable? Read this book!
  • Kiker Learning  – Rich’s online company that provides state of the art consultation