Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tired out Teachers

As a facilitator, my job is to make a teachers life easier, by showing introducing and training them on how to use different technologies in the classroom.  What is so very frustrating is that sometimes I have to literally become a sales person in order to meet with teachers.  I don't know how to spell it out any differently, but if you are a "tired out teacher" because you have to grade papers, call parents, make copies, coral kids, figure out what to teach next, etc, then try to take advantage of all of the technology that is out there.  I offer it free to my teachers and I still don't get 100% buy in.  There are awesome sites like Glogster in which kids can create digital posters.  Sites like Polleverywhere, where kids can use there cell phones to text in answers.  Tons and tons of digital story-telling sites like comic creator and story bird.  Podcasting to clone yourself, so you can be at 2 places at the same time.   I understand completely that you are asked to do too much...but you can make it easier on yourselves by taking advantage of technology that is available.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kids and Kombat

With the release of Mortal Kombat 9 yesterday, I had to write a post about it.  I was having a conversation at lunch, where a teacher bought this video game yesterday and her 5 year old boy was playing with his dad!  Now I know that everyone has a right to parent their child in their own way, but Mortal Kombat?? Look at the trailer:

I have to admit, I am a fan of Mortal Kombat, but I also have a toddler at home and thinking about the future, I don't think that I would allow him to play this game at 5 years old!  Did you see yesterday that a kindergarten student brought a loaded gun to school and it injured himself and others?  This behavior also has a lot to do with parenting.  And if I as parent choose to not allow my son to play these games, but he goes to school and learns about it from other kids whose parents do allow them to play these violent games, what should my reaction be?  To me, you have to be really conscious and aware of what is fiction and real. A 5 year old may have that ability, but most of them that I know have amazing imaginations...most of the time thinking that what they imagine could be real!  It's heartbreaking to see little kids exposed to this type of violence and desensitized to death.  It makes me think why some people may not appreciate the sacrifice of our past and present soldiers or dare I say the sacrifice of Jesus.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Educational Funding

I was recently reading a news story of 50 buses that drove to the Capital (Denver) and rallied to not cut funding for K12 education (  I understand the importance of funding, but when the state does not have any money and needs to make cuts to balance the budget, what are they supposed to do?  Is this a tax payer problem?  Is it a education problem?  I am not sure what the answer is, but it seems that they could have written an e-mail, sent 1 bus up there with several bus drivers aboard and still delivered the same message.  This trip cost that school district over $5000.  In my opinion that is not a wise use of tax payer dollars.  It seems that North Dakota is one of the only states that is being responsible with their money and they actually have a surplus!  I know a lot of the mess that we are in comes from the Federal government and works its way down, but we are in this situation and school districts are going to have to do more with less.  They are going to have come up with innovative ways to teach students on a low budget.  Students are going to have to start copying notes and work sheets instead of copies being printed out, more students will have to ride a bike or get a ride to school.  Professional development opportunities will have to be transformed into professional learning communities and sharing ideas between grade levels.  It can be done and students can still achieve!