Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Arizona schools chief warns that ‘massive layoffs’ of teachers possible due to budget troubles

Arizona schools chief warns that ‘massive layoffs’ of teachers possible due to budget troubles:

The article begins with:

"PHOENIX — Arizona faces the prospect of large-scale layoffs of school teachers next year due to the state’s budget problems, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said.

He said the “massive layoffs” of teachers are possible even though school districts’ actual job cuts for the current school year fell short of reductions indicated by early layoff notices. The vast majority of those notices were rescinded, he said."

My comments:
This is the third article this week that I have seen about drastic measures that involve teachers in cuts and changes to working conditions as a result of budget cuts in the USA.

I will add links to articles about Hawaii and other states too.

More Sites2Review

Latest Sites2Review-Finally Finished

This is another " post-in-waiting" that I now have time to complete.

What do they have in common? The short answer is they have:
  • value to teaching particular subjects
  • relevance to esafety
Britney Wilkins wrote: Chartophiles and students, have you heard that Google has made it incredibly easy to generate your own slick-looking charts? It’s true, and all it takes to make one is the ability to read and edit a URL. This has made it possible to get creative with charts and wow the audience for your next classroom presentation. Read on to see what’s been done, and how you can easily do it yourself.

Creating Learning Platforms

This useful wiki resource states: There is a growing desire to rethink education and learning, and the phrase "School 2.0" is being used to think about what schools will look like in the future.

The edorigami is a very valuable resource blog and should be followed to maximise professional and student learning benefits. This is just one example, check out the whole site, especially the work on Bloom's Taxonomy.

Subject-related Learning Links, will enhance teacher learning.

Last but not least, this website provides a wealth of resources for K-12 science educators, Science NetLinks is your guide to meaningful standards-based Internet experiences for students.

Latest on Google Tools (3)

Google SketchUp Teacher Guide full of fun activities.

Google Squared: a Complete Guide, a recent post on Tom Barrett's wonderful blog.

Google liberalises Google Docs
Google wrote: "A couple weeks ago, the Google Docs team launched a multi-file uploader to make it much easier for you to put files into the cloud. Today we’re launching a new feature to make it much easier to get your content out: “Convert, Zip and Download.”

More tips for Google use can be found at these sites:
100+ Google Tools that will Save you Time in Schools
This blog has a number of posts relating to Google tools.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sites2Review - latest best from the Blog and Twittersphere

via@larryferlazzo on Twitter

Creative Kids Central is a very interesting music creation interactive.

Another wonderful NASA product, Planet Quest is a multimedia timeline of space exploration that begins at 500 B.C

The Fantastic Food Challenge is from Michigan State University and has four engaging online games designed to teach various aspects of food health and nutrition. This page has the link to play the online games.

If you aren't following Larry Ferlazzo's blog you are missing on a day to day basis, some of the best educational sites for students. He provides in his daily email a short review of each site.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

UK Learning Resources - So many Gems ...

I take a look at UK websites every couple of months.
Many Local Education Authority (LEA) websites have well-developed education pages and resource collections. They are often called "Learning Grids". Here are a few:

Cumbria and Lancashire Education Online

North West Learning Grid is a regional body consisting of 18 Local Authority Members who can access licenced content as well as the many free resources we make available to schools nationally.

They have also produced this valuable resource on digital media literacy.

The South East Grid for Learning

Yorkshire & Humber Grid for Learning

In this area you can find NEN Teaching and Learning resources. Enter a keyword in the search box to the right to search for resources or use the Grid below to find the resources that you need quickly and easily by Subject Area and Key Stage.

A nifty resource that is not a LEA:
Material World
This eLearning resource has been created by the Museum Network. The Network is a partnership of five museums, one national and four regional, that work together on the care, presentation and use of its collections, including digital and on-the-ground projects for schools.

I'll back to update you on other UK learning grids and resources over the coming months. If you pass by here and want to help me find these best, leave your finds in comments.

Exploring UK Local Education Authority (LEA) Websites

Over the past years, about once every 6 months, I have done a quick tour of all UK LEA websites.

What the heck for ... you might wonder? Well, it is simple. The UK in general and some LEAs in particular have been developing fabulous learning resources for many years.

I really enjoy checking out new developments on the many Learning Grids across the country.

I was reminded again today of how many valuable and often interactive websites there are already and more being designed as I write.

ArtisanCam is one I saw tweeted today.

In the coming weeks, I will post about all the interesting websites I rediscover in my LEA tour.

I am up to R and have collected about ten of the best so far to write about.

If I only had the time and inclination ...

I would love to write more about the links I share on Twitter.

I have just finished up a couple of draft blog posts that go back to August, so I know that TIME to write more is unlikely to materialise any time soon.

At the same time, I am aware that it may be more than just being time-poor. Maybe it is worse. Perhaps, I have finally reached the time in my career when I just don't have a great desire or motivation to do more.

In spite of this, I am still quite active and all the information, that I "pull" to me each day still makes it easy to be a little productive without a huge energy or time commitment.

Check out my tweets and join the chat of DET twitterati via #DERNSW and #DETNSW

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

How much should schools filter Internet content? | Edutopia

How much should schools filter Internet content? | Edutopia:
The article states:
"The vast majority of schools receive some form of government funding for their computers, which requires them to filter obscene Internet materials. But whether intentionally or due to confusion about the technology, schools frequently set their Internet filters so broadly that they block not just pornography but also mainstream sites like MySpace, as well as wikis and reproductive-health resources."

My comments:
The context is the USA. It is worth looking at the poll.
For the many issues and risks associated with using the internet during school hours, this poll is a little simplistic.

Still, the topic is keenly discussed at the moment and everyone has some view.

Monday, 12 October 2009

The Social Media Golden Triangle

The Social Media Golden Triangle

Dan Beldowicz @danbeldowicz wrote: "If you have been baffled and confused and just don't know where to start with social media, you must not have heard of the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle was lost thousands of years ago... Wait! That's a different story, this one was discovered within the past two years!

This is a story of how the Social Media Golden Triangle can completely transform the way you communicate with your clients and customers and your business. We all know that economic times have changed. You have been hearing about Social Media, Social Networking, Viral Video and many other social media outlets that you wish you could leverage and turn into business.

What I'm about to discuss is nothing new, but it is a strong force that if used properly, will change the course of your business.

You have undoubtedly heard a lot of hype and hoopla around Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. These three sites make up "The Social Media Golden Triangle". Now is the time to put them to work for your business. Using the Golden Triangle can help you identify, attract, and interact with your target audience. This powerful combination of websites can take you from just barely surviving to thriving in the current economy."

This is a must-follow and develop concept. Lately, I have also seen this notion explored in a triangle with broader concepts at each angle. I am still trying to relocate this diagram ...

Read Dan's post and think about the ways to explore the idea. For education, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as discrete sites won't fly in K-12 education. At the same time, the power and potential of connectivity and interactivity is what is significant.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

How Speakers Should Integrate Social Into Their Presentation � Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing

How Speakers Should Integrate Social Into Their Presentation � Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing:

Jeremiah wrote: "Whether you’re a professional speaker, company representative, or panelist at a conference, you must develop a social strategy during your speaking.

The Audience Continues To Gain Power Over Speakers
A few years ago, the first major eruption occurred from the audience hijacking the attention at SXSW during an ill-fated interview on the main stage. Even weeks ago, Kanye’s debacle was commented on by Twittering attendees despite them not even having the mic.

This week, an audience revolt happened at the Higher Education Conference, you can read about it here, here, here and here. Although I was miles away, I was watching it unfold in real time on Twitter search –I felt horrible for that speaker who likely didn’t even know what was happening till someone posted his phone number on Twitter and people were texting him how horrible he had done. Ouch, the audience was vindictive and felt injured and wanted to get back."

My comments: This post gives a number of useful tips for presenting to any audience. The time has come, people don't have to listen, they can talk publicly amongst themselves on a backchannel.

Glad my presentation days are over ...

Paula White has also some useful Tips for Presenting.

drezac: Google Apps for Education and the Teacher's Process

drezac: Google Apps for Education and the Teacher's Process

@drezac wrote: "As teachers, we all use Gagne's steps, for the most part, but what I've found is most teachers may not even remember where these steps came from, me included, until recently: American Educational Psychologist Robert Gagne.

Gagne's steps were based around the Information Processing theory, where the goal was to maximize retention of knowledge (most likely- rote knowledge)."

I like this post since it is firmly about quality teaching. It is in the same category as Andrew Church's fine work with Bloom's Taxonomy.

Our focus as teachers should always remain with how any tool will improve our teaching and student learning.

This post based on Gagne's work is a must-read.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Expressions to Eliminate from our Professional Dialogue

Terms and concepts that appear to have passed their use by date

Computer and computing linked with: room, education

Technology linked with: education, fluency, infusion, integration,

Even the (over)use of ICT should be evaluated. For instance:
Integrate ICT

This list is just the beginning ...

Just me thinking about why we still use these words and concepts ...