It’s all going to work out

I am so tired.Cat_6

Our internet has been sporadic all week, which means I didn’t get anything accomplished. I started a resource wiki and then lost everything. I would begin a Tweet and then click send only to find out it wouldn’t go. I would set up a time for the fourth-graders to finish their Voice Threads and find out we didn’t have internet access.The college counselor couldn’t get her transcripts printed since we use an online database. Everyone just keeps asking WHEN it will be fixed. People have been unhappy.
It’s amazing how much we rely on the internet to do our work.
By the end of today, we had pretty much decided it was a Denial of Service attack. Yeah, really. How did this happen? How do we fix it? It’s going to be interesting, for sure.
Tonight, I finally settled down to my HOME internet access and checked email to find a note from the crew at VodPod. I had been discouraged to find out that their site had been classified as pornogr@phy, so our filter was blocking it at school. It’s my favorite way of saving videos to my website, so I mentioned it in a response to a general email sent out to all subscribers. Well, I received a personal response, saying they would check into to it for me. I was impressed!
Anyway, as eager as I am to get some of our projects up and running (ie a chat with Matt’s people about the PBS Frontline special and this project with Kim Cofino), I know that we need to fix the problem first. And getting frustrated won’t help. So I’m going to relax and enjoy the weekend…it will be there to worry about on Monday, but eventually it will all work out.

A new year, a change of heart

I was getting somewhat discouraged the weeks before break.
There was that student editorial in the school newspaper asking that teachers stop assigning so much work with technology. Then a few random comments about tech overload from teachers frustrated me. Finally, because exams and grades were around the corner,  people seemed too busy to even answer emails. I wondered if I had been taking the right approach in trying to motivate and encourage people to use technology as a strategy in their teaching.
But a break is a wonderful thing.
Today, our second day back, brought several teachers to my door asking for help with Voice Thread and Google Earth. An email I sent today announcing a PD opportunity for RSS and Google apps was answered with 5 teachers signing up –two weeks ahead of time. I had a great meeting with the student I am mentoring for senior exhibit. And the discussion I had with the head of our upper school about teaching and integrating technology left me feeling supported, excited, and energized.
Ok, then. Back to work everyone. We are on track!

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I think I’ve got it…

I’ve been struggling to keep myself organized. Google shared files? Bookmarks? Print and file? Google notebook? Backpack?
But now I think I have a system.
Google Reader and Twitter are my PLN priorities. When I first turn on my laptop, that’s where I go. I can zip through my blogroll pretty quickly, and I have pulled my Tweets into my reader, so I can go back and see if there’s something I’ve missed without spending a lot of time. (If I’m not sure, I star it for a while.)
If I like the article or post and want to easy access to it, I share it. Then, it’s readily available in my shared file as well as on my blog sidebar.
A new application? A quote that moves me? It goes into Tumblr right here. It’s not pretty, but it’s efficient.
Videos for professional development? Vodpod is the answer. Plus there’s a cool widget for my blog.
For links I want to keep for future use, I save to my account. I haven’t changed the name on it since I changed my name, but it works. Plus I can create a fairly wide network of saved files from others.
Items that will be handy for professional development workshops, I also save to Google Notebooks so I can work with the information. That info is easily pasted into wikis or blog posts.
Photos get saved to Flickr and Picassa. I haven’t decided which one I like better. Music? Right now it’s iTunes, but I’m thinking of moving here.

Now, let’s hope it sticks.

What have you changed your mind about? Why?

From the blog, Language Hat, I read this: has published their Annual Question (which they ask a bunch of smart people), and this year it’s "What have you changed your mind about? Why?"

The answers, coming from "some of the most interesting thinkers of our world," are thought-provoking. For example, Douglas Rushkoff, a media analyst, wrote that he thought the internet would change people. Instead, he writes, "Sadly, cyberspace has become just another place to do business."

I will be spending a lot of time on this site.

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Making that list


I am not a big list maker. But on this first day of the new year, I think a list is in order.
Trying to define and re-define my job (instructional tech coordinator) at our 1:1 school this year has been challenging. However, having the time to read, research, play with new tools, and work with teachers has been a gift. I want to continue that.
And I now have some specific goals and a direction.


  • Meet with each department to discuss their concerns and see how I can help. Often those full faculty meetings don’t meet individual needs. I hope to develop an instructional tech committee with reps from each department. We’ll meet regularly to share successes (and failures). Having a spokesperson from each department spreads the wealth of knowledge and energy.
  • Finalize speaking date with Gardner Campbell. He has agreed to talk to our teachers about what’s happening in higher ed. (And what he is doing is thoughtful, powerful stuff. )
  • Organize a parent workshop to explain what we are doing in class as well as offer some hands-on opportunities to set up an RSS feed, etc. A Tech Fest kind of thing?
  • Get those fourth-graders to respond to their Voice Threads over here
  • Attend EduCon!


  • Organize a professional development opportunity for the faculty following Matt’s lead.
  • Set up some Skype calls with our foreign language teachers and teachers here.
  • Propose an elective class for our upper school students inspired by this
  • Register for this!

It’s a start.