Thursday, February 19, 2009

Exit Slip, 2.19.09

Re: Steve Langford

Steve's dilemma is widespread among districts, I imagine. Fortunately, our district is a better place, for the time being. Four or five years ago, however, our administrative team was frustrated with the state of technology in our district - equity among buildings and out-of-date equipment - and we decided that it was time to make technology a top priority. The decision was made to create a 5-year roll-out plan of new computers. In only three years we have been able to replace every computer and with the tech budget in years 4 and 5 we have focused purchases on software, Promethean Activboards, and training. Of course, in light of current budget cuts, we will likely see this tech plan revised. We will likely have to make do with what we have for some time. For our district to achieve this success we had to make tech a high priority.

Homework, 2.12.09

Don's presentation was very informative - curious perspective he has about his trade. I enjoyed his insights and completely agree that our website needs work. However, we are simply happy to have a working site; we attempted on several occasions to get a student to maintain our web site (as their senior project), but there were problems with follow-through. Additionally, our tech department had concerns with security. Today one of our teachers has taken on the task of managing our site and she does a very good job.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Exit Slip 2.5.09

This evening's aha for me was an overwhelming feeling as I am exposed to more and diverse technology - programs, tools, etc. There seems to be so much that I need to learn and each day that amount grows, that I feel I never know where to begin - almost as if I am watching the tech revolution pass me by as I attempt to discover where I should jump on/in. It is frustrating to think that I might spend time trying to learn something new in technology only for that technology to become obsolete (or upgraded with the newest version) during the time of my learning! Will I ever be able to get caught up? One thing at a time, I suppose.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

1.29.09, Exit Ticket

Today's speaker, Scott, shared a remarkable program at BSD. I am excited to share his information, web site, etc. with our own video productions instructor. Our own instructor at THS is gifted and has high aspirations for his students, and I could invision his program growing and incorporating some of the aspects of the BSD program.

As we sat in groups this evening and discussed our readings it became apparent to me that I have some concerns about where technology is heading, seemingly unchecked at times (mostly). I found myself stating that I am wary of the future - the future in which technology dominates our lives, in and outside of the schoolhouse. Maybe it is the images formed years ago as I read Orwelle's "1984". Probably unreasonable, but profound for me. It was comforting, however, that others in the group understood my point.

Looking forward to next week's class.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

TED Video, 1.22.09

What a fascinating video. I completely understand how the remoteness of a setting can impact the quality of a child's education. Our community is remote geographically; we are an isolated community which makes living and working there a unique experience. In Tillamook, we have struggled, for example, to improve our teacher retention. This year, as a recipient of the Chalkboard Foundation's grant, we are developing an incentive program to retain teachers new to our district. We have studied the past retention rates and average slightly greater than 50% retention of new teacher in the past 5 years. We are challenged to vie for the best teachers, the teachers that want to live in the urban areas, and typically earn a greater wage than teachers in Tillamook. We have to be creative. In fact, there is a common statement in our district regarding new teachers: if we can find them a house and a spouse, they will stay!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reflection Question

Reflection Question Blog, 1.15.09

My personal experience with technology:

When I graduated from high school, my parents did not own a computer, as computers were not quite ready to be mass marketed. I can recall my first papers in college, writing them on an electric typewriter. It was not long, though, that my parents bought an Apple home computer, maybe a IIe, with a tiny screen! In 30 years, computers have become commonplace, like ordinary home furnishings, they have also grown exponentially in their storage capacity and processing speed. In one generation, our society, our world, has changed profoundly. I can recall talking to my math students some years back about the Technological Revolution in which they were living; they had no concept of the changes going on around them as they were a part of that change, and they had no previous experience to compare. We are still living this Revolution.

Today, technology is ingrained in our lives, in our work, in our play. I spend a significant part of my day on the computer, entering and analyzing data, communicating with families and coworkers, and gathering information. I have no idea how my job compares to the job 10, 20 years ago. But I do know that we have a heavy reliance on technology, and I wonder if it is too great a reliance, at times. I have not found using technology such a great source of pleasure, however. I don't enjoy sitting at the computer searching for information, for example. I also don't enjoy the many computer generated games (Wii, xbox, etc.) as my children do. Maybe I have not embraced technology; I certainly have not tapped into its potential. I prefer, on any day, to pick up the newspaper and sit on the couch to catch up on the news; I also prefer to spend my free time outside, enjoying nature. There is no replacement for real life!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Love and Hate in the world of Technology!!!

The one thing I find most useful about technology is the instant communication that is possible. I also love the fact that communication with many people is much easier - no more memos on paper to spread about the building. The instant communication has shrunk our world.

Hate is a strong word, but I do hate to see people texting while they drive. This activity is incredibly irresponsible, yet you see people of all walks of life doing it. Grown parents with kids in the car . . . and the parent is driving while texting. I've seen it and I was speechless. I also have concerns that with the widespread use of cell phones and email, that society will suffer as we engage in less face-to-face communication. Where will this technology take our society? Will we grow closer together or farther apart?

Logging off