Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Not all agree that the Kindle will be a success!

The "gadget" I referred to yesterday certainly has been popping up in a lot of places. Here is a counterpoint to the potential success of the Kindle from Amazon. I can see the point about people not being ready to read novels on this gadget, but I wonder if that is because my preference would be to still have the feel of the book. It makes more sense to me to fall asleep clutching the book (as I have often done) than this cold piece of machinery. When the price drops and novels are available at $9.99, however, it would make me think twice about the importance of cuddling with the book.

But, I wonder about the kids in our schools. Is reading on a device more "comfortable", more "natural" to them than packing around a back-breaking bag from class-to-class and back home? I don't have the answer, but I lean towards the belief that this gadget or probably one of the next generation of this gadget will have a significant impact on how we do business. With that being the case I believe that we should be exploring this and the many other "gadgets" available to support learning and teaching.

Another example is this new computer from Asus that Dawn shared with me. At $399 (they now have a $300 model) , this machine and others being developed and in the market will force us to think about what we can and will put into the hands of our students. This price is about one-fourth the cost of the machines we have placed at the middle schools and high school. Wonderful opportunties await us as we continue to shift our focus to instruction and the support of learning and teaching. What are you doing to personnaly keep informed in this "new" area of our work? What exciting things are happening in your work environments with technology?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Choosing Innovations for Focus

I'm finally back after much frustration in trying to figure out why I couldn't access my blog. Much thanks to Ben in the tech department for walking me through a very easy fix. I still don't understand how I messed up. I learned another lesson though, ask for help more quickly and stop treating this like being lost on a road trip. Oh well, old habits are hard to change.

In catching up on the blogs I read I wanted to share this one (go to the second entry on convergence in this blog) with you. How do we stay abreast of all these changes? How do we prioritize what to focus on considering all the innovations out there and being planned? The potential is unlimited if we break out of TTWWADI and think about how these tools can support learning and teaching. This one is about e-paper and a smart pen that is due out soon. Can and will it replace traditional paper? It certainly opens up many possibilities and forces the question around what should we be doing with it?

Again, this is only one there are so many more out there. It reinforces the for me the need to continue to learn and to find ways to bring meaning and excitement to the classroom for students.

Well, enough for now have a great day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Seahawks and Performance Centers

I just got home from the Seahawks game. If we could play the 49'ers every game we would be better than 5 and 4. It was cold, but winning makes it easier to persevere. An added treat was our cheerleaders participating in the half time show. They were great!

On the way home we passed the new complex being built on the lake to house the Seahawks headquarters and training center. It is large and impressive. I wonder if we could get Paul Allen to help us with our proposed performance center? In case you don't know, we are gaining some momentum on this project. Council member Dunn recently made a pitch to Representative Reichert in Washington D.C. and we have a meeting scheduled with the Governor's husband, a veteran who is active in those circles. We also have contacts in Senator Murray's office with the potential for a grant writer to assist us in finding grant money. This is an exciting opportunity as we seek partners to support our needs and those of the National Cemetery.

If only Paul Allen would come on board this thing might get done before I retire for real.

Well, enough for now. Have a great day.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Are We As Bad As Some Would Lead Us to Believe?

I ran across this report in one of the blogs that I read. It caught my attention because I have over the last couple of years been one of those that has used data about competition with China and India and the lack of engineering students in our country in presentations to staff and community. This review and reading the abstract have reinforced the questions that I struggle with when reading Pink's A Whole New Mind and the many reports about what young people need for success in an unpredictable future.

Where will all these engineering students work and is there incentive to enter this field in the absence of quality work upon graduation? Where will young people not wanting to pursue math and science find opportunity for success in life, including financially? If what Pink and this report are saying is true, what does it mean for how we structure our young people's learning opportunities? How do we provide guidance to young people who will enter a world we may not be able to predict?

The opportunities we have are endless as we struggle with this information and identify how to create learning environments that focus on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they will need for success post K-12 learning and work. If you question the focus on math and science and believe that this is only one of the areas of focus necessary to prepare them for their world, this review and the report will support your beliefs and provide you with information to engage others around what is important in our work.

Well, enough for now. Have a great day.