Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Year, New Perspective, Off and Running

First, I apologize for the long break in my writing. I had hope over the holidays to begin to post but I have been processing a lot of information and struggling with where we are and where we are going to the point of feeling overwhelmed. I did not even read any blogs because I did not want to get excited over another idea that I might not be able to implement.

Finally though I have regained a perspective and I am ready to look toward the future.

We have reviewed our growth over the last 4 months and there is much to celebrate. We have said that we are on a journey from 0 to 60 in 6 months. While my vision may have included “lassoing the moon” ( thus my frustration) the faculty and staff have accomplished truly great things . I invite those who might visit here to celebrate with us our journey. It is a long journey and every so often we need to look back to see how far we have come. Any comments or encouragement will be passed on to the teachers!

July of 2006

4 members of the staff attend NECC and the ISTE Institute

August 2006

Faculty in service-

What does it mean to teach and learn in the 21st century- Is it fundamentally any different than in the 20th century?

Watched Thomas Friedman’s MIT lecture on The World is Flat

Reorganized our K-8 school into learning academies

Primary Learning Academy

Intermediate Preparatory Academy

Junior High Information Technology Preparatory Academy

Sept. 2006 to present ( some of what we have done)

  • Computer lab reconfigured to a classroom layout
  • We disposed of our Pentium Computers with either 32 or 64 megs of ram and 3 gig hardrives were replaced with industry cast offs that are Pentium 3 800 meghertz with 10 gig hardrives and 256 ram—These at least are adequate for our needs----
  • Went from computers gathering dust to a full utilization of the lab by classroom teachers (tech support but no lab teacher)
  • Purchased to LCD projectors and two lap top computers which are in constant use by teachers and now students. Who are learning the ins and outs of good presentations.
  • Introduced open source software- specifically Open office
  • All teachers have read educational blogs and left some comments on student work from around the world
  • All teachers have been introduced to RSS and have written at least one blog entry
  • A classroom has signed up for e-pals
  • Grades 5 to 8 have worked on internet literacy and talked about the validity of web sites
  • 6 to 8 are beginning scribe activities
  • Students in Grade 7 have tried their hand at creating a wiki
  • Grades 6- 8 have been given online access to their grades and homework through personal passwords
  • Grades 6- 8 each student has a blog and they are just beginning to see some action as of this writing
  • Teachers in 6-8 have designed a cross curricular unit based on Romeo and Juliet which will encourage blog activity across the subjects
  • We established a Moodle site and we are beginning to build content..
  • 5 Teachers attending California CUE conference in March


Clarence said...

Wow. Congratulations to you and your staff. It is amazing how it all adds up when you put it all together. Your hard work is paying off and I hope you can see that. Sometimes being in the middle of a situation, it is difficult to see our successes.

Anonymous said...

If you were awed by Friedman's Flat ...
please read a different POV:

Best wishes,

Tom said...

Sounds like you've been busy! Glad you're back at your blog to let us know what's happening. Best wishes as people apply their new tools and skills to creating lots of great new ways to learn together! btw I'm something of a "world is spiky" person too, so glad to see the comment from scottie.

Barbara said...

Thanks everyone for your encouragement and for still watching my blog- (it is good to know you are out there) even though it took me a while to write.

Scottie I will checkout the links.Thanks for the heads up. I got Friedman's book on CD for Christmas so I have been listening in the car and hearing new things.

More to come very soon....

Scott McLeod said...

Barbara, you're rolling right along. Can we add you to our list of known principal blogs? If so, send me the info we need for the spreadsheet? Dr. Scott McLeod, http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org, http://www.scottmcleod.net/contact