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Ed Tech Thoughts on the Space Coast
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Ed Tech Thoughts on the Space Coast


How Do We Prepare Students for Today?

Interesting question– at least to me Winking

How much did the technology savviness of President-elect Obama (and his staff) affect his campaign’s success?

If it was a major factor...
What does this say about the kind of education our students should be receiving?

Are our students sitting in classrooms more like Barak Obama’s technology infused world,

or like the classroom that John McCain sat in?

News clipping:


Obama's High-Tech Win Holds Lessons for Ed
His campaign's unprecedented use of technology shows schools and colleges how to inspire communities, mobilize support

Fri, Nov 14, 2008
By Maya T. Prabhu, Assistant Editor

As educators continue to reflect on President-elect Barack Obama's historic victory in the Nov. 4 election, many are looking at the Obama campaign's unprecedented use of technology to mobilize support and wondering what lessons their schools and colleges might learn from his success.

Observers have credited Obama's success in no small part to his campaign's innovative use of technology--including blogging, text messaging, and online social networks--to connect with younger voters and get them excited about politics and the election.

"We've done a huge amount of organizing using the internet, and we've used new technology in ways that really captured young voters' attention," Obama spokeswoman Kirsten Searer told the Associated Press (AP) for a Nov. 3 story.

Obama's Facebook page had 2.6 million supporters, and he had 850,000 MySpace friends. The campaign also relied on text messages to communicate with voters, finding that short blurbs were an effective way to advertise campaign stops and early voting locations.

Exit polls had the youth turnout, voters between the ages of 18 and 29, at its highest since 1972--and 66 percent of these young voters cast their votes for Obama.

Young voters reportedly accounted for 18 percent of the 133 million votes cast. This occurred in a year when a Pew Research Center poll found that nearly half of Americans between 18 and 29 used the internet as their major source of election news in 2008. Only 17 percent of youth voters said they got their election coverage from newspapers.

more of the article


Getting Engaged

It is so easy to complain...

Ruts are really quite comfortable. I have been down this path before, I know where it leads...

Kids today don’t want to learn. They don’t pay attention. They are so rude!

Maybe they can’t see me down here in this rut...

AM I READY for something new? AM I WILLING TO TRY?

Whattle You Wordle?

I was reminded by one of my personal learning community Twitterfolk (thanks Stephanie Cheney!) today of the fresh ways we can look at things through the lens of technology.

I have played around with this website a number of times and really enjoyed the fresh way of looking at an essay, news article or report. The website is called Wordle- you copy and paste the verbal content (words) of a section of writing, it does word counts and determines the most commonly written or spoken words. The website then creates a visual representation (graphic) of these words with the words that were mentioned most frequently proportionately larger than words that were just mentioned once or twice.

So last night we had a Vice Presidential Candidate Debate: Joseph Biden versus Sarah Palin. Viewers were awash in a sea of words, and one might want to know at the end of the debate, what were the most frequently spoken words. Wordle to the rescue! BBC took the transcripts of the two candidates, let Wordle perform it’s magic and here is what they got in return:
(click the graphics below to view the full Wordle)

(read original article)

Interesting- ehh?

Now how could you use this website in your classroom?

Whattle YOU Wordle?

addendum: Stephanie Cheney visited and left a comment below recommending this blog post for more Wordle in the Classroom Ideas


So different... I expect different results

Early this month I had the opportunity to do some work with a team of nine other Apple Professional Development trainers in Upper Township, New Jersey. They were rolling out a teacher laptop program and they really wanted to capitalize on the excitement of new modern mobile technology. Each teacher was getting a Smartboard System and MacBooks.

What really set this training apart was that in all ten of the training rooms, there was a district administrator participating in the workshop. Not so much supervising as participating. From the superintendent down to the dean... participating.

What does the administration communicate by doing this?

  • I am a lifelong learner.
  • I don’t know it all.
  • This training is important.
  • Your time here is important.
  • I am interested in this.
  • I want to know what is possible.
  • I want to see how hard this is.
  • I want to know how this could impact learning in our school system.

I really expect the results of this training are going to be very different from most trainings I do, because this district knows how to lead by example.

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Ok, here it is, we just finished the annual battery of high stakes testing for our 7th and 8th grade students at Stone Middle School. A tremendous amount of energy, stress, and consternation have led up to this - the new epicenter of each school year.

What is it that educators really are battling with? Educators in battle with a culture that devalues education in favor of appearance, escapism, sports, sex, entertainment, etc. Students that don't know why they are at school – except because society has sentenced them to what is arguably no longer a privilege.

And here we are again in the cycle that asks that impossible question - how successful are you as an educator? What is the measure of your success? It has been said before but is worth repeating:

The business of education is not like other industries that can be measured merely with a return-on-investment spreadsheet that declares the number of widgets produced - and the profit margin on those widgets.

Yet we rely on the best measures that we have – the standardized test. And to prepare these students – because we all know that test taking is a skill – we have spent many of our instructional hours preparing, reviewing, and practicing taking tests. So what does it really mean?

With a tip of the hat to fellow educator and blogger: Barry Bachenheimer -


Finally Back

It has been a struggle to take time out to write anything meaningful in this blog. I have got to get beyond the idea that it has to be revolutionary to be expressed.

Been marking off the "First I Gottas" before installing Leopard (Mac OS 10):
  • Upgrade memory on my MacBook Pro: 4 GB
  • Purchase a Terrabyte Firewire 800 Drive for running Time Machine (see below)
  • Clone my harddrive to an external firewire drive.
  • Upgrade harddrive in my MacBook Pro: 250 GB
  • Install the latest flavor of OS X - Leopard.
  • Migrate the my old user folder and extra applications.
  • Keep my old (smaller) MacBook Pro drive in a portable USB drive with my "new laptop" so I can recover any missing serial numbers, etc. Gasp
Very pleased so far. Struggled a bit with completing the first complete Time Machine backup. It "stopped" in the middle of a few efforts and a few times I had to disconnect it to go someplace.