Rework and TPS Reports

Ever been victim to what is portrayed in the Rework video below? Ever been the one who was responsible for such a waste of time?

If you are a school administrator, don’t be a Lumbergh. Make sure what you are asking your people to do is absolutely worth their time and will have a positive impact on your students.

Do yourself and your fellow co-workers a big favor by accomplishing these two items:
1) Read the book Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.
2) Watch the movie Office Space.

Both will increase your humanity and humor.

Super Heroes Week: Celebrating and sharing fun at school

My Pre-K classes enjoyed some Super Heroes fun this week. This video captures some of that fun. (I thought Batman had a great part in this film.)

This video was very easy to make. All was recorded on an iPad, produced in iMovie for iPad, and then shared to our school’s YouTube channel. I’ll push it out to parents through a quick update email and by placing it on our school’s Facebook page.

Craig Badura shares similar information in his post over at Comfotably 2.0. Love the line from his post that says, “There are lots of great things happening in your school district or classroom right now. Are you telling those stories? If you don’t start telling those stories, someone else will!”

Let’s Stop Talking about Teaching with Technology, and Start Talking about Teaching

Please check out the full post from Krista Moroder.

Good teachers do more than just teach content. When people tell me that they are afraid that computers will eventually replace teachers, I laugh- because the only teacher that a computer could replace is the one who is simply marching students through hoops towards a standardized test.

Good teachers create authentic learning experiences for their students by building rich, performance-based assessments. Good teachers encourage students to solve problems and take an active role in their own learning. Good teachers teach skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and curiosity. Good teachers know how to create learner-driven environments where failure is considered learning and persistance is an expectation. Good teachers know how to inspire students and build a love for learning that can last a lifetime.

And good teachers don’t necessarily need to use technology to do that.

More thoughts on McLeod’s guiding questions for schools

Dr. Scott McLeod wrote this post earlier this fall about guiding questions that education stakeholders should have in mind when considering the work of schools. I think we all recognize that our system of education is in a state of flux right now, so what should we be thinking about as we make changes to our schools?

In a graduate class I’m taking through the University of Kentucky, my classmates and I examined these guiding questions and were then prompted to add any additional thoughts through the use of a short video. I’m an elementary school principal and like to frequently look at the world through the lens of my students, so I posed some of these guiding questions to my own kids who are ages 6 and 10. The video below captures what they think about learning in and out of school.

The Future of Learning, Networked Society

I have to admit that the first time I saw this video I had a small pout session because I was in an anti Seth Godin frame of mind. I had been overwhelmed with a teacher-bashing conversation with lots of Godin’s thoughts from Stop Stealing Dreams being thrown about. However, after cleansing my mental palate and seeing it shared by Dana Watts, I watched this video again and am very glad I did. It is well produced and the ideas that are shared are key for what students are going to need to be able to do to find success in our quickly changing connected world.

Schools do need to change, but they can’t easily do so on their own as they are often a reflection of what their communities want for their students. It seems like public schools are stuck right now in a battle between “I want school to look like what it did when I was a kid” and “My kids are being stifled by school.”