Friday, February 15, 2008

Universal Design in Maine

Highly Recommended:

Cynthia Curry offers UD in ME. She is known statewide as an enthusiastic and knowledgeable evangelist for ways of expediting learning for all students. Check out Universal Design in Maine as your connection to the Universal Design scene in our state.

Related Resources

PD Opportunity for Maine Educators

Web 2.0 - Tools and Strategies for Learning and Teaching with the Read/ Write Web: An online professional development opportunity for Maine educators . . .

Info at MaineLearns

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Technology Professional Development Brainstorming

I thought this was an excellent post on Maine Ideas in Education. Jeff Bailey and Mary Gamble are developing professional training for their staff, given some days during "late arrival" time at Mountain Valley High School. Their work presents issues we all have in trying to approach technology integration in an optimum manner. I particularly like Jeff's adaptation of Puentedura's Transformation model.

Technology Professional Development Brainstorming at Mountain Valley

How is professional development handled in your system?

Do you have any of the same questions as the Bailey/Gamble team?

Smarter Than Us???

by Becky Ranks

Well, here's a new one that I heard today at the high school that I work in. MosquitoRingtones Students can go to this site, download ringtones for their cell phones that cannot be heard by people 30 years old and older. They are actually receiving calls in class, excusing themselves and answering their messages. A perfect example of the ingenuity of teenagers getting around the system. What do you think? Go to the site and try it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"It takes a village . . . "

Essential Question: How am I responsible for the communities that I am a part of?

Paul Houston of AASA speaks of acting locally:

"Every educator is familiar with the African proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child.” It is a nice but inadequate sentiment for modern America.

I have visited African villages and seen their focus on children. In Kenya, the Masai greet each other with the question, “How are the children?” America would be better off if we could say that to each other with meaning. But we don’t and we can’t rely on the village to raise our children because we no longer have even a sense of village.

Educators must find a way to become village builders, and I think that starts with helping our children see that as their role. We have to build character in our children so they become their 'brother’s keepers.'" More . . .

How are the Children?

Character Resources
Process Resources
Citizenship Resources
The Maine Council for the Social Studies

Daniel Pink Interviews Thomas Friedman

Essential Question: What is the function of parents and schools in the 21st Century?

Excellent article in February 2008 issue of the School Administrator combining the ideas of Daniel Pink and Thomas Friedman.

"Pink: Does this call into question the concept of the “school” as we typically think of it? In a world where information was scarce, schools operated as kind of a repository of that precious resource. But now information is abundant. A school doesn’t have to harvest and distribute this scarce resource. It has to serve some other kind of function.

Friedman: Right. When information is really abundant, when we can literally pluck it out of the air, you need people to sift it, sort it and connect it.

Pink: Sifters, sorters, connectors, “yes but-ers.” That’s a nice way to describe a teacher’s role today. Now let me ask you a question that’s tinged a little bit with politics. Neither one of us are educators. But we’ve both had the good fortune to talk to lots of teachers, principals and superintendents over the last year. I suspect that being a sifter, a sorter and a yes but-er in a world of No Child Left Behind is pretty difficult." More . . .


Steve Jobs Speech

Free Technology for Teachers

Western Maine teacher, Richard Byrne, presents daily reviews of free technology resources and how teachers can use them. Need a free web tool to meet some need in your classroom? Richard most likely can help you out. This is a great Maine site for keeping up with developments and possibilities.

Free Technology for Teachers

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

If I Knew Then What I Know Now Podcast
Wicked Decent Learning

Western Maine teachers, Jeff and Dan, continue their excellent Maine podcasts on issues in the classroom. Good stuff . . . delightfully presented!

Monday, February 11, 2008


by Harold Shaw, Jr.

Well back at it today...I basically took the weekend off...I didn't respond to any Blogs or Email. I finished our taxes, used the snowblower and shovel both days and played a lot NWN-2. I just needed a break from everything. It seemed to work...I feel fresher today than I have in a while.

It seems to me as though with everything that you can do on the web and life, that we can quickly become overwhelmed and overloaded if you focus too much time at any one thing. Sometimes we just need down time, to watch the snow coming down and the birds coming to the feeder.

I notice that since January I have spent waaaaaaay too much time on the internet, researching education related material, reading blogs, RSS Feeds, and haven't spent enough time getting away from the "job". That is a worry for me...I tend to go full speed ahead for a period of time and then crash, then I don't keep an interest in the things I was going full speed ahead on. Which in this case is integrating technology into my professional life as a teacher. I enjoy using the computer, but feel that the computer is beginning to rule me???

When do we decide when enough is enough and turn it off? We are creating all these online relationships, but at what cost? Are we ignoring our "real" relationships, the ones that count? Are we still involved in our local communities or have we become too involved in our online communities? Is it easier to maintain online relationships than face-to-face relationships with others?

I know these are big picture questions and I certainly don't claim to have the answers, but I believe that many have these same questions and thought that I would put them out there and see if anyone responds

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Educating a Democracy

"A distinguishing characteristic of our nation — and a great strength — is the development of our institutions within the concept of individual worth and dignity. Our schools are among the guardians of that principle. Consequently . . . and deliberately their control and support throughout our history have been — and are — a state and local responsibility. . . . Thus was established a fundamental element of the American public school system — local direction by boards of education responsible immediately to the parents of children. Diffusion of authority among tens of thousands of school districts is a safeguard against centralized control and abuse of the educational system that must be maintained. We believe that to take away the responsibility of communities and states in educating our children is to undermine not only a basic element of our freedoms but a basic right of our citizens. "

~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"We have been awash in accountability and standardization for a very long time. What we are missing is precisely the qualities that the last big wave of reform was intended to respond to: teachers, kids, and families who don’t know each other or each other’s work and don’t take responsibility for it. We are missing communities built around their own articulated and public standards and ready to show them off to others."

~ Deborah Meier - Education a Democracy - Standards & the Future of Public Education

Meier's Six Alternative Assumptions to High Stakes Testing

Deborah Meier Homepage

Agree or disagree with Meier?

iBook G3 Resurrection

David Saltmarsh at SAD # 60 shows how to bring back dead G3's that have ailing video cards with a very cost-effective method: Video How-To

Related Link