Monday, August 28, 2006

student tracking website

I ran across schoolloop today and took the online tour. I'm impressed! It's nice to see all the features they've put into this online application. Teacher's can manage grades, assign homework, are alerted of students who are doing poorly in several classes, can email parents and teachers of concern or congrats to students. Principals can pull up information about student grades, look at any assignments that were posted online. Parents can login and check students' status in each class, even look at assignments that were posted online, or easily email teachers. There are a lot of cool features. I fear, however, it'll never get it's full use. It's an excellent application for larger schools where teachers do not have easy access to discuss students with other teachers, but I find it hard to believe that these large schools will get even a majority of teachers truely involve in posting grades on schoolloop, etc.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

plane ride

My new favorite place to read my feeds is on the plane. I accomplished so much with no where to go and not much else to do. Now if only I could finish all the reflection blog entries before it's too late. I was testing the Windows aggregator SharpReader offline. I just wish it had a place to highlight parts and make notes on the entries for future commenting, etc.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

pick a career, any career

I found an excellent site this afternoon California Career Zone. It offers career testing with results of potential careers. You can explore careers on your own through industries. Each career is explained including education, potential classes, wage and job listings in California. My favorite part is the old movie clips explaining some careers. There is also a "Reality Check" feature allowing people an opportunity to estimate there lifestyle expenses and look for careers to fit it. It's not perfect--missing some careers, etc.--but I'm sure going to use it with my students to have them explore potential careers, especially those who have no idea what to consider yet.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

type of learner

I preparing curriculum for my high school senior after-school program. I will be leading 10-14 students at a time. I hope to spend most days with students in sets of 1-3 each working on different things at a time. One thing I would like to do early on is a multiple intelligences test. I would like each student to have a good idea of how they learn. This way when it comes to times of helping them discover good ways of learning new things or studying, I can refer back to how they learn. One thing I always found great for my studying was creating and using notecards. I was such a visual/kinesthetic learner, I found the act of both making and using these cards really helped me retain information for school tests. I would love to help students to creatively learn and study for each of their own styles.

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tracking down the source

This morning with very little time to rush off to work, I came across a great post in my bloglines feed. Wondering where these came from, I began clicking links. First I checked out Weidon and Kennedy's website. I found they are an ad agency with a fun flash site, but I don't have time to run flash and move on the the next lead Miguel Guhlin has left me. Blog about Libraries thanked Jennifer Davis for linking two things together. Finally, in Yes, And I find it came from an article in Men's Health that was posted on Innovation Network. Going to each of the sites, I check the search engines for "Five Rules of Creativity".  This doesn't work, but with a few other searches such as "Weiden" and "creativity", I come across the original article. By tracking down this source, I've practice a great research tool we should be helping students to follow, and in the mean time, I've come across several other resources which I may find useful in the future.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

who hates school reform? part 1

Who are those people who don't want change in our education system? The people who think that the traditional way of educating is the best way. Are there people out there who still think a teacher lecturing in front a classroom of students with pencils and notebooks in hand is the best way of learning? Where do we find these people?

I've been trying hard to find how to define these people. I would like to learn as much about them: how they think, what they love, and why notes and tests are a good way to learn in their heads. Because there must be people out there keeping our schools from radically changing to better the education system.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

the power of consumers

Thank you Cherrie for sending me over to the show with zefrank. I've only watched a couple, but loved one of the favorites: ugly myspace. zefrank's representation of the power of today's consumers is so great. As a journalism graduate, i enjoy the metacognition of the average citizen's power to understand, create and control their media. Although media is now EVERYWHERE and very hard to get away from as I once discussed on my old blog (but can't find--it was about persuaders), we also have access to more information and control to understand this advertising. We just must be educating our youth to use and understand these forms of media as told by Will Richardson when talking about teaching myspace in a recent podcast of a presentation.

Monday, August 07, 2006

getting to your desired career

One of my favorite things about being young, single and brought up with many opportunities is my freedom. I've managed to reach this point in my life with all debt nearly eliminated, no inconvenient commitments to family, friends or otherwise, and the ability to figure out how to do nearly anything I wish to. "You can do whatever you put more mind to" has become a challenge to me.

I imagine a career where I am able to travel, help and learn from educators and students, and improve our education systems all around the world in order to improve our society of the future. But now, I sit with all this freedom and desire and no understanding of how to get there. I could choose to first become a classroom teacher or I could stay out of schools entirely and work through a community of educational alternatives, such as after school programs. If I choose to stay away from teaching, which programs? How do I gain respect in the educational world? Do I stay in non-profit or do I check out the corporate world? If I choose the teaching route, how do I go about it? Do I go back to school--undergrad, graduate? Do I choose a teaching certificate program? Which one-Teach for America, a teaching fellows? Where? Public, private, charter? Once I'm a teacher, how to I make sure I don't get stuck in the teaching career? Do I become an administrator? Do I stay in one location or travel around? How about teaching internationally? Do I step back and join life outside of schools again?

With all these choices, I don't know what to do. I don't know which avenue will be best for me or if I even wish to go through these fields to get to my desired job. I suppose we must accept that to get very far it will take many different jobs, a lot of schooling, time and money. I just never thought that the freedom to do anything would be such a challenge to figure out how to get to that anything.