Monday, May 23, 2011

Congrats to Our Pioneer Class of 2011!

This is what I'm talking about. Congratulations to our seven graduating seniors amongst the class of 39 graduation seniors at Middle College High School! Thanks also to our parents for support and to our legislators for opening up the path to our actually being a SCHOOL. And what a school it will be. Stay tuned!

and watch them walk!

Monday, March 21, 2011

VLearning Survey

This is an alternative access for the VLearning Survey, in case students have problems accessing the Google Survey via the link I emailed:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Salman Khan TED Talks Khan Academy Online

Every educator owes it to him/herself, his/her students, and the future of education to watch this video. While Khan's approach is but one of myriad possible ways to improve Education (with a capital E), it potentially addresses several root manifestations of the fine fix we've worked ourselves into:

  • The damage that homework does to family, child, and learning
  • Lecture as primary mode of teaching
  • "Classroom management"--Sit quietly in your seat and pay attention: Do not talk
  • Standardized testing = principle assessment tool
  • Missed steps in learning snowballing into failure
  • The bad rap that making mistakes has been saddled with
  • Games = the enemy

Saturday, March 12, 2011

ISTE SIGVE Meetup and Speaker Session Tuesday-- MISSION US!

SIGVE- Speaker Series
Special Guest:   Joanne Henning and Kimmer Jameson
MISSION US- A New Way of Learning History

WHEN:  Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
WHERE:  ISTE Island Auditorium, Second Life
TIME:  5pm SL time

Remember when History class was dull?  Well, no more.  Mission US is part role-play, gaming system, and virtual environment.  This web based or downloaded program combines powerful content with an engaging format for middle school age (grades 5-8) students.  Please join us as we meet  MISSION US AZ Teacher of the Year - Joanne Hennin along with PBS Ei8ht’s Kimmer Jamison.  They will share Joanne’s award winning project -- and why it was such a successful implementation model for students, as well as share the resources for MISSION US.

Important Links:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Value of Peer to Peer Interaction is Often Ignored in Online Course Design

I came across this just yesterday and shared it out via my Facebook network, but I'm thinking it belongs here. Doing some writing today and I'm hoping to add a bit of meat to this blog's bones soon. Meanwhile, if you are at all interested in designing courses for online learning and teaching, you absolutely must be familiar with this tidy little interview with Richard Culatta:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

School Visits--Essential Therapy

Back in the virtual saddle in the office today, after 1) a staggering personal loss and its related funeral activities down in Florida and 2) two days of school visits to our School Counselors, Assistant Principals, and virtual students in 13 schools spread out over MNPS. An indication of the scope of travel is that I posted a total of 179 miles of automobile mileage in those two days. I'm glad that Michael Terry, our Virtual Learning Assistant, and I took  my Smart Car, Huey!

Above and beyond the opportunity to put a lot of faces with a lot of names, this was a rich experience for me. The schools I visited were:
Nashville School of the Arts, Hume-Fogg Magnet, Glencliff, Big Picture Nashville, Hunters Lane, Martin Luther King Magnet, Antioch, Cane Ridge, Hillwood, East Literature Magnet, Overton, Pearl Cohn, and Maplewood. 

We met with a raft of outstanding educators, and I want to thank each and every one of them for their support and encouragement for our Virtual Learning Program. They are:

Amy Flajnik
Katherine Sanford
Barbara Mullins
Susan Murphy
Rita LaRue-Lucas
Tandra Freeman
Caroline Banta
Sandra Hull
Lauren Rickey
Carla Robinson
Donna Matthews
Carolyn Haynes
and Kristie Hutchinson

My apologies if I left anyone out of this list, and I must add that I am 100% convinced that at each and every MNPS school there are stellar, engaged, caring School Counselors working to do the next right thing for their students. I simply want to thank these for their support of our new Virtual Learning Program and everything they do for their students every day.