Tysa Fennern | September 29, 2011
This is now my 3rd year attending the EdTech PD Oregon Cadre with OETC (Organization for Educational Technology and Curriculum). The cadre of about 200 educators and tech leaders (and growing) from Oregon schools meet three times a year to collaborate and learn about emerging technologies and how to use them in the classroom or take it back for professional development with their staff in the district.
Each activity is infused with actively modeling and practicing effective staff development strategies accommodating all learning styles including group activities, reflection, processing, creating, laughing. It’s an empowering group of people. Read more...
Peggy Grant | September 23, 2011
How scary is the Internet? A quick search for “online safety” yields almost a billion hits! According to what we read and hear--Very scary! Entire businesses, web sites, curricula, books, blogs, and media, are devoted to helping parents and schools keep kids safe on the Internet.
Unfortunately, a lot of these policies end up keeping kids “safe” from the Internet by denying them participation in potentially educational activities because of fears of online predators, cyberbullying, and other perceived threats. Are these fears real or just irrational responses to graphic stories and images portrayed in the media?Read more...
Stefanie Hausman | September 19, 2011
For most American teenagers, summer vacation is a time to make some pocket money, go to the beach, and hang out with friends. But, for twenty high school students from DaVinci Charter Academy in Davis, CA., summer vacation meant a trip to Nicaragua to share their pedal-powered blender.
The idea for the blender was proposed during a visit from the director of Grupo Fenix, a Nicaraguan organization dedicated to the research, development, and application of renewable energy technologies in Nicaragua. The opportunity to engage students in using physics to solve real-world problems and get them thinking about how different cultures capture and use energy, were the perfect ingredients for a physics project!Read more...
Julia Fischer | October 30, 2009
Recently a friend wrote a note to my son. When I asked him what it said he responded “I don’t know I can’t read it.” Now it wasn’t because of the handwriting – well okay maybe it was a bit – but it was because of the cursive. He has gotten use to seeing text in the printed form – I mean come on how many of us select and use a font that looks like cursive? We don’t. It is difficult to read- needs to be a larger font in order for others to make sense of what is being shared. I mean newspapers must have been on to something because they have been using type print since newspapers started.Read more...
Peggy Grant | October 14, 2009
A recent article in the Oregonian, “High School Life with No Cell Calls and No Texting,” describes a new cell phone policy at Clackamas High School. If teachers or administrators see a cell phone, at any time during the day, in class or out, they confiscate the phone and return it to a parent.
While the author, Andy Parker, refers to student indignation at the policy, the final word in the article comes from the principal. He attributes a significant drop in behavior referrals to the cell phone ban, stating, "We've eliminated a significant distraction to learning. Our teachers are very happy."
The comments on this article are overwhelmingly supportive of the policy, with one, lone dissenting voice--“10 years from now, people will laugh about decisions like this.”
So where does the technology-savvy educator stand on this issue? Are cell phones distractions or can they be harnessed to improve student learning? Is it easier to “just say no” to cell phones than to develop policies that support their constructive use?Read more...