Teacher Time

February 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

It is my dream to help a school come up with a way to give their teachers a 20% bonus—a la Google’s 20% time (read a New York Times article about the concept or a firsthand account of how one Google employee used his 20% time).

What if teachers only taught four days a week and one day were reserved for teacher time: self-guided professional development, blogging, professional and/or personal growth, exercise, pet projects, internships, etc…?

How much would that cost a school? And how much would the students benefit?

But why stop there?

What if students had class a period or block free every day to do the same? What would this school look like?

This is the solution I have found to the biggest problem(s) that schools face: Teacher Time. Want my help implementing it in your school? Contact me.


Tweet and ye shall receive, part two

November 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Twitter conversation with Cybraryman1

Twitter conversation with Cybraryman1

I had another opportunity this evening to help out another educator with a subject that, in all honesty, I am not as expert in as I would like.

My quest: The school counselor at one of my school/clients is organizing a Health and Wellness Week, and she wanted my input on the technology aspect of the program.

My first suggestion was to steer the conversations during Wellness Week toward breaking down the wall between behavior online and behavior in person. How we behave is how we behave, regardless of whether the medium is the hallway, the chatroom, or the cell phone.

I then suggested we consult my PLN (Personal Learning Network) on Twitter by posing the following Tweet:

@cybraryman1 I’m looking 4 resources 4 a HS counselor. Do u know of any resources that address the intersection of health & tech? #psychat

“@CybraryMan1,” or Jerry Blumengarten, is (as he describes himself on Twitter) an “educator and writer trying to catalog the Internet for students, educators, and parents.” His web site, http://www.cybraryman.com certainly lives up to his goal.

Jerry replied within moments with the following tweet:

@MyTakeOnIt My Tech Integration for Physical Education & Health tinyurl.com/4vwrbu5 #psychat

Our conversation continued:

@cybraryman1 Thank you, as always! Counselor specifically needs info that focuses on health hazards, addictive use of tech, etc… #psychat

@MyTakeOnIt Students worldwide share mobile addiction tinyurl.com/7mmjcpl

@MyTakeOnIt My Cyber Bullying page: tinyurl.com/ydmpglj Digital Footprints: tinyurl.com/2cnbfwh

In retrospect, I realize I probably should have used the Twitter hash #digcit (short for “digital citizenship” – a weekly chat where educators discuss these very topics). Regardless, in under 15 minutes I was able to send the counselor an email with the following list of links and resources, including a great PSA (embedded below):

CybraryMan’s page of Psych links:

CybraryMan’s page on Tech Integration for Physical Education & Health (the entire page is PhysEd, but this link takes you straight to “LESSONS and Technology Integration”)

“Students worldwide share mobile addiction” from “Digital Life on Today”

CybraryMan’s page on Cyber Safety and Cyber Bullying:

CybraryMan’s page on “Digital Footprints”

Michelle Luhtala’s ( @mluhtala on Twitter) Scoop.it page on Digital Citizenship:

Summer learning Opportunities

July 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

Before the school year ended, I sent out tweets to my followers and emails to educators with whom I work with a link to this Google doc [ http://ounce.it/moKF7V ] containing information about summer learning opportunities in Academic Tech. There are a couple events coming up that I am specifically looking forward to:

EduBloggerCon Logo

EduBloggerCon Logo

This coming Monday, July 25th, is EduBloggerCon “East.” It’s a FREE, all day event during the much larger, week-long BLC11 (Building Learning Communities 2011). I have never been to an EduBloggerCon, but I have been to other similar conferences. What makes it special is that it is structured as an “unconference” (more formally known as “open space technology” [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology ] ) where topics are determined and facilitated by the participants within each session. You’ll notice that sessions 1 and 2 are open on the schedule to accommodate this flexibility. EduBloggerCon “East” is in the Boston Park Plaza hotel, so it is easy accessible by T.

I am very excited and I will be attending. I hope you will too!
For more information about EduBloggerCon “East” you can read more here: http://www.edubloggercon.com/ebcEast2011

    BLC11 (Building Learning Communities 2011)

Building Learning Communities Logo

Building Learning Communities Logo

BLC11 lasts the entire week next week. I will be attending, and would be happy to see any of you there. BLC is a more traditional conference, and covers many topics including subject-specific topics, workshops related to educational reform/evolution, and also EdTech. You can see exactly what workshops/topics are offered and learn more about the conference here: http://blcconference.com/

BLC is not free (probably around $700 at the door?) but if it lives up to my expectations it will be well worth the price of admission!

    EdCampCT: Aug 18th in Simsbury, CT (Free!)


EdCamp Logo

EdCamp Logo

If you go to ANY single learning event this summer, I highly recommend an EdCamp. EdCampCT, specifically, is eagerly anticipated by educators around the North East, including myself. I will be attending, and also facilitating one session on “EdCamp Book Club” ( see my blog post here: http://ounce.it/j9zj8d or participate on Twitter #ecbc1 where we are discussing Brain Rules by John Medina) and probably co-facilitating a session on “BYOD/BYOT” (bring your own device/tech) with Michelle Luhtala ( @mluhtala [ http://bibliotech.me/ ]) and Meg Wilson ( @ipodsibilities [ http://www.ipodsibilities.com ]).

EdCamps are also based on the “open space technology” style of “unconference,” where the topics are determined and facilitated by the participants within each session.

Can’t make it to EdCampCT on Aug 18th? EdCampKeene is in Keene, NH on the 17th, and a founder of EdCamp, Dan Callahan, is hosting EdCampBHS (Burlington High School) Tuesdays throughout the summer: July 5, July 12, July 19, July 26, August 2, August 9, August 16, August 23.

Let me know in the comments or via Twitter ( @MyTakeOnIt ) if you plan to attend any of these events. I will be at EduBloggerCon “East,” BLC11, and EdCampCT come rain or shine. If you want company at one of the EdCampBHS events, let me know and I will join you if I can.


EdCamp Book Club

June 25, 2011 § 4 Comments

I’ve noticed something in myself that I find intriguing: When I am participating in conversations on Twitter I am drawn to find a way to bring those conversations off the Internet and have them in person.

On the other hand, when I am at a conference, I find myself compelled to participate in backchannel conversation while I converse with folks face-to-face. At first I contributed this peculiarity to my “grass is greener” syndrome, but now I’m not so sure.

Earlier this spring I made an attempt to bridge my online conversations with a face-to-face meeting when Eric Hileman ( @ittosde on Twitter ) – an educator from Oklahoma whom I have never met in person – and I conceived of a face-to-face component of the weekly Twitter conversation #edchat. You can read about it here.

While #edchatf2f (“EdChat Face-to-face”) was by no means a failure, I have not given the experiment a chance to succeed. The maiden meet-up was close enough to the end of the year that very few teachers could participate, and though summer is almost upon us, I haven’t planned another gathering.

BookshelvesI read something on Twitter this morning that got me thinking about another way to bridge online conversation face-to-face conversation: a Twitter-based book club. The idea is simple: A handful of people get together and read a book together – a standard book club – but instead of meeting regularly in person, the group meets online via Twitter. This already exists.

Now take that idea, and apply to it my desire to continue online discussions in person. Suppose you time it so that the group finishes reading the book just in time for a conference that the group of readers will be attending (or most of them). Imagine it: several weeks spent reading the same book and discussing it online culminating with a face-to-face wrap up of the discussion at a conference!

With EdCamp CTfast approaching, I think I may try this experiment. If you’re interested in joining me, send me a message on Twitter (@MyTakeOnIt). I will organize a group of interested participants, we’ll pick a book and a weekly meeting time, and we will discuss the book on Twitter. We will then organize a corresponding session at EdCampCT to wrap up the book discussion and also debrief on the experience.

I think I want to start with an educationally relevant book – maybe even something about online learning or collaboration. I’m open to suggestions. We’ll work out the rest on Twitter… Maybe even bring it up at EduBloggerCon East 2011 in a few weeks… Though may need to begin sooner.


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