Sunday, November 30, 2008


Excellent work Steve and Christina!
YouTube URL:

Know what you know. Know what you don't know.

What have I learned?
I need to get up close and personal with technology. I should not be afraid of it..nor should I surround myself by people who are hesitant in venturing out into the unknown and unfamiliar. Technology is all around me and as an educational leader I should know how and when to use it to make my job, my life, and my (and our) educational experiences (i.e. life) better. As a person who will earn three additional letters after her name, I recognize how important it is to push myself and those around me to think past the comfort of what we think we know. Isn't research about RE-searching topics and ideas from new lenses and perspectives? Isn't that we are charged to do as educational leaders?

Two is better than one. Well, when it comes to working on projects or assignments bigger than life itself. If anything, we should not be afraid of working with others on a project that we may not necessarily know what the final outcome may be. How often is that okay or supported by people in our everyday lives? Example, "Hey, I want to spend 30 hours of my time and your time working on a project that we may not know how to do or where we'll end up. Are you interested?"

How do I know I learned it?
What I have found is that I have learned the most when I am given the most ambiguous, yet thoughtful, directions or prompts for an assignment. The freedom of personalization is paramount in my learning experiences. If I make a mistake, I will learn even more from it because it was my mistake to make along my educational path. It is important to be comfortable working with and working past ambiguity. Isn't life ambiguous? We think we know what to expect or how to do things, but ultimately, "we don't know nothing." What I do know is that I do not know everything and somethings that I don't know, you may know. Some things I know, you may not know. The reciprocal relationship of humanity is essential if this world of ours is going anywhere positive. There is no I in team. And there certainly is no I in world. However there is an I in commUnity. Each of us, as individuals (e.g. "I's") must do our part to create a stronger, viable, and contributing community. And within a community, we must COMMUNE in UNITY.

commune: To be in a state of intimate, heightened sensitivity and receptivity, as with one's surroundings

unity: The state or quality of being one; singleness.



[listen to first 2 minutes)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008


Education + Entertainment = Edutainment

With the incorporation of gaming, virtual environments, simulation, and computer sites that "do the math for you," what is left for our students to do? Is the saying, "computers are only as smart as the people using them" still applicable?

Real time problems, solutions, interaction, and co-creative learning environments with people across the globe is a reality in today's (and futuristic) educational institutions. Computer technologies in the classroom bring new meaning to the word, "multitasking." Working or thinking about multiple things will be the norm and standard for learning. Will we lose anything as a result of such a wide array of thoughts and projects simultaneously being focused upon? Will a generalist or more liberal arts perspective be the desired educational experience? Where does a specialist mentality fit in?

Entertainment + Education = Edutainment
If educational coaches, e.g. teachers, made the educational experience fun, haven't we been edutaining our students for centuries? If I had to pick a key ingredient. or the X-Factor that increases "test scores" or raise GPA's and student engagement or increase student persistence, I would put money on FUN. How much do our students actually enjoy learning?


Saturday, November 8, 2008

change. create. change.

As of November 4, 2008, the United States of America will have new leadership and a new leadership philosophy governing our country and more importantly, setting the federal stage for P-20 education.

We need to put a college education within reach of every American. -Barack Obama, Reclaiming the American Dream Speech, Bettendorf, IA, 11/7/07

What does this mean for our educational environments of the future?
Under the notions introduced by Dr. Faverty in last week's class....
---Use what we have to think DIFFERENTLY.
---Try to start where we're not.
---We need to use what we don’t have and recognize that a lot of the things we have we don’t use.
---We need to view educational environments in terms of humanity and what a social environment actually means.

Where does this leave us? We need to address the 4C's: climate, culture, context, content.

climate: What should the ideal college educational experience feel like for students?
-comfortable, safe, supportive, authentic, friendly, humane, resourceful, energetic, personal, connected, purposeful

context: What should it look like?
-warm, familiar, engaging, colorful, technologically compatible, clean, clear, accessible, inviting

After brainstorming the climate and context I have realized that many people (including myself) can readily identify the things they do not like or what may need to be changed. But what is more important as an educational leader is to identify the ideal environment for our organization(s). Then we can work towards changing and creating them. Sometimes it is important to forget all that we do know and for a minute pretend that we have the ability to create the ideal environment for our students and colleagues.

Ultimately, we need to CHANGE our habitual ways of thinking in order to CREATE new, innovative, practical and lasting positive CHANGES within our educational environments.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

group vs. individual

"Making the individual a sharer or partner in the associated activity so that he feels its success as his success, its failure as his failure, is the competing step." -John Dewey

The United States educational model does not reward group performance. It continues to be individualized in the nature of assessing and measuring student learning outcomes. Individuals receive grades based on individual knowledge and performance. How does Dewey's quote support or reject the current U.S. educational model? If the educational philosophy of John Dewey worked in the early 20th century, why can't it work 100 years later? What needs to change?

This reminds me of P.I.T.S....Personal Interpersonal Task Summary. If we, as educational leaders, bring the PERSONAL and INTERPERSONAL back into educational learning environments (both inside and outside of the classroom), then perhaps we will have better student learning outcomes. Perhaps they are no longer called student learning outcomes, but instead, global citizenship skills. Is learning about finding the right answer? Or is learning about going through multiple processes in discovering multiple answers?

Ultimately, we may have a greater and more positive impact on the student citizens we help mold and prepare for the locally/globally competitive workforce if we integrate more group-centered learning environments to hold students more accountable to the success and well-being of their fellow neighbors. The concept of "we" is both a familiar and foreign concept in United States education. The "we" is embedded in grouping students in cohorts based on age, reading ability, socioeconomic status, curriculum standards, primary language, etc. However, the "we" transgresses into an "I" within individualized assignments, standardized tests, and other measurable outcomes that allegedly measure student success. Just as classmate, Patty, said, "Are we placing more value in the outcome as opposed to the process of teaching [or student learning]?"

Have educational leaders come to a point where a liberal arts education is what all grade levels, P-20, strive to attain despite the requirements set forth within standardized achievement tests? Overall, don't we want a well-rounded, educated citizenry? Considering that a K-12 education is a right and a higher education is a privilege, shouldn't this expectation exist for K-12 since not all students make it to college? Is this an unfair expectation on primary and secondary educational institutions?