Monthly Archives: December 2013

Becoming David

David v Goliath

When I was younger I heard stories about a young boy named David.  He defeated a strong adversary named Goliath.  Growing up I learned about other unlikely triumphs as well:

  • The New York Giants faced their Goliath in Super Bowl XLII.  They went toe-to-toe with the undefeated New England Patriots, and scored two touchdowns in the 4th quarter to pull off a dramatic upset.
  • Thomas Edison invented the light bulb after facing his Goliath hundreds and hundreds of times.  If you had asked Edison, he’d have said that he did not fail 1,000 times, but instead he learned 1,000 ways not to make a light bulb.  What a perspective!
  • Truman eventually triumphed over Dewey in the 1948 Presidential Election, but only after being counted out early by the Chicago Tribune.  They were so certain of his demise that they ran headlines that were incorrect.

Each of the examples above involves an epic upset from the past, but what would the educational headlines say today?  Would they mistakenly predict a victory for Goliath?

A vast number of conversations are currently being dedicated to assessment and accountability.  My concern is that assessment for the purpose of ranking students or comparing kids is not sound pedagogy.  How a student fills in his bubbles should not be the sole purpose of education or the single determinant of his success.  Is this best for kids, and who is responsible for this storyline?

In many ways we are responsible and may indirectly perpetuate some of the very things we care deeply about changing.  The good news is that we can all aspire to be like David in confronting the status quo; we are the New York Giants, Thomas Edison, and Harry S. Truman rolled into one.

Against all odds, I believe the status quo is in for a whooping!  The greatest comeback story in education is playing out right now in innovative classrooms across the country.  Inspiring educators are focused on high achievement for each and every child, and we’re writing a new educational narrative at the same time.

Through personalized learning, meaningful technology integration, and establishing authentic relationships our focus is on student passion, potential, collaboration, critical-thinking, creation, and sharing.

I bet Goliath never saw this coming!  It’s rally time and we must persevere.

We are David and our students are counting on us to see this through!

**Photo Credit: GreenhousesportsBlogspot.com

Unceasing Joy

Making Space

Imagine for a second that “unceasing joy” is knocking on the front door of your life.  I envision this joy might look a lot like the student above with a guitar neatly tucked into his backpack.  (You know that when this child woke up in the morning he had a game plan that included joy…and finding space in his backpack for that guitar was important.) 

We can be most impactful if we leave space in our backpacks (lives) for joy.  Not the “sometimes” kind of joy that’s situationally dependent.  I’m talking about the “all the time” joy that comes from a place of deep passion and purpose; the guitar-in-your-backpack kind of joy!

Here’s how to make S-P-A-C-E for Unceasing Joy:

S – Start Strong: Begin each day with a positive perspective.  Be intentional about choosing kindness.  Take time each morning to express gratitude.

P – Possess your Passion: We all have passions.  Some of us own and live our passions better than others.  Be sure that a portion of each day you are immersed in your passions.  For me, this means spending time with my family, students, and staff.

A – Approach each new challenge as a learner and don’t forget to look for those hidden blessings in challenging situations.  Your approach to obstacles will impact the results you achieve.

C – Carpe Diem: Seize the day!  Make each day the best it can be with what you have.  Allow your “Inner Rockstar” to make a cameo!  Smile.  Laugh.  Rock-on!

E – Enchilada:  As in…you can’t fit the whole enchilada in your backpack.  Trust me…I’ve tried.  Be sure to save space in your backpack for what really matters.  You won’t be able to fit EVERYTHING in your backpack and still have room for your professional and personal passions.

I encourage everyone to make space for unceasing joy.  Our students shouldn’t be the only ones with guitars in their backpacks.  Make the space!

This blog, “Adjusting Course,” is a finalist for an Edublog Award in the Best Admin Blog category.  Please click HERE to vote.  Polling closes December 18th at midnight.  Thanks for your support!

EduBlog Award Finalist: Voting Closes 12/18/13

Click the pic above to vote!

Click the pic above to vote!

Exciting news…this past week I learned that my principal’s blog called “Adjusting Course” was named a finalist for “Best Administrator Blog” as part of the annual Edublog Awards.

You can vote for my blog “Adjusting Course” by clicking on the link below.  Then click the tiny up arrow near “Adjusting Course” to add a vote.  (Voting is being done via Listly, so you will be directed to register which takes 30 seconds.)

Vote for "Adjusting Course"

I think this is kind of cool, and also know a couple other administrators that were nominated. You can vote for more than one finalist, so be sure to check out the blogs that Jimmy Casas and Tony Sinanis write…I am inspired by them on a regular basis and encourage you to support them too.

Thanks for your support!

Reflective Practitioners: Phases of AR in Education

Click the picture to download the complete PDF for the Phases of AR in Education.

Click the picture to download the complete PDF for the Phases of AR in Education.

Last evening I was engaged in a collaborative discussion on Twitter with two connected educators; Brad Waid and Kristen Eveland.  We were discussing the possible phases of Augmented Reality (AR) in Education.  The diagram above represents many of the ideas we brainstormed, and if you click on the image you’ll see a more complete PDF with one possible application of AR.

It’s important to point out that the phases are not intended to represent a hierarchy, and as such the “Awareness” level seemingly encompasses all of the phases.  There is certainly a comingling between different phases; certain Augmented Reality apps are inherently more equipped to allow for “Creation” than others.  However, I strongly feel that innovation is possible with most of the AR apps available to educators today.

What I valued most about our dialogue wasn’t the topic (although I LOVE the possibilities that AR presents).  I appreciated the deeper reflection and questions that our exchange generated.  Late in the evening on a Saturday night we were brainstorming the hows & whys of a game-changing tool.  It was also clear that the comments that Brad and Kristen shared were in support of creating an engaging student learning experience.

Connecting with fellow educational leaders to reflect on our practice and discuss the purpose of what we are doing for our students is one of the many things I value in my Professional Learning Network (PLN).  A special thanks to @TechBradWaid & @KEveland2 for their sharing.

What are your thoughts on the phases of AR in Education?  What did we miss?

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