Leadership – Education – Technology – Other Interesting Stuff

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3 Science Resources

In doing some research this fall, I came across 3 science resources.

Next Generation Science Standards: I was in a workshop last year when a teacher started talking about NGSS – an acronym new to me then. This site is an everything-you-want–to-know-about-NGSS. The story of the evolution of science standards along with questions is found on this site.

Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth: Business class, preparation for summer break or talking with students and parents, this site from Johns Hopkins provides reports, articles, fact sheets and suggestions.

Garden.org: Sponsored by the National Gardening Association this site offers free, plant-based materials, grants and resources. NGA resources expand knowledge in a variety of areas to include science, social studies, leadership, problem solving and team building, to name a few.



4 Common Core Resources

With all the talk and the press about Common Core State Standards, we’ve been exposed to many resources. Here are 4 that I go back to often.

Periodic Table of Common Core Standards: The authors describe this as a “tool that could help you pull the big ideas of the standards into one place.” What I love about this infographic are the visual cues.

Five-Minute Film Festival: Digging into the Common Core: This is a new favorite blog for me. Amy Erin Borovoy’s Five-Minute Film Festivals are well-organized and easy to use. On the topic of the Common Core, she provides 10 videos ranging in length from under 2 minutes to over 12 minutes, all designed to help explain CC. Be sure to listen/watch the Common Core Blues – you might smile.

Achieve the Core: A personal favorite, this site has free resources for educators. The professional development section has solid and easy-to-implement resources.

engageNY: This site provides a wealth of information – implementation resources, curriculum resources (I know, NY focus), professional development kits and more. The video, Teaching is the Core, allows us to hear lots of teachers’ voices and hear about student engagement.

e-Learning: MOOCs & college students taking online courses

For some reason I really want to take a quantum physics course – have for a while now. It seemed like a MOOC might be a way to do that. One thing I discovered and explored was this massive list of potential courses. And while I haven’t found the course for me yet, I have encountered some interesting information about MOOCs.

In this article by Greg Thompson, MOOCs (massive open online course) are talked about as independent study for advanced students, an additional tool for K-12 educators – watch the Scott Garrigan video;

Learning online is changing, almost daily it seems. MOOCs are not as simple as converting an existing course. The “sheer scale …changes key dynamics,” says Michelle Fredett. The student body is different (and not just larger). Assessment changes. Planning is important, as is reacting to the data. Check out the right-hand navigation bar beside this article for additional articles about MOOCs.

My youngest is about to finish college. After 2 on-campus experiences she switched to e-learning . This allows her to work full-time and go to school. And according to the data, she is not alone. “The number of college students taking at least one online course nearly doubled, from 23 percent to 45, over the last five years according to the 2013 College Explorer, a new report from market research company re:fuel. Students taking online courses are also enrolled in an average of two per term, according to the report.” (She is taking 3 each term.) The data in this article (below the fold) is pretty interesting and makes me wonder what it looks like for high schoolers, teachers, principals…

Leaders Lists – Reflecting on the new year

This week I found several posts by educators (who are leaders) about things they want to do or remember this year. They are abbreviated below. Abbreviated because it feels important for you to go and read the blogs to see the passion these education leaders bring to their work.

Tony Sinanis’ recent blog about what he wants his teachers to know and want he wants to ensure this year. I’ve abbreviated his list below and you’ll want to read his blog for the details.

  1. Supported and empowered
  2. Risk taking
  3. Idea sharing
  4. Multiple ways
  5. Heard
  6. “Set the stage”
  7. Learn
  8. Teachers lead daily

Starr Sackstein (NBCT) recently shared 5 Tips for Successful Teacher Leadership. When abbreviated they look like this:

  1. Observe
  2. Speak up
  3. Example
  4. Judgment/criticism
  5. Available

Check out her blog for the details

Steve Guditus shares 8 “reminders” about leadership he gained from reflections inspired by his PLN (personal learning network). The abbreviated version is:

  1. Present
  2. Visible
  3. Listen
  4. Vulnerable
  5. Model
  6. Time
  7. Relationships
  8. Differentiate

You might want to read his blog for the details.

Come back and talk about what among these 21 things are a priority for you this year.


Found this list of 14 Books to Read before They Hit the Big Screen. I’ve read Ender’s Game with my daughters and can’t wait to see Pong on the big screen. My eldest (27) and I discussed last week if we wanted to read The Mortal Instruments first or see it and she voted for see (which is not her normal response). The past week I have seen the trailers for The Wolf of Wall Street twice and I am unsure where that one is on my “to see list.” This post is making me consider reading it first. The Book Thief I did read this past year and was thoroughly intrigued by the style. It will be interesting to see the film version. The other 10 are new to me and I can’t wait…for either the book or the movie.

This weekend I saw Lee Daniel’s The Butler. If I was in a history (American or African) or social studies (sociology, geography, anthropology) class right now, I would be using this movie from several angles. Having lived in Alabama from the mid 60’s to the mid-80’s, I experienced some of this. But watching the snippets of leaders’ evolving thinking portrayed in the film was fascinating…and now I want to read the book, just to see what liberties might have been taken.



A Focus on Leadership

While written from a business perspective, Jim Belosic offers 5 intriguing ideas about flat management. True, he has a small company (14) and yet his comments about management-level people having the opportunity to keep putting their skills to use made me think. So, too, did his comments about flat management as an employee screening tool and what implications those ideas might have in a school or district.

This thought-provoking blog by George Couros shares and connects to ideas from George Siemens. These connections include: mass collaboration and social networks; individual connection (which made me think of 1) Joe Girard’s Law of 250 – scroll down to #2, and 2) synchronicity); and how to create the spaces for these to occur.

I have been on Twitter for years and yet have few tweets. Learning curve and time are probably a big part of that equation. When I led a session one time on Web 2.0 tools, one of the topics that came up was how principals might use Twitter to engage their stakeholders and community. This blog by Alyssa Morones shares great examples of school and district leadership reaching out to their communities via Twitter.

Kyle Pace, in his blog Why do we follow? 5 Important Leadership Traits, talks about 4 traits I believe translate well to online learning and professional networking. Consider trusting, valuing, encouraging risk-taking and growth. How can we translate these to our PLNs (personal learning networks)?

The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools is making progress. This commentary is about both the leadership and humility necessary for turnaround work to succeed. They highlight 4 strategies they have focused on for turning around their schools: leadership, effective teaching, target student supports and family and community engagement. What are they doing that is working well?

Infographics for Education – learning theories, PBL & pie charts

I seem to be stuck on a theme right now of infographics, both for a current work project and what I am viewing online.

Jeff Dunn shared A Visual Guide to Every Single Learning Theory from Robert Millwood, which is a bit challenging to read but really intriguing.

friEdTechnology has great infographics. For those of you interested in PBL (Project Based Learning) you may want to take a look at this one about the Student Choice Continuum (Aug 17th). Or scroll down to July 25th and look at the scaffold for writing a driving question for PBL. You might also want to go back to Jeff Dunn to see the fried table comparing projects to PBL.

And let’s end with this one – a pie video about pie charts using pies – pretty creative.

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