Podstock Pineywoods 2010

TCEA Area 7 and SUPERNet are going to be hosting Podstock Pineywoods with keynote speaker Kevin Honeycutt on October 29th in Tyler, TX. Get registered and find out the info here. You can also download the promo handout here.

Some more useful info:

What is Podstock Pineywoods?

Date: Friday, October 29, 2010
Where: Ornelas Center UT-Tyler, 3402 Old Omen Rd, Tyler, TX, (903) 565-4445‎
Time: Registration @ 8:30AM Conference is 9AM – 2:30PM
Limited to 125 participants

Cost: $50 members/non-members

It’s both a podcasting conference and a conversation.

It’s for educators who want to share technology integration strategies, explore iPod use, and strengthen established learning networks.

But we don’t want Podstock to be just about the latest gadget or the coolest software. We want it to be about creativity, inspiration, and what’s good for kids. We hope that our formal and informal conversations at this event will help change how we do school.

Registration includes lunch and snacks.

The DNA of 21st Century Students

From the story telling brilliance that is Marco Antonio Torres and Greg Whitby, here is a nice take on why the old school mentality does not mesh well with the 21st century student. Listen to what Greg is saying in the video about WHY students are the way they are. Hear the urgency with which he shares. Then, consider the fact that this video is just about to hit its third birthday (9/29/07).

“iPhone/Touch App” shared Doc has a new sibling: iPad Only

The Google Spreadsheet for iPhone/Touch Apps by subject area we (over 60 contributors) have been building since November 2009 has been extremely popular. How do I know? Well, the Apple rep said she has been sharing it with all of the other Apple reps and they have requested an iPad only version as well. I actually had that in the works, but I just never got to sharing it out. So, I’m doing that now.

iPad Only Apps spreadsheet is now ready for contributions. I shared it with the same crew who has been editing the iPhone/Touch apps sheet. Hopefully, this one will grow as plentiful and popular as the other. I have a few listed already, but I know there are tons more ready to be added.  Yes, I do realize the iPhone and Touch apps will work on the iPad, but there are some just for the iPad that will not roll backwards and are worthy of attention. Now is the chance for that to happen.

Leave me a comment below or shoot me a message on Twitter (@woscholar) if you want to be added as a contributor on either/both of these. I just need your Google Docs email address.

Meetings Because We’ve Always Had Them


Photo Credit: markhillary

Catching up on my blog reading lately. I ran across this great post by Ryan Bretag. As usual, he challenges one to consider why we do what we do. Are we doing it just because we always have done it that way? Sometimes, that is okay. Many times, it’s not. Consider his take on meetings:

Meetings are not all bad – quite the opposite. Good ones are focused on
organizational progress based upon legitimate dialogue and discussion
that enhance instruction and lead to greater student success. However,
those meetings that fall outside this scope waste the creative and
intellectual capacity of the very people expected to use such strengths
as instructional leaders. Those meetings block creativity,
brainstorming, wonder, play, risk-taking, and innovation.

I cannot agree with him more. We’ve all sat in and led those same types of meetings. Nowadays, we have technology at our fingertips to take care of the menial, informational, one way communication. Why make everyone come together for that again? And again. And again.

Ryan offers up this challenge:

Set the Tone

… I challenge those that structure “All Faculty Meetings” to
consider these as community learning, celebrating, and growing
opportunities. Do not treat these as a time for one person after another
to stand in front of a large group sharing information. Instead, I
encourage you to consider the following:

  1. Create an agenda that does not include any one-way information delivery outside of a motivational/inspirational opening (brief)
  2. Establish activities that ignite the interests and passions of
    faculty, that challenge mindsets and frames of reference, and that spark
    dialogue and discussion well beyond the time spent together
  3. Send an email that includes the agenda, any one-way information, and
    Ignite Prompts that get people into a learning frame of mind
  4. Utilize the opportunities as a community to push to new levels, to begin breaking the boundaries that are stifling progress
  5. Provide times and opportunities to extend these starting points
  6. Seek feedback from faculty on the effectiveness of faculty meetings
    and what could be done to create stronger learning opportunities

In other words, think outside the box in your planning. Pretend for a minute that you really want everyone’s input. Pretend that your entire staff is energized and passionate about offering feedback to make things better. Pretend that every meeting you you hold ends with mountains of beneficial input from the folks that it directly affects.  Prepare as if these things are true. Because if you pretend these things are true, and you prepare as if they are true, then you just might find them coming to reality. Can you imagine the power of those meetings?

Now excuse me while I go rework the agenda for my district technology committee.