Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What If It Was Possible?

Teachers get this often from kids...That's impossible Mr. Lyddane, I can't do that. I even hear it from teachers when faced with change or a challenge. That's impossible Jimmy, I can't do that, I don't have the time to do that, etc.

Is it really impossible or does it just take a lot of work?


So next time you feel yourself getting ready to say,

That's impossible.
remember this video and ask yourself,

Is it really impossible? Or do I just have to work at it?
What kind of box have you put yourself in?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Common Core Standards and Technology

Wow! It's been awhile since my last post. No, I didn't take an extended vacation nor did i fall off the edge of the earth for a bit...I've been very busy working with teachers to develop their skills in technology and integrating technology in best practice instruction. I'm having a great time being in all the schools and having the opportunity to see so many great things happening in the Owensboro Public Schools!
I've been spending a lot of time becoming more familiar with the common core standards and have to admit that I'm excited about how instruction will look different as these are implemented in the classrooms. I can see where lots of opportunities exist in using technology to better engage students in a deeper level of learning. Change is always scary, now doubt about it. But if we continue to leverage or resources, provide our teachers with the need training and support, and allow some risk taking...our students are going to benefit from some pretty awesome opportunities and experiences.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Teaching versus Learning

The last several weeks I have had some awesome conversations regarding teaching and learning in our schools. I have been completely blown away with the professionalism and the desire to grow from the teachers in the Owensboro Public Schools! My thoughts are still swirling from the conversations that took place. A high school teacher at OHS shared her thoughts and asked a question that has me REALLY thinking...Why don't teachers realize that being "OK" is not Good Enough? She brought up a good question regarding generations of student and past students. Could they walk into a classroom and answer the question..."What year is it?” Easy enough question, but the implications run deep! This video came to mind, “Progressive Education in the 1940s”:

This video touts the merits of the “revolutionary teaching ideas” of the 1940s, especially the use of projects. Seventy years later, how far have we come with our schools? Sadly, in spite of today’s “revolutionary teaching ideas” we’re still basically doing things the same way and getting the same results. Insanity, according to Einstein.

Another teacher posed another question, “Are we in the business of schooling or in the business of learning?” This really hits the nail on the head for me. I’ve been really thinking about this for several years. Is it time to abandon “schooliness” for the love of learning.

OPS is at a critical juncture. As we explore and develop our 21st Century Learning Continuum and move forward with the rollout of more classroom technology tools, it’s vital that we change our focus from teaching to learning. More computers won’t change what happens in the classroom. Our recent conversation and the comments that school reform doesn’t work rings sharp and clear. Re-forming what we’ve been doing for so long won’t yield new results. Our current system of doing things is more focused on “schooling” not “learning.” To reach our goal of developing students to be better problem solvers, critical thinkers, and independent learners, radical change is necessary, and radical change necessitates risk. I’m convinced that our technology initiative is synchronous with the equally important change toward demonstration of proficiency rather than attainment of grades. This will be a very scary proposition for teachers, students, and parents, but according to Robert Kennedy, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Our only hope for success is a willingness to make drastic change. Are we willing to take the risk?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Needed....more first followers

I'm so excited and so proud to be a part of the OPS digital curriculum team. I am also scared to death! We need lots and lots of help...can you help create a movement?

A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. [...]

Notice the leader embraces him as an equal, so it’s not about the leader anymore – it’s about them, plural. Notice he’s calling to his friends to join in. It takes guts to be a first follower! You stand out and brave ridicule, yourself. Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire.

[...]A movement must be public. Make sure outsiders see more than just the leader. Everyone needs to see the followers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Video - An open letter to educators

“If institutional education refuses to adapt to the landscape of the information age, it WILL die and SHOULD die.”

The video is An Open Letter to Educators. Happy viewing!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Future of Print

I don't think there is any doubt that tablet eReaders are going to be a significant part of education in the very near future. I found a video that shows an example of what some of the interactive experiences will soon be for our younger children both in and out of school.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Resources for Grammar and Punctuation

There are many different websites that can be used to teach your students about grammar and punctuation usage. Some of the best are interactive and can serve as fun reinforcement tools for those who are working to retain what they have already learned. Here are a few websites to bookmark and try throughout the school year:
Quizlet– This free flashcard site has hundreds of pre-made English grammar flashcards that can be printed or studied online. Quizlet also allows users to create their own flashcards.
Free Rice- Students can give rice to hungry people when they play the FreeRice English grammar game online. The United Nations World Food Program will donate 10 grains of rice to the needy for every question that is answered correctly. There is no limit to the number of questions that can be answered each day.
SpeakSpeak– Created by an English language teacher from Great Britain, SpeakSpeak provides a large collection of free English grammar and vocabulary exercises. Exercises are available for beginner, intermediate and advanced students.
Chomp Chomp – This site offers definitions for common grammar terms, interactive grammar exercises with accompanying handouts, quick tips and rules, and projector-ready presentations.
Using English.com- Using English is an excellent place to find ESL tools and resources. Useful features include a grammar glossary and reference, printable handouts and worksheets, English quizzes, and a text analysis tool.
Web English Teacher- The Web English Teacher provides many different punctuation resources on her site. Resources include materials and lessons on commas, semicolons, apostrophes, capitalization, and more.
Parapal online- Parapal online provides a wide range of interactive grammar and vocabulary exercises designed to improve listening, writing, and reading skills.
Grammar Bites- This site offers definitions for common grammar terms, interactive grammar exercises with accompanying handouts, quick tips and rules, and projector-ready presentations.
Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) – Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab provides more than 200 free resources to help students learn grammar and mechanics, punctuation, style guidelines, and more. The OWL also has a selection of suggested resources for writers and ESL students.
Grammar Girl- Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty provides information on grammar, punctuation, style, and word choices through a free newsletter, blog, and podcasts. Students who visit the Grammar Girl site can also submit questions to be answered by grammar experts.
GrammarBook.com - Created to supplement the bestselling Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, GrammarBook.com provides a free online guide to grammar and punctuation usage. Other free site features include online quizzes, videos and tests.