Kelly Christopherson, who I follow on Twitter, posted a blogging challenge. I thought this was a good way to start writing again. My blogging has been sporadic the last few years for an assortment of reasons. I’m not in a classroom situation any more which means that I’m not working with students to use technology. Last year I worked with a grade six class to begin blogging but the class only worked on their blogs once a week when I was with them. My hope was that the classroom teacher would embrace the blog as a way for her class to complete assignments and connect with peers. This school year meant another change and I’m slowly starting to feel comfortable in my new school. If I’m there next year I would love to work with teachers and students in using technology in their classrooms.

The topic for this week is Organization/Productivity – tools you use. Share how you stay organized and the tools you use to manage your time and focus on being productive.

I have to admit that I’m still a paper agenda person. I like putting my pencil to paper and being to able to flip through the pages of my agenda. I occasionally use my iPhone’s calendar to record appointments but when I get home I put the appointment on the calendar on the fridge then once I’m at work it goes into my agenda. The calendar on the fridge allows family to see when we have appointments.

searchOnce in a while I have used the sticky note feature on my desktop but I prefer little yellow sticky notes that I can write reminders on. I sometimes carry the sticky notes with me when I’m completing a task so I don’t forget what I wanted to do.


I also write my to-do list in a book. There is something incredibly satisfying about crossing off an item on my list that I have completed.

Obviously I have not embraced technology to manage my time and paper makes me happy for notes and reminders. Maybe I’ll use my phone a bit more this year. Who knows….. it’s only February so anything could happen!

The Ten Worst Practices in Educational Technology
Dean Shareski
May, 3rd, 2010
How do we make changes from what we’re doing now? Why are we spending all of this money on technology? How does technology improve student learning?
Curse of the default settings. We don’t ask what we can do with something or what can we do differently?
1. Interactive Whiteboards: Should easy always be the goal of technology? How would the use of this technology be transfo
2. PowerPoint: Why are there so many bad PowerPoints and why do we use them? What strategies have been successful in eliminating bad PowerPoints? Use the PowerPoint as a tool. Use different tools for presentations. “Slideument”If it’s a presentation you need to be there to present it. It should be a storytelling tool and not a document on slides.
3. Digital Cameras: What are your favourite uses of cameras? What ways have teachers used cameras to transform teaching? Voicethreads, documentation, reflection.
4. Walled Gardens: Password Protected sites where only you and your students are allowed in. Are there times when they are appropriate or should learning be open?
5. Computer Class: Do we still need to have computer class or should computers be in the classroom?
6. Cellphones: Are we using them in the classroom or should they be used in the classroom?
7. Keyboarding: Should be teaching this in school?
8. Drill Exercises: Do they have a place in teaching? What is the place of games in teaching?
9. Searching: How to do a proper search.
10. Viewers’ Choice: Word Processing

Bernajean Porter

iTSummit 2010

May 3rd, 2010

What are we pretending not to know? Even knowing that the future aches for a new kind of learner, thinker, and problem-solver, all the dollars and time spent on techno gadgets still have changed little more than pockets of classrooms for kids. We need to seek higher ground for our visions and our results.

“Turning UP the H.E.A.T.” (Higher Order Thinking – Engaged Students – Authentic Tasks and added-value Technology Uses) can bcome a robust catalyst in accelerating new cultures of learning that will serve the highest interest of our students’ capacity to step successfully into a global economy. Going from knowing facts to enduring understandings is not something that can be memorized – it needs to be rehearsed regularly with rigorous inquiry tasks, driving questions, authentic audiences, collaborative problem-solving tools, inventive thinking, and effective 21 Century communication skills. What if rather than trying to teach students problem solving, we actually encouraged them to take on problems that needed solving? Consider a whole-school challenge of playing a modern  day.”http://www.digitales.us/workshops/topics.php


  • Higher Order Thinking
  • Engaged Learning
  • Authenticity
  • Technology

Transform learning by making meaning by what we or the students know. Have students own their learning and be pushed beyond what they know. Ask the next questions, challenge the students and challenge your self. Its an open question if I don’t know the question yet.

Our goal is more transformative learning. For higher order thinking we need to require students to make meaning requiring reasoning/thinking using facts. Students are required to demonstrate being knowledge producers-focused on creating evidenced or logic based thinking beyond existing information. This goes beyond Summary reports into persuasive, original work.

Engaged students respond to open ended questions with no right or wrong answers – complex issues calling for their own developed perspective or solution. Students are guided to take responsibility or own their questions, tasks, managing processes, and defining assessments. Students guided to incorporate their interests and affinities.

In authentic learning  the task has relevant, real-world challenges. Tasks are designed for collaborative groups modeling real-world work. Student work developed as evidence of genuine learning.

In technology modes and tools are used to enhance the experience. The learning task or experience would be experience or impaired without technology. Technology uses create “new stories” for learning and teaching with new tools. Technology accelerates thinking, learning and communicating tasks.

Tasks could have rigor, purpose and produce knowledge makers. Digital Media Scoring Guides.

“One of the signs of a good question is that Google doesn’t have the answer.”

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it.” Albert Einstein

All Technology Uses are NOT Equal: Accelerating High Yielding Practices

Bernajean Porter: Keynote Speaker

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

iT Summit, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


The more senses that are engaged the more the learner is engaged.

Creativity is the idea but innovation is the implementation. Change will be ongoing. We need to be aware that new techs are constant and we need to be co-learners and co-changers. “We shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us.” McLuhan

Looking at the Future: Are we getting ourselves ready? Our students ready? Our schools and classrooms ready? Media specialists are the keys to change in schools. Biggest problem for students is not knowing what are credible and reliable sources. Students need to rehearse and practice to use the tools and learn how to use them in regards to their learning. It is not for the sake of change. Change is the status quo.

Sticking power  of what kids know. We have a generation of kids that are sensory deprived and context deprived. Only about 17% of our kids are engaged in school. Our kids have sensory overload outside of school. What shifting in our schools will accommodate these kids. Are we getting them prepared to take over the world?

How do we get them ready for a world we can’t imagine?  We will need to collaborate, problem solve, use the 21st Century learning tools. What do we need to make happen? What do we think is valuable? What needs to change? Vision is about urgency and commitment. It’s what we need to move forward. Technology also accelerates innovation, connection, and global change for good.

Influencing Results: To increase school-wide learning. Content and strategies are important. Look at technology plans and teaching.

  • Enriching and Enhancing
  • Supporting Standars
  • Creating Life-Long Learners
  • Raising Student Achievement
  • Integration Across the Curriculum

Integrations is

  • Do Something
  • Do Anything
  • Just…do IT
  • Just Use IT

What is the story that we want to create with our students? What tools enable us to tell great stories? Don’t get tricked by the stuff. The goal isn’t to use new technologies but the goal is to go new places. Do we have a new story or an old story that’s more expensive?What’s the quality of the story (what’s appealing?) What is a concern?

Whatever you do we your students: Do it on Purpose. Questions and questioning make students think. We want students to make sense out of what they are learning. The goal isn’t to use technology but the goal is to use the power of technology to accelerate learning for all students. Become story makers and keepers for you and your students.

I love the information, links and ideas I get my Twitter network. The thoughts of other educators are often provoking and make me think about my teaching. This morning I was checking my TweetDeck and checked out the Curriculum 21 ning site. ‘Langwitches’ had posted a new quote.

Curriculum 21 Quotes

Curriculum 21 is a new ning site for me but I liked the tag line on their site “Mapping the Global Classroom of the Future.” I’ll have to look around the site more but I may have to join this new network and make some connections.


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