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Bill Ferriter

December 1, 2014

Check Out These Technology Integration Scenarios


So let's get something straight:  There REALLY ARE right and wrong ways to drive technology integration efforts in schools -- and there REALLY ARE schools and districts wasting tons of time, cash, and political good will by "investing" in digital tools and services without ever changing learning spaces in a meaningful way.  

That's sad, y'all.  Not only do we lose credibility in the eyes of the general public when we botch technology integration efforts, we lose credibility in the eyes of the kids in our classrooms.  

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Tori Mazur

November 29, 2014

Connecting Digital Lives

12 comments​At the start of the year, I had high hopes for sparking conversation with parents when I produced the laptop orientation sessions for our freshmen. We wouldn't allow the computers in our 1:1 program to go home until parents attended an information session and signed the paperwork.  I ended up sharing information that the district wanted them to know about fees and some other tips for care.  Next year, I think we need to do more. 

I had an interesting conversation with a parent who wanted us to keep the loaner laptop at school because her son was only using it to play games and watch music after school. By the end of the conversation, which was partly a need for her to vent about his suspension, she agreed to take the laptop up at night and give it back in the morning. Parents are learning right along with us.

Some have learned the hardest lessons.

Digital Native image by T. Faltings licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 2.0.  No changes have been made.

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Justin Minkel

November 23, 2014

Taking Teacher-Led Projects to Scale


Teaching 25 kids is incredibly hard work. Impacting 2,500 is even harder. The reason teacher leaders can have that impact is that we never work in isolation.

Transforming our profession from within requires courage, perseverance, and plenty of midnight oil. It also takes one hell of network standing beside you.

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Bill Ferriter

November 23, 2014

Reflections on the Class Dojo Kerfuffle


Based on the posts I've been seeing in my Twitterstream lately, I probably shouldn't admit this, but I am a Class Dojo user.

I know the complaints that people have with the app:  Awarding points for good behavior feels Pavlovian; allowing peers to see points awarded and taken away from their classmates can be publicly embarrassing; and patterns established over time might just result in kids being unfairly labeled.

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Bill Ferriter

November 18, 2014

Check Out What My Kids Created with Canva


Regular Radical readers know that I'm a huge fan of Canva -- the digital service designed to make visual design easier for everyone.  What makes Canva so powerful as a classroom application is that kids can create pretty darn stunning images with ease.

Need proof?  Then check out this bit whipped up by two of my sixth graders today:

Not bad, right?

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Tori Mazur

November 12, 2014

High-Stakes, Not Hostage


I survived Testober.  My first October as a high school Testing Coordinator was spent eyeballs deep in spreadsheets of students and their schedule data.  It was challenging enough to coordinate the movement - and test security - of several hundred students, displace teachers and their untested students so I could have their rooms, and find places every class period to put all the bodies. Now it seems as though our state and district want to up the ante by adding technological challenges as we move to high-stakes testing online.  

Before we go all in, there are some things that teachers need. 

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Bill Ferriter

November 6, 2014

Tupac -- Yes THAT Tupac -- on Education


A few weeks ago, my buddy Mike Hutchinson stumbled across a pretty remarkable commentary on just what education should be from Tupac.  I've Tube-Chopped it down to spotlight the best parts:



Amazing, right? 

Here's what's even MORE amazing:  That interview was shot in 1988.


So what's changed in our classrooms and schools since then?  

Pretty much nothing.

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