Sunday, October 23, 2011

Technology mismatch: wrong tool for the job?

image "my desk" By Drpoulette

At a recent staff mtg I distributed our provincial report card drafts that are scheduled to be implemented next year province wide in Manitoba.

The next agenda item was a division wide electronic grade book that our school division was asking individual schools to consider piloting.

Only 2 people on our k-8 staff are currenty using an electronic grade book (1 teacher ease 1 e-class) to help them with assessing their students.

Considering that we are striving towards non toxic grading practices as suggested in communicating student learning and more specifically not averaging marks and rather using the most recent evidence of student's learning to assign summative grades......

Has anyone read a blogpost elsewhere of any of the following titles or something similar?

Electronic grade books no longer appropriate assessment practice?
Averaging marks unfair to students?
Technology mismatch: wrong tool for the job?

I wanted to say "you shouldn't use an electronic grade book to assess our students!"
Am I wrong?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Geeky Friends! Thoughts from Unplugd11

photo by flickr user charbeck10

When I left Thompson, Manitoba, to go to this past weekends Unplugd Canadian Education Summit to be with these people from across Canada, my wife said to me "have fun with your geeky friends!"

Now that Unplugd has concluded, I'm thinking how interesting it was that with 36 other people who are trying to figure out ways to infuse technology and as part of their work achieve Literacy with ICT with their students, that our 3 days spent together really wasn't spent talking much about the technology.

Sure most of us that attended can make technology dance when we need it to but it was the passion about education that was most evident and stood out for me and not our ability to use, or our knowledge about technology.

Sure there was a bit of how do you do this, and what app do you use for that? Most of our discussions however seemed to be about kids and learning and teaching.

We talked about what we thought was excellent about what we do.
We talked about what we thought wasn't so excellent about what we do.
We talked about what we thought education could be like in Canada.

For those who don't already know, we unplugged from the Internet but of course used technology to capture our collective experience and create a few artifacts through collaborative authorship. A book we all co-authored will be released in the next few days one chapter at a time. I invite people to take a look at it to get some idea about our thoughts and join us in the ongoing conversation.

When I begin to try and explain to others what happened and who I was with at #unplugd11 I think I will begin my part of the conversation by saying "I spent 3 days in Algonquin park at the Northern Edge with 37 people that care so much about education that it hurts."

Are you like us?

Watch for the essays and stories coming soon.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

iPads are on their way

I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to organize things with our soon to arrive iPads. We're about to do an administrator use iPad pilot in our school. James (our Vice Principal) and I have ordered an iPad each, and are trying to figure out how we'll use an iPad to transform how we work as school administrators.

Right now I'm wondering what Apps to begin with. I think I'm going to transfer all my current iPod apps to the iPad and go from there. I've also been following tweets for the last month or so and some blog posts.

Thanks to the always valuable tweets from @joevans I'm going to begin with suggested "ipad resources for administrators" at

JRobinson at "the 21st century principal" blog suggested news apps like (ABC CNN) and I'll substitute a CBC news app. He also suggests:
Flipboard (like feedly?)
The Onion
Weather channel

docs to go
go docs - to access to google docs
prezi viewer

friendly - facebook for ipad
mobile RSS to read google reader feeds

Twitter for ipad


susan berden also added:
voice2note - which is an evernote add-on
ithoughts HD - a concept mapper

I've also come across soundnote- that lets you record meetings and make notes.

Organizing the apps
I've already created multiple users on my computer. One account that I use all the time, a 2nd user that I use to manage our ipod touch apps for our Ipod lab in our school and now a 3rd account to manage the apps on our admin ipads.

Ongoing sharing with others
As suggested to me by @dkuropatwa I've created an appolicous account that shares what apps I have on my devices with anyone that wants to know.

Are there any apps that you feel might help us on this journey. Please let us know or hook up with us on appolicious.