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THINK Tutorials

Think tutorialThink Tutorial is a site providing free, easy to follow tutorials on a variety of web services, software, and mobile applications.    If you are easily frustrated with the lack of directions on certain sites and for certain devices, check out these tutorials.  I have found them to be very helpful.  And…they help us to keep up with our kids who are naturals at figuring some of these things out!

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Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

We continue to move toward integration of technology as a tool for learning.  Many are excited and many are nervous about the costs, controls and unknowns.  There is a great deal of buzz regarding the worries of moving toward an online world for learning with the result being less collaborative problem solving…a fear that the learner would interact with a tool rather than other learners.

This presentation about the generation of ideas and the critical components necessary will help you to see how technology tools which allow access to online learning can promote the development of an idea rather than limit it.

If you are interested in finding out more about the district direction for 21st Century Learning, please plan to attend a meeting about this topic on October 11 at the HHS Auditorium.

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Hudsonville’s Plan for 21st Century Learning

A parent and community presentation will be offered on Monday, October 11th from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. at theFuture High School Auditorium on 21st century learning skills.  Hudsonville Public School’s Superintendent, Nick Ceglarek, and Sue Curro will present evidence on how learning needs are “different” in the 21st century andhow Hudsonville Public Schools is addressing the issue.  Topics for the evening will include technology in the learning environment, World Language requirements, and required work skills in today’s global work place.  Learn how you, as parents, can support your child’s learning opportunities and course selections to help them be prepared as they exit their K-12 educational journey.

We would love to have you attend this meeting!

Mark your calendars for:  Monday, October 11th from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the High School Auditorium

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Our Digital Librarians

library books Technology is changing the ways we    communicate, work and learn at a rapid pace.  Our children more excited about these changes — and excited to take risks to learn each new piece of technology placed before them.   As parents and teacher scramble to keep up with the advances, school librarians must, too!   Watch this New York Times video to understand how librarians are on the front line of keeping up with our digital world.  21st Century Librarian

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Tweets from Outer Space

This past week, I began to follow my first astronaut on twitter, and I must say, it has been exciting!  NASA Astronaut Mark L. Polansky is sending twitter updates about the multiple aborted launches, the actual launch, burns, and the upcoming rendezvous with the International Space Station.

I can still remember the summer of 1969, standing in front of a black and white television watching Apollo 11 astronauts land on the moon.  As a seven year old girl, I could sense the excitement in the room and recall that many of the questions I asked were “un-answerable” by the adults present. “How fast did they go?  Is this like an airplane?  Are there any girl astronauts?  Is that like the sand on Lake Michigan?  Why can’t they breathe the air?  Do they sleep?  How do the go to the bathroom?”

Today, parents can watch the launch with their children and have instant access to answers by visiting NASA, Wikipedia, and other sites.  In addition, if you missed the launch, this can be viewed at anytime of the day or night on YouTube.  For up to the minute information about the flight, you can follow Commander Polansky’s tweets as he navigates the Endeavor to the International Space Station.  And, if this isn’t enough, you and your child can get a sense of who the astronauts are through Facebook and My Space — the ultimate social networking sites.

As I have said before, technology is an amazing tool for learning…and parents have easy, free and instant access to sources to answers about space, astronauts and much more!

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Leadership Day 2009

Today is LEADERSHIP DAY 2009.  This is a day in which Scott McLeod, a professor at Iowa State University,    invites educators to share why and how we use technology in our careers.  Earlier this week, I blogged about being a principal who twitters. Those of you who read the post learned that I am certifiably a ‘tech geek’.  It is important to note that I am also NOT very ‘tech savvy’.   For example, I struggle to define critical technology terms (gigabyte, modem, html, css) and certainly do not know how to rebuild a hard drive.   I have been smart enough to call on technology experts when needed:  I know the extension numbers to the district Tech Office by heart — and when they can’t be reached, I have utilized the brains and heart of John Lawrence.

How specifically do I use technology on a daily basis as the learning leader of Georgetown Elementary?

  • As a learner, I cannot imagine not utilizing technology as a tool to create documents, problem solve and communicate with others via blogs, nings, wikis, twitter, and email.
  • As a building administrator, technology allows me to function more efficiently and accurately (hand held computer, laptop, web 2.0 tools to create, sort and examine data).  Sometimes, technology tools make me look more artistic and creative than I am!  If I use my tech tools well, I have additional time to build relationships with parents, students and teachers.
  • As a learning leader, technology allows me to do what is essential – promote independence in teachers and students.  I want the teachers to empower their students in technology with the same passion they use to model, guide and release reading, writing, and math—and all content areas. Technology is a learning tool that promotes independence, invites discussion, and grows a community of learners in exciting new ways.  Therefore, I am committed to helping teachers find the right tools to use at the right time with the right learners.

Why am I so passionate and focused on technology when there is so much that competes for my attention on a daily basis?

  • Access to amazingly simple and free technology tools have transformed the way I communicate, problem solve, share, create, learn and lead.  This did not require me to be tech savvy…it required me to be tech interested.
  • I  believe that technology tools will not by themselves create great learners, teachers or leaders.  I am convinced, however, that our best and brightest will be the better ‘tech’ equipped and capable at learning, teaching and leading NOW and in the future.

For those who would like to begin the journey of discovering more about technology tools and how they are used in education, I would encourage you to:

  • Read blogs by teachers, students, administrators.
  • Once you have read a blog post, leave a comment for the blogger.
  • Join twitter.  Find followers in the area of educational technology.  Follow them, ask questions, share.
  • Begin a blog of your own and invite others to read your posts & leave comments.  There are many free blog options available on the web.  I am partial to Edublogs due to their great support, both tutorials and problem solving.  Kudos in particular to Sue Waters, someone who has tutored me from Australia!
  • Learn about web 2.0 tools by following these 23 Simple Steps

Finally, if you are interested in following the many blog posts by educators, type this phrase into a  twitter search bar:  #leadershipday09.  You can also follow Scott McLeod’s Blog.

Thank you for sticking with this post and reading my passionate thoughts about technology in education.

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