Sunday, June 27, 2010

ISTE 2010 Kickoff

This is the second time I have attend an ISTE conference, the first time it was called NECC and was in D.C. The first time I went for 1 day because that was all I could attend and loved it so much. This time I was here for the pre-conference and just attended the kick-off.

I have attend two workshops one on using Google Earth and Sketch Up, the other workshop focused on using clickers in the classroom. I gained information from both that I will use for presentation for my school and county. However, the kick-off event was definitely the most exciting thing so far. It was presented with such excitement (even without the iPAD give away) that I just want to go back to my school today start the school year.

I know the conference has just begun and there is still so much to learn in sessions but I do have one concern. During the kick-off event the keynote, Mario Armstrong, stated that "connecting to people" is how you can truly make this conference valuable. I am active on twitter (more reading than posting) but I am unsure how to connect to these people I follow on regular basis. I will be attending the tweetup in the social butterfly lounge at 4:30 but what do I go from there?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NCLB Reform

Obama wants to change NCLB because he said that it has a good purpose but fails to support the idea with money and other programs. So he proposes to have more accountability on teachers, get rid of "bad teachers" that unions are protecting. I read an article in Newsweek that says teachers are protected by unions because once a teacher has tenor it is nearly impossible to get them fired. So bad teachers stay in the classroom. I read another article from the New York Times which offer a good explanation for why unions can be bad for education. The solution? Base teacher evaluations on student academic performances.

So from what I understand, after state testing scores will be looked at and then that decides if you have a job the following year. Hmmmmm.......... so I guess that will solve all of educations problems and our test scores will out score every nation in the world.

But..... what about groups? In my school there is an high group and low group. Obviously the teacher with the high group will have better test scores and job security. The teacher with the lower group will have to well, find another career.

Or..... what about new teachers? It is a known fact that college does not actually prepare you for the classroom, it takes about 2 years to get the hang of all the responsibilities and jobs of being a teacher. But if your class fails MSA then well, find another career to help pay for those college loans.

And......what about teachers/students daily life? I know this year alone my daughter was sick for a week, I was sick for a week, I had serious family issues, all of which has made me miss days of week. Not to mention 2 huge snow storms that caused use to miss 2 weeks of school. So if I had a classroom and my students do poorly, I guess I'm screwed for getting sick.

Finally, do not even get me started on student issues: poverty, stability, family, disorders, disabilities, etc.

I do not know if the reform will pass, if it is anything like health care then we have no problem.

I hope all involved remember the saying "its takes a village to raise a child", not one teacher one year in school.