“ Great trials seem to be a necessary preparation for great duties. ”
— James Thomson
Skimming my twitter feed–marking items as favorites that I need to revisit later, if time allows–every morning with my Android phone has become one of those habits. One of those habits you’re not sure is good or bad, only that you’ve done it. It’s like other bad habits I’d like to shed, such as:
- Eating some of my daughter’s sugar cookies–she’s turning into an excellent baker–with a glass of milk two hours before bed-time.
- Going back to sleep during the work week instead of jumping up and jogging for 30 minutes.
- Waiting until the smoke detectors start beeping before replacing the batteries.
- Reading my Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, News RSS feeds before getting up out of bed in the morning, along with checking the weather. Somehow, I feel that this has replaced reading the newspaper, sipping coffee, watching the morning news.
- Methodically wiping the free space on work machines after working with confidential data, as well as safeguarding it.
- Making time to reflect on blog entries, narrowing the scope of the blogs I read, so I don’t suffer from information overload. This might also be called “pruning” the RSS feed, or to use a library term, “weeding.”
Digital tools are are available to bring you the latest news and trends, cut down on desk time, and keep you connected to your staff and administrative teams. You can have a tool that brings you the latest education news right on your desktop, customized with just the content you want (try Google Reader). You can have educators all over the world sending you ideas and resources directly to you on your computer or phone (try Twitter). You can collaborate with staff and teams virtually without having to physically meet (try Skype, Google Docs, or Google +). Evaluations and data about observations can be collected, stored and distributed digitally by using a smartphone, iPad, or laptop and a form created in Google Docs.
This is great advice for new folks, especially administrators who have yet to take a sip from the firehose. It opens up a world of ideas and information.
- Telegathering (to remix Dr. Judi Harris’ term) information and connecting with others.
- Connecting with others in real time.
- Creating content (e.g. blogs/wikis/videos/podcasts) and sharing it online.
As great as these steps/stages are, what’s the effect on the school organization? I get the idea of super-heated particles caught in an inflexible system, bouncing around trying to escape but firmly fixed in place by an obsolete system.
In physics, escape velocity is the speed at which the kinetic energy plus the gravitational potential energy of an object is zero [nb 1]. It is the speed needed to “break free” from a gravitational field without further propulsion.
Active learning is a process whereby students engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving that promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content. Cooperative learning, problem-based learning, and the use of case methods and simulations are some approaches that promote active learning. (Source: Teaching Strategies)
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