Sunday, June 20, 2010

Business Idea

Do you know anybody in their 40's, 50's, and 60's who would like learning about all these Web 2.0 tools? Would they also like to know how to use their cell phone features? digital camera? video camera? email? programs on their computers?

I get random phone calls from people I don't even know. The week before class, I helped a 25 year apply for a teaching job in Texas. He had to create a video of him teaching and send it to the HR of the Houston School District. He didn't know how to do it so his sister suggested my name so on a Saturday night, I helped create the video and send it in. He volunteered to pay me but I told him that it wasn't necessary. At school conferences, I talk to the parents about all the technology their son/daughter is using in my class and so many of them say "I would like to take your class and learn all that." That has given me an idea for a business.

People used to hire me to create videos for graduations, anniversaries, highlight football videos, and so on. I would make around $250 but that ended up to be about $5 an hour and I used all my own equipment. Not a very profitable business. Instead of me doing the work, why can't THEY do the work and I help them.

I think that a computer learning center for adults it's what's needed. The learning center could offer classes on a variety of technology like word processing, spreadsheets, Photoshop, videos, picture editing, and troubleshooting. This learning center would have to have office hours where customers could come in and ask for help on a problem their having. The problem is money. How much would you have to charge to make this a profitable business???

Any ideas????

Friday, June 18, 2010

Excited to Learn

It's fun to be around people in our ITEC class who are very eager to learn all the various technology Dr. Z. is introducing us to. We are all thinking about how can we implement these technology tools into our lesson plans.
Wouldn't that be great if the majority of teachers here in Iowa could be just as excited? That would make our administrators jobs a lot easier. I was thinking, how can I help my principal and superintendent with their technology goals for our school? For a teacher quality project this summer, I'm going to work on a document on how to teach technology to educators during our professional development days.
The consensus of the teachers at our school want to know how they can specifically use this technology in their classrooms. They also want someone to to be around for support.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's all about the kids

Tonight, I left UNI to come back home to watch some baseball games. I watched my 7th grade son play his game and then I watched my students from IFA play their high school baseball game. It's funny how much I miss my students. I wanted to talk to them after the game and ask how their summer is going and what they have been doing. Yes teaching high school students is hard but I know why I do it, it's because I like being around them. I like how honest teenagers are. I like how eager they are to learn. I like how they want their teachers to recognize them for their dedication and hard work. What students want is to be accepted for who they are. Isn't that what we all want?

Yes, teachers today need to know a lot about technology but we also need to know how to teach it so our students have the desire to learn. Dr. Z. is introducing us to a lot of technology we can use to make learning more hands on but he is also teaching us how to bring out student's creativity and higher order thinking skills. I want my students to learn because they want to, not because I'm making them to.
Chicken Dance

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CBS Vacation Hotspot - Dr. Z.'s Group Project

Our group, CBS, is interested in where you would like to go on vacation and how you would like to get there. Click this link to answer some questions on our Gooogle doc.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How is Technology Impacting Education? Dr. Scott McLeod

For our professional development day at school, Dr. Scott McLeod from Iowa State, presented about how our teaching strategies needs to change to adapt to technology. Dr. McLeod made this blog for our school Dangerously Irrelevant - Iowa Falls School During our in service, we talked about Facebook. Most of the teachers do NOT want anything to do with social networking. In Gabe's blog, he says There is a large part of me that wants to resist and revolt. I don't want to be a part of the generation that is so self-absorbed that they think "everyone is just dying to know what I am doing at this very minute."

These are notes from the meeting with Dr. Scott McLeod.
  • 1st Task - Increase the cognitive level skills (higher order of thinking) of our students - critical thinking, problem solving, effective speaking and writing, collaboration, global awareness, adaptability, entrepreneurship, innovation, synthesis, curiosity, information literacy
  • 2nd Task - Start integrating technology into education - we are so far behind (colleges too)

We remember things that we have attached meaning to.

When your kids are performing the higher cognitive skills, the lower level skills are also being learned.

In Sara's blog, she says We need new "Learning Centers" that are free, abundant, and promote learning rather than test scores. I would love to teach in a learning center or a career academy school. Is there any in Iowa?

Dr. McLeod asked us these questions? Are you teaching kids to write with the hyper links (connections) to the world? Do they create a multi-media presentation that appeals to readers emotions?

In the textbook Web 2. New Tools, New Schools on page 121, Scott McLeod mentions 12 reasons why administrators need to blog.

I really enjoyed this in service, but I think many teachers are resisting the push to integrate technology into their curriculum. What I would like to see is team teaching. One teacher would know the content and another teacher would know the technology.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

How do you learn technology?

When I was in college (over 20 years ago) I was required to take 1 computer class at ISU (programming using PASCAL) In that class, we never even used computers, we just programmed cards. My, how things have changed.

From then, everything I have learned about computers I have taught myself. I can't even tell you how many frustrated and agonizing hours I have had in front of the computer. When I started teaching high school business 4 years ago, I had to teach Dreamweaver (web page design). I knew nothing about the program and I had to try and stay at least one day ahead of the class. I learned a lot about the program but I was super frustrated until I really knew the program well. That's how a lot of teachers feel about technology, frustrated. They want to teach using technology but it's just so time consuming to learn the technology. Doesn't it make sense to have someone in each school building that can assist all the teachers with the technology they want to learn? It would save a lot of the teachers time too. Time they could be using developing their curriculum. Cyber Education: Achieving Obama's Vision

Many students in school today expect the teachers to know all about the programs we are teaching them, but that's an unreal expectation. When my freshmen students can't figure something out, they quickly raise their hand for help. What I figured out was real learning and problem solving can take place when students work at figuring things out on their own. Teaching Secrets - Don't Cripple With Compassion When they have a questions and raise their hand for me to help them, I give them a few minutes to see if they can do it on their own. About 75% of them they figure it out before I get to them. When they are juniors and seniors, a lot of the time they don't even ask me for my help, they just work on it until they can figure it out. What I am finding out too is students are learning from each other. Many times, if a student doesn't know how to do something, another student does and they are willing to teach them how.

In the past year, I had an idea for a new business I could start. I wanted to have a computer office uptown where adults could go to and ask for technology help. It wouldn't be a class, more like a help center where they pay an hourly fee to use. They could pay for a 1 to 1 class on a program they wanted to learn too. My local internet service provider was interested in working with me. They would give me their clientele and office space and in exchange I would be providing a service for their subscribers. Just a thought.

Wouldn't it be nice if teachers had a technology help center in school?

Here's another teacher blog site Teacher Update

Monday, May 24, 2010

Back in class

I am enrolled in Dr. Z's online class, Emerging Instructional Technology. I like all the things we are doing and I'm planning on using a lot of these Web 2.0 tools in my classes next year. I'm glad I don't have to drive 1 1/2 hours to class and I can attend class online but I'm having trouble keeping up with all we are supposed to do. I need to get in the habit of checking the announcements and posting to other people's blogs. The programs we are having to use are not hard to figure out, they just take time to do so and I haven't had a lot of time, with all the graduations, semester tests, baseball, etc. I'm looking forward to working with everyone!

1 to 1 Laptops for high school students

What is a 1:1 Student Laptop Computer Program?

In a 1:1 Program, the school district provides every student with his/her own laptop computer to use at all times - throughout the school day and outside of the school day. Learning activities are specifically designed to integrate the use of laptops.

Are there other schools in Iowa who have a 1:1 Student Laptop Program?
Yes. In 2009-10 there were fifteen schools in Iowa who had a 1:1 Program. In 2010-11 it is estimated that there will be forty schools, and even more in the years thereafter. Schools that currently have a 1:1 Program include BCLUW and South Hamilton. Schools that will likely be implementing a 1:1 Program within the next year or two would include South Hardin, Grundy Center, and Hampton-Dumont.

What grade levels would be involved with a 1:1 Student Laptop Computer Program?
1:1 Programs are typically implemented in high schools and middle schools. However, in some states where 1:1 Programs have been in existence for several years, the program has been expanded to include students in upper elementary grade levels.

Why would school districts pursue a 1:1 Student Laptop Computer Program?
Pursuit of a 1:1 Program is grounded in the fact that schools must prepare students to successfully compete for jobs in a global market – more and more students from around the world are competing for the same jobs. Through a 1:1 Program, students are taken to a new level of connectivity between curriculum and information technology as students use the computer as a learning tool, creativity tool, analytical tool, communications tool, and research tool – any time, any place. Acquisition of the 21st Century Learning Skills is greatly enhanced.

Is it a good idea to give every student a laptop computer to use?
Yes ? – if student use of computers is fully integrated into classroom learning activities, this directly leads to higher levels of learning (thinking), and helps students become proficient in the 21st Century Learning Skills.
No? – if student computer use is not fully integrated into classroom activities, it does not lead to higher levels of learning (thinking), or does not help students to become proficient in the 21st Century Learning Skills.

How much would a 1:1 Program like this cost?
There are four main areas where costs to the district would increase.
a) Infrastructure
b) Student Laptop Computers
c) Teacher Professional Development – Teacher development to learn how to fully integrate the use of laptop computers into the curriculum would require a lot of time.
d) Maintenance, Repair Costs – Costs to maintain the infrastructure, software and laptops will definitely increase. There is not a cost estimate to report at this time.

Does a 1:1 Student Laptop Program Improve Student achievement?
There are many factors that impact student achievement. Anecdotal data from 1:1 Schools suggests that graduation rates increase, the percentage of students going to college increases, dropout rates decrease, and the number of disciplinary cases decreases.

Where can more information be found about 1:1 Student Laptop Computer Programs?
A Google-type search can always be conducted. Apple Computer recommends the following websites:
• Maine International Center for Digital Learning
• Partnership for 21st Century Skills -
• Tour 1 to 1 Learning Programs -
• ISTE NETS Standards -
• University of Southern Maine -

What do you think? Do you think school districts should invest in laptop computers for all their high school students?