Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Join me at my NEW BLOG site:

Look forward to hearing
from you there! A :)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Too Busy to Blog?

I agree, the question makes no sense! You can blog at home, on your wireless device, anywhere you have access to the internet. yet, I find I have not had time to sign-on. What is going on? This past Saturday, I presented educational videoconferencing at AzTEA's Annual Conference 'Teaching and Technology' (please be green and don't print the brochure!). The venue was wonderful, Mariachi's serenaded us at lunch! I heard a presentation that resonated so deeply in me that I have contracted him to be the Keynote Speaker at this year's 'Tech Academy'. The AzTEA Conference theme was 'Listening to Students Voices'. The meaning: today's students, our Digital Natives, learn in new and fascinating ways that are not always comfortable for their teachers and administrators. Our students hunger for authentic learning experiences and opportunities. The days of teacher being the expert in the front of the room have passed us by and we are behind the curve. There are volumes of studies and vast amounts of research and data to support project-based learning, integrated curriculum, authentic experience and student self-reliance in education. I hope that through technology integration we can begin to sow the seeds of this long overdue revision to the delivery of education and development of critical thinking for our leaders of tomorrow!

Phew! With that in mind, yesterday we conducted the Encore to our Eastside AzTEA 'Gizmos and Gadgets' session. The first go-round was intended for the classroom teacher as audience. This time we focused on Superintendent's, Principal's and Technology Integration Staff. We had over 30 administrators, decision makers, movers, shakers and trainers attend this amazing session.

Training staff from Paradise Valley, Tempe School District and Gilbert USD offered hands on sessions on Podcasting, Handhelds, Digital and Video Cameras, GPS Geocaching and MOODLE. the focus was not on teaching the particiapnts how to use this equipment (we assumed they came wit some level of awareness of the topics - if not the actual implementation processes). Our focus was HOW TO GET THESE TOOLS into the hands ouuf the students. Not for hte sake of tecchnology, for the sake of curriculum. Cameras to develop writers and interpretation and evaluation skills, podcasts to develop communcators and writers.

When Shelby Hobart, Tempe Schools, said to the group that videocameras shdul be left in the room froo stduents to handle and become comfortabel with and to remove the 'thrill', you coudl hear a pin drop! But there is magic in those words. Cell phones and computers and handhelds are ordinary and commonplace outside of the classroom. They should also be so inside the classroom. If the camera is simply another way to express one self (like pencil and paper), let's get that tool in the hands of the students who are not intimated.

Same old question we have been wrestling with for years: How can the Digital Immigrant better faciliatate the learning of the Digital Native?

We are busy planning the Pinal County ITv Consortium Annual Tech Academy, to be held on February 24th at the ITv classrooms at Maricopa High School, Walker Butte K-8 and CAC. And as Co-Chair for eastside AzTEA I am part of a group of people palnning the AzTEA Awards Luncheon at the MEC Conference this March, held at ASU Tempe Campus.

Read Around the Planet partner matches are filling my email and I am busy settign test dial dates and developing a master schedule.

Currently Reading: "Don't Bother Me Mom - I'm Learning" by Mark Prensky
and 'The World is Flat' by Thomas L. Friedman
and 'Never Eat Alone' by Keith Ferrazzi

Sunday, January 21, 2007

UPDATES: Read Across Arizona & Read Around the Planet

Read Across Arizona -
It's a Wrap!!!

Last Thursday, Maricopa Elementary School's Kelly Tassone and her First Grade class bussed to the High School Distance Learning Lab and met with their partner from Copper Basin School of the Florence Unified School District. This conference was rescheduled several times as Copper Basin's ITv classroom was installed late 2006 but final steps were not completed until as late as two weeks ago! Ms Tassone's students presented an energetic rendition of 'The Gingerbread Man', read by one of three parents who also attended the event!

Read Around the Planet - Just Getting Started!!!

Registration was completed this past Friday. We registered 17 teachers who will conduct 19 conferences! RAP will now match our teachers to classrooms around the country (and potentially from around the world)! In February, our teachers will 'meet' their partners via email and begin to plan and rehearse for their big day!

This year we have a great variety of classes spanning Kindergarten through High School. We also reflect a variety of expertise.

Several participated in Read Across America last March; Several particpated in 10 hours Professional Development - integrating ITv into their curriculum- last Spring, by Jack Wallbrecht and myself, as representatives of the Pinal County ITv Consortium; a few participated in Read Across Arizona this past November; several are new to videoconferencing! How exciting is this? VERY!!! We are both continue to serve our experienced ITv teachers AND engage those who have never used it!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Paddy Chayefsky
Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

Videoconferencing - Todays LIVE TV!

or How Reality TV supports literacy and education!

I just changed the blog name from Maricopa_ITv to Maricopa ITv (Interactive Television) & EdTech - it just seemed a cleaner and more descriptive title. Gina Pinch and I cover a wide range and variety if Technology Integration issues of which ITv is one component. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to isolate the ITv work I am involved with from all the other work we touch upon - classroom integration, staff development, technology standards, curriculum... the way we structure MUSD Tech Integration, it is all inter-related!

Moving on ....How peculiar that after all these years of working with ITv, I suddenly made this connection... on consideration of my family contribution to television, ITv is one form of the 21st century equivalent... Perhaps our work introducing teachers, students and administrators to the possibilities of ITv in education, is my small contribution to our family TV legacy! I don't believe they give Emmy's or Oscar's for 'Read Across Arizona', but maybe that's something we can work on! :)

The Chayefsky's have a family history in live TV! While my father was an aspiring playwright until his death in 1988, and my mother continues to work as an actor, my uncle was part of television during the golden age of the 1950's, later moving to mainstream film, but his early roots were in live television. Perhaps a little of that legacy continues in modern live television - in teh form of ITv.

About Uncle Paddy:

The Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television

Live television is NOT reality TV as today's youth might surmise. Perhaps the path that 1950's live television forged leads to what we are using today - videoconferencing - to bring together community, knowledge AND most importantly --- INTERACTION to any place, from anyplace!

Promote Dialogue!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas
Happy Chanukah
Well, the students are off on break, we teachers head out to the respite of family and friends today! The Technology Department has been occupied for a few weeks now, setting up technology at the new Middle School, Maricopa Wells. It took alot of prep, planning and coordination on the part of Gina Pinch, Director of Technology.
Videoconferencing has been quiet this month, as teachers and students prepared for the end of quarter, holidays and break! Over the next month teachers will be registering for 'Read Around the Planet' which takes place in early March!
I have been busy completing the final Tech Literacy Assessments, we are looking anxiously ahead toward the results. It is hoped that these results will help the district to develop and implement a technology education program, at the elementary level, that supports the NCLB 8th grade technology proficiency requirement.
In January I will be presenting Pinal County and MUSD Videoconferencing at AzTEA's annual winter conference 'Teaching and Technology', held in Tucson on Saturday, January 27, 2007. My presentation partner will again be Ms Nicole Steele of Florence USD. Nicole and I are Trainer/Coaches for the Pinal County ITv Consortium and recently represented that group at AZHSRI Conference, held in Carefree, AZ 12-7-06.
Watch my AzTEA Blog for announcements of upcoming AzTEA Tech Integration trainings in January, one will be held in the evening for teachers and one will be held during the day for Tech Integration Staff and their administrators! I am scrambling to get the Eastside Chapter Website updated as well, with Eastside AzTEA happenings from this weeks monthly planning meeting.
Be patient waiting for the AzTEA updates, I am sharing the holidays with my family and friends. That is the weekends #1 priority!!!
Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

AZHSRI Presentation
Carefree, AZ 12-7-06
Nicole Steele and I were fortunate to be asked to present the Pinal County ITv Consortium at the AZHSRI Conference in Carefree, today. We were warmly introduced by John Stollar, ADE Director of Gifted/Advanced Placement.

This conference is presented by the ADE and addresses ‘Adolescent Literacy for Middle & High School Renewal’. Learn more here:
We were greeted by an enthusiastic audience who, just like ITv participants, were fully engaged in this discussion. We shared video and pictures and anecdotes from a myriad of conferences and conference types (Professional Development, classroom to classroom, provider content, AP classes with distance partners). We helped schools from around the state see the potential of this medium and perhaps some ways that their districts could begin the dialogue that leads towards ITv access and implementation.

We have posted our presentation on the website link below: Under ‘Other AZ Conferences’ select the link ‘Presenters’

The incredibly dynamic portion of this presentation was helping our participants to see that this level of technology integration can be applied to positively influence language, proficiency and literacy.

Thanks to Cathy Poplin (ADE Ed Tech Director) and Jill Dingman (NCLB Grant Director) for inviting us to present.
Last April I presented at AzTEA's WOW (Way Out West Conference held at ASU West) with Jack Wallbrecht (our CTE Director) and this January will again present with Nicole Steele, at AzTEA's Tucson Conference.
I find there is no feeling quite so rewarding as introducing someone to new ideas and possibilities and watching them come to understand the true value of what you are sharing with them!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Read Across Arizona

A few events required rescheduling. Yesterday, third graders from Mrs. Jyothi Soto's (Maricopa Elementray School) and Ms Linda Anderson's class (Curiel Elementary, Eloy District) joined for another fun filled celebration of reading.

On Saturday, November 4th, I attended the PEAK Conference in Flagstaff, AZ. This event is hosted annually by AzTEA Northern Chapter and was held at Coconino Community College (Lone Tree Campus). This incredibly stunning venue was nestled in the deep pines and the large windowed buildings afforded a wonderful sense of being part of the environment outside while working indoors.

This is part of the AzTEA annual tri-conference series. This year's series: Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century'. Last year Jack Wallbrecht and I presented at the 3rd in the series - "WOW" Way Out West Conference which happens each April at the ASU West Campus.

The focus of this first in the 2006-2007 series was 'Teaching and Technology'.

Keynote speaker Hall Davidson is an amazing force of energy and enthusiasm. This gentleman is involved in so many incredible initiatives for students utilizing technology to move them into the realm of true critical thinking, it was hard to follow his rapid pace and excitement. I wanted to reflect on every morsel but he just kept piling amazing ideas and things he is involved with on top of amazing ideas and things he is involved with.

I attended a breakout session on GarageBand. One Maricopa County district charged every teacher with developing ways to improve literacy and language fluency, as part of an overall initiative. Incredibly innovative and imaginative Middle School English Teachers are using this software as part of their response. Students must prepare scripts that meet content and rubric demands set by the teacher - driven by curriculum and standards. If the student's work meets the appropriate criteria, they earn the ability to use GarageBand to create video and sound that supports the message of their written (read orally into the end result video) work. While we are a PC district and this is mac software, this innovative and creative teacher effort should be recognized - Engaging students in new and unique ways, to achieve at a higher level of critical thinking/learning, integrating technology seamlessly for the sake of gaining knowledge NOT for the sake of technology! It simply doesn't get any better than this!

Another information-rich session was run by ADE Ed Tech Director Cathy Poplin re-introducing IDEAL, the ADE portal initiative for administrators and teachers. When initially rolled-out a few years ago, the registration process was rather cumbersome and prohibitive. ADE has successfully streamlined the process and ASSET is now within the powerful IDEAL portal. Educators need use only one portal (IDEAL) to access both powerful CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT tools and resources!

On top of a wealth of incredible resources and data for administrators and teachers there are AIMS Practice Tests. Coming Soon (data was being uploaded and verified at the time of this conference) schools under SIP will soon have data available through the IDEAL portal. No teacher of administrator should work without this powerful resource developed by ADE. Link to IDEAL PORTAL here.

To quote Tom Horne: "IDEAL represents our commitment and dedication to offer online resources that support high quality teaching and that provide an engaging, technology-rich learning environment for all Arizona students. " (Quote pulled from IDEAL website)

Another session I attended was presented by Technology Department from Flagstaff Unified School District. They were sharing the results of their District's Technology Literacy Assessments from last year's state baseline and this's year's Fall Pre-Assessments, which MUSD concludes next week. The Flagstaff Board and Administration are using this data to identify needs and assign appropriate support ($$$) to address those needs.
Learn more about TLA here:
And here:

During the lunch break I represented Eastside AzTEA, for which I am co-chair, along with former Chair Ruth Camuse. We welcomed and lunched with Eastside AzTEA members and discussed mutual interests and needs in the area of Technology Integration support for teachers.

Congratulations to AzTEA Northside Chapter for an incredibly successful conference!
Thanks to Jill Dingman (Grant Director) and the Pinal County ITv Consortium for sponsoring me at this event!