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As the 9th largest school district in the state of Ohio, the Hilliard City School District serves more than 15,500 students in grades K-12, through three high schools, three middle schools, two sixth-grade schools and 14 elementary schools.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 23, 2013

How We Can Actually Create Lifelong Learners

As most of you, I am also an advocate of Twitter and love how it brings personalized information directly to me.  However, it has presented me with a tremendous challenge, "Which of the several thousands of articles that come to me each day should I choose to share?" Decisions, decisions, decisions! I recently read a great one from ASCD but everyone knows that site and trusts in it's validity. Thus, I've decided to share one from a site I've recently come into contact with:www.edudemics.com. If you haven't visited this site you should! Articles are short, to the point, and filled with video integration.

After much debate ,I've decided to share an article entitled, "How We Can Actually Create LifeLong Learners."  As schools begin to develop 1:1 initiatives and  B.Y.O. D. Policies, this article made me think about the true purpose for these initiatives. I have to admit that about a year ago, the phrase, "personalizing education" was just that - a phrase. However, the more I read and reflect the more embedded it becomes in my personal philosophy of education. I hope as you read this article, you find yourself making new and deeper connections about what public education should be! Finally, if you haven't explored the www.edudemic.com website, I strongly encourage you to do so. 

How We Can Actually Create Lifelong Learners

6 Ways to Use Google Hangouts in the Classroom

We are all crazy busy, so instead of sharing an article that requires your in depth attention, here is a quick hitter with a list of 6 ways you can encourage your staff to use Google Hangout.  First step.  If you don't know what Google Hangout is, then google it.   In all seriousness, Google Hangout is a platform for 2-10 people to join in a video conference.  Video conferencing like Skype, FaceTime, any Hangouts are something I believe can be a game changer for our students.  It's a practical, free way to tear down all four walls of the classroom.  This article gives 6 suggestions on how to do this, but it takes you (The Leader) to make it a viable option. What if you allowed your staff members to flex their day a little as long as they hold google hangouts twice a week.  Let me give you an example.  What if you have a staff member, team, or grade level that instead of reporting to their planning period, they hold a google hangout in the evening instead?  Free up that staff member during the day to run an errand, schedule an appt, and feel some freedom during their bell ringing factory style day?  The majority won't take you up on it, but what if one did?  Now, this teacher reaches more students during the evening of a Google Handout, than they ever would during their planning period?  Check out the rest of the options,  and think about ways you could use Google Hangout instead of having "meetings" after or before school.  Could we have Data Team meetings, without ever physically meeting?  Why aren't we having parent teacher conferences with Google Hangout? Stop yourself from saying "But……"

6 Ways to Use Google Hangouts in the Classroom

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 3, 2013

Creativity is the Secret Sauce in STEM

As the new school year begins, Hilliard City School administrators are considering how to implement the challenging district Continuous Improvement Plan for the benefit of their students. In particular, each leader is pondering the best way to create an 'innovation zone' in their school. 

Objective #3 of the CIP is 'Where' a World Class Education System occurs. It says, "Student learning will be enhanced through the creation of purposeful learning environments that promote innovative global experiences." We know that learning must be relevant, meaningful, and personalized to the individual student. The purposeful learning environments that we create in HCSD must cause students to develop the Habits of Mind, such a creating, imagining, and innovating.  Today's student must be proficient at solving unknown and difficult problems that arise daily in a global world. 

Forward-thinking educators enhance the creativity of their students. In the article "Creativity is the Secret Sauce", blogger Ainissa Ramirez says, "...the skills of the 21st century need us to create scholars that can link the unlinkable. These scholars must be willing to try many combinations before finding the right answer. They must be comfortable with concepts that they can play with in new ways." Lets all strive to create learning environments in our schools which develop creativity and other 21st century skills of tomorrow's leaders. 

Paying It Forward: Teachers Model a Passion for Learning

My selection this week serves as a great reminder to us all on why we chose to become educators.  It came through my email at that perfect moment when I needed that extra little boost to carry me through the week.  It describes the story of Dave, a student that we have all come across, one that is disengaged and uninterested in school.  A student that many teachers before Trevor Muir had given up on.  However, Trevor found a way to reach Dave and bring out his passions and his voice.  Something we have all done in our careers and what we hope to inspire our teachers to do on a daily basis with their students.

This paying it forward approach is best summed up by the following: "The best teachers are themselves hungry to learn as adults -- eager to find ways to reach "difficult" students, creating projects that motivate and engage, finding ways to coax the hidden talents out of each student, making learning real and relevant. Perhaps this is the best way to pay it forward."

Be sure to check out the video of Trevor telling Dave's story at Coming Alive at 14