Proverbs 23:12a Apply your heart to instruction.

Supply Line Horrors

Do you have a classroom supply-line horror story?

Let’s call the student Jim.

Jim met with his advisor in Fall to set up classes for Spring, 2014.   Jim was advised to take a core requirement in Spring, 2014. The syllabus states that students are asked to purchase a publisher’s course packet, that is, a license to a software packet.  Students with used books had to purchase the code to get the license.

Week one.: Jim learned that the teacher required a publisher’s course packet.

Week three: Jim got a used book from a classmate, and he was debating how he could buy the license.

Week eight: Jim scrapes through the mid-term without the course packet.

Week nine: Jim meets with his advisor to select classes for the Fall semester.  The Spring course is not mentioned.

Week eleven: Jim’s daughter calls Jim’s advisor to ask if the bookstore has the publisher’s license.  The advisor calls the bookstore and is told it is in stock.

Week twelve: Jim calls his advisor to see if it is too late to withdraw from the class.  Yes, it is too late.

Week thirteen: Jim and his advisor sit in the computer lab and log into the free two-week trial packet. This is the two-week trial packet the teacher provided at the beginning of the course.

Week fifteen: Jim’s advisor asks Jim how his class is going.  He says its going fine, but the free trial packet expired before he could finish all the assignments.

Week sixteen: Jim ends the class, and goes on summer break.

Week seventeen: Jim’s advisor is asking himself a question: Does Jim need to repeat a class?

Scares me, sure ‘nough, since I am Jim’s advisor.

Windows CD


FOCUS on Twitter for PD in 10

Can’t seem to find the time for personal development (PD)? Try this F-O-C-U-S exercise for PD in ten minutes. You will need a Twitter account.

Follow – Follow the education or leadership “big birds” on Twitter. I call them “big-birds,” since they are digital leaders and post frequently on Twitter. You can find them by typing in a hashtag like #edtechchat, #edchat, or #profchat. Some examples may be Mrs. Alice Keeler @alicekeeler or Susan M. Bearden @s_bearden

Observe – Once you follow a reliable source, read their tweets. If you follow by using a list, then read the list. You are looking for tweets that will lead to PD. So, be selective.

Curate – Save the tweets that promise to hold nuggets for personal development. Some of the “big-birds” will “storify “a chat full of nuggets. Here is something too simple that I do. I set a minimal goal of curating 5 tweets that may be good for PD. I share PD tweets by email with myself for investigation or for retweeting. Here is an example from @podia who has great PD infographics:

  • Retweeted by paul wilson
    poida ☯ @poida • May 3
    And highly rewarding! MT @Harris_Bryan: This is cool…best way to learn something? Teach it! [Tweet it] #satchatwc


    Utility assess – Once you curate your 5 or 10 tweets for the day, then you are ready to assess their utility. Follow the links or open the infographic. On a Likert scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most valuable, how would you rate the value of this tweet? Is it worthy of a retweet? Is it worth your time to read the blog post? From a #10 tweet you may discover a Web 2.0 tool or technique that is invaluable for your PD.

    Share – Do and say. Share by using. Put you PD to work. Did you learn how to “storify” a chat? Do it. Did @alicekeeler show you how to put tabs on google spreadsheets. Do it. Then share by communicating. The doing and the saying are reaffirmation and reinforcement. Now if you desire to retweet do so.

    That’s PD in 10 minutes more or less.
    P.S. You can do this PD exercise in 10, but the set-up may take longer.


  • Ten Ways to Synchronize Your Online Class with Twitter

    Ever make a blogger’s sorta-kinda promise? If you agree upon request to write or say something intelligible sometime about a topic of mutual interest, then you have made a blogger’s sorta-kinda promise.

    Introduction: In Fall, 2013, I had the opportunity to deliver a workshop for the North Carolina Association of College and Teacher Educators (NC-ACTE), “How Asynchronous Should Your Online Class Be?” The workshop covers the theory and practice of infusing an asynchronous course with synchronous learning. That is a variety of blended learning. The NC-ACTE is a wonderful organization. They patiently listened to me. For this blog post I shall cut-to-the-chase and focus upon the way one tool only can infuse synchronous teachable moments within an asynchronous course. The tool is Twitter, and the practical applications are tenfold. I shall assume you are using a Learning Management System (LMS) for your asynchronous class. My LMS is Moodle. Also, I shall assume the student has two accounts – a LMS account and a Twitter account. To keep things simple I am just working with Twitter and my LMS and not SM tool-ups like HootSuite or TweetDeck . Here we go.

    Ten: Ask students to find and follow a #trending hashtag as an assignment.

    Nine: Insert into the LMS a Twitter widget. It will work like a RSS feed to keep synchronous Twitter posts before the class.

    Eight: Ask students to join an organized Twitter chat. Just jump in. Some well- heeled Twitter chats welcome student and guests. Susan M. Bearden @s_bearden who is an organizer of #edtechchat loves to have newbies join the discussion on Monday at 8PM EST.

    Seven: This is a two-step. First, ask students to create or adopt a Class #101 List, and second, add their classmates to the list. Check the list to see what classmates are doing in real time on Twitter.

    Six: Have student follow a syndicated service like the Wall Street Journal, @WSJ In real time you can scan the daily headlines or get the closing numbers for the DOW and other indexes.

    Five: Have students follow a Twitter “Big-bird.” There are plenty of Twitter “Big-bird” personalities that you can follow. Some syndicated columnists like Greta Van Sustern @gretawire are going to tweet-up the entire day. (If I grow up, perhaps I can be a “Big-bird.”)

    Big Bird

    Four: Conduct a Twitter scavenger hunt. You supply the names or the hashtags, and allow the students to discover tweets with information needed to answer questions for class.

    Three: Tag a Tweep in your PLN to organize a demo Twitter chat for your class. Have student follow your #demohash. This allows students to lurk until they get familiar with the standard Q-and-A format used in most Twitter chats.

    Two: Invite students to submit a #101 hashtag for their very own class. Take a vote. I would suggest that you use Padlet @padlet for this, but then I would introduce a new tool. So, make the submissions in a LMS discussion forum.

    One: Create a unique #101 class hashtag, and invite students to follow it at a designated time for a #101 class chat. It works for Mrs. Alice Keeler @alicekeeler, it will work for you.

    Back in the day we would say tune again at the “same Bat-time and the same Bat-channel.” Might need to update that, don’t you think?

    Twitter Bird

    Get Off the Adjunct Tread-mill

    Perhaps you want to stay on the adjunct revolving tread-mill. . . . . If not, you may want some guidance in getting off the tread-mill of revolving part-time contracts. This post is dedicated a hard-working adjunct I recently met. Here are some pointers.

    1. Finish your education with the market in mind. Typically you need 18 hours in a discipline to teach it. Sitting in a faculty luncheon this week I heard an overworked instructor say that some colleagues could not take her course load. Why? They did not have the right classes. If you want to teach American Literature, see that you have the requisite number of classes to teach in that discipline.

    2. Get your papers in order. Okay, your digital portfolio. Ask your professors to see their VITAE. See and do. Then, get some letters of reference on file. Three is a good number.

    3. Connect with Social Media. This includes Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. One of the links I follow, @Moodle, was advertising through Twitter. Facebook is good for contacting friends who may know of an opening. Linkedin is a site for professional development and jobs. Connect.

    4. Connect socially without the social media. Drop your name. Let Departments and colleagues know. You should know colleagues in the job market, colleagues who have landed a job, and professors through your coursework. Ask them what they recommend. Department chairs may have connections they can tap to get you where you need to be.

    5. Vet your future employers. That is, get a feel for the institutions that could employ you. You choose if it will be public, private, and community colleges. If you are open to private industry, then by all means explore that. There are institutions all across the world that would be pleased to hire you. Are you willing to relocate? If not, vet.

    6. Up the ante where you are. Some adjunct positions can be expanded into full-time positions. Some adjunct positions can be expanded by doing half-and-half.

    7. Subscribe. My professional organization dropped the paper job sheet. It was replaced with a professional search engine. There are two higher-ed search engines that will deliver to your inbox the job search results you want. One is VITA from the Chronicle of Higher Education. The other is Jobs in Higher Ed. Follow one of these links to see what a professional job-search engine can do for you.

    8. Take a sabbatical. At many institutions it is still the policy to allow faculty members to take a sabbatical. That creates a full-time hole to be plugged. If their Department Chair knows your Department Chair, you could be the one who plugs the hole. Fill a sabbatical year slot, and it might lead to a lifelong position.

    Use GLUE to manage your time

    Clock watcher

    For Time Management Consider G-L-U-E

    Most time management advisors will ask that you stack your priorities based on the most important tasks and activities. That makes sense. A number will ask that you count your PEAs, that is, your projects, events, and activities. Again that makes sense.
    In an insightful discussion on time management on Twitter one instructor, Jennifer Shamsy @jshamsy , provided a useful tool for time management:
    My own thinking about time management often goes to the extremes where I micromanage the hour and the minutes or I give way to the free flow of the day’s rhythm.
    My own reflections on the idea of time management have led me to believe I should think of using G-L-U-E.
    Oh to be a philosopher, to wax eloquent about primitive bodily movements. Yes, time management may begin with dreams and visions. Until those are translated into a plan with a time and place they remain shrouded in clouds of uncertainty. I must not waste time by digressing.
    E – Events –Time management begins with the doing of things. I must ask what I shall do and what I shall undergo, if I am to manage my time.
    U – Utility — Events have a utility. In the classic sense they carry a degree of pain or pleasure. The merit of an event is to be judged by its utility.
    L – Life– The utility of events is relative. It is relative to a life with the projects that the life includes. My student’s trip to the islands may have a high utility in one sense, but if she is to be a successful student in education it may have a low utility.
    G – Glory — Glory is the most important part of successful time management, and I suppose it is the most overlooked element. Lives are lived for a greater glory. The glory one lives for is a highly personal thing. For some that is the glory of the nation. It is fulfilled for some in their national religion when they say, “God Bless America.” For a great number of individuals like myself it is fulfilled in the Christian religion, and the glory goes to God the Father of our Lord. Glory is the good of the greater whole, and one lives for that.
    Stated simply the principle is this: use G-L-U-E to manage your time, and your time will be well managed.

    kindergarten 1

    An Apology to the Robert Fulghum School of Kindergarten

    Library sales are so exciting to me. If I time it just right, I can get a bag of books for $1. I think the staff decided I was getting too many good books for a $1. They raised the ante to $2 for the grab-and-go hour.

    I search for business books, nature guides, or what-have-you. I find treasures in print. For example, I found a copy of Robert Fulghum’s book, Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

    When I first heard that title I wanted to read the book. Imagine my excitement when I found it as a book-on-tape. So, I read. Perhaps you will say I listened, but I count is as a read book. Gotta make my quota.

    Yes. All that stuff Fulghum said seems true. You learn to hold hands in kindergarten. You learn to share in kindergarten.

    Here was a practical problem: Where was this school, and why had I not attended?

    I thought I might do a search on Google for the school. I was too embarrassed to ask my friends at the university in the Department of Education where I might find the school. So, I just drove around town looking at schools with this big question in my head: Is this the school?

    I am not sure what I expected to do if I found Fulghum’s Kindergarten. After all, they might say I was “overqualified” and refuse to enroll me. Why won’t they believe me? I just want a review lesson. It’s not as though I planned to sue the school for the lessons I did not learn or just plain forgot.

    It must have been more than a year and a half later, when I had a revelation. There is no need to say I am a slow learner, so keep that thought to yourself. I had a revelation. It was something my mother had told me umpteen years ago when I was a small boy back on the farm.

    My mother said, “Because you were born in the winter, you went to the first grade when you did.” I also learned kindergarten was for city kids.

    Finally I remembered, and I knew what the problem was all along. I remembered I never attended kindergarten.

    My apology to the staff of the Robert Fulghum School of Kindergarten for blaming you for all those things I did not learn.

    Inside the classroom, outside the box!

    “We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lie sat the outer reaches of our abilities.” Josh Waitzkin

    Todays blog post stems from a question I often get asked, “What is the difference between technology integration and blended learning?” They are similar concepts as both use technology as  a tool for students to learn, a way to incorporate 21st century skills into lessons and often real world application. Lets break the two concepts down to better understand how both are effective practices for the classroom but are different.

    Technology integration is when teachers use technology in a lesson or has students create to show mastery of curriculum standards. An example to technology integration is having students create or show mastery on an App/web tool such as ShowMe or EduGlogster. A great way to integrate technology into a lesson is to use the Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge (TPACK…

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