2012: My Year in Numbers

This post was last updated on November 19th, 2013 at 07:37 am

It's not like I have nothing else to do but when people ask "Where do you find the time?" it's usually not because they think what I've done is so amazing but rather so dumb or insignificant. 

Thanks for the compliment. 

I take solace in Clay Shirky's statement that "even the stupidest creative act, is still a creative act". If I've not created something in a while I feel a little stale. These web and media tools are my paintbrushes and my canvases. I love that folks like Alan Levine and others are constantly making and fiddling with stuff. They inspire me and remind me to just do it. 

So after thinking about Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report and sharing it often as a example of using data to tell storie, I decided to give it a shot. While Dan used a wack sack of tools and does a much more professional job that took him weeks to produce, I wanted to see if I could use Keynote to tell the story of my year in numbers. So after an evening of planning, data mining, Read the rest

Thanks Dan

This post was last updated on November 19th, 2013 at 07:36 am

While Dan Meyer is almost young enough to be my kid, he's been around these parts for a while and has provided a boat load of people with quality ideas and content. I rarely go through a presentation where I don't mention him at some point. This snippet from a conversation I had with Dan a couple years back always gets people thinking about the economics of sharing:

 

Searching through my blog here are the posts the mention Dan.

Today I was preparing for a short talk I'll be giving at the ISTE Leadership Symposium and had to include another nugget from Dan:

I don't have much more to add but just to say thanks Dan, if we ever cross paths in a physical space, I owe you a drink. 

P.S. I wouldn't hurt me to say thanks to more people more often.  Read the rest

How to Make Better Teachers

This post was last updated on January 22nd, 2017 at 08:16 pm

Cross Posted at the Huffington Post

Want to instantly create better teachers? I know how. One word. Blogging.

Now before you roll your eyes or accuse me of oversimplifying the very complex issue of teacher evaluation and monitoring hear me out.

I began teaching in 1988. It was a tough job and thinking about getting better was superseded by survival instincts. Early on in my career, there were several documents that the province produced in support of improved professional development. I didn’t pay much attention to these but one phrase I saw in those documents some 20 years ago stuck with me. Reflective Practitioner.  I sort of understood the concept but other than simply thinking about what you did in the classroom, I wasn’t at all sure what to do with this term.
When I discovered blogs almost 5 years ago, I soon figured out what that term meant. Since that occasion I have sat down to write close to 1,000 pieces of reflection. While not all would be considered deep, most take me anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to craft. It may not always … Read the rest

In search of the Reflective Practitioner

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:03 am

Blogging AgainI began teaching in 1988. It was a tough job and thinking about getting better was superseded by survival instincts. Early on in my career, there were several documents that the province produced in support of improved professional development. I didn't pay much attention to these but one phrase I saw in those documents some 20 years ago stuck with me. Reflective Practitioner.  I sort of understood the concept but other than simply thinking about what you did in the classroom, I wasn't at all sure what to do with this term.

When I discovered blogs almost 5 years ago, I soon figured out what that term meant. Since that occasion I have sat down to write close to 1,000 pieces of reflection. While not all would be considered deep, most take me anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to craft. While it may not always look like it, these are generally borne out of the times I spent observing, thinking and working in classrooms. The reflective writing has been valuable but definitely the nearly 4,000 comments have been even more of a learning experience. As it's … Read the rest

Chalk up another one for blogging

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:03 am

Dan Meyer has been looking back at his short, albeit significant career as an educator. Someone left a comment wondering what he would attribute his growth over the past few years.

In a word: “blogging.”

In seven words: “blogging and probably using a digital projector.”

The digital projector opened up my classroom and practice to visuals, which was a profound, if rocky and still ongoing transition.

But blogging was the cheapest, most risk-free investment I could have made of my personal time into my job. You start by writing down things that are interesting to you, practices you don’t want to forget. And then you start trying new things just so you can blog about them later, picking them apart, and dialoging over them with strangers. Periods of stagnancy in your blogging start to correspond to periods of stagnancy in your teaching. You start to muse on your job when you’re stuck in traffic, in line for groceries, that sort of thing. That transformation has been nothing but good for me and it all began on a free Blogspot blog.

Whenever I ask my pre-service teachers or classroom … Read the rest