Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Career Cruising

The South Dakota Department of Education Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE) is on to something wonderful. They are fully invested in an online program called Career Cruising. Career Cruising is embedded in the SD My Life program.
Career Cruising has been designed with one goal in mind: to help your students plan their future. With exceptional assessment tools, detailed occupation profiles and comprehensive post-secondary education information, students move seamlessly through the career exploration and planning process. At the same time, you have access to the real-time information and statistics you need to track your students' progress and achievement.
Features of Career Cruising include:
· Complete Guidance System
· World Class Assessments
· Intuitive Career Exploration
· Comprehensive Education Planning
· Engaging Career Portfolio Development
School guidance counselors across South Dakota have been provided training on Career Cruising. If you have students in grades 8-12, make sure they are finding out how to use this great online tool. For more information contact your local school guidance counselor.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Trouble With Technology...

… is that we keep talking about technical features and not benefits. Sure, we’re on the cutting edge of modern technology; Millenials can’t remember a time without computers and cell phones. But it often seems that we are so fascinated by what it is (8 gig i-pod©, a ‘Smartboard©’, Twitter©, a Linksys© router, a Blackberry Curve© with e-mail and internet access, etc.) that we forget about what it does.

It’s especially true for tech educators. Programs at tech conventions are full of features. (Digital storytelling, Inspiration© software, Facebook©, Myspace©, Quia©, Teachertube©, etc.)

So what?

Until we begin to talk about the benefits of technology, we are less able to teach each other. A laptop example comes to mind. Schools around the state have adopted laptop programs. Did the “sale” relate to the big benefits to students, that almost no question could not be answered? Or that the traditional role of teacher as fount of knowledge might shift powerfully to student-centered collaboration? Answers 24/7?; MS Word docs that help a student edit their words for specific audiences and improve writing?; a GPS system that helps our students really learn South Dakota geography?

Should the technologies used in classrooms be stated in terms of benefits to learners?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gran Torino is a Must See

I don't go to a lot of movies but this one really caught my interest and has me thinking about it still a week later. What is it about life today and the world we live in that makes everyday life in the old neighborhood so difficult? Why is integrity, responsibility and respect so foreign a concept? Gran Torino is a thought provoking film about how we go about our daily lives, without concern for those outside our circle, until someone or something breaches that comfort level. I challenge you to go to this movie and come out unchanged. If nothing else, it will make you think about the stereotypes and slang immigrants in this country face everyday, and what we as conscientious Americans can do to make this country a better place.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Is This Country Ready for a Web 2.0 President?

What a difference 8 years can make. When George W. Bush took office Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter were not even an option for communication with the nation. Obama is a new president in a new era. His campaign laid the groundwork and scratched the surface for what is to come in Web 2.0 communication. Thousands of people are turning to YouTube to find President-Elect Obama's taped weekly video addresses.

Read about this and more on CNN:

"In the old model, the president talks to the people on television [and] the people talk back in polls. In the new model, communication is online, and two-way."