Guest Post by Mark Cuban “You Don’t Live in the World You Were Born Into.”


As I cruised around the interweb over holidays, I came across Mark Cuban’s blog.

He is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks in the National Basketball Association (and World Champions I might add…).

I thought his most recent post was perfect for educators.

After a quick email, Mr. Cuban agreed to let me post it here for teachers and school administrators.

Only in America would a billionaire respond to my annoying email.

Enjoy.

“I thought this was appropriate to start the new year.Cuban Cover

We all have the tendency to believe that we are living in a very advanced technological period. We get all excited about the new tech we got at Xmas and what we read about that will soon be available to us. In reality, everything we are excited about today is going to be incredibly old and boring much faster than we ever expect.

No matter what year you were born, by the time you finish(ed) high school, its (was) a completely different world. Today’s high school seniors were born prior to the World Wide Web, wireless internet, smartphones,tablets, HDTVs and changes in world politics that were never imagined. Without question each of us can remember the things that were new and exciting to us when we were kids, that were unimaginable to our parents, but are now nothing more than old memories.

The rate of technological change is not slowing down. In fact, the argument could be made that it is speeding up. In our lifetimes, we will reach a point when we reflect back on the good old days of the internet, Facebook, Twitter and other tech that is ubiquitous today. We might even look back at digital the way we currently look at analog. Things change.

Of course, this isn’t a problem. It’s a huge opportunity. There is that 12 year old that is imagining what we can’t. Another that is combining elements into something new we should have seen, but did not. It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings. “If you are looking where everyone else is for the next big thing, you are looking in the wrong place”

The reality is, None of us are born in to the world we live in.”

Click to preview Mr. Cuban’s book.

Better yet, click on the book to order from Amazon.

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Guest Blog – It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages.


The Legend That is Mrs. Mimi.It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages.

Mrs. Mimi, the author, describes herself as a public school teacher who loves her job but is routinely frustrated by all the drama that is created by the other ADULTS…so she has to make it funny so she doesn’t routinely poke herself in the eye.

As I have written in the past, I seldom read blogs. But this one is a must.

So enjoy… “Literally Bursting With Excitement”

My friends are jazzed. It is almost vacation and it is all they can do to hold it together. I am also barely holding it together as I alternate between panicking over how much I have left to do before the holidays and fantasizing about all that extra sleep…

In my classroom, it is time for wrapping everything up so that we can start fresh in ’09. Today I asked Curly Girl (no, not Curly, but one of my new super faves….it just so happens she also has curly hair. Maybe I am curl-ist? Pro-curls? ) to work on a special project at the back of the classroom with Smarty Pants (another girl who I am totally digging lately. I know, what’s with all the girls as faves since I typically love the bad boys…). They are independent and basically total rock stars so I knew I could trust them.

The rest of my friends were on the carpet when Smarty Pants enthusiastically raises her hand and says, “We need help!”

Thinking that they just need more paint or something, I say, “What is it?”

Smarty Pants answers, “Curly Girl just peed all over herself and the floor and we need help with the puddle.”

Ah, yes. Of COURSE that’s the problem. Urine is just what I need to make my tenuous hold on the class’ brimming excitement to dissolve into nothing.

Oddly though, no one laughed or said anything. I knew they heard Smarty Pants. So what was the deal? Was this empathy? A mature response? Or perhaps, is no listening to a freaking thing this close to vacation?

As soon as I send the rest of the group back to their seats, I make my way to the back of the classroom to check out Curly Girl and her infamous puddle. Expecting to find her sobbing behind the art center, I am surprised when I see her diligently painting away, with her pants rolled up to her knees to stay out of the puddle, acting as if nothing has happened.

Me: Curly Girl, are you OK? What happened?
Curly Girl: I BURST!
Me: (Trying not to laugh) Why didn’t you ask to go to the bathroom?
Curly Girl: I was so into the project that I just didn’t.
Me: (Shocked that Curly Girl is handling this better than I am.) What can I do to help you?
Curly Girl: You know anyone who can take care of this? (Indicates puddle of pee.)
Me: Um, yea. (still tyring not to laugh). What can I do for YOU? Do you want to go to the bathroom and I’ll call mom?
Curly Girl: Sounds good…let me just finish this up.

And she happily goes back to painting. A couple of minutes later, she cleans off her paint brush, nimbly leaps over her own pee and heads to the bathroom.

When mom arrives with a clean pair of pants, I tell her the story. Mom and I have a good laugh while Curly Girl goes to the bathroom yet again, this time to change her pants. It is close to the end of the day, so I tell her it is OK if she wants to go home with mom. She insists on staying in school, stating, “Hey, it was just a little pee.”

Words of wisdom from my little friend that I am going to use to get me through the rest of the holidays. When I am freaking out about not having the right bow, or only getting through the Ws on my Christmas card list, I will think, “hey, it’s all just a little pee.”

For more entries, please click to visit It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages… and don’t forget to buy her book.

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Guest Blog (We are in Charge Now!) – The Secret to Better Technology in Schools.


If You Need Technology Workshops for Your Teachers... You Need RecessTec.After editing 200 blogs of PrincipalsPage ramblings, I have decided that the Wife/Mother-In-Law Team needs a chance to speak. I mean come on…
Don’t I get a reward for constantly correcting semicolons and the incorrect use of to, too, and two?

Honestly, how can a man rise from coach/teacher to administrator in a few short years with only one opinion on the use of the English language?
I quote, “The semi-colon is by far the coolest of all punctuation!”
I mean seriously, who ranks punctuation by coolness?
Note from PrincipalsPage:
(I do not apologize for my love of the semi-colon… and I might add… I am a huge fan of the asterisk***)

Of course, we shouldn’t judge. One of us married him.

So, with that being said…

We present Recess TEC as the first official “Guest bloggers“.
(Note from PrincipalsPage… quite possibly the last

In the struggle between the TECH GEEKS VS. THE SUITS, another adversary needs to be included.
This adversary could be the one to bring peace to the land…
with an “and they all lived happily ever after” ending.
This adversary is (insert drum roll and “dah-da da da”)…
IT.

We would define “The Suits” as (in some cases add “dearly beloved, but ignorant of all things technology”) the administration.
We would define “Tech Geeks” as the teachers and students who want to include technology in the curriculum, use as much technology as possible in their everyday lives,
and see it as a highly motivating factor to enhance teaching and learning.

Enter the IT. “Dr. No” if you will.
(Notice, we did not say “Dr. Evil”.)
IT’s #1 priority is to keep the server alive and well to handle the administration’s email.
Priority #2 is to NOT lose any file stored there.
And finally, #3 – NO VIRUS…EVER!

Nobody and nothing is allowed to slow down the server.
We mean NOBODY and NOTHING
Don’t even get us started on bandwidth.

Anything Google slows it down.
Anything Skype slows it down.
Anything that involves long distance collaboration slows it down.
Anything that includes the word “streaming” slows it down.

We believe that the more things slowing it down, the more the students benefit…which in turn means the server space and bandwidth needs to be “supersized”.
We know…now we are talking money.
We would be willing to give up the chalk and dry eraser marker budget in exchange for a little more server space.
Anyone else?

Things we hear from the IT:

“Google Earth? You don’t need it. You have maps.”
“SmartBoards? Why? You have white-boards and all you will use it for is to show movies on a big screen.”
“Pandora.com? (Add indignant tone.) The teacher’s desk is the first place we see it. You can’t control what is being played…a song with inappropriate content might pop-up.”
“I don’t want my teachers to have wikis/blogs/podcasts/webpages (insert any other web 2.0 tool here) because I can’t control the content.”
“It slows down the bandwidth.”
“It takes up server space.”

Enter “Recess TEC” to the rescue.
Now it is time to bring to reality “Why can’t we just all get along?”
Pull up a chair and sit down. (Coffee, anyone?)
We need all of you in the same room together. (Even if it means providing chocolate or a continental breakfast or a steak dinner with mixed cocktails ;) )
Teachers.
Suits.
Tech-geeks.
IT.
Possibly even a few tech-geeky students. (“Ixnay on the ixedmay ocktailscay…”)

It is time to watch, listen, and talk.

Google everything.
We mean EVERYTHING!

And SMARTBoards in every single classroom.
YES! Even the music and art rooms!

And tons of bandwidth.
And HUGE servers.

And finally.
Teach the teachers.
Let them do what they have been trained to do.
Teach.
Teach them to teach with technology.
And let them be the filters and decide what is best for their students and their curriculum.
Help them understand that technology is not an addition to the curriculum.
It is not the time to take the students to the lab where their students log on, work individually on a website, while teachers grade papers.
Teach teachers to integrate, collaborate, and to become proactive.
After all,
that is what they were hired to do in the first place.
and finally,
trust them.
Trust them to do no harm.

Which means…

No Internet Filters on computers when TEACHERS are logged in. That’s right. No filters.

Teachers are the BEST filters (if they are engaged with students… which means stand up and walk around the room).
And if they prove NOT TO BE…
then slam that filter right back into place.
Abuse it = lose it.
Show teachers how to use sites like Flickr and You Tube SAFELY.
We are not saying, turn the kids loose on whatever site they want.
We want to protect kids, but we also want to motivate and engage them!

Communication together is the key to solving all of these issues.
We need to be in the same room to see what is out there and how it best can be used.
And it should never be Suits Vs. Geeks.
Or ANYONE VS. ANYONE.
Let’s work together and put the puzzle together piece by piece.
Let the teachers show the IT department (especially the ones that may have never taught) HOW the technology is being used in the classroom.
Let the IT department show the teachers why things are structured as they are.
Most teachers know very little behind what it takes to do your job.

The dialogue should include,
“We didn’t know you wanted that.”
“I can do that for you.”
“I didn’t know that was out there.”
“Will you help me with that?”

Inservice.
Inservice.
Inservice.

Share.
Share.
Share.

And finally, show by example.

(Recess TEC is also known as Recess Web Design…but doing more and more Technology Educational Consulting and less and less Web Design.)

**Note: This blog was collaborated over a 60 mile distance and written using Google Docs without filters.

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Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.