• Author:
  • Published: May 9th, 2010
  • Category: Uncategorized

Facebook is Changing How Schools Deliver News.


When I was a kid if your teacher wanted to speak to parents there were two choices.

The dreaded parent-teacher conference or pin a note to your shirt.

Both simple, but effective.

The conference was the most stressful.

Not for the teacher or my parents, but for me (I get it… I’m not working up to my potential).

The note pinned to the chest wasn’t as bad.  In fact, there was at least a 50/50 chance it contained good news (class party, holiday program, possibly the teacher’s impending retirement).

The note did have a slight downside.  It was a golden opportunity for the teacher to stab you in the name of good communication.

This didn’t seem fair to me, but it was hard to argue when I had tears in my eyes and blood on my shirt (or vice versa).

Somewhere along the way, these tried and true methods weren’t good enough.

Teachers started using the telephone (back when phones were attached to the wall).

Nothing ruins dinner (or supper) like a phone call from your teacher.

Actually, that’s not true.  Nothing ruins dinner (or supper) like a spanking after a phone call from your teacher (I wouldn’t personally know, but there might have been a yardstick involved).

As times have changed, so have the communication methods of teachers and schools.

In the last ten years email has been the tool of choice.

School districts also begun to use parent notification services to contact hundreds or even thousands of people at one time (examples are Alert Now, School Reach, and School Messenger).

A well-run school has always prided itself on keeping open lines of communication with its parents and stakeholders.

Now, that’s all changed.

There is still communication, but the school no longer controls it.

A year ago, I thought Twitter was going to be how information would be passed along.

Now, I’m not so sure.

I think it may be Facebook (but this theory is only good for about 3 seconds… which is how long it will take for some punk kid to invent something better than Facebook).

In the last month I’ve been amazed how quickly news is shared on Facebook.

An incident (good or bad) can happen at school and the Facebook world knows about it before the school can contact parents.

It used to be when you called a family their response was “Thanks for letting us know.”

Now it’s “Yeah, we saw that on Facebook 20 minutes ago.”

This is going to present a whole new set of challenges to school districts.

We are no longer controlling our message/news to our communities.

Our communities are controlling it.

I’m not sure where this new type of communication will lead schools, but I know where I’m going.

Facebook.

At least until something better comes along.

Follow PrincipalsPage (or his alter ego Michael Smith) on Facebook (if you can’t beat them, join them).

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  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 28th, 2010
  • Category: Uncategorized

1 in 2 Americans Will Own a Smartphone by Christmas 2011. In Other News, Schools Wonder “What’s a Smartphone?”.


From Nielsen.com:It's a Graph.

“The iPhone, Blackberry, Droid and smartphones in general dominate the buzz in the mobile market, but only 21% of American wireless subscribers are using a smartphone as of the fourth quarter 2009 compared to 19% in Q3 2009 and 14% at the end of 2008.

We are just at the beginning of a new wireless era where smartphones will become the standard device consumers will use to connect to friends, the internet and the world at large.

The share of smartphones as a proportion of overall device sales has increased to 29% for phone purchasers in the last six months and 45% of respondents to a Nielsen survey indicated that their device will be a smartphone.

If we combine these intentional data points with falling prices and increasing capabilities of these devices along with an explosion of applications for devices, we are seeing the beginning of a groundswell.

This increase will be so rapid, that by the end of 2011, Nielsen expects more smartphones in the U.S. market than feature phones.”

 

Meanwhile, schools continued to be confused by this whole “smartphone” thing.

If you ask me, it’s just a fad.

Like email.

And the whole internet thingy.

As educators, we know smartphones are just another way for students to cheat.

All that information at their disposal.

It’s not right.

Why should we allow kids to bring their own “computer” to school, when it’s easier for us to pay thousands of dollars for desktops that will be obsolete in a couple of years?

If we rollover and allow students to use this type of advanced technology, what’s next?

Video?

We are going down a slippery slope when kids are allowed to know more than teachers.

They need to understand that we were taught a certain way 30 years ago and that should be good enough for them.

Worksheets never break down.  That’s all I’m saying.

We have to nip this in the bud (oh how I love Deputy Barney Fife).

Before you know it they will expect us to unblock YouTube and Twitter.

I don’t think so.   There’s no way young people should be on websites that frighten and confuse old people.

I say we put a stop to this now.

I say we get rid of the email machines and go back to paper memos.

As educators our battle cry should be “Bring Back the Typewriters and the Rotary Phones!”

And I mean manual typewriters, not those fancy electric ones.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Feb 11th, 2010
  • Category: Uncategorized

Blogging Makes You Smarter.


Every so often, I try to write(?) a blog that encourages (or shames) educators to embrace (or a least try) technology.

While I don’t know if I’ve made any headway, I’m not willing to give up.

Most school administrators don’t know jack about technology (we could have a longer conversation about what else administrators don’t know, but this is a family blog and we need to watch our language).

I point this out because I would include myself in this group.  Most of us learn the basics, but we are hesitant to delve any deeper into the ever-changing world that involves computers (and other iStuff).

Show us how our email works, explain the basics of Excel, hook up a projector so we can present a bad PowerPoint with far too many words, and maybe even sign us up for a Facebook or Twitter account (this last one is just an example because I realize most administrators are frightened of being Tweeted).

Oh, I almost forgot cell phones.This is a School Administrator Before They Started a Blog.

We need our phones.

Sort of.

We only know how to use 12% of their capability, but we know we need them.

Since administrators find cell phones confusing (and frightening), we try to keep them out of our schools.

I not sure why we are against students bringing mini-computers (that their parents paid for) to school, but we are… and it’s not up for discussion.

This lack of understanding and interest in technology is disturbing.

We are educators after all.

We went to college so we could teach the future, not the past (I hate the “teach the future” phrase, but it seems to fit here).

Yet we continue to ignore technology.

This may be a generational issue.  It could be a question of ambition.  It’s probably something that I don’t understand (again… administrators… we aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer).

Whatever it is, I shouldn’t complain too much.

For the last 3 years, I’ve benefited from being one of the few administrators who blog.

There are certainly others, but most have been unable to combine my complete lack of understanding of the English language, with just a hint of sarcasm (like the last 5 words), and an almost perverse ability to blog on a consistent basis.

What can I say, it works for me.

When I say I’ve benefited, I don’t mean financially.

Blogging doesn’t pay the bills.  Or a single bill now that I think about it.

But it has given me opportunities.

More opportunities than I could have imagined.

The greatest thing about blogging… it makes you smarter.

Way smarter.

Granted, I started out in the deep end of the dumb pool but blogging has broadened my understanding of education.

And what superintendent or principal doesn’t need an upgrade in intelligence (I will give the teachers reading this a moment to compose themselves as they wipe away the tears of laughter)?

Blogging is free professional development at your kitchen table (or wherever you choose to type… I’m not here to judge).

No college class required.  No long drive to a workshop that might not be terrible.  You don’t even have to try and find a mentor (which is the French word for “someone who doesn’t want to see you fired”).

It’s simple.  You blog.  People read it.  Then they tell you what a moron you are.

This is how you learn and broaden your perspective (it’s a form of tough love).

It’s great.

And so informative.

I think every administrator should blog and become part of a larger discussion on education.

I also think people fear they may say (or type) something they will regret later.

Possibly.

But the reward of what you can learn far outweighs the risk (really, what is the downside from learning more stuff from more people?).

And the students are worth it.

PowerPoint will only take you so far (even if you use 105 slides with really small font).

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  • Author:
  • Published: Feb 7th, 2010
  • Category: Uncategorized

Super Bowl of Stupid.


I’m not sure who will win the Super Bowl, but I’m positive who wins when Schools take on the Media. 

It’s a no brainer.

The Media.I'm Pulling for the Saints.

Every single time.

Well, not every single time.

No, I was wrong.  They do win every single time.

Not because the Media is right, but because they have the last word.

If you want to survive (not thrive, mind you… just survive) in school administration, this is something you have to learn.

Don’t make decisions so incredibly stupid that the producer of the 10 o’clock news (11 o’clock for our friends on the East Coast) can get monster ratings from making you the lead story.

People seem to love the “school messed up” angle.

You don’t want to be the principal or superintendent who is being interviewed (always sitting at your desk with the camera looking DOWN upon you… not a good look) when you can only say “No comment” or “this issue involves personnel, so the School District cannot address it at this time”.

When you say these things the public only hears…

GUILTY!!!

Just for the sake of argument, let’s say the school district and it’s employees did nothing wrong.

Then the public hears:

GUILTY!!!

It’s a no-win situation once you find yourself on television.

So here is my Tip for the Day.

Stop doing stupid things.  Use some common sense.  Ask yourself “If I have to go on the news tonight and explain this decision, how will it look?”

 

Exhibit A:  La. Student, Principal Clash Over Colts Jersey

KOCO: A Louisiana high school student says he was sent home for wearing an Indianapolis Colts jersey Friday — the day the principal encouraged students to wear New Orleans Saints black and gold as the teams get ready to face off in the Super Bowl.

"If they tell other students to support their team, why can’t I support mine?" Brandon Frost, 17, told The Associated Press. The senior at Maurepas High School moved three years ago from Indianapolis to the rural town 30 miles from Baton Rouge.

A Livingston Parish School Board member said Frost wasn’t sent home, but was told he couldn’t wear the blue jersey at school. Keith Martin, whose district includes Maurepas, said the school uniform had been relaxed only for black and gold.

He said he planned to ask school system attorneys whether that violated Frost’s right to free speech, as the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana contends.

State ACLU director Marjorie Esman sent a letter to Principal Steven Vampran, asking him to wipe Frost’s record of any discipline stemming from the incident.
Vampran declined to comment.

Martin said he had talked with both Vampran and Frost’s father, Larry Frost.

"I think we got things worked out," Martin said.

According to Martin, a friend of Brandon Frost’s had asked Vampran on Thursday whether Brandon could wear a Colts jersey, and had been told "no."

During a class on Thursday, Frost said, he talked about his plans to wear his jersey rather than Saints colors. He said the teacher warned him he’d get in trouble.

Larry Frost said he didn’t know about that when Brandon asked Thursday whether he could wear the jersey. He said he told his son to come home if he was hassled too much.

The Colts and Saints play Sunday in the Super Bowl, and emotions have run high in Louisiana as fans celebrate the first Super Bowl appearance for the beleaguered franchise.

Brandon Frost said Vampran called him out of his first class Friday and told him, "I don’t recall saying you could wear a Colts jersey on Black-and-Gold Day."

He said he told the principal that his father had given him permission to go home if it was a problem.

"He started to get angry with me," Frost said. "I thought I remember him saying, ‘If you like Indiana so much, why don’t you go back?’"

Vampran has acknowledged that he should not have said that, Martin said. He said no one sent Frost home — but no one kept him from leaving rather than changing shirts.

Larry Frost said he called the ACLU rather than the school because he was too angry.

"Louisiana would be proud of him anyway," Larry Frost said. "He wore Joseph Addai’s jersey."

The Colts running back is a graduate of Louisiana State University.

 

Maybe, just maybe this school did nothing wrong.

Too bad.  Too late.

They’ve already been on TV.  And on Twitter.  And in a Blog.

Everyone has already heard… GUILTY!!!.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 17th, 2010
  • Category: Uncategorized

We Need to Stop Teaching Our Students How to Write.


Why does it take schools so long to change?

Why do I feel the need to write so many blogs about change?

The answer to the first question is we’ve been allowed to rest on our laurels.  Question number two, I’m either obsessive compulsive or just weird.  Could go either way.

Whatever it is, you have to admit it’s like pulling teeth to get a new idea implemented in education.

Educators growl like frightened cats when they hear the word Change (yes, this is an excuse to use a wacky animal picture in a blog).This Cat Just Heard the Word

Everyone seems to believe that we should teach our students in the same ways we were taught 20 or 30 years ago (I know, I’m dating myself).

Worse, we continue to teach the subject matter we were taught.  To compound the problem, we use the same techniques we learned during student teaching
(can anyone say chalkboard, overhead, and worksheets?).

I’m here to propose some changes.  Again.

Big changes.

So go ahead and growl, hiss, and spit.

Get over it, because as always, we are here for the kids.

Now take a moment to compose yourselves.  And stop crying.  It’s sad.  And pathetic (plus, you don’t want to drip tears on your keyboard).

When I’m done please feel free to tell me what you think. Just keep the cursing to a minimum.

Here we go.

One, we need to get rid of penmanship, keyboarding, memorizing state capitals, and cutback on spelling.

And that’s just a start.

Am I crazy?

Possibly, but more likely I’m just slightly paranoid with some anger issues (it’s all about the proper medication).  But that’s a whole different subject.

Penmanship is rarely used by most adults.  Unless they are signing their name, so spending hundreds of hours teaching children how to make the perfect “Q” in cursive could be a waste of time.

We don’t have time to teach students a skill they will one day use in writing thank you notes.  If they need to produce such a note they can print them (by hand or a computer… I really don’t care).

Keyboarding?  Haven’t we progressed past the point of controlling our students by making them sit straight up and down with both feet on the floor while they type?

I don’t know of any former students who have computer skills and weren’t hired for a job because they didn’t type fast enough or use the proper technique.

Last time I checked, most elementary students know their way around a keyboard.

Let’s just agree the “Home Row” isn’t life or death.  Enough with typing “asdf gh jkl; fall gall hall lass” a thousand times.

Stop with the memorizing state capitals.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, it was fun in the 1950’s, it can be Googled in 2010.  If you find yourself desperately needing to know the capital of Delaware… look it up.  There’s no need to spend the entire 4th grade year forcing students to learn where Montpelier and Salem are located. 

Lastly, what’s with all the time on spelling?

Do we really need to know how to spell in this day and age?

Can’t we just come close when we are typing and then let the computer correct us?  During the typing of this blog, I misspelled 12 words.  Maybe it’s my keyboarding skills, maybe I’m just stupid.

Either way, it took me 1.3 seconds to fix them.

This is just a start.  I haven’t even gotten to the Periodic Table, poetry, and our obsession with dictionary skills.

Once, we get these things out of the curriculum, schools will have time to address skills needed in this century.

Like foreign language starting in elementary school.

Not as an elective, but mandatory (might I suggest Chinese?).

And computers, computers, computers.  We can’t keep pushing technology skills to the background because Grandma the 3rd grade teacher is afraid her students might break the printer or download a song.

Why is it that it’s embarrassing when we don’t know math, history, science when we stand in front of our students, but it’s okay to be clueless about technology (in the interest of full disclosure I stole this from someone on Twitter and I’m also on steroids so I can blog faster…).

As Ben Franklin said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished”.

And I don’t think any of us employed by a school should be done.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 3rd, 2010
  • Category: Uncategorized

10 Years Ago: I Was Younger and an Idiot.


A single meeting can drag on for hours.  Days last forever.  And weeks seem like they will never end.

How is it that a decade can fly by so quickly?

By my estimation decades are about 10 years long (feel free to double-check my math).  That means the last ten years accounts for approximately 1/8 of my life (if all goes well).

I’m starting to get the feeling that I’m living on borrowed time (my life is half over… I hope it wasn’t the good half).Time Flies.

Before the inevitable happens (I’m crossing my fingers that my Evil Spawn doesn’t put me in a nursing home… or a crate), I want to acknowledge how things have changed for me since the good old days (the year 2000).

Back then:

I was a punk teacher who thought I had all the answers.  Now I’m a punk school administrator who realizes that I don’t have any answers (and barely know all of the questions).

I coached a high school varsity boys basketball team.  Now, I coach 3rd and 4th grade girls.

In 2000, I didn’t own my house, truck, a suit, or have any investments.

I believed athletes were honest (steroids), hard-working, and good people (sorry Tiger, but I’m still heart broken).

I trusted politicians.

Buddy the Dog didn’t rule my house (that I didn’t own).

I was a year away from meeting the Evil Spawn.

And hearing my wife curse like a sailor during childbirth.

I didn’t have a Master’s or Specialist’s Degree.

I had never been to Florida, Texas, California, Colorado or basically anywhere.  Mainly because I had never been on an airplane, in a cab, or on a train.

I didn’t have a passport.

Or a cell phone.

We had a computer (that was huge), but it was slower than the phone I now carry around in my pocket.

I used to read the newspaper and look forward to the mail arriving.

Google, Twitter, Posterous, and thousands of other technology things were yet to be discovered.

I was newly-married (and yet my wife hasn’t aged a day in the last 10 years… yes, she reads the blog).

I hadn’t written a blog, read a blog, or heard of a blog.

My big concern back then was Y2K, not the Swine Flu.

Gas was cheap, but I never thought about it.

I spent my evenings watching TV, not working on a laptop.

I had a credit card, but no money to pay it off (because every cent went to student loans).

Any maybe the biggest thing… in 2000 I had absolutely no concept of time.  I didn’t think about the future.  I didn’t think about anything. 

Oh, how life has changed.  So quickly, in such a short time.

It makes me wonder what I’m about to face in the next decade.  What we are all going to face.

In the world.  At school.  In our personal lives.

For me, the next 10 years means I will celebrate my 50th birthday (how is that possible?), my 25th anniversary (what was she thinking?), and my daughter’s high school graduation.

My biggest hope for the next decade is it goes a little slower than the last one.

And I don’t end it in a crate.


Note from wife… Newly married?  We got married in 1995.  A half a decade prior to 2000.  Does that still qualify as “newly married”?

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  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 27th, 2009
  • Category: Uncategorized

Social Media vs. School Administrators.


As I travel across this great country (yes, one trip to Miami counts as traveling), I get asked two questions.

The first being “Can you work me into one of your blog posts?” 

Let me think.

No.Jump On the Bandwagon.

That was kind of harsh. Please let me apologize.

I really should take some time to reconsider.

On second thought.  No. 

The only chance of getting mentioned is if your name is Buddy the Dog.

He gets special treatment because he gets over the top excited, runs in circles, and whines ever so slightly when I return home from work.  Or when I come in from the garage.  Or from getting the mail.  Or walk out of the bathroom. 

It’s the exact same reaction whether he hasn’t seen me for 2 weeks or 2 seconds (I love dogs… and don’t forget to visit his Live Webcam).

Lucky for me, Buddy the Dog doesn’t have an agent (conceivably that could cut into my profit margin).

Of course, if you do something funny or interesting (and love me unconditionally), I could change my mind.

The second question is “How am I allowed to write this blog.”  Fair enough.

I always assume this question refers to a superintendent writing a blog and not based on the actual quality of my entries (in other words, what I write stinks).

Either way, it’s an excellent question.

After more than 300 blogs, it almost seems normal to sit down and quickly type my thoughts into a blog.

Almost.

Let’s be honest, there is nothing normal about spending this much time on a blog (or anything else). 

Say it out loud… Superintendent writes a blog.  It just seems weird.

Lucky for me it’s not that difficult.

My only concern is presenting my views, experiences, or embarrassing moments without insulting someone else.

By someone else I mean teachers, other administrators, students, or with anyone I come into contact.

I have to be careful that blogging doesn’t affect my day job (the last time I glanced at our checking account… I really need my day job).

But so far, so good.

The longer I do this (blog at slightly below average level) it becomes more and more apparent to me this will be commonplace in the next few years.

I not only think most school administrators will use social media (blogs, Twitter, Plurk, Posterous… and things they haven’t invented yet), but I think it will become the norm.

Communities and school districts will have an expectation that school administrators use social media.

And use it a lot.

It will be as normal as sending out a parent letter or writing up the highlights of a school board meeting (highlights… lowlights… whatever).

Hopefully, administrators of the future (bigger, stronger, faster) will figure out more productive ways to use social media than me.

They will likely spend more time on topics related to improving education and less on their hate of soccer (I’m sorry, but the use of your hands is required if you want to call it a sport).

It’s going to take someone smarter than me (easy enough) to figure out how social media can benefit students and schools 2, 3, or 5 years down the road.

It will become an ally to schools, not the enemy.

Instead of fighting it, administrators need to figure out ways to use it that are beneficial to students and staff.

Presently, we are fighting a war to hold off the use of Twitter, YouTube, blogging, etc. and we are losing.

The sad part is most administrators have only a limited knowledge of social media.  Because they don’t fully understand it, they assume it’s silly and a waste of time (my blog is not a good example of something that isn’t silly).

We’ve fought this battle before.

It was against cell phones.

If you haven’t heard, we lost.

How did we lose? Students are carrying little computers around in their pockets and we get upset if they take them out and use them.

I would hate to see the same result from the use… or non-use of social media.

Just thinking (typing) out loud, but if you are a school administrator maybe you should start a blog, or open a Twitter account (or use any of the 1,000 other types of social media).

If you blog, then you could write about yourself.

And I wouldn’t have to.

Unless of course you do something really funny… then send it my way.

Because Buddy is starting to get “demanding”… which means I may be  out of material soon.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 17th, 2008
  • Category: Uncategorized

School Administrators Joke #1: How Coaches Become Principals.


This is a brand new feature on PrincipalsPage.com.

Jokes about us.

We can’t take ourselves too seriously…You Make a Horse Laugh and You've Done Something.

because we have to realize, they (and by they, I mean everyone… remember a little paranoia keeps you sharp and on your toes) are not laughing with us, but at us.

I came up with this feature just moments ago as I sprinted (I mean ran… I mean jogged… actually, to be honest it is more of a walk/shuffle) through my daily (sometimes daily, often it is more of a few times a week) exercise program.

A few days ago, someone (a.k.a. @tjshay via twitter) sent my wife this joke about principals. I had heard it before, but had forgotten it (because I am so busy, I can’t remember everything… or possibly I am just old and forgetful).

The joke.

“Qualifications to be a Principal. A Master’s Degree and two consecutive losing seasons.”

Makes me smile every time I think about it.

Probably because in so many cases it is true. Let it be noted…my last season of coaching resulted in the kids having a winning season (I say kids because it was all them… very little of me).

I like to think I have a great sense of timing. Get out right before things go bad. Don’t overstay your coaching welcome. Leave on a winning note. Let the next coach deal with the rebuilding.

So that is what I did. I saw the writing on the wall. I got out. The very next season the kids had a record of 24 and 5.

I have said it before, but it deserves repeating. I am an idiot.

As usual, the joke was on me.

True story: I met a gentleman from Texas who got “promoted” to high school principal after having 2 losing seasons in a row as head football coach. The “promotion” came with a $7,000 pay cut.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 2nd, 2008
  • Category: Uncategorized

I Don’t Understand Twitter, but My Manhood Has Been Questioned.


When You Question the Manhood... You've Crossed the Line.My wife wants me to stop giving her a hard time about Twittering. She insists it is very useful in her ongoing search for more technology knowledge.

How much more computer information can she shove into that brain of hers? Sure I know the average head weighs about 10 pounds (man, that was back when Tom Cruise was still cool), but even so… how much stuff can she put into her head before it explodes?

I just know it is going to happen sooner or later and when it does, I can only hope she isn’t using my pillow.

As we were discussing Twitter, she said that people follow each other because they have the same interests, want to share ideas, or are looking for guidance on an education related project… or something like that… I think I zoned out at some point during the discussion.

I still don’t get this whole Twitter thing.

What I do understand is that she doesn’t think 500 of these Twittering types will follow my blithering, incoherent, slightly angry, mostly confusing, sometimes disturbing thoughts on a daily basis.

She mentioned something about too much of a bad thing…Twitter is a Riddle... and Yet, So Addicting.

With that thought, she has thrown down the gauntlet. It is on.

My manhood has officially been questioned (again… one of these days she is going to make me mad enough I will learn to cook for myself).

I am looking for 500 people to follow principalspage on Twitter.

Not really looking so much as begging (as I have mentioned in the past pride is not really a factor).

She will rue the day she crossed me. Or more likely the day she married me.

It is a tough call to guess which will happen first.

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  • Author:
  • Published: May 18th, 2008
  • Category: Uncategorized

What’s a Twitter? And Should I Be Playing With It?


Follow Me On Twitter... @principalspageTechnology is advancing at a rapid rate. I hate to admit it, but I am having a hard time keeping up.

This isn’t an excuse. I am trying. Honest (and just for the record, isn’t it always people who are lying that feel the need to announce they are honest?).

Working for a school district, I see the everyday challenges of trying to keep up with the world of changing technology. This is a battle all teachers and administrators face on a daily basis.

Schools need and want to stay current, but the mountain we have to climb is steep. And that just may be the understatement of the year. I haven’t said anything quite so obvious, since I remarked “its springtime, who knew the junior high boys, would all be in love?”

It seems that the business community has the resources to advance at a quicker pace than we do in schools.

The list of challenges for K-12 education includes; lack of money and resources, quality training, outdated equipment, time, a complicated decision making process, and the struggle to update the mindset of educators who don’t always face change in a very positive way.

Don’t get me wrong, these are not excuses. Honest (and by the way; I have never been lied to by a student who said they were being honest… honestly).

Every day I hear new technology terms being thrown my way. I sometimes feel like I have fallen down a gigantic technology hole and I have no chance of ever crawling out.

I could use a good dog that would run and get help, but I don’t even have that (although the unemployed daughter is putting pressure on me… boo hoo, she is an only child and needs a friend; why is that my problem?).

Twitter, Wikipedia, Blogs (actually, I know that one), Podcasts, Emoticons, Facebook, Hypermedia, Moodle, Javascript, Newsgroups, RSS feeds, Jing, Servers, Streaming, Spiders, Uploading, Downloading, Firewalls, Hubs, Pinger, Memory Sticks, UPS, Plug and Play, Webcams, Skype, Ning, Analog, Binary, Cache, Defragment, Ports, and Networks… and that’s just to name a few.

And I have heard all of these terms in the last week.

From my wife, Queen of Technology (it sounds like an important position; doesn’t pay that well, but does comes in very handy when my computer is being “difficult” and I am “confused”).

Lately, she has been spending her time Twittering. I have no idea what that is, why she does it, or who she does it with.

I swear my parents warned me about the Twittering, but for the life of me I can’t recall why. Something about being illegal in Georgia???

It is just another thing about technology that I don’t understand. But lucky for me, another term, program, or technology thingamabob will come around tomorrow and I will quickly forget how confused I was about the Twittering.

As I finish this blog, my wife is Twittering and my daughter is Skyping her grandmother. I am so confused. And my head hurts.

Maybe I am the one who really needs a friend.

If (I mean when) we get the new dog, I am pretty sure they are going to name it Twitter. Honest.

At least when I play with it in public, I won’t get arrested.

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