Friday, October 25, 2013


I just got notification today that the area EdTech powers that be are going to meet with the area Tech powers that be, and I couldn't be happier!
I wear both hats at my school, although I certainly can't take the credit for the great learning with technology that takes place in the Storm Lake Schools. It's the teachers and students working together in the classrooms, the outside world that collaborates with us, the technicians traversing the district each day, and the administrators who have bought into the validity of technology for learning who are the ones making sure the learning takes place. No amount of vision, dreaming, persuading, deploying, troubleshooting, training, or planning on my part alone can accomplish this. Like all things, it takes a team and a lot of focused hard work by many different people.

When any team can get together, hash it out, and then work for the same goals, magic can happen. Our students deserve this. This is the way we do business: Together.

It's about time.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Inspiration

This is personal. My dad, at the age of 81, was just honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning for the pro bono legal work he's doing for those who are in need in Sarasota, Florida.

On the other hand, this isn't a bit personal. These are the kind of people I work with everyday. Teachers, administrators, technology directors, instructional assistants, cooks, maintenance personnel, and all those who work in schools. Talk about serving those in need! I am honored everyday to work with such selfless, caring people.

On a personal note, love and congratulations to my dad in his most noble work. On a professional note, my deepest respect and admiration to all those who also do such noble work in our schools.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Collaboration, Expertise, and Compromise

Anyone who knows me knows two things about me:
  1. I am a team player. I like to bring people together, bat around ideas, present evidence, sometimes disagree vehemently, and then make decisions and plans based on facts.
  2. I respect the fact that people have different backgrounds, education, and expertise, and I purposely search out the opinions of those who are experts on various topics and who have actually experienced various situations when formulating my own thoughts.
Watching Congress the past few weeks and then participating in a meeting recently, where people I consider experts were feeling completely disenfranchised, have brought the two beliefs I listed above to the forefront of my thinking today.

Our world has become too complicated for individuals to claim expertise and make decisions based on "what's best" for the rest of us. Therefore, we owe it to the world to do the following:
  1. We must all speak up, even when it's uncomfortable.
  2. We must all actively listen to one another, even when we'd rather argue or remain removed from the situation.
  3. We must all be open to changing our minds, to the point of admitting when we're wrong.
  4. And finally, we must all realize that compromising and reaching consensus is not only possible but necessary under many circumstances when we hold conflicting views. It's not giving up to compromise. It's the reality of living in a free society.
These are skills we must practice as adults and model for our students. These are skills our students must be taught, because they will need them in our complicated world.