Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas

Today I am only in the office for half a day. This is a good thing (just like before Thanksgiving) because I need this break more than I've ever needed a break before. I need the break for my mind as much as my body. I'm tired.

Being the only Instructional Technology Specialist has really eaten away at me, though my supervisors would tell you I'm doing a great job. I have kept my head above water which, some days, just means that my nose is sticking out of the water to allow me to breath just enough to stay alive. I haven't had the time to do some of the things I want to do and things I feel are important (like posting to this blog), but, as far as I know, I've been able to maintain the help are districts are used to receiving.

The plan is still to post the job in March (I'm keeping my fingers crossed!) so after the break there are just a few more months before we can try again. That gives me a renewed sense of, "I can do this."

This Christmas break will involve taking a winter intercession class (Computer Technology and Reading Instruction) for my Master's Degree, but it will also involve resting and relaxing with my family. My brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews will be here (YEAH!), my mother's parents will spend Christmas with us and my dad's dad will be here the Saturday after Christmas. We will enjoy our time together knowing that life can change in a moment even though, at times, it seems as if the everyday of life is enough to make one go insane. We will laugh, we will cry (my Papa - my mom's dad - likes "family time" which usually involves tears :)), we will eat, and we will be miserable together from over-eating. We will play games (my dad always wins... :)), we will watch Christmas Vacation (family tradition...), and we will read the Christmas story (have to remember the "Reason for the Season"...). The most important thing, though, is that we will relish in the time spent together and share in making some really special memories.

Merry Christmas All!

p.s. This is cross-posted at my personal blog:

Monday, December 15, 2008

21st Century Skills and English Map

On November 24th, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills released the 21st Century Skills and English Map which is:
a new framework that provides educators with teacher-created models of how 21st century skills can be infused into English classes.

How wonderful is that! A map that will help English teachers infuse 21st century skills into their classroom. And, better yet, it's using a teacher-created model! Wonderful!

They also have a map for Social Studies as well as many other publications. I encourage you to visit their publication listing and choose one to read/review. If you find something outstanding, post that information as a reply to this post and share with everyone else!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Good 'Ol Days of Wheelwright, Kentucky

I have subscribed to receive notifications of any new Edutoipa articles and this one caught my eye. The title of the article is Community Connect: The Bluegrass State Blends Technology and Service Learning by Suzie Boss.

Students have taken pictures from Wheelwright, Kentucky (a former coal-mining town that has basically become a ghost town) and perserved the history by restoring these photos. They've even published a coffee table book and DVD.

This is one example of how students in the state of Kentucky are honing their 21st century skills. The statewide Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) mixes community service with technology in hopes of empowering students with technology. The article goes on to highlight additional student-led projects as well as giving information on how the projects have inspired teachers and community memebers alike.

This article is definiely worth a read...