Wednesday, February 28, 2007


When I first heard the word Zoho, I thought of Soho in New York. But Zoho is a cool tool for anyone to try out.

This is similar to Google's tools, but I found a bit more here. It could be the nice easy layout and the fact that it's a fresh page, not sure. Their main items seem to be online Office Tools, but there's more. I encourage you all to check it out. I myself am going to check out the database builder. That's the only thing that I'm missing on the Mac, and that's a very small thing to miss.

Don't you just love the tools Web2.0 has been giving life to?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Call to Service?

A friend - Tom Turner - recently blogged about a conversation with a friend of his and her new interest, a Marine. The blog was about his opinions on everyone serving in the military. You can read it by checking out Tom's blog.

My pet peeve that relates to education is when I go to a conference and they have a booth filled with sales people telling me what I need in my district or classroom. Then I start talking to them and find out that they don't have any educational experience! Then when companies start hiring to fill sales/trainings and product development positions, they scoff at a teacher's application. If you're going to be in the business of education - be in the business of education! (Pssst, you won't find that at Tech4Learning, Scholastic or netTrekker by the way. The gang from Tech4Learning has many talented teachers on board, I've met Kathy and Mark from Scholastic - both former teachers in California, and netTrekker is blessed with some great content editors who were former classroom teachers. A nice mix of business and education - which works even more! And they till have their pulse on education, which counts for even more! )

Have you ever read the book "The Skin I'm In"? In there, there's a teacher that is actually from the business world and is taking a leave of absence to teach for a year. She realizes how hard it is to do the job with the tools given to her and how most of the students (and teachers) are unmotivated. I know this was not the point of the book, but I enjoyed that aspect. What I'd like to see is more companies "sponsoring" teachers or encouraging qualified people to take a year off and teach. Politicians especially.

And actually, since high schools are in semesters, that would work even better. They could teach just a semester class on Government and Econ or a scientist could teach an advanced science class. They could even teach half a day if needed. (Even Harry Potter did this! I know it's because the Defense Against the Dark Arts Position was cursed, but still it kept things fresh.) There are many ways this could work. And MAYBE the teacher shortage wouldn't be so short after all.

Because after those experiences I'm sure we'd either have turned them into lifelong educators or they would push for better funding of schools.

Human Weakness

I set up my Google Homepage to have quotes of the day appear. Today there is an appropriate quote, "Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?" from Henry Ward Beecher fits me perfectly. I have a card to Books A Million, Barnes and Nobles, and Borders. I don't have either one of them within 25 miles of my house, but I make it a point to stop at one whenever possible. I only order from Amazon when I have to. I'm strange. I enjoy all the senses of reading a book. I want to pick it out, touch it, even the smell of a book adds to the images that we read. Books on tape are so sterile, they do nothing for me.

My favorite room in any school building is usually the Media Center. They are open, inviting, and the librarian is so knowledgeable. I usually went there first. Some day, when I grow up, I might become a school media specialist/librarian. They are usually up and up on technology, books to read, what teachers need to integrate, and is a teacher's best friend. And professional development- WOW! What they offer and teach to not just the students but to the teachers is amazing! The Media Specialists back in Sumter 2 and I always shared technology and literary updates. I met some wonderful media specialists here in Florida, including Kay Teehan, Cecelia Solomon, Sue Loper and all the FUNTASTIC Media Specialists in Putnam County. I know they are a testament to what Librarians/Media Specialists should be. However, many states are decreasing funding for the library. The librarians are cut, or they end up only checking out and shelving books. There's an interesting article about this in NEAToday.

I'll continue to shop for books, but I'll always support REAL Libraries with REAL books and more in the schools. Support your school library today. Go check out a book, or if they're holding a bookfair (my weakness more than Girl Scout Cookies)- buy some books and donate them to the Library.

Books should be every human's weakness. Especially students and teachers.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Inspired Winners!

Hip Hip Hooray! My favorite software tool out there is Inspiration and I've always encouraged everyone to apply for the Inspired Scholarship. I don't know who all applied, but I do know one of the winners!
Congratulations to Michele Futch of Calhoun County's Blountstown Middle School! She won one of the Rookie Awards this year! WOO HOO!

eBullies - Sucked in by Gravity

Last night I enjoyed the play WICKED in Tampa. I read the book, and wasn't a big fan of it, but I really wanted a give the play a fair shake. Since the book was written first, I found the play to thankfully be more lighthearted and very loosely based.
Anyway, I don't want to ruin the whole play/book for you but I do want to point out that the play really touches on popularity and bullies. Thankfully Elphaba defies Gravity and really has the potential to make a difference in the politically changing Oz. (Want to read more on the political connections of Oz?)
In today's society, bullies are becoming even harder to reach. Kids are getting teased at school in person and online, whether through online social communities, blogs or instant messaging. I firmly believe that before a new technology is introduced to the students, you should teach them social responsibilities. I feel the same way about teaching our Bill of Rights. Freedom of speech does not give you the right to yell fire in the middle of a crowded movie theater. By doing so you are going to cause panic and people will get hurt. When we teach our students to blog, we need to teach them how to be socially responsible for what they are writing and responding to, and show them how bullying can effect a person.
There's an interesting article on eBullies in the eSchool News. I'm glad to see states are doing their part to help curb this issue. While not all the bullying ends up in suicide or gun issues at school, they do cut deep and do make a learning environment. What are you doing in your school to help stop the ebullies?
Tell all children who are being bullied to keep positive thoughts, say their prayers, and to defy gravity! With the right mentor in life, they are the ones who will learn to persevere and make it in this world. The bullies will become, well sucked in by gravity and never learn how to spread their wings and fly.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Creative and Passionate

There are many adjectives out there that people use to describe me, some nice and some not so nice. There are also plenty of adjectives I wish could be used to describe me - but alas, my love for Girl Scout Cookies, ice-cream, and iced drinks from Starbucks are not going to help me get that wish anytime soon. Creative and passionate though are two words that I hope to someday achieve, and I also hope any teacher out there also achieves them.

Why? Well, I was reading some blogs today and they refueled my passion. First, I stopped in on the ever so talented and down-to-Earth Dreamer Karen Seddon. (I was the first to describe her as that- down-t0-Earth dreamer. We made a great team, but I often was in my own hot-air balloon and racing off to other places. She'd ground me quickly and help me plan the route before taking off again.) Anyway, she has started a new business called e-Cubed to spread her passion and creativity when it comes to technology in education. Check her out.

Next I checked in on the guys at SEGATECH. They are my absolute favorite bloggers. Sorry Tom and Steve, you're tied for second. I enjoy Jeff and Daniel because they are so passionate about educational technology and this comes across in their blog. Today's blog is about creativity. Their blog gave links to some other interesting blogs, such as this one about Creative Spaces to work in. I am one who firmly believes creative juices help move things along and the job done faster and better than just juice.

The passion came from the next blog I checked in. They were talking about passion and how educators can actually teach businesses a few things about putting some passion in their life. I read a few other posts as well. I just love this blog. Read it!

Okay, my blog is getting too long. Let me stop and wrap it up.

My favorite quote was from George Burns, "It's better to fail at something you love, than succeed at something you hate." So teachers, I have some questions for you. Obviously you love teaching because you're not in it for the money or the headaches from the government. What makes you so passionate about teaching? How do you use your passion to make your classroom more creative and engaging? And do you think you could teach without passion or creativity and still reach today's children?

Friday, February 23, 2007

My Proposal for the NEW 3 R's

The 3 R's always bothered me. Could it be that Arithmetic and Writing may have started with an "r" sound but not the letter "r"? Or could it be mainly that one of the "r's" was arithmetic and I am so horrible at math?

I propose a 21st Century set of 3-R's. It's 1:30 in the morning, I can't sleep because they are going through my head, so I have to share them with you. At a decent hour, you can tell me if I am totally off my rocker.

The new 3'rs as proposed by me:

Reading. Okay, so this one was already established. However, I would add "Reading a variety of texts." There is a huge difference in reading for pleasure and reading an academic journal. Skills change and we're not teaching our students how to read the variety of texts out there. Not just the academic vs. pleasure reading, but even the type of texts where students have to decide the credibility of the writing. I mean, if a student comes in tomorrow and swears the new 3 R's of school are what you read posted here -I'd question them. I am not the authority, just another brainstormer.

Researching. This is one of my favorites. There are two different science teachers in the world. One requires the students to remember the Periodic Table and all of the atoms, neutrons and electrons in any given element. The second one teaches the students what the numbers mean and how to find the element in question using the table. Students need to be able to research their answers for almost any given topic. They don't understand the algebraic equation you've given them with steps a million times? It's time for them to RESEARCH the answer on their own. Can they use the Internet? Do they know how to even use their text book they lug around for something more than a weight?

and the last R: Responding. This is very similar to writing, but responding means they are able to pull all of their reading and researching together and respond in various ways. This could mean in an Excel format, a blogline, an actual written text, a letter to some committee, a response in the form of a critical analysis of a novel, or even a PowerPoint response sharing their findings of the said research and reading. It could even be a response in the form of art or music. (Go watch Music and Lyrics and you'll see that music can be a great response to any given topic!) Teach them when they need to be brief in their language (PowerPoint) or when they can elaborate (written paper) or when they can even add their own personal views in a friendly conversation tone (blog). Or teach them to be creative (art).

Notice, they all actually start with the letter R!

And the new 3 R's address the 21st Century Learning Skills that were mentioned in the podcast from David Warlick that I never got back to listening to. Plus, with the tools that are available thanks to the Web 2.0 movement, it'll be easier than ever. Students have access to all sorts of resources through old favorites like netTrekker and pics4Learning, and now new favorites like Wikipedia, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and more. Our students can even learn to be "prosumers" instead of just consumers in the classrooms, and eventually the world. (Read that in Wikinomics!)

If only I was using Inspiration right now, I could outline this for you even better with graphic maps and more. Instead, I think I'll run spell check and then try going to bed. I'll let you tell me how far off my rocker I am with my new proposed 3 R's: Reading a variety of texts, Researching a variety of resources, and Responding in different formats.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Off On a Tangent

I think the Internet is one of the most valuable tools that has been introduced into the classroom, and also one of the scariest. Scary only because of the abuse by those who do not hold very high moral standards. But put that aside and see the joys -the blossoming flowers available. The new Web 2.0 tools available really can help bring our students into the 21st Century, especially if they are willing to teach 21st Century Literacy Skills. (Literacy by the way crosses all subjects - not just ELA. Gotta teach those kids how to read a science source. Different skills than a Harry Potter book.)

Today I started listening to a podcast from David Warlick about School 2.0 and what it will look like. Sadly, I got interrupted and must get back to it, but the first part was made up of interviews from teachers. Some of the random thoughts were: we need to teach students how to filter information for reliability and then how to use it properly; kids are way ahead of us in technology; we need to redefine literacy.

I'm going to tackle the first thought about filtering for information. I use to have my students do a search on flowers. We'd show the different topics that came up and how to read the description of the website. Then I'd ask, "I'm doing a report on the parts of the flower. Which link do I click on?" After we look at that site and evaluate who created it and the information on it I would have them go back to the search results and ask, "I want to plant flowers in the garden. Which flowers would be the best for my environment and will fit the school budget?" Again we would look at which sites are the most appropriate. We even looked at the dynamics of a website and what areas should not be clicked on if we are focused on our studies. That usually left us with links about tattoos, people with the last name Flower, some "exotic" people by the name of flower, and so forth. I would then warn them that if they clicked on one of those links, since the description did not fit the need, they could be written up. "Curiosity killed the cat, don't let it kill you," they'd often hear me say.

Now, smart schools have search engines like netTrekker in place. I can look up all kinds of flowers and their part and not once get anything exotic that I'd be nervous about my students being curious about. You can still teach them how to judge a website, how to filter the content, how to use the content (and document it), but you're not putting your students in danger of nasty pop-ups like that shameful school district did in Connecticut. (I still blame the school, not the substitute.)

One of my favorite sites is Wikipedia, but there are a lot of schools (especially colleges) that want to ban this from the school servers. First off, banning such a site is only going to encourage it's use more. The first reason for banning is because they don't know the credibility of the site since anyone can edit the site. I'll accept that. They can still use it as a start for their research, but they still need to verify the information. The second reason is because college students should not be using encyclopedias. I'll give them that one too, however they're looking at it all wrong. They should be TEACHING their students the 21st century literacy skills, teach them how to start with information found in an electronic encyclopedia and then find the experts and articles that either discredit such entries or supports them. Teaching - that's the name of the game.

Well they should be happy to hear that there is a new site on it's way to eLand. Larry Sanger, one of the founders of Wikipedia, is creating a new site called Citizendium. They will make everyone register and make use of the experts. The new site will have content editors that will approve articles before they are posted and even write some for the site. You can read more about it in eSchool News. Now the questions comes down to these - knowing that the content is approved by an expert, will schools allow it? Will they remember that even though Citizendium has done their part in making sure that the content is creditable, the students understand how to use it, especially in the 21st Century Classroom and not the old style?

I need to go finish the podcast. I'll have more thoughts tomorrow that I'm sure will lead to me birdwalking (getting off task) just as easy.

Teacher Resources

I'm doing some research right now on teacher websites. I am going to start searching through FETC and NECC files to get links to actual teachers because each search I do brings up some corporate or business busy board.

So help me with my search. Who are the REAL teachers that you visit online? I am looking for people like the Jennifer Dormans, Wes Fryers and Tom Turners out there. Don't get me wrong - I love Tech4Learning and Scholastic, and yes most (if not all) resources are written by teachers. I'm just looking for sites that TEACHERS have taken the time to build themselves.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Apple takes a bite out of teachers.

Usually it's the other way around. Teachers are taking bites out of apples. However, Steve Jobs recently spoke alongside Michael Dell at an education reform conference last week and Jobs decided it was time to take a bite out of education.

Jobs' problem with education? Teacher unions who help keep teachers who are not effective in the classroom. Principals who can't get rid of teachers who are too lazy to do their job. He compared schools to businesses when he asked, "What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn't get rid of people that they thought weren't any good?" He blamed the unions.

I agree to a point that the unions are part of the problem. The second problem? There's a teacher shortage, so we have to keep all teachers we have to make sure there is a body in every classroom. Plus, while there are laws for businesses to follow, they don't have outsiders sticking their nose in their business. How would Jobs feel if educators told HIM how to run Apple? I think Jobs is the right man for running Apple. A teacher is the right person for running the classroom and the principal the right person for the school. If only the politicians could find something more interesting to change every 4 -8 years.

Jobs went on to give his vision for education. He said more technology is not going to make a difference until principals can fire bad teachers, but he did have some interesting ideas about the curriculum. For one, instead of spending so much money on textbooks, adopt free, online information source that is constantly updated by experts. Pearson, are you reading this? Get on the ball! Why don't you create a subscription based site with the textbook uploaded electronically and is constantly updated, an area to ask an expert, links to current articles, podcasts, and blogs, along with research/learning activities to encourage the use of effective technology in the classroom? I bet a subscription to NetTrekker would still be less expensive, but it would require teachers to think and plan still.

On another note, a good friend and colleague has entered the blog-o'sphere. I'd like to give a shout out to Rachel Amstutz of the new blog: Excursions in Education.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The DL on the DS?

My son wants to be a gamer. Unfortunately for him he doesn't have a gamer for a mother. He has a Gameboy Advance and has been wanting a game station for his tv. So I decided to get him the GameCube for his birthday with the piece for playing Gameboy games on it. I went into Wal-Mart yesterday and was greeted by a really nice assistant manager. He could have taken advantage of my niateve. Instead he tells me that the Gamecube is becoming obsolete and that the games from the Gameboy will look very pixelated on it. We then talked about games all together. Now he didn't have a DS to sell me, but he sold me one anyway. He told me what the Ninetendo DS system can do, then he told me about Brain Games. Brain Games gives you a little test and then helps build your brain. Some of the things in there are directly related to reading and math skills. Then there's the logic and reasoning that can be helpful in any area of life.

I went to EB Games, they didn't' have one in a boy approved color. I went to Targets, found him one. I even found the other Brain Game, so he now has both. I wrapped it up, and gave it to him. He was excited until he unwrapped the games. I made the big mommy mistake and didn't buy him a new FUN game because I figured he'd use his GameBoy Advance games on it until after his party on Sunday. But that wasn't good enough. Nope.

But here's what I am in need of - I need to know what games are good for a 8 year old who's not a strong reader and doesn't want to play silly "Dog and Cat" games, but rather King Kong or some other action adventure game. I also want some tips on how to encourage him to play the Brain Games and make it sound like fun.

Is there a class for gaming beginners? I could really use one.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Be Kind for a Week only?

It's the week of "Random Acts of Kindness", which is convenient since Valentine's is also this week. I'm hoping that as parents and teachers, and even as a society, we are teaching our children (and a few adults) that random acts of kindness should be enjoyed all year and not just in one week. However, this is a good week to reinforce opening doors for others, helping people pick up dropped items, assisting without being asked, or just smiling and saying hello. (I find this to a simple way to cheer people and warm their hearts. It also throws people off!)

So go on, go be kind to someone!

Porn on Your School Computer?

Last night my mom told me about a substitute teacher who was convicted and may possibly be jailed because she accessed her email on a school computer, left the room, and then came back with students around the computer looking at porn.

Who's to blame? The substitute, Julie Amero?? She claims not to be very technology literate. The computer is a 98 Windows Machine, running Internet Explorer 5, with an expired firewall protection, no spy-ware protection, and the anti-virus protection out of date. One expert was prepared to testify that the spyware was installed weeks before she came to the room, but that testimony was not allowed in the courtroom because the testimony was not given to the prosecution before the case went to court.

The prosecution blamed her for not turning off the computer and not being proactive about the pop-ups. In her defense, the teacher of the classroom asked her not to sign her off. She went down the hall and asked for help. The teachers there told her to ignore the ads. The students even testified that she tried to get them to stop popping up. She didn't throw a coat or sweater of the computer because she didn't wear one that day.

The students of course went home and told their parents, who were upset and called the school system in an uproar. Could it be that they weren't mad at Amero, but furious that the school systems were not up to date and not using a filtering system (that I thought was mandatory to get funding for technology)? Could it be that Amero was the scapegoat for their problems?

In my old district, substitutes were not allowed on the computer. Teachers weren't allowed on computers until they took a test and passed it. This assured us that computer literate teachers were the ones on the computers, and also made sure the teachers knew their rights and responsibilities when on the computer. If a teacher accessed a site by accident, they were to report it and then they would not be held responsible. It allowed the technicians to find out how it was accessed and why it was allowed through the filtering systems. If the teacher did not report it, well that's when things could be suspicious.

By the way, the incident with Amero started in 2004. Her sentencing is to take place on March 2. Talk about a speedy court case. I personally hope that they are lenient on her, pardon and expunge the conviction and clear her name all together. It's the school's technology leaders and well, the federal funding that's actually at fault here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Second Life? I can barely handle my first!

I'm looking at a thing called Second Life right now. It's a social networking, virtual world - something that is suppose to be one of the top trends in education this year. I learned about it on a blog and in a group I'm currently doing the "discussion board" thing with. So being curious -I'm checking to see what all the hype is about.

My first reaction: It personally kind of scares me. There's a Tom Clancy novel that I read awhile ago - a couple of them actually- the Net Force Series. They are set in 2010 - which is really that far away. In the novels they talk about Cybernation -which is exactly what this whole virtual world is going to. A whole new set of taxes, a new citizenship, a new way of everything.

But what scares me more is visually seeing people - sort of like the gamers in SPY KIDS 3 - wearing the goggles to view the 3 D life. They were escaping from who they are and not accepting themselves. They portrayed themselves as someone smarter and cooler - AND THOSE WERE KIDS! What if these kids only interact online, and well - if they get so caught up in it, what will old fashioned hugs be like? Can they socialize in person? It's hard to socialize in the real world after being so caught up with "living and working" online. :-)

On the flip side, in moderation, I like the idea of virtual classrooms for kids to take advance classes (already doing this with distance learning) and communicating with students in other nations (again - already doing this, just not as sophisticated). There are some benefits - as long as the parents balance the social networking, online learning and virtual world experience with in person social opportunities.

And they give the kid a hug -not just the avatar.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Six Trends

There are six trends that eSchool News reported on today that we need to look out for in 2007. Here they are:

  • User-created content: More Wikis, Blogs, and Podcasts, Oh My! Which is great, because these are fresh ideas and thoughts for you to harvest and make into your own.
  • Social networking: Between MySpace, FaceBook, and even sites like Scholastic and the DEN, social networking is in the forefront. The way they are suggesting to use social networking - as a benefit to students- is a great plus! Sort of like the virtual classrooms that we have heard about, just modernized. I do want something MORE and special for Social Networking for teachers. I have a dream - and I bet, it's going to come true one day soon. What can I say, I'm a believer.
  • Mobile phones: As soon as a school bans things, do you notice their popularity? In truth, I didn't read Harry Potter until schools started talking about banning it from their libraries. The new movement is to ban mobile phones from schools. I understand their reason, but because of their ban, mobile phones are on the rise. I find their use in schools very interesting and all I have to say, "it's about time!"
  • Virtual worlds: This is one time where I can say District Two was on the cuttin' edge! With our Teaching American History Grant, our teachers created virtual museums, complete with avatars, walls, and more using software from Adobe. We got lucky and Bill, our consultant, gave us templates to start with. This was wonderful because all of the teachers could edit the template and not be so overwhelmed by the design. The software by the way is no longer available. Adobe decided not to support it after all. I wonder if they created something new and better to take it's place since Virtual Worlds are part of the top trends to watch for.
  • New scholarship and emerging forms of publication: Of course, this one is interesting, and I can see someone like Kay Teehan taking advantage of it soon. I'll always be an old-fashioned book reader, but the suggestion here is that text books and other books will become electronic, with integration of video, live updates, and even collaboration. With this in mind, maybe I will go after my doctorate now. Hmmm- mass collaboration on writing my thesis. :-) I like it!
  • Massively multiplayer educational gaming: I'm not a gamer, at least not in the electronic sense of the word. However, I encouraged the use of Lightspan games in my technology coaching days and I'm interested in seeing how gaming is going to engage the learner now. I've seen some of these games thanks to Darlene Wolfe. She introduced me to Tracie and others who actually create educational games at UCF. I know students like Tommy in Calhoun will be thrilled about this one!
The six trends have been in education for awhile - or at least most of them. It's interesting to see how trendy we're becoming.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Yeah for Bush!

How often can you actually say YEAH for Bush and mean George - especially when it comes to education? Well you can cheer him on for this one. His administration is actually making a call to increase, for the first time in 30 years, the Pell Grant amount. It was already passed at $260, but he wants it increased to $550 and a maximum of $4600 a student can be awarded.

Yeah for Bush! He's finally working on leaving no child behind.

Moral Clause?

Harry Potter's new book has a publication date! Saturday, July 21, 2007! WOO HOO! I am so excited! It even has a name - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You can read more about this announcement on many sites, but I would start with JK Rowling's own official site.

The first article I read this on also pointed to an article about Daniel Radcliff's latest image. I have to admit, the pictures were a little um - well I can see where parents would be concerned. Harry Potter, who so far has only been seen as a flirting young man not entertaining thoughts of the nature those images lead to. You can read more on a fan's site, and even see the images! Just click on the news section, and it's on the page for January 30th.

One of the things mentioned here is that parents are concerned over the suggestive nature of the photos. He's an actor, and while he is an actor in a very popular series, it's not like he signed a moral clause with Warner Brothers. He didn't pose naked, although it seems like it. He is not promoting drug use (which I would be more concerned about), and while he is a role model, he's not directly in contact with our students. We have to choose for him to be.

Which brings me to the next round on the "Moral Clause." I found an article and a blog posting yesterday about two Florida teachers who are under the scope because of immoral acts. In the past, teachers had to be innocent, unmarried, and could not even be dating. They had to be very pure to be in touch with our students. Today, we can't hold those stipulations on a teacher, but what should be expect? Where do we have a right to actually look at a teacher's "free" time as interfering with a school program?

Let's take the first case. He's an educator in his 50's. He's divorced and looking. So this educator heads on over to My Space and posts his own profile with information of the sort. Now this is where it gets tricky. Supposedly on the site there was vulgar language that put the teacher in a sexual light. Parents were upset. He claims someone else hacked into his site, and it has been cleaned up. He was still let go. On this case, my personal feelings were he used poor judgment (as Steve Dembo said, this is your new permanent record). He shouldn't be advertising there for a date. Go to Yahoo Singles or or something like that if you're interested in finding a date. Students shouldn't be on there. Let go? Not unless he was trying to seduce under age girls and refused to take down the information. My Space is too popular with students for a teacher to "hang out" on. I don't agree with educator Dean Moore that a student sees me in the classroom, they don't need to see me on the web. That depends on how you're going to portray yourself.

The second case, well I can understand the uproar. Maybe more so here because the images were not hacked and they were very suggestive. This teacher near Miami posed for pictures for America's Bikini Team. The images are not just of her in a regular bikini, but well - you can take a look for yourself and decide. The first three are okay, the rest of them made the male commenters on the blog excited. While students should not be on a bikini site, and she did not use her real name, they are very suggestive and she does teach high school. Should she have been let go? Here's another person's thoughts.

The bottom line, while there is no legislature that says teachers have to lead a pure life, you do have a moral obligation to live in good character and be a good role model for the students. As Christina DeNardo wrote (Palm Beach Post Writer), teachers are under a microscope. You have to be careful of who, where, and what you do for interaction. While it would be great if all of our role models of today (athletes, entertainers, politicians, and local law enforcement, etc) would behave in good character with moral thoughts - we can't expect it. It's up to us as parents AND teachers to fill in the gap. The difference? You won't get paid well on Earth for your good behavior, but it's worth it in the end.

Looking forward to the next Harry Potter! It's the one time that I will be out of bed super early and at the mall (won't do it for Christmas shopping) to get my copy. No, I don't order it online. I still like the interaction of picking up my own copy, paying for it and conversing with the cashier.

I just hope those images didn't ruin his image for me in the movies.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

North Star

One of my favorite authors is Peter Reynolds. He's nothing like the other books I read, but I find his stories to be inspirational and uplifting. His artwork is just right (not scary like those David books).

But his website! WOW! I'm there now and the first book I read by him is available! Woo Hoo! You can choose your character and even read it in Spanish if you so choose. Then scroll down a bit and there's a link to the AUDIO VERSION! They have their own Fable Radio! This is just too cool!

You have to go and explore Fable Vision. You might also be interested in checking out Peter Reynold's site. I want even more of his books now! I also encourage you to check out the Client Services side of Fable Vision. There you'll find an inspiring He Was Me. Use this for the next creative session or a professional development class that needs to release the inner child.