Reflections and Observations

This is definitely in the reflection column. And when I wish I had kept track of the stories I have posted on this website! In upgrading my MacBook to the latest pink gold version 13″, I encountered a number of challenges…as reflected in what I am posting here.

This was a PD speech I made in 2000 to APS and AB (now ABSD). I also was thinking that I wish I had looked at it before the EMK Center keynote!

Not much has changed…the issues were identifiable then and are perhaps more severe now but we had technology’s number (smile).2000 Presentation in AB PD. It is hard to believe that I had so many slides…but it was a long talk!

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I had this idea years ago and tried to convince the bus company to outfit a science lab bus for the elementary schools:Climb Aboard: School Buses Reimagined | Edutopia

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I knew it was a good idea. Search4STEM is what was and still is needed, perhaps even more now when everyone is concerned about the state of STEM preparation in the US.

Leslie Schneider, my colleague during the development of S4S, just sent an email with this url: http://theconnectory.org/

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One person’s view of decision-making: Fork-1-2-17

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There is a spate of “early” movements: Early Childhood Spatial Learning and Early College Resolution.

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This report captures the constant challenges of education in the US: federal vs. state, privacy vs the public good. CELT (and I) spent a lot of time and energy trying to advance inBloom: InBloom_Feb_2017

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Thank you, modern technology…a best use case: Destroyed by ISIS, Syria’s cultural sites rise again in France – The Boston Globe

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Once again we visit NYC. And of course, go to Broadway. This trip’s theater attendance focused on “The Bronx Tale” and Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes. Why this is worth mentioning, is that in addition to good theater, good staging and great dancing, both shows reflect the centrality and effectiveness of technology. Gone is the ripwire and in are 3D movies cum glasses, moving parts of scenery, lighting, amplification with tiny mics as well as many other marvels.

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And the windows and evening light show of Saks are fantastic.

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I thought I had posted some observations based on listening to Professor Donald Leu of UConn at an Askwith Forum, who confirmed for me the current need to teach students “online” in addition to “off line” reading, or as he prefers “new literacies.”(BTW, Alan November has been urging educators to do that for years!). I am finding that I am not gravitating toward reading books because I am already reading too many emails which include bulletins, articles and other lengthy documents with links that need to be followed for full understanding. Then came Education Week’s Vol 36, Issue 12, November 9, 2016 on the subject of The Changing Face of Literacy. This slim issue includes references to the work of Prof. Leu. Another change we need to pay attention to.

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ASCD’s publication Express featured this article which reminded me of the work with EDC about the March of Caesar and the Triangle Trade at Meadowbrook Junior High School in Newton in the 60s: Document-based-learning…informing us that so much of what people claim today to be new in education is actually validation of the best of the past!

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The Globe of October 12, 2016 ran a major article about charter schools and their “innovativeness.”Have-charter-schools-fulfilled-promise-as-innovators-debate-persists. I wondered if they had attended the event at the Parker House sponsored by HGSE and the Rappaport Institute at Harvard because that was the question I asked on October 11, 2016.

There are two issues that need to be addressed: if charter schools are “more successful” how are they doing that and is it replicable in regular public schools which are hampered by rules and constraints.

The other question I keep raising was also addressed and that is this equation: four or five students leave a school district like the ones I led and the dollars lost are equivalent to a teacher’s salary but the student loss does not indicate the need to dismiss a teacher.

And finally, there is an enormous difference in dealing with big cities and small towns. What is true of Boston, may not be the case in Acton-Boxborough.

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It is a gem…we have driven by hundreds of times and said, “We have to visit.” Finally this summer, we did and took friends with us for a second visit: The Waterworks Museum opposite the Chestnut Hill reservoir. It has intrigued me partly because it is a Richardsonesque building reminiscent of Easton.Today, 9/27/16, in the Boston Globe there was this article: Waterworks building is one for the ages

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The Pioneer Institute mounted one of its well organized events at the Parker House (9/19/16). Several of the usual people were present, including Senator Birmingham. I asked the keynote speaker about why there was not more outreach from the charters to the other publics as was originally required (and which the Parker Charter did so well under the Sizers). Apparently in Boston, said the founder of City on a Hill, there was some such interaction. Boston, and even Springfield and Worcester, are in a different league from HW, Lexington, Easton and Acton-Boxborough.

I also explained to several people the real funding dilemma: If a school district, like any of the ones I served, loses four students, the dollars that follow the students add up to a salary of a fairly young teacher but the reduction in students does not equate to the reduction of a teacher…not a fair trade off.

One person’s response was that the charters do not get funding for facilities improvement. I believe they did at one point. So a question to ask is why that kind of support from the Commonwealth is no longer available.

It is somewhat about the money, but importantly also about the constraints that non-charter public schools encounter.

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The Boston Globe of Sept 17, 2016 ran the article below. I read it with great interest because we have owned a Roomba since  before I met Colin Angle through the Science From Scientists program. The dog is also appealing! our-bots-ourselves-the-boston-globe. Recently the physicist bought a small version which is indeed human looking.

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The Governor of Iowa plans to bring in several new STEM Council members in September of 2016 which include the new president of the University of Iowa, the CEO of a small software company called Bunch Ball, the provost of Drake University, and an executive at Alliant Energy. In order for him to do so, he will not be re-appointing Mark McDermott of UI, Gail Wortmann, Mackenzie Rubin of Monsanto and me. Gail is a K-12 educator and Mark, higher ed faculty in whose class I once spoke. I wonder what will happen to the Global STEM Education Committee the Lt. Governor approved two meetings ago and which just started working under my chairmanship. To be continued…

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The MassCUE Board retreat in Bedford on July 11 and 12, 2016 was illuminating. Facilitated on the first day by Tony Bent who also has failed retirement, it reflected how much has changed in technology for schools since the days of the original MASS Technology Task Force.

Yet some questions remain:

—Are educators using the technology to the best advantage for teaching and learning?

—Where do they learn these skills and how do they stay refreshed?

However, a new question arises:

—What is the importance of a professional organization in the lives of teachers—especially today with social media answering everyone’s questions immediately?

IT specialists in schools are singletons and so  their need for professional affiliation may be more palpable and it explains why MassCUE is a vibrant and successful organization while others like MASCD are struggling. The specialists also need to stay ahead of the knowledge frontier given the medium with which they work.

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Another trip to Iowa for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council (end of June 2016). On this occasion in conjunction with a day-long event bringing business, non profits and educators together to explore advancing STEM education. I had the opportunity at the end of the day to say the following at Jeff Weld’s request: Reflections on the Iowa STEM_6_29_16

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This reflection on the death of Jerome Bruner at 100 (6/9/16 )His Struggle to Bring Cognitive Psychology to Schools – The Atlantic reminded me of my observation when I was in his class at HGSE in the 60s: he kept his notes in hard bound ledger type books which he placed on the lectern, one on top of the other, and would move them around and rifle through pages as he was presenting and occasionally reading from the books.

He clearly did not have the advantage of technology!!!

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A long held plan:

For many years at ASCD Annual Conference, the affiliates exchanged pins…I collected as many as I could and promised myself that when I retired I would get a US map (with space for our non-state-side affiliates–there are half a dozen Puerto Rico pins!!!!) and affix the pin to the appropriate space on the map.
Yesterday we bought a Rand-McNally map at the Boston University Barnes & Noble and my husband helped to remove the pins from the plastic envelopes and place them appropriately.
I thought I covered more states than is the case!!  And no one handed out any pins that I could see in Atlanta this year, 2016, my first annual conference in many years..
The Zimmerman ASCD Affiliate Map is still a work in progress. If anyone has any ASCD affiliate pins which could be donated to this project, I would love to get them.
When I consider that I have collected all that are available, I will mount and frame the map. Photos are available upon request!!!
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The message in this article is what I have been saying for a while…and it explains why MASCD and other affiliates and organizations are facing an identity crisis.  Apparently the article cannot be uploaded, even with attribution so I suggest you find “Join Now: Why Teachers Need Professional Organizations” By Meghan Everette blog post date on April 28, 2016 in Scholastic:www.scholastic.com/

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I will remember this trip to Iowa (April 2016) to the Governor’s summit entitled Future Forward Iowa, as a member of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, the most because during the entire day, I sat between the Governor on my right and the Lieutenant Governor on my left…the occasional exchange occurred, in both directions! The table was dead center first row in the Convention Center ballroom. A number of people commented on my location and one even asked what was said!!!

This followed a wonderful reception at the Governor’s mansion the prior evening. He was most expansive (joked about living in the attic) and spoke to “his guests” the entire time.

The program was a content heavy, including a number of students from early elementary to college age. When Jeff Weld asked me afterwards what I thought the predominant message was, I replied that people talked a great deal about partnerships, especially business and education but also about ensuring that students in Iowa stayed in Iowa…the latter in a manner I had never heard before.

And I did mention to him that eight people on a panel is not the best idea. It appears that the Council staff did not plan/mount this event…rather the Governor’s office. So the staff actually enjoyed the summit!

The other particularly interesting experience was a personal (no other visitors were in the building) two hour tour of the World Food Prize building by Catherine Swoboda, Director of Planning. (https://www.worldfoodprize.org/). There was also a fantastic display of the photography of Howard G. Buffett.

The building was originally the Des Moines Public Library and is located near the Des Moines River with a view of the Capital building. It has magnificent gardens and I was lucky to see the tulips in flower. I passed it the day I first came to Des Moines when I walked from the Marriott to the Capital building (where I was given a tour also!), wondered about it but did not even try at the time to visit.

Catherine explained that they engage in a number of events for students and I promised her to connect her with Ed Shapiro because the World Food Prize is a Nobel Prize given to the person who is “honored” by the building and its activities, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize.

The most important accomplishment was the meeting of the Iowa Global STEM Education Committee. The following members were present: John Carver, Barry Butler, Rob Denton. Jeff Weld sat in on the meeting.

There was agreement to send out the survey to establish a baseline…When I was telling one of the Regional Center Directors  about it he asked the date of the base…I had been thinking 2016 when the survey is going out but his question made me realize that we should add a line to each of the six questions: When did you start his program?

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My new Acura inspires the same reaction: Why won’t my car shut up and drive? – The Boston Globe. It thinks it is smarter than I am!

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The ASCD Annual Conference 2016 in Atlanta is the first I have attended in several years. Mostly I worked on MASCD issues as a member of the Affiliate leadership but I attended several interesting sessions and met many younger people…Everyone I spoke with agrees that the new generation of educators requires new instructional approaches, both with them and with their students.

I expect to list several products which I found interesting and which you may also.

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I am glad I am not the only one. My new leased Acura has been challenging my intelligence since the day we picked it up. What a relief to read this commentary on 3/19/16: Why won’t my car shut up and drive? – The Boston Globe

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At the MassCUE conference in mid March, it became clear one way that the world is changing. The arena is not the school alone anymore…It is social media. These two comments in particular were daunting:

1.Do not be alone with a child …the main focus was on social media but when I asked a question about extra help after school, the answer was ‘do not do it.’

2. Do not advise a student, let the counselors do it…in the old days, teachers were encouraged to help students with issues, be informal counselors.

3. Today’s parents are the iPod generation

4.Other comments:

•Think before you post

•You have to tell your story before anyone else does

I also read in the Boston Globe that college admissions officers look at social media when considering the merit of an applicant.

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As a person who grew up with four languages and then learned at least three more, I found this article very encouraging:  Bilingual Skills have many benefits.

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People have been saying that work in the future will be done by individuals using technology at home, not in a workplace, and that they will have five or six jobs/careers in their lifetime. This is a helpful assessment of that expectation by a company called Skillssoft:Whitepaper_Millennials

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There was a time when educators were using the fact that businesses had large numbers of computers as an argument to increase the frequency and availability in schools. This article is especially heartening: Computer & technology use in ed buildings continues to grow – US Energy Information Administration (February 3, 2016).

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This is interesting especially given that I often say that we need to learn history in order not to repeat its mistakes: Are historians the ideal futurists?

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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) inspired this article:10 Products From CES That Will Impact Education — THE Journal Finally another company understands what Apple did so successfully in the beginning…supporting education translates into supporting the product for life.

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An email arrived from a member of the Acton-Boxborugh School Committee we occasionally see at the BSO asking for some ideas (responding to question he poses actually) for journal he has started in his retirement.They are interesting questions the answers to which I am working on here in Florida. Here is what I sent to him:5 ?s Answered 1_15_16

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I like my Fitbit. I misplaced it (thought I had lost it) and bought a second one. When I tried to register both with my computer, after several tries, was told that no more than one Fitbit of its kind (mine is the Zip) can reside on the same computer. Shouldn’t they tell you that from the start?

So when I saw this article, I read it and thought I should post it here. Page one was easily pdfed from the site. Page two would not follow suit. I had to go back in and copy it “by hand” and then make it a pdf. How ‘wearable’ is that?

13 wearable tech trends to watch in 2016 | CIO page 2

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The paragraphs attached came in an email from Science from Scientists. The wonderful irony is that when I started FEEE it was to bring technology to the schools for educators and students: FEEE & SfS.  In March we were guests at the 25th anniversary gala for FEEE at Stonehill College’s new Science Center!

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A friend who knows how much I care about the English language (At first I would not engage in any form of Instant messaging etc.) sent this article from the New Yorker. Unfortunately you have to go to the page:  A History of Punctuation for the Internet Age. http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-history-of-punctuation-for-the-internet-age

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About one human and her new device, the iPhone 6S: A funny incident.

The first person in the story above, Lauren Koppel, told me this story which is attributed to Cortney Weiber (Director of education at SfS):

At a particular school, both of the SfS co-instructors happened to be women with short hair. After they had been teaching at this school for a while, an SfS evaluator came to observe them on one of their teaching days, and she also happened to be a woman with short hair. At this point, a young male student came up to one of the co-instructors and asked, somewhat concerned, if all scientists were women with short hair.

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This announcement feels like ‘Back to the Past with Future Overtones’. I cannot recall from whom I heard these two items but the ideas are intriguing. In some ways, the first one is a counter intuitive recommendation.

  1. “If students have fewer devices, not 1 to 1 but two to one (my preference) or a few more, they will learn to collaborate.”
  1. The advice to “connect students to an authentic audience(not the teacher) reminds me of James Moffett who was publishing when I was at HGSE and who proposed that students write for different audiences in different ways. I remember using his model when I was teaching at Meadowbrook.

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This can be termed Back to the Past with a Future Connotation: The latest Nancy Drew. I read all of the books available when I was growing up and to see tech games being devised reinforces Nancy’s attraction.

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An interesting case of MA leadership from EducationDive: As goes PARCC for Massachusetts, so goes the nation? 

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Not exactly about STEM, the issue in MA about decreasing the cap on Charter Schools caused me to review my own perspective. Already on this site are two pieces about charter schools (the MASS position paper and the story of the Francis Parker Charter School). In addition, the following two articles speak to school excellence today: Charter Schools Turn 24  and School Visits .

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MA STEM Summit 2015 in Worcester on November 10.

While listening to Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago (who attended Cornell as a graduate student!), I watched the huge screen at the back of the stage (19 slides—I think—showing all the sponsors…sometimes one on a slide, sometimes as many as eight) and I thought back to the days when I was in charge of the Summit…we hung banners on the walls by hand(s) and with a ladder!) Another way in which the world has changed.

A nod to the past—-Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito is now one of the three chairs of the Council. Representative Kennedy is honorary and Jeff Leyden remains as co-chair. They proposed a new agenda and asked members of the Council for questions and suggestions. There is a new direction. Tellingly they have limited the number of committees and at my questioning, decided to open them up to non-Council members.

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While it is certainly true that age has an impact on sight, the current trend toward using non-serif type in colors such as white on grey background, light grey on white, white on yellow or orange, light green on orange, etc. makes it almost impossible to read even a sentence comfortably. People wonder why kids are reading less…that may be one of the reasons. I also heard that publishers are saving money by using less ink, therefore lighter and smaller type…All of this will have consequences which I believe are not intended.

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Apropos an observation I made earlier, I am impressed by the progress made by the Discovery Museum in Acton. We were there for the Evening of Thanks, as the Board (headed up by Bill Ryan) announced plans for expansion– outdoors and indoors. Rep. Cory Atkins and Senator Jamie Eldridge were in attendance as were other”old” friends.

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Education Week, a resource which every educator should know about and read, has a “News In Brief” box (page 4) which states “New Law Brings Computer Science Under STEM Tent.” My question is, why is that newsworthy? Isn’t it obvious?

However, the point is that CS “can be run and funded by federal agencies…” Also made clear is that the STEM Education Act of 2015 does not add finding for SC.

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The best part of the MassCUE/MASS conference is always meeting people: old and friends, both educators (Superintendents and IT folks) and vendors. Once again LearnLaunch was present at Gillette Stadium in 2015 .

Special advisement this conference including pasting labels, folding and stuffing bags. But what struck me when I attended several sessions is the following:

One learns something new, for example, how the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is using technology.And one learns what doesn’t appear to be useful. A session which promised new insights about STEM, did not!

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Fewer and fewer people are asking if STEM refers to cells these days. And concomitantly people are seeing the benefits and strategies of Global STEM education. From my other source: Three Strategies for Building Successful Global STEAM Partnerships

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As I continue my service on the Boards of a number of STEM organizations/programs, I am struck repeatedly by the difference it makes to have wealth. When a Board member has financial capacity and generosity, the program blossoms. When a program has to solicit all or most of its resources, the chances of being able to grow and sustain the program are slim, and the development and marketing work are extremely hard and occasionally disappointing.

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As Joan Thormann wrote in an email, this article reflects what we wrote in our book: 10 things all great online educators do from eSchool news!!!

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When Charter Schools first were legislated, the Superintendents’ Association (MASS) published a Position Paper (we stopped using the term White Paper) which stated that we were not opposed to the innovations charter schools were supposed to engender/disseminate. Rather we were worried about the financial arrangement: public schools would lose support.  Sunday’s (October 11, 2015) Globe has an Opinion piece which reflects ons till another phenomenon: racial equality:In schools, can separate be equal?

In addition there is a cartoon by Dan Wasserman (Also on page K6)which reflects my criticism perfectly: A man and a woman speaking. He says: “Charter Schools aren’t competing with regular schools. They are laboratories of best practices.” She says “What best practices have they recommended so far?” He smilingly replies: “More charter schools.”

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Today’s Globe had this story: More technology at schools doesn’t lead to better education, data finds. That is no surprise. Without a change in instruction, merely the use of technology has no efficacy. Those of us on the ground have always known that.

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This report includes quite a lot of advertising but since I was there, it seems appropriate to post it: Smart Report ISTE 2015

And this is news but not so new: Science Teaching Needs Hands-on Approach

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Allison Scheff, director of the MA Governor’s Advisory Council, asked for a status report about the Council subcommittees. This is what I sent her about the Global STEM Education Subcommittee: Report- Global STEM Subcomm 9_3_15

Since GSTEM is teaching global STEM skills, this article is a helpful document:Learn to Lead Globally

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On August 20, 2015  the Globe ( p. A13) reported that Arne Duncan advocated for all students to have “access to deep learning in STEM subjects and are taught by talented teachers knowledgable in those fields….This work must start early; it’s critical to inspire children, starting in preschool, to be lifelong learners in STEM.” Luckily for us in MA, Tom Weber, the Commissioner of Early Education and Care, agrees.

Also recently, more promise for virtual field trips, something I have supported for many years.

Reflections on ASCD L2L 2015

I was struck by the age of those in attendance…the young people are the Emerging Leaders…the leaders are in their 40’s and 50’s and some of us older than that.

There were six or so people I remembered from previous interactions…NE Conference, annual conference (which I have not attended in quite a while).

The topics were interesting; some of the activities not so much… designed for interaction and effective for some.

The challenge is to demonstrate to young people that professional associations have value…tweeting and facebooking are good to get information and assistance but for long term mentoring and support, person to person and f2f are essential.

July 26, 2015

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It has been a while since I attended an ISTE conference. The Philadelphia Convention Center is huge and confusing which contributed to the lack of engagement I experienced. GSTEM presented: ISTE 2015.ppt. We filled the 100 person capacity room (an amazing phenomenon since I can remember speaking to three people once!) Some people left, of course, but it is clear that global STEM education is of interest now.

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I was looking for a document for MASCD when I stumbled on this PowerPoint presentation of 70 slides…from July 2003 for the program, now in hiatus and perhaps permanently so..in which I played a major developmental role. I am amazed, if I say so myself, at the content…as I recall this was the scaffold for a session I presented…I would have used a different color scheme now since I know how difficult it is to read white on light blue (and many other color combinations!) LIFT2 PP 2003. The acronym came from Leadership Initiative for Technology and Teaching. The 2 was originally a superscript which transmogrified into the number.

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This article in the May 4, 2015 Boston Globe:Boston wants public’s help to imagine high schools of the future reminded me of a conference we (MASCD and MASSAA) held years ago when we wanted the use of technology to enter the high school arena. Apple lent us a classroom’s worth of computers and we encouraged teams from schools to attend.

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George Zimmerman made this claim immediately upon hearing the news of the football deflation uproar . He is vindicated.  Physics Explains Deflation

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In the category of “whatever it takes” here is an old idea brought to the new era:

How baseball cards are being used to get kids excited about science – The Washington Post

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This article from The Boston Globe edition’s Business section of April 26, 2015 places our Regis Roundtable in context: Remarkable turnaround for Regis.

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As I was thinking and writing my panel presentation for the Harvard Think Tank …Advanced Leadership Institute (April 23-25, 2015) I was sent this item by a friend. It certainly makes one reflect on the temporal nature of definitions: New STEM Workforce Definition?

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I found this article ironically interesting: We did not cover this aspect of online learning in our book because it did not exist–the technology that is, not the concept. Monitoring Online Test-Takers  from the Boston Globe.

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This commentary made my definition of sustainability a little broader: The green thing.

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As I prepared for my panel presentation on Friday, April 24, 2015 at the Harvard Ed School Think Tank entitled: Tackling the Biggest Challenges through Education. A task for Advanced Leaders, I included a comment about the MITRE Corporation and its relationship to the development of Virtual Reality. I decided to check the accuracy and wrote to our friend, a retired VP who asked a colleague to double check him (it has been almost three decades!) and here is how the colleague described the project: MITRE Virtual Reality 

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This article is a useful checklist: Strategic Tech List for Ed– Campus Technology. Although it is targeted to high education, it speaks equally to K-12.

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I am placing this article from the Boston Globe (March 14, 2015) in this section because the conclusions are not new…they confirm what many people have been saying and worrying about: Mass. tech sector flourishing with challenges ahead.

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I could have written most of this article when I left Hamilton-Wenham. I am glad that Cathie Norris and Elliot Soloway did in THE Journal in February 2015. They could point to advice needed now as well. It is entitled ” The 11 Barriers to Technology Adoption” at http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/02/23/the-11-barriers-to-technology-adoption.aspx

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This blog post affirms the premise of The Global STEM Education Center:Welcome-New-STEM-Students

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Sometimes you know but finding a list is so helpful and affirming: 10 Things Students Should Know About Tech by Fifth Grade — THE Journal

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This story from District Administrator gives new meaning to STEAM: Arts Standards Include STEM

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Another affirmation! While the Askwith Forum at HGSE about Girls and STEM, on February 18, was a disappointment, one comment made by a panelist echoed what I have said forever…we need captivating television shows which reflect women and underrepresented groups in challenging, successful and elegant roles so youngsters can emulate their positive behavior rather than the incredible violence which is currently being portrayed on the small screen. Stories like this one from the Boston Globe, February 21, 2015 do  not hurt either:Harvard senior uses math to predict Oscars.

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Is this news or confirmation? A Class Full of Geniuses from THE Journal states what we learned at AB years ago. Internet Scouts, which helped teachers determine how to use technology to advance learning by answering a call or identifying a need, was started by the students.

The author mentions several MA high schools but not the “original!”

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Our work to incorporate Global STEM learning in American schools takes on new meaning with the publication of the blog from Education Week: Does Diversity Enrich or Divide Us?

Global isn’t about nations beyond our boundaries. It is about us as well.

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This editorial in the Boston Globe on 2/12/15 about how online learning is helping the Boston Public Schools achieve their goals was reassuring: Boston schools notch a quiet victory.

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This article in the Globe on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 is both reassuring and inspiring: Elder statesmen of science unite for Mars mission

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What these authors discovered is what I found when the Google group which ended up as MassCAN asked me to do an informal survey (nothing as huge as this by the Computer Teachers Association) of MA schools: School Leaders Mystified by CS Ed. There is an document: OracleSurvey_DataSummary.

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This announcement comes from Teachers21: The LIFT2 program (The name stands for Leadership Institute for Teaching and Technology…it was LIFT Squared –the “s” was a superscript attached to the “t”originally). It is a mutually beneficial program because the companies benefit from the teachers’ educational expertise. An example is an art teacher from Acton-Boxborough, when I was Superintendent, who developed the company’s website, at that time, quite an original contribution.

Go to http://www.teachers21.org to locate the online application form.

This is time sensitive because the deadline is February 28th, 2015.

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There is no question that there must be alterations: Changing STEM Teaching. When we spoke at the Materials Research Conference about the necessary activities for students to learn physics, someone in the audience claimed not to be able to allow hands on strategies because the school is anxious not to be sued in case someone got hurt.

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This is a nostalgic retrospective: Where have all the English majors gone

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It took more than a week before the explanation of the football deflation through the laws of physics became public. One physicist I know theorized it immediately: Deflation explained

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There is a great deal  more to consider about technology in schools these days. This is one organization’s  (which I think highly of) review: Evaluating the Outlook for the Ed-Tech Industry in 2015 – Marketplace K-12 – Education Week

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What would Inabeth say? We have LearnLaunch and now Silicon Valley Turns to Education!

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This was inevitable. STEM is the skeleton on which we can hang any important issue. But does taking STEM to STEAM to STEMSS (Social Studies and STEM) result in the specific results we are hoping for through the STEM movement?

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It is a hopeful sign that this article was written.Is STEM Too Broad a Category?  From Curriculum Matters – Education Week, January 6, 2015.

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This is not news but it is well presented and therefore useful for making any number of cases: Diversity by the Numbers. In the Global STEM Education Center reducing the discrepancy is one of the goals.

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I tried Google Glass at HGSE. This is a look at the future: Wearables As New Gateways

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TV and the Globe reported on 12/27/14: BPS agrees to 40 minuntes longer day. That is a great move if it is not more of the same. How about some STEM and STEAM instruction?

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When GSTEM first used 3D printers abroad, they cost about $50K…At HGSE a few weeks ago, I saw desktop printers for a few hundred dollars. This morning in The Boston Globe there was an article which is mind boggling…As the physicist said, “The question now is what kind of materials do they need to have on board?” NASA ‘e-mails’ a wrench to space for the first time.

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Who would have predicted in 1982 when I left the high school principalship after bringing technology to Hamilton-Wenham that we would come to this? From the Atlantic:Why Kids Won’t Quit Tech

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This article in the Globe on 12/10/14 was both a surprise and a ‘not surprise’. A long time ago someone said to me, we will know when women are accepted in the HS principalship and Superintendency when the performance of some is as bad as that as that of some men. This is a case of a school meeting that criterion, in my opinion:Even a STEM Academy.

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The Presidential Medal of  Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, was reported on TV and in the 11/25/14 issue of The Boston Globe. Local physicist and colleague, Millie (Mildred)  Dresselhaus, was shown at the edge of the TV video and on the last line of the Globe article. No disrespect to other luminaries, but should she not have been more prominently featured? Millie is in her 80’s. At least the MRS (Materials Research Society) meeting this week in Boston will honor her contributions to physics and society.

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Linda Noonan has been a colleague since I started to work in STEM. This is the latest observation from the MBAE and her: Public Opinion About Education. I am not surprised. I was invited to write about the Common Core a few years ago and I am amazed at the misunderstandings people have!!!

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Inabeth Miller, when she was the head librarian at the Gutman Library of HGSE, once invited educators to be on the stage and vendors to be in the audience.  The point was for the educators to let the vendors know what they needed to practice their craft well with technology. It was unheard of.

Now we have LearnLaunch which is urging the startups to check out whether they are actually producing something that works in the school.  Last week I heard an astronomical number for the business of educational technology which made me remember how there was a time when there was no money in the education market and so vendors were not developing products for education. This article from Ed Week reflects some of those ideas: Ed-Tech Vendors Often in Dark on District Needs

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George Zimmerman pointed out this article. He, and therefore I, know a few Nobel prize winners. There is also a program run by Ed Shapiro which brings Nobel Laureates to schools to inspire youngsters to pursue STEM. So this project, described in the Fall 2014 issue of The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine, struck us as useful and hopeful: Nobel for Tomorrow’s Leaders

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The week of Sept 15 to 19, 2014 was a busy one:

At the meeting of the Global STEM Education Committee of the MA Gov STEM Advisory Council on Monday, we had our inaugural meeting and established some ground rules. More about that later.

It was made clear by the co-chair from Vertex that business would become an active partner in the Council’s agenda.

This was followed yesterday by a meeting of the Boston Regional Network at the Children’s Museum where the importance of early childhood STEM education was emphasized and several appropriate programs were described.

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After all the speaking and writing about  and investment in big data we are still not in agreement. States backtrack on student tracking technology. Concern which leads to privacy, security and proper utilization is good but wavering is not, in my opinion.

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The October 22, 2014 issue of Education Week ran this story: Steep Drops Seen in Teacher Applicants. I highlighted the section about STEM teachers. None of this surprises me. Even in 2000 when I was hiring teachers for a high performing academic school district, it was difficult to find science teachers.

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The Boston Globe edition of October 28, 2014 ran this editorial:Virtual schools require real oversight. The good news: the movement is on the public’s radar.

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While I was doing my MassCUE Board Advisor duty at the MassCUE/MASS conference at Gillette Stadium on October 23, 2014, I spoke with Bev Reber about the MassCUE website which now has a photo of the new Pathfinder Award. We decided there ought to be a photo of the original version. So I took some photos with my iPhone and here it is:

MassCUE Pathfinder Flame

The Oct 21, 2014 edition of the Globe carried a story about Richard Freeland, the Commissioner of Higher Education, who announced he is going back to Northeastern and will teach. With a new governor, who will be the next Commissioner?

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As the old advertisement said…”When [… ] speaks, everyone listens”. This article EdTech_next growth sector? which appeared recently in the Globe echoes so many ideas many of us have had over the years. The fact that two business women started LearnLaunch supports the contention above.

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In the category of “What is the likelihood?”

Yesterday as I was preparing for the meeting with David Campbell of the NSF with Larisa and Bill Diehl, I had a flash from the last trip I took…which was to Iowa.

I remembered that I had invited Mark McDermott’s class at the University of Iowa to collect questions and send them to me.

So when I got back to the hotel I sent him an email to which he responded: Thanks so much for the thoughtful email. You have not missed a thing as we have been a little preoccupied with practicum placements and other things and have not sent anything. In fact tomorrow night one of the students is doing a presentation on technology and part of his plan is to collect questions for you so we should have something soon.

I actually think I saw you this morning as I am in Washington as well and was meeting with a program officer at NSF and thought I saw you walk by! Small world. 

But earlier when Larisa, Bill and I were in the office of David Campbell, the program officer for our Global STEM Education NSF proposal, I mentioned Chris Dede. David’s reply was “Chris is here somewhere down the hall.” I sent Chris a note and he responded very quickly as well…saying he is indeed here!

IKZ 10/8/14

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This announcement belongs under the category of almost unbelievable. As they say, what will someone think of next? Plastic eggs???

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As the NE ASCD Affiliates plan the newly formatted conference scheduled for March 2015 (we are skipping 2014) I was asked to write little history to include in the invitation to members. I reviewed the program brochures going back to the beginning and wrote this” little” NEAC history. Some of it may not be used because of the length. But I am archiving it here!

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I was at this event and Mr. Baker looked straight at me when I called out “EdX ” several times and then he made the comment quoted in the Boston Globe article: Baker, Coakley at candidates’ forum_MTLC.

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It is amazing how much STEM is in the news these days all around the world. We just returned from several weeks cruising the rivers from Budapest to Amsterdam and I did not have to correct anyone…the STEM work I do is not connected to cells!

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I advised for a few months the group developing Trade Routes. I met them at the LearnLaunch sponsored Hackathon a few weeks ago. Yesterday I referred to Seymour Papert and David Thornburg in our conversation. Imagine my pleasure when I read this article in today’s  (Aug 7, 2014) THE Journal:The History of Ed Tech.

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If money, as in remuneration, is an object, this story from August 4, 2014 might be of use: Boston’s STEM salaries

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Building Learning Communities 2014 The five day conference was extraordinarily useful. I share here my BLC 2014…a retrospective reflection including a list of apps, programs, etc. Thanks to Alan November and his staff for this experience. Next year, BLC 2015, will have a STEM strand (as I was told)! __________________

I expected transformational teaching and learning environments and strategies when I decided to go to Finland. I was disappointed but agree with the conclusions in this article from Ed Week: 13 Secrets to Finland’s Success. __________________

This article from the Center for Digital Education is both obvious and helpful. The mistake so many school systems are making is not helping teachers think about how to use the new tools in both the curriculum and instruction:Six Recommendations for Learning in the Digital Age _____________

Check out the News & Announcement section because the June 30 postings reflect an incredible feat. Just a few years ago, Steve Vinter of Google, brought together a group of varied stakeholders to discuss computer science and how MA can get more students to graduate with that knowledge and skill so that the open positions in MA businesses can be filled by well-trained people. The group of 20+ met for a couple of years, with each meeting reflecting Steve’s determination and skillful leadership to accomplish the goal. Strategies were explored: asking DESE to make CS a graduation requirement, seeking enabling legislation, starting with a few pilots, etc. A review of what exists in schools was undertaken (I was asked to do it) and we learned that the definition and the offerings varied by school. No surprise to those of us who have served on the ground. Over time, the group became smaller, more targeted (several talented teachers were honored for their pioneering work); the latest name is MassCAN. Steve never wavered from his initial intention. It is amazing and reassuring that where there is a will there is a way (pardon the overused phrase) and when business speaks, everyone listens. _______________________

The Rennie Center (http://www.renniecenter.org/) continues to engage in research and education that is very useful. At this time they are working on a project called The Condition of Education in the Commonwealth. ______________________

As someone I know well said recently, there is nothing today about which everyone agrees. This story caught my eye:Blended-Learning Models for Teachers. ______________________

I was an English (and Social Studies) teacher even though English was not one of my first few languages. While I realize that language changes and evolves, I find it disconcerting when people write badly. So I was pleased to see this instructional aid to better language use from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. __________________

It is reassuring that commitment of resources, sustained organization and leadership can make a difference. The Boston STEM Network is alive and well. It has regular meetings to inform its members, solicits research and works through committees. On June 18, 2014 at District Hall, the Network gathered about 50 people, announced its new website and asked members to recommit to working in subgroups. Heather Carey spoke about the MassTLC Education Foundation and mentioned our work in developing Search4STEM. Deb Boisvert described BATEC and Keith Connors and Allison Scheff talked about the MA Governor’s STEM Council. ________________________________

Although this paper, Ways to Get Faculty to Use Technology, is directed at Higher Education, the principles operate at the K-12 level also and remind me of how I encouraged Hamilton-Wenham teachers to use technology at the high school level. ________________________________

People have asked why I attend some many and different education events since I work in STEM. Three reasons: 1. It is my personal Professional Development program. 2. STEM involves all the aspects of education that any other element of education does. Education is a complex system and any improvement of one element impacts all the others. One needs to be aware of what is happening in all parts of the system… 3. It allows me to network with old friends ( we have to stop meeting like this ( ☺ ) and to make new ones. A good example is this week’s (June 9-13, 2014) activities: Tuesday…Rennie Center about alternative education www.RennieCenter.org Wednesday…Meeting about CELT http://www.celtcorp.com Thursday…The Massachusetts Education Partnership (MEP) www.masspartnership.org Friday…The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and MassCUE Observation from the week (it is a little unusual to have quite so many events in one week!!!) : We need more stories (models, examples, cases) in addition to all the data we are accumulating. _____________________

Collaboration is a wonderful phenomenon. We have been interacting with Ray McCarthy of Regis College for several years. He attended the May 2 Symposium at HGSE and indicated he would be interested in hosting the next symposium (on the subject of the role of higher education in Global STEM). He also published a newsletter and included mention of the May 2 Symposium. It can be accessed at  http://masstec.org/express/MassTEC of May 20, 2014. We are also considering a symposium on the role of higher education in global  STEM at Regis in the fall. ________________________

All roads lead….I attended a Research Roundtable mounted by the Center for Digital Education (I am a senior fellow) at the Burlington Marriott on May 29, 2014 The IT directors of Newton (where I had my first teaching job), Framingham, Westford (next door to Acton-Boxborough), Boston (where I live), Wayland (where I was assigned during the MAT program) and Lowell spoke about the challenges and achievements in their districts. The audience was primarily vendors and the event was supported by vendors. MassCUE’s ED, Shelley Chamberlin helped to develop the program. ______________________________

The Boston Globe, May 25, 2014, ran an editorial which my opinion of the debate around the Common Core: Death of poetry? ’Tis not by the Common Core .

EdWeek, May 21, 2014 ran a story about Baltimore, Boston Move to Build Ed-Tech Hubs. LearnLaunch, one of the foci of the article, is an organization I have gotten to know. A number of developers I also know have been featured by LearnLaunch at one of their events. The reason the reference is in this section of the website is that a couple of principles need to be in the mix: • taking the lead for development from educators on the ground who can identify their needs (I am recalling an event at HGSE when Inabeth Miller was alive which she designed so that developers were the audience and educators the “performers” describing their needs. • avoiding redundancy. Too many of the programs are in the same space because the space is “low hanging fruit” and everyone wants to be successful so he/she can stage a scale up. There is definitely a need for development based on what schools and educators need so on the whole this phenomenon is productive.

After attending a number of LearnLaunch events I was asked to be one of three judges of a hackathon. Nine startups presented (the tenth defaulted) on Saturday night,  July 19, 2014 at the Coalition in downtown Boston. I was the “education expert!” _____________________

GTEC (now The Global STEM Education Center) presented a symposium at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on the morning of May 2, 2014 entitled Global STEM Education: Catching Up or Leading the Way?  The program is attached as a pdf: May 2 GTEC Symposium program 5_2_14. We have heard from many attendees that Pasi Sahlberg, Paul Reville, Chris Dede, David Driscoll and several others, were terrific and that we should have some more of these colloquia. So you can benefit from what was said, here are the proceedings: Global STEM Symposium Proceedings_May_2_2014 2014 and the Bios of the people who made this a terrific event.

We thank Dean Ryan and his staff at HGSE for their generous hospitality. We filled Larsen G-S08 with attentive and engaged people interested in this initiative to develop students with the necessary skills and attitudes for a global STEM workforce.  The next Symposium is scheduled for May 29, 2015 inn the same location. _______________

The Center for Digital Education released a report (May 20, 2014) about the future of the world and the Internet. It is called Where the Internet of Things Could Take Society by 2025 and asks us to consider some of the consequences of today’s technological developments. I remember at Lesley University I introduced some faculty to the innovation called a blog. I had no idea it could become such a negative force….people saying whatever they want without proof, evidence or validation. ____________

The ISTE publication, Learning & Leading with technology, featured an article which signifies that STEM is now a fixture of K-12 education. On pages 8 and 9 of the May 2014 issue you can find a point counterpoint on the subject of ARE WE SHIFTING TOO MUCH FOCUS TO STEM? The fact that you can now get some traction asking that question indicates that STEM is now embedded in the enterprise thinking. ___________________

Change can always be expected. How the One Laptop Per Child initiative has morphed as reported by the Boston Globe, March 15, 2014                              _____________________

Another Memorable Moment: I went to Denver with George for the 2014 APS meeting (March 3-6).  See below. We decided to take the Red Eye back to Boston. I had planned to sleep throughout the trip so my eyes were closed when I heard a male voice above me asking  “Is she asleep? I think she is my high school principal.” And so I was. Kevin C, the steward on the flight, lived with his family on Blueberry Lane. We exchanged a few conversational moments. I asked him if the high school had prepared him well and he said yes. As we were leaving the plane I asked him if this was his regular route and he responded, “No. I don’t like to stay up all night!”

The March 8 Boston Globe ran an article (Texas School Brings STEM Pros to Class Virtually) about the use of the web to bring experts to class virtually. This is not a new idea…when I was an assistant high school principal in the early 70’s we experimented with “distance learning.” At that time we were using MCET’s capacity to broadcast a lecture backed up by the telephone and the fax machine for Q & A. As we often said (before other people discovered the phrase) why should a zip code determine a student’s education? ________________________

We attended the APS (American Physical Society) conference in Denver, CO, on the coattails of a Boston University professor. We heard many presentations by Chinese, Russian and, of course, American physicists—I attended non-technical ones but about education and history. Having gone to quite a few of these over the years I am delighted to report that the number of young women in attendance is the highest I can remember. Finally most of the computers I saw were Apple products!!!!

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Snow Days Turn Into E-Learning Days for Some Schools is an idea we had many years ago…we also thought that students who were riding buses to school for long periods of time could be learning during the ride. (EdWeek)

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It is a pleasure to see that the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is on the front page of Education Week, February 19, 2014. Stephanie Pace Marshall, a colleague from ASCD days, was the original head of school. IMSA‘s reach is extending beyond the original site and is now being referred to as a STEM Academy.(EdWeek)

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On February 4, 2014 at the Boston University Physics Department, Helen Quinn, NAS board for science education, spoke about the changes needed in K-12 science instruction (including, in answer to my question, the order in which science should be taught in HS–from small to large scale phenomena). She indicated: 1. that engineering design is now essential 2. modeling is the key to the “new science” 3.  assessment should be based on performance 4. “confrontation” with data is necessary This was probably, as a member of the audience stated, the first K-12 PD for the physics department!!! On another note, she was asked and did speak about the politics of the science standards. This article from EdWeek is a good companion piece: Common Science Standards Slow to Catch On in States  ______________________________

As a member of the Board of Directors of CELT and a past faculty member and administrator at Lesley University (then College) I was impressed by the 1997 conference. From the Brochure.

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We attended the Building Learning Communities 2013 conference in July at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston. A few memories  from the keynote speakers: • Of course, technology has been transforming learning and teaching: • Since we are working so much in public, we need to be learning in public…. • “‘The new realities are: 1. What we create is alive 2. Information is everywhere 3. Social media should be leveraging learning 4. Creativity as a one person activity vs as many 5. Our audience is global” Several challenges: copyright will change, the notion of expert may change, research is changing… ____________________

We make every effort to respond to inquiries which we receive.

Inquiry – About student research online, we found this article, Student Research Online in Edutopia in December 2012. Inquiry – Will MOOCS drive change in higher education or K-12 first? Compared with Florida, Massachusetts, as a state, is at the lower end of use of online education. With the approval of the Virtual Learning Bill in MA in January 2013, some people believe that K-12 will lead the charge for change. Other see changes occurring in higher education …which sector takes the lead, change must occur. Here is an article from EdWeek which contributes to the discussion.Education Week: Virtual Educators Critique Value of MOOCs for K-12