Category Archives: Leadership

Launching DREAMS.. Reflections on NASA MMS Launch Events

Launching DREAMS.. Reflections on NASA MMS Launch Events.

LoneStar TIA: Building Learning Communities

This week I had the privilege of  learning, collaborating, and leading discussions in Denton, Texas at the 3rd annual LoneStar Technology Integration Academy.  Dublin ISD brought 9 teachers to share on how Dublin is attempting to integrate technology to increase performance.  From the experience, many were inspired to hear our teachers sharing best practices, lessons learned, and integration approaches being utilized in a K12 CSCOPE environment.  I was very proud of our teachers, who took a step forward to become a leader.  Many were inspired.  In fact, one district left ready to purchase iPods to replicate Dublin Elementary approaches.  Biggest take aways were as follows.

  • Flip The Student:  Australian educational leader and expert, Phil Stubbs, discussion on how to best flip the classroom was excellent!  Flip is a structure, not a pedagogy, and requires the teacher to be engaging, active, and should be used as a motivator to get students to take ownership in their own learning community.
  • Lewisville ISD:  Associate Superintendent for Learning and Teaching, Dr. Penny Reddell and CTO, Barbara Brown,   challenged leaders to change their culture.  To be bold, brilliant, and to treat children as equal partners.  Do we encourage others to ask children, what do they want to learn?  An analogy to learning and playing the sport of golf really caught my attention and inspired me to think about how the sport of life-long learning compares to the sport of professional golf.  In Lewisville, leaders must be active learners in communities, as a pro gopher.  Every pro improves their game as they encounter new challenges.  The question always centers back to, “Are we on par”?
  • Keller ISD teachers shared how they are improving parental involvement with Ustream.  Parents are invited to watch the classroom 24/7.  Meetings, productions, and student presentations are recorded and uploaded to youtube for publications.  They have seen an increase in parental involvement, communication, and interest.
  • Denton ISD challenges 4-8 grade students using robotics.  Students are given the opportunity to participate in First Lego League competitive events.  Parents show a very high interest, and kids from all backgrounds learn to problem solve, build academic connections, and teamwork skills.

Dublin ISD teachers shared on the following topics:

  • Science + CSCOPE + iPod Touch = GREAT INTEGRATION led by JeriLi Thompson and Courtney Walker
  • Oodles of ideas for Algebra and Geometry Integration by Dublin High School teachers Lara Wilhelm and Ima Thomas
  • Partners for Learning: New York Times & Epsilen in Project Share by Dublin High School Teacher Desiree Jefferson
  • There‟s an App for That – The Bilingual and ESL Classroom, that is! Dublin Elementary Mr and Mrs. Rivera
  • iMovie Workshop: DISD Asst. Elementary Principal Norma Briseno
  • Building 21st Century Learning Communities: Desiree Jefferson, Mendy Fort, and Jennifer Miller
  • Experiences with Challenge Based Learning: Desiree Jefferson and Jennifer Miller
  • 25 Tools and Ideas to Engage, Connect, & Extend Learning to Communities: Debra Miller, Jennifer Miller, Cipriano Rivera, Serena Rivera
  • Steam TRAINing

The Importance of Instructional Design

The value of instructional design and consideration as to how value is determined is a real issue and affects all levels of instruction.  As I work towards becoming an expert in the field of instructional design, I realize skill sets needed will include the following:  the ability to find solutions, new resources, and applications to real world scenarios, analyze information from diverse viewpoints, critical thinking, and flexibility.  After reading Dr. Barbara A. Bichelmeyer’s study, I tend to agree that instructional deign and the field of information science is iinterdisciplinary by nature.  However,  the need to understand how to analyze information and contribute knowledge and organizations will need quality experts to assist in IDT.

The effectiveness of instruction and quality of teaching must be addressed and modeling will be necessary for me to be successful in this field.  In addition, I think it is important to be an active learner and contributor for organizations and institutions to further the cause of increasing the effectiveness of instructional design.  Learning experiences must be meaningful and researching and finding new approaches, ideas, and methods of evaluation will be areas of research that I will need to work towards.  Also, understanding that change is part of improving the importance of instructional design.  How do we react to change?  How do we work towards producing positive change and participating in a movement to radically change the movement to using technology as an bridge or vehicle to give meaningful  experiences to increase instruction.

Last summer I coordinated a challenge based learning technology integration 2 day training.  The video created by educators participating emphasizes many of my viewpoints and attitudes towards 21st century learning approaches.

Dublin ISD Summer 2011 Professional Development