Tom Whitby's Blog (93)

A Professional Development Alternative

 

I recently attended the annual conference held by NYSCATE, the New York State ISTE affiliate organization. It is a favorite conference of mine, since I served as a board member of that organization for about six years. It is also both comprehensive and progressive in the way of education conferences. As with all education conferences it is easy to…

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Added by Tom Whitby on November 30, 2018 at 10:06am — No Comments

What’s an Accomplished Administrator?

I have been very fortunate to travel both nationally and internationally to attend education conferences. A primary benefit of this is having great conversations with various types of educators. With so many of these conversations taking place on a regular basis, I find myself often depending on an opening question that resides on a short list of questions in my head. I have teacher questions, principal questions, and superintendent questions. Most of these questions are geared to being…

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Added by Tom Whitby on December 1, 2015 at 1:27pm — No Comments

Admins: Good, Better, Best

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best.” St. Jerome

After years of teaching in many buildings and several districts, I have acquired a number of observations on how teachers view and rate administrators. Of course everyone’s view is skewed by each person’s idea of how an administrator is supposed to provide leadership, as well as what amount of an administrator’s job should be administration and how…

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Added by Tom Whitby on December 8, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Methods: Tradition vs. Relevance

This morning I read a post from a higher education educator about the negative effects of Tech in lectures. The author was perplexed when he realized a great many students in his lecture hall were paying attention to Facebook, or attending to email during the course of a two-hour lecture. His school chose to ban tech devices from the lecture hall. Additionally, students were required to use nametags, so that the lecturer could address individual students with…

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Added by Tom Whitby on November 14, 2014 at 8:49pm — No Comments

Stop 20th Century Thinking

In the 21st Century our approach to education can and should be very different from previous centuries. The basic skills we teach are pretty much the same, but the tools we have to use require a different approach, as well as additional and very different literacies from centuries past. Information once difficult to find, maintain, and disseminate is now found by a voice command to a…

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Added by Tom Whitby on October 27, 2014 at 3:40pm — No Comments

Enough With Connected Educator Month!

Being connected is not just limited to educators as a method of directing an educator’s professional development, but rather it is a shift in culture in the way all people may collaborate and learn. Educators have seized the initiative claiming it to provide collegial collaboration, transparency in schools, as well as its ability to personalize a path to professional development. However, it is a shift that is taking place globally, and the educators’ use is the tip of the iceberg. That is…

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Added by Tom Whitby on October 6, 2014 at 2:28pm — No Comments

What’s Testing Season?

Recently, the editors of Edutopia were considering a theme for their bloggers to blog about concerning testing. In order to keep things timely, they needed to find out when most schools were being affected by standardized tests. It was a reasonable consideration, worthy of a responsible examination of the subject. It was the question posed to the bloggers however, that set me off about our evolved approach to these standardized tests. When is your Testing Season?

 

Every…

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Added by Tom Whitby on June 19, 2014 at 12:59pm — No Comments

Twitterati: Progressive EDU leaders or outliers?

The title of this post probably carries more weight with educators who use Twitter as a key component of a professional learning network than those who don’t. At this point in time there are more educators not using Twitter professionally, than those who do. The “why” of that is what perplexes me to no end.

I recently watched an interview with Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers. His book sits unread on my shelf, but, inspired by what I saw in the…

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Added by Tom Whitby on July 19, 2013 at 1:34pm — No Comments

Why Blogs and Who Needs Them Anyway?

Most professions have professional journals that address the current methods and innovations of that profession. They are used as way to announce to the profession what is going on in that profession, what is working, and what is not. Traditionally, these have been printed media coming out on a periodic basis. Many of the …

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Added by Tom Whitby on July 19, 2013 at 1:20pm — No Comments

Is a Path to College a Mistake?

My youngest daughter just graduated high school in June. She has always been an outstanding student and, as her dad, I welcome the chance to recognize that publicly. One of the high points of one of the speeches given at her graduation ceremony caused a huge round of applause from the audience, which was gathered for the outdoor event. Ninety-Five percent of the graduating class of over 300 students had been accepted to institutions of higher learning. Why would the cheers not…

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Added by Tom Whitby on July 19, 2013 at 1:19pm — No Comments

The Big Lie In Education

“Preparing kids for the Real World” is a phrase that many educators and schools use without regard for the consequence of what they selectively choose as reality for their students. Both educators and institutions in many cases are still choosing for students by educating them traditionally, or more progressively using technology tools for learning. This probably begins with educators’ misconception of the real world.

We cannot prepare kids for the Real World when we still have a…

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Added by Tom Whitby on July 19, 2013 at 1:18pm — No Comments

Twitter vs. Education or Women vs. Men

Every Friday on Twitter, Tweeters will make recommendations based on their personal experience of exceptional people to follow on Twitter. As an educator, if I follow those recommendations I will almost certainly improve the quality and quantity of tweets I get on education since educators are the people who I follow for my own Personal Learning Network. Each of these tweets of recommendation will be tagged with the telltale hashtag #FF. This identifies them as such a recommendation and…

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Added by Tom Whitby on February 22, 2013 at 12:46pm — No Comments

Technology: Use it, or lose it!

I recently got into a discussion with my friend Errol St. Clair Smith, ExecutiveProducer at BAM Radio Network on the effect that technology has had on the news media. Many of the old tried and true guidelines of journalism have been forever changed with the 24-hour news cycle, as well as, news on demand. There is also the ability of anyone to publish at anytime and have the capacity of communicating tolarge masses with the click of a enter button (return button for Apple Folks).…

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Added by Tom Whitby on February 11, 2013 at 10:20am — No Comments

A Digital worksheet is still a worksheet.

I have read what seems like several, but in reality is probably a few blog posts recently that have claimed to have examined technology in schools and found that it has made little difference in learning. Of course many of these speak in generalities lacking specifics other than there is technology and there is a classroom and they observed stuff. When it comes to technology too many believe that by dropping it into a classroom magic happens. Even the most…

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Added by Tom Whitby on February 8, 2013 at 10:58am — No Comments

How do I go about Blogging?

If there is one thing that Social Media in education has taught me it is: Never answer for someone else’s need to know! In a world of discussions using tweets and posts there is an audience for discussion on any level of experience on any given subject. The subjects that I deal with most often involve Education, Social Media, or Social Media in Education. 

The Posts and Tweets I…

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Added by Tom Whitby on January 23, 2013 at 9:44am — No Comments

Building a professional learning network on Twitter

For those who do not know, here are two basic Twitter principles: 1. If you only follow 10 people you will only see the general tweets of those 10 people. 2. If only 10 people follow you, only those 10 people will see your general tweets. Although some might argue that the right…

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Added by Tom Whitby on January 12, 2013 at 12:35pm — No Comments

Confidence Through Connectedness

Confidence, as an educator, is something that is not a skill to be taught. It is not a method to be memorized. It is an attitude. It is a state of mind. It is also elusive to many educators. How do we foster confidence? How do we enable educators to be confident in their profession?

To answer the question of confidence, I rely on my understanding of what I know of my own struggles with confidence. I am only confident in areas that I have a proven knowledge of the subject. I…

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Added by Tom Whitby on January 9, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

My 2012 @tomwhitby

It has come to that time of year that we all sit back and reflect on what went on in our lives over the last 365 days. For some of us older folk this yearly indulgence has become more of a legacy measurement than just a checklist of what was done last year.  At this stage of my life I find myself in a unique position to help connect and engage educators in huge numbers and using methods that were not imagined a few years ago. I might say that this is an assessment of my digital footprint. I…

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Added by Tom Whitby on January 1, 2013 at 1:57pm — No Comments

My 2012 @tomwhitby

It has come to that time of year that we all sit back and reflect on what went on in our lives over the last 365 days. For some of us older folk this yearly indulgence has become more of a legacy measurement than just a checklist of what was done last year.  At this stage of my life I find myself in a unique position to help connect and engage educators in huge numbers and using methods that were not imagined a few years ago. I might say that this is an assessment of my digital footprint. I…

Continue

Added by Tom Whitby on January 1, 2013 at 1:56pm — No Comments

My 2012 @tomwhitby

It has come to that time of year that we all sit back and reflect on what went on in our lives over the last 365 days. For some of us older folk this yearly indulgence has become more of a legacy measurement than just a checklist of what was done last year.  At this stage of my life I find myself in a unique position to help connect and engage educators in huge numbers and using methods that were not imagined a few years ago. I might say that this is an assessment of my digital footprint. I…

Continue

Added by Tom Whitby on January 1, 2013 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

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