Podcast #53 – Getting on the Bus with Jim Collins and the Gang at NMSA08!

Items & Events

  1. The Michigan Association of Middle School Educators (MAMSE) Annual Conference will be held in Saginaw Township on March 12 & 13 at White Pine Middle School.
  2. The Ohio Middle School Association’s Annual Conference will be held at Kalahari February 19-20.
  3. The National Middle School Association’s Annual Conference will be November 5-7 in Indianapolis, IN.  The theme will center around globalization and service learning.
  4. The Middle Level Essentials Conference will be held at the Red Rocks in Nevada April 23-34.  Tell your high school colleagues about the special “conference in a conference” on ninth grade teams.
  5. Crime does not pay!  Worried teaching tech skills might open doors to nefarious activities?  This creative internetter used Craigslist to create a caper outside a bank in Washington.  A suspect is in custody.  Bonus points for creativity, not so much for community service content.  Considering the recent economy let me also add this:  Don’t do this at home.
  6. We’ve compared education and technology to the RIAA and piracy laws.  Here’s another take on that conversation for your perusal.
  7. The MacArthur Foundation is spending $50 million dollars on a 5 year study seeking to understand digital life and youth.  Three years of the study are reported out in Living and Learning with New Media:  Summary of the Findings from the Digital Youth Project.  Read about the study here in the New York Times article.  We might pull this for discussion in a future podcast.
  8. What if we thought of internet access like water, gas, electricity and other utilities?  Will Richardson has found an interesting quote from a future Obama official concerning the regulation of the internet and increasing availability in communities across the country.  As proposed, the deregulation would increase competition and lower price making it more available to households.
  9. Quote for the week: “In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”  – Eric Hoffer
  10. A link to Will Ricardson’s featured presentation at NMSA ’08.
  11. The LEAGUE’s Knight Scholarship Competition:
    The KNIGHT scholarship is a national scholarship competition where 3 students will receive $5,000 each for their writings or reflections on civic experiences in one of three categories: Persuasive Essay (building awareness and inviting action for change in your school, community or the world), Personal Narrative (experiences with service and volunteerism), or News Story (creating newspaper articles that reports acts of service and volunteerism by young people). The scholarship is open to high school seniors from all over the country, even students who are not part of a LEAGUE classroom can apply!

    The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (http://www.knightfoundation.org) promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities. Since 1954, the foundation has given more than $300 million in journalism grants. Applications will be posted at www.theleague.org beginning January 5th.  Students must submit their applications before the March 6th deadline. For more details about The LEAGUE and the KNIGHT scholarship please visit www.theleague.org.

  12. Virtual Pioneers invite you to their website:  www.virtualpioneeers.ning.com.  VP conducts virtual social studies trips in Second Life.


No Effect on Comprehension seen from “Reading First”
The $6 billion funding for the federal Reading First program has helped more students “crack the code” to identify letters and words, but it has not had an impact on reading comprehension among 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders in participating schools, according to one of the largest and most rigorous studies ever undertaken by the U.S. Department of Education.

Middle School Substitute Teacher & Spyware:  http://www.pcworld.com/article/154611/how_spyware_nearly_sent_a_teacher_to_prison.html
Amero was an unlikely porn surfer. Four months pregnant at the time, she said she had only just learned to use e-mail. The case ruined her life. She believes that stress from the arrest caused her to miscarry her baby, and her career as a teacher is finished. A heart condition landed her in the hospital after she fainted several times. And while she was briefly employed at an area Home Depot last year, she was fired from the job shortly after an employee posted news clippings about her trial in the employee lounge. Alex Eckelberry, the CEO of Sunbelt Software, who contacted her after hearing about her case. After looking at the evidence, he and other security professionals concluded that Amero had been wrongly convicted.

What Students Want from Teachers:

  • Take Me Seriously
  • Challenge Me to Think
  • Nurture My Self-Respect
  • Show Me I Can Make a Difference
  • Let Me Do It My Way
  • Point Me Toward My Goals
  • Make Me Feel Important
  • Build on My Interests
  • Tap My Creativity
  • Bring Out My Best Self


Session 3
Exploring the Role of the Literacy Coach in the Middle Grade Schools:

Literacy coach is walking, talking Professional Development.
Watch the perception that the coach knows what they are doing while the teacher doesn’t. Be sure to differentiate between the HS coaches and ours.

See notes Coaching Implementation

Literacy Lunches:
Teachers get an article to read and/or a strategy to highlight. If they’ve read the article, they get pizza and a pop. Held once a month.

Friday morning:
Jim Collins Keynote:

Good is the mortal enemy of Great
Greatness = Conscious choice and Discipline
Beat of the Odds Study – Arizona Center of Education website
The Signature of mediocrity of not lack of change. The signature of mediocrity is constant change. It is not allowing enough time for changes to work.
There is a free diagnositic tool. There
How many key seats do we have on the bus?
How many are filled with the right people?
What is our plan for getting to 100%?

On a personal level:
Build a council
Write out a vision
What is your ratio of questions to statements? Can you double it?

Work is infinite – Time is finite.
Manage your time, not your work.
Not a job but a responsibility.

Shout Out to MikeTeacher for the iTunes Comment. Thanks MikeTeacher wherever you are.

Happy Birthday! to Us. (Since this is our 53rd show, in some strange sense, we are a year old. Never mind that we’re quite a way into our second year of podcasting).