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RE: [WWWEDU] Rant

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  • Mark Ahlness
    Ted s response to Jeff s rant saddened me more than any email or blog posting I can remember recently. When I hear the sound of resignation and even defeat in
    Message 1 of 21 , May 24 7:01 PM
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      Ted's response to Jeff's rant saddened me more than any email or blog
      posting I can remember recently. When I hear the sound of resignation and
      even defeat in a voice always so full of passion and pushing the envelope -
      well, it breaks my heart. His reaction is not one of weakness, but is
      testimony to the sheer muscle mass of the system that refuses to embrace and
      LEAD with technology.

      I've been working in the classroom, using technology with my kids, pushing,
      pushing, for about as long as Ted, but I have always stood in awe of the
      voice he put to his passion. I could just never do that. Now his passion is
      fading, understandably, and I wonder about myself. How many battles can I
      lose and still keep fighting? We'll see...

      There are two things that give me hope right now.

      1) the new medium of web 2.0. It's not just email lists that spread the word
      anymore. We're looking at blogs, wikis, kids as authors, rss feeds, news
      aggregators, podcasts, etc. There are so many more ways to influence people
      and induce change.

      2) the new voices, the Ted Nellens of web 2.0. I hope I don't offend here...
      Anybody reading Miguel Guhlin, Wesley Fryer, or David Warlick knows what I'm
      talking about. Anybody who cares about technology in education who does not
      follow them regularly, needs to. They are using all the incredible new
      tools at their disposal to get the word out, to spread the word in any way
      they can. Evangelists they are. And they are even here on web 1.0 lists like
      wwwedu. Heck, I even saw a post by Will Richardson on EdTech the other day.

      So I have hope. And I hope to hear more from you, Ted. The fight is not
      over, hang in there, we need you. - Mark

      Mark Ahlness
      mahlness@...
      http://ahlness.com
      http://roomtwelve.com
      http://arborheights.com
      http://earthdaybags.org

      -----Original Message-----
      From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
      tednellen
      Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 2:01 AM
      To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] Rant


      Jeff, i loved your preamble and then that which followed. much of it does
      strike a cord and has been one of my private battles over the past dozen
      years. at this sad point in time for me, i am finding i use less and less
      tech to the point i am now teaching pre tech in my nyc school called
      Information Technology HS. it was supposed to be the premier tech school
      in nyc, but alas, for all the reasons your highlighted and a few more the
      NYC tech team could come up with, tech is dead in NYC. I use dto rant an
      drave and present and publish this for many years, but alas spitting in
      the wind has gotten the best of me and i have resigned myself to the
      demise of tech and substantial use of it in schools for the future because
      of the reactionary attitude of punishment and prohibition over the more
      intelligent choice of education of the user. as i have said before the
      adults who lead dont get it and never will. i have beat my head against
      this brick wall for too long, screamed and shouted till i'm hoarse,
      demonstrated the success potential for too long. as i near my twilight
      years, i am content to merely fade away on this topic as i see it getting
      worse and worse. we had our heyday and i dont see it happening again.
      camelot is dead and so it intelligent use of the tech in schools, IMHO.

      i loved your rant, it reminded me of the type i'd hear from many wwweduers
      over the years and many of their voices still resonate today or have been
      extinguished and it only gets worse everyday, week, month, year.

      I have my own opinions on the reasons, have stated them many times, and
      i'm tired of hearing myself on this topic. i am so glad to hear another
      voice.

      good luck in your quixotic efforts, jeff.

      ted



      On Tue, 23 May 2006, Jeff Cooper wrote:

      > The following rant shakes and rambles the status quo and is filled
      > with many generalizations. I'm painting with a broad brush here for
      > possible further discourse. If any of these issues hit home with you,
      > we can continue the dialogue, if not, then drop it!
      >
      > The reactionary "State of Filtering" in K-12 schools completely appals
      > me. Someone has an inappropriate blog? Ban all blogs. MySp@ce
      > exists? Ban anything and everything with the word in it, and oh,
      > let's actually make illegal any website based upon community. Playboy
      > exists? Ban all magazines. The list goes on and on and no one seems
      > to care that all of these actions do not truly protect our kids, but
      > completely erode freedom of speech, not to mention putting a huge
      > damper on using the Net for educational purposes.
      >
      > If our country were truly serious about protecting kids, we would have
      > created .sex and .xxx domains rather than dump the idea a month ago.
      > The religious right controls many of the filtering software companies
      > and uses its power to further its own religious agenda rather than
      > truly making the Net a safer place for all. Trying to keep students
      > from "seeing anything and everything bad" means filtering much that is
      > good. Of course, our country and mainstream media loves to vilify the
      > Net and paint it as a place wholly inhabited by predators. Dateline
      > has done 10 of the same "to catch a predator" shows, but has yet to
      > show any positive ways for students or parents to act online. Indeed,
      > have you *ever* seen a mainstream media show that shows anything
      > positive about the Internet?
      >
      > We've allowed what happens in schools to become so politicized through
      > NCLB that educators have their hands completely tied as far as what
      > best practices they may employ. Why doesn't the NEA and ACLU file a
      > lawsuit eliminating filters? Indeed, why isn't there a filtering
      > system that operates in the opposite way? Namely, if a site contains
      > inappropriate material a button is clicked and that site becomes noted
      > as suspect and then reviewed to ban? Of course this will never happen
      > because it means some kid somewhere might see something bad.
      >
      > I think the negativist view of the Net coupled with the appalling lack
      > of support for educators means that very few use the Net with their
      > classes. I'd be amazed if more than 10% of educators nationwide
      > integrate the Net into any of their classes even once a year. Pew, do
      > you have a report on this? The chilling effect freezes the Net.
      >
      > OK... that's pretty much enough of a rant for now. I think I'll go
      > back to bed for a few.
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      > Jeff Cooper
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
      > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >

      --

      Ted Nellen 8-) http://www.tnellen.com/

      "You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
      To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model
      obsolete."

      Buckminster Fuller





      WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
      http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html




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    • Jeff Cooper
      Doug Johnson challenged me to do something. Ted Nellen echoes my rant with his own feelings of despair within a system that feeds despair rather than
      Message 2 of 21 , May 25 7:38 AM
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        Doug Johnson challenged me to "do something." Ted Nellen echoes my
        rant with his own feelings of despair within a system that feeds
        despair rather than supporting its educators. Quoting from Ted's
        signature:
        "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change
        something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
        -- Buckminster Fuller

        The trouble is the status quo model within education resists change so
        severely that educators such as Nellen and myself find ourselves
        reduced to ranting. My credentials are nowhere near as impressive as
        Ted's in my efforts to change the system. I became a teacher because
        'school sucks' over 15 years ago. It sucks worse today and yet I
        still persevere with my efforts to do something.

        I've been trying to work with my own school district (where my three
        children attend schools) to help transform curriculum through tech.
        The district uses tech almost exclusively for high stakes testing and
        for proprietary software such as Plato (which bores the kids to
        death). They've resisted my efforts not so much because I am right,
        but because my correctness means that they can't continue to ignore
        issues they'd rather not face. They put enormous efforts into raising
        test scores because this is what NCLB expects of them. Indeed, the
        local high school has raised scores from 33 to the high 60s in just a
        couple of years and been singled out as an exemplary school by the
        state. How did they do this?

        One way was a very concerted effort by the principal to do just that.
        Almost all efforts go into raising scores in Math and English, with
        extra tutoring etc. given as necessary. This is ok as far as it goes,
        but doesn't go far in improving pedagogy or student motivation to
        learn (and virtually all students I've spoken with complain of being
        bored to death). But still, this is an amazing accomplishment, to
        raise scores so dramatically. This is until you notice the fact that
        at the same time those scores improved, the local feeder middle school
        implemented a program where 8th graders who do not pass an exit exam
        are refused passage into 9th grade, and must remain in 8th until they
        pass the test or (eventually) drop out. Raising test scores by
        eliminating the poorest students seems a rather transparent solution,
        but no one questions or challenges it.

        I continue to plug away, supporting educators and students daily,
        mostly at <a href="http://www.tappedin.org">Tapped In</a> where I
        volunteer on Helpdesk. Sure, I post on a number of listservs, manage
        a few, and also volunteer at my daughter's school at least once a
        week, where I know that my efforts don't fall on deaf ears, since her
        teacher is very responsive to my help. So... using the vernacular so
        popular today, I say to Doug "bite me" and continue to do what I do.
        My decision to rant here is not so much a parting shot that I have
        given up and decided to sell real estate or insurance, although it
        certainly seems that more and more educators take this route. Instead
        it is just what it was... a rant... a scream in the darkness. Right
        now it's one of the few things that keep me going, and the knowledge
        that my words echoed with Ted and others reassures me that yes I have
        made the right career choice. Maybe if I bang my head against the
        wall long enough I'll create a hole in it and then there will be a
        chance for a window... or a door.

        Regards,

        Jeff Cooper
        jbcoops@...
      • Trevor Shaw
        I too am very sad to read Ted s post. I have read his stuff with admiration for many years. I can only hope that the rant caught him on a bad day. Ted, I
        Message 3 of 21 , May 25 9:31 AM
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          I too am very sad to read Ted's post. I have read his stuff with admiration for many years. I can only hope that the "rant" caught him on a bad day.

          Ted, I can remember feeling much the same way to the point where I was giving some presentations at some ed tech conferences and my cynicism and frustration began to bleed into my presentations. I got a lot of negative feedback, and I'm sure there are a couple of conferences that I won't be invited back to.

          Changing schools has helped me re-invigorate myself, however. I am now in a place where I have exciting, daily conversations with teachers about innovative uses of technology that push the educational envelope. I suggest that you look into the independent school market. There are literally tons (tens?) of high quality independent schools in the NYC area. You mention the twilight of your career, and many independent schools are eager to hire well seasoned teachers who have just retired from high quality public schools and still have a passion about teaching. I have some experience on both sides of the public / private school fence, and I have found the independent school market to be one that embraces people who are forward thinkers and innovators.

          This, of course, does nothing to address the needs of kids in the NYC school system. For that, I'm afraid I don't have a solution.

          Regards,
          Trevor

          **********************************************
          Trevor Shaw
          Director of Academic Technology
          Dwight-Englewood School
          315 E. Palisade Ave. 07631
          v. (201) 569-9500 ext 3244
          f. (201) 569-1688
          http://www.d-e.org
          ***********************************************

          >>> mahlness@... 5/24/2006 10:01 PM >>>
          Ted's response to Jeff's rant saddened me more than any email or blog
          posting I can remember recently. When I hear the sound of resignation and
          even defeat in a voice always so full of passion and pushing the envelope -
          well, it breaks my heart. His reaction is not one of weakness, but is
          testimony to the sheer muscle mass of the system that refuses to embrace and
          LEAD with technology.

          I've been working in the classroom, using technology with my kids, pushing,
          pushing, for about as long as Ted, but I have always stood in awe of the
          voice he put to his passion. I could just never do that. Now his passion is
          fading, understandably, and I wonder about myself. How many battles can I
          lose and still keep fighting? We'll see...

          There are two things that give me hope right now.

          1) the new medium of web 2.0. It's not just email lists that spread the word
          anymore. We're looking at blogs, wikis, kids as authors, rss feeds, news
          aggregators, podcasts, etc. There are so many more ways to influence people
          and induce change.

          2) the new voices, the Ted Nellens of web 2.0. I hope I don't offend here...
          Anybody reading Miguel Guhlin, Wesley Fryer, or David Warlick knows what I'm
          talking about. Anybody who cares about technology in education who does not
          follow them regularly, needs to. They are using all the incredible new
          tools at their disposal to get the word out, to spread the word in any way
          they can. Evangelists they are. And they are even here on web 1.0 lists like
          wwwedu. Heck, I even saw a post by Will Richardson on EdTech the other day.

          So I have hope. And I hope to hear more from you, Ted. The fight is not
          over, hang in there, we need you. - Mark

          Mark Ahlness
          mahlness@...
          http://ahlness.com
          http://roomtwelve.com
          http://arborheights.com
          http://earthdaybags.org

          -----Original Message-----
          From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
          tednellen
          Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 2:01 AM
          To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] Rant


          Jeff, i loved your preamble and then that which followed. much of it does
          strike a cord and has been one of my private battles over the past dozen
          years. at this sad point in time for me, i am finding i use less and less
          tech to the point i am now teaching pre tech in my nyc school called
          Information Technology HS. it was supposed to be the premier tech school
          in nyc, but alas, for all the reasons your highlighted and a few more the
          NYC tech team could come up with, tech is dead in NYC. I use dto rant an
          drave and present and publish this for many years, but alas spitting in
          the wind has gotten the best of me and i have resigned myself to the
          demise of tech and substantial use of it in schools for the future because
          of the reactionary attitude of punishment and prohibition over the more
          intelligent choice of education of the user. as i have said before the
          adults who lead dont get it and never will. i have beat my head against
          this brick wall for too long, screamed and shouted till i'm hoarse,
          demonstrated the success potential for too long. as i near my twilight
          years, i am content to merely fade away on this topic as i see it getting
          worse and worse. we had our heyday and i dont see it happening again.
          camelot is dead and so it intelligent use of the tech in schools, IMHO.

          i loved your rant, it reminded me of the type i'd hear from many wwweduers
          over the years and many of their voices still resonate today or have been
          extinguished and it only gets worse everyday, week, month, year.

          I have my own opinions on the reasons, have stated them many times, and
          i'm tired of hearing myself on this topic. i am so glad to hear another
          voice.

          good luck in your quixotic efforts, jeff.

          ted



          On Tue, 23 May 2006, Jeff Cooper wrote:

          > The following rant shakes and rambles the status quo and is filled
          > with many generalizations. I'm painting with a broad brush here for
          > possible further discourse. If any of these issues hit home with you,
          > we can continue the dialogue, if not, then drop it!
          >
          > The reactionary "State of Filtering" in K-12 schools completely appals
          > me. Someone has an inappropriate blog? Ban all blogs. MySp@ce
          > exists? Ban anything and everything with the word in it, and oh,
          > let's actually make illegal any website based upon community. Playboy
          > exists? Ban all magazines. The list goes on and on and no one seems
          > to care that all of these actions do not truly protect our kids, but
          > completely erode freedom of speech, not to mention putting a huge
          > damper on using the Net for educational purposes.
          >
          > If our country were truly serious about protecting kids, we would have
          > created .sex and .xxx domains rather than dump the idea a month ago.
          > The religious right controls many of the filtering software companies
          > and uses its power to further its own religious agenda rather than
          > truly making the Net a safer place for all. Trying to keep students
          > from "seeing anything and everything bad" means filtering much that is
          > good. Of course, our country and mainstream media loves to vilify the
          > Net and paint it as a place wholly inhabited by predators. Dateline
          > has done 10 of the same "to catch a predator" shows, but has yet to
          > show any positive ways for students or parents to act online. Indeed,
          > have you *ever* seen a mainstream media show that shows anything
          > positive about the Internet?
          >
          > We've allowed what happens in schools to become so politicized through
          > NCLB that educators have their hands completely tied as far as what
          > best practices they may employ. Why doesn't the NEA and ACLU file a
          > lawsuit eliminating filters? Indeed, why isn't there a filtering
          > system that operates in the opposite way? Namely, if a site contains
          > inappropriate material a button is clicked and that site becomes noted
          > as suspect and then reviewed to ban? Of course this will never happen
          > because it means some kid somewhere might see something bad.
          >
          > I think the negativist view of the Net coupled with the appalling lack
          > of support for educators means that very few use the Net with their
          > classes. I'd be amazed if more than 10% of educators nationwide
          > integrate the Net into any of their classes even once a year. Pew, do
          > you have a report on this? The chilling effect freezes the Net.
          >
          > OK... that's pretty much enough of a rant for now. I think I'll go
          > back to bed for a few.
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Jeff Cooper
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
          > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

          --

          Ted Nellen 8-) http://www.tnellen.com/

          "You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
          To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model
          obsolete."

          Buckminster Fuller





          WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
          http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html




          SPONSORED LINKS Secondary school education Graduate school education
          Home school education
          High school education Chicago school education Middle school
          education


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          WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
          http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html

          Yahoo! Groups Links
        • Greene, Dr. Patrick
          From Jeff Cooper Maybe if I bang my head against the wall long enough I ll create a hole in it and then there will be a chance for a window... or a door.
          Message 4 of 21 , May 25 10:41 AM
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            From Jeff Cooper
            Maybe if I bang my head against the wall long enough I'll create a hole in it and then there will be a chance for a window... or a door.

            Exactly, Jeff. Ted is a bit down right now, because he had high hopes for new education in his part of NYC. Those hopes were dashed, but Ted will very soon pick himself back up and get back into the battle like he has always done.

            I heard Chris Dede once say, "If you need your fellow teachers and administrators to love you, then you are not going to be innovative enough to create the great technology infused classroom (I paraphrase)", and also "If you are afraid of pissing someone off, then you are not going to be doing the experimental work required." Remember - No Good Dead Ever Goes Unpunished. We all have to develop self-esteem within because it may be that no one else will appreciate what we're doing. So what! There is nothing wrong with putting your heart into something that you know is right but everyone else denegrates. Sooner or later a hole will appear, or maybe that will be for the next generation. Just keep on keeping on (as we used to say in the 60s).

            Patrick J Greene, PhD
            FGCU
            pgreene@...


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Miguel Guhlin
            I see this rant stuff a bit differently,although I sent all my letters in (including Moveon.org SAVE THE INTERNET) today, too. To me, Jeff sounds like a voice
            Message 5 of 21 , May 25 6:27 PM
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              I see this rant stuff a bit differently,although I sent all my letters
              in (including Moveon.org SAVE THE INTERNET) today, too. To me, Jeff
              sounds like a voice in the wilderness. More here:
              http://www.mguhlin.net/blog/archives/2006/05/entry_1555.htm

              While I can't necessarily offer an easy solution, I offer comfort that
              has worked for me. Maybe, changing the world is too big for us. Maybe,
              the expectation is that I change myself and let the world see what
              happens when one person is committed to transformation. Time and again,
              we've seen the power of transformation and divinity in a person's life.
              Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jesus, and others you may know.

              Each of us is called to be a leader, to unleash the power that is within
              us. Now, I don't want to quote what I wrote at the link above in its
              entirety, but here's a part that I really like from Edward Hays' book,
              "St. George and the Dragon and the Quest for the Holy Grail."

              Beginning a modern day quest for the Holy Grail (the Cup, not Mary
              Magdalene as portrayed in The Da Vinci Code, BTW <smile>), George
              encounters a dragon named Igor. The dragon and George have a long talk
              and eventually, George gets a ride back home on Igor's back. George
              shares his obversations that...

              From my position high on the dragon's back, I noticed that the
              dragon's body was covered with old wounds. WHenever the dragon
              breathed forth fire to light the path in front of us, I noticed that
              the wounds glowed golden-red in the dark. When I asked about them,
              the dragon replied, "Oh, my friend, I have been slain a thousand
              times, but I have always arisen again. THese old woulds are the
              source of my power and my insight. Our greatest and worst enemies
              are not the monsters who roam the forest or even wicked witches or
              evil wizards. No, it is our scars, our wounds, and old injuries that
              we must fear. As we journey through life we have all been
              injured--hurt by parents, brothers or sister, schoolmates,
              strangers, lovers, teachers. Each wound has the power to talk to us,
              you know. They speak, however, with crooked voices because of the scars.

              All of us have wounds--old ones and new ones--and whenever the
              monster appears, when hell breaks loose, we know that our old wounds
              are talking guiding us. It is these wounds that must be confronted
              (Hays, 1986).

              Like the dragon later told George, we must find a way to transform the
              power of the wounds, and not give weight to the voice of the times when
              we did our best and were rejected. The power to lead lies in the
              transformation of the crooked voices and the confrontation of the wounds.

              I disagree with Mark Ahlness' observation. Miguel Guhlin (that's me)
              isn't one of the new voices that replaces Ted Nellen or Jeff Cooper.
              Instead, I am just another middle-aged "George" trying to transform the
              wounds he's suffered, the wounds that are a part of living. I hope that
              Ted and Jeff will transform their wounds and rise again.

              Thanks,

              --
              Miguel Guhlin
              Email: mguhlin@...
              Blog: http://www.mguhlin.net/blog
              Advocate for Ed-Tech in K-16 - Join Texas Leads!
              Find out more at http://texasleads.edublogs.org
              *************************************************
              Awaken to the sacred potential within you.
              *************************************************
            • TeacherBC@aol.com
              Good evening, everyone. As I finally sit down, following a sixteen-hour day of the daily trivial pursuit that is often the job of a principal in a public
              Message 6 of 21 , May 25 7:39 PM
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                Good evening, everyone. As I finally sit down, following a sixteen-hour day
                of the daily trivial pursuit that is often the job of a principal in a
                public school in NJ, I feel your pain...all of it.

                Recently, we began the process of completing annual reviews. As part of
                that process, I requested that staff members download, complete, and send back
                to me as a file a survey in order to assist me in this process.

                Of a staff of eighty, I had 15-20 who couldn't download an attachment,
                locate the directory it was in, if they had succeeded at step one, and were unable
                to attach a file, even with the gosh darned paper clip as a choice on the
                menu bar. (Where is the file?) Where does a person begin??

                A grievance ("we have never done this before") and several innane
                conversations with the very few staff members who think a mouse is a foot pedal later,
                and I squashed it. I directed a technological goal in all of their
                professional development plans for next year.

                As a second-year principal, having taken over for a technophobe, I feel like
                Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the mountain. To Ted, and anyone else who
                would despair I would offer the following:

                A dwarf on the shoulders of a giant sees the farther of the two...I think
                that fits here.

                Also, at least ONCE a day, I read the poem "If," by Rudyard Kipling. Using
                the computer just now, I did locate it in 4.5 seconds, copied and pasted it
                here in 2.4 seconds, and saved the several hours it would previously have
                taken me to go to the library, photocopy the poem, bring it home, and bang it out
                on my IBM Selectric. :-)

                That being said, we may lose a battle now and then; however, this is a war
                that we are going, inevitibly to win. After all, our students, within one
                generation, will be the principals, superintendents, and Board of Education
                members who will build the "highways." You are all the trailblazers, leaving, as
                Longfellow said, "footprints on the sands of time" for them to follow.

                If this is forwarded to you all, the text of "If" appears below. I read it
                at least once DAILY and it helps me to maintain that so fragile hold on my
                sanity...

                Keep the faith everyone. The whispers of this group, taken collectively in
                each of respective professions and locations, will become a roaring crowd
                when the voices are joined....


                _Rudyard Kipling_
                (http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Rudyard_Kipling/kipling_contents.htm)
                If

                If
                If you can keep your head when all about you
                Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
                If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
                But make allowance for their doubting too;
                If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
                Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
                Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
                And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
                If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
                If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
                If you can meet with triumph and disaster
                And treat those two imposters just the same;
                If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
                Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
                Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
                And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
                If you can make one heap of all your winnings
                And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
                And lose, and start again at your beginnings
                And never breath a word about your loss;
                If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
                To serve your turn long after they are gone,
                And so hold on when there is nothing in you
                Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
                If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
                Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
                If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
                If all men count with you, but none too much;
                If you can fill the unforgiving minute
                With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
                Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
                And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • John Thompson
                Nice to see an administrator who is advocating/pushing tech. As a former principal and superintendent who pushed tech and what it can do to help educators,
                Message 7 of 21 , May 26 6:25 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Nice to see an administrator who is advocating/pushing tech. As a former
                  principal and superintendent who "pushed" tech and what it can do to help
                  educators, here's another quote you might want to consider.

                  To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger. ~ James
                  Baldwin.

                  Stick to guns but keep them loaded and your back covered (and give your
                  staff more training than you can afford because you cannot afford not to).
                  :-)

                  John T. Thompson, Ph.D.
                  Assistant Professor & Coordinator
                  Educational Computing Program
                  Computer Information Systems Dept.
                  Chase 208, Buffalo State College
                  1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222
                  (716) 878-3531 thompsjt@...
                  http://www.buffalostate.edu/depts/edcomputing/

                  "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most
                  intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
                  ~ Charles Darwin

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                  TeacherBC@...
                  Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:40 PM
                  To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] Rant

                  Good evening, everyone. As I finally sit down, following a sixteen-hour
                  day
                  of the daily trivial pursuit that is often the job of a principal in a
                  public school in NJ, I feel your pain...all of it.

                  Recently, we began the process of completing annual reviews. As part of
                  that process, I requested that staff members download, complete, and send
                  back
                  to me as a file a survey in order to assist me in this process.

                  Of a staff of eighty, I had 15-20 who couldn't download an attachment,
                  locate the directory it was in, if they had succeeded at step one, and were
                  unable
                  to attach a file, even with the gosh darned paper clip as a choice on the
                  menu bar. (Where is the file?) Where does a person begin??

                  A grievance ("we have never done this before") and several innane
                  conversations with the very few staff members who think a mouse is a foot
                  pedal later,
                  and I squashed it. I directed a technological goal in all of their
                  professional development plans for next year.

                  As a second-year principal, having taken over for a technophobe, I feel
                  like
                  Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the mountain. To Ted, and anyone else who
                  would despair I would offer the following:

                  A dwarf on the shoulders of a giant sees the farther of the two...I think
                  that fits here.

                  Also, at least ONCE a day, I read the poem "If," by Rudyard Kipling. Using

                  the computer just now, I did locate it in 4.5 seconds, copied and pasted it

                  here in 2.4 seconds, and saved the several hours it would previously have
                  taken me to go to the library, photocopy the poem, bring it home, and bang
                  it out
                  on my IBM Selectric. :-)

                  That being said, we may lose a battle now and then; however, this is a war
                  that we are going, inevitibly to win. After all, our students, within one
                  generation, will be the principals, superintendents, and Board of Education

                  members who will build the "highways." You are all the trailblazers,
                  leaving, as
                  Longfellow said, "footprints on the sands of time" for them to follow.

                  If this is forwarded to you all, the text of "If" appears below. I read it

                  at least once DAILY and it helps me to maintain that so fragile hold on my
                  sanity...

                  Keep the faith everyone. The whispers of this group, taken collectively in

                  each of respective professions and locations, will become a roaring crowd
                  when the voices are joined....


                  _Rudyard Kipling_
                  (http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Rudyard_Kipling/kipling_contents.ht
                  m)
                  If

                  If
                  If you can keep your head when all about you
                  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
                  If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
                  But make allowance for their doubting too;
                  If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
                  Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
                  Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
                  And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
                  If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
                  If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
                  If you can meet with triumph and disaster
                  And treat those two imposters just the same;
                  If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
                  Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
                  Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
                  And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
                  If you can make one heap of all your winnings
                  And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
                  And lose, and start again at your beginnings
                  And never breath a word about your loss;
                  If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
                  To serve your turn long after they are gone,
                  And so hold on when there is nothing in you
                  Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
                  If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
                  Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
                  If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
                  If all men count with you, but none too much;
                  If you can fill the unforgiving minute
                  With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
                  Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
                  And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







                  WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
                  http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html

                  Yahoo! Groups Links







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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Robert D. Sharp
                  ... [snip, great stuff but...] ... Often the other option is to sit down and as one of my fellow teachers once said, Who wants to be known for butt prints in
                  Message 8 of 21 , May 26 6:33 AM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On May 25, 2006, at 7:39 PM, TeacherBC@... wrote:

                    > Good evening, everyone. As I finally sit down, following a
                    > sixteen-hour day
                    > of the daily trivial pursuit that is often the job of a principal
                    > in a
                    > public school in NJ, I feel your pain...all of it.

                    [snip, great stuff but...]

                    > Longfellow said, "footprints on the sands of time" for them to
                    > follow.

                    Often the other option is to sit down and as one of my fellow
                    teachers once said, "Who wants to be known for butt prints in the
                    sands of time?"

                    > If this is forwarded to you all, the text of "If" appears below.
                    > I read it
                    > at least once DAILY and it helps me to maintain that so fragile
                    > hold on my
                    > sanity...

                    I leave the link (without the parens) . Thank you.

                    >
                    > Keep the faith everyone. The whispers of this group, taken
                    > collectively in
                    > each of respective professions and locations, will become a
                    > roaring crowd
                    > when the voices are joined....
                    >
                    >
                    > _Rudyard Kipling_
                    > http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Rudyard_Kipling/
                    > kipling_contents.htm

                    You are in a position to lead but, PLEASE, don't just put the
                    technology component into their evaluation goals for next year.
                    Ensure they have additional leadership, resources and the help they
                    need to succeed. I know all too well what happens when goals are
                    placed in front of people and there is no support for attaining the
                    goal. I don't know what technology support they have nor have had
                    but a goal with out the proper support is a road block which becomes
                    a whip at evaluation time. I doubt if you intend this but your
                    description of the last principal sounds leads me to believe that
                    technology has been a very low item on the support menu.

                    Bob
                    --
                    It has been said before but warrants repeating, "If you think
                    education is expensive, try ignorance."

                    Bob Sharp
                    6th Grade Science Teacher
                    Past Middle School Representative to the NCCE Board
                    Recipient of The First Annual Learning Space Achievement Awards for
                    Members




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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