“You cannot depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.”

Mark Twain

Sometimes I feel so helpless and weak. I think that is why God uses me. Because I cannot depend on my own strength, I rely on Him twenty-four hours a day. (Location 101)

God allows the failure but He does not want the discouragement. (Loc 110)

Be kind to each other: It is better to commit faults with gentleness than to work miracles with unkindness . (Loc 291)

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. (loc 231)

Let us conquer the world with our love. Let us interweave our lives with bonds of sacrifice and love, and it will be possible for us to conquer the world. (loc 264)

Never bother about people's opinions. Be humble and you will never be disturbed. The Lord has willed me here where I am. He will offer a solution. (loc 301)

If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed, you won't be discouraged; if anyone calls you a saint, you won't put yourself on a pedestal. (loc 437)

“I have called you by your name,” Jesus said. “You are mine. You are precious in my sight. I love you.” (loc 1130)

Let us understand the tenderness of God's love. For He speaks in the Scripture, “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you on the palm of my hand” (see Isaiah 49:15–16). When you feel lonely, when you feel unwanted, when you feel sick and forgotten, remember you are precious to Him. He loves you. (loc 247)

Mother Teresa
No Greater Love (New World Library; First Trade Paper Edition edition (October 4, 2010), 2010), Such a fantastic book by Mother Teresa. It reminds us of our service and our love of others. That we love others because we were first loved. We should humbly serve in our calling without need for recognition. We should show love in even the simplest of deed. For true greatness is often in simply serving without seeking attention.

The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.

Abraham Lincoln
Springs in the Valley (Harper Collins Publishing, 2010), Such truth. We need to reinforce and help our homes be strong. We must partner with parents to raise up a generation of well educated, well rounded, hard working people. Priorities matter. It isn't always about having everything but instead, helping students learn to overcome anything. Times are not easy and homes are more important than ever. I'm a fan of parents. Good parents are heroes as are good teachers. When we partner together, great things happen. Teaching isn't easy. Neither is parenting. As parents and teachers learn to appreciate one another, we build a connection that helps our children succeed.

People are not your most important asset. The right people are. (loc 238)

If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great. (loc 712)

The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you've made a hiring mistake (loc 972)

Letting the wrong people hang around is unfair to all the right people. (loc 980)

Yes, leadership is about vision. But leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted. (loc 1286)

Jim Collins
Good to Great (Harper Collins Publishers, 2011), This epic book has so many applications for schools. Any organization that wants to be great should have leaders who understand how to be a "level 5 leader" and how to take the organization from good to great. Hint: It is not the flamboyant that make the great leaders. It is also rarely people from "outside". Great read for all leaders in all professions.

In the end it didn’t seem to matter what the distraction was during recall as long as subjects had had a distraction during learning. Everybody who had been distracted in both learning and recall performed better than those who were distracted while learning but undistracted during recall.

An important finding was that the effect Song measured did not depend on keeping the external context – for instance the ambient surroundings – consistent. There just had to be the same degree of distraction at both times.

Another task is to figure out what might be going on in the brain to allow divided attention to be a boost for recall, rather than a hindrance for learning.

“For now my working hypothesis is that this creates an internal representation in which divided attention is associated with the motor learning process, so it can work as an internal cue,” Song said.

Song said she is curious about whether understanding the effect could improve rehabilitation. It may be better, for instance, to help patients learn to walk not only in the clinic, but amid the degree of distraction they would encounter on their neighborhood sidewalk.

Psych Central News
Brown University (quoted on Psych Central, December 10, 2014), This fascinating research is worth a read if you're following neuroscience. Distractions may not be as problematic as you think. The question seems to be whether the learning environment is similar to the environment where you will recall. Fascinating research. I look forward to my researcher friends digging deeper so we can all understand more.

When the subject of the flipped class comes up, many educators see how it applies to academic subjects like math and science education, but don't realize that the methodology has applications in a wide array of other classes. According to a survey of 2358 teachers by the Flipped Learning Network and Sophia Learning (PDF, 1.2MB), 33 percent of those teachers who are flipping their classes are math teachers, 38 percent are science teachers, and 23 percent teach English language arts and social studies. But can you flip the other subjects? Can you flip an elementary classroom? The answer is a resounding yes.

Aaron Sams
Jon Bergmann
Flipped-Learning Toolkit: Flipping the Non-Flippable Classes (Edutopia, 2014), Can you flip classes like PE, dance, and elementary education? This article from Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams shows you how. For example, I have some girls who want to flip cheerleading practice and are designing an app to do just that. Instead of learning dances at practice, why not upload the videos and music and have the girls learn it before practice? We're currently going to build this into the app for the school. We call this in-flipping and it is an awesome way to teach!

“New research suggests the amount of education a woman has along with having children later in life are key predictor’s of a child’s success in adulthood.”

“These results provide compelling evidence that having a child during adolescence has enduring negative consequences for the achievement of the next generation.”

Rick Nauert
Sandra Tang, Ph.D - University of Michigan (Mother’s Education Key to Child’s Academic Success: Psych Central News, November 11, 2014), What is the definition of "later in life" in this study? Why, after high school or older than 18. Having children "later in life" makes that much difference!

Perhaps the weakest area of the typical one-to-one computing plan is the complete absence of leadership development for the administrative team—that is, learning how to manage the transition from a learning ecology where paper is the dominant technology for storing and retrieving information, to a world that is all digital, all the time.

Leaders must be given the training to:

  • Craft a clear vision of connecting all students to the world’s learning resources.
  • Model the actions and behaviors they wish to see in their schools.
  • Support the design of an ongoing and embedded staff development program that focuses on pedagogy as much as technology.
  • Move in to the role of systems analyst to ensure that digital literacy is aligned with standards.
  • Ensure that technology is seen not as another initiative, but as integral to curriculum.

Leaders also must learn how to support risk- taking teachers and creating cohorts of teachers across disciplines and grades who are working on innovative concepts—such as students designing libraries of tutorials to help other students learn, as Eric Marcos has done with Mathtrain.TV.

via Alan November Why Schools Must Move Beyond 1 to 1 Computing

Alan November (November Learning, 2013)

As the owner of a company that now consults school districts in their technology plans, I have zero patience for administrators that fail to see the importance of professional development when new tech is welcomed. My feelings have been hardened by first hand experience working in education and seeing how hopeless new tech initiatives were when the assumption that “if you provide it, they will learn.”

Just laying claim to the fact that technology was purchased and dropped into classrooms doesn't make up for the negated fact that it will be next to useless without the correct training. Not only training, either; districts need to make concentrated efforts in championing not only the functional aspects of technical aptitude, but also the integrative possibilities with how instruction can be transformed through a digital paradigm…

If teachers have a common understanding of where the technology is taking their instruction, the student body will only then be capable of being led by the next generation of instructors.

From Derrick Wlodarz “7 Big Mistakes K-12 Education Needs to Avoid in 1:1 Computing Plans” via betanews

Derrick Wlodarz (BetaNews: 7 big mistakes K-12 education needs to avoid in 1:1 computing plans, 2013)

While I did enjoy David Burgess’Teach Like a Pirate, and the hangout he  shared with us, I’ll admit… it made me kind of sad.  Not because of the content itself!  But because of the hard memories it brought up.  I used to teach creatively and encourage innovation in my classroom like that.

When I graduated college, I was chock full of ideas and adored hands-on learning.  But my communication skills with parents was very weak and my administrator was a frustrated man who decided his best way of control was micromanaging.  It’s a bit of a long story, but the end result is I was knocked down to stop being creative; to just follow the curriculum and to push worksheets.

When I read books like Burgess’, I’m first angry because it validates that I was correct, but too inexperienced to take a proper stand; and then I’m sad because of what I have lost.  I am appreciating these types of classes, and having built a PLN, because I’m slowly coming back to the teacher I once was, but even better because I have more experience and wisdom now.

Mrs. Pickrell's Technology Adventure (Alaska: #etlead class with Dr. Lee Graham, February 17, 2014)