reflectively assessing my professional goals

Less than Half Our Schools Have a Full-Time Nurse

School reform? Doesn’t need more testing or teacher accountability or even more money. It need to address poverty, equity and access. In my jurisdiction, B.C. , we have 0% school nurses but we don’t honestly need them. We have universal health care-however flawed- kids get basic health services…we have community health nurses, etc but not site based nurses, police or priests. Public education has a cost but so does raising children, inmates and morgues.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Matt Di Carlo examines the latest data about the availability of school nurses, and it is disturbing.

For many children, the school nurse is the only medical care they will get.

Only 41% of schools have a RN on staff.

The data are none too new. They are from 2006, before the economic collapse. Very likely, the number with full-time nurses is even less now.

Now here is a job for the Gates Foundation. Place a Gates nurse in every school in every low-income district. That will raise test scores even more than MET or VAM.

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“…When I first started working at a cyber school I thought they were the future of education, and I still do. But the problem is that they are only started by for-profit companies who try to run them like businesses. So the top priority becomes customer satisfaction instead of student learning. The results are hard to measure, but I fear that they are worse than anyone suspects….” Reblog >

One Room Schoolhouse

When I first started working at a cyber school I thought they were the future of education, and I still do. But the problem is that they are only started by for-profit companies who try to run them like businesses. So the top priority becomes customer satisfaction instead of student learning. The results are hard to measure, but I fear that they are worse than anyone suspects.

The curriculum is touted as first class material, designed by experts. In truth our school purchases whatever it can get from third party vendors. There isn’t much stuff out there. Most cyber schools get their curriculum from K12, a company started by William Bennett, a former federal Secretary of Education. My school gets the majority of its high school material from a mail order company called Aventa.

When Aventa creates a course it is fairly bare bones. They choose a textbook from one…

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Etmooc – a dynamic bend in the river


Signing off #etmooc

Like the dynamic changing course and view if my local river, my professinal learning has meandered and followed a varied course. Well my first MOOC was no different. Etmooc was an enlightening experience but I believe it’s more about the people than the structure. Firstly, Cogdog and Alec’s leadership and design team clearly had a strong plan and plenty invested before novices like me wandered by. Secondly, the massive collective included such strong facilitators and contributors it made the curriculum so engaging. Lastly but not less valued is the amazing experience and talent of the Etmooc community participants. I was so motivated by these educators I tried hard to do my ‘homework’ and certainly read a massive amount of professional discourse. This ETMOOC exercise was valuable and motivating enough even as I contemplate retirement (after 33yrs) I just may go back to graduate school! If not, I’ll look for some more open learning opportunities 🙂 Thanks so much everyone for building my PLN and sharing your gifts.
Signing off @literateowl Al Smith

Tweet from Matt Van Schepen (@mnbaseball)

Joe_Nathan_normal.jpg Matt Van Schepen (@mnbaseball)
2013-03-28 8:48 AM
Achievement isn’t just about understanding content also processes of learning, doing, working in a social context. #righton @literateowl

iPad from @literateowl

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. — Jorge Luis Borges

Password security management -a citizenship piece.

For our Citizenship topic I wandered into the sub-topic of security which IS critical and practical reality. Passwords and login practices around my world are frankly awful! People respond to my pleading like I’m a paranoid fool. Who is the fool? I think it is just as important as sex education, safe driving or street smarts- seriously! It’s part of digital citizenship. Either we ( educators ) teach it or avoid it. We have chosen to own the bullying problem and other social ills so why not digital identity safety? Anyway, here is my practical contribution. A trial in password software.
I read Dan Misener of CBC Spark, talking about the future of login security and then read his old post. I also jumped off and tried his recommended application for storing and encrypting all my passwords. Dozens ! Hundred pieces of data – easy. I bought a family license of 1password by Agilebits. I have personal IDs , school IDs and dozens of vendors and logins related to gateways for my school library so online access and management was a major chore. Add credit cards and online banking to the mix and digital business online is a worry. It is NOT just a nuisance.

It’s not just about sticky notes under your keyboard. It’s about your footprint and your day to day management. In January, my school credit card was jacked online. The bank was diligent and efficient but I was pushed into revisiting my practice because the truth became clear. Even the banks cannot alter the hazards. They are only reacting. I had a pretty good system I suppose but I felt I was still vulnerable.

Here is what I was doing:
1. I kept my school credit cards, accounts , email and services separate from home- always.
2. I have one home card with small limit, just for online
3. I used 2-3 passwords with a pattern, over and over, changing up when I could or forgot. I used ‘fishing lake names’ key numbers, and key hex char in location.
4. I stored these IDs and my PINS in a text file on a flash drive. Backed up 2 places, when I could. One location, private online. I wasn’t completely efficient nor happy.

Here is what I now do:
After installing an app on my home Mac, installing plugins for my browsers including my work PC, and installing my iPad app..configured keys.
1. I now login to 1Password with my MasterKey
2. I turn private browsing on, don’t store any logins in my computer browser cache,
3. I can access my encrypted logins from my browser’s 1Password plugins or reveal my IDs if I forget.
4. As I enter new services or logins, Im prompted if I want 1Password to store it.
You can choose to store your encrypted key file on a memory USB or store in your Dropbox account as a private file. As I browse from iPad to Mac to PC or work to home and around, I am accessing dozens of unique encrypted logins and storing vital data, from ONE safe storage place. Not leaving or losing files around is a bonus. Knowing my accounts are hard to crack is better.

It took a awhile to slowly change all my logins and make them challenging and also go through storing them in 1Password but it is a powerful utility. It will generate complex keys for you too. So far, it seems like a good made-in-Canada solution even if it takes some time to sort it all out.

We will see… Bottom line? I can find forgotten passwords. All my logins IDs, credit are encrypted , and not stored in my computers cache AND are very hard to crack- not impossible.



Questions and Ownership | The Principal of Change

“I have said this before, that great leadership should model the same things that great teachers do. If you are the leader or teacher with all of the answers, what happens when you leave? What have you built within your school or classroom? Even if your school moves forward because of the wisdom of one person, that is a culture of one, and that culture will die when you leave. We have to figure out better ways for our staff and students to own the culture and learning, and follow up by doing what we can to empower them to be successful.

Our work is about making others better, not displaying our own intelligence .”(Couros)