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This podcast is a bit of a deviation from the normal format for GingerSnapz! It is in direct response to the attitude she's seen recently displayed by some in the edublogga'sphere.

This attitude seems to be snarky disdain for those teachers and educators who may be showing a bit "too much excitement" for the tool of the week.

Ginger offers her snappy opinion toward those who often serve as bellwethers for the 'sphere.

Please DO leave a comment on this one!

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During the first 4 minutes of this episode, Ginger muses about a conference she's about to attend (http://essdack.org/ttt/), hosted by ESSDACK (http://essdack.org/), the company that runs Turning Point Learning Center. She also considers the beauty of the Flint Hills and the destruction of the June 11, 2008 tornado that hit Chapman and Manhattan, KS the night before.

IF you have an interest in a more personal "snap" from Ginger, listen to the first of the podcast.

However, at about 4 minutes, she FINALLY decides to get to the point of the grading/assessment dilemma, considering grade cards and the under-motivation and under-achievement that current assessment and grading practices foster.

Charlie Mahoney is referenced: http://charliemahoney.com/
and the phone call at the end was from her husband, Eric.

Enjoy!

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Listen in as Ginger reflects on the iConnect iLearn (un)conference that has been a catalyst in demonstrating how education should be, not only for students, but also professionals.

How many times have you sat through a powerpoint from some big-wig telling you to change your delivery model? How many times have they "spiced up" their presentation by having you do some silly little activity that "illustrates" what a student would be doing?!

Bah! The iConnect Conference has been a proving ground not only to tech-reluctant or newbie teachers, but also to those in professional development positions; to see that indeed these teachers WILL accept a conference that does NOT provide "sit and get" PD.

So now my challenge to you is to put up or shut up!

Snappy!

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Today, in another in an apparently long series of rambles, I'm contemplating when and how we know when our students are truly thinking globally. The iConnectiLearn ning (http://iconnectilearn.ning.com/), is referenced, where charter schools and other innovators in Kansas public education are invited to connect and learn!

Likewise, is it truly when Greenwich Mean Time is internalized? Or is it something else? I'm still thinking...

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Turning Point Learning Center is not simply ed tech savvy, but we're really more of a Project Based Learning School. In this podcast, I've been inspired by personal group work gone wrong and have decided to reflect with students about group work and the purpose of it.

Special thanks to 7th graders Olivia and Lauren, two very different people!

(notice that in this podcast's picture, the group is going over the cliff!)

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Suspend your ideas of classroom capacity and everything you've ever considered regarding the look and feel of the traditional classroom.

What is an optimal class size for one teacher? Is there (should there be) such a number? Does it matter the needs, be them academic, intellectual, or emotional needs of the student population? Does it matter if the range of ability levels? Does it matter the individual capacity and ability level of the teacher?

If we're truly going to do something different in education, if we are truly going to look at students as individuals, why can't we look at teachers as individuals?

Should there be a matrix for this situation?

How many children is too much for a family? How many children is too much for a family? Why is a teacher so much more qualified to give quality instruction to as many as 5-10x more children?

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This was a bit of a "manic" reflection the morning after we had about 60ish pre-service teachers tour Turning Point Learning Center, the school where I work.
The pre-service teachers were from Emporia State University, my own alma mater. The Teachers College there is a very good school. Please interpret my commentary as a broad, generalized description of how prepared our current high school grads are when they enter the pre-service programs.

Is this a cycle we're in or is it more of a mobius band?

And yah, that is how I am a lot of mornings. That's when the best ideas actually coagulate in my brain!

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Tim Holt, based in El Paso Texas, has started a meme, asking what why we feel that educational technology is important for students.

I have responded in likely more than 500 words, but I would like to hear your ideas as well. If you'd like to be tagged, let me know. You'll have the full floor!

Visit Tim's podcast and blog site here: http://web.mac.com/timholt/Intended_Consequenses/
Tim takes you through the ins and outs of Ed Tech from his unique perspective as a 22 year educator and District Technology Administrator.

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This podcast is from last October's KGTC Conference, closing keynote by Linda Geiger, Gifted Education Program Consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education, with an introduction by Judith Lacey, KGTC State Department Liaison

Linda did have a visual presentation to go with this, but you'll get the majority of the info from her talk.

I'm posting this keynote with her permission; she's an amazing person who wants to bring about change in gifted ed in Kansas, and is passionate about developing teacher's 21st century skills and behavior.

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This is an interview I held with Julie Rhodes last October at the annual conference of the Kansas Association for Gifted, Talented, and Creative. Julie and I took some of our Master's classes together and our paths have begun to widen.

She's now teaching pre-service teachers at Cowley County; let's see what she has to say about these students' tech readiness to teach our future generation.

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Ginger interviews Marjorie Landwehr-Brown, Coordinator of Gifted Services and the NEW Global Learning Director at Douglass School District in Kansas. Marjorie has travelled to China to make connections with schools there, and talks about an upcoming trip to Japan, where the group has been able to set a "day-off" agenda for themselves, even though they've never met in person. Other topics are also briefly explored at the end of the cast.

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Ginger reflects on the creation, boom, and bust of small-town communities and how that may (or may not) relate to professional education communities.

This picture is not of Reading, KS, but it is indicative of the boom town age of smaller communities.

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In this episode, Ginger reflects on a workshop she just facilitated in a 1:1 traditional high school in Lyons KS. The people were delightful and helped cause her to think what teachers, particularly elective teachers, could be doing in a differentiated instruction classroom, using 2.0 tools.

Please consider sending her thinking further with questions and comments!

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Take a peek inside a discussion at Turning Point Learning Center. Here, the discussion is mostly teacher-led, but as the year goes on, the teacher will take a more back-seat approach to the discussion.

Note the rapport and trust the students have with the teacher and visa versa. Also, of special note, students had NEVER been taught this curriculum before and many are speaking very knowlegeably about some of the processes in the human body! SO COOL!

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Ginger reflects on her day of training and also past experiences with the Health Sciences Story Centered Curriculum from Socratic Arts.

Socratic Arts:
http://www.socraticarts.com/

Tammy Berman:
http://www.engines4ed.org/who/berman.cfm

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Ginger replies to "Are there directions for giving directions," a Paul Bogush / Turkey Crossing podcast. (http://turkeycrossing.podomatic.com/)

She agrees with his premise that teachers need to step back from over-directing students. It is a struggle to "de-program" students who've been long-conditioned to regurgitate what they think the teacher wants in a product. The key is not only to create a trusting environment between students/teacher, but within the students themselves. There is no safer place to fail and recover than in the school situation. That's why school should be as authentic as possible for true Life Practice!

Referenced:
Odyssey of the Mind:
http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/

Dr. Sylvia Rimm:
http://www.sylviarimm.com/

Dr. Rimm's quote:
'The surest path to high self-esteem is to be successful at something one perceived would be difficult. Each time we steal a student's struggle, we steal the opportunity for them to build self-confidence. They must do hard things to feel good about themselves.'

Photo from: http://siri.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.studentappreq&submenu=Student&CFID=6841&CFTOKEN=70173145

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Today, Ginger's responding to Chris Lehmann's Practical Theory blog article called Teacher Learning, Student Learning and School 2.0. He asserts that we should not be relying on only techies to train teachers, but rather to encourage teachers to train themselves.

This is a good thing, and Ginger takes it further by talking about how to encourage teachers' motivation and desire to learn these new tools by prioritizing what other pieces to drop from their repertoire, as well as giving teachers profitable salary schedule horizontal movement. University credit is also a wonderful thing.

Correction to be made: Because of her dyslexia, Ginger mis-labeled Chris Lehmann's school. It is the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. http://www.scienceleadership.org/

You can find a pic and info about this wonderful place at 2ยข Worth, David Warlick's blog:http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/2007/01/10/new-school-sla/

Practical Theory blog:
http://www.practicaltheory.org/serendipity/index.php

Ginger connects with a teacher in Australia via Skype and then tells us her impressions. She confesses and exposes some cultural gaffes and breifly hits upon the value of these connections for students. More 'casts will be coming about making connections and the skills afforded to students growing into citizens of the world. Hopefully, you'll be hearing about this from students themselves!

I truly am excited to connect with her (and her students)!

Referenced:
Wizard of Oz
http://images.usatoday.com/weather/_photos/2006/07/05/dsongneilsens30.jpg
http://www.wendyswizardofoz.com/main.php

Cassowary
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassowary

Poisonous plants of Australia
http://www.anbg.gov.au/poison-plants/index.html
(ok, the US list is likely longer, but this is ONLY SE Australia)

Skype
http://skype.com/

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In this episode, Ginger contemplates the future of gifted education in this technologic world. Retirement and crisis-level teacher shortage is an issue, but so is the fact that many current educators are tech-reluctant. How do we attract new teachers and continue to be on the cutting edge of educating this special population of students?

Referenced:
National Association for Gifted Children
http://nagc.org/

Hoagies Gifted Education Page
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/

Gifted Education 2.0 social network
http://giftededucation.ning.com/

Classroom 2.0 social network
http://classroom20.ning.com/

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In the second of apparently three podcasts, Ginger talks about the truths to the Life Practice Model. In order to allow the Career, Personal, and Knowledge Habits to develop in students, there are certain truths to be met, regarding the school/classroom/learning Environment, as well as in both student and teacher behaviors. Take a listen as she pontificates about these 3 arenas. Leave a comment or find her on Classroom 2.0--GingerTPLC-- if you cannot read the graphic that goes with this and you'd like to.

Last section coming soon: What the environment and behaviors are NOT.

Referenced:
Art Costa, 16 Habits of Mind

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Laying background for understanding where I'm coming from in regard to educational truths. What should school be doing for students in it's most basic premise? Allowing students to practice LIFE.

Be sure to view the pic "Life Practice Model" associate with this. Created on www.bubbl.us, a terrific brainstorming tool.

Also, visit Art Costa's 16 Habits of Mind: http://www.habits-of-mind.net/whatare.htm

Much thanks to Kevin Honeycutt and his library of a mind to spur me to making the basic tenents more concrete.

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In this obviously-first-effort "scholarly podcast," Ginger tries to do some pondering about the pros/cons of podcasting and blogging and wonders if networking is the better way to engage those elusive "tech-reluctant teachers" in the web2.0 world.

Feel free to comment here, there, everywhere (but Classroom 2.0 is where you'll find her). http://classroom20.ning.com/profile/GingerTPLC