Random Thoughts

My 25% PD

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Have you ever had one of those days that it seems like every link you click on is perfect, makes you think, or say to yourself “Thank god….I’m not crazy”?

That was yesterday for me. I feel like yesterday I might have actually met my 25% PD Time. This is a series of blog posts that I started back in February of 2006 after I finished reading the Standards for Staff Development by the National Staff Development Council (looking over it again I see a lot of what Dan Pink talks about in his book Drive and motivation). 

Anyway…here is the brain thumping blog posts, articles, research, and videos that I found yesterday that have my mind in a swirl.

1) Conrad Wolfram’s TED Talk video: Fantastic stuff that I can’t wait to share with my math teachers. Also check out his computerbasedmath.org site. 

2) Project Red: Do 1:1 Right or Don’t do it at all: ZDnet has a good take on this and it’s always great to have research that shows that 1:1 computing works when implemented correctly. I think this goes with Conrad’s video above about using computers the right way! Complete PDF of research here

3) The Future will be Personalized: Techcrunch has a good article on what the future looks like and how technology will play a role in our personalization of information. 

4) Facebook Messaging, Teens and School Work: Can Facebook Be a Social Learning Network?: Someone actually asked Mark Zuckerburg about Facebook and education. From Mashable:

5:50: Is education an opportunity for Facebook? Zuckerberg responds that if someone builds a great application, there’s a huge opportunity.

We’ll see where this goes…and is this a call out to developers to build an educational app for Facebook? We’ll see what happens.

5) The 21st Century Learner: Sent to me by my IT Director this morning.


Now you can see why my head is spinning. If we’re looking at the future of education, there is a lot of stuff we can take away just from this one day spent on the Internet. There are so many possibilities and I would even say that many of us know it needs to change. So what’s the problem? I think Conrad Wolfram has a great visual at the end of his presentation that sums it up. We need something completely new, not just an improvement on education, a whole new idea on school and the possibilities we now have with the amount of information we have available to use today. I’m still thinking through this, but from the articles above I come away with this.

Education must:

  1. include access to computer with educators who are properly trained in understanding how to use them.
  2. be student centered.
  3. be challenging, real world, and fun.
  4. be social not individual. 
  5. process based not content based

Really…nothing new there…..so what’s our problem?

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. I completely agree with the list of needs for education. The social aspect might be the most difficult for many teachers because it requires relinquishing control.

    We’re not known for having this sort of courage…

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