Education / Portland / Writing

Coming to Terms with Mistakes

One of the key requirements for reflection is coming to terms with your mistakes. It’s not enough to look back at what has happened and just see the past, it’s taking the time to more than recognize the mistake, but accept them for what they are. I try to do this, and often. Reflection has been a part of my own continued personal and professional development, in the Army and now in education, since my 20’s when I had Army leaders talk with me about the need to include reflection and our open and honest embracing of mistakes as

Education

Mentoring: Modeling for others

I say all the time, model the behavior you want to see in others. Some of the time, I am talking to or with students, about the challenges in growing up. But often, I am talking with teachers and other educators about the struggles we ourselves face, in continuing our own personal and professional development. We can sit around, and wait for the world to come to us with what it thinks should happen to us or for us. Or we can start to have the effect we want to see. That’s especially true with mentoring. In K-12 education,

Education

Teaching: End of your first year

We often have this discussion, my friends and I, about the reflective nature of summer for teachers. The great myth is that teachers run from the classroom as soon as the last bell rings, but in truth, the spend the summer months reflecting on their prior year and preparing for the next. For many, it’s a chance to embrace time spent with those who will coach them in their personal and professional development, and to soak up time with mentors, as they move forward in the long journey of their lives. On Twitter tonight, I asked three of my

Education

Getting started with Pokémon Go & Students: Using Lures at your school Pokestop

One of the neat things about Pokémon Go is that the it’s built upon the game Ingress. For Ingress, players nominated public places of interest – statues, buildings, fountains, public buildings, artwork, etc – to be portals to be used in the game, and that dataset carried over to become gyms and pokestops in Pokémon Go. And this includes a lot of schools. And a lot of things of school campuses – art murals, statues and the like. School principals are this week discovering that people – and kids – are coming to school voluntarily, to play Pokémon Go. What to do

Education

Getting started with Pokémon Go & Students: Data & Batteries

It’s no surprised to anyone who plays Pokémon Go that the game is brutal on battery life. Lots of apps that are GPS intensive are like this – Apple’s own map program, Google Maps, running and walking tracking programs, etc. all suffer this fate. It’s the nature of the beast – and it’s something that programmers wrestle with, trying to fine-tune their code in order to have as little impact as possible on as users battery life as possible.   But battery life is a great conversation to have with students and kids – one of two. Phones are, after

Education

Getting started with Pokémon Go & Students: Logins

Update: There’s an iOS update for the app out, resolving the Google-all-access coding problem. 7/12/2016 Noon PST. Schools and school administrators will still want to talk about the implications of having students use their own accounts to play this game, if they want to have it be a part of a school’s learning program, or in using school Google-based accounts. Those a entirely different and policy-based issued unrelated to this coding issue. Since its launch this week, Pokémon Go has achieved a level of popularity on par with chocolate and bacon. In two days, users installed it on 5% of

Education

ISTE2016: Why connections still matter

I am in Denver, attending the annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, known as ISTE2016. It’s a tech conference, through and through. But with 18,000 educators – mostly teachers – important to not overlook one key part of events like ISTE2016 – the needs to network and make connections as a part of personal and professional development, in lieu of looking for a gadget or widget as being some magic bullet.

Education / Teaching / Writing

Writing college essays

I teach college. My classes involve a lot of writing; there’s no getting around there. I read and grade a lot of writing. Midterms and finals are often essays, and they’re often in the 4 to 12 page range. And I often hear from my students, after the fact, comments like this. “I didn’t get the grade I was expecting.” “I usually do much better than this.” “This grade was disappointing.” “For the amount of effort I put into this, I was expecting a higher grade.” Let’s talk about this. I’ll use my recent round of midterms as a

Education / Intelligence / Research / etc.

Keeping track of PDF files

Now that I am back in the business of reading and using a lot of PDF files, I have a nice system in place. I thought it time to share it. Some of the PDF files are ones that I already have on my hard drive. Others are ones I need to pull from the internet. Others, still, are ones I make by “printing” a web page and saving it as a PDF files. In all of these cases, the end result is a PDF file that is saved to my hard drive (well, to the Google Drive account

Education / Iraq / Research

Google Searches and Alerts

I just created another Google Search today. I thought I would share with you what I used and how. As background, I have an ongoing interest in the Shia (and Sunni) militias in Iraq. The Shia ones have a long history of being supported by Iran, directly and indirectly. In 2014, the Iraqi government rolled many of the Shia ones into an umbrella organization, in response to the fall of Mosul and the need to officially bring these groups – armed – into the fight. Think of that action as mobilizing a well armed militia, in accordance with the US’s

Army / Blogging / Culture / etc.

As we use to say, History is Written By the Winners

I still love that quote, from George Orwell. It was the title of a column he wrote in 1944, you can read it here. I bring it up because China – the People’s Republic of China, or as it’s also called, Communist China – just celebrated the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II. The Atlantic, and one of my favorite features they do, In Focus, has great photos up that relate to both this topic, and this great quote from Orwell.

Education

Back to School: Engaging Parents

A few weeks ago, I was faculty at the CUE Rockstar event in Crescent City. Last week, I attended the #edcamp here in Portland, #edcampPDX. At both places, I talked with teachers about better ways to engage parents, based on the techniques we use in the Army, but I also talked about tools teachers can use in better engaging parents. And since school has actually started in many places, to include our own school district, I should probably share some of those ideas here as well. Here they are: Some tools to consider, when changing how you engage parents

Education

2015 CUE Rock Star Crescent City

My dad use to caution us, be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. Yesterday, Jon Corippo (Twitter) called me and asked if I was available to come be a faculty member at the CUE Rock Star camp in Crescent City, CA, during 12-14 August. Yes, in just two weeks. I told him yes. Jon and I have an interesting history. Our friendship started late last year when applications were for due for folks wanting to be faculty at any of the 2015 CUE Rock Star camps. I have more than a few friends that have been faculty in

Education / Military

Teachers & Mentors

One of my most rewarding experiences in the Army was the time I spent both as a mentor and as a protege. I am proud to say that many of those relationships continue on today, just as I am proud to say that I learned much about both being a mentor and protege, and about the art of the relationship, during my time in the service. It truly is a valuable tool to have and use during the course of any profession or career. But one of the things that drives me batty, in talking with teachers and others