November 26, 2008

Sage vs Guide

To answer the challenge of transforming education to welcome the Digital Natives and information age requires the ‘Sage on the Stage’ approach be transformed into Guide on the Side. (McKenzie, 1998) McKenzie provides “a list of descriptors of the role of a teacher who is a ‘Guide on the Side’ while students are conducting their investigations; the teacher is circulating, redirecting, disciplining, questioning, assessing, guiding, directing, fascinating, validating, facilitating, moving, monitoring, challenging, motivating, watching, moderating, diagnosing, trouble-shooting, observing, encouraging, suggesting, watching, modeling and clarifying." And he continues to explain that “the teacher is on the move, checking over shoulders, asking questions and teaching mini-lessons for individuals and groups who need a particular skill. Support is customized and individualized. The ‘Guide on the Side’ sets clear expectations, provides explicit directions, and keeps the learning well structured and productive.”

graph.png

Posted by dcannell at 4:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just another day at the cyber school.

Wednesdays at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School tend to be a little bit more crazy than other days.

micro.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 4:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Four levels of Courses Explained

charts.gif

1) Textbook style - read content quiz at the end of the unit.
2) Teacher not content expert has to rely on the text book to teach curriculum
3) Content -test - Content cycle
4) Mostly text based
5) Copies successful face to face instruction
6) Teacher developer and ownership
7) Never finished...always under revision.
8) Internet infused course Websites all through the course
9) Bells and whistles added. Flash audio video images.
10) Sage on the stage
11) Student centered
12) Problem first solution second cycle

Online courses can be divided into four different levels, which are not determined by the LMS used. They are determined by the developer’s approach. Recognition of the approach will make it easier to determine the methodology of the study.

Level One Courses

The characteristic that indicates that you have developed a level one course is that it is an attempt to recreate the textbook style of teaching. Often recognized as the boring high school class it consists of the premise that you must read the content and do the questions at the end of the unit. We have all taken this type of course in the face to face classroom. It is normally taught by the teacher who is not a content expert and has to rely on the textbook to teach the curriculum.

All the problems associated with this method of teacher in the face to face classroom are carried over to the online world. These courses achieve mild success online. We could get into an intellectual discussion about what is success. But for this theory we are talking about the students staying in the course and passing it. The design of the course fulfills the curriculum and is a content presentation...test...content presentation cycle. This is mostly a text based course and the teacher is there to keep the students on task. The response when asked a content question often is, "It is written write there in plain English. Can't these students read?" This method of cookie cutter design is the easiest to create. Digitize a text book's content and add the unit questions into the online testing system. Once recreated, revisions are few. (PowerPoint slides converted to html with a discussion board attached courses are not even at this level but that is another discussion.) This level of course will never develop into a level two. It is destined to always be a level one type course. It is missing the ownership of an instructor. The question about the student success that needs to be asked is:

Does the design of the course have any impact on the student's success rate?

Is the type of student who remains in the course the type of student who would be successful no matter what type of design was used?

Level Two Course

The characteristic that indicates that you have developed a level two course is the recreation of a successful face to face course online. It is based on a content expert’s approach to the teaching of curriculum. The design approach is “What would you do on day one in the F2F classroom?” Create that as closely as you can in the online environment. If you have introduced yourself, create an html file with an image of your face, and a file containing the content that you would tell the students in the F2F. Then ask yourself what is the second thing you do in the F2F, digitize that and so on. Success rate in this level of course is a little higher than level one because it tends to have a little bit more personality than the text book approach. This type of course is taught by the teacher who created it and has taken ownership for it and has a vested interest in seeing the student be successful. A certain level of confidence is needed by the teacher, as well as a certain level of reflection on their teaching style and lessons. This type of course is never finished and is being revised continuously and in time develops into the next level. It will become a level three course when there is some recognition by the teacher that F2F teaching strategies are not enough to ensure success for students online. The teacher's need for the course to succeed and amount of "student mothering" that occurs increases the success rate of the students. The resources used in this type of course are the teacher's ideas and the text book.

A good question to ask if you want to know if you have a level two course is: “Is it possible to take what you have developed back into the face to face classroom with very few alterations?”

In other words the technology and the internet did not influence the course development in any way.

Level Three Course

The indication that you have developed a level three course is when a level two course teacher recognizes the fact that they are teaching with the largest library in the world at their fingertips and have access to technology.

The general design of the course is still content presentation...test...content presentation cycle. This is a carry over from the face to face classroom. The teacher is still not willing to totally step away from the procedures that have worked so well for them in that F2F environment. The courses are still text based but the developer/teacher has started to see some of the cool things that technology can do and starts to see ways to integrate these into the content. These java applets, video, flash files are used to support the content text. These are attached outside the course content and are previewed and chosen by the instructor. The instructor has started to realize that there are resources on the internet created by someone else that can be used as course content and starts to explore methods of making this happen. As stated in the earlier post "the teacher starts to remove themselves from the stage and begins to recognize that the answer to the questions do not have to come from themselves or even from with the course presentation. The course starts to lean towards a student centered self discovery method of learning. The teacher asks the questions and facilitates or gives the students the tools and skills to find the answers. This type of course starts to lean toward learning the problem first and then answering it. Most courses before this were always having the answers first and then discovering the problem.

Level Four Course

The characteristic that indicates that you have developed a level four is when a level three course recognizes that the student might be able to choose the questions and the teacher assists them in using the technology and the internet to find the answers. This is a question first, answers second model. The teacher is just a facilitator whose role is to assist the student and teach them the skills they need to critically analyze vast stores of information on the net. The student and teacher work as a team toward covering the curriculum and tailoring the questions to achieve this. Honestly, I have never yet seen such a course but it is where we are going. There is too much information now to effectively teach it all. The teacher choosing to teach what they are interested in is a model that works for level 1,2 and 3 courses but a change that allows the students to decide to study what they are interested in might be positive change.

The proposal needs to clarify exactly what the implementation of a Learning Management System is trying to achieve. As shown above it can be used for a variety of different scenarios of which some are very simple and others very complex.

Posted by dcannell at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My Writing type...???

I typed the url from TADO into the Typeanlyzer and...

The analysis indicates that the author of TADO is of the type:



ISTP - The Mechanics



ISTP.gif

The independent and problem-solving type. He is especially attuned to the demands of the moment is masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. He generally prefer to think things out for himself and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanic enjoys working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in his work and personal life. He enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as a policeman and firefighter.

Analysis

This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.
brain.gif


Posted by dcannell at 10:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I have not been nominated yet :(

Now this edublog award I have not been nominated for...but it is an award that I won in 2004.

The 2008 Edublog Awards! The Edublog Awards

Posted by dcannell at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I was nominated.

I was nominated in two categories for the Canadian Blog Awards.

Teaching and Developing Online was nominated for the Best Professional/Career Blog.

DDC art gallery was nominated for the Best Photo/ Art Blog.

If you are so moved and feel like voting check it out.


Canadian Blog Awards

Posted by dcannell at 9:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 24, 2008

SCCS Summary

Here is a very long summary of the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School. It is eighty pages long so be prepared to dedicate sometime to the read.

Sccs Summary 2008

Posted by dcannell at 12:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2008

Re:post from March 7, 2005

Here I am three years later and with all my tracking tools, I still have no idea how many people are reading my words...but since I write this for my teaching staff at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School it matters not...but I thought I would ask the question again and see if anyone out there has found a better way to track people...and what the heck is an A-list blog...where is this list and how do I get on it?

Anyways here is the post from three years ago...feel free to comment.

A few things have been happening on my blog that makes me wonder ..."How many people are actually reading my blog?"

Every once in a while I write a postings that is a view through my cyber glasses. These postings are uniquely mine or in other words written by me. They are not the interesting sites that I posted to the blog that I find as I am surfing around the net. These are "posting through my cyber glasses" and as they appear on other people's blogs or on websites it makes me wonder how many people are actually seeing the material posted to my blog.

I will clarify, I posted a site the other day that I found on a Chinese blog and tried to translate it into English. It caught my eye because my name appeared in it. In the posting to my blog I requested some help in translating the entry. Within three hours I got a response back and a second response less than half hour after that. I loved it, but it also got me to thinking.

According to my hit counter on my site, I get about 14 hits a day, the chances of someone seeing the posting and commenting on it within four hours are very slim when you only have about 14 hits on the site a day. The chance that two of those 14 would speak chinese and comment are slim. Am I way off on the number of people who are reading the blog? Maybe my hit counter is no good? Maybe RSS feeds account for more hit on the site than I know?

There was a lot of talk about "A-List" blogs a few weeks ago and it got me to thinking...

I have no idea how many people are actually reading my blog.

I am looking for suggestions on how to figure out this question and how to increase the readership. If the RSS feeds are the most popular way people are reading my blog, how do I go about capitalizing on this fact?

My cyber glasses need some help in seeing.

Posted by dcannell at 4:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Student survey ... Part 2

Survey results from the preparation course at Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School...

Should every student have to take a course from the cyber school to graduate from our school division?




answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 158 14.4%
No 935 85.3%

Is the cyber school's method of course delivery better preparing students than face to face schools methods?




answer 1092 respondspercent
Yes 573 52.3%
No 519 47.4%

Will the fact that you took a cyber school course better prepare you for university?




answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 805 73.4%
No 288 26.3%

Do you think a text book is necessary for a cyber school course?




answer 1089 respondspercent
Yes 220 20.1%
No 869 79.3%

Should the students have to take a their final exam face to face for a cyber school course?




answer 1090 respondspercent
Yes 164 15.0%
No 926 84.5%

Should students be charged an administration fee for cyber school?




answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 55 5.0%
No 1038 94.7%

Is the cyber school better for_______students?





answer1093 respondspercent
Advanced 416 38.0%
average 578 52.7%
below average 99 9.0%

Should the cyber school have a dress code?




answer 1092 respondspercent
Yes 47 4.3%
No 1045 95.3%

Did the cyber school website answer your questions?




answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 972 88.7%
No 121 11.0%

Have you ever been a victim of a cyber bully?




answer 1092 respondspercent
Yes 111 10.1%
No 981 89.5%

Are you more computer literate than your parents?




answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 923 84.2%
No 170 15.5%

Should cyber instructors post their office hours?



Should there be teacher-parent interviews for cyber courses?

answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 873 79.7%
No 220 20.1%


Should the cyber school have a year book?

answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 197 18.0%
No 896 81.8%


Do you have your own cel phone?

answer 1091 respondspercent
Yes 262 23.9%
No 829 75.6%


Do you text message?

answer 1092 respondspercent
Yes 798 72.8%
No 294 26.8%


answer 1089 respondspercent
Yes 762 69.5%
No 327 29.8%
Posted by dcannell at 8:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 17, 2008

Student survey Part one

Survey results from the preparation course at Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School...

Are you enrolled in a face to face school?




answer 1091 respondspercent
Yes 870 79.4%
No 221 20.2%

Have you already completed 4 years of high school?




answer 1092 respondspercent
Yes 178 16.2%
No 914 83.4%

Do you have internet at home?




answer 1092 respondspercent
Yes 1048 95.6%
No 44 4.0%

Do you spend 5+ hours a day on the internet?




answer 1092 respondspercent
Yes 225 20.5%
No 867 79.1%

Have you been in a cyber school course before?




answer 1092 respondspercent
Yes 326 29.7%
No 766 69.9%

Would you take a second cyber school course?




answer 1091 respondspercent
Yes 893 81.5%
No 198 18.1%

Do you think your marks in cyber school will be higher than in face to face?




answer 1091 respondspercent
Yes 778 71.0%
No 313 28.6%

Would you have take cyber school if there was any other way to do it?




answer 1090 respondspercent
Yes 760 69.3%
No 330 30.1%

Do you think it is easier to cheat in cyber than in face to face school?




answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 329 30.0%
No 764 69.7%

Have you ever cheated in a face to face course?




answer 1092 respondspercent
Yes 142 13.0%
No 839 76.6%

Have you ever cheated in a cyber school course?




answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 28 2.6%
No 1017 92.8%

Do you think the cyber school 150 days system is better than a semester system




answer 1093 respondspercent
Yes 931 84.9%
No 162 14.8%

Posted by dcannell at 12:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 16, 2008

Cloud Computing

I think this is the next wave in computing and we may as well join in before it gets to far down the path.


Cloud computing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted by dcannell at 2:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 13, 2008

My Space numbers

If my space was a country it would be the 8th largest in the world. (Between Russia and Nigeria) Are we comfortable with our students growing up in a country with no adults.

My Space stats

Over 70 yrs old .................................................................3.20%
51-70 yrs old......................................................................0.48%
41-50 yrs old.......................................................................0.48%
31-40 yrs old......................................................................1.34%
22-30 yrs old......................................................................8.49%
18-21 yrs old......................................................................22.80%
14-17 yrs old......................................................................60.01%

Tim Hawes at the ECOO conference says "This is a concern."

Posted by dcannell at 11:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 3, 2008

Cyber Tracker Staff Testimonials

8. Staff Testimonials

Cyber Tracker brings to my fingertips and overview of the communications being done within my cyber school. At any given time, I can check on a student’s progress and view the communication that has been made between the instructor and the students. By using the program it places all communications within one area making it easy to store and find hence giving me a bird’s eye view of my school.

Darren Cannell – Administrator


The Cyber Tracker saves me a lot of work. The steps I no longer do:

1. Forward registration to teacher
2. Update WebCT grade book with html code where the teacher clicks on "email" and has their email open up with the student and parental emails included.
3. Add start dates and end dates for students in WebCT grade book.
4. Update the Global calendar with the student's start date, 2 week warning to midterm, midterm, 2 week warning to final, and final dates by placing name and dates in excel and uploading the excel file into WebCT.

If there were ever changes in start dates for whatever reason, or email addresses etc., I would have to change it in the global calendar and/or teacher grade book. This was a lot of work, especially when a student drops because all dates had to be searched in the global calendar and removed one by one, there was no way to remove more than one date entry at a time. This actually, for the most part, didn't get done due to time constraints.

The MAT program has always been updated for every student; this is not an added step for me. So now, if there are ever changes in student information, updates are only done in one program and all necessary information is pulled over from that data into the Cyber Tracker.

In my estimation this saves me a minimum of 2 minutes per student, and upwards of 5 minutes for changes in global calendar entries.

Sandra Climenhaga – SCCS On-line Registrar

Cyber tracker has been a life saver with regards to keeping on top of my students' progress in my cyber school class. Not only does it make tracking student progress easier for the teacher, but by increasing communication with the students, it enables them to be more successful in the course.

The potential of cyber tracker is also evident . . . continuing to enhance this important tool will further the way we communicate with students, assess their learning, and ensure student success.

The time saved tracking students with Cyber Tracker has allowed me to focus my energy on other important tasks like assisting them with the course material and further developing the course.

Krista Hayes – SCCS Instructor

Previously I have found the job of tracking, contacting, and administering 60 students in two online classrooms to be a daunting and time consuming task. Research has shown that the contact we establish with online students is one of the key factors in success. With Cyber Tracker I am able to get a quick and reliable picture of my student’s online activities, and manage the communication between myself, the student, and their parents or guardians. I have found that it saves me time, and improves my contact with all students, leading to greater success in both of my online courses.

Todd Paslawski – SCCS Instructor


I am absolutely elated at Cyber tracker’s efficiency.

It saves me time and paperwork. At a touch of a button I can see all students’ referrals from least to most current. I can click on another button and see all correspondences under each student’s individual files which tells me whether I need to send an Activity letter, an RTD (required to drop) form, a call home or simply DROP them from the course. Every detail is compiled on that ONE file (class, registration information, correspondences, marks, days active or inactive etc.) which means no more searching for that information in different files. It cuts my time in half. When talking to parents on the phone the information is at my fingertips…no need to keep them on the phone searching data.

Cyber tracker organizes the information for us making our jobs easier and more efficient as well as saves paper.

Yvette Forcier
School Counselor

Posted by dcannell at 9:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 2, 2008

Mentoring K-12 students...live where they live.

Furdyk (2007) states “teachers need to exist in the spaces the students exist, understand their culture. You have no credibility if you are not where they are” (taken from a keynote). The information age allows the students the opportunity to “create, consume, remix and share material with each other” as described by Rainie (2006, ¶ 3).
To effectively mentor K-12 students an educator needs to incorporate the authentic learning characteristics of real-world relevance: The social networking tools that have come with Web2.0 bring a completely different set of tools into the hands of the digital natives. The popularity of these tools has surprised and frightened the ‘Digital Immigrants’ to the state where most schools virtual or face to face, rather than embracing these tools, have banned them. The banning of facebook, instant messaging, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, myspace, social bookmarking, podcasts, youtube, and flicker, just to mention a few, has made a huge statement that education systems are not willing to join the ‘Digital Natives’ in their world. Educators who try to use the web2.0 tool will create a learning environment and community which will reflect the reality of the students living in the information age. A couple of high school student’s quote clarifies how they feel about the current educational system. “We have learned to 'play school'. “We study the right facts the night before the test so we achieve a passing grade and thus become a successful student." “It’s not attention deficit – I’m just not listening” (Ferriter, 2007 ¶ 3)!
Educators current approach in face to face schools have resulted in a dropout rate of nine point four percent (2005) and only twenty-eight percent of 12th grade high school students believe that school work is meaningful. Twenty one percent believe that their courses are interesting and a mere thirty-nine percent believe that school work will have any bearing on their success in later life. (Wirt, Choy, Gerald, Provasnik, Rooney and Watanabe, 2002 p. 20) Students today according to Gardner (1983) are “interpersonal, logical, spacial, intrapersonal, musical, linguistic, naturalist and Bodily-kinisthetic learners”(p. 6). However Prensky (2001) proposes that “Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach” (¶ 1). A couple of high school student’s quote clarifies how they feel about the current educational system. “We have learned to 'play school'. “We study the right facts the night before the test so we achieve a passing grade and thus become a successful student." “It’s not attention deficit – I’m just not listening” (Ferriter, 2007 ¶ 3)! Online education should not mimic face to face education it needs to create a new educational approach in which the educator mentors the behavior of the wired students.

Reference
Ferriter, W. (2007, May 26). A Teacher's Journal: Powering Down for School. Retrieved February 12, 2008, from Morning Announcements: News and Notes about Your School: http://www.wcpss.net/announcements/archives/2007/05/a_teachers_jour_50.html
Furdyk, K. (2007). Living, Learning and Contributing as a Life Long Journey. Distributed Learning in the 21st Century Conference. Edmonton Alberta: Alberta Learning.
Garder, H. (2003, April 21). Multiple Intelligences After Twenty Years. Retrieved February 4, 2008, from Howard Gardner Website: http://www.pz.harvard.edu/PIs/HG_MI_after_20_years.pdf
Prensky, M. (2001, October). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from www.marcprensky.com: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
Rainie, L. (2005, November 4). Us youth use internet to create. Retrieved February 2, 2008, from BBC news: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4403574.stm
Wirt, J., Choy, S., Gerald, D., Provasnik, S., Rooney, P., & Watanabe, S. (2002, July 2). The Condition of Education 2002. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from National Center for Education Statistics: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/2002025.pdf

Posted by dcannell at 1:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 31, 2008

Continuous Improvement Framework

The October CIF was to get the staff to embrace a web 2.0 tool called zune.network.

It is the end of the month and some of our cyber school staff are not members of the zune network yet.

A quote comes to mind...I believe this completely...so it concerns me that the online teachers who are leaders in our system are not embracing the Web2.0 tools. (if you are not aware of what web2.0 tools are, do some surfing)

Furdyk (2007) states “teachers need to exist in the spaces the students exist, understand their culture. You have no credibility if you are not where they are” (taken from a keynote).

Our students send a large portion of their online time in web2.0 tools, please tell me you are not one of those teachers who are not concerned about being able to relate to their students. You should be surfing the web, so you know what it offers, you should know what the students are doing. Your commitment to online education is great but being a cyber school teacher means more than just logging into webct and cyber tracker. You need to join the internet, surf kids surf. Invite the web into your course and in turn meet the students where they live.

And invite me as a friend in the zune network.

Geeks unite...become web2.0 versed...oh and don't forget to teach.

Posted by dcannell at 2:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 28, 2008

Introducing a new word "dalking"

Dalking

I would like to introduce a new word into the english language. It will cover any form of digital talking...email, discussion board, video conferencing etc.

I find myself wanting to say in email as an example I will talk to you, write to you, email you in the morning...would it not be better to have one word...

Dalk to you later


It was nice Dalking to you


I Dalked to you last week about this


Spead this word through the blogosphere and lets see if it will have wings and catch on...anyways thanks for letting me dalk.

Posted by dcannell at 12:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCCS International presentation day

Today is international presentation day. During the year we have lots of visitors coming by the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School for tours and to ask us questions about the program. Today just happens to be an extra busy day. We have a team us down in Phoenix United States presenting at a conference and a team of visitors from Australia coming to the pod in Saskatoon. It will be interesting to compare the questions from the two groups to see if there are any geographical differences.

Yippeee for international presentation day.

Posted by dcannell at 9:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2008

Add yourself to the map above.

This is a good chance to advertise you blog on my map. The map is a new one, I liked the way it looks and adjusts to the width of the page. So, if you are a TADO reader or you have a blog...add it to the map above and because it is a new map...you will stand out.

Let us populate this new map...I will have to see if I can find a way to carry over all the others from my old map...I should be able to do that...hmmm

Oh well another job for the morning.

Posted by dcannell at 2:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 22, 2008

Ok, Bill Gates when you read this...

Bill, when you read this message, I am very interested in being part of this think tank idea of yours. I can be reached at any time through this blog or send me an email at: Dcannell@gscs.sk.ca

All you bloggers out there unite... If have a blog, help me out here and post this to your blog. You know, just in case Bill doesn't read this. Like that will happen, I know he reads it all the time. Bill, I am your Canadian man. I mean that in purely a work way, I have great ideas, my wife say so... so you know it must be true.

Well, thats my resume, give me a call.

Bill Gates' new venture: A think tank? | Beyond Binary - A blog by Ina Fried - CNET News

Posted by dcannell at 5:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The most terrifying video You'll ever see

Posted by dcannell at 1:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2008

New map banner

I have decided to add a new map banner. If you are a frequent visitor to TADO add yourself to the map. Add your blog to the map. I would just like to get a better feel of the community that reads TADO... Maybe this will be the way.

And so the trail and error system continues.

Plus it looks lame with only my face scrolling across the bottom, that we need to change.

In advance thanks for adding your name.

D. Cannell

Posted by dcannell at 10:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Registrar Tech Question 12

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.


Registrar: 'Okay Colin, let's press the 'control' and 'escape' keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter 'P' to bring up the 'Program Manager.'
Student: I don't have a 'P'.
Registrar: On your keyboard, Colin.
Student What do you mean?
Registrar: 'P'.....on your keyboard, Colin.
Student: I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT!!

Posted by dcannell at 10:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 20, 2008

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 20 (Final)

It might not fly again...

bad_day_flying.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 2:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Registrar Tech Question 11

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.


A student called the Registrar with a problem with her printer.
Registrar: Are you running it under windows?
Student: 'No, my desk is next to the door, but that is a good point. My brother in his room has his computer under a window, and his printer is working fine.'

Posted by dcannell at 2:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 19, 2008

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 19

Another excellent parking spot.

bad_day_collision.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Registrar Tech Question 10

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.

Registrar: How may I help you?
Student: I'm writing my first e-mail.
Registrar: OK, and what seems to be the problem?
Student: Well, I have the letter 'a' in the address, but how do I get the circle around it?

Posted by dcannell at 1:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 18, 2008

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 18

Everyone should own a boat.

bad_day_towing_boat.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Registrar Tech Question 9


My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.

Registrar: What anti-virus program do you use?
Student: Netscape.
Registrar: That's not an anti-virus program.
Student: Oh, sorry...Internet Explorer.

Posted by dcannell at 9:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 17, 2008

Children always welcome at SCCS

We love having people drop by Cyber School as long as they follow a few simple rules.

144.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 17

Missing snow plow found... another poor parking job.

bad_day_plowing_snow.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 16, 2008

The eyeballing game

Interesting...I scored 6.28 on my first try...will do it again.

The eyeballing game

Posted by dcannell at 1:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 16

Bad day to be towing on the ice road.

bad_day_stuck.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 15, 2008

Spooky, motion where there is none.

a-trippy-illusion-7446.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 2:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 15

Bad parking spot

bad_day_SUV.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 2:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 14, 2008

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 14

bad-day-definately-2839.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Snow is on the way...

Winter is on the way but Canadian's welcome it.

Beer-Fridge-4070.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This week we are changing our work stations...

cubical2_mod.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Registrar Tech Question 8

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.

Student: I can't get on the Internet.
Registrar: Are you sure you used the right password?
Student: Yes, I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.
Registrar: Can you tell me what the password was?
Student: Five stars.

Posted by dcannell at 9:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 13, 2008

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 13

bad_day_excavating.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Registrar Tech Question 6

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.


Student: My keyboard is not working anymore.
Registrar: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer?
Student: No. I can't get behind the computer.
Registrar: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.
Student: OK!
Registrar: Did the keyboard come with you?
Student: Yes.
Registrar: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard?
Student: Yes, there's another one here. Ah...that one does work...

Posted by dcannell at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 12, 2008

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 12

bad_day_boating.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Registrar Tech Question 6

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.

Student: I have problems printing in red...
Registrar: Do you have a colour printer?
Student: Aaaah....... ......... ...thank you.

Posted by dcannell at 12:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2008

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 11

Bad day for the deer or the driver?

badday3.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 10, 2008

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 10

badday3.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 9, 2008

When you think your day is bad ... Part 10

Today we almost filled our harddrive...too many courses...too many files...but we have not been run over.

bad_day2.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 2:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Take a minute and watch this video

This is one cute little bear...very calming video.

Posted by dcannell at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 7, 2008

Registrar Tech Question 5

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.

Student: Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Every time I try, it says 'Can't find printer'. I've even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can't find it...

Posted by dcannell at 1:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your day is bad ... Part 9

I love dogs but this one would be for sale.


bad_day.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 6, 2008

My parenting skills.

pic00153_230206_083252.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This made me laugh.

funny_emotion_mod.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Registrar Tech Question 4

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.


Registrar: Good day. How may I help you?
Male student: Hello... I can't print.
Registrar: Would you click on 'start' for me and.
Student: Listen lady; don't start getting technical on me! I'm not Bill Gates.

Posted by dcannell at 9:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your day is bad ...Part 8

Here is why sometimes it is not a good idea to lead.


ooops.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 3, 2008

Registrar tech Question 3

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.


Registrar: Click on the 'my computer' icon on to the left of the screen.
Student: Your left or my left?

Posted by dcannell at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your day is bad ...Part 7

airshock.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TADO Map

It is so cool to have people add their name to the map, it is nice to see the world wide readership. Thanks to all who added their pin to my map.

Posted by dcannell at 2:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 2, 2008

Registrar tech Question 2

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.

Student: Hi, this is Maureen. I can't get my diskette out.
Registrar: Have you tried pushing the Button?
Student: Yes, sure, it's really stuck.
Registrar: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note.
Student: No , wait a minute... I hadn't inserted it yet... it's still on my desk... Sorry....

Posted by dcannell at 6:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your day is bad ...Part 6

ripcord.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 6:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 1, 2008

Registrar tech ... question one

My registrar's answer the phones at the cyber school and this will be a series of questions that they deal with ... it explains their mood somedays.

Registrar: What kind of computer do you have?

Student: A white one...

Posted by dcannell at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your day is bad ...Part 5

storm.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2008

The Zune network...kinda cool

Posted by dcannell at 4:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your day is bad ... Part 4

fishing.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2008

First Pie Chart I understand...

funny_pie_chart.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When you think your Day is Bad ... Part 3

nose.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2008

When you think your day is bad ... Part 2

bomb.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2008

When you think your day is bad... Part 1

polar.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 5:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2008

Typing test results.

My view of typing test results are...

If I am fast...well then yahooo....

If I am slow...it is not how fast you type it is what you type...

You can quote me on that.

Posted by dcannell at 2:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 17, 2008

Internet/Social Networking Safety

Social Networking is a valuable tool for teaching our digital learners. By shifting the focus from banning social networking sites to teaching students how to interact safely, we can use this tool effectively in our digital classrooms. Here are some sites that have great resources for teachers regarding Internet and social networking safety.


Http://www.TeacherTube.com
Http://www.cybertip.ca
Http://www.kidsintheknow.ca
Http://www.media-awareness.ca
Http://www.badguypatrol.ca
Http://safety.sympatico.msn.ca
Http://www.onlinesafetytoolkit.com
Http://www.elmer.ca
Http://www.opp.ca
Http://onlinesafetytips.blogspot.com/

Taken from Education Computing Organization of Ontario

Posted by dcannell at 3:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

THE SPOILED UNDER-30 CROWD!!!

If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears
With their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning

... Uphill...

BOTH ways

Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up,
There was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of Thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my
Childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you
Don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, We had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen! ...Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and messed it all up!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video Games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your Imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or
Screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting
Harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only m-net And there was no on screen menu and no remote control! You had to use a Little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the Channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you Hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rats!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that! If we wanted Popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy.
You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!


Posted by dcannell at 1:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Activity for the day.

time.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 5, 2008

Ten Online Teacher Compentencies

Yearly, the Cyber School hires four new teachers and, like the face to face schools, we try to hire the most competent teachers for the positions. The online teacher's competencies differ only slightly from the face to face environment. It is well known that finding these super humans who have the personality, dedication and skills to teach is a daunting task because they are not a dime a dozen. However, it is necessary to set the bar high because in any classroom, be it online or face to face, the “highly qualified and competent teacher is the most important resource”. (Department of Education and Science, 2005 p.1)
The most critical ten competencies in order of importance for an online instructor are as follows:
1.) Humour
2.) Lifelong learners
3.) Guide on the side
4.) Worldly
5.) With-it-ness
6.) Adaptability
7.) Computer Skills
8.) Subject level mastery and confidence
9.) Team-oriented philosophy
10.) Recognized leadership in current school setting
The top four, after humour, were chosen because; lifelong learner speaks to the teacher’s commitment to personal learning, guide on the side relates to the teaching style. Worldly speaks to the teacher’s ability to relate to the global nature of their students and the fourth is with-it-ness, which applies to a mastery of all competencies and speaks to a teacher’s ability to cope and function in the stressful environment we call the classroom of the twenty first century.
The top competency is humour. One's ability to see humour in situations, and in oneself makes it much easier to handle this stressful environment. "A good teacher must be flexible, have a good sense of humour and be open enough to admit they make mistakes too. Don't be afraid to laugh and have a good time" (Baird, 2002 ¶ 5). The online teacher spends a large amount of time sitting and being online which is not conducive to good health. Laughter has been shown to be good medicine and will assist one to conquer the challenges that online teaching has been known to cause. Experts, according to Pawlik-Kienlen (2008) state that "laughter increases endorphins, strengthens your immune system, and sends extra oxygen coursing through your veins" (¶ 1). This is all good but the biggest benefit of humor is the ability to laugh at oneself.
In comparison to the traditional form of education online education is a child. This child is trying to be accepted by a threatened adult, the traditional form of education. Most of the research being done on the child is done by the adult who has been unchanged for close to two hundred years and is worried about its autonomy within its ivory towers. Education Policy Institute (1998) states “Distance learning has been around for more than a century. Until recent years, however, it was comprised almost entirely of traditional correspondence courses which typically offered low-cost education to working people” (¶ 2). With the advent of computers and the dawn of the information age, distance education has moved into the mainstream and this alternative mode of education is beginning to influence the education status quo. Society is ready for a change to education but the stakeholders are not so willing to let go of a system that has served us well for two plus centuries. Humour is necessary for an online teacher to deal with this pressure which is placed upon them by their face to face counterparts.
Creating a lifelong learner is the new goal of twenty first century education and can only be achieved by an educator who shares the lifelong learner characteristic. Bearisto (2000) states "we must all develop the aptitudes and dispositions of lifelong learning if we are to thrive in our dynamic and pluralistic age" (p. 1). He further explains that being a lifelong learner will allow one “to thrive as a knowledge worker who surfs the wave of change in our information age" (p. 6). According to Beristo (2000) most face to face classroom presentation styles tend to reflect "teaching as telling and listening as learning, is very much like training" (p. 11). A teacher, as a lifelong learner, must be "committed to personal and professional development and innovation to maintain professionalism and currency for self and his community" (Institute of Technical Education, 2007 ¶ 1). This commitment allows the teacher to handle the learning curve necessary to becoming a good online educator as well as creating an environment which will foster lifelong learning in the students. This environment will allow the students to move from students to learners. Anderson (2007) clarifies by stating "students are individuals who get taught. But learners are more actively involved in the learning process. Learners have active curiosities and take initiative" (¶ 5).
The third competency which will be looked for in the cyber teacher is a guide on the side. Teaching online is akin to teaching in the largest library in the world. The internet is just a click of the mouse away. The sage on the stage pales next to this resource. It allows teachers to remove themselves from being the focus of the education and allows the students (learners) to be the center of the process. According to King (1993) it allows learners to actively participate in thinking and discussing ideas while making mean¬ing for themselves. (¶ 4) McKenzie (1998) states “student-centered learning can be time-consuming and messy, efficiency will sometimes argue for the Sage"(¶ 13). The face to face environment is more suited to this formal authoritarian teaching style. The focus is on the content. "The style is generally teacher-centered, where the teacher feels responsible for providing and controlling the flow of the content”. (Stein, Steeves, and Smith-Mitsuhashi, 2002 ¶ 1) The online method of course content delivery is perfectly suited to allow the instructor to be more of a guide. The content, instruction and assignments are delivered via the computer so the teacher’s role is naturally more of a guide. “The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.” (Bulwer-Lytton, 2007 ¶ 4) and Carruthers (2007) further defines a teacher as "one who makes himself progressively unnecessary" (¶ 5)

Competency four speaks to a teacher's need to be worldly. Awareness of the global dimension needed to prepare students for the world in which they live. This type of education is sometimes referred to as citizenship education. The Center for Intercultural Education and International Understanding (1998) further clarifies it as "Citizenship education with a global perspective relates to a global trend toward the redefinition of relationships amongst citizens and also of relationships between citizens, the community and the State" (p.8) and "School must reinforce social cohesion within a pluralist society. It must work to define common values based on common goals and prepare students to exercise their citizenship" (p. 1). Kirkwood (2001) describes globally educated people as "those who possess high-tech skills, broad interdisciplinary knowledge about the contemporary world, and adaptability, flexibility, and world mindedness to participate effectively in the globalized world" (p. 11). "Therefore, the teacher needs to strive for and possess the above characteristics in order to validate her/himself as an educated person of the 21st century" (Burnouf, 2004 ¶ 4).
The fifth competency is 'with-it-ness', which is a term created by Kounin to describe the teacher's awareness of what is going on in all parts of the classroom at all times. We commonly refer to this as 'having eyes in the back of the head.' “(Wuest, 1999 ¶ 4) Although the term is normally used in reference to a face to face classroom it can also be referred to the online environment. With-it-ness is something that can be learned but being able to pick up the signs of a student in need will assist the teacher in being a guide on the side. Luvic (2001) states "develop...with-it-ness....Be aware of everything that is going on in the classroom, at all times, monitoring students for signs of restlessness, frustration, anxiety, and off-task behaviours. Be ready to reassign individual learners to different activities as the situation warrants" (p.47).
The sixth and seventh competencies of online teachers are adaptability and computer skills. Online education uses technology, which is changing at a rate that is hard to follow and even harder to master. The online teacher, according to Prensky, (2001) is referred to as a digital immigrant who differs from their digital native students. The social networking tools that have come with Web2.0 bring a completely different set of tools into the hands of the digital natives. The popularity of these tools has surprised and frightened the ‘Digital Immigrants’ to the state where most schools, rather than embracing these tools, have banned them. The banning of facebook, instant messaging, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, myspace, social bookmarking, podcasts, youtube, and flicker, just to mention a few , has made a huge statement that education systems are not willing to join the ‘Digital Natives’ in their world. We could use the web2.0 tools to help educate students. Hokanson (2007) states “if we teach it and believe in the power of education, technology is our friend. Ignorance is our enemy. Instead we should fear more the releasing of millions of ignorant students into the shark infested waters of the internet. They are but guppies in an ocean full of sharks. “
‘Digital Immigrant’ teachers can continue to think that it is possible with a dated system of education to compete within the four walls of our face to face school with the information age which is a reality to the “Digital Natives”. An information age with connected students having instant information, communication, multimedia and entertainment and social networking tools is a new era that no teacher can realistically compete with using the current education approaches. In the past, technology has been used as a supplement to education. As teachers get more comfortable with technology it becomes a support for education but until it becomes integrated with education we will not be preparing the students for their world. Online teachers need to connect to their students and connect them to their world.
Confidence and subject level mastery is the eighth competency of an online teacher. In time a failure within the Cyber School, or in a face to face school, will not be looked at as a failure of the system or the educator. It is okay to allow a student the flexibility to fail. A student failing is sometimes the best education that person can receive. When a student fails within a course the instructor tends to see that as a failure in his or her ability as an educator or in the system as a whole. Many of the students that are referred from the face to face school to the Cyber School are the students who have not been successful in the face to face learning environment. A percentage of those referrals find the online environment is a better match for their learning style and excel. However, some of those referred students are not successful online for the same reasons they were not successful in the face to face. They are not taking ownership for their education. A student's failure sparks many discussions. As educators, our goal is to do everything we can to make a student successful. Keeping this in mind, it is possible that the challenges we have in K-12 education have nothing to do with the delivery system. Maybe it has to do with our lack of willingness to let students fail. Perhaps we need to make the students more responsible for themselves. As a student gets closer to grade 12 this responsibility increases. Education should be viewed as a privilege rather than a right. The time has come when we should let the students decide how and when they access this privilege. That does not in any way mean that good teachers, administrators and schools do not do everything they can to assist students when they ask. A percentage of an online teacher's time is spent trying to assist the students who never asked or do not want the help. Online schooling, home schooling and face to face schooling are all options for today's student. This new environment of options might mean we can allow the student to meet education on their terms, returning the responsibility for a student's education back to the student. It can allow them to pick and choose how and what they want; it can allow them to tailor their consumption of education. We, as educators, can go back to offering the education to those who want it and spend less time forcing it upon those who do not. Online teachers need to be confident in their ability to teach their subject matter and in their ability as a teacher. This confidence will go a long way to them being able to make the necessary distinction between a student's failure and their own failure.
The ninth competency is a team-oriented philosophy towards the online teaching and the online school. Rosenberg (2000) in Table 9.1 (p.242-243) compares a Traditional View to a new E-Learning Business Model and explains the organizational requirements needed for e-learning. The first change is making sure that all the parties involved realize that change is actually necessary. E-Learning does have some history, although brief. A good strategy for one to follow before starting is to research the organizations who have ventured down this path before. One can learn from others’ failures and successes. Take the best of each and make them fit your specific demographics, technical infrastructures, personnel and money available. After the research, it is necessary to get all vested parties to create a common shared vision.
Allowing the parties to be part of the vision will empower the people involved to also become part of the process, letting e-learning be all it can be and then building the organizational supports for it to function. A wise man once said that the administration’s job is to support and adapt to the needs of the school, teachers and students and in the e-learning model it definitely applies. It is essential to have faith in the team that is given the task of developing the model. The online teacher needs to feel he/she is part of the decision making team. It is necessary to have a group of people who will try to predict the problems and solve them as they come up. If most of your planning and decision making is governed by making sure that the impact will not be too great if the project fails, then you are planning for failure. You must plan for success and create an environment which allows the online teacher to try new approaches. The first run will not be perfect but it will get better because of empowered people. On-line teaching is very similar to being a first year teacher. Mistakes will be made and the teachers will learn from them and improve their skills. But they must be given the freedom to make those mistakes and learn from them.
The tenth competency is a recognized leadership in the online teacher's current face to face setting. This leadership will go a long ways in the "selling" of online education as a viable alternative to face to face education. The acceptance of online K-12 education needs to be very important to the online teacher. A portion of their day will be spent educating adults, teachers, parents, and administration about online education. Many days they will feel more like a salesman than an educator. Online education, more than any educational movement, has been deemed as a threat to tradition by so many who are ignorant of all that it entails. The online education is unique in the fact that it is being evaluated by adults who have no point of reference because, unlike the students, they have not been raised in the information era. This accounts for the gap between the differences in the acceptance that is being seen between adults and students. The selling of online education to the students has been much easier than it has been to the adults.
The adult naysayers of online education in the past have out rightly denied the fact that it was possible to use something other than face to face to educate students. Acceptability has started to grow as online education becomes more common. It is almost to the stage where most teachers are willing to concede that some students can be educated using the internet as a vehicle.
Less and less English teachers are stating that it is possible to teach every other subject in an online environment, but not English! The explanation given is that English is different; it needs to have the teachers in the face to face environment to do a good job. English teachers were chosen only as an example. English can be replaced with any other subject. To students, an online course in one's schedule is not a novelty, it is just another option. We are entering a time where a mixture of face to face and e-learning in a student's high school career will be the norm.
This list of ten competencies is by no means a complete list. Many would place typing speed in the top ten, or passion or enthusiasm or flexibility. The list goes on and on. A good competent online teacher is a rare person, but they are out there.
As the administer of the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School a big part of my job is to prepare teachers for their venture into online teaching. Part of our new teacher programs is a website which includes essential knowledge, skills, attitudes and advice for online teachers.
This website can be seen at:
http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/bestpractice/ELT7004/index.htm

References
Anderson, E. (2007). Becoming Your Own Best Teacher and Learner. Retrieved December 6, 2007, from Baylor University: http://www.baylor.edu/strengths/index.php?id=27352
Baird, D. C. (2002, April 10). 10 Tips for Beginning Teachers. Retrieved September 3, 2008, from London District Catholic School: http://www.ldcsb.on.ca/schools/cfe/elearning/gifted/pdf/10%20tips%20for%20Teachers.pdf
Beairsto, B. (2000). What Does it Take to Be a Lifelong Learner? Retrieved December 8, 2007, from School District No. 38 (Richmond): http://public.sd38.bc.ca/~bbeairsto/Documents/LifelongLearning.pdf
Bulwer- Lytton, E., & Carruthers, T. (2007, October 17). Great Teachers Become Unnecessary? Retrieved December 9, 2007, from Thought for the Day: http://kirkweisler.com/t4d/2007/10/16/great-teachers-become-unnecessary/
Burnouf, L. (2004, Spring). Retrieved December 10, 2007, from Canadian Social Studies: http://www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css/Css_38_3/ARburnouf_global_awareness_perspectives.htm
Department of Education and Science. (2005, December 20). Highly qualified and competent teachers are the most important resource in primary education . Retrieved December 11, 2007, from Beginning to Teach: Newly Qualified Teachers in Irish Primary Schools: http://www.education.ie/robots/view.jsp?pcategory=10861&language=EN&ecategory=40272&link=link001&doc=29848
Education Policy Institute. (1998, March). Distance Learning Moves into the Mainstream. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Education Exchange: http://www.educationpolicy.org/newsletter/EEMar98.htm
Hokanson, K. (2007). The Connected Classroom Wikispaces. Retrieved September 3, 2008, from The Connected Classroom: http://theconnectedclassroom.wikispaces.com/
Institute of Technical Education. (2007, May 7). Teacher as Lifelong Learner. Retrieved December 7, 2007, from ITE Teacher Award: http://edt.ite.edu.sg/ed/awards/lifelearner.htm
King, A. (1993). From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side. Retrieved December 6, 2007, from Questia: College Teaching Journal: http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=HdjQmYcvGjq6QQrKcDFQDxT0p22KKYx1JRTlLjLsnj5fy5bRvFQT!-1584350773?docId=94305197
Kirkwood, T. (2001). Our global age requires global education: Clarifying definitional . Social Studies , pp. 1-16.
Lukiv, D. (2001). Motivation from a Humanistic Point of View . Retrieved December 9, 2007, from The Master Teacher: http://www.track0.com/lukiv/masterteacher/humanistic.html
McKenzie, J. (1998, March). How are The Students Engaged? Retrieved December 9, 2007, from From Now On: The Educational Technology Journal: http://fno.org/mar98/flotilla2.html
Pawlik-Kienlen, L. (2008, September). Laughter is Good Medicine. Retrieved September 3, 2008, from Reader's Digest.ca: http://www.readersdigest.ca/health/cms/xcms/laughter-is-good-medicine_637_a.html
Prensky, M. (2001, October). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from On the Horizon: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
Rosenberg, M. (2001). E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Stein, J., Steeves, L., & Smith-Mitsuhashi, C. (2002, March 20). Retrieved December 8, 2007, from Online Teaching: Have You Got What It Takes?: http://members.shaw.ca/mdde615/tchstycats.htm#formal
The Centre for Intercultural Education and International Understanding. (1998, October). Citizenship Education with a Global Perspective . Retrieved December 9, 2007, from The Centre for Intercultural Education and International Understanding: http://www.csdm.qc.ca/CEE/ceici/pdf/cadrce.pdf
Wuest, D. (1999, April). Are you with it? Retrieved December 7, 2007, from PE Central: http://www.pecentral.org/climate/april99article.html

Posted by dcannell at 11:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 4, 2008

SCCS Mentoring Program

Thanks to Kelli Boklaschuk who was delegated to compile this write up on SCCS. She did an excellent job.

1. Does your school have a formal teacher mentoring program?
The Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School provides both a formal and informal mentoring program for immediate SCCS staff as well as to the entire school division.
The informal mentoring program at the Cyber School itself is conducted via an online Staff Learning Community housed in a secure learning management system. In this on-line learning community staff are given a teacher/developer manual filled with tutorials, staff created templates, and useful advice. The staff meetings minutes are also housed in the learning community as well as software tutorials and other non-locally developed resources for staff. Staff share insights, troubleshooting techniques and other information in the on-line discussion area. Surveys are quizzes are also used in the Learning Community as way to maintain communication and receive feedback from staff who are at remote locations.
The formal mentoring for Cyber School takes place on-sight where staff and administration are always available for one–to-one help. One of the mentoring programs implemented in 2008 involved a continuous improvement framework where staff were asked to learn new technologies and implement them in their online courses. Staff mentoring sessions were help monthly for collaboration and troubleshooting.
It is important to mention that as an on-line school it is imperative that staff be continuously learning new programs to provide the highest quality of on-line education to students. As a result the staff has built its own mentoring program whereby each person becomes an expert in one area and is available for informal mentoring at any time. By doing this, staff feels less overwhelmed especially those who are new to the school.
SCCS also provides both formal and informal mentoring to all staff in the Greater Saskatoon Catholic school division in the area of educational technology.
The informal programs are as follows -
High School Staff Options:
Hybrid Courses – High School educators are given the opportunity to use a full Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School online course developed in their subject area to complement their face-to-face teaching. Teachers new to a subject use this as a tool to learn content. Some teachers give the students the opportunity to write the online exams instead of face-to-face exams, some use the hybrid as an additional resource and some use the course in its entirety and are simply a facilitator in the face-to-face classroom. All teachers can and do receive formal mentoring for their hybrid course as discussed later in this answer.
Learning Communities:
The SCCS Learning Communities are online in a secure Learning Management System where users can log in and communicate, collaborate and discuss with other educators who teach the same subject areas. The high school versions of these Learning communities involve grade 9-12 educators of a particular subject area. They also house online courses, printable units, and many other resources relevant to their particular subject area. Again formal mentoring for Learning communities is discussed later in the answer.
Blogs:
Blog are used by teachers to communicate with their student, parents and community. They are used for many reasons including posting course notes, assignments, videos and so on. Blog users have an online helpdesk to give them the assistance they need to start blogging as well as create right learning sites for their classes. Blog users are formally mentored as well and will be discussed further.
Cyber Planets:
Cyber Planets are online communities for high school students. The Cyber Planets are divided by grade level and include all of the SCCS online courses as well as other courses developed outside SCCS. Students from around the school division have access to communicate, collaborate and share resources with each other in this secure online platform. In this instance students mentor each other.
Elementary School Options -
Cyber Planets:

Cyber planets are secure online elementary school classrooms. The classroom includes secure e-mail, chatrooms & bulletin boards. This classroom allows teachers to monitor their students activities while logged into the classroom. Teachers use these to complement their in class teaching as well as integrate technology into the classroom.
The Cyber Planets also includes "Subject Stuff". The websites found in this area have been evaluated and include sites and activities students divided by grade and subject area.
Staff are mentored with online tutorials as well as formally as discussed later.
Learning communities:
The SCCS Learning Communities are online in a secure Learning Management System where users can log in and communicate, collaborate and discuss with other educators who teach the same subject areas. The elementary school versions of these Learning communities involve educators of a particular grade. They also house online courses, printable units, and many other resources relevant to their particular subject area. Again formal mentoring for Learning communities is discussed later in the answer.
Blogs:
Blog are used by teachers to communicate with their students, parents and community. They are used for many reasons including posting course notes, assignments, videos and so on. Blog users have an online helpdesk to give them the assistance they need to start blogging as well as create right learning sites for their classes. Blog users are formally mentored as well and will be discussed further.

The formal mentoring in the school division takes places in the form of hands on in-servicing regarding the above programs as well as other ways to integrate educational technology.
This mentoring takes place upon request by a school staff, group of educators or support staff. Not only are these sessions used to present the intricacies of these programs but to also promote active life-long learning by teaching about the technologies used by students of today (Digital Natives).
Beyond these in-services and or training sessions Cyber School offers both email and telephone help to any and all users of these programs and to help staff implement their educational technology ideas into the classroom. We also encourage staff to visit us at the Cyber School to obtain additional mentoring and support.

2. Which teachers receive mentors and for how long?
New staff at SCCS receive one-to-one mentoring by administrative staff on a regular yet flexible basis. The new staff member is introduced to all aspects or the programs they will be using, how the school is run and how the student tracking works. The staff member in then given the opportunity to get involved in the staff learning community and through online discussion with colleagues or via tutorials begin to grasp the on-line teaching methodology. This mentoring program often takes 1-3 months at most.
Beyond this, staff take it upon themselves to mentor each other in their respective expertise. This type of mentoring is informal and on-going.
All teachers in the school division are also given the opportunity to be mentored in the area of educational technology. We give them the options and support them when it suits their schedules.

3. What are the roles of the mentors?

The mentors roles involve guiding, giving feedback, making suggestions, co-teaching, developing , troubleshooting and discussing all educational opportunities with staff.

4. How are mentors matched with teachers?
Mentors are not specifically matched with teachers. The matching revolves around the needs of the teachers and the expertise of the mentors.

5. How are mentors prepared and for their roles?
The SCCS formal mentors are experts in their field. They have been prepared by taking graduate level courses and training in specific areas of educational technology , distance education as well as leadership. They are also those who develop new programs for the school thus becoming experts in these programs and as a result are qualified mentors for staff.
All staff are prepared to mentor each other in their own field of expertise as result of personal interest and or motivation to learn and become experts by attending conferences, participating in online seminars and taking advanced courses.
Our staff continuously mentors each other, whether it be via email, in the online staff learning community or face-to-face. The mentoring that takes place is one of the richest and most enticing parts of being an on-line teacher at SCCS


6. How are mentors supported during the mentoring process?
Simply put mentors mentor each other, they group together when needed and are always available for feedback , guidance and assistance.

7. Are mentors provided for course facilitators?
Every course, Cyber Planet, Hybrid course, Learning Community and blog has the possibility of being supported by a mentor(s). The user/teacher/staff member simply has to make the request for this type of support.

8. How does the facilitator mentoring program work?
The program we have implemented has evolved from our philosophy of “create it and let them come to us.”

9. What competencies or knowledge do the teacher and facilitator mentors focus on with their mentees?
Our mentoring focus is geared towards educational technology.

10. How do the mentors, mentees and other school staff know when a mentoring relationship has succeeded?
We are very aware that a mentoring program has been a success when students have positive results, when the teacher/user/staff returns to use the programs in the future and most of all when the mentee becomes a mentor!

11. Are any of these or other approaches to mentoring used in your school?
We use reflection with the SCCS staff in the Learning Community. They are asked to answer surveys and provide feedback regarding many issues.
We use professional development with the SCCS staff as well as with all staff in the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Divisionl.

12. Are any of these or other forms of informal mentoring active in your school?
Yes to all three and they have been discussed in prior questions.

Posted by dcannell at 6:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 29, 2008

Online Student Time Management

The most powerful technique that we use to help online students understand time management is the students’ own words. Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School surveys their students yearly and when students are asked to comment about their cyber experience, many comment about time management. We share these comments with our student body.
One student (2007-2008) stated that cyber school " has helped me to realize that time management is vitally important. I have to learn to be more disciplined. It took me a while, but I am finally starting to figure that out and I believe that will be very important when I get to University."
The WebCT tools that are used to assist the online students in their time management would be the calendar that posts suggested deadlines as well as some definite deadlines, the grade book which displays the completed and non-completed assignments and the course mail system which allows the instructor to interact and relay information to the students about their progress. There is also the tracking tool that shows the progress to the students as they work their way through the course. The tool outside WebCT that has been built to support the school and assist the students in time management is an automatic weekly email system which sends the students some suggestions on their progress based on their length of time in the course. Record cards are also a technique for helping a student understand the importance of managing their time well.
In a K-12 school the instructor is still the most powerful tool in effect to change students’ behaviour. Frequent contact and interaction will build a relationship with the students. This relationship will make the students more willing to ask when confused and make them less willing to allow themselves to fall behind.
The ultimate technique to make students understand the importance of time management is a failing grade and then allowing the students to restart their course.
Below are a few more quotes from students...
"Deadlines should be more enforced. A student should be allowed to work as fast as possible, but for some students (maybe only a few) no deadlines are a hard thing to organize. I realize that the recommended days are in the student’s personal calendar, but sometimes a concrete deadline is a good kick in the pants to get someone like myself back on track”
“Cyber is a little difficult to keep up with if you're not diligent. I think that there should be something that says that you have to be done something by a certain date more often. Like every month or so, not every half a semester.”
“It's nice when you get a test graded fast. It keeps you wanting to keep going to finish your course.”


Posted by dcannell at 12:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 27, 2008

We are hiring a new registrar at the cyber school.

You have to live in Saskatoon for this because I will want to see your smiling face.

ST. PAUL’S R.C.S.S.D. #20

NOTICE OF JOB OPENING - COMPETITION #2268-08-071

EMPLOYEES OF THE SCHOOL DIVISION ARE ADVISED OF THE FOLLOWING JOB OPENING:

JOB CLASSIFICATION: On Line Learning Registrar

WORK CENTRE: Cyber School (Holy Cross High School)

DATE SUBMITTED TO SCHOOLS: August 27, 2008

JOB SUMMARY: A permanent 10 month registrar position providing administrative support, web support using various web 2.0 programs and technical support as well as troubleshooting for online users. Applicant must be comfortable working in a paperless environment.

QUALIFICATIONS:
As per Board Policy; In addition, preference will be extended to applicants who have:
• Certificate/diploma from a recognized training program.
• Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate an asset.
• A minimum of two years related experience.
• Good working knowledge of computers, web 2.0 tools, blogging, word processing, database maintenance, Web CT, MAT Software, networking and Excel.
• Demonstrated bookkeeping skills.
• Good organizational skills.
• Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work well with others.
• A global understanding of computer applications/web programs and a web presence.

TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT:
• As per Collective Agreement.
• 7.0 hrs/day, 210 days/year schedule
• To begin a.s.a.p.
• Salary range - $16.72 - $19.74 per hour

APPLICATION PROCEDURES:
• Written applications should be directed to Human Resource Services (Fax: 659-2012). PLEASE REFER TO COMPETITION NUMBER WHEN APPLYING.
• Electronic applications (INTERNAL APPLICANTS ONLY) can be submitted through the Web Portal under “Employee Self-Serve  Employment Opportunities”.
• APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN 4:30 P.M., SEPTEMBER 3, 2008.

Posted by dcannell at 3:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2008

Who has been visiting TADO blog ...

countryimage.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 4:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 19, 2008

Education in five minutes...works for me.

Thanks to Stephen Downes... this made me laugh.

Posted by dcannell at 1:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Online Education Assumptions

There have been two common assumptions that have been a hindrance to the development of the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School. The first is the targeted K-12 learners for the school are digital natives as explained by Prensky (2001) and what it means to teach such learners. The second assumption is that because it is an online high school, all course material and activities must happen on a computer and within a course.
Digital natives are a generation who are very comfortable using and relying on the internet and find their face to face instructors in school "frustratingly illiterate" (Levin and Arafeh, 2001, p. 32). These natives are a different type of learner than when many of the online instructors were in school and the difference must be recognized. With this statement it is also important that developers and instructors, although faced with learners who are more computer literate, cannot make the assumption that they will be versed in all technologies and tools used in the courses. This assumption will create frustration for the learner when faced with technology that they have not previously encountered. It is necessary to take the time to recognize this shortfall of the learner and resolve it with instructions. Knowing your targeted learners should dictate how much instruction is necessary and a continuous review of the learner's skills will make it easier to avoid making dangerous assumptions regarding their abilities.
The second assumption that all work must occur on a computer within an online course is a hindrance because it removes some very valuable learning experiences. An example of this was in a creative writing course. Learners were asked to write a poem regarding what they see outside. The instructor took a digital picture of the scene outside the window and placed it within the course. It would have been just as easy to get the learner to stand up and walk to a window and look. We are caught in the assumption that in an online course all content and material needed to complete the course is to be found within the website of the course. One of the strengths of an online course is that it is online and is being taught within the largest library in the world. As the administrator for the Cyber School, I assumed that this was evident to all our developer/instructors and they would use this library but this again was a dangerous assumption. Many of our courses use the internet as a delivery system and for nothing else. Online courses should use the internet resources.

Levin, D., & Arafeh, S. (2002, August 14). The Digital Disconnect: The Widening Gap Between Internet-Savvy Students and Their Schools. Retrieved February 4, 2008, from Pew Internet and American Life Project: http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Schools_Internet_Report.pdf

Prensky, M. (2001, October). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Http://www.marcprensky.com: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

Posted by dcannell at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

If you have been following TADO

If you have been following TADO this summer you will have noticed the postings have followed a certain format. I have been posting the student's opinions to a series of questions that we ask them during the school year. I hope people have enjoyed the responses. We are about a week away from starting another school year and are developing the surveys that we will use this year.

If you have a burning question that you would like to ask k-12 students...drop me a comment and I will see if I can get it into one of our surveys.

Posted by dcannell at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 15, 2008

Ode to Joy

Posted by dcannell at 3:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Learner relationships

A learner online might be involved in three types of relationships. They are; learner-learner, learner-instructor and learner-content. Although the instructor is only directly involved in one of the three types, it is the task of the instructor to provide appropriate tools and material to facilitate and promote these relationships. A well developed course will not allow a learner the ability to complete the course objectives without creating all three of the relationships.
The environment to create learner-content relationship is done long before the learner is involved in the course development stage. The instructor needs to make sure the content development is flexible, interactive and engaging enough to allow learners to build a relationship with it.
The other two relationships are created after the learner is in the course. Learner-learner and learner-instructor relationships are best created via communication tools. Communication tools are the best for creating community and a sense of belonging for the learners. A learner who is at ease with the tools will be more willing to use them. But in my experience they need a reason to use the tools. If the learner does not see the need or the value in the relationship they will not put the effort into the building of said relationship. The instructor needs to provide the tools and create valuable learning tasks to build the relationships. The instructor needs to build an approachable online persona which will promote questions from learners. Humour, prompt replies and answering all questions as if they are the best question ever asked will go a long way towards creating this. The instructor must be versed in the communication tools and the online language used in each. Rules and guidelines for the tools should promote use, not hinder them. The Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School uses the learning management system called WebCT.
Back in April of 2004 I was trying to get my certification in Webct and created a flash application which was all about the communication tools which we use in at the Cyber School. I listed the key points about each of the tools. You can see this application at:

http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/present/communication.swf

Posted by dcannell at 3:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 23, 2008

May your day, be a Shay Day.

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: "When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. "I believe that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child."
Then he told the following story:
Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."
Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. His Father watched with a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father's joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball ... the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay"
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run to third!"

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, "Shay, run home! Run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.
"That day", said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world."
Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his father so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats the least fortunate amongst them.

Posted by dcannell at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 20, 2008

Paulsen Quote response


I was pleased to follow your blog series of "Paulsen qotes" in which you disseminated my pointed statements widely.

I have also seen that you embed YouTube videos in the blog. Therefore, you may be interested in embeding some of the statements I have enjoyed playing with lately.


All the best
Morten Flate Paulsen
Professor of Online Education
http://home.nettskolen.com/~morten/

Posted by dcannell at 4:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 17, 2008

Imagine

Imagine what you could do if you could predict the future? The future of e-learning is directly attached to the technology which is changing at an alarming rate. In the very distant future computers will become self aware and this will create a large change in the way we do things. However until that time teachers will still be the focus of the e-learning programs. Furdyk (2007) states “teachers need to exist in the spaces the students exist, understand their culture. You have no credibility if you are not where they are” (taken from a keynote). Creating a lifelong learner is the new goal of twenty first century education and can only be achieved by an educator who shares the lifelong learner characteristic. This environment will allow the students to move from students to learners. Anderson (2007) clarifies by stating "students are individuals who get taught. But learners are more actively involved in the learning process. Learners have active curiosities and take initiative" (¶ 5). The online teacher is a guide on the side. Teaching online is akin to teaching in the largest library in the world. The internet is just a click of the mouse away. The sage on the stage pales next to this resource. It allows teachers to remove themselves from being the focus of the education and allows the students (learners) to be the center of the process. According to King (1993) it allows learners to actively participate in thinking and discussing ideas while making mean¬ing for themselves. (¶ 4) The online method of course content delivery is perfectly suited to allow the instructor to be more of a guide. The content, instruction and assignments are delivered via the computer so the teacher’s role is naturally more of a guide. “The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.” (Bulwer-Lytton, 2007 ¶ 4) and Carruthers (2007) further defines a teacher as "one who makes himself progressively unnecessary" (¶ 5). This is the future of e-learning.
Anderson, E. (2007). Becoming Your Own Best Teacher and Learner. Retrieved December 6, 2007, from Baylor University: http://www.baylor.edu/strengths/index.php?id=27352
Bulwer- Lytton, E., & Carruthers, T. (2007, October 17). Great Teachers Become Unnecessary? Retrieved December 9, 2007, from Thought for the Day: http://kirkweisler.com/t4d/2007/10/16/great-teachers-become-unnecessary/
Dudfield, A. (2003, December 1). Literacy and Cyber Culture. Retrieved February 3, 2008, from Reading Online: http://www.readingonline.org/articles/dudfield/main.html#author
Furdyk, K. (2007). Living, Learning and Contributing as a Life Long Journey. Distributed Learning in the 21st Century Conference. Edmonton Alberta: Alberta Learning.
King, A. (1993). From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side. Retrieved December 6, 2007, from Questia: College Teaching Journal: http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=HdjQmYcvGjq6QQrKcDFQDxT0p22KKYx1JR

Posted by dcannell at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 11, 2008

Computer training fun

I have seen this video in a couple of presentations...it has made me giggle each time.

Check it out.

Posted by dcannell at 3:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 8, 2008

Some e-learning thoughts

Ownership is the foremost way we achieved support from the top administration in our school division. Inviting the parties to be part of the vision allows them also to be a part of and have ownership for the project. An informal individual meeting with administration asking them to share their expertise in moving the project forward or a formal round table discussion with all top level administration to develop a vision plan will create "buy in".

A second technique used to create "buy in" is done during staffing. By choosing veteran senior teachers who are leaders in their face to face building will give automatic credibility to a new program. These teachers will then become spokespersons for the program and, having worked with a variety of different administrators during their careers, will lend a certain automatic respectability to the program. If new unknown teachers were used then the automatic respect would not be available.

Having the teachers in the Cyber School program teach both face to face (F2F) courses and cyber courses during the day will result in the administration being required to gain a basic understanding of the program to facilitate the professional life of these teachers. This would not be the case if the staff at the Cyber School worked solely at the Cyber School as they would be at an arm's length and an understanding would not be required.

Having a student take both F2F and Cyber School courses will create a certain amount of tension between the two programs. The historical autonomy of the F2F schools will be destroyed and by making sure that the administration at the Cyber School is cognisant of this tension and willing to discuss, discern and collaborate to seek out solutions to problems will make the F2F administration more willing to support the cyber program.

Making sure the administration in the F2F schools are aware that the Cyber School program was not developed to replace their program but to enhance it will go a long ways to assist in the "buy in". Like any partnership it will take effort to make it work

Searching for and promoting all positive aspects of the Cyber School programs as they apply to the school and the division as a whole will go a long way in the buying in process. Communication is the most powerful tool. The more transparent a program is the more willing administration will be to support the trial and error approach which will be necessary to move such a program forward.

Identification of the top level management is the first step to promoting and supporting an e-learning. In the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School System, the Director of Education is appointed by the Board of Education. As the Chief Executive Officer, the director is the senior advisor to the board in all aspects of the division's operations. Below this position, there are three major divisions: Learning Services, Human Resource Services and Administrative Services. The Learning Services division is headed by five superintendents who report directly to the Director of Education. Each superintendent is responsible for the day to day operations of all schools in one of the five administrative units. Each unit is made up of a main stream high school and a number of elementary schools.

The second step is to identify how decisions are made with the division. Decisions are made within this administration structure by an executive council. This council is responsible for the day to day Board of Education operations. The council consists of the six directors of education, the director of administrative services and the director of education, who is also the chair of the council.

The third step is identifying what elements will allow the administration structure to buy in to promote and support e-learning. The word ``buy`` in above statement is not a mistake it is unfortunately a clue to one of the most powerful elements. Getting administration to promote and support is much easier if you can prove a new program is able to pay for itself and even better able to create a surplus. Paulsen (2003) states sustainable online education is characterized by its ability to persist when extraordinary internal or external funding stops. Unfortunately, it seems to be a rare phenomenon. In most cases online education is sustainable when it generates an economic surplus or reduces costs`` (pg.25).

A second and what should be the most important of all elements is academic success. At this time of educational reform, school decision makers are asking "Where best should we focus our funds?" "What are core components of effective systemic change?" "How can we best support teachers so that all students can succeed?"` (Valdez, 2004, pg 1) You need to convince them that e-learning has the ability to answer some of them.


Paulsen, M. F. (2003). Online Education and Learning Management Systems. Retrieved May 6, 2008, from The Study Mentor: http://www.studymentor.com/studymentor/
Valdez, G. (2004, April). Critical Issue: Enhancing System Change and Academic Success Through Assistive Technologies for K-12 Students With Special Needs. Retrieved May 12, 2008, from North Central Regional Educational Laboratory: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te700.htm
Delete?

Posted by dcannell at 10:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 6, 2008

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Technologies

“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” Max DePree

This essay will present the advantages of synchronous and asynchronous delivery technologies in the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School's e-learning strategies. Synchronous is “where the instructor and participants are involved in the course, class or lesson at the same time.” While asynchronous is “where the instructor and participants are involved in the course, class or lesson at different times” (Wikipedia, 2006 ¶ 1).
In 1999 Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School was designed as an educational option for the students of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. Since its inception, flexibility was one of the guiding factors in the decision making process. Many of the challenges that were expressed by the face to face schools in the division was their inability to venture from the rigid structure of their scheduling within the 5 day school week, the school day and in the one hour period systems. In order to create a program which would complement the status quo it was deemed necessary to try to promote flexibility. This would then allow the cyber school model to fit the largest number of interested students’ timetables and learning styles. When developing the Cyber School it was necessary to choose a learning management system, delivery mode and communication tools which would allow for this flexibility. In 2007 the Cyber School provided courses to 24 percent of the grade 9-12 students in the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. The chosen learning management system was WebCT. The deciding factor in choosing this system was the ability for the system to be adapted to fit any approach that we deemed necessary for us to complete our mandate. WebCT, at first glance, seemed to be rigid and dictated the educational approach by its design. But upon further exploration and training it was found that it could be changed and adapted to work in most scenarios and was very flexible when used in a creative fashion.
The delivery mode and communication tools made it necessary to select a synchronous or asynchronous approach. The Cyber School courses were designed to be an option for students in all eight of the face to face high schools. Students would take some of their courses face to face and then one or two courses with the Cyber School. This approach meant that geography is the first barrier that needed to be breached. Both synchronous and asynchronous approaches have the ability to breach the geographic barrier. The students being slotted into the rigid schedules in the face to face school create a temporal barrier which can only be breached by asynchronous. For this reason most approaches used in the Cyber School are asynchronous but this status is ever changing and driven by education’s need to reflect the reality of the students living in the information age. An information age with connected students having instant information, communication, multimedia and entertainment and social networking tools is a new era that no teacher can realistically compete with using the current education approaches. In the past, technology has been used as a supplement to education. As teachers get more comfortable with technology it becomes a support for education but until it becomes integrated with education we will not be preparing the students for their world. We need to connect to our students and connect them to their world by using both synchronous and asynchronous tools.
The semester system was used by the SCCS for the first years of operation. The semester system divided the school year into two equal semesters. Each semester consists of between 90 and 100 hours of classroom instruction per course. The students attend the face to face classroom for an hour a day for approximately 100 school days. The flexibility of seven days a week, twenty four hours a day availability offer through the Cyber School did not match a system which was designed for an hour a day, 100 school day system.
So it was necessary to design a unique system of course delivery which would better fit the flexibility of the Cyber School. The 150 day calendar system was devised to solve the issue of low student success with the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School students who started the courses after the semester had begun. The success rate of students who started their courses at the beginning of the school year or at the beginning of the second semester was 86% (Climenhaga, 2004). These students were not the issue. However, the majority of our students were beginning their courses a week or longer into the semester and registrations happen continuously throughout the school year. There was never any time when there were no registrations.

The students registering late had a disengagement rate of 40 percent, largely due to the student feeling of not being able to complete the course in the time allotted. A student who started the course online three weeks into a semester was still required to complete the course by the end of the semester. This was not giving the students the best scenario for success. By eliminating the end of the semester barrier, the main reason for students disengaging would be removed. The 150 day system will at least remove the time barrier created by the semester system and give the students adequate time to complete the 100 hours of course material. Courses would still be based on the curriculum standard of 100 hours set forth by Saskatchewan Learning.
A student could register at any time of the year and would have 150 calendar days from that time to complete the course. One hundred and fifty calendar days is approximately the same number of days a standard school dual semester system gives for a student to finish a course.
The 150 day system allows flexibility for the students by allowing them to register at any time of the year. A student will be given 150 calendar days to complete the course. There will be no semesters recognized within this system. Each teacher in the Cyber School will teach 30 students at any given time. Once a course is filled, a waiting list will be created and when a spot opens, the next student will be placed into the course. Midterm grades will be submitted 75 days from the day the student started or the closest work day to that date. Final grades will be submitted 150 days from the day the student started or the closest work day to that date. The Cyber School teachers will not be working during the summer months of July and August. During this time no access by students will be allowed. Any students who register later in the school year and their 150 days would normally include time during July and August will have 60 days or a portion thereof added to their course. The 60 days or any portion thereof will be added to their active course time after the summer. This asynchronous 150 day system created individual course timing for each student which breaks both the temporal and geographic barriers as well as improves their success rate.
Of the four e-learning communication tools provided within the WebCT learning management system the most used is the asynchronous discussion board because it matches the delivery system closer than the other while still creating community. It is used as a private journal system, a group discussion tool, peer counseling, and sharing of current events. The asynchronous ability to remove the temporal barrier means the students have the time to consider the posed question, research, check spelling and form an argument which in turn tends to elevate the quality of one's responses.
Course mail is the other asynchronous system which is used quite extensively because it is more of a private one-to-one communication tool than the group nature of the discussion board.
The chat and whiteboard are the two of the synchronous e-learning communication tools which are also used by the teachers. The chat is more widely used than the whiteboard because of the strength of each of the designs. The student to student’s dialogue tends to be the communication which occurs within these systems more than teacher to student. However some teachers do use the chat tool as a method of being available for “office hours” where the teacher will be available for synchronous chat. The white board although weak in design is used by some of the math teachers because of its graphic nature.
The telephone is another electronic synchronous tool which is used by the teachers in the Cyber School when it is necessary to contact students outside of WebCT. When used, the phone connects the teacher with the students in their busy lives but often it becomes asynchronous when the answering machine clicks on. This just reinforces the need for a flexible e-learning system which allows these busy students’ access.
Overall, the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School has been recognized as a success on a variety of different levels. Since its inception, enrollments have doubled each year. Staff reports satisfaction and professional pride in the work they are doing, “I love the flexibility of being on the ‘cutting edge’ of developments in education” (Cyber School, 2008). Students surveyed show that real learning is taking place in an atmosphere of positive and meaningful communication and interaction. According to Tunison and Noonan (2001), online education “had a positive impact on student’s perceptions of their own abilities to learn and encouraged them to take responsibility for their own learning” (p. 15). These positive results, however, serve more as a challenge to take a critical look at the past, and set a course for the future which encompasses positive system, institutional and personal professional growth, than as permission to accept limitations or grow stagnant.



References
Climenhaga, S. (2004). Data collected from students. Unpublished raw data: Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School.
Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School. (2008). Course Survey. Retrieved February 3, 2008, from Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Student Survey: http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber
Tunison, S., & Noonan, B. (2001, April). On-Line Learning: Secondary Students' First Experience. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from Canadian Journal of Education: http://www.csse.ca/CJE/Articles/FullText/CJE26-4/CJE26-4-Tunison.pdf
Wikipedia. (2006). The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 2, 2006, from Wikipedia: Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia

Posted by dcannell at 4:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 5, 2008

ESET Smart Security Ad

I was reading an ad about an anti-virus program which displays a robotic thinker (You know like the statue)

robot.jpg


and it has written in bold letters...

Imagine what you could do if you could predict the future.

We did.

I read this the first time, thought about it, then read it again.

What a cool statement.

What would you do if you could predict the future?

Posted by dcannell at 2:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 3, 2008

My first poem

Wrote this during lunch...

With the site below

I am a poet and did not even know it.

The Canadian Way

In today's world
Civilization unfurls
Canada has something to teach
Although not one to preach
A model to see
From sea to sea
Races and religions belong
Making this country strong.
The rainbow of faces
span wide open spaces
A simple life surrounded
by a culture unbounded
by war's senseless slaughter
a land of fresh water
with resources ample
in a north untrampled
Peace mantra is the talk
during evening walks
Free speech is a must.
In this we all trust.
A beautiful opportunity
the multiculturalism unity
Others Canadians appreciate,
with no need to depreciate
Our future to lead
A model to follow
more often than not
a race melting pot
a weaver's knot
woven with
daring,
caring,
and sharing
Humble but proud we request
please put it to a test
Save humanity
From its insanity
Accept without delay.
The Canadian way

Posted by dcannell at 2:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 29, 2008

A Pearl of Wisdom

The following is a pearl of wisdom from the conference I am currently attending. It is a conference on innovation and one of the speakers was Arnold Wasserman and he said to help one innovate it is necessary "Sometimes you have to get out of your own Sandbox".

Arnold Wasserman is the chairman of the Idea Factory in San Francisco and Singapore.

Posted by dcannell at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 26, 2008

Learning to change

This is one very interesting video

Posted by dcannell at 2:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008

Does anyone know the artist...

I am trying to track down the artist for this alien...I would like to use the image in our pod as the trainer for our virtual training center. If you know the artist, can you drop me a comment.

Thanks in advance.


I_Am_Not_Heres.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 2:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

They say Elephants never forget

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed his stupid butt against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

Posted by dcannell at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Survivor Show

Subject: New Survivor Show... (Teachers note:)

Next Season on Survivor
Have you heard about the next planned 'Survivor' show?
Three businessmen and three businesswomen will be dropped into an elementary school classroom for 1 school year. The business people will be provided with a copy of their school district's curriculum and a class of 28 - 32 students.
Each class will have a minimum of five learning-disabled children, three with A.D.D., one gifted child, and two who speak limited English. Three students will be labeled with severe behavior problems.
All business people must complete lesson plans at least 3 days in advance with annotations for curriculum objectives and modify, organize, or create their materials accordingly. They will be required to teach students, handle misconduct, implement technology, document attendance, write referrals, correct homework, make bulletin boards, compute grades, complete report cards, document benchmarks, communicate with parents, and arrange parent conferences.
They must also stand in the doorway between class changes to monitor the hallways. In addition, they will complete fire drills, tornado drills, and [Code Red] drills for shooting attacks each month.
They must attend workshops, faculty meetings, and attend curriculum development meetings. They must also tutor students who are behind and strive to get the 2 non-English speaking children proficient enough to take all of the state tests.
If the business person is sick or having a bad day, he/she must not let it show. Each day they must incorporate reading, writing math, science, and social studies into the program and must maintain discipline and provide an educationally stimulating environment to motivate students at all times.
If all students do not wish to cooperate, work, or learn, the teacher will be held responsible. The business people will only have access to the public golf course on the weekends, but with their new salary, they may not be able to afford it.
There will be no access to vendors who want to take them out to lunch, and lunch will be limited to thirty minutes, which is not counted as part of their workday. The business people will be permitted to use a student restroom, as long as another survival candidate can supervise their class.
If the copier is operable, they may make copies of necessary materials before or after school. However, they cannot surpass their monthly limit of copies. The business people must continually advance their education, at their expense, and on their own time.
The winner of this season of 'Survivor' will be allowed to return to his/her job.

Pass this to your friends who think teaching is easy and to the ones that know it is hard.


Posted by dcannell at 10:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2008

Greatest Benefits to E-Learning

The success of most educational systems is still determined by using the traditional standards such as cost benefits, and flexibility. Although valuable, they pale in comparison to an educational system's ability to meet the needs of the information age students. Since the clients of the learning system have changed the approach must change, the educator must change and the measure of success must change. The client changes are clarified by Dudfield (2003): “These children have new needs, new capabilities, new capacities; they are significantly different in nature from children born before the existence of the 'wired' world” (¶ 2). These groups of “wired” students are accustomed to having personal interest information at their finger tips and like the challenge of lifelong learning. Creating a lifelong learner is the new goal of twenty first century education and can only be achieved by an educator who shares the lifelong learner characteristic. Bearisto (2000) states "we must all develop the aptitudes and dispositions of lifelong learning if we are to thrive in our dynamic and pluralistic age" (p. 1). He further explains that being a lifelong learner will allow one “to thrive as a knowledge worker who surfs the wave of change in our information age" (p. 6). This environment will allow the students to move from students to learners. Anderson (2007) clarifies by stating "students are individuals who get taught. But learners are more actively involved in the learning process. Learners have active curiosities and take initiative" (¶ 5). The online teacher is a guide on the side. Teaching online is akin to teaching in the largest library in the world. The internet is just a click of the mouse away. The sage on the stage pales next to this resource. It allows teachers to remove themselves from being the focus of the education and allows the students (learners) to be the center of the process. According to King (1993) it allows learners to actively participate in thinking and discussing ideas while making mean¬ing for themselves. (¶ 4) McKenzie (1998) states “student-centered learning can be time-consuming and messy, efficiency will sometimes argue for the Sage"(¶ 13). 1) The online method of course content delivery is perfectly suited to allow the instructor to be more of a guide. The content, instruction and assignments are delivered via the computer so the teacher’s role is naturally more of a guide. “The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself” (Bulwer-Lytton, 2007 ¶ 4)


Anderson, E. (2007). Becoming Your Own Best Teacher and Learner. Retrieved December 6, 2007, from Baylor University: http://www.baylor.edu/strengths/index.php?id=27352
Beairsto, B. (2000). What Does it Take to Be a Lifelong Learner? Retrieved December 8, 2007, from School District No. 38 (Richmond): http://public.sd38.bc.ca/~bbeairsto/Documents/LifelongLearning.pdf
Bulwer- Lytton, E., & Carruthers, T. (2007, October 17). Great Teachers Become Unnecessary? Retrieved December 9, 2007, from Thought for the Day: http://kirkweisler.com/t4d/2007/10/16/great-teachers-become-unnecessary/
Dudfield, A. (2003, December 1). Literacy and Cyber Culture. Retrieved February 3, 2008, from Reading Online: http://www.readingonline.org/articles/dudfield/main.html#author
King, A. (1993). From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side. Retrieved December 6, 2007, from Questia: College Teaching Journal:

Posted by dcannell at 5:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 8, 2008

Why we need education...

I see my son in this picture.

new-1s.jpg

May 7, 2008

Time to Review with gas prices climbing

All these examples do NOT imply that gasoline is cheap;
It just illustrates how outrageous some prices are....
You will be really shocked by the last one!!!!

Think a gallon of gas is expensive?

This makes one think, and also puts things in perspective.

Diet Snapple 16 oz $1.29 ... $10.32 per gallon
Lipton Ice Tea 16 oz $1.19 ..........$9.52 per gallon
Gatorade 20 oz $1.59 .... $10.17 per gallon
Ocean Spray 16 oz $1.25 ......... $10.00 per gallon
Brake Fluid 12 oz $3.15 ......... $33.60 per gallon
Vick's NyQuil 6 oz $8.35 ... $178.13 per gallon
Pepto Bismol 4 oz $3.85 .. $123.20 per gallon
Whiteout 7 oz $1.39 ...... . $25.42 per gallon
Scope 1.5 oz $0.99 .....$84.48 per gallon
And this is the REAL KICKER...
Evian water 9 oz $1.49..........$21.19 per gallon!

$21.19 for WATER
And the buyers don't even know the source .

(Evian spelled backwards is Naive.)

Ever wonder why computer printers are so cheap?

So they have you hooked for the ink.

Someone calculated the cost of the ink at................

You won't believe it...................
But it is true........................
$5,200 a gal. (five thousand two hundred dollars)
So, the next time you're at the pump,
Be glad your car doesn't run on
Water, Scope, or Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, NyQuil
Or , Printer Ink!!!!!

Posted by dcannell at 1:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 6, 2008

Vote vote vote

Teaching and Developing Online blog has been nominated to win a blogger summit award. If you would like to help it win the award...you can vote at

http://edin08.com/bloggersummit/bloggerpoll.aspx

Way cool...another possible award for our cyber school stuff.

Posted by dcannell at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And so the day begins

The day started well, a new challenge...and....

ramps.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 3, 2008

We asked our Teacher/Developers.

Question asked in a Discussion Board

Is it necessary for every course in SCCS to contain a discussion board?

Justify your answer.


Here's what we discussed:

Discussion Board Positives-
-A great place to promote and encourage communication
-For students' opinions and thoughts, and the defence of them
-Still some opportunity for use even with the 150 day schedule
-helps instructor guide and evaluate learning process and provides feedback for students
-There is a place for private discussion boards

Discussion Board Negatives-
-150 day schedule is not conducive to meaningful discussion
-tedius to monitor
-subject sensitive (math)
-burden on an already content-heavy course
-forced disucssion worse than none at all

Extras-
-shouldn't be mandated, but should still remain an option
-new tech? Voice discussions?
-One online teachers states: he is a lover, not a typer. He would rather call just to hear your voice...


"Maybe after this CIF... I may learn something..." Another online teacher.

Thanks to Ryan for summarizing.


Posted by dcannell at 11:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 2, 2008

We are into budget time.

I think this image is a great one showing the education dollar in our society.

pigs.jpg

April 30, 2008

New Office WOW ideas

I have been searching websites and I hope you the blogosphere can help me or point me in the right direction. My name is Darren Cannell I am the administrator of the biggest cyber school in Saskatchewan. We are in the fortunate situation where we will be moving our office at the end of this school year. This unique moving situation will allow us to develop a office which will meet the needs of the administration and teachers of the cyber school both physically and virtually. The goal of the physical office is more administrative than teacher related and needs to be a WOW office. It needs to make people stop and go WOW this is the cyber school. The virtual side of the office needs to be designed to coordinate the admin and the teachers to effectively run what we think is the best cyber school in the country.

We are contacting such companies as Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Nortel, SaskTel and Blackboard to see if they have any suggestions about the design and look of said virtual and physical office and was wondering if anyone out there might have some WOW ideas and designs.

We need to WOW the local, international and universe visitors that we will be hosting this up and coming year.

Posted by dcannell at 3:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 29, 2008

And the Day Just Got Worst... Part 5

Have you ever had this kind of day, everything is going well and..

waves.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2008

Blue Lighting Up The Human Brain At Work

We are thinking about using blue lights in our new pod...this might be a cool side effect.


Blue Lighting Up The Human Brain At Work

Posted by dcannell at 1:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

THE SPOILED Under-30 crowd!!!


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears
with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were
when they were growing up; what with walking
twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill BOTH ways

yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up,
there was no way I was going to lay
a bunch of hooey like that on kids about how hard I had it
and how easy they've got it!
But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of
thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my
childhood, you live in Utopia!
And I hate to say it but you kids today you
don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The
Internet . If we wanted to know something,
we had to go to the library and
look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!
There was no email!! We had to actually write
somebody a letter with a pen!
Then you had to walk all the way across the street and
put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to
steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and spend time to look and it yourself!
Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the
beginning and fouled it all up!
We didn't have fancy Call Waiting! If you
were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either!
When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was!
It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer,
a collections agent, you just didn't know!!!
You had to pick it up and take your chances!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics!
We had the Atari 2600!
With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'. Your guy was a little square!
You actually had to use your imagination!!
And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever!

And you could never win.
The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!
Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating!
All the seats were the same height!
If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see,
tough nails!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that
was only like 15 channels
and there was no on screen menu and no remote control!
You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on!
You were totalled when it came to channel surfing!
You had to get off your back end and walk over to the TV to change the
channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons
on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?!
We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat
something up we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire .. imagine that!
If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing
and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about!
You kids today have got it too easy.
You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

Regards,
The over 30 Crowd

Posted by dcannell at 1:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

And the day just got worst... Part 4

Have you ever had this kind of day, everything is going well and..


paints.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:34 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 25, 2008

The ultimate administration cyber office

This would be my ultimate administration office, it would have a rubber floor which would allow us to move the electrical and network jacks where it is needed and a theatre training center to bring together teachers/developers and visitors.

offices.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And the day just got worst... Part 3

Have you ever had this kind of day, everything is going well and...

planes.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 24, 2008

Another reason why cyber schools are becoming so popular.

School clique banned 'ugly' girls - Queensland - BrisbaneTimes

Posted by dcannell at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And the day just got worst... Part 2

Have you ever had this kind of day, everything is going well and...

bikes.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A good indication that we have had enough winter

snowmans.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 23, 2008

And the day just got worst...

Have you ever had this kind of day, everything is going well and...

baddays.jpg

April 22, 2008

I want a pair of these.

For use at home of course.

This—what's the word I'm looking for?—aberration of a pair of pants designed by Erik de Nijs (nope, me neither) is, I guess, designed for the Geek at Heart. They incorporate keyboard, mouse and a pair of knee-height speakers.

pantss.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 2:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 15, 2008

Images from Innovative Teacher Conference Hanoi

The following are images from the Microsoft Regional Innovative Teachers' Conference in Hanoi Vietnam. We also stop in Hong Kong which is the first image.

Ngong Ping Plateau Hong Kong

vietnam1s.jpg

Three hundred plus year old tree at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi

vietnam1s.jpg

Seems like teaching has not changed... image in the first university in Hanoi.

vietnam1s.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 14, 2008

And for a monday...I feel old.

The Grandfather replied, 'Well , let me think a minute, I was born before:

television

penicillin

polio shots

frozen foods

Xerox

contact lenses

Frisbees and

the pill

There were no:

'credit cards

'laser beams or

ball-point pens

Man had not invented:

pantyhose

air conditioners

dishwashers

clothes dryers

and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and

man hadn't yet walked on the moon


Your Grandmother and I got married first, . . .and then lived together.

Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, 'Sir'.
And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, 'Sir.'

We were before computer- dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.

Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.

We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.

We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios.

And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk

The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.

Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.

We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.

Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.

And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, . . . but who could afford one?
Too bad , because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my day:

'grass' was mowed,

'coke' was a cold drink,

'pot' was something your mother cooked in and

'rock music' was your grandmother's lullaby.

'Aids' were helpers in the Principal's office,

' chip' meant a piece of wood,

'hardware' was found in a hardware store and
'software' wasn't even a word.

No wonder people call us 'old and confused' and say there is a generation gap... and how old do you think I am?

I bet you have this old man in mind...you are in for a shock!

Read on to see -- pretty scary if you think about it and pretty sad at the same time.


Are you ready ?????


This man would be only 59 years old

Posted by dcannell at 9:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 1, 2008

April Continuous Improvement Framework

As stated at the opening staff meeting we are working on a continuous improvement framework (CIF) It will work in a few different steps: Each CIF will take one month to complete. Each month I will introduce a new unit in our CIP journey. There are ten tasks and at the end we will see if our stats via Cyber Tracker improve.

April CIF is here.

The goal: Is to create a 30 second to 2 minute video that can be displayed on the cyber school web site and a second video with be displayed in the overview section of your course.

http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/CIF/april.htm

Posted by dcannell at 1:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 16, 2008

DDC Art Gallery

Since I let SaskGallery domain end, I have not had any place to display my art work. Well, that has come to an end. I have launched the DDC Art Gallery. I only have three galleries so far so check it out.

Leave lots of comments....Thanks all, hope you enjoy.



DDC Art Gallery

Posted by dcannell at 11:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 13, 2008

It is all in the way you look at it.

I am thankful:

For the wife,
Who says it's hot dogs tonight, because she is home with me and not out with someone else
For the husband

Who is on the sofa being a couch potato, because he is home with me and not out at the bars.
For the Teenager
Who is complaining about doing dishes because it means she is at home, not on the streets.
For the taxes I pay
Because it means I am employed.
For the mess to clean after a party
because it means I have been surrounded by friends
For the clothes that fit a little too snug
Because it means I have enough to eat.
For my shadow that watches me work.
Because it means I am out in the sunshine
For a lawn that needs mowing,
Windows that need cleaning,
and gutters that need fixing

Because it means I have a home.
For all the complaining I hear about the government.
Because it means we have freedom of speech.
For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot.
Because it means I am capable of walking and I have been blessed with transportation.
For my huge heating bill.
Because it means I am warm.
For the Lady behind me in church who sings off key.
Because it means I can hear.
For the pile of laundry and ironing.
Because it means I have clothes to wear.
For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day.
Because it means I have been capable of working hard.
For the Alarm that goes off in the early morning hours.
Because it means I am alive.
For all the annoy email and technology.
Because it has given me a job that I have never not wanted to do.

Posted by dcannell at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2008

Has the world really changed since the 30s?

tapeworms.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 10, 2008

Women have all the best perscription drugs

DAMNITOL
Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to heck for up to 8 full hours.

EMPTYNESTROGEN
Suppository that eliminates melancholy and loneliness by reminding you of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't wait till they moved out!

ST. MOMMA'S WORT
Plant extract that treats mom's depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to two days.

PEPTOBIMBO
Liquid silicone drink for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases breast size, decreases intelligence, and prevents conception.

DUMBEROL
When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks.

FLIPITOR
Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers.

MENICILLIN
Potent anti-boy-otic for older women. Increases resistance to such lethal lines as, "You make me want to be a better person. "

BUYAGRA
Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree.

JACKASSPIRIN
Relieves headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary, phone number, or to lift the toilet seat

ANTI-TALKSIDENT
A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators.

NAGAMENT
When administered to a boyfriend or husband, provides the same irritation level as nagging him, without opening your mouth.


Posted by dcannell at 10:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 5, 2008

4 and 8 are all the numbers

It is quite interesting that all numbers can be created by using only two numerals - 4 and 8.


84.gif

Posted by dcannell at 3:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 3, 2008

March Continuous Improvement Framework

As stated at the opening staff meeting we are working on a continuous improvement framework (CIF) It will work in a few different steps: Each CIF will take one month to complete. Each month I will introduce a new unit in our CIP journey. There are ten tasks and at the end we will see if our stats via Cyber Tracker improve.

March CIF is here.

The goal: Display information on the front page or web links area in course content of your course that is updated automatically. Giving the students a glimpse at what is available on the internet.

http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/CIF/march.htm

Posted by dcannell at 1:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 28, 2008

Launch the new SCCS website

Today we launched our new cyber school website, this blog driven website is a technology wonder. Congrats to Kelli Boklaschuk for her work on the site.

Welcome to the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School

Posted by dcannell at 12:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2008

Administrator ID card

I have found my ID card.


Posted by dcannell at 10:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 24, 2008

Learning Styles online explained

"When mismatches exist between learning styles of most students in a class and the teaching style of the professor, the students may become bored and inattentive in class, do poorly on tests, get discouraged about the courses" (Felder 2005, ¶2). Learning styles has been used as an excuse by many professors, teachers and institutions for not getting involved in online education because it is believed that online can only provide education to a limited number of learning styles. As online education matures, bandwidths increase and compression techniques improve teacher/developers are starting to use media which meet a variety of learning styles. Dede (2006) states "each of these media, when designed for education, fosters particular types of interactions that enable—and undercut—various learning styles... continuing evolution of computers and telecommunications and speculates on new learning styles emerging media may enable" (¶ 1). It is also stated by Terrell (2005) "no consideration was given to the possibility that a given student's learning preferences may change over time in order to compensate and adapt to an online learning environment (¶ 6). The youth of today have embraced the online method of making friends and collaborating and if teachers of online courses recognize and use some of the "web 2.0 tools" in their teaching arsenal, team and collaborative activities would be an end result.
What currently constitutes community or team activities in online learning are designed contrived questions which are answered by a controlled classroom group of learners within learning management system. By using web 2.0 tools (wikis and blogs) community is expanded to beyond the classroom virtual or physical walls and becomes worldwide. According to Downes “What happens when online learning software ceases to be a type of content-consumption tool, where learning is "delivered," and becomes more like a content-authoring tool, where learning is created" (¶ 4)?

The following flash files I have created to help educators see how lesson styles and learning styles can be used in conjunction with the WebCT learning platform to create community and valid learning environments.
Webct tools and learning style each can create.
http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/present/total.html
Learning Styles flash
http://www.scs.sk.ca/Cyber/Present/lessonstyle.htm
Teacher learning style
http://www.scs.sk.ca/Cyber/Present/styles.html

Posted by dcannell at 9:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2008

Why thank you very much.

I am honoured to make the list but even more honoured by your words....Thank you

Teaching and Developing Online by Darren Cannell. Darren is part of the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School. Darren is also apparently secretly the world's first nuclear-powered blogging machine. That's gotta be the case because there's no other way he could post as frequently and interestingly as he does.

Blackboard Educate Innovate: The Blog Habit

Posted by dcannell at 8:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2008

Made myself an avatar.

avatar.gif

Posted by dcannell at 9:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ever had one of these days

clip_image001.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 7, 2008

Reflections on the Distance Learning Controvery critique

This article was written by Feenberg (1999) titled "Reflections on the Distance Learning Controversy" and was published in volume 24 of "The Canadian Journal of Communication (p. 337-348)". In 1999, modern distance learning as referred to in this article was only four years old and still in its infancy. Compared to the more than two hundred year old traditional higher education system, the infancy status is still used today to describe distance learning. Reflecting back upon the first couple of years of the modern system results in a very narrow view of what distance learning has grown into in the last ten years. Since the article, distance learning using the internet as an educational delivery system has greatly changed but many of the points made in the article still apply. The controversy that the author refers to has more to do with the pillars of higher learner which still exist today than it does with Distance Learning. This article is all about higher learning's elitism, resistance to change and the fight for control. The author is reflecting from the point of view of a traditional university faculty's relationship with its administration and from the naive view that higher education is not business. The most important of all stakeholders that are suspiciously absent from the article are the ones that have changed the most in the last ten years, the students.
The first section of the article was about the author's adventures in Distance Learning. He refers to "distance learning as developing into a video conferencing and automation which will reduce the teacher’s physical presence to CD Rom or made available over the internet." This 1999 narrow view has changed and resulted in many different types of distance learning due to learning management systems, internet bandwidth availabilities, compression techniques, the internet infrastructure and the continuing maturity of distance learning delivery techniques. Downes (1998) recognized that "online learning is in its infancy.... An online course that was considered state of the art twelve months ago is today considered to be out of date" (¶ 1). Downes (1998) goes on to say "technology employed only by early adopters last fall is this summer in wide circulation and in danger of becoming obsolete by the fall semester" (¶ 2).
Education Policy Institute (1998) states “Distance learning has been around for more than a century. Until recent years, however, it was comprised almost entirely of traditional correspondence courses which typically offered low-cost education to working people” (¶ 2). With the advent of computers and the dawn of the information age, distance education has moved into the mainstream and this alternative mode of education is beginning to influence the educational status quo. Heller’s (2005) statement reinforces this “the matrimony of education and computer – truly a marriage made in heaven, because the computer has become the ultimate bridge of communication, bringing tutors and students together, no matter the time, no matter the place, no matter the distance” (¶ 1). Due to the internet, distance learning and students have been changing at a rapid rate since 1995.
Feenberg (1999) states "It is a fact that the distance learning debate polarizes around two hostile positions that usually correspond to the different concerns of administration and faculty" (¶ 15). When looking at academic institutions you can add another group to the faculty and the administration and that is the often forgotten students. The ones that are pushing the use of the internet in education more than the other two are the students. Bock (2000) begins to indicate the need for change and the challenges that have been brought to bear on education; “A problem today is that much of what we are doing in education has not changed, while the world around us has changed dramatically. That contrast has significant implications” (¶ 2).

Dudfield (1999) attempts to explain these changing students by stating “These children have new needs, new capabilities, new capacities; they are significantly different in nature from children born before the existence of the 'wired' world” (¶ 2). The group of “wired” students are accustomed to having personal interest information at their finger tips and like the challenge of lifelong learning. A school system which does not recognize this different breed of students and study them will not meet their ‘consumer of education’ needs. This consumerism and shopping for educations has forced the ivory towers to rapidly evaluate, research and produce theories about their approach to delivery and their attempts to meet the needs has resulted in a dramatic growth in popularity of distance education.
Levin and Arafeh (2002) try to further explain why the pressure is building by these changing students. “Nonetheless, students themselves are changing because of their use of and reliance on the Internet. They are coming to school with different expectations, different skills, and different resources" (p. 32). To further confirm the pressure, Levin and Arafeh (2002) state “indeed, students who rely on the Internet for school--who cannot conceive of not using it for their schoolwork--may ultimately force schools to change to better accommodate them" (p. 32). They are the wired world children; they have grown up surrounded by TV, mobile phones, computers and the Internet. The students of the wired world accept the information age without question and are challenging the status quo in the ivory towers, not willing to accept the information silos which rely on the sage on the stage and text books as the information source.
The early innovators of distance education like Feenberg (1999) saw themselves as an integral part of the courses they offer, or enthusiastic champions who "involved their students in an adventure on the frontier of technology" (¶ 10). In numerous spots in the article Feenberg expresses the need for faculty to be involved in the decision making process to assist in their ability to be accepting of the change and to drive the change in the autonomy of the ivory tower. Such willingness of administration to include the faculty in the decision making process of LMS choice and support for development and delivery of distance learning was easy when it was in its infancy. As it became more mainstream, a possible money-maker, and with more students involved, administration began to become more interested and to apply the red tape and regulations. All of which made it difficult to keep the faculty involved in all the decision making process.
Feenberg (1999) tries to prove that faculty is best suited to develop distance education by stating “But they are, after all, the professionals and know something about the difficulties and opportunities of conventional classroom teaching. They have reasons to doubt that an item-by-item electronic replacement of their classroom is possible" (¶ 28). Without proper training faculty might not be the best ones suited for this new form of course delivery. As proved by Elton (1987) “the academic profession needs training in much the same way as academics consider that other professions need it and indeed provide it for them" (p.76). Review Committee on Higher Education Financing and Policy (1997) state “It is ironic that academics – the professionals who nurture all other professionals in every field of endeavour – continue to eschew professional qualifications for themselves" (p. 147). “It is ironic to think that it was high-profile academics who worked with the government and private sector to set up the infrastructure which ushered in the information society and that it is also academics and technocrats who are slowing down its progress,” concluded Dr. Paquet-Sévigny. (2000 p.24)
Feenberg (1999) confirms the higher educational faculty elitism with "Distance learning, like it or not will be a paradigm change, a change, many faculty fear, for the worse" (p. 4). It is interesting that many professors tend to compare the success of Distance Education programs by how close it mirrors their face to face (F2F) model. This just means the faults and successes of said models are now done at a distance. The standard F2F university lecture model of education is not the most compatible approach for some learning styles or the attention span of many students. So, a distance education model that matches the University PowerPoint lecture model, could be considered to be a weak system and by no means a successful one for many of the lifelong learners that distance learning is now attracting. For hundreds of years the cost effective, cookie cutter approach to higher education has been attracting a single type of student who represents a narrow part of society. Distance education programs have the chance to attract a totally different type of student. Yet most universities by mirroring their face to face approach are just giving the present university type student another albeit a different option. Feenberg (1999) states "they have reasons to doubt that an item by item electronic replacement of their classroom is possible" (p.4).
Feenberg (1999) states
"By contrast, courses animated by a live professor will generally be designed under his or her control in relatively simple and flexible formats. No computer professionals need be involved. As in the conventional classroom, much of the interest of the product will lie in the interaction among students and between students and teachers. As far as techniques of presentation are concerned, a certain healthy amateurism is to be expected. Pre-packaged computer-based materials will not replace the teacher but supplement his or her efforts, much as do textbooks today. Software designers will pursue user-friendliness and simplicity to serve faculty needs" (¶ 25).
However, to save money most universities have separated the content experts who are the teaching faculty from the content developers who are the information technology department. This was the answer to faculties’ unwillingness to learn the technology and administration’s desire to create a cookie cutter method of developing and offering courses. Many professors consider teaching to be a required part of their job and not their chosen vocation. Having your doctorate in no way prepares you to be teacher. As confirmed by Clifton and Rubenstein (2002) "at many institutions, professors often teach out of necessity, not because they love teaching or because they are inspiring teachers, sometimes taking delight in repeating the tired aphorism “this would be a great job if it weren’t for the students" (p.7). So, when universities decided to develop online courses, they did not actually ask the people who would be teaching the course. Primarily because they have no training in teaching themselves and have no desire to be involved sometimes. What they decided to do is to get it developed by another group of people who know nothing about teaching. They gave the job to the information technology department who are very versed in the technology that will be used for development and delivery of online courses but not in the content. So, now we have two sets of people involved; professors who are the content experts, information technology (IT) people who know the technology, and together they develop some beautiful textbook type courses. This type of development results in a professor who needs the smallest little thing changed who then has to go back to the IT department to add an image or cross a "t" or dot an "i". Back to an IT department which is so understaffed that they do not have the time to keep doing revisions to courses and course revisions are needed for an online course to succeed.
So unlike Feenberg’s (1999) statement that two groups are being polarized, you now have four groups; faculty, information technology, administration and students all adding pressure to distance education and sitting on the sidelines is big business waiting to get involved.

Teamwork is what is needed to eliminate the Distance Learning Controversy. Some groups need to swallow their pride, others need to be inclusive and realize that the aim of education is to meet the needs of and educate the consumers of education, the students. The days of the elitism of the ivory tower are gone and distance education has the ability to bring education to all interested parties of any age. If the universities wish to be part of this shift they need to speed their rate of change and adapt to their new clients.


References
Bock, W. (2000, September). Basic Education for the Digital Age. Retrieved February 2, 2008, from The Digital Age Storyteller Resources: http://www.bockinfo.com/docs/education.htm
Clifton, R. A., & Rubenstein, H. (2002, February). Collegial Models for Enhancing the Performance of University Professors. Retrieved February 3, 2008, from Fraser Institute Digital Publication: http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/digital/collegialmodels.pdf
Downes, S. (1998, Fall). The Future of Online Learning. Retrieved February 2, 2008, from Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/downes13.html
Dudfield, A. (1999, July). Literacy and Cyberculture. Retrieved Decembe 14, 2007, from Reading Online: Articles: Literacy and Cyberculture: http://www.readingonline.org/articles/dudfield/main.html#author
Education Policy Institute. (1998, March). Distance Learning Moves into the Mainstream. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Education Exchange: http://www.educationpolicy.org/newsletter/EEMar98.htm
Elton, L. (1987). Teaching in Higher Education: Appraisal and Training. London: Kogan Page.
Feenberg, A. (1999). Reflections on the Distance Learning Controversy. Retrieved January 18, 2008, from The Canadian Journal of Communication: http://coe.sdsu.edu/textweaver/cjde1.htm
Feenberg, A. (1999, Summer). Whither Educational Technology? Retrieved February 3, 2008, from Peer Review: http://www.sfu.ca/~andrewf/peer4.html
Heller, H. (2005, April 1). A New Age of Education and Tutoring. Retrieved February 2, 2008, from TechLearning: http://www.techlearning.com/story/showArticle.php?articleID=159901657
Levin, D., & Arafeh, S. (2002, August 14). The Digital Disconnect: The widening gap between internet savvy students and their schools. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from Pew Internet and American Life Project: Http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/pdfs/PIP_Schools_Internet_Report.pdf
Paquet-Sevigny, T. (2000, November 2). Plenary debate: "Are Universities facing the deathstar scenario?". Retrieved January 29, 2008, from The AUCC 2000 International Conference: http://www.aucc.ca/_pdf/english/reports/2001/intconf_report_e.pdf
Review Committee on Higher Education Financing and Policy. (1997). Learning for Life: Review of Higher Education Financing and Policy,. Canberra: Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs.

Posted by dcannell at 12:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 6, 2008

“BIRDS AND BEES” DISCUSSION IN NEW GENERATION LINGO

A little boy goes to his father and asks "Daddy, how was I born?"

The father answers, "Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:


baby.jpg


"You got Male!"

Posted by dcannell at 4:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Some very very good points (part two)

A successful union of information technology and systemic reform of K-12 education requires a renewed commitment to teachers in the nation's schools. If teachers are to become the students' empowered managers and resource guides for the broader world of information available through networks, they must have opportunities for professional development to take on this new role.

Investment in teachers today for all forms of professional development is woefully inadequate. While their access to technology in the classroom and at home is growing, it is at far too slow a pace and at a level of financial commitment too low to address the needs. Nor can this shortfall be met by relying on a new generation of younger teachers that are more computer literate than their predecessors. That strategy is not consistent with systemic reform.

Teachers must be offered opportunities for coursework in information technology and the opportunity to engage in building links in their communities where experience with technology is already in place. Students must be brought into the reform strategy as they are experienced mentors in the emergent world of cyberspace. School systems that want to change must promote professional development of teachers with the same commitment they make to hardware and software availability and network access.

Through recent history there have been two views of technology. The first sees technology as available predominantly to the economically advantaged. The second sees technology as a means of lowering barriers between the financially well off and those less economically fortunate.

History suggests that the latter is most often the relationship of technology and society. Major technologies deployed today, such as the airplane, saw early acceptance by those with financial resources, but increasingly and especially in recent decades have become much more available, as evidenced by the wide use of air travel. Electronic technologies more than any in the past have spread rapidly at much lower costs. Today games played by children are purchased and played across all socioeconomic groups.

Though poor neighborhoods and families face daunting challenges, technology deployed in education can help remove inequities between the schools of the inner city and the suburbs, between cities and rural districts, and inequities faced by people with physical disabilities and by Native Americans. Technology can become the force that equalizes the educational opportunities of all children regardless of location and social and economic circumstance. This should be the national goal.

With more than 23 million computers in American homes, the consumer demand for educational and entertainment products and services has created a substantial economic market that is surpassing the professional and business markets for new information technologies. This new and quickly growing market is supporting new ventures and services and is transforming the companies that helped create the information revolution.

Expansion and turbulence within the entertainment industry, the textbook publishing industry, and the computer hardware and software industry are translating K-12 educational possibilities into K-12 educational realities. Educators, parents, and students are quickly learning with their home computers what new products and services offer. And as the cost of buying and using these new products drops, these consumers are building a base of experience that will contribute to lifelong learning.

Businesses and venture capital are attracted to good ideas, and the new markets for educational technologies are already drawing considerable attention. But for these investments to pay off they must lead to products and services that are both interesting and based on national standards and systemic reform.

The potential for crossover between the educational and business systems is great. Educators can use new technologies to invest in learning activities, while venture capitalists can invest in educational products and services as a way of developing new markets. Children can gain access to interesting educational technologies, educators can benefit from children who are more interested in learning, and investments made today will produce both short-term and long-term economic returns for the companies and individuals who make them.

Cognitive research of recent decades has shown that earlier theories of learning did not take into account the intuitive capability that young children have to process complex thoughts, even in the absence of basic skills traditionally instilled in the young as "building blocks" of learning. Nor did earlier theories recognize the extent to which complex learning skills begin developing at preschool ages.

The innate learning capabilities of the young are now being joined with interactive learning skills achieved through encounters with game and other information technology. The new challenge for education is twofold: First, what has already been learned about learning must be applied to aid the general teaching and educational reform effort. Second, while systemic reform goes forward, research into the changes in learning posed by interactive technologies must be vigorously supported so tomorrow's schools will profit from improved understandings of learning in the information age.

Traditionally the federal government and a few philanthropic foundations have been the sources of support for cognitive research by scientists and scholars. These institutions must be encouraged to support research that will improve our understanding of how the children of the information age will learn.


Posted by dcannell at 9:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Some very very good points

Children have always been explorers, born with the ability to interact and learn about the world. But children today are growing up in a different world. Those between the ages of 3 and 18-and especially children entering school today-are being hailed as the "Nintendo Generation." They live in a world that is increasingly interactive, communications intensive, and knowledge based. They are standard bearers in the technological revolution, having never known anything else. Because of their ease in and with the information age, society needs their active involvement and interaction.

The changes going on today create an opportunity and necessity for a transformation in the way our schools function and our children are taught. If we cannot teach our children how to play and work in this world, our children will remain at risk. Education must be based on a model that is appropriate for an information-driven society. We must prepare children for a future of unforeseeable and rapid change.

Home entertainment and video game technology is ubiquitous, creating a customer base that dwarfs that of the business market. The size of the consumer market has allowed manufacturers to offer sophisticated hardware and software at greatly reduced unit costs. The processors in even simple appliances like televisions and audio compact disk players have the capacity of business systems of just a few years ago. And in many ways-particularly with regard to the graphics and sound that are so engaging to children-home video game systems outstrip even current business systems.

The huge amounts of technology already in the hands of children offer the education community a low-cost way to bring technology into the classroom, in addition to the accepted approach of relying on more expensive systems from the business market. If accepted by educators, the convergence of superior educational software designed for business computers and the problem-solving approaches of game systems could prove a powerful force in K-12 education.

A national and international digital network called the Internet currently ties together millions of people electronically around the world. Over the next decade electronic networks will rapidly evolve to provide information, services, and interaction to virtually all Americans. They will encompass the telephone system, cable television, wireless communications, shopping, libraries, higher and continuing education, and other services now provided in person. This evolution will be fueled by public policies designed to foster competition, equity, and individual rights. It will also be fueled by massive private investment in infrastructure and content.

The Internet, which is now rooted largely in institutions of higher education, has tremendous potential to change K-12 education. Yet today, despite promising starts in some schools, that potential remains largely untapped. As the network's focus shifts from institutions to individuals, ubiquitous access will become a practical tool for education both at home and in schools.

The Internet is one prototype of the information superhighway. A reflection of many communities and individuals, it has been built upon both public and private initiatives. It provides a means for collaboration and research not bound by walls, distance, or time.

The Internet is a key element in reinventing K-12 education. Children and adults alike who have access find that the Internet's boundless information resources and communications capabilities are not only enlightening but fun.

But for the Internet to be successfully used in teaching and learning, the 16,500 school districts across America need both to have access to it and to be able to use it. Both the public and private sectors have an opportunity to expand access to the Internet, linking our nation's schools, libraries, universities, research centers, private companies, and homes. Phone lines, interactive cable television, satellite links, and fiber optic cable all should be options for connecting to the net.

For more than 200 years, from the founding of the 13 colonies in the 1600s until well after the Civil War, the nation's educational needs were largely met through the model of the one-room school. As the nation urbanized and industrialized in the latter part of the 1800s, today's factory model of K-12 education emerged. As the nation enters the next century, technology allows us to consider a new model of education, one that couples classroom learning and resources to education resources found quite literally throughout the world.

In the one-room school and in today's factory-model schools, the teacher is the heart of the education enterprise. In the new model of education, the teacher will emerge as the mentor, guide, and broker to the world of knowledge made accessible by technology.

In response to the many reports of serious inadequacies in U.S. schools, national thinking about the state of K-12 education underwent a remarkable change in the 1980s. The governors of various states emerged at the forefront of educational reform, turning the call for action into measurable changes within their states. By decade's end, the governors and President Bush had agreed to establish standards and performance goals to be in place by the year 2000-a process that has been formalized in the Goals 2000 legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton.

In contrast to earlier reform activities, today's systemic reform efforts are broad-based, deeply rooted, and cognizant of the need to have national standards implemented through local reform. They recognize the need to support all components of the educational system consistently and continuously.

Over this same period information technology has moved from an era of mainframes to local area networks and network connectivity. By coupling the wider use of technology in education to the systemic reform effort and by using the emerging curriculum standards as guides to the development of educational software, new models of K-12 education can be catalyzed.

Posted by dcannell at 9:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 5, 2008

Saskatchewan Technology

Recent findings:

After having dug to a depth of 10 meters last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, California scientists dug to a depth of 20 meters, and shortly after, headlines in the LA Times newspaper read: 'California archaeologists have found traces of 200 year old copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers.'

One week later, 'Moose Jaw Times Herald', a local newspaper in Saskatchewan reported the following:

'After digging as deep as 30 meters in sagebrush fields near Moose Jaw, Oley Johnson, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Oley has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Saskatchewan had already gone wireless.'

Posted by dcannell at 3:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 4, 2008

My next haircut....for sure

haircutfaces.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 3:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2008

The Cyber School Continuous Improvement Framework

As stated at the opening staff meeting we are working on a continuous improvement framework (CIF) It will work in a few different steps: Each CIF will take one month to complete. Each month I will introduce a new unit in our CIP journey. There are ten tasks and at the end we will see if our stats via Cyber Tracker improve.

Yahooooooooo another month has come and gone...well not quite yet but you know how things work...I have posted the February CIF, a short month, a short CIF...you are very welcome.


The Cyber School Continuous Improvement Framework

Posted by dcannell at 3:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 29, 2008

THE YEAR'S BEST [actual] HEADLINES OF 2007:

Crack Found on Governor's Daughter
[Imagine that!]

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says.
[No, really?]

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers.
[Now that's taking things a bit far!]

Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
[Not if I wipe thoroughly!]

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over.
[What a guy!]

Miners Refuse to Work after Death.
[No-good-for-nothing' lazy so-and-so!]

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant.
[See if that works any better than a fair trial!]

War Dims Hope for Peace.
[I can see where it might have that effect!]

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile.
[You think?]

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures.
[Who would have thought!]

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide.
[They may be on to something!]

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges.
[You mean there's something stronger than duct tape?]

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge.
[he probably IS the battery charge!]

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group.
[Weren't they fat enough?!]

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft.
[That's what he gets for eating those beans!]

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks.
[Taste like chicken?]

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half.
[Chainsaw Massacre all over again!]

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors.
[Boy, are they tall!]

And the winner is....
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead.

Posted by dcannell at 12:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 28, 2008

For all future online teachers

So you think you can handle teaching online....it is not for everyone...hope this website helps you know what it takes to be effective.

http://www.scs.sk.ca/Cyber/bestpractice/ELT7001/index.htm

Posted by dcannell at 1:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 21, 2008

SCCS students speak out...

When the students were asked what their favourite website was...they responded with....

Click on the image for the stats...

websites.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2008

Professional Development thoughts

The benefits and drawbacks of online e-learning for professional development are the same as they would be for any scenario. Hatfield (2004) state the "advantages as:
Geography isn't a limiting factor.
Schedule tend to be more flexible.
Student based learning is the dominant educational philosophy
A mix of media enlarges the scope of the education.

And the disadvantages as:
Social needs are better fulfilled in person.
It may be harder to create a network with fellow workers
Face to face interaction can be motivational and encouraging
Professional development is more than a classroom. (p.3) (Thomas, 2004)

An online professional development experience in Baltimore County Public Schools (2004) stated that "ninety four percent of the online participants indicated that they gained more knowledge by taking the course online than in a traditional setting." (p.4)
For any professional development program to be successful it must be deemed as valuable by the leadership. This value must be translated into release time, financial support and made a priority. Development of a quality professional development program takes money so whether it is developed in house or purchased it will incur a cost. Online professional development is often viewed as a money saver and it might be, if used by many and for a long period of time, but in the beginning it will take as much money or more than a face to face program. Release time is important because the flexibility of online training is often mistaken as a program that can be completed outside of work time and then is viewed by the participants as just another “something” that takes away from their personal life. The release time will also speak to the priority and the value the leadership places upon the program. Both of which are necessary for a program to be successful.

Posted by dcannell at 10:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Communication Tools

Back in April of 2004 I was trying to get my certification in Webct and created a flash application which was all about the communication tools which we use at the cyber school. I listed the key points about each of the tools. You can see this application at:
http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/present/communication.swf

I am a fan of chat and other synchronous group communication tools; however I do find them to be very limiting in an educational setting. For communication and group building they are some of the best ways to communicate. The popularity of MSN and ICQ will attest to that. I think they have their place but after teaching high school for twenty years I feel for the student who has thirty others looking at him/her when put on the spot with a question. A discussion board allows them the time to research and formulate their thoughts while many synchronous (F2F class room or chat) communication settings do not. I think lurking is a pretty good indication of a student’s desire to be part of a community but not their willingness to participate. Try to run a chat without any marks assigned and you will be amazed at the number of lurkers who will attend. The same thing happens in many F2F classrooms. The majority of the chat happens between a select few while the rest lurk. What I like about discussion boards is that when they are sophisticated enough, an instructor can compile a student's responses and use them as an indication of a student's knowledge of the subject. In a sense, use it as an assessment tool and one where every student needs to respond. In the purest form education is not done for marks. It is done by an individual for intrinsic reasons but marks are a great form of motivation. If we can ever get formal education to the stage where it is flexible enough that students want to partake in it for personal reasons, we will have a system which meets student's personal educational goals without the instructor even knowing what they are and remove the necessity for marks to be assigned to the activity. Too often, assessment tools are used to test the instructor's ideas of what is important for a student to know, rather than allowing the student to choose their education goals and fulfill them. But that is a totally different topic.

Posted by dcannell at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Embrace E-Learning Presentation

Here is a presentation about embracing e-learning.

Download file

Posted by dcannell at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2008

According to Pew Internet and American LIfe Project 2002

95% of college students have gone online (compared with about 665 of all americans).
4 out of 5 college students check email everyday.
20% of college students started using computers between ages of 5 and 8
more than 2.5 million students took distance learning courses in 2003, while about 710,000 did five years earlier.
The e-learning market is growing about 100% each year.
More than 1,400 colleges offer online classes.
Almost all college students own their own computers (95%)
1 in 4 students communicate more with their professors using email than face to face.
More than 50% of students say email helps them express ideas to their professor they would not have expressed in class

Posted by dcannell at 2:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 4, 2008

Changing the approach...

Teachers today are attempting to teach their students with traditional and e-learning methods that are no longer valid; the only choice may be for educators to change the way they teach. Furdyk (2007) states “teachers need to exist in the spaces the students exist, understand their culture. You have no credibility if you are not where they are” (¶ 10 minutes). They are according to Prensky (2001) “using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, over 10,000 hours talking on cell phones, over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV)(p.1)” and send 200,000 emails or instant messages.
To answer the challenge of transforming traditional education or e-learning is to welcome the students and information age and transform the popular ‘Sage on the Stage’ classroom approach into a ‘Guide on the Side’ approach. The social networking tools that have come with Web2.0 bring a completely different set of tools into the hands of the students. The popularity of these tools has surprised and frightened the ‘Traditional teacher’ to the state where most schools and cyber schools, rather than embracing these tools, have banned them. The banning of face book, instant messaging, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, MySpace, social bookmarking, podcasts, YouTube, and flicker, just to mention a few , has made a huge statement that education systems are not willing to join the students in their world.
An information age with connected students having instant information, communication, multimedia and entertainment and social networking tools is a new era that no teacher can realistically compete with using the current education approaches. In the past, technology has been used as a supplement to education. As teachers get more comfortable with technology it becomes a support for education but until it becomes fully integrated with education we will not be preparing the students for their world. We need to connect to our students and connect them to their world.


References
Furdyk, M. (2007, October 18). Living, Learning and Contributing as a Life Long Journey. (M. Furdyck, Performer) Key Note Speaker Distributed Learning in the 21st Century Conference., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
McKenzie, J. (1998, March). The Wired Classroom. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from FNO.org: http://fno.org/mar98/flotilla2.html

Posted by dcannell at 2:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2007

Professional educational philophy...

The Greater Saskatoon Catholic School System is an urban, publicly funded school division in the largest city in Saskatchewan, Canada. Hoffman (2007) states in her media releases and on the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools website: “Saskatoon Catholic Schools have more than 15,200 students in 44 schools located in Saskatoon, Humboldt, Biggar and Viscount. The division employs approximately 1,800 people who work as teaching, service and support staff. The purpose of Saskatoon Catholic Schools is to assist parents and the local church community in the formation of students in heart, mind, body and spirit” (¶ 3). This was the environment in which the largest and most successful cyber school in the province was developed.
Levin and Arafeh (2002) best describe the catalyst for this progressive initiative: "Nonetheless, students themselves are changing because of their use of and reliance on the Internet. They are coming to school with different expectations, different skills, and different resources. In fact, our most Internet-savvy students told us their schools, teachers and peers are at times frustratingly illiterate, naïve, and even afraid of the online world. Indeed, students who rely on the Internet for school--who cannot conceive of not using it for their schoolwork--may ultimately force schools to change to better accommodate them" (p. 25).
Levin and Arafeh (2002) point out "Many schools and teachers have not yet recognized - much less responded to - the new ways students communicate and access information over the Internet” (p. iii). They are the wired world children. They have grown up surrounded by TV, mobile phones, computers and the Internet. “These children have new needs, new capabilities, new capacities; they are significantly different in nature from children born before the existence of the 'wired' world” (Dudfield, 1999 ¶ 1). The Media Awareness Group (2000) found that “Of the Canadian families surveyed, 82% say they have used the Internet, and 73% report they have Internet access in the home” (p.8). The business community had started to recognize the need for students to acquire Internet skills as stated in the Report of the Canadian E-business Opportunities Roundtable (2001). “Much of our attention today is focused on attracting and retaining the existing pool of e-talent, while not enough focus on cultivating the next generation of e-talent. Internet literacy - the foundation skill for e-business acumen - must be laid in elementary, secondary and post-secondary institutions across Canada” (p.20). All of these factors were the catalyst and the justification to explore the possibility of developing a distant education program using the Internet as its delivery system.
In 1999 the Saskatoon Catholic System’s executive council which was comprised of five superintendents, each responsible for the programming and personnel in his or her geographic area of the city, and the assistant director and director of education recognized the change in their students and the pressure to meet the demand for change. Recognition fuelled action and so began the development of the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School, which would have the potential to meet the needs of students in the global context by providing relevant education using current technologies. The teaching staff for the online school was recruited because of their content expertise within courses rather than their facility with technology. All teaching staff was and is part-time and has taught conventional classes in the school division. Tunison and Noonan (2001) explained it best, “a course development model in which teachers developed empathy for students’ frustrations as they worked on-line, each teacher was required to develop both the content and the technological aspects of the courses” (p. 4).
By August of 2000 the first four courses were ready to be delivered to students. During this first year of online course offerings, a total of 156 students took advantage of this educational opportunity. "The revolution has begun… …it can't be stopped. So rather than being beaten down by the technology, teachers must use it, use it, use it, and use it again to do what school is supposed to be about - learning about life and the world around us" (Regan, 2002 ¶ 13).
With very little advertising the school grew rapidly. The students were sharing their cyber experiences with their peers and by August 2001, 8 courses were ready and 310 students enrolled. The 2002-2003 school year offered 16 courses and had an enrolment of 559 students. The 2003-2004 school year offered 19 courses and had an enrolment of over 800 students. The 2005-2006 school year offered 21 courses and had an enrolment of over 1000 students. This trend of growth continues to this day as shown in the 2006-2007 school which had an enrolment of over 1500 students and 24 courses.
The demographics of students were studied by Tunison and Noonan (2001) and have not changed since their study. Only the number of students has increased. Approximately 85% of students registered are taking one or two online courses, pursuing the remainder of their courses in a “face to face” school within the Saskatoon Catholic School Division. Ten percent of students are recent high school graduates who are upgrading their marks or taking the remaining classes needed to fulfill their grade 12-graduation requirements. The remaining 5% of students are from out of division, or out of country (p.4).
The Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School according to Berhardt (2001) is a "hit with students" (¶ 1) and according to Boklaschuk (2003) "the school, which has been honoured with several international awards is a source of pride for the Catholic Board of Education" (¶ 13). Knowles (2005) terms the school as a "quantum leap in terms of teachers recognizing the need to forsake some traditional methods of teaching while "getting to where the kids are and that makes it very empowering for them" (p. 2). By almost all measurements the school has been considered a success. Since the school inception, Darren Cannell has been the project leader, assistant principal and administrator. The Greater Saskatoon Catholic School chose him as the person who would design, implement, administer and grow the initiative.
Problem statement
Darren Cannell is currently in his twenty seventh year of teaching and in a few years it will be necessary to replace him with a new administrator. To effectively find the appropriate replacement it would be of value to determine the professional educational philosophy of the current cyber school administrator.
Literature review
The following five literature reviews attempt to clarify the value of professional educational philosophy in an alternative educational program like the Cyber School. Becker and Riel (2000) report speaks to teacher professional engagement and constructivist-compatible computer use. The report tries to draw a correlation between teachers who participate in professional interactions and a constructivist approach to teaching and who use computers more and in exemplary ways. The second article written by Berge (1998) refers to barriers to online teaching in Post-Secondary Institutions. It asks the difficult question "Can higher education at "traditional" universities change to meet the new student demands and the intense competitions among education providers that distance education brings?" The third article by Shneiderman (1998) proposes three- component philosophy which includes relate: work in collaborative teams, create: develop ambitious projects and donate: produce results that are meaningful to someone outside the classroom. The fourth article that caught my eye was written by Mazzolini and Maddison (2002). This article talked about the effect of instructor intervention on student participation in online discussion forums and had many transferable points to the administration of numerous online educators and how to relate to them. The fifth article written by Stein and Wanstreet (2003) suggests that the research found in "Role of Social Presence, Choice of Online or Face to Face Group Format, and Satisfaction with Perceived Knowledge Gained in a Distance Learning Environment" finds it worthwhile to offer different methods of collaborative learning so students have a choice of formats.
The five articles chosen for the literature review, although varied seem to suggest that in comparison to the traditional form of education “Distance education” is a child. This child is trying to be accepted by a threatened adult, the traditional form of education. Most of the research being done on the child is done by the adult who has been unchanged for close to two hundred years and is worried about its autonomy within its ivory towers. Education Policy Institute (1998) states “Distance learning has been around for more than a century. Until recent years, however, it was comprised almost entirely of traditional correspondence courses which typically offered low-cost education to working people” (¶ 2). With the advent of computers and the dawn of the information age, distance education has moved into the mainstream and this alternative mode of education is beginning to influence the education status quo. Society is ready for a change to education but the stakeholders are not so willing to let go of a system that has served us well for two plus centuries. Education needs to reflect the reality of the students living in the information age. Prensky (2001) proposes that “Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach” (¶ 1). A couple of quotes from high school students clarify how they feel about the current educational system. “We have learned to 'play school'. “We study the right facts the night before the test so we achieve a passing grade and thus become a successful student." “It’s not attention deficit – I’m just not listening!” “When I go to school, I have to ‘power down.’”(District, 2007)
According to Prensky (2001), Digital Immigrants are attempting to teach the Digital Natives with methods that are no longer valid. The only choice may be for educators to change the way they teach. "Unfortunately," he says, "no matter how much the Immigrants may wish it, it is highly unlikely the Digital Natives will go backwards. In the first place, it may be impossible—their brains may already be different"(¶ 16). Further to this point Furdyk (2007) states “teachers need to exist in the spaces the students exist, understand their culture. You have no credibility if you are not where they are”(taken from a keynote). They are according to Prensky (2001) “using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, over 10,000 hours talking on cell phones but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV)” (¶ 3) and send 200,000 emails or instant messages. The current approach to education has resulted in a dropout rate of nine point four percent (2005) and only twenty-eight percent of twelfth grade high school students believe that school work is meaningful. Twenty one percent believe that their courses are interesting and a mere thirty-nine percent believe that school work will have any bearing on their success in later life (Wirt, Choy, Gerald, Provasnik, Rooney, and Watanabe, 2002 p.72). Since the partnership between personal computers, the internet and education it has become less clear what defines the traditional form of education. Heller (2005) statement reinforces this “the matrimony of education and computer – truly a marriage made in heaven, because the computer has become the ultimate bridge of communication, bringing tutors and students together, no matter the time, no matter the place, no matter the distance.” To further muddy the waters, Bagi and Crooks (2001) state “The idealism that distance education and real-time classroom activity are antipodal concepts has become an outdated assumption” (¶ 1). The use of technology in traditional and alternative education continues to increase which has resulted in a less true form of traditional education and a fusing of the line between tradition and alternative. The greatest spin-off of alternative modes of education is not that they will ultimately take over the tradition face to face education or weaken it but that they provided a revised perspective on how it is being current be done better.
The above is the environment in which the Cyber School was developed as well as the justification and the problems of an alternative mode of education. The future of education will require a vision for all cyber schools. A vision that will need to be maintained and developed by the replacement cyber school administrator. A clearer understanding of the current cyber school administrator's professional educational philosophy can achieved by reviewing his past. Horn (2001) best describes the reason for the next couple of sections of this essay. The most obvious faces of the memoir— confession, self-justification, inside information— may seem far removed from cultural and intellectual history. But memoirs usually try to describe past times, societies, neighbourhoods, institutions, and events, as well as the cultural and intellectual influences that shaped the memoirist’s thoughts, beliefs, tastes, and preconceptions (¶ 1) as well as explaining the origin of one's professional philosophy of education. "An analogy to one's philosophy may be equated to a pair of glasses that filter reality through one's personal experiences, opinions, values and beliefs. It has, therefore a direct influence on how we see and understand the world around us, what actions we take, and why we choose to behave in the ways we do" (Frankl, 1997 ¶ 3).
Darren Cannell's father was in the Canadian military, which required the family to move every three years of his life until he was 17. He lived in Canada, the United States and Germany and in many different locations in each country and attended seven different schools. This childhood upbringing greatly impacted his adult life and assisted in giving him a worldly view. This childhood is commonly referred to as an 'army brat’ which has been said to mean according to Ricketts (2007) "Born, Raised And Transferred Somewhere" (¶ 1). "An estimated 15 million Americans are former army brats. They include actors Jessica Alba and Robert Duvall, Senator John McCain and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal" (Brats without Borders, 2007 ¶ 2). One of the approximate 20,000 fellow Canadian Army brats, Michael J. Fox described it as a life style that "'encourages the family's closeness '.... and the frequent moves 'promoted a kind of positive extroversion,' he says 'It made me go out and meet people and relate to them right away' " (Gould, 2005 ¶ 7). Many army brats tend to act "like they have never met a stranger", (Howard, 2001 ¶ 2) and “feel the urge to move every few years and are reluctant to forge lasting relationships ....and are generally viewed as independent, outgoing and flexible" (Sokol, 2007 ¶ 5). Many of Darren's personality traits are a result of his upbringing. Army Brats “share personality traits born of necessity ....share unique bonds" (Sokol, 2007 ¶ 1) and after living abroad, returning to one's home country can be a severe culture shock and result in a different perspective than the normal Canadian peer. The result of living overseas leaves one "To realize that America is not the center of the universe" (Knight, 2007 ¶ 3). Becoming accustomed to other cultures makes for one not being "used to anymore being looked at primarily by race kinds of things" (Junne, 2007 ¶ 7) and "I was always out of sync with whatever was going on, with the culture, with the lessons, totally at odds with what should have been my peers" (Green, 2007 ¶ 8). "Army Brats have no ‘hometowns’ to go back to and rarely know their extended families. Brats learn to get along with anybody, from anywhere. They can move and take risks. They're not afraid of change" (Brats without borders, 2007 ¶1).
Being raised in the authoritarian military environment is a wide stretch from the general democratic society where 'anything goes'. The military tells a family where and when they will move. The military culture cuts across gender, race and class. An "attitude that’s not just nonracist, but anti--racist" (Williams, 2001 ¶ 13). A military dependant's behaviour reflects on the whole family, and could adversely affect the military father's career.
Darren entered many schools in the middle of the year, to which his response was the same as Williams (2001) as he explains results in others seeing army brats "as worldly and sophisticated which civilians might label as 'sturdiness'” (¶ 16). This situation results in many army brats according to Williams (2001) as having to "make friends and have a social identity in a hurry" (¶ 20). Williams (2001) further explains that "military brats tend to be either super achievers in school, which gets the attention of their peers and teachers or they go the opposite direction and join the out group" (¶ 21). Similar to Knight (2007) who tries to explain the mind set as "do you ever quit? I went, of course not! And it dawned on me that other people quit....I just, claw, I hold on. I hold things til, you know, and in that persistence, I usually manage to succeed" (¶3). This might explain why grade eleven math was the best two and half years of Darren's life. Williams (2001) confirms "come in aiming to succeed. They've developed very high expectations for themselves." and " they tend to be very idealistic people. We've been raised in an environment where you do things for principle, to support an ideal" (¶ 22).
Darren's education history starts with him in tears for the first day of kindergarten which is not that unusual according to iParenting (2007) who state that "although highly anticipated, the first day of kindergarten also can be nerve-wracking occasion for both parents and kids" (¶ 1). Darren's parents were okay but his jitters continued as he was the only member of the class who did not make it across the stage at the Christmas concert as 'ant' number seven in the 'Ants Go Marching One by One' skit. The lack of appearance was blamed upon a tie that was too tight under his ant outfit. Lack of breath and stage fright and massive amounts of tears all combined to give him an unnatural hate for wearing a tie even to this day, but that is a totally different phobia. Public speaking fear is not uncommon according to Seinfeld (2003) who states "According to most studies, people's number-one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. 'Death' is number two! Now, this means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy" (¶ 1). "Sally sells sea shells down by the sea shore" was Darren's practice sentence in grade three given to him by his speech impediment instructor. Being four foot six and sixty five pounds and the smallest student in the class found in him in grade eight at the front of the class so he could see the board. Being that size was not a great asset when his favourite sport was volleyball. A situation that resolved itself as he grew almost a foot in grade ten, a change which was welcomed by him and his volleyball coach. Only to be replaced by a continuing issue of having to work twice as hard as his siblings to achieve grades that were still 10-20 percent lower than theirs. As stated above, grade eleven math was the best couple years of his life. He had to work harder for his marks than all his siblings and when he attended university he found that education environment easier than many because of his work habit. He just barely had the grade point average required to enter university but that grade point was achieved by a lot of work and study. This better prepared him for the rigors of university than the student who found high school easy and did not have to study or develop the study habits he did. As confirmed by the University of Akron (2005) to be successful in university one needs to "be mentally prepared for the environment into which you are entering. Be prepared for the workload...for competition with other individuals as talented, and many more talented that you are...Success can be attributed to the cliché: hard work" (¶14, 39).
His first degree from Brock University was a Bachelor of Physical Education. Physical education at Brock University used an approach to physical education which was unique. The focus was on Movement education which differs from the traditional physical education which employs direct teaching methods. As confirmed by Murray (1981) in an article that was written the year he graduated from Brock with “this method is teacher oriented, students are informed in a precise manner how to perform a specific skill" (¶ 10). Movement education is more of an indirect method and is primarily student oriented. Murray (1981) states "students are given the freedom to practice and experiment with movement ideas. As the onus is placed on the individual, both physically and mentally, decision making, kinaesthetic awareness and personal motivation is necessary" (¶ 11). During his time at Brock University he completed two other degrees, his Honours Bachelor of Physical Education and his Bachelor of Education. His honours required him to write a thesis called "A Perceived Needs Assessment of Volunteer Coaches in the Niagara Peninsula."
His first teaching position was as a classroom teacher for a grade eight in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. This teaching position required him to move to a new location in Canada, living in Saskatoon was his aunt and a grandmother who he had only seen a few times in his life. His first year of teaching was similar to all other first year teachers. It was busy. He was teaching all subjects and felt he was not well prepared all the time. As stated by Moir (1990) during that first year he went through the following stages "anticipation, to survival, to disillusionment, to rejuvenation, to reflection; then back to anticipation" (¶ 1). The first phase was anticipation. “New teachers enter with a tremendous commitment to making a difference and a somewhat idealistic view of how to accomplish their goals"(Moir, 1990 ¶ 2). Then he moved in to the survival phase "Beginning teachers are instantly bombarded with a variety of problems and situations they had not anticipated. Despite teacher preparation programs, new teachers are caught off guard by the reality of teaching"(Moir 1990 ¶ 3). He was so busy, he was just trying to make it from day to day. The third stage was a result of the amount of work and no time for reflection. The disillusionment phase was "coupled with months of excessive time allotted to teaching ...express self-doubt, have lower self-esteem and question their professional commitment”. He lived through it and moved on to the rejuvenation stage in which his attitude improved. “A better understanding of the system, an acceptance of the realities of teaching, and a sense of accomplishment .... gain new coping strategies and skills to prevent, reduce, or manage many problems" (Moir 1990 ¶ 4). The fourth stage was reflection which occurred near the end of the year. "Reflection back over the year, they highlight events that were successful and those that were not. They think about the various changes that they plan to make the following year in management, curriculum and teaching strategies" (Moir 1990 ¶ 5). And he moved on to anticipation for the next year. This cycle continued right up until his final year of teaching in the classroom. The highs and lows of the cycle were never as extreme as in his first year but in the years that he changed schools they increased. During his teaching he taught in three elementary schools, and three high schools. In high school he taught art and physical education and in his final ten years of classroom teaching he taught only art. His days in the classroom were ended when he was chosen as the project leader for the Cyber School.
Other aspects of this Art teacher with a physical education degree which helped to make up his educational philosophy would be such things as Consulting at Universities, Presenting at numerous conferences, teaching at a Native high school, directing a musical, painting professionally, playing on the masters’ national volleyball team, playing wheelchair basketball as an able bodied player, coaching a volleyball club for 11 years, being a director at Volleyball Canada, an edublogger and having a child.
Consulting at Universities was an aspect of Darren's professional career that taught him a very valuable lesson. If the consultation was a process put in motion by the administration and was not welcomed by the professors it can be a very difficult process. According to Zigarmi, Blanchard, O'Conner and Edeburn (2004) “Leadership, in its best form, is granted by those being led”(¶ 4).
Presenting at numerous conferences was interesting because it allowed him to share the cyber school vision and get feedback from other people who were venturing down the same path. Horibe (1999) explains "In a static world, the need to learn isn’t very great. You generally do a lot when you’re young and stop after a certain point. But in an uncertain world, learning never ends"(¶ 7).
Teaching for two years at a Native high school allowed him to experience the feelings of a minority, to gain a glimpse into and learn some of their culture. Knobbe (1994) explains "to come, follow me under my wings and listen to the teachings of my heart." We, as a white male dominant culture need to show greater respect by getting to know, on a personal level, a Native American person. We need to place ourselves in a submissive way under their wings, listen and learn from them with head bowed about the wisdom they can share with us. We need to place ourselves in a position of 'vulnerable invitation'" (¶ 7).
Directing a grade eight musical with 60 plus actors taught him that it is possible to convince people to step out of their comfort zone and achieve success. Simmons (2007) states “Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action” (¶ 2).
Painting professionally was a creative outlet which taught him the need for balance in composition, depth, subject and colour. This balance is translated into other subjects and aspects of his life. Bonnay (2004) explains “the opposing polarities and contradictions within nature, ourselves, situations and experiences. To explore them through painting enables me to integrate them to achieve a greater balance within my life"(¶ 5).
Playing on the Masters National Volleyball Team reinforced his national pride and culmination of years of training to play a sport at that level. As confirmed by Martin (2003) "to be committed to something, to practice every day; to see the fruits of his labour; to succeed and to fail; to get knocked down and to get up; to have courage; to have common goals and to be part of a team while learning when to lead and when to follow"(¶ 6).
Playing on the provincial wheelchair basketball team allowed him to gain an appreciation of how all people can contribute to a team. All have strengths and weaknesses. By recognizing those you can achieve more as a team than you can as an individual. Macafee (1999) explains "some people who think the sport should be left to those who can't run and jump. But he believes both groups have something to contribute. 'The mix works really well,' said Turcotte, 24. 'You really rely on your disabled athletes, and the smaller players can really set the pace of the game'" (¶ 5).
Coaching a volleyball club for eleven years allowed him to work with a wide variety of athletes and assist them in reaching their potential which translates into his approach within the classroom. Kleine states "to be an athlete, you first must learn -- that it's self-respect you'll have to earn. You must conquer you, or you'll surely get beat, cause you are the one, against whom you compete”(¶ 3).
After complaining about the way volleyball was being run in this country for the eleven years that he coached, Darren decided it was time to be part of the solution and worked his way to the highest governing body in volleyball in the country. Cheong (2007) explains why people coach and work for sport governing bodies; "wants to give back to the sport that played such an important role in her own life" (¶ 1).
Being an edublogger allowed Darren to diarize his thoughts and share them with his cyber school community as well as the global community. Owyang (2005) states “For the first time in the history of the world, nearly everyone has access to easy to use tools that anyone can use to publish, and the ideas and voices can be easily found. There is a global conversation now" (¶ 2).
Having a child made Darren realize that no matter how many university degrees he might obtain he still knows so little. Nooney (2000) confirms "Before I became a parent I had a certain arrogance about myself and my abilities. I was intelligent and resourceful, and I usually excelled in those things with which I chose to spend my time. I also had the luxury of not engaging in those activities at which I was not so good"(¶ 8).
The professional education philosophy of the pysed. art teacher who built a cyber school can be gleaned by the following descriptors; global, creative, risk-taking, independent, never-quit, student-centered, out of the box, parent, coach, blogger, national calibre athlete, artist, geek, respected, student, director, traveller, presenter, consultant, teacher, administrator and military brat. Can these shoes be filled?--- Yes. The new administrator will bring his/her own approach. McIntyre (2007) “Your new manager will probably do some things (maybe many things) differently from your old boss. Unless there are legal or ethical issues, this change in direction is not “wrong” – just a new approach" (¶ 2). We are in a time of trial and error and if we expect online education to evolve we have to have an open mind and try different things. Change is never easy which is best illustrated in the following statements made in a PowerPoint in the Garden Valley School Division (2006).
"Students today depend on paper too much. They don't know how to write on a slate without getting chalk dust all over themselves. They can't clean a slate properly. What will they do when they run out of paper" (Principal Association Conference, 1915 ¶ 6)? "Students today depend upon store bought ink. They don't know how to make their own. When they run out of ink they will be unable to write words or ciphers until their next trip to the settlement. This is a sad commentary on modern education" (The Rural American Teacher, 1928 ¶ 8). “Students today depend on these expensive fountain pens. They can no longer write with a straight pen and nib. We parents must not allow them to wallow in such luxury..." (Parent Teacher Association Gazette, 1941 ¶ 10) "Ballpoint pens will be the ruin of education in our country. Students use these devices and then throw them away. The American values of thrift and frugality are being discarded. Business and banks will never allow such expensive luxuries" ( Federal Teachers, 1950 ¶12). "Why would you ever want the Internet for student use? It's just the latest fad - have then use the library" (District Employee, 1995 ¶ 20). "What can you do with an LCD Projector that you can't do with an overhead projector" (Member of School Accountability Committee, 1999 ¶28 )?
"Change is never easy or quickly accepted" (Cannell, 2007 while writing this essay).


References
Bagi, J., & Crooks, S. M. (2001, April). Synchronous WWW-Based Course-Support Systems: Tools for Facilitating Online Constructivist Learning. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Ed at a Distance Magazine and Ed Journal: http://www.usdla.org/html/journal/APR01_Issue/article03.html
Becker, H. J., & Riel, M. M. (2000, December). Teacher Professional Engagement and Constructivist-Compatible Computer Use. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations: http://www.crito.uci.edu/tlc/findings/report_7/report7.pdf
Berge, Z. L. (1998, Summer). Barriers to Online Teaching In Post-Secondary Institutions: Can Policy Changes Fix it? Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration: http://nurs.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer12/berge12.pdf
Bernhardt, D. (2001, April 19). Cyber School Proving Hit with Students: But on-line school no picnic. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from The Star Phoenix: http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/news/article1.jpg
Boklaschuk, S. (2003, May 24). Educational Alternatives: Innovative Saskatoon Programs Bring Teachers to Their Students. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from The Star Phoenix: http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/news/star1b.jpg
Brats without Borders. (2007). About the Film. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from Brats: Our Journey Home: http://www.bratsourjourneyhome.com/about.htm
Canadian E-Business Opportunities Roundtable. (2001, February ). Fast Forward 2.0: Taking Canada to the Next level. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from The Digital Economy in Canada: http://e-com.ic.gc.ca/eteam/documents/ff2.pdf
Cheong, T. (2007, September 7). Canadian Colleges Athletic Association. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Successful Candidates for the 2007-08 CCAA Apprentice Coach Program: http://douglas.bc.ca/__shared/assets/badccaacoachappren49481.pdf
Dudfield, A. (1999, July). Literacy and Cyberculture. Retrieved Decembe 14, 2007, from Reading Online: Articles: Literacy and Cyberculture: http://www.readingonline.org/articles/dudfield/main.html#author
Education Policy Institute. (1998, March). Distance Learning Moves into the Mainstream. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Education Exchange: http://www.educationpolicy.org/newsletter/EEMar98.htm
Frankl, D. (1997, January). Coaching Philosophy. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from California State University: http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/dfrankl/soccer/philo.htm
Furdyk, K. (2007). Living, Learning and Contributing as a Life Long Journey. Distributed Learning in the 21st Century Conference. Edmonton Alberta: Alberta Learning.
Garden Valley School Division. (2006). What if powerpoint. Retrieved December 17, 2007, from ICT at GVSD: http://www.ictatgvsd.pbwiki.com/f/whatif.ppt
Gould, A. (2005). Retrieved December 11, 2007, from Allan Gould: Author, Journalist, Lecturer, Speechwriter: http://www.allangould.com/magazines/profiles/michaeljfox/magazines_profiles_michaeljfox.html
Hoffman, D. (2007, September). News Releases. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools: http://canaveral.scs.sk.ca/news/
Horibe, F. (1999, March). Managing Knowledge Workers: New Skills and Attitudes to Unlock the Intellectual Capital in Your Organization. Retrieved December 17, 2007, from Frances Horibe - Beyond Theory and into Practice: http://www.franceshoribe.com/pdf/mkwch1.pdf
Horn, M. (2001). Memoirs as Cultural and Intellectual History: A Personal View. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from History of Intellectual Culture: http://www.ucalgary.ca/hic/website/2001vol1no1/forums/horn.htm
Howard, M. (2001, May 22). Personality Comes in Handy for Richmond, Va -Area Image Consultant. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from Richmond-Times Dispatch/ Tribune Business News: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-8369697_ITM
iparenting. (2007). Cooling Kindergarten Worries: Easing Your Child's Stress on the First Day. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from iParenting: internet communities for parents: http://www.iparentingcanada.com/articles/1601/1
Kleine, R. (2001, December 10). Coaching and Kids. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Coaching and Sports: http://www.pelinks4u.org/archives/coaching/121001.htm
Knight, L., Junne, G., & Green, M. (2007, February). Life as a Brat: Living Overseas. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from Brats: Our Journey Home: http://www.bratsourjourneyhome.com/life.htm
Knowles, D. (2005, June 15). Cyber School gives New Voice to Students, Teachers alike. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from The Bulletin: http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/news/ArticleLarge.jpg
Levin, D., & Arafeh, S. (2002, August 14). The Digital Disconnect: The widening gap between internet savvy students and their schools. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from Pew Internet and American Life Project: Http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/pdfs/PIP_Schools_Internet_Report.pdf
Macafee, M. (1999, March 2). Wheelchair Basketball not Just for the Disabled. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Canada Winter Games: http://www.canoe.ca/SlamCanadaWinterGames/mar2_bas.html
Martin, D. (2003, January 15). Sports and Parental Values: A Father's Journey with His Daughter. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Self Help Magazine: http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/articles/sports/sports_parental_values.html
Mazzolini, M., & Maddison, S. (2002, May 13). Sage, guide or ghost? The effect of instructor intervention on student participation in online discussion forums. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from Center for Astrophysics and Supercomputing: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VCJ-47RRDP7-4&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=3c386fbb9f3169f998edc25a1e3e05f9
McIntyre, M. (2007). Strategies for Surviving a New Boss. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from Your Office Coach: http://yourofficecoach.com/Topics/surviving_new_boss.htm
Medis Awareness Group. (2000). Canada's Children in a Wired World: The Parents' View. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from Media Awareness: http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/special_initiatives/survey_resources/parents_survey/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=31576
Moir, E. (1990). Phases of First-Year Teaching. Retrieved December 12, 2007, from El Rancho Unified School District Teacher Support Program: http://www.teachersupportprograms.org/phases_first_year_teaching/
Murray, N. (1981, September). Movement Education: A factual statement. Retrieved December 12, 2007, from Sport Information Resource Center: http://www.canadiansport.com/newsletters/september/movementeducation.cfm
Nooney, G. (2000, December 3). Parenting: A Humbling Experience. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from The First Unitarian Church: http://www.siouxcityuu.org/parenting.htm
Owyang, J. (2005, December 22). Value of Blogging: Community, Converstations, Connecting. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Web Strategy by Jeremiah: http://jeremiahthewebprophet.blogspot.com/2005/12/value-of-blogging-community.html
Prensky, M. (2001, October). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved December 15, 2007, from On the Horizon: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
Regan, T. (2002, August 15). Net Savvy Students to Teachers: You Just Don't Get it! Retrieved December 16, 2007, from The Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0815/p25s01-cogn.html
Ricketts, B. (2007, October 10). Brats...A Canadian Institution. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from Mysteries of Canada: http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/Military/brats.htm
Seinfeld, J. (2003, May 20). The Pilot 1/2. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from The Seinfled scripts: http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/ThePilot.html
Shneiderman, B. (1998). Relate-Create-Donate: A teaching/learning philosophy for the cyber-generation. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Computer and Education: http://hcil.cs.umd.edu/trs/97-17/97-17.html
Simons, C. (2007, October 21). Give your Child the Gift of Self-Esteem. Retrieved December 17, 2007, from Baby Thoughts: http://www.babythoughts.ca/articles/index.php/category/self-esteem/
Sokol, J. (2007, December 7). 'Brat' offers glimpse of her world. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from OC Register: http://www.ocregister.com/life/jenny-sokol-military-1932678-life-military
The University of Akron. (2005, September 16). Study Habits: Secrets for Success. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from School of Law: Law School Survival: http://www.uakron.edu/law/lawadmissions/studyhabits.php
Tunison, S., & Noonan, B. (2003, November). On-line Learning: Secondary Students' First Experience. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from Canadian Journal of Education: http://www.csse.ca/CJE/Articles/FullText/CJE26-4/CJE26-4-Tunison.pdf
Williams, R. (2001, August 20). Military Brats are a Special Breed. Retrieved December 11, 2007, from American Forces Press Service: News Articles: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=44766
Wirt, J., Choy, S., Gerald, D., Provasnik, S., Rooney, P., & Watanabe, S. (2002, July 2). The Condition of Education 2002. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from National Center for Education Statistics: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/2002025.pdf
Zigarmi, D., Blanchard, K., O'Connor, M., & Edeburn, C. (2004, August 26). The Leader Within: Learning Enough about Yourself to Lead Others. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from www.peace.ca: http://www.peace.ca/leaderwithin.htm

Posted by dcannell at 2:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 14, 2007

A very good tip.

tip.JPG

Posted by dcannell at 9:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 13, 2007

Online teacher Characteristics

Yearly, the Cyber School hires four new teachers and, like all face to face schools, we try to hire the most competent teachers for the positions. The characteristics differ only slightly from the face to face environment. The search for a mature, enthusiastic, positive, professional, passionate, healthy, worldly, guide on the side, lifelong learner and someone who owns a with-it-ness, thick skin and a good sense of humour has been the goal for these teacher positions. It is well known that these types of teachers are not a dime a dozen. However, it is necessary to set the bar high because in any classroom, be it online or face to face, the “highly qualified and competent teacher is the most important resource”. (Department of Education and Science, 2005 p.1) For the purposes of this essay we will focus on only four of the characteristics listed above: Lifelong learner, guide on the side, worldly and with-it-ness. These four were chosen because, lifelong learner speaks to the teacher’s commitment to personal learning, guide on the side relates to the teaching style. Worldly speaks to the teachers ability to relate to the global nature of their students and the fourth is with-it-ness, which applies to a mastery of all characteristics and speaks to a teacher’s ability to cope and function in the stressful environment we call the classroom of the twenty first century.
Creating a lifelong learner is the new goal of twenty first century education and can only be achieved by an educator who shares the lifelong learner characteristic. Bearisto (2000) states "we must all develop the aptitudes and dispositions of lifelong learning if we are to thrive in our dynamic and pluralistic age" (p. 1). He further explains that being a lifelong learner will allow one “to thrive as a knowledge worker who surfs the wave of change in our information age" (p. 6). According to Beristo (2000) most face to face classroom presentation styles tend to reflect "teaching as telling and listening as learning, is very much like training" (p. 11). A teacher as a lifelong learner must be "committed to personal and professional development and innovation to maintain professionalism and currency for self and his community" (Institute of Technical Education, 2007 ¶ 1). This commitment allows the teacher to handle the learning curve necessary to becoming a good online educator as well as creating an environment which will foster lifelong learning in the students. This environment will allow the students to move from students to learners. Anderson (2007) clarifies by stating "students are individuals who get taught. But learners are more actively involved in the learning process. Learners have active curiosities and take initiative" (¶ 5).
The second characteristic which will be looked for in the cyber teacher is a guide on the side. Teaching online is akin to teaching in the largest library in the world. The internet is just a click of the mouse away. The sage on the stage pales next to this resource. It allows teachers to remove themselves from being the focus of the education and allows the students (learners) to be the center of the process. According to King (1993) it allows learners to actively participate in thinking and discussing ideas while making mean¬ing for themselves. (¶ 4) McKenzie (1998) states “student-centered learning can be time-consuming and messy, efficiency will sometimes argue for the Sage"(¶ 13). The face to face environment is suited more to this formal authoritarian teaching style. The focus is on the content. "The style is generally teacher-centered, where the teacher feels responsible for providing and controlling the flow of the content”. (Stein, Steeves, and Smith-Mitsuhashi, 2002 ¶ 1) The online method of course content delivery is perfectly suited to allow the instructor to be more of a guide. The content, instruction and assignments are delivered via the computer so the teacher’s role is naturally more of a guide. “The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.” (Bulwer-Lytton, 2007 ¶ 4) and Carruthers (2007) further defines a teacher as "one who makes himself progressively unnecessary" (¶ 5)
A teacher needs to be worldly. He needs to be aware of the global dimension needed to prepare students for the world in which they live. This type of education is sometimes referred to as citizenship education. The Center for Intercultural Education and International Understanding (1998) further clarifies it as "Citizenship education with a global perspective relates to a global trend toward the redefinition of relationships amongst citizens and also of relationships between citizens, the community and the State" (p.8) and "School must reinforce social cohesion within a pluralist society. It must work to define common values based on common goals and prepare students to exercise their citizenship" (p. 1). Kirkwood (2001) describes globally educated people as "those who possess high-tech skills, broad interdisciplinary knowledge about the contemporary world, and adaptability, flexibility, and world mindedness to participate effectively in the globalized world" (p. 11). "Therefore, the teacher needs to strive for and possess the above characteristics in order to validate her/himself as an educated person of the 21st century" (Burnouf, 2004 ¶ 4).
The fourth and final characteristic is 'with-it-ness', which is a term created by Kounin to describe the teacher's awareness of what is going on in all parts of the classroom at all times. We commonly refer to this as 'having eyes in the back of the head.' " (Wuest, 1999 ¶ 4) Although the term is normally used in reference to a face to face classroom it can also be referred to the online environment. With-it-ness is something that can be learned but being able to pick up the signs of a student in need will assist the teacher in being a guide on the side. Luvic (2001) states "develop...with-it-ness....Be aware of everything that is going on in the classroom, at all times, monitoring students for signs of restlessness, frustration, anxiety, and off-task behaviours. Be ready to reassign individual learners to different activities as the situation warrants" (p.47).
Along with the above four characteristics there are a couple of others that deserve an honourable mention: maturity, enthusiasm, professionalism, passion, a sense of humour, health and a thick skin. Even though they did not make the cut and were just added as honourable mention, it is important to keep these in mind as you search for the master online teacher.
“The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.”
–William Arthur Ward


References
Anderson, E. (2007). Becoming Your Own Best Teacher and Learner. Retrieved December 6, 2007, from Baylor University: http://www.baylor.edu/strengths/index.php?id=27352
Beairsto, B. (2000). What Does it Take to Be a Lifelong Learner? Retrieved December 8, 2007, from School District No. 38 (Richmond): http://public.sd38.bc.ca/~bbeairsto/Documents/LifelongLearning.pdf
Bulwer- Lytton, E., & Carruthers, T. (2007, October 17). Great Teachers Become Unnecessary? Retrieved December 9, 2007, from Thought for the Day: http://kirkweisler.com/t4d/2007/10/16/great-teachers-become-unnecessary/
Burnouf, L. (2004, Spring). Retrieved December 10, 2007, from Canadian Social Studies: http://www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css/Css_38_3/ARburnouf_global_awareness_perspectives.htm
Department of Education and Science. (2005, December 20). Highly qualified and competent teachers are the most important resource in primary education . Retrieved December 11, 2007, from Beginning to Teach: Newly Qualified Teachers in Irish Primary Schools: http://www.education.ie/robots/view.jsp?pcategory=10861&language=EN&ecategory=40272&link=link001&doc=29848
Institute of Technical Education. (2007, May 7). Teacher as Lifelong Learner. Retrieved December 7, 2007, from ITE Teacher Award: http://edt.ite.edu.sg/ed/awards/lifelearner.htm
King, A. (1993). From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side. Retrieved December 6, 2007, from Questia: College Teaching Journal: http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=HdjQmYcvGjq6QQrKcDFQDxT0p22KKYx1JRTlLjLsnj5fy5bRvFQT!-1584350773?docId=94305197
Kirkwood, T. (2001). Our global age requires global education: Clarifying definitional . Social Studies , pp. 1-16.
Lukiv, D. (2001). Motivation from a Humanistic Point of View . Retrieved December 9, 2007, from The Master Teacher: http://www.track0.com/lukiv/masterteacher/humanistic.html
McKenzie, J. (1998, March). How are The Students Engaged? Retrieved December 9, 2007, from From Now On: The Educational Technology Journal: http://fno.org/mar98/flotilla2.html
Stein, J., Steeves, L., & Smith-Mitsuhashi, C. (2002, March 20). Retrieved December 8, 2007, from Online Teaching: Have You Got What It Takes?: http://members.shaw.ca/mdde615/tchstycats.htm#formal
The Centre for Intercultural Education and International Understanding. (1998, October). Citizenship Education with a Global Perspective . Retrieved December 9, 2007, from The Centre for Intercultural Education and International Understanding: http://www.csdm.qc.ca/CEE/ceici/pdf/cadrce.pdf
Wuest, D. (1999, April). Are you with it? Retrieved December 7, 2007, from PE Central: http://www.pecentral.org/climate/april99article.html

Posted by dcannell at 3:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 12, 2007

The Hidden curriculum thoughts

Sambell and McDowell (1998) clarified official curriculum as "what is meant to happen" and the hidden curriculum as "what the teachers and learners actually do and experience ’on the ground' (¶3). Back when I was teaching elementary school, I took all the official curriculum guides for the subjects that I was teaching to my class. Being the only teacher for my grade eights I taught them all the subjects and after adding up the suggested time required by the curriculum guides, I found the first fault in the official guides. There was not enough time in the school days or enough school days to follow the guides, so right from the get go it was necessary to adapt the official guide to a hidden guide to realistically reflect the time available.

The more recent curriculum guides now being written have still not adjusted the time issue but have looked at the content. Most guides are written by single subject master teachers who have been seconded by the Ministry of Learning. These teachers tend to have blinders on when it comes to looking at their subject. Many of them believe that the time spent teaching their subject in the schools needs to be increased because it is the most important one. The content adjustment attempts to reflect the ideals of the information age by being so open ended that a classroom teacher could teach almost anything and with a little bit of creativity could make it apply to the curriculum guide. Some teachers view the ministry as not knowing what happens in the classroom and hence tend not to see the official curriculum as credible.

It is amazing how many new teachers have never seen an official curriculum guide and are following what they have been taught in Teacher College or what their mentors have been teaching. This approach could be a reflection of the demands of the job on a new teacher or a result of the hidden curriculum being more important than the official curriculum. Others comment that official curriculums are dated, some because they were written many years ago and others because they cannot be adjusted frequently enough to keep up with the technology advance in the current information age.

This just reinforces the need for official curriculums which are closer to the hidden curriculums. A good era will be the time when the need for a hidden curriculum does not exist. The Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School strives to keep their courses as close to the official curriculum as is humanly possible. We put a link to the curriculum within each course so students, parent and educators can see the link between the course and the curriculum. We however at the cyber school do not have the time pressures which a face to face school must endure.

Posted by dcannell at 1:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Answer to the worlds hardest riddle.

I ran across two answers the first was:

No
Most young children accept the fact they don't know the answer to everything, Harvard grads do not I guess. I said this answer...NO....the last sentence of the the riddle is the question:
Can you guess the riddle? to which I answered NO.

The second right answer I found was found in a poem by Neil Gaiman:

TIME

The time has come,
winter is here
and those yellow bears disappear.

The time has past
as man looks back with a sigh
and a tear in his eye.

As time is held
boys cross their legs
but of course the toilet begs

As time marches on
Girls loose their blush
and swap a comb for their brush

As time passes
For those held high
their end is nigh

As time catches up
Everyone is equal
when we get to the final sequel

As time turns
Without it we have flour and water
With it we have breakfast for my daughter

As time revolves
How does one turn water and wine
into something so fine

As time runs out
The more in a minute you try and squeeze
the less you can do with ease.

As time ticks
All the time that has past
man cannot comprehend something so vast.

Posted by dcannell at 9:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 11, 2007

In the News

The Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School since its
inception has received a large amount of media attention.
The following is a sample of some this attention.

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School - In the News

Posted by dcannell at 3:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2007

THE WORLDS HARDEST RIDDLE!!!


I turn polar bears white
And I will make you cry.
I make guys have to pee
And girls comb their hair.
I make celebrities look stupid
And normal people look like celebrities.
I turn pancakes brown
And make your champagne bubble.
If you squeeze me, I'll pop.
If you look at me, you'll pop.
Can you guess the riddle?


97% of Harvard graduates can not figure this riddle out,
But 84% of kindergarten students were able to figure this out,
In 6 minutes or less.

Can you guess the riddle?

Google the answer after... I got it right, might explain why Harvard didn't accept me, but those kindgarten kids did...except that one little girl, she was mean.

Posted by dcannell at 12:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Survey question of the day

Are you enrolled in a face to face school?

Number of answers = 156

Yes = 123 or 78.8%

No = 33 or 21.2%

Posted by dcannell at 9:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 3, 2007

Try this out

Try this test...Escapa!

My record to date:

myrecord.gif


Posted by dcannell at 2:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools teachers among Canada’s most innovative educators

SASKATOON, December 3, 2007 – Three Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools teachers are among the winners of Canada’s 2007 Microsoft Innovative Teachers Awards.

Kelli Boklaschuk, Darren Cannell and Maureen Romanchuk were selected for creating The Crooked, Crazy Weather Project for Romanchuk’s Grade 4 students at Bishop Filevich Ukrainian Bilingual School in Saskatoon.

In the project, technology was used in various ways to keep the 22 students interested and engaged as they learned about predicting weather, a unit in Saskatchewan’s Grade 4 science curriculum.

In class, lessons about topics like meteorology, precipitation, clouds and snow were taught with the help of videos, sound files and websites. Rather than taking notes from a board at the front of the room, a projector was used to enlarge and display the information – a small difference but one that made this task much more interesting, Romanchuk reports.

Students also learned about Internet searching, using key words, evaluating websites, manipulating HTML scripts and creating hyperlinks. For the lesson on learning how to set up and enter information into a blog, students were each matched with a city and assigned to answer several weather-related questions about the locale. Each of them also wrote and videotaped a weather forecast for their city. The student blogs and videos can be accessed at The Crooked, Crazy Weather Project’s website: http://blog.scs.sk.ca/weatherproject

Students had fun using the technology, says Romanchuk, and it helped them grasp and retain what they’d learned. “Some children were hesitant at first, but they took this on and exceeded our expectations.”

“Changing the way you teach to adapt to the students is very important,” says Boklaschuk. “It’s obvious this is the way they like to learn.”

The teachers hope the recognition the project has received will encourage more teachers to investigate how to incorporate technology into their lessons. In fact, The Crooked, Crazy Weather Project was designed as a template so other teachers within the division can easily use it to teach the same unit.

A total of five Canadian projects were selected to receive a 2007 Microsoft Innovative Teachers Award. The winning teachers attended the International Innovative Teachers Forum in Helsinki, Finland earlier this month. All winners from Canada were also invited to attend a similar forum in Hanoi, Vietnam in spring 2008 for teachers from the Asia/South Pacific region.

Posted by dcannell at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The new SCCS incentive plan.

Simple is always best..works for me.

incentive.gif

Posted by dcannell at 10:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 30, 2007

The Politics of Education

An exceptional teacher excited a student in his grade eleven English course in a public school, not with English content, but with the possibility of life-long learning. This happened in a traditional school setting by a teacher who was trained in the traditional teacher training methods by professors in teachers’ college who were trained by the same system. The result of this excitement was this student’s choice of teaching as his vocation. This excited new educator was trained in the traditional way, began teaching in a traditional school setting and has since developed a growing sense that the traditional cycle is not working, and this school system does not meet the needs of 21st century students. While governments, universities, schools, teachers and parents struggle to find the methods, pedagogy and training which will allow them to address this issue they use authentic assessment, achieve excellence in education, leave no child behind, educate the whole child and make sure that they provide an education that makes a difference, and still some students are falling through the cracks. Students are dropping out of an educational system in a society which places huge value on formal education. According to a report by State Educational Technology Directors Association (2007) “creating a 21st century education system is about making sure that all students are prepared to succeed in a competitive world—a world with plenty of opportunities for highly skilled individuals and limited options for everyone else” (p.12). As stated by Levine (2006) “the challenge facing education schools is not to do a better job at what they are already doing, but to do a fundamentally different job” (p.105). The challenge for training teachers is similar to that facing all aspects of the traditional education cycle. In the last decade this reform has taken the form of “programs of educational change that are government-directed and initiated based on an overly political analysis.” (Young and Levin, 1999 ¶.6) Shirley and Hargreaves (2006) confirm that “every few years in American education a new slogan is coined as the Next Big Thing. Total quality management, shared decision-making, and outcomes-based education all once marched across the educational landscape, grabbing headlines, filling copy—yet they left little improvement in pupil learning in their trail” (¶.1).
Many of the world governments have known for years that there is an issue with their educational system. The result of this knowledge has been the “Next Big Thing” educational reform programs which have been launched under the different name tags of Authentic Assessments (AA), Excellence in Education (EIE), No Child left Behind (NCLB), Educating the Whole Child (ETWC) and Education that Makes a Difference (ETMAD). Gehlert (2006) evaluates ‘No Child left Behind’ as a program which “oversimplifies education, ignoring the socio-economic realities that influence education quality. And, it imposes benchmarks that are supposed to hold schools and teachers accountable for student performance without offering any real support to help make it happen” (¶.9). Shirley and Hargreaves (2006) confirm this by stating “teachers are no longer the drivers of reform, but the driven. Under the pressures of the federal No Child Left Behind Act and its mandate for “adequate yearly progress,” teachers in struggling schools are being told that only results matter—and even these rarely extend beyond tested achievement in literacy and math” (¶.3).
The “Next Big Thing” political programs according to Young and Levin (1999) are “driven by the political apparatus of government rather than by educators or bureaucrats, and justified on the basis of the need for a very substantial break from current practice” (¶.6). Gehlert (2006) states “legislators make education policy decisions based on recommendations from advisers who must be out of touch with real classroom experiences” (¶.7). Deans and the faculty at teachers colleges when reflection upon these programs complain that the “teacher education research was subjective, obscure, faddish, impractical, out of touch, inbred, and politically correct, and that it failed to address the burning problems in the nation’s schools.” (Levine, 2006 ¶.53)
The burning problem is the fact that although governments recognize the need for change they have not recognized that educational systems should and must reflect the societal changes that have occurred over the last decade. Roes (2001) confirm this fact and identify that “these changes are needed because of ever growing pressure in the school systems themselves, in which knowledge work becomes ever more important, and partly because of the very information and communication technologies which are transforming our economies” (¶.2). Levin and Arafeh (2002) agree that the changes in the clients of the education system by stating "nonetheless, students themselves are changing because of their use of and reliance on the Internet. They are coming to school with different expectations, different skills, and different resources. In fact, our most Internet savvy students told us that their schools, teachers and peers are at times frustratingly illiterate, naïve, and even afraid of the online world. Indeed, students who rely on the Internet for school who cannot conceive of not using it for their schoolwork may ultimately force schools to change to better accommodate them" (¶.32). State Educational Technology Directors Association (2007) states “it’s about maximizing the impact of technology to develop proficiency in 21st century skills, support innovative teaching and learning, and create robust education support systems” (p.12). "The revolution has begun, and it can't be stopped. So rather than being beaten down by the technology, teachers must use it, use it, use it, and use it again to do what school is supposed to be about learning about life and the world around us." (Regan, 2002 p.25) "Many schools and teachers have not yet recognized much less responded to the new ways students communicate and access information over the Internet."(Levin and Arafeh, 2002 p.4)
“Students are likely to be increasingly dissatisfied with conventional approaches to teaching and learning and to the limited resources available to them in all but the best equipped schools.” (Levin and Arafeh, 2002 p.32) As generations of dissatisfied students become teachers it is the hope that this will help to reform the traditional school system. However, this group of teachers will still be trained within the traditional teachers’ colleges where they are still promoting the same system. Perhaps the hope needs to rest upon the time when the professors within teachers’ colleges are from this generation. It is an education cycle which studies itself and promotes itself which makes change difficult.
All the ‘Next Big Thing’ programs are expensive initiatives driven by government and not by the educational community. These programs will produce short term targeted results but do not recognize that throwing money at a system will just result in a more expensive system which will still not be meeting the needs of the students.
Education reform is a necessity and can only be achieved by wholesale change in the approach to educating a student who is substantially different than the student for whom the traditional education was designed. Until this fundamental fact is recognized, it is best described by Einstein (2007)” Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” (¶.1).
“Teachers do not have all the answers to the issues raised by school reform, and the view from the classroom is not always the clearest. But classrooms are where the core business of schooling takes place, and it's where the measure of all reform proposals must ultimately be taken. If a given initiative supports more effective critical teaching and creates more equitable and democratic classrooms, it is worth pursuing. If it retards or restricts such efforts, then it's part of the problem. In the final analysis, that is the test that every school reform needs to pass.” (Christensen and Karp 2003 ¶.12)

References
Christensen, L., & Karp, S. (2003, July). Rethinking School Reform: Views from the Classroom. Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Rethinking Schools Online: http://www.rethinkingschools.org/publication/rsr/rsr_intro.shtml
Einstein, A. (2007, November). Thinkexist.com. Retrieved November27 2007, from Albert Einstein Quotes: http://thinkexist.com/quotation/insanity-doing_the_same_thing_over_and_over_again/15511.html
Gehlert, H. (2006, December 15). American Education: "No Child Left Behind?". Retrieved November 20, 2007, from Alternet: The Mix is the Message: http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/45592
Levin, D., & Arafeh, S. (2002, August 14). The Digital Disconnect; The Widening Gap between Internet Savvy Students and Their Schools. Retrieved November 24, 2007, from Pew Internet and American Life Project: http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Schools_Internet_Report.pdf
Levine, A. (2006, September). The Education Schools Project. Retrieved November 26, 2007, from Educating School Teachers: http://www.edschools.org/pdf/Educating_Teachers_Report.pdf
Regan, T. (2002, August 15). The C. Retrieved December 14, 2005, from The Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0815/p25s01/cogn.html
Roes, H. (2001, July/August). Digital Libraries and Education. Retrieved November 25, 2007, from D-Lib Magazine: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july01/roes/07roes.html
Shirley, D., & Hargreaves, A. (2006, October 4). Oregon Department of Education. Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Data-Driven to Distraction, Why American Educators Need a Reform Alternative - and Where They Might Look to Find It.: http://www.ode.state.or.us/opportunities/grants/saelp/data-driven-to-distraction,-as-published-in-ed.-week-.doc
State Educational Technology Directors Association. (2007, November 26). Maximizing the Impact. The pivotal role of technology in a 21st century education system. Retrieved November 26, 2007, from State Educational Technology Directors Association: hhttp://www.setda.org/web/guest/maximizingimpactreport
Young, J., & Levin, B. (1999, January 19). The Origins of Educational Reform: A Comparative Perspective. Retrieved November 22, 2007, from Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy: http://www.umanitoba.ca/publications/cjeap/articles/younglevin.html

Posted by dcannell at 3:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December's Continuous Improvement Framework

As stated at the opening staff meeting for SCCS we are working on a continuous improvement framework (CIF) It will work in a few different steps: Each CIF will take one month to complete. Each month I will introduce a new unit in our CIP journey.

December's CIF

Posted by dcannell at 3:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 28, 2007

Simple

I have posted this image before but I like the added saying...

simple.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

No need for the basement.

At SCCS we have a work out center in the basement. I guess we did not need to go through all the work to set that up.

notice.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 27, 2007

A christmas SCCS staff.

Thanks to Reg. for this beauty.

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=9596538406

Posted by dcannell at 11:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A good description of my job.

job.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 26, 2007

It is all in how you look at things.

smile.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My SCCS Registrar issue...

registr.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2007

Copying the Easy Way

The real reason we got rid of the photocopy machine at the cyber school.


1CopyingTheEasyWay.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 3:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HTML Geek Warning Sign

With my staff working on their CIFs this will ring true with some of them.

Learn to spot the warning signs in time

geek.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I done a few of these in my career.

fail.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Meeting...I think I will call one.

meeting.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2007

Procrastination

This made me giggle.

pro.gif

Posted by dcannell at 11:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I wish...

I wish it was not so busy so we could have this once in a while in the cyber school.

fridays.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2007

Confidence good...Overconfidence bad.

confidence.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCCS is built on caffeine.

coffee.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Joke of the Year

Two cyber teachers were sitting together,

Quietly.

Posted by dcannell at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 20, 2007

Teaching Math

Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:

1. Teaching Math In 1950

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?


2. Teaching Math In 1960

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?


3. Teaching Math In 1970

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
production is $80. Did he make a profit?


4. Teaching Math In 1980

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of
production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the
number 20.


5. Teaching Math In 1990

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and
inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the
preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of
$20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class
participation after answering the question: How did the birds and
squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? ( There are no wrong
answers.)


6. Teaching Math In 2005

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. This is $85 and so he got $25 more than he spent. What is his profit? (the correct answer in the teachers book which is the one you better have gotten will then be $30)

Posted by dcannell at 5:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 15, 2007

My personal Philosophy of Education

Its nine o’clock, the bell rings, students enter the classroom with rows of desks; they sit, take out their paper notebook (no laptops allowed) and write down the daily notes that the Sage on the stage has written on the board. The resources for the daily content are the teacher’s brain and a textbook; the students tend to ask the all too common single question “will this be on the test?” That night the students do rote memorization of the facts from their notes because tomorrow is test day. According to Fulton (1989, pg. 12), "Classrooms of today resemble their ancestors of 50 and 100 years ago much more closely than do today's hospital operating rooms, business offices, manufacturing plants, or scientific labs." “If you put a doctor of 100 years ago in today's operating room, she would be lost, yet if you placed a teacher of 100 years ago into one of today's classrooms she wouldn't skip a beat. “ (Molebash 1999)
Education needs to reflect the reality of the students living in the information age. Students today according to Gardner (1983) are “interpersonal, logical, spacial, intrapersonal, musical, linguistic, naturalist and Bodily-kinisthetic learners.” However Prensky (2001) proposes that “Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” A couple of high school student’s quote clarifies how they feel about the current educational system. “We have learned to 'play school'. “We study the right facts the night before the test so we achieve a passing grade and thus become a successful student." “It’s not attention deficit – I’m just not listening!” “When I go to school, I have to ‘power down.’”(District, 2007)
According to Prensky, Digital Immigrants are attempting to teach the Digital Natives with methods that are no longer valid; the only choice may be for educators to change the way they teach. "Unfortunately," he says, "no matter how much the Immigrants may wish it, it is highly unlikely the Digital Natives will go backwards. In the first place, it may be impossible—their brains may already be different"(2001a, p. 4 [print]; ¶ 17 [online]) Further to this point Furdyk (2007) states “teachers need to exist in the spaces the students exist, understand their culture. You have no credibility if you are not where they are.” They are according to Prensky (2001) “using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, over 10,000 hours talking on cell phones but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV).” and send 200,000 emails or instant messages. Media Awareness Network (2000) state “in 1999, tweens spent an average of 2.4 hours a week surfing the net. In 2000, that increased to 3.8 hours a week.” The information age allows the students the opportunity to “create, consume, remix and share material with each other” as described by Rainie (2006). They ask many questions, as reflected in the “estimated 7.8 billion searches made in the United States by NetRatings.”(Sullivan 2007)

The current approach to education has resulted in a dropout rate of nine point four percent (2005) and only twenty-eight percent of 12th grade high school students believe that school work is meaningful. Twenty one percent believe that their courses are interesting and a mere thirty-nine percent believe that school work will have any bearing on their success in later life. (Wirt, et al., 2002)

To answer the challenge of transforming education to welcome the Digital Natives and information age requires the ‘Sage on the Stage’ approach be transformed into Guide on the Side. (McKenzie, 1998) McKenzie provides “a list of descriptors of the role of a teacher who is a ‘Guide on the Side’ while students are conducting their investigations; the teacher is circulating, redirecting, disciplining, questioning, assessing, guiding, directing, fascinating, validating, facilitating, moving, monitoring, challenging, motivating, watching, moderating, diagnosing, trouble-shooting, observing, encouraging, suggesting, watching, modeling and clarifying." And he continues to explain that “the teacher is on the move, checking over shoulders, asking questions and teaching mini-lessons for individuals and groups who need a particular skill. Support is customized and individualized. The ‘Guide on the Side’ sets clear expectations, provides explicit directions, and keeps the learning well structured and productive.”
The social networking tools that have come with Web2.0 bring a completely different set of tools into the hands of the digital natives. The popularity of these tools has surprised and frightened the ‘Digital Immigrants’ to the state where most schools, rather than embracing these tools, have banned them. The banning of facebook, instant messaging, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, myspace, social bookmarking, podcasts, youtube, and flicker, just to mention a few , has made a huge statement that education systems are not willing to join the ‘Digital Natives’ in their world. We could use the web2.0 tools to help educate students. Hokanson (2007) states “if we teach it and believe in the power of education technology is our friend. Ignorance is our enemy. Instead we should fear more the releasing of millions of ignorant students into the shark infested waters of the internet they are but guppies in an ocean full of sharks. “
‘Digital Immigrant’ teachers can continue to think that it is possible with a dated system of education to compete within the four walls of our face to face school with the information age which is a reality to the “Digital Natives”. An information age with connected students having instant information, communication, multimedia and entertainment and social networking tools is a new era that no teacher can realistically compete with using the current education approaches. In the past technology has been used as a supplement to education. As teachers get more comfortable with technology it becomes a support for education but until it becomes integrated with education we will not be preparing the students for their world. We need to connect to our student s and connect them to their world.


Bibliography
District, J. S. (2007). Pay Attention. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Transforming Teaching Through Technology: http://t4.jordan.k12.ut.us/t4/content/view/221/35/
Fulton, K. (1989). Technology training for teachers: a federal perspective. Educational Technology 29(3) , 12-19.
Furdyk, M. (2007, October 18). Living, Learning and Contributing as a Life Long Journey. (M. Furdyck, Performer) Key Note Speaker Distributed Learning in the 21st Century Conference., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Gardner, H. (1983/2003). Frames of mind. The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: BasicBooks.
Hokanson, K. (2007). The Connected Classroom Wikispaces. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from The Connected Classroom: http://theconnectedclassroom.wikispaces.com/
McKenzie, J. (1998, March). The Wired Classroom. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from FNO.org: http://fno.org/mar98/flotilla2.html
Molebash, P. (1999). Technology and Education: Current and Future Trends. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from IT Journal: http://etext.virginia.edu/journals/itjournal/1999/molebash.html
Network, M. A. (2000). Media Awareness Network. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Children's Internet use: http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/research_documents/statistics/internet/childrens_internet_use.cfm
Prensky, M. (2001, October). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Http://www.marcprensky.com: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
Raine, L. (2006, May 07). How the Internet is Changing Consumer Behavior and Expectations. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Pew Internet & American Life Project: http://www.pewinternet.org/ppt/2006%20-%206.7.06%20ThinkTank%20Seton%20Hall.pdf
Sullivan, D. (2007, September 21). Nielsen NetRatings: August 2007 Search Share Puts Google on Top, Microsoft Holding Gains. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Search Engine Land: http://searchengineland.com/070921-105613.php
Wirt, J., Choy, S., Gerald, D., Provasnik, S., Rooney, P., Watanabe, S., et al. (2002, July 2). National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from The Condition of Education 2002: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002025

Posted by dcannell at 9:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A new bulletin for the staff at cyber school.

For my staff...

bulletin.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 8:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cyber School Teamwork

The picture says it all.

teamwork.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 8:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 14, 2007

You are unique...

So, is this what everyone means when they say I am unique????

fork.gif

Posted by dcannell at 9:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 13, 2007

Cyber Teacher?


cyberteacher.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 8, 2007

Part of a thought

Its nine o’clock, the bell rings, students enter the classroom with rows of desks; they sit, take out their paper notebook (no laptops allowed) and write down the daily notes that the Sage on the stage has written on the board. The resources for the daily content are the teacher’s brain and a textbook; the students tend to ask the all too common single question “will this be on the test?” That night the students do rote memorization of the facts from their notes because tomorrow is test day. According to Fulton (1989, pg. 12), "Classrooms of today resemble their ancestors of 50 and 100 years ago much more closely than do today's hospital operating rooms, business offices, manufacturing plants, or scientific labs." “If you put a doctor of 100 years ago in today's operating room, she would be lost, yet if you placed a teacher of 100 years ago into one of today's classrooms she wouldn't skip a beat. “ (Molebash 1999)
Education needs to reflect the reality of the students living in the information age. Students today according to Gardner (1983) are “interpersonal, logical, spacial, intrapersonal, musical, linguistic, naturalist and Bodily-kinisthetic learners.” However Prensky (2001) proposes that “Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” A couple of high school student’s quote clarifies how they feel about the current educational system. “We have learned to 'play school'. “We study the right facts the night before the test so we achieve a passing grade and thus become a successful student." “It’s not attention deficit – I’m just not listening!” “When I go to school, I have to ‘power down.’”(District, 2007)

Posted by dcannell at 1:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 6, 2007

Quote of the Day

“If you put a doctor of 100 years ago in today's operating room, she would be lost, yet if you placed a teacher of 100 years ago into one of today's classrooms she wouldn't skip a beat. “

Molebash 1999

Posted by dcannell at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 5, 2007

Daily Quote

I just read an article on the dangers of drinking diet coke....
It scared the living crap out of me!
So, that's it!
After today.....
no more reading.

Posted by dcannell at 2:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 30, 2007

The Fish Philosophy

I like this...

Catch the energy
Release the potential.

fish

Posted by dcannell at 5:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Conference quotes.

I found the following distinction very interesting.

A blurring of duties between teachers and techies is hurting online education. Teachers spending time fixing machines is not a good use of teacher’s times and even worse IT people making pedagogical decision while working on a teacher’s course. At the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School we have Teachers who write their own courses from scratch with no IT support, and our techies fix the teachers machines when they get messed up. This model seems to work but does force a huge learning curve on the content expert (teacher) at the beginning of the development. This is necessary for the teacher to become comfortable with the learning management system. However once the teacher is past the learning curve, then they have the technical know how to do changes to their course without having to contact IT. The model where content experts pass their content on to the IT department who then digitizes the information does eliminate the learning curve but slows down the update and minor renovations of the course. Any changes, pedagogical or just a spelling mistake requires a trip back to IT. This model does not work. But it is the model of choice for most universities.

I am open to comments on the above statements.

Posted by dcannell at 12:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 29, 2007

Video of Haircut

Breast Cancer Haircut...check it out.

theater480

Posted by dcannell at 11:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Conference quotes

It is a cycle.

People teach the way they have been taught
. This statement alone causes one pause because we were hoping that the young teachers of today being from the digital age will embrace the new educational movement and move the computer, internet into education. We are finding this is not happening. All new teachers being on facebook all night will not translate to the use of technology in the classroom. They continue to teach the way they where taught and the way most teacher colleges are approaching education. Tradition is a hard thing to change.

So those of us who thought the young teachers of today would have the answer to the Dark Age of Information need to go back to the drawing board and rethink the solution..

Posted by dcannell at 10:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Conference quotes

The impact of technology on education has been minimual. But we are still only recreating what is happening in a face to face method.

I know this is true with our online courses. But it is necessary to have a starting point and the face to face method is what the teachers know. So they re-create what they know, it then becomes my job as the administrator to get them to take the risk to push them to develop their courses into the next level as described below.

http://blog.scs.sk.ca/tado/vschools/archives/2006_03.html#024631

Posted by dcannell at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2007

Peer Teaching.

At the last conference I was at...I attended a session where the presenter (Cheryl Frose) talked about an editors den in the discussion board area. Where students would be allowed to post assignments and then have peers review, check spelling and help make the assignments better before they hand them into the instructor. I thought it was a great idea but I did wonder how to sell the idea to the Sage on the Stage teachers who feel that he or she is the only one who should be helping, teaching and guiding the students. So I asked the question:

Do you have any research that I can use to make certain teachers more open to the editor den idea?

Cheryl's answer:

Patricia Wolfe. Brain Matters: Translating Research into Classroom Practice. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Alexandria, Virginia. 2001.

The saying, “The best way to learn something is to teach it” contains more than a little truth. Teaching a concept or skill to someone else requires a fairly high level of understanding. Too often we check for students’ understanding by asking them if they understand or if they have any questions. Though this might work in some situations, often students think they understand when they don’t or are hesitant to admit they don’t. (p. 85)

(Peer teaching) allows the students the opportunity to rehearse what they have learned, thus strengthening their neural pathways…peer teaching provides valuable diagnostic information for the teacher, who finds out how well students comprehend the material and what misconceptions they may have formed. (p. 186)

Here is a British website with a LOT of information on assessment AS and For learning:
http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/assess/as/keyfeatures/self_peer.asp

Here is a useful paper titled "Using Peer Assessment to Develop Skills and
Capabilities": http://www.usdla.org/html/journal/JAN03_Issue/article04.html

Here is a paper from the University of London called "Research evidence of the impact on students of self-and peer-assessment":
http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/EPPIWebContent/reel/review_groups/assessment/assessment_protocol5.pdf

The web abounds with examples of peer assessment. Hopefully one of these sources will provided you with the evidence you need to convince your teachers that it is a good thing to have students teach each other.
Everyone wins!

Thanks Cheryl Frose.

Posted by dcannell at 2:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2007

School 1977 vs. School 2007

If this was not so true it would be funny.

Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking
lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1977 - Vice principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car
and gets his own shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lockdown, the RCMP are called, Jack is hauled off to
jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counsellors are called in to
assist traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1977 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up
buddies.
2007 - Police are called, SWAT team arrives and arrests Johnny and Mark.
They are charged with assault and both are expelled even though Johnny
started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't sit still in class, disrupts other students.
1977 - Jeffrey is sent to the principal's office and given a good paddling.
Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for
ADD. School gets extra provincial funding because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car and his Dad gives him
a whipping with his belt.
1977 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college,
and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster
care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she
remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has
an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some Aspirin to school.
1977 - Mark shares Aspirin with the school principal out on the smoking
dock.
2007 - Police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug
violations. His car is searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high-school English.
1977 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by local human rights group. Newspaper
articles appear nationally explaining that making English a requirement for
graduation is racist. Canadian Civil Liberties Association files class
action lawsuit against provincial school system and Pedro's English teacher.
English is banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway
but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover Canada Day firecrackers, puts them in
a model airplane paint bottle and blows up an anthill.
1977 - Ants die.
2007 - Canadian Firearms Centre and the RCMP are called and Johnny is
charged with domestic terrorism. CSIS investigates parents, siblings are
removed from the home, computers are confiscated, and Johnny's dad goes on a
terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls during recess and scrapes his knee. His teacher,
Mary, finds him crying, and gives him a hug to comfort him.
1977 - Johnny soon feels better and goes back to playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She
faces three years in federal prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy.





Posted by dcannell at 10:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 22, 2007

This Toy has been recalled

This slide has been recalled due to lead paint. Too bad because it was one of the best sellers.

graters.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 3:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 16, 2007

This is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I have donated my hair to breast cancer. My staff was challenged to raise $500 plus dollars and I would shave my head. Well they have raised the 500 and more so next monday. My hair will be gone. I will update a picture for all to see.

Breast Cancer Fundraising

Posted by dcannell at 12:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 15, 2007

Can you find the 9 faces in this picture?

face.jpg

If you want to see the answers try this: Face answers

Posted by dcannell at 1:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This is a monday cartoon

crap.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2007

What Jeff Foxworthy (American comedian) has to say about Saskatchewan:

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you live in Saskatchewan .
If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Saskatchewan .
If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Saskatchewan.
If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you live in Saskatchewan ..
If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of Prince Albert for the weekend, you live in Saskatchewan .
If you measure distance in hours, you live in Saskatchewan.
If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Saskatchewan
If you have switched from 'heat' to 'air conditioning' and back again in the same day, you live in Saskatchewan .
If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Saskatchewan.
If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you live in Saskatchewan ..
If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you live in Saskatchewan .
If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Saskatchewan
If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Saskatchewan .
If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you live in Saskatchewan ..
If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you live in Saskatchewan ..
If you find 10 degrees Fahrenheit 'a little chilly', you live in Saskatchewan .
If you actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all your Saskatchewan friends, you live in Saskatchewan ..

Posted by dcannell at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 4, 2007

Online teaching/learning quotations

Virtual Campus using "Real education" services whose principle is that "any service a student can get on campus, an online student can get with CU online".

Source unknown


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"In the future, as higher education shifts from traditional classroom teaching to on-line learning, academic support programs will increasingly become more in demand by on-line learners especially advising, career preparation, learning skills, orientation, tutoring, and intervention to overcome on-line technical problems. However, although many services may be made available on-line, academic support for both faculty and students will still be necessary for many students since they may be miles from the parent institution offering the course and will insist on some face-to-face interaction with academic support personnel."

Frank L. Christ. “Academic Support Programs” entry in Higher Education in the United States: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Publishers


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Online learning now depends more on the ability of educators and trainers to tutor and support learners online than on the technology itself.”

Dr. Ian Heywood, 2000 World Open Learning Conference and Exhibition, Birmingham, England.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Most university students have never been formally taught to learn how to study, either in high school or college."

Gardner, L. (1998). Why we must change: The research evidence. Thought and Action. 14 (Spring), 71-88.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"the challenge is not simply to incorporate learning technologies into current institutional approaches, but rather to change our fundamental views about effective teaching and learning and to use technology to do so"

( Higher Education in an Era of Digital Competition: Choices and Challenges by Donald E. Hanna and Associates. Atwood Publishing, 2000, p.61.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Faculty are moving forward, technologies are improving, and student demand is increasing -- but few changes are taking place in the university structure as a whole to accommodate the special needs of the distance-learning student." Richard Bothel, dean of continuing education and distance learning at Troy State University.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring41/bothel41.html


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Faculty developers can learn much from colleagues who work in learning assistance programs on campus. Transforming universities into fully integrated learning communities is a requirement for promoting academic success in the new millennium. When the "millennial students" walk onto campus, it's time to call upon those who know them first hand."

The Millennial Learner—Challenges and Opportunities: Saundra Yancy McGuire (Director of the Center for Academic Success and Adjunct Associate Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) and Dennis A. Williams at POD Conference in Vancouver.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Preparing students today for tomorrow's workforce has a lot to do with teaching about how to use and evaluate knowledge. The Internet is rapidly becoming the biggest repository of information we have ever known. The key will be in our ability to find, evaluate and use the information it provides. We need to teach analytical and organizational skills. Students must know how to evaluate data. Gone are then days when students spent their time memorizing facts that were readily available at their fingertips. Students need to learn communication and study skills. We must give them the type of tools that prepare them for lifelong learning, so they know how to study and how to evaluate the importance of what they learn."

Leight, M. Converge (December 2000, 3(12) 11.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Online students can be better retained, experience greater course satisfaction, and learn more in less time with greater ease and confidence when an online course is linked to an Academic Support System and is designed with activities and information that assist them to become a collegial group and to learn more effectively and efficiently.”

Christ, F.L. Achieving student retention, satisfaction, and success through online pedagogy. A presentation at TechEd Long Beach, February 26, 2002.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Student retention in the online course is a major concern. ... ... "...the availability of information resources and assistance throughout the course are some solutions to high online drop-out rates."

Moore, G.S., Winograd, K. and D. Lange. (2001). You can teach online: Building a creative learning environment. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. p. 3.5


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"...primary variables responsible for discriminating between completers and non-completers included three of the Likert scale factors: study environment, motivation, and computer confidence."

Osborn, V. (2001). Identifying at-risk students in videoconferencing and web-based distance education. The American Journal of Distance Education, 15:1, 47.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"A third area of concern for distance students is the lack of support and services such as providing tutors, academic planners and schedulers, and technical assistance. The isolation that results from the distance learning process can complicate the learning process for adult students. Support for distance learners should not be overlooked when planning distance programs. Students need tutors and academic planners to help them complete courses on time and to act as a support system when stress becomes a problem.

Galusha, J. (1997). Barriers to learning in distance education. Interpersonal Computing and Technology. Retrieved at http://www.emoderators.com/ipct-j/1997/n4/galusha.html


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“The fifth challenge facing the use of the Web in universities is to how best use the Web to encourage good learning behaviours in students. Most good learning behaviours rely on metacognition and this is universally regarded as an essential attribute of good learning. … …Encouraging metacognition develops students' knowledge of the nature of their learning, of their effective learning strategies, and of their learning strengths and weakness. … …The Web has potential in this area to meet this challenge if appropriate instructional design strategies are employed in the development of material for the Web. It is unlikely to occur if lecturers just mount their printed course material and use the Web as a convenient delivery medium. If the design of courses allows individual exploration coupled with reflection and the comparison of a student's views with others, as well as the encouragement of good learning behaviours, then metacognition can be enhanced and good learning can result.

Fetherston, T. (2001). Pedagogical Challenges for the World Wide Web. Educational Technology Review. 9:1. Retrieved January 21, 2002 at http://www.aace.org/pubs/etr/fetherston.cfm


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Learning Centers can be viewed as the education provider's physical and social "Point of Presence" with the distance learner. As such, learners should expect to find an array of functions and services supporting their distance education activities offered at or facilitated through the Learning Center site."

IPSE (Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education) –‘Learning Centers & Three Tiered Distance Education Delivery Model' Retrieved September 12, 2002 from http://www.ihets.org/consortium/ipse/learningcentermodel.html


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Connect the Disconnected”

Dr. Ray Ganey, Cochise College, AZ

Thanks to Learning Support Centers In Higher Education

Posted by dcannell at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 1, 2007

September Continuous Improvement Framework

As stated at the opening staff meeting we are working on a continuous improvement framework (CIF) It will work in a few different steps:

Step one: Recognize the following facts:
• No matter how good our online courses might be they can be improved.
• Not changing anything is not an option. (If we all do things the same way we will always get the same results.)
• This is the year to try something new.
• The online technology and software is changing rapidly so must our courses to reflect the current technology.

Step two: Do not reinvent the wheel

• Take the time to check out other people’s work and approaches.
• During the month of September our goal is to implement one new element into your course from your research.

Check out the responses by;

The Following is a summary of some of the Continuous Improvement Framework for the Month of September.

So I added two videos to my geometry unit…I got them working…YEAH!!!
One is to relate perimeter of rectangles to area using a real life situation. The other is to help visualize what we would use the circumference of a circle for in a real situation.
I have officially added a couple of videos to help with the relating perimeter of rectangles and surface areas of circles to real life situations.

Your evaluation in the course is derived in part from the sixteen Weekly E-mails. For each of them, a percentage grade is given. This grade is determined by your performance in a few key areas:
• The accuracy of your response
• The depth of your response
• The quality of presentation of your response
In short, this means that you should have lots to say, it should be somewhat correct, and it should be said well. So, what does a good response look like? What is the difference in a response that scores 60% and one that scores 85%? How can I turn my 67% into an 80%?What follows is an example assignment with some typical student responses to them (actually, I wrote them, but they sound legit):

I have put in an online dictionary/translator into my courses, is something like that considered a new element? I also found an excellent source from the link you sent, but I don’t know how to apply one into my course. In the link below there is the categorized vocabulary that I would LOVE to have in my course. Is there any way I could ‘borrow’ /tailor it to fit my Ukrainian course?


I included the CBC News Video Now link to my main page:
1. I found the video source address by right clicking on the video news feed and then I selected "copy link address".
2. I opened my course's main page and selected "add lower text box" and then input the following html code:


I updated my discussion topics, and I also added several video clips to my course yesterday. They are kick butt by the way, and were an easy addition. I also requested the restart of my blog since they erased it to make my profile blog, and once that is up and running I will be streaming news stories onto my main page and using them as discussion topics as well.


My CIF for the month of September has been developing additional assignments for the course, so that when a student wants to redo an assignment there are more versions available.

I have added a link for English sounds. It is a great resource for learning sounds in English. It shows different vowel sounds, etc.


Darren, this is the video link that I added to my course to demonstrate Christian Love with a great example. This article plus Youtube video is a great example of acceptance and Christian love. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.






1. My course is brand, spanking new- I’m monitoring it to see if/ where students might need help/ clarification, or where I might have to make changes.
2. I have imported some of the links from my one course into my other course.
3. My course has undergone significant changes since I began teaching it. I added an essays unit, changed several assignments, changed the grading scheme, etc.

I am in the process of reorganizing my course and have added to each Unit a review assignment that students must score a minimum of 70 percent on to gain access to the unit final. This review is a great study tool that students are encouraged to get help so that they can score that 70% and will be ready to write the unit final.


The exit survey is done and in place.

This being my first CIF, I hope I fulfill the requirement. I have spent much time learning about quicktime streaming, reference movies, hinted streams and bla bla bla online video. I think I have made good use of some of it tin the development of the course to date. With the recent discovery of unitedstreaming.com, I find it difficult to sleep as the "gears keep turning" on how to use this new found resource. Here goes.

I would like to focus my September CIF on the use of the "Video tour guide" in course content, although with the recent warning about the storage capacity of our servers, I don't know if it's a good idea?!

What I like about the concept, is it gives students a "face" and personality to associate with while taking a course. One of the things most of the students I worked with at Bishop Murray complained about, was the lack of association when going through the course. I don't think it was due to any instructor shortcomings, but because by nature, online learning limits the senses to whatever can be funneled through the computer. If we limit the means by which we interact, I think we dilute the quality of the interaction. I think of Paz's
jokes. If you've ever been fortunate enough to experience live, in person, the infamous jokester weaving his magic, you are certainly missing out on his true talents when limited to the "text version". What a wonderful addition it would be to have a small capsule that has captured the moment and immortalized it forever in near full form.
One of the great things about the technology we incorporate, is it's power to supersede time and distance. Our ability to use and distribute video is becoming easier and easier with cell phones, youtube and so on. With a little effort, I think we can enhance the learning experience by at the very minimum, offering a small clip to initiate that relationship and build a quality interaction. In the words of my hero, Ian Jukes, "Is what we're doing online learning or digitized distribution?"


I recently made a few changes/additions to both the online courses which I think will be of benefit to the students. A section which is part of the 20 level cyber course has also been added to the 30 level course. The reason for doing this is that it provides students the opportunity to review certain skills which are essential in working through the 30 level course. A number of the students that enroll in the 30 level course, may not have taken the 20 level course as it is no longer a provincial requirement. The skills developed in the section will provide students with some very important tools to allow them to successfully complete the 30 level course.

With regards to the 20 level course, I recently added some key images and animations to two of the lab activities that will allow students the opportunity to visualize the manner by which light reflects off of concave mirrors and to help them answer some of the questions related to the observations for the labs.

Further to this I have been spending time researching other websites including the ones from Sask Learning and I plan to in the future incorporate certain things into my courses to further assist students in their learning.

I feel that especially in a classroom there needs to be a strong sense of community. One way of doing this better would be to have one or two mandatory chats where the teacher would take attendence and post questions and the students would have a discussion. I had mentioned to you that I took a web ct course during my year off, and this is one of the techniques used by our teacher. It is also a good way for students to review. It may be an obstacle to find a time that works for everyone, but that could be fixed by have two different options.

My course does not have enough variety for student activity units. Discussion with other staff in the pod directed me towards a CIFP that adds more units to my course. I would like my course to get to the point where students can select units within the course by interest rather that to be restricted to units because of lack of choice. Students should be able to direct there own learning within the course.

At the end of last year at the final staff meeting, it was brought up to put links in the course. I have multi-media files embedded into the course but I didn’t have any dynamic links. I searched the Cyber Planets and PLC’s and found a half dozen or so links that I have inserted into my course. I also included a note to tell the students to let me know of any links they use / have run across that would benefit other students in my course. This change was made about 10 days ago and is up and running in the course.


Is this what was expected of me? Now that I know what the heck I am doing, when I have some time I will look for other things too. Thanks for the push to improve.

FYI, I probably would have continued to put this off if you hadn’t “suggested” we do this. Not to blow smoke or anything, but I know that people would balk at this. The CIF is a good initiative.

Now that I have figured out what this CSIF means, thanks to my understanding of another language and my very capable assistant Kelli (she deserves a raise by the way). I want you to know that my courses have always been perfect and there is no need for much improvement. But to keep the guy in the "BIG RED CHAIR" happy and the fact that he might on occasion decide to set me up for the odd goal I thought that maybe there is need to listen . . .

Posted by dcannell at 12:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2007

Welcome the Saskatchewan farmer

1. That slope-shouldered farm boy you are snickering at did more work before breakfast than you will do all week at the gym.
2. It's called a "gravel road." No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your BMW. I have a 4-wheel drive because I need it. Now drive or get it the heck out of the way.
3. We all started hunting and fishing when we were nine-years-old. Yeah, we saw Bambi die. We got over it.
4. Any references to "grain fed" when talking about our women will get your butt kicked...by our women.
5. Pull your pants up, and turn your hat around. You look like an idiot.
6. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of mallards are making their final approach, we will shoot it. You might hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.
7. No, there's no "Vegetarian Special" on the menu. Order steak. Order it rare. Or, you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.
8. Yeah, we have sweetened ice tea. It comes sweetened, you don't need a glass with two packets of sugar and a long spoon.
9. You bring Coke into my house you should bring rye along, and ice.
10. So you have a sixty-thousand-dollar car. We're real impressed. We have quarter-million-dollar combines that we use two weeks a year.
11. Let's get this straight. We may have one stoplight in town, but we stop when it's red. We may even stop when it's yellow.
12. Our women hunt, fish, and drive trucks - because they want to. So, you're a feminist. Isn't that cute.
13. Yeah, we eat trout, northern pike, walleye and perch, too. If you really want sushi and caviar, it's available at the bait shop.
14. They are pigs and cows. That's what they smell like. Get over it.
Don't like it? Highways #1 and #16 go two ways - get on one of them. The more people that leave, the better the hunting & fishing.
15. So what if every person in every pick-up waves? It's called being friendly. Understand the concept?
16. Yeah, we have golf courses, more per person than anywhere else on earth. Don't hit into the water hazards. It spooks the fish. And stay out of the woods, that spooks the deer.

And welcome to Saskatchewan.

Posted by dcannell at 2:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Are you dumb?

How smart are you?Am-I-Dumb.com - Are you dumb?

My Number correct: 25/25
However it was interested in how many American questions were in the test.

Posted by dcannell at 12:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ok, it is for a good cause.

I opened my big mouth the other day and said that if we raised $500 + I would allow my head to be shaved for breast cancer month. Well since it is for a good cause I will assist and see if we can make it happen. If you would like see how we are doing so far...check it out.

http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/CIF/shave.htm

It is for a good cause.

Posted by dcannell at 12:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2007

Murphy's Lesser-Known Laws

MURPHY'S LESSER-KNOWN LAWS

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

2. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

3. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

4. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

5. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

6. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

7. If you lined up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them, five or six at a time, on a hill, in the fog.

8. If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

9. The things that come to those who wait, will be the things left by those who got there first.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.

11. A flashlight is a case for holding dead batteries.

12. The shinbone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.

13. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

14. When you go into court, you are yourself in the hands of 12 who were not smart enough to get out of jury duty.


Posted by dcannell at 6:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2007

Ok, blogosphere...I need your help. Maybe I have a job for someone.

If you have not been to the YouAreDamned.com you will not understand what I am talking about in this posting. I would like to find out who has created this site...now before everyone gets excited I am not going to rant on the person or anything. What I want to do create is the exact opposite of what this site is all about. Here at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School we have a chapel where the students on a daily basis post messages stating who they would like the population of the cyber school to pray for. This activity would be greatly enhanced if we could have a flash application like the one that is used to damn people, which instead of damning would post why a person should pray for...

For example today a student posted that they would like the population to pray for their grandmother who is sick and in the hospital with cancer. By posting this on the wall each day the students could view the wall and say a prayer. We would need to change the view of the site to clouds and brighter images etc.

We would be willing to try to reverse engineer this application if we could have access to the FLA file for youaredamned.com.

I understand why the creator of said site is a little concerned about someone knowing who built the site because of the flak they would get from a portion of the internet population. I am not one such person, I would like to create the opposite of the site to use for an educational spiritual component of the cyber school. I would be willing to sign an agreement to keep the authors name secret. We could meet in a dark place on the internet and exchange fla's.

Any help from the blogosphere to assist in achieving this goal would be greatly appreciated.

Can the power of the sphere do this?

Any bloggers out there that would be willing to post this on their blog spreading the word might help us solve this mystery.

If there is any flash expert person out there that is up for a challenge and would like to work on a partnership project and help develop such a site, lets talk.

Posted by dcannell at 2:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 18, 2007

Our SCCS school server blowed up good.

Friday at about 4:30 our school blowed up, not like a bomb, like a virtual fire. Our server crashed for some reason that is way beyond me. Four hundred plus students without a doorway into their school decide to use the older technology the phone to find out what had happened. Our phone service started to ring off the hook and we started to field the questions. Three days later we are back up and running and the phone has stopped ringing. It is now time to develop a back up plan for the server blowed up issue.

Cause when a server blowed up in a virtual school it kind of feels like this to the administrator.

soccerface.jpg
Posted by dcannell at 9:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 13, 2007

Animoto

The contest is open, we will be giving away a memory stick to the best Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School video made using the animoto website.
Contest closes end of October. Send all entries to Ryan Hauber at: rhauber@scs.sk.ca

Posted by dcannell at 11:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2007

Cyber School doing a better job than F2F according to the students.

I was showing one of my staff members some of the stats we have collected through the new survey available in the student survey area at Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School. They are so cool…check this out.

Question 6:
Did you cheat in anyway in your online course?
Out of 79 responses

15(19%)Yes….64(81%)No

An interesting stat by itself but check it out compared to question 7:

Question 7:
Have you ever cheated in a face to face course?
Out of 79 responses

25(31.6%)Yes….54(81%)No

Now don’t that blow your socks off… Maybe you teacher in the face to face schools should talk to your peers and get them to work on this stat.

And then this one floored me…

Question 12
Is the cyber school’s method of course delivery better preparing students than face to face school’s methods?

Out of 78 responses
1 (1.3%)No response…41(51.9%)Yes…37(46.8%)No

Yahooo… students think you are doing a better job then the face to face schools.

Keep up the great effort, you cyber teachers, the results are starting to show.

Posted by dcannell at 5:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2007

Comments: From Fear to Freedom: Empowering K-12 Students Online blog entry on September 6th 2007


I was wondering... Is this something you wrote? I would like to write about it on my blog, but I am not sure who wrote the original piece.

Whoever wrote it, it gets you thinking in some good directions.

Posted by Nancy McKeand at September 7, 2007 7:57 AM
Our Cyber students already have email access with us- are you looking at this as a system wide protocol or ? The biggest hang-up in-school teachers will have is the time to spend with this communication tool- they would need time allotted for it or it won’t happen.

Posted by Cyber Staff at September 10, 2007 10:06 AM
• Describe the stages of mitosis – prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase.


this one is vital ;)

Posted by Cyber Staff at September 10, 2007 10:07 AM
I actually like his anarchistic approach to education. To that End I have sent Darren’s school board e-mail, home e-mail, cell phone number and AIM, MSN handles to the entirety of my contacts list and students in both of my courses.


I am of course not serious, but while I do like this approach I can almost hear the responses from others who say, yes but I don’t want them to have that information of mine. I do think that openness is a key to effective and constructive online teaching and learning, and the establishment of learning communities.

However, I also wonder at the feasibility of following this kind of suggestion. Are we stuck in the constraints of a education system, or are we hiding in it, and saying we can’t extend this kind of freedom when really it is our reluctance not our limitations? Not sure, but it was actually a good read. To be honest, my first thought was to read it out of pity, but thanks, it was better than a pity read.


Posted by Cyber Staff at September 10, 2007 10:08 AM
Alright, after a year of having my brain turned on low, this week has offered me much to think about. I enjoyed the article and appreciated many of the points the author made. What I have found, so far, is that cyber school is a much more effective way of teaching for me. I do think the students feel as though they can contribute to discussions without fear of being ridiculed, and everyone gets an equal amount of time or space to put in their thoughts. Their posts also seem much more honest than what I would get in a face to face classroom. You will always have people who cannot work without someone standing over them and telling them to, but so far I have seen students who are happy to take responsibility for their own learning.

Posted by Cyber Staff at September 10, 2007 10:09 AM
I don’t know how to react. One side of me says that limitations of any kind are a form of censorship. Another side of me thinks that some students, especially some younger ones, may need the structure and limitations in order to stay on task. It could be a matter of efficiency as well, giving direction by limiting options – but maybe that isn’t our job as educators – but maybe it is. Do we give all students the freedom to do what they want on-line? I think we have to ask ourselves if parents give their children that freedom at home? Almost everyone I know have restrictions on their children’s online activities. We are acting in loco parentis, and educational institutions should be accountable. It could be looked at the same way as having a legal drinking age, legal driving age, legal gambling age, film ratings, video game ratings…

On another note, while I was reading I was wondering if CyberSchool has an ‘official’ mission statement. I read through our ‘philosophy’ but is that our mission statement? Having a brief ( approx. 5 sentence ) mission statement that focuses on our Catholicism and our cutting edge technological medium/environment would be very cool. Something we can throw out there and have the world take notice of…


Posted by Cyber Staff at September 10, 2007 10:10 AM

Posted by dcannell at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Voice Thread

this little tool is so easy to use and what cool applications for an online classroom. Check it out.

McToonish ? My First Attempt at Using VoiceThread

Posted by dcannell at 9:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 6, 2007

SCCS Survey Results

The following is the results of a survey which deals with the question of Academies. The survey was done is the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School

More Detailed Statistics Summary: Soccer Academy

Posted by dcannell at 2:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCCS Survey results

The following is a bunch of questions results from a survey done in the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School. These questions deal with the students views on School opinions and concerns.

School opinions and concerns

Posted by dcannell at 2:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 5, 2007

New Icons

I am working on a new set of icons for SCCS and started by using images done by Rokey.

Check them out let me know what you think.

Iconwork for SCCS

Posted by dcannell at 3:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 3, 2007

Google earth fans check it out.

The latest version of Google Earth contains a hidden feature: a full-fledged flight simulator! Press Command+Option+A in OS X or Ctrl+Alt+A on a PC or Linux box and you’ll be greeted with a hidden dialog box that lets you choose an aircraft (F16 or SR22) and an airport. Once you’ve made you selection, you’ll be placed inside the aircraft. You can then fly around the globe in a free flight simulator, viewing the scenery that is pulled from Google Earth’s map files.

Tangled up in Purple : Crashed

Posted by dcannell at 10:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 31, 2007

SCCS Continuous Improvement Framework

As stated at the opening staff meeting we are working on a continuous improvement framework (CIF) It will work in a few different steps:

Step one: Recognize the following facts:
• No matter how good our online courses might be they can be improved.
• Not changing anything is not an option. (If we all do things the same way we will always get the same results.)
• This is the year to try something new.
• The online technology and software is changing rapidly so must our courses to reflect the current technology.

Step two: Do not reinvent the wheel

• Take the time to check out other people’s work and approaches.
• During the month of September our goal is to implement one new element into your course from your research.

Places to start your research:

http://www.centralischool.ca/wblrd/web_resources_10_12.html

http://blog.scs.sk.ca/tado/vschools/

Step three: Share your element.

When we started the Cyber school our strength was the sharing of our approaches. As we have gotten bigger we have lost this and we will be attempting to get this back.

• By the end of each month you will be required to share the monthly task with your peers.
• This method of sharing will be sent via email to myself and I will share it via the TADO blog. (If you are not a subscriber to the blog you should be)
• I will bug each of you to complete these tasks.

Each month I will introduce a new step in our CIP journey. There is ten tasks and at the end we will see if our stats via Cyber Tracker improve.

Welcome to the CIP cyber style.

If you do not like this approach or do not understand, my door is open and we should discuss.

Posted by dcannell at 4:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 30, 2007

Loved it

My sun and I have had a riot playing on this site. He is almost four and just starting to read. So if you have a young one or you teach the young ones check this site out.

Learn to Read at Starfall - teaching comprehension and phonics

Posted by dcannell at 10:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A thought for teachers.

As we head into another school year I thought I'd share something that just MAY give you a lift. File it under the category of, "You never know the impact you have on a kid's life."

TipLine - Gates' Computer Tips: A thought for teachers

Posted by dcannell at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2007

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Promo

Here is an experimental animated promo I created that I think you might enjoy.

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Promo

Posted by dcannell at 5:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Relying on technology hinders learning

I love articles like this...Lets try, a poor educator who teaches poorly hinders learning. A chalk and blackboard if used poorly can hinder learning and make a mess of your dark clothes. Poorly written articles can hinder one's learning when one could be reading something that makes sense. Sorry, but this article insults me.

Relying on technology hinders learning - Opinion

Posted by dcannell at 5:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 17, 2007

What did you do this summer?

Here is a few images of what I did this summer, to which my staff members sent in their summer images. Drop me a comment lets see what you did...


sskydiving.jpg

sspacewalk.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 4:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 15, 2007

If only...

If only wired would do an article on e-learning.

wiredsmall.jpg


July 25, 2007

God and Golf

Pastor Norton woke up Sunday morning and realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf. So... he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and persuaded him to give the sermon for him that day. As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Pastor Norton headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away. This way he knew he wouldn't accidentally meet anyone he knew from his church. Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church!
At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed, "You're not going to let him get away with this, are you?"

The Lord sighed, and said, "No, I guess not."

Just then Pastor Norton hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin, dropping just short of it, rolled up and fell into the hole.
IT WAS A 420 YARD HOLE IN ONE!

St. Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked, "Why did you let him do that?"

The Lord smiled and replied, "Who's he going to tell?"

Posted by dcannell at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2007

If zis mad you smil...

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where! more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as
replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl

Posted by dcannell at 5:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 22, 2007

The A-Z of Achieving Your Dreams

A-void negative sources, people, things and habits.
B-elieve in yourself.
C-onsider things from every angle.
D-on’t give up and don’t give in.
E-njoy life today: yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.
F-amily and Friends are hidden treasures. Seek them and enjoy their riches.
G-ive more than you planned to give.
H-ang on to your dreams.
I-gnore those who try to discourage you.
J-ust do it!
K-eep on trying, no matter how hard it seems. It will get better.
L-ove yourself first and foremost.
M-ake it happen.
N-ever lie, cheat, or steal. Always strike a fair deal.
O-pen your eyes and see things as they really are.
P-ractice makes perfect.
Q-uitters never win and winners never quit.
R-ead, study and learn about everything important in your life.
S-top procrastinating.
T-ake control of your own destiny.
U-nderstand yourself in order to better understand others.
V-isualize it.
W-ant it more than anything.
X-ccelerate your efforts.
Y-ou are unique of all of Nature’s creations. Nothing can replace you.
Z-ero in on your target, and go for it!!

Posted by dcannell at 1:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 15, 2007

Best Practice in E-Learning

I did this a few years back and laughted at the presentation design. Hope you enjoy.

TalkingSlide

Posted by dcannell at 4:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 7, 2007

Gas prices continue to rise

This made me giggle.

humor5006a.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 5, 2007

When staff members are away...

Don't ever leave your pod station empty for too long because you will never know what might happen to it.

image001s.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 9:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 4, 2007

When staff members are away...

Don't ever leave your pod station empty for too long because you will never know what might happen to it.

image001s.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 1, 2007

When Staff Members Are Away Part Three

Don't ever leave your pod station empty for too long because you will never know what might happen to it.

image001s.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 7:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 31, 2007

When Staff Members Are Away Part Two

Don't ever leave your pod station empty for too long because you will never know what might happen to it.

image001s.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 30, 2007

Internet awareness quotes

“The danger to kids in Web 2.0 is not what they may find online, but from what they themselves put online for others to access.”

Doug Johnson, 2007. Discovery Educator Network Webinar


“Our research, actually looking at what puts kids at risk for receiving the most serious kinds of sexual solicitation online, suggests that it’s not giving out personal information that puts kids at risk. It’s not having a blog or a personal website that does that either. What puts kids in danger is being willing to talk about sex online with strangers or having a pattern of multiple risky activities on the web like going to sex sites and chat rooms, meeting lots of people there, kind of behaving in what we call like an internet daredevil.”

Dr. David Finkelhor, 2007. Internet Caucus Advisory Committee

“Just as you need to know where your children are before, during, and after school and who they’re with and what they’re doing, the same applies for the internet. It’s as simple as talking to your kids about who they’re with, where they are, and what they’re doing online.”

Dr. Michelle Ybarra, 2007. Internet Caucus Advisory Committee

Posted by dcannell at 12:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When staff members are away.

Don't ever leave your pod station empty for too long because you will never know what might happen to it.

image001s.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

50 Fun Things for Professors Part Five

1. Tell students that you'll fail them if they cheat on exams or "fake the funk".
2. Announce that you need to deliver two lectures that day, and deliver them in rapid-fire auctioneer style.
3. Pass out dental floss to students and devote the lecture to oral hygiene.
4. Announce that the entire 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica will be required reading for your class. Assign a report on Volume 1, Aardvark through Armenia, for next class.
5. Ask students to list their favorite showtunes on a signup sheet. Criticize their choices and make notes in your grade book.
6. Sneeze on students in the front row and wipe your nose on your tie.
7. Warn students that they should bring a sack lunch to exams.
8. Refer frequently to students who died while taking your class.
9. Show up to lecture in a ventilated clean suit. Advise students to keep their distance for their own safety and mutter something about "that bug I picked up in the field".
10. Jog into class, rip the textbook in half, and scream, "Are you pumped? ARE YOU PUMPED? I CAN'T HEEEEEEAR YOU!"

Posted by dcannell at 11:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 29, 2007

List of Universities that offer Online Doctorates

I have been doing an extensive search for universities that offer online doctorates in education with a focus on distance education. In my search I have asked the people on the WebCt list serve to offer suggestions. So, below is the resulting list. Some were given with reasons why some are good while some people gave reasons why some are not good. I really appreciated the time people took to help. I have still not made a decision but I am getting closer.

Nova Southeastern

Indiana State University

Pepperdine

NorthCentral University

New Mexico State University

Capella

University of Nebraska

Regent University

Deakin University

Joensuun University

University of Phoenix

Walden

Posted by dcannell at 11:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

50 Fun Things For Professors Part Four

1. Announce that last year's students have almost finished their class projects.
2. Inform your English class that they need to know FORTRAN and code all their essays. Deliver a lecture on output format statements.
3. Bring a small dog to class. Tell the class he's named "Boogers McGee" and is your "mascot". Whenever someone asks a question, walk over to the dog and ask it, "What'll be, McGee?"
4. Wear a feather boa and ask students to call you "Snuggles".
5. Tell your math students that they must do all their work in a base 11 number system. Use a complicated symbol you've named after yourself in place of the number 10 and threaten to fail students who don't use it.
6. Claim to be a chicken. Squat, cluck, and produce eggs at irregular intervals.
7. Bring a CPR dummy to class and announce that it will be the teaching assistant for the semester. Assign it an office and office hours.
8. Have a grad student in a black beret pluck at a bass while you lecture.
9. Sprint from the room in a panic if you hear sirens outside.
10. Give an opening monologue. Take two minute "commercial breaks" every ten minutes.

Posted by dcannell at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 28, 2007

50 Fun Things for Professors Part Three

1. Turn off the lights, play a tape of crickets chirping, and begin singing spirituals.
2. Ask for a volunteer for a demonstration. Ask them to fill out a waiver as you put on a lead apron and light a blowtorch.
3. Point the overhead projector at the class. Demand each student's name, rank, and serial number.
4. Begin class by smashing the neck off a bottle of vodka, and announce that the lecture's over when the bottle's done.
5. Have a band waiting in the corner of the room. When anyone asks a question, have the band start playing and sing an Elvis song.
6. Every so often, freeze in mid sentence and stare off into space for several minutes. After a long, awkward silence, resume your sentence and proceed normally.
7. Wear a "virtual reality" helmet and strange gloves. When someone asks a question, turn in their direction and make throttling motions with your hands.
8. Mention in passing that you're wearing rubber underwear.
9. Growl constantly and address students as "matey".
10. Devote your math lecture to free verse about your favorite numbers and ask students to "sit back and groove".

Posted by dcannell at 1:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2007

What my father does all day...

What do retired people do all day?
I frequently ask my retired father what he does to make his days interesting.

To which he responsed...
The other day I went into town and went into a shop. I was only in there for about 5 minutes, when I came out there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. I went up to him and said, "Come on man, how about giving a senior citizen a damn break?" He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I called him a Nazi turd. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So I called him another bad name. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20
minutes. The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

Personally, I didn't care. I came into town by bus. I try to have a little fun each day now
that I'm retired.......It's important at my age......

That's my dad.

Posted by dcannell at 1:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

50 Fun Things For Professors Part Three

1. Turn off the lights, play a tape of crickets chirping, and begin singing spirituals.
2. Ask for a volunteer for a demonstration. Ask them to fill out a waiver as you put on a lead apron and light a blowtorch.
3. Point the overhead projector at the class. Demand each student's name, rank, and serial number.
4. Begin class by smashing the neck off a bottle of vodka, and announce that the lecture's over when the bottle's done.
5. Have a band waiting in the corner of the room. When anyone asks a question, have the band start playing and sing an Elvis song.
6. Every so often, freeze in mid sentence and stare off into space for several minutes. After a long, awkward silence, resume your sentence and proceed normally.
7. Wear a "virtual reality" helmet and strange gloves. When someone asks a question, turn in their direction and make throttling motions with your hands.
8. Mention in passing that you're wearing rubber underwear.
9. Growl constantly and address students as "matey".
10. Devote your math lecture to free verse about your favorite numbers and ask students to "sit back and groove".

Posted by dcannell at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2007

50 Fun Things for Professors Part two

1. Play "Kumbaya" on the banjo.
2. Show a video on medieval torture implements to your calculus class. Giggle throughout it.
3. Announce "you'll need this", and write the suicide prevention hotline number on the board.
4. Wear mirrored sunglasses and speak only in different language. Ignore all questions.
5. Start the lecture by dancing and lip-syncing to any James Brown's song.
6. Ask occasional questions, but mutter "as if you gibbering students would know" and move on before anyone can answer.
7. Ask the class to read Jenkins through Johnson of the local phone book by the next lecture. Vaguely imply that there will be a quiz.
8. Have one of your graduate students sprinkle flower petals ahead of you as you pace back and forth.
9. Address students as "worm".
10. Announce to students that their entire grades will be based on a single-question oral final exam. Imply that this could happen at any moment.

Posted by dcannell at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2007

50 Fun Things For Professors to Do On The First Day of Class

Part One

1. Wear a hood with one eyehole. Periodically make strange gurgling noises.
2. After confirming everyone's names on the roll, thank the class for attending "Advanced Astrodynamics 690" and mention that yesterday was the last day to drop.
3. After turning on the overhead projector, clutch your chest and scream "MY PACEMAKER!"
4. Wear a pointed Kaiser helmet and a monocle and carry a riding crop.
5. Gradually speak softer and softer and then suddenly point to a student and scream "YOU! WHAT DID I JUST SAY?"
6. Deliver your lecture through a hand puppet. If a student asks you a question directly, say in a high-pitched voice, "The Professor can't hear you, you'll have to ask *me*, Winky Willy".
7. If someone asks a question, walk silently over to their seat, hand them your piece of chalk, and ask, "Would YOU like to give the lecture, Mr. Smartypants?"
8. Pick out random students, ask them questions, and time their responses with a stop watch. Record their times in your grade book while muttering "tsk, tsk".
9. Ask students to call you "Tinkerbell" or "Surfin' Bird".
10. Stop in mid-lecture, frown for a moment, and then ask the class whether your butt looks fat.

Posted by dcannell at 10:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2007

Advice for Life

* Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy lingerie.
Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

* No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

* Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will
this matter?"

* What other people think of you is none of your business.

* Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

* However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

* Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your family and
friends will. Stay in touch.

* Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.

* Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

* The best is yet to come.

* No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

* Do the right thing.

* Call your mother and father often.

* Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

* Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you
certainly don't want a fast pass.

Posted by dcannell at 11:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 18, 2007

This made my day!

I opened my email today to find a note that made my day. This was a nice way to make sure I as a blogger continue to blog. I write this blog to share information with my staff at the cyber school, it is great to know others enjoy and find what a post of value as well.

Hello,

As an educational innovator I know how time-consuming and hard work it is to write a blog, and how difficult to ascertain how much you are "realising" with it...

I just wanted to let you know that I'm subscribed to about 150 e-learning blogs, but your entries are by far the most usable to me. To the point, tongue-in-cheek, enough practical tips and yet also enough theoretical depth and sense of realism.

So - even though people may not be reacting enormously - please know that your daily entries are appreciated (much), even in distant Flanders (Belgium).


Keep up the great work, regards, and thank you!

Posted by dcannell at 2:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 17, 2007

Count the black dots.

tn_illusion02.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 11:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2007

New Hands Free Cel Phone

I'm gonna get me one of these new fangled phone right away!

hands_free_wireless.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2007

Things to do in the cyber school pod

Log on, wait a sec, then get a frightened look on your face and scream "NO!!! They've found me!" and bolt.

Laugh uncontrollably for about 3 minutes & then suddenly stop and look suspiciously at everyone who looks at you.

When your computer is turned off, complain to the others in the pod that you can't get the darn thing to work. After he/she's turned it on, wait 5 minutes,turn it off again, & repeat the process for a good half hour.

Type frantically, often stopping to look at the person next to you evilly.

Before anyone else is in the lab, connect each computer to different screen than the one it's set up with.

Write a program that plays the "Smurfs" theme song and play it at the highest volume possible over & over again.

Work normally for a while. Suddenly look amazingly startled by something on the screen and crawl underneath the desk.

Ask the person next to you if they know how to tap into top-secret Pentagon files.

Make a small ritual sacrifice to the computer before you turn it on.

Posted by dcannell at 12:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 8, 2007

5th Annual Canadian E-Learning Conference

I will be attending this conference...I think it is one of the best conferences that I attend.

2007 Canadian E-Learning Conference

Posted by dcannell at 12:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 4, 2007

Technology Survey

Does anyone have a technology review survey that they might be willing to share? We are getting close to reviewing the teachers within our division about our cyber school and the use of technology in their face to face classroom. We are a K-12 division but post-secondary surveys might give us some ideas as well.

So, please share.

D. Cannell

Posted by dcannell at 1:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just married

This made me giggle.

just29married.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 3, 2007

Nerd T-shirt sayings

1. "If Bill Gates had a penny for every time I had to reboot my computer......oh wait he does."
2.Cannot find REALITY.SYS. Universe halted.
3. 2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2.
4. Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.
5. Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.
6. My software never has bugs. It just develops random features.
7.Best file compression around: "DEL ." = 100% compression
8. BREAKFAST.COM Halted...Cereal Port Not Responding
9. The name is Baud......, James Baud.
10. Why doesn't DOS ever say "EXCELLENT command or filename!"
11. As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing.
12. Southern DOS: Y'all reckon? (Yep/Nope)
13. Backups? We don' NEED no steenking backups.
14. CONGRESS.SYS Corrupted: Re-boot Washington D.C. (Y/n)?
15. Windows: Just another pane in the glass.
16. SENILE.COM found . . . Out Of Memory . . .
17. All computers wait at the same speed.
18. Smash forehead on keyboard to continue.....
19. All wiyht. Rho sritched mg kegtops awound?
20. Error: Keyboard not attached. Press F1 to continue.
21. "640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 1981
22. Press any key to continue or any other key to quit...
23. Press CTRL-ALT-DEL to continue ...


Posted by dcannell at 1:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 2, 2007

Etch-A-Sketch Technical Support

Management has determined that there is no longer any need for network or software applications support. The goal is to remove all computers from the desktop. Instead, everyone will be provided with an Etch-A-Sketch. There are many sound reasons for doing this:
1. No Vista problems
2. No technical glitches keeping work from being done.
3. No more wasted time reading and writing emails.

Frequently Asked Questions for Etch-A-Sketch Technical Support:

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.
A: Pick it up and shake it

Q. How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q. What's the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q. How do I create a New Document window?
A. Pick it up and shake it.

Q. How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A. Pick it up and shake it.

Q. What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q. How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q. How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch document?
A: Don't shake it.

Posted by dcannell at 3:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 30, 2007

Witty Words of Wisdom:

Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors, and miss.

Cooking lesson #1: don't fry bacon in the nude.

Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.

If life gives you lemons, squeeze the juice into a watergun and shoot other people in the eyes.

If you're not part of the solution, be part of the problem!

If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

If you can't beat your computer at chess, try kickboxing.

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

If you try and don't succeed, cheat. Repeat until caught. Then lie.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Never buy a car you can't push.

Never eat yellow snow.

Never pet a burning dog.

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don't have a leg to stand on.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

The early worm gets eaten by the bird, so sleep late.

There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved through a suitable application of high explosives.

There are very few problems that cannot be solved by orders ending with 'or die.' - Alistair J.R. Young

When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

You are what you eat. So stay away from the jerk chicken.

Be nice to the nerds and geeks in high school -- you'll be working for them in the future.

Posted by dcannell at 2:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 27, 2007

Daily Affirmations

I no longer need to punish, deceive or compromise myself. Unless, of
course, I want to stay employed.

A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem.

As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I can get in touch with my Inner
Sociopath.

I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of
suspicion and paranoia.

Today, I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no
sweeter words than "I told you so."

I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and
complain.

As I learn the innermost secrets of the people around me, they reward me
in many ways to keep me quiet.

I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones that are
someone else's fault.

I honor my personality flaws, for without them I would have no
personality at all.

Joan of Arc heard voices too.

When someone hurts me, forgiveness is cheaper than a lawsuit. But not
nearly as gratifying.

The first step is to say nice things about myself. The second, to do
nice things for myself. The third, to find someone to buy me nice
things.

Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day watching TV.
Instead I will move my TV into the bedroom.

Who can I blame for my own problems? Give me just a minute... I'll find
someone.

Why should I waste my time reliving the past when I can spend it worrying
about the future?

I will find humor in my everyday life by looking for people I
can laugh at.

I am willing to make the mistakes if someone else is willing to learn
from them.

Posted by dcannell at 3:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 26, 2007

Mother said:

PAUL REVERE'S MOTHER: "I don't care where you think you have to go, young man. Midnight is past your curfew!"

MONA LISA'S MOTHER: "After all that money you father and I spent on braces, Mona, that's the biggest smile you can give us?'"

HUMPTY DUMPTY'S MOTHER: "Humpty, If I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times not to sit on the wall. But would you listen to me? Noooo!"

COLUMBUS'S MOTHER: "I don't care what you've discovered Christopher, you could have written!"

BABE RUTH'S MOTHER: "Babe, How many times have I told you--quit playing baseball in the house! that's the third window you've broken this week!"

MICHAELANGELO'S MOTHER: " Mike, can't you paint on walls like other children? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get that stuff off the ceiling?"

NAPOLEON'S MOTHER: "All right Napoleon. If you're not hiding your report card inside your jacket, then take your hand out of there and prove it!"

ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S MOTHER: "Again with the stovepipe hat, Abe? Can't you just wear a baseball cap like the other kids?"

BARNEY'S MOTHER: "I realize strained plums are your favorite, Barney, but you're starting to look a little purple!"

MARY'S MOTHER: "I'm not upset the you lamb followed you to school, Mary, but I would like to know how he got a better grade than you!"

BATMAN'S MOTHER: "It's a nice car, Bruce, but do you realize how much the insurance will be!"

GOLDILOCK'S MOTHER: "I've got a bill here for a busted chair from the bear family. You know anything about this Goldie?"

LITTLE MISS MUFFET'S MOTHER: "Well, all I've got to say is if you don't get of your tuffet and start cleaning your room, there'll be a lot more spiders around here!"

ALBERT EINSTEIN'S MOTHER: "But, Albert, it's your senior picture. Can't you do something about your hair? Styling gel, mousse, something....?"

GEORGE WASHINGTON'S MOTHER: "The next time I catch you throwing money across the Potomac, you can kiss your allowance good-bye!"

JONAH'S MOTHER: "That's a nice story, but now tell me where you've really been for the past 3 days!"

SUPERMAN'S MOTHER: "Clark, your father and I have discussed it, and we've decided you can have your own telephone line. Now will you quit spending so much time in all those phone booths!"

And finally...

THOMAS EDISON'S MOTHER: "Of course I'm proud that you invented the electric light bulb, dear. Now turn off that light and get to bed!"

Posted by dcannell at 1:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 25, 2007

Tech Support Stories

I had been doing Tech Support for Hewlett-Packard's DeskJet division for about a month when I had a customer call with a problem I just couldn't solve. She could not print yellow. All the other colors would print fine, which truly baffled me because the only true colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. For instance, green is a combination of cyan and yellow, but green printed fine. Every color of the rainbow printed fine except for yellow. I had the customer change ink cartridges. I had the customer delete and reinstall the drivers. Nothing worked. I asked my coworkers for help; they offered no new ideas. After over two hours of troubleshooting, I was about to tell the customer to send the printer in to us for repair when she asked quietly, "Should I try printing on a piece of white paper instead of this yellow paper?"

A man attempting to set up his new printer called the printer's tech support number, complaining about the error message: "Can't find the printer. On the phone, the man said he even held the printer up in front of the screen, but the computer still couldn't find it.

And another user was all confused about why the cursor always'moved in the opposite direction from the movement of the mouse. She also complained that the buttons were difficult to depress. She was very embarrassed when we asked her to rotate the mouse so the tail pointed away from her.

Customer: "Hello? I'm trying to dial in. I installed the software okay, and it dialed fine. I could hear that. Then I could hear the two computers connecting. But then the sound all stopped, so I picked up the phone to see if they were still connected, and I got the message, 'No carrier,' on my screen. What's wrong?"

This guy calls in to complain that he gets an "Access Denied" message every time he logs in. It turned out he was typing his username and password in capital letters. Tech Support: "Ok, let's try once more, but use lower case letters. Customer: "Uh, I only have capital letters on my keyboard."

Posted by dcannell at 12:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 24, 2007

Computer Guys Have a Sense of Humor Too...

Young Jane, the editor of a news publication, was having trouble with her computer. So she called Tim, the computer guy, over to her desk.

Tim clicked a couple buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, Jane called after him, "So, what was wrong?"

And he replied, "It was an ID ten T error."

A puzzled expression ran riot over Jane's face. "An ID ten T error? What's that ... in case I need to fix it again??"

He gave her a grin... ;-) ... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?"

"No," replied Jane.

"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."

(She wrote...) I D 1 0 T Error

Posted by dcannell at 1:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Writing Techniques:

Avoid alliteration. Always.
Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
Avoid clich's like the plague. (They're old hat.)
Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
Contractions aren't necessary.
Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
One should never generalize.
Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
Be more or less specific.
One-word sentences? Eliminate.
Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
Who needs rhetorical questions?
Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

Posted by dcannell at 1:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 23, 2007

Ten things that I know about women

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Posted by dcannell at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to Please Your I.T. Department

When you call us to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies and children's art. We don't have a life, and we find it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.

Don't write anything down. Ever. We can play back the error messages from here.

When an I.T. person says he's coming right over, go for coffee. That way you won't be there when we need your password. It's nothing for us to remember 700 screen saver passwords.

When you call the help desk, state what you want, not what's keeping you from getting it. We don't need to know that you can't get into your mail because your computer won't power on at all.

When I.T. support sends you an E-Mail with high importance, delete it at once. We're just testing.

When an I.T. person is eating lunch at his desk, walk right in and spill your guts right out. We exist only to serve.

Send urgent email all in uppercase. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.

When the photocopier doesn't work, call computer support. There's electronics in it.

When something's wrong with your home PC, dump it on an I.T. person's chair with no name, no phone number and no description of the problem. We love a puzzle.

When an I.T. person tells you that computer screens don't have cartridges in them, argue. We love a good argument.

When an I.T. person tells you that he'll be there shortly, reply in a scathing tone of voice: "And just how many weeks do you mean by shortly?" That motivates us.

When the printer won't print, re-send the job at least 20 times. Print jobs frequently get sucked into black holes.

When the printer still won't print after 20 tries, send the job to all 68 printers in the company. One of them is bound to work.

Don't learn the proper term for anything technical. We know exactly what you mean by "My thingy blew up".

Don't use on-line help. On-line help is for wimps.

Posted by dcannell at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 20, 2007

Things I wish I'd known before I went out in the real world

A person needs only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use the tape.

When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.

The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship: "I apologize" and "You are right."

Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

When you make a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.

If he or she says that you are too good for him -- believe it.

I've learned to pick my battles; I ask myself, "Will this matter one year from now? How about one month? One week? One day?"

Never pass up an opportunity to pee.

If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance!

Living well really is the best revenge.

Being miserable because of a bad or former relationship just proves that the other person was right about you.

Be really nice to your friends because you never know when you are going to need them to empty your bed pan and hold your hand.

And finally... Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect; it just means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections.


Posted by dcannell at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 19, 2007

Universal Laws

"The Law of Volunteering"
If you dance with a grizzly bear, you had better let him lead.

"The Law of Avoiding Oversell"
When putting cheese in a mousetrap, always leave room for the mouse.

"The Law of Common Sense"
Never accept a drink from a urologist.

"The Law of Reality"
Never get into fights with ugly people, they have nothing to lose.

"The Law of Self Sacrifice"
When you starve with a tiger, the tiger starves last.

"Weiler's Law"
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.

"Law of Probable Dispersal"
Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

"Law of Volunteer Labor"
People are always available for work in the past tense.

"Conway's Law"
In any organization there is one person who knows what is going on. That person must be fired.

"Iron Law of Distribution"
Them that has, gets.

"Law of Cybernetic Entomology"
There is always one more bug.

"Law of Drunkeness"
You can't fall off the floor.

"Heller's Law"
The first myth of management is that it exists.

"Osborne's Law"
Variables won't; constants aren't.

"Main's Law"
For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.

"Weinberg's Second Law"
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would have destroyed civilization.

Posted by dcannell at 2:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 18, 2007

12 Step Internet Addiction recovery system

1) I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my newspaper like I used to, before the Internet.

2) I will eat breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand typing.

3) I will get dressed before noon.

4) I will make an attempt to clean the house, wash clothes, and plan dinner before even thinking of the Internet.

5) I will sit down and write a letter to those unfortunate few friends and family that are Internet-deprived.

6) I will call someone on the phone who I cannot contact via the Internet.

7) I will read a book...if I still remember how.

8) I will listen to those around me and their needs and stop telling them to turn the TV down so I can hear the music on the Internet.

9) I will not be tempted during TV commercials to check for email.

10) I will try and get out of the house at least once a week, if it is necessary or not.

11) I will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget to balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Internet.

12) Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed sometime ... and the Internet will always be there tomorrow!

Posted by dcannell at 12:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I thought this was funny

Every computer keyboard should come one of these.

Posted by dcannell at 12:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2007

Things to Remember

Love is grand; divorce is at least a hundred grand.

Time may be a great healer, but it's also a lousy beautician.

Remember: amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.

Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.

Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

An optimist thinks that this is the best possible world. A pessimist fears that this is true.

Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just stand there.

My inferiority complex is not as good as yours is.

I am having an out of money experience.

It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.

You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.

Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.

Posted by dcannell at 4:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

If Women Ran The World

If my wife ran the world as well as my home...

Posted by dcannell at 4:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 16, 2007

Thoughts for the Day

1. A day without sunshine is like night.

2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

4. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.

6. He who laughs last thinks slowest.

7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in
the trap.

9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.

14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

15. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines

19. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?

20. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, "What the heck
happened?"

22. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.

23. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright
until you hear them speak.

24. Life isn't like a box of chocolates; it's more like a jar of jalapenos.
What you do today, might burn your bum tomorrow.

Posted by dcannell at 5:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kid's Instructions on Life

"Wear a hat when feeding seagulls."
- Rocky, age 9

"Sleep in your clothes so you'll be dressed in the morning."
- Stephanie, age 8

"Don't flush the john when your dad's in the shower."
- Lamar, age 10

"Never ask for anything that costs more than $5 when your parents are doing taxes."
- Carrol, age 9

"Never bug a pregnant mom."
- Nicholas, age 11

"Don't ever be too full for dessert."
- Kelly, age 10

"When your dad is mad and asks you, 'Do I look stupid?' don't answer him."
- Heather, age 16

"Never tell your mom her diet's not working."
- Michael, age 14

"Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat."
- Joel, age 12

"When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone."
- Alyesha, age 13

"Never try to baptize a cat."
- Laura, age 13

"Never spit when on a roller coaster."
- Scott, age 11

"Never do pranks at a police station."
- Sam, age 10

"Beware of cafeteria food when it looks like it's moving."
- Rob, age 10

"Never tell your little brother that you're not going to do what your mom told you to do."
- Hank, age 12

"Remember you're never too old to hold your father's hand."
- Molly, age 11

"Listen to your brain. It has lots of information."
- Chelsey, age 7

"Stay away from prunes."
- Randy, age 9

"Never dare your little brother to paint the family car."
- Phillip, age 13

"Forget the cake, go for the icing."
- Cynthia, age 8

"Remember the two places you are always welcome - church and Grandma's house."
- Joanne, age 11

"When you want something expensive, ask your grandparents."
- Matthew, age 12

Posted by dcannell at 2:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mottos to Live by

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

He who hesitates is probably right.

Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.

No one is listening until you make a mistake.

Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

Two wrongs are only the beginning.

Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

Change is inevitable....except from vending machines.

If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple of payments.

How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hands.

Everybody repeat after me....."We are all individuals."

Guests who kill talk show hosts .. On the last Geraldo.

Eagles may soar, but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines.

Borrow money from pessimists they don't expect it back.

2.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Use SWAG when making you more important decisions - (Scientific Wild-Ass Guess)

Posted by dcannell at 2:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

If women ran the world

If my wife ran the world as well as my home...

Posted by dcannell at 2:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 3, 2007

If women ran the world

If my wife ran the world as well as my home...

Posted by dcannell at 2:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 2, 2007

If women ran the world

If my wife ran the world as well as my home...

Posted by dcannell at 12:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 28, 2007

Fixed the harddrive but good

So, I had this harddrive that was not working very well. The tool I used to try and fix it was a high powered rifle. It did not fix it, but I do feel better.
IMG_2617.JPG

IMG_2618.JPG

Stupid harddrive, now I need to fix that stupid laptop of mine...

Posted by dcannell at 3:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 27, 2007

School Safety Stats

One in six teachers report having been the victim of violence in or around school. This compares to one in nine teachers five years ago.
(The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, 1999: Violence in America’s Public Schools - Five Years Later, Metropolitan Life, 1999)

Twenty-five percent of students have been the victim of a violent act that occurred in or around school.
(The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, 1999: Violence in America’s Public Schools - Five Years Later, Metropolitan Life, 1999)

Twenty-eight percent of students, twenty-three percent of teachers, and thirty percent of law enforcement officials think that violence in local public schools will increase in the next two years.
(The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, 1999: Violence in America’s Public Schools - Five Years Later, Metropolitan Life, 1999)

Elementary school students are just as likely as those in secondary schools to be the victim of a violent act.
(The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, 1999: Violence in America’s Public Schools - Five Years Later, Metropolitan Life, 1999)

High school seniors from metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas were about equally likely to report being victimized at school in the last twelve months.
(The Condition of Education: 1999, National Center for Education Statistics, 1999)

Thirty nine percent of high school seniors reported something being stolen from them. (The Condition of Education: 1999, National Center for Education Statistics, 1999)

Although fewer school-associated violent deaths have occurred in recent years, the total number of multiple victim homicide events has increased.
(1999 Annual Report on School Safety, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice, 1999)

Twenty-five percent of high school students fear in-school violence.
(Kids Voting USA Youth 2000 Initiative: Voices * Involvement * Voting, Kids Voting USA / Behavior Research Center, 1999)

Peer group pressure is cited by fifty percent of seventh through twelve graders as a major factor in why violence occurs in schools. Drugs or alcohol is cited by thirty-nine percent, lack of parental supervision is cited by thirty-six percent, and lack of family involvement by twenty-five percent.
(The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, 1999: Violence in America’s Public Schools - Five Years Later, Metropolitan Life, 1999)

Twenty percent of parents worry a great deal about their children’s safety in school and traveling to and from school.
(Are We Safe?: The 1999 National Crime Prevention Survey, National Crime Prevention Council, 1999)

The juvenile gang problem affects communities of all sizes and all regions in the United States with the number of gang members rising in small cities and rural counties in the late 1990s.
(OJJDP Research: Making a Difference for Juveniles, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999)

The violent victimization rate for students in schools where gangs were reported was almost eight percent compared to the three percent rate for students in schools with no reported gang presence.
(Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999)

Violent crimes by juveniles peak in the afternoon between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., the hour at the end of the school day.
(Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999)

Nationwide, fifteen percent of high school students had participated in a physical fight in the past twelve months.
(Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999)

Four percent of high school students felt too unsafe to go to school in the past thirty days. (Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999)

Nine percent of high school students carried a weapon on school property in the past month.
(Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999)

Seven percent of students were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property in the past twelve months.
(Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999)

Thirty percent of teens say they have been offered drugs at school.
(Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (Spring 1999): Teens in Grades 7 Through 12, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1999)

Nine percent of students reported that they avoided one or more places at school because of fear for their own safety.
(Indicators of School Crime and Violence: 1999, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice, 1999)

Although overall criminal victimization at school generally did not rise in the 1990s, violent victimization rose slightly.
(Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999)

Three percent (about 800,000) sixth through twelfth grade students carried a gun to school in the last year.
(The 12th Annual Parents’ Resource Institute of Drug Education (PRIDE) National Survey of Student Drug Use and Violence, Parent Resource Institute of Drug Education, 1999)

A total of 3930 students were expelled from school for bringing a firearm to school according to the most recent Gun-Free Schools Act Report.
(Gun-Free Schools Act Report: 1997-1998, U.S. Department of Education, 1999)

Fifty-seven percent of expulsions for bringing firearms to school involved high school students, thirty-three percent involved junior/middle school students, and ten percent involved elementary school students.
(Gun-Free Schools Act Report: 1997-1998, U.S. Department of Education, 1999)

Nineteen percent of students reported being hit, slapped, or kicked by another student.
(The 12th Annual Parents’ Resource Institute of Drug Education (PRIDE) National Survey of Student Drug Use and Violence, Parent Resource Institute of Drug Education, 1999)

Forty percent of students say they have bullied other students with threats of hitting, slapping or kicking; six percent have threatened other students with a gun or other weapon.
(The 12th Annual Parents’ Resource Institute of Drug Education (PRIDE) National Survey of Student Drug Use and Violence, Parent Resource Institute of Drug Education, 1999)

Young people who carry guns exhibit high rates of other disturbing behaviors with forty-six percent reporting that they used illicit drugs in the last month, sixty-one percent reporting having been in trouble with the police, and eighty-six reporting having been in trouble at school.
(The 12th Annual Parents’ Resource Institute of Drug Education (PRIDE) National Survey of Student Drug Use and Violence, Parent Resource Institute of Drug Education, 1999)

Forty percent of students indicated that the behavior of other students in their school definitely or somewhat interferes with their performance.
(State of Our Nation’s Youth, The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, 1999)

Posted by dcannell at 11:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 26, 2007

Cyber School Interviews (April Fools Joke)

April fools jokes work the best when they are not on April the 1st.

Step one of the Joke

It started with the following email to my online teaching staff.

I am getting lots of pressure from the higher powers to hold teacher parents interviews at the cyber school. It is felt that this is needed to make sure that the parents are involved in the educational process of their students. I have been debating against this concept and have tried to justify that the system we are using to track student (student tracker) is unique and designed to keep the communication with the home open. They are not buying it…so I need some help…let me know your opinion on cyber teacher parent interviews so I can continue to debate because at the moment it looks like we are going to have to set up an after school teacher parent interview in and around April the 1st of this year. Please reply to all when posting your comments so we can keep track of what people are saying.

Step two Staff responses.

This step happened and I will post the responses in the next couple of days because some of them are very good.

Step three Fake interview day set up

I could not follow through because the responses started to make sense and I did not want to actually have teacher - parent interviews in the cyber school.

So I had to send out the following email to terminate the joke.

I love the conversation. There is no pressure from above, I just needed each of you to think through the process and comment on your belief of the Cyber School’s difference. Again, you have shown your desire to be open to new ideas, go with the flow and do what is necessary for us to be successful. I was going to push the discussion further and schedule in interviews for each one of you to see which of you would figure out that the time for the interviews was April 1St, which is April fools day, but I just could not do that to you.

Again I love the opportunity to work with you and would like to again thank you for the discussion and I promise to try not to fool you all again. (Maybe)


Posted by dcannell at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 21, 2007

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School

The following is a group of powerpoints that were used at March 19th presentation to a group of instructional designer from around the province of Saskatchewan.

SCCS - What we do here...

Posted by dcannell at 1:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2007

Excuses for NOT laughing

Things are absolutely perfect the way they are.
Is this one of those right-brain approaches?
It is not in our code of ethics.
I’ll bring it to my committee for discussion
Can’t we just buy a laugh track?
No one has ever seen my teeth.
If I start laughing, I won’t be able to stop
I’m too old to start laughing now.
You don’t understand, I have a bad hip.
I’d like to read more about it first.
Maybe if I were paid more, I might reconsider.
My parents never taught me how.
I read that laughter damages brain cells.
I was weaned on a pickle.

Posted by dcannell at 1:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 16, 2007

Expanding the academy concept: Art Academy

We are looking at expanding the academy concept, the cyber school allows flexible scheduling for the students which makes it perfect for academies. So being the artist that I am, I work on the logo first and the details second. What do you think?

artacademysmall.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Expanding our academy concept: Hockey

We are looking at expanding the academy concept, the cyber school allows flexible scheduling for the students which makes it perfect for academies. So being the artist that I am, I work on the logo first and the details second. What do you think?

hockeyacademysmall.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ways of preventing distress and depression

Planning financial, family & future goals
Eat well
Exercise regularly
Limit alcohol/drug intake
Know effects of medication
Rest
Maintain focus on priorities
Seek support when needed
Resolve conflicts
Maintain a spiritual connection
Have some fun
Create sets of loose routines
Positive self-talk
Laugh

Posted by dcannell at 1:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2007

Techniques for Surviving & Thriving

1. Hang on to your sense of humour.
2. Have fun everyday.
3. Have some goal, a purpose in life.
4. Spirituality and philosophy give a sense of unity.
5. Practise mental relaxation exercises.
6. Look for balance.
7. Learn to say “NO”
8. Learn more about how you respond to change
9. Validation
10. De- stress

Posted by dcannell at 12:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2007

Try this sometimes

Get a group of children in a room with a light fixture hanging just out of their grasp. Then watch what happens: one child will jump to touch it, and before you know it, every kid in the room will be leaping like Michael Jordan. They're testing their skill, stimulated by the challenge of reaching something beyond their normal grasp.
Put the same children in a room where everything is easily in reach, and there will be no jumping, no competition, no challenges.
The problem with education is a low ceiling of expectations. We have built schools that demand and teach too little, and the children have stopped jumping.

Carroll Campbell

Posted by dcannell at 1:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Laughter Session

1. Clapping in a Rhythm 1-2,
1-2-3 along with chanting “Ho-ho-ha-ha-ha”
2. Deep breathing: inhale through the nose ; prolonged exhalation (3 times)
3. Shoulder, neck and stretching exercises ( 5 times each)
4. Hearty laughter with hands high in the air.
5. Greeting laughter
6. Appreciation laughter
7. One meter laughter (4 times)
8. Milk shake laughter(4 times)
9. Silent laughter (without sound)
10. Humming laughter (with mouth closed)
11. Swinging laughter
12. Lion laughter
13. Cell phone laughter
14. Argument laughter
15. Forgiveness/apology laughter
16. Gradient laughter
17. Heart to heart laughter
18. Closing chant

Posted by dcannell at 1:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2007

Humour Homework

1. Regain your smile. Smiling is a million dollar habit.
2. Identify your humour style and the humour styles of those you work with.
3. Perform the Laughter Rap. Write new verses for it.
4. Ask a colleague to become your laughing buddy. Form a larger coalition and become known as “The Three Wise Guys.”
5. Hang onto your sense of humour and have fun every day.
6. Watch a funny movie.
7. Read the comics every day and cut out the ones that remind you of your life. Find the humour in them.
8. Sort through family photos and write funny captions or one liners to go with your favourites.
Humour Homework cont’d
9. Create a humour environment. A ha ha bulletin board.
10. Recall several of the most embarrassing moments in your life.Find the humour in them.
Now practise telling stories about them in humorous ways.
11. Anytime something annoying or frustrating occurs, turn it on its head and find the humour. Think about it like it happened to someone else. Laugh at him and then at yourself.
12. Every night at dinner, make family members share one funny story or even an embarrassing moment of their day.
13. When a person offends you or makes you angry, respond with humour rather than hostility.
14. Sign up to receive the Top 10 List from David Letterman.
15. Find something humourous in every day.
16. Exaggerate and overstate problems. Making the situation bigger than life can help us regain a humourous perspective.
17. Focus humour on yourself. “Because of my lack of hair, I tell others I’m a former expert on how to cure baldness.”
18. Listen to a recording of laughter. Record people laughing; especially children.
19. Make your kids giggle or tickle laugh.
20. Play music during low energy moments.Get out of your seat and move your body.
21. Sing happy songs such as “Zippedy Doo Dah”
22. Hold a meeting without flipcharts, computers etc. Put paper and crayons on the tables.
23. Smile, laugh out loud, laugh silently every time you hit delete on your keyboard.
24. Read a children’s book out loud.
25. Read or write humourous poetry.
26. Hold a tell a joke contest.

Posted by dcannell at 11:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2007

Four Humour Styles: The Laughing Classroom

Are you a Joy Master?
Positive
Inspiring, Humanizing, High-level Play
Healing, Inclusive, Warmhearted, Innocent

If you have checked 5 or more statements, congratulations! As a Joy Master, you know how to take humour to its highest form!
As a role model, your warm sense of humour will be an inspiration to others.

Are you a Fun Meister?
Positive
Slapstick, Clowning, Naïve, Imitative, Entertaining
Negative
Ridiculing, Dark Humour, Tragedy and Suffering, Hurtful, Degrading

If you have checked 3 or more in either category, you are definitely a frolicking Fun Meister.
Challenge yourself to turn negative traits to positive ones that can be appreciated by all!

Are you a Joke Maker?
Positive
Wordplay, Teaching Stories, Parody, Instructive, Insightful
Negative
Insulting, Biting, Satiric, Stereotyping, Destructive

If you have 3 or more checks in either category, you are probably a jovial Joke Maker.
Challenge yourself to turn negative traits to positive ones that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Are you a Life Mocker?
Negative
Cynical, Sarcastic, Exclusive, Coldhearted, Worldly, Dehumanizing

If you have checked 5 or more statements. BEWARE!!! What you consider a sense of humour is really your method of lashing out and hurting others.
Take time to analyze what messages you are giving to yourself about the world and your place within it. Look at the positive qualities of the Joy Master, Fun Meister, and Joke Maker to see if they can help you become lighter and more loving toward yourself and others.


by Diana Loomans & Karen Kolberg

Posted by dcannell at 1:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 5, 2007

The Laughing Oath

To be stated while wearing a great big grin:

I do solemnly swear from this day forward
To grease my giggling gears each day
And to wear a grin on my face for no reason at all!
I promise to tap my funny bone often,
With children, family, friends, colleagues & clients,
And to laugh at least fifteen times per day.
I believe that frequent belly laughter
Cures terminal tightness, cerebral stiffness,
And hardening of the attitudes,
And that HA HA often lead to AHA!
Therefore, I vow, from this day forth,
To brighten the day of everyone I meet,
And to laugh long and prosper!

Posted by dcannell at 2:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I wonder which one I am?

Some people create joy wherever they go.
Others create joy whenever they go.

Anonymous

Posted by dcannell at 2:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 2, 2007

Cyber Pod Work Environment Rules

1. Sickness
This is no longer allowed under any circumstances.
We will no longer accept your doctor’s statement as proof of illness.
If you can walk to your doctor, you can certainly do work.

2. Leave of Absence for an Operation
This practice must stop from today.
We wish to discourage any thoughts that you may need all of whatever you have and should not consider having anything removed.
We hired you for all that you are and to have anything removed certainly makes you less than we bargained for.

3. Death, other than your own
You must arrange to attend funerals very late in the day after your work is done.
Providing this is adhered to, we will consider letting you go 1 hour earlier.
Please be sure to put this in writing.

4. Death, Your Own
This is acceptable as an excuse, but…
We would like at least two weeks notice as we feel it is your duty to teach someone else your job.
Treat this point as important.

5. Personal Hygiene
Entirely too much time is being spent in the washroom.
In the future you will follow the practice of going in alphabetical order.
For instance, those with surnames beginning with “A” will be allowed to go from 9 to 9:05 and so on.
If you are unable to go at your appointed time you must wait until the next day when your time comes around again.

6. Quantity of Work
No matter how much you do, you’ll never do enough.
If you disagree please see your District Representative.

7. Quality of Work
The minimum acceptable level is
PERFECTION at ALL times.

8. Advice from the Workplace Specialist
Eat a live frog the first thing in the morning and you will be hopping around all day.
Certainly nothing worse can happen to you the rest of the day.

9. The BOSS is ALWAYS RIGHT even in his/her absence.

Posted by dcannell at 1:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 9, 2007

Too many links it drives me mad.

The following is the start of an executive summary of a proposal we have put together and I will just use it for this example

Our initial concept involved developing a program to track students enrolled in Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School. Web CT, the learning management system this program was designed to accompany, does have student tracking capabilities however, it is designed to work primarily with semester based courses.


Doesn't a blog entry with so many links make you mad. I end up away from the original entry and off surfing somewhere else. So in my blog entries I try to make my point and then place a single link to the point of interest.

Posted by dcannell at 1:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Error Messages That I Can Understand

If one never tries, one never fails, one never learns. This message might be a good thing.

image106.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 8, 2007

GM and Computers

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on. At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."


In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release
stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics


(and I just love this part):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh! would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive -- but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation"
warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.
Please share this with your friends who love - but sometimes hate - their computer

Posted by dcannell at 6:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Error Messages that I can understand!

Since I started the cyber school I have watched less and less TV...I get all the entertainment and news I can handle via the internet.

image105.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 2:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 7, 2007

Northern Voice 2007

I will be attending this event...I am getting excited and will blog the heck out of the event.

e-Strategy Update ? Blog Archive ? Get Your Moose On - Northern Voice is Ready to Romp Again

Posted by dcannell at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Error Messages that I Understand

Interesting approach to making one feel powerless.

image104.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 6, 2007

Email from my wife

Subject: FW: To my darling husband.

Before you return from your overseas trip I just want to let you know about the small accident I had with the pick up truck when I turned into the driveway. Fortunately not too bad and I really didn't get hurt, so please don't worry too much about me.
I was coming home from Wal-Mart, and when I turned into the driveway accidentally pushed down on the accelerator instead of the brake. The garage door is slightly bent but the pick up fortunately came to a halt when it bumped into your car.
I am really sorry, but I know with your kind-hearted personality you will forgive me. You know how much I love you and care for you my sweetheart.

I am attaching a picture for you.

I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again.
Your loving wife.

P.S. Your girlfriend called.

truckcar.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 4:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 5, 2007

Error Messages that I Understand

I think I could program a machine to have this pop up once a day or so....hmmmmm

image103.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 2, 2007

Error Messages That I Understand

On some days I would be willing to accept this message. Sleep, I need sleep.

image102.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 1, 2007

Error Messages that I Understand

I will have to use this PEBKAC with a few Users that I know.

image101.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 12:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 31, 2007

Error Messages That I Understand

I could use this one for my staff.

image100.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 3:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2007

Error Messages that I Understand

Over the next couple of days I will display a series of images that are error messages that I can understand.

image1.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 1:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Search for a PHD

I have just completed my Masters in Distance Education at Athabasca University with a 3.78 GPA. (he states proudly)

I am presently looking for a University to do my PHD and an advisor who would be interested in K-12 online education. An accredited university is a must, I would love to have my last degree from either, England, U of S, Australia or Europe. My other degrees are from Canada and I would like a different approach. Any suggestions from the blogosphere would be great.

I would like a university that might be willing to offer me a scholarship...I like saving money and it makes me popular with my wife.

Here is my CV and feel free to email me if you have a suggestion, a first hand positive university experience, if you work for a university or you have a pile of money and would like to sponsor a poor teacher's education. I am not cheap but I can be bought.


Darren's CV

I normally do not post personal entries but I thought this might be an interesting experience.

Posted by dcannell at 10:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 29, 2007

The Feng Shui Office

I have rearranged my office...

Here are 13 tips for the do's and taboos of feng shui office design, with more available in Feng Shui Dos & Taboos

The Feng Shui Office

Posted by dcannell at 4:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2007

Some facts about my Birthdate

18 January 1960
Your date of conception was on or about 27 April 1959 which was a Monday.
You were born on a Monday under the astrological sign Capricorn.
Your Life path number is 8.
Life Path Compatibility:
You are most compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 2, 4, 8, 11 & 22.
You should get along well with those with the Life Path number 6.
You may or may not get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 1 & 5.
You are least compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 3, 7 & 9.
The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2436951.5.
The golden number for 1960 is 4.
The epact number for 1960 is 2.
The year 1960 was a leap year.
Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 2/8/1959 and ending 1/27/1960.
You were born in the Chinese year of the Pig.
Your Native American Zodiac sign is Goose; your plant is Bramble.
You were born in the Egyptian month of Famenoth, the third month of the season of Poret (Emergence - Fertile soil).
Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is 18 Tevet 5720.
Or if you were born after sundown then the date is 19 Tevet 5720.
The Mayan Calendar long count date of your birthday is 12.17.6.5.7 which is
12 baktun 17 katun 6 tun 5 uinal 7 kin
The Hijra (Islamic Calendar) date of your birth is Monday, 19 Rajab 1379 (1379-7-19).
The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 17 April 1960.
The date of Orthodox Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 17 April 1960.
The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 2 March 1960.
The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 5 June 1960.
The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 12 June 1960.
The date of Rosh Hashanah in the year of your birth was Thursday, 22 September 1960.
The date of Passover in the year of your birth was Tuesday, 12 April 1960.
The date of Mardi Gras on your birth year was Tuesday 1 March 1960.
As of 1/24/2007 2:40:07 PM EST
You are 47 years old.
You are 564 months old.
You are 2,453 weeks old.
You are 17,173 days old.
You are 412,166 hours old.
You are 24,730,000 minutes old.
You are 1,483,800,007 seconds old.
Celebrities who share your birthday:
Jonathan Davis (1971) Mark Messier (1961) Kevin Costner (1955)
Bobby Goldsboro (1941) Danny Kaye (1913) Cary Grant (1904)
Oliver Hardy (1892) A.A. Milne (1882) Dr. Daniel Hale Williams (1856)
Daniel Webster (1782)
Top songs of 1960
Theme from A Summer Place- Percy Faith Are You Lonesome Tonight? by Elvis Presley
It's Not Or Never by Elvis Presley Cathy's Clown by Everly Brothers
Stuck On You by Elvis Presley Running Bear by Johnny Preston
Save the Last Dance for Me by Drifters Teen Angel by Mark Dinning
My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own by Connie Francis
Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 6.72133072407045 years old. (You're still chasing cats!)
There are 359 days till your next birthday
on which your cake will have 48 candles.
Those 48 candles produce 48 BTUs,
or 12,096 calories of heat (that's only 12.0960 food Calories!) .
You can boil 5.49 US ounces of water with that many candles.
In 1960 there were approximately 4.2 million births in the US.
In 1960 the US population was approximately 179,323,175 people, 50.6 persons per square mile.
In 1960 in the US there were approximately 1,523,000 marriages (8.5%) and 393,000 divorces (2.2%)
In 1960 in the US there were approximately 1,712,000 deaths (9.5 per 1000)
In the US a new person is born approximately every 8 seconds.
In the US one person dies approximately every 12 seconds.
In 1960 the population of Australia was approximately 10,391,920.
In 1960 there were approximately 230,326 births in Australia.
In 1960 in Australia there were approximately 75,428 marriages and 6,633 divorces.
In 1960 in Australia there were approximately 88,464 deaths.
Your birthstone is Garnet
The Mystical properties of Garnet
Garnet is used as a power stone
Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)
Emerald, Rose Quartz
Your birth tree is Elm Tree, the noble-mindedness
Pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, tends to a know-all-attitude and making decisions for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humour, practical.
There are 335 days till Christmas 2007!
There are 348 days till Orthodox Christmas!
The moon's phase on the day you were
born was waning gibbous.

Check your Birthdate

Posted by dcannell at 1:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What does my name mean??

You entered: darren david paul cannell
There are 22 letters in your name.
Those 22 letters total to 94
There are 8 vowels and 14 consonants in your name.
What your first name means:Greek Male Variant of Darin: Gift.
Gaelic Male Great.
English Male Great. Origin uncertain. Famous bearer: 1960s husband of Samantha in the American television sitcom 'Bewitched'.
Your number is: 4
The characteristics of #4 are: A foundation, order, service, struggle against limits, steady growth.
The expression or destiny for #4:
Order, service, and management are the cornerstones of the number 4 Expression. Your destiny is to express wonderful organization skills with your ever practical, down-to-earth approach. You are the kind of person who is always willing to work those long, hard hours to push a project through to completion. A patience with detail allows you to become expert in fields such as building, engineering, and all forms of craftsmanship. Your abilities to write and teach may lean toward the more technical and detailed. In the arts, music will likely be your choice. Artistic talents may also appear in such fields as horiculture and floral arrangement, as well. Many skilled physicians and especially surgeons have the 4 Expression.
The positive attitudes of the 4 Expression yield responsibility; you are one who no doubt, fulfills obligations, and is highly systematic and orderly. You are serious and sincere, honest and faithful. It is your role to help and you are required to do a good job at everything you undertake.
If there is too much 4 energies present in your makeup, you may express some of the negative attitudes of the number 4. The obligations that you face may tend to create frustration and feelings of limitation or restriction. You may sometimes find yourself nursing negative attitudes in this regard and these can keep you in a rather low mood. Avoid becoming too rigid, stubborn, dogmatic, and fixed in your opinions. You may have a tendency to develop and hold very strong likes and dislikes, and some of these may border on the classification of prejudice. The negative side of 4 often produces dominant and bossy individuals who use disciplinarian to an excess. These tendencies must be avoided. Finally, like nearly all with 4 Expression, you must keep your eye on the big picture and not get overly wrapped up in detail and routine.
Your Soul Urge number is: 8
A Soul Urge number of 8 means:
With an 8 soul urge, you have a natural flair for big business and the challenges imposed by the commercial world. Power, status and success are very important to you. You have strong urges to supervise, organize and lead. Material desires are also very pronounced. You have good executive abilities, and with these, confidence, energy and ambition.
Your mind is analytical and judgment sound; you're a good judge of material values and also human character. Self-controlled, you rarely let emotions cloud judgment. You are somewhat of an organizer at heart, and you like to keep those beneath you organized and on a proper track. This is a personality that wants to lead, not follow. You want to be known for your planning ability and solid judgment.
The negative aspects of the 8 soul urge are the often dominating and exacting attitude. You may have a tendency to be very rigid, sometimes stubborn.
Your Inner Dream number is: 5
An Inner Dream number of 5 means:
You dream of being totally free and unrestrained by responsibility. You see yourself conversing and mingling with the natives in many nations, living for adventure and life experiences. You imagine what you might accomplished.

What does your name means?



Posted by dcannell at 1:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2007

Administrator Course Virtual Tour

Each year in the second semester I spend some time reviewing your courses with each of you. Last year we had a personal interview and talked about what level your course was on the four level scale. This year I am one year older and do not wish to take up your time with the personal interview. I am going to do a virtual tour of your course, but to do this I need each of you to complete the following questions:

Physical Education Grade 12 Answers

The face to face classroom is definitely the best option for teaching physical education, but, having said that, there are many legitimate reasons that a face to face classroom may not be the best situation for every student. This course is designed with the flexibility to provide options for students who may desire an alternate method to complete the course. The aim of the SPED 30 course is to develop of a lifelong positive attitude for participation in meaningful physical activity, which ultimately should be the aim of any physical education class regardless whether the class is face to face or on-line. Cyber Phys. Ed breaks away from the traditional “model the teacher” (explain, demonstrate and practice method) to a conceptual approach by providing the students the opportunity to learn knowledge on-line.


Student Comment: I haven’t received any formal feedback comments, but I have had a lot of interaction with students to help me improve my course.

Which of the following are used in the course?

Daily Journal ................................Yes
Dropbox........................................Yes
Chatroom.....................................No
Discussion Board..........................Yes
Fax machine.................................No
Computer marked assignments.......Yes
Flexible deadlines..........................No
RSS Feeds....................................No
Blog.............................................No
Read TADO..................................No
Marks for communicating...............No
Cyber Tracker saves time...............Yes
Brown Bag useful..........................Yes

How many times a day do you check your...

Phone messages.........................Once
Check your email.........................three

How many times a week do you...

log into cyber tracker...................4-5
get to the pod.............................2-3

How many...

students in your course...............7
course email do you get...............50
discussion board entries..............200


Most useful site(s) linked to the course.

Golf Ball Museum

List one different element in your course.

There is probably not much different from my course compared to other courses since most everything that I have on the course, other than content, is what I gleaned from other designers in the pod.

Comments

I LOVE CYBER SCHOOL!


Posted by dcannell at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2007

Administrator Course Virtual Tours

Each year in the second semester I spend some time reviewing your courses with each of you. Last year we had a personal interview and talked about what level your course was on the four level scale. This year I am one year older and do not wish to take up your time with the personal interview. I am going to do a virtual tour of your course, but to do this I need each of you to complete the following questions:

Biology 30 Answers

My course is an interesting option to the student that requires a Biology 30 credit, but for some reason is unable to take the course in a face to face setting. I have the same information in my online version of the course as my face to face version. My online course tends to involve much more 'search and discover' type learning which appeals to many people.

Student Comment: It was tougher and funner than I thought it would be.

Which of the following are used in the course?

Daily Journal ................................No
Dropbox........................................Yes
Chatroom.....................................Yes
Discussion Board..........................No
Fax machine.................................Yes
Computer marked assignments.......Yes
Flexible deadlines..........................Yes
RSS Feeds....................................No
Blog.............................................Soon
Read TADO..................................Yes
Marks for communicating...............No
Cyber Tracker saves time...............Yes
Brown Bag useful..........................Yes

How many times a day do you check your...

Phone messages.........................Once
Check your email.........................Many times (+20)

How many times a week do you...

log into cyber tracker...................many
get to the pod.............................once

How many...

students in your course...............21
course email do you get...............600
discussion board entries..............0


Most useful site(s) linked to the course.

Nobel Prize Web Site

Pearson Text Book Helper Site

List one different element in your course.

I use the "Take Notes" as a lesson by lesson review. I don't think anyone else is doing this. Probably my favourite tool as a cyber teacher.

Comments

Once again Darren, thank you for the opportunity to teach and learn in such an exciting setting. I found myself in quite the discussion with a colleague at school today... I overheard her cutting down cyber school. I challenged her to defend her statements. Not only couldn't she defend them, she had never looked at the course (Grade 9 math) she was criticizing. So during the course of our discussion I explained a bit about what we do and calmed her ignorant notions of what cyber is. Hmmm, teachers challenging new ideas, who would have known?


Posted by dcannell at 12:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCCS Poster Advertisement Campaign

It is that time of year where we go into advertisement mode at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School. We will be using the following poster to wallpaper the schools of our division.

The image was created using Corel Bryce, photoshop and other assorted programs.

Posted by dcannell at 12:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 19, 2007

Want to pretend you are an online educator?

Each year I evaluate the courses in our cyber school if you would like to pretend you are one of the lucky educators who are involved in the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School... fill out the following survey and post it in the comment area.

Each year in the second semester I spend some time reviewing your courses with each of you. Last year we had a personal interview and talked about what level your course was on the four level scale. This year I am one year older and do not wish to take up your time with the personal interview. I am going to do a virtual tour of your course, but to do this I need each of you to complete the following questions:

Reply to this email and fill in the blanks. Read the instructions carefully and complete all the questions. Some of the questions might require you to reflect on your development and course. If you teach more than one course complete this email twice. This questionnaire needs to be completed by the end of January and honest answers are required. You will find by the wording of the questions that I have biases but these are one man’s opinion on how cyber education should look. Remember, to most of these questions there is no right or wrong answer. That does not mean I will not discuss areas with each of you and try to change your ways to the force or the dark side, depending on which side of the fence you exist.

1.) If you were trying to sell your course to the general public in three sentences (no more, no less) what would they be.
2.) List the best internet site that you have linked to your course to support a lesson. Answer with the title of the site and the url.
3.) Share the best comment about your course that you have received from a student.
4.) Which of the following do you use in your course?
Daily Journal Yes or No
DropBox Yes or No
Chatroom Yes or No
Discussion Board Yes or No
5.) Do you not accept assignment in your course after a certain time other than the 150 day deadline? Yes or No
6.) Do you have more than one assignment in your course that are computer marked? Yes or No
7.) Do you use the fax machine to support your course? Yes or No
8.) Do you assign a communication mark in your course? Yes or No
9.) Has Cyber Tracker saved you work? Yes or No
10.) Do you use RSS feeds in your course? Yes or No
11.) Do you have a blog? Yes or No
12.) Do you read Teaching and Developing Online? Yes or No
13.) Do you find the brown bags useful? Yes or No
14.) How many times a day do you check your phone messages?
15.) How many times a week do you log into Cyber Tracker?
16.) How many times a day do you check your scs.sk.ca email?
17.) How many times a week on average do you get to the pod?
18.) How many students do you currently have in your course?
19.) How many emails have the students sent you?
20.) How many discussion board entries have the students made?
21.) How many times in the first semester were you in the cyber chapel?
22.) How many times in the first semester were you in the student lounge?
23.) Should cyber teachers be expected to track the attendance of cyber students? Yes or No
24.) Attach a screen capture of your home page.
25.) Give the url to the best page within your course.
26.) List one element of your course which is different than the other courses in the Cyber School.
27.) Comments

Try to be as clear as possible with your answers. If you think it is necessary to clarify your yes or no answers, feel free to attach a comment after the yes or no.
If I am unclear on any of your answers I might contact you for further clarification.

Darren Cannell
Administrator
Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School
Http://www.scs.sk.ca/cyber/home.htm

Posted by dcannell at 12:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Brain-Controlled Humanoid Robot

This page describes the brain-computer interface project at the Neural Systems Lab at the University of Washington. We are working towards enabling sophisticated control and interaction with the environment, using very simple selection-based interfaces that can be operated using brain waves alone.

A Brain-Controlled Humanoid Robot

Posted by dcannell at 10:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2007

SCCS Student Cards

So, what do you think of the new Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School student card? My son is a little young to be in the cyber school but I liked the picture.



Posted by dcannell at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2007

A little mind reading

To be a good cyber school administrator you have be able to read other the minds of others via the web.

Let the reading begin.... A little mind reading.

Posted by dcannell at 1:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Summarized

The goal of the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School is to use the Internet to enable education to occur in places where it normally does not. It extends resources where there are few, expands the learning day, and opens the learning place. We are using the Internet to connect people, communities, and resources to support learning. We are witnessing how the Internet adds graphics, sound, video, and interaction to give teachers and students multiple paths for understanding.

Summary document

Posted by dcannell at 12:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Communication Stategy

The following is an example of a communication strategy for a school system which could and would make communication within a division a little more streamline and easy to use. The plan contains many holes and is not complete but it is a start.

SCS Communication Strategy

Posted by dcannell at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2007

Thanks a bunch for the email.

I must send my thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet towel with every envelope that needs sealing. Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking a man along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer and thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face...disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

I no longer have any sneakers -- but that will change once I receive my free replacement pair from Nike.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

Thank you too for all the endless advice Andy Rooney has given us; I can live a better life now because he's told us how to fix everything.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 I dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

Oh, and don't forget this one either!
I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump.

I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...

Have a wonderful day....


Posted by dcannell at 11:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: Cyber School Tracking.

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2007

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: The Association of Online K-12 Schools.

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 10:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2007

Its snowing Its snowing

Here in Saskatoon it is snowing so hard they have decided to close the face to face schools; this is only the second time in my 25 years of teaching that they have done this. The last time I was teaching grade 8 in elementary school and it was exciting, I drove home and just barely made it and then spent the rest of the day reading a book. Well, today I am an administrator at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School. We do not shut down due to snow we start firing on all cylinders. Those face to face students who go home and are registered for a cyber school class use this as an opportunity to get caught up on their cyber courses. So, our school's virtual halls fill to the max.

So…

The wind begins to blow
It is cold ask your nose
From the sky it snows
Covering all below

The f2f schools care
So no student, are there
From within the walls
Home they were sent all

To the internet they bound
Virtual Learning is around
For the weather it cares not
Bit by bits the web is the spot

Through lessons they fly
The only limit is the sky
No book on their back
Empty are their packs

Snows day a problem might be
From brick and mortar they flee
Virtual schools fill their heads
For them weather holds no dread

Virtual is coming of age
Another educational history page
An option it is, I agree
Its time has come I do believe

At least on days of snow
Virtual is the way to go

I read this to my wife, to which she responded "who sent that to you?"...to which I responded, "I wrote it." So, she doesn't believe that I can write poetry. Maybe I will have to write her one someday.


Posted by dcannell at 2:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: Podcasting...

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 9, 2007

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: School and Parish Blogs...

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 1:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 8, 2007

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: RSS Feeds and News Aggregates...

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 4, 2007

Working from a Distance

Here I sit looking at the clear turquoise water from the Penthouse suite in Cancun. This week I have been able to do all the administration activities that have been required. This proves to me that to be an effective adminstrator at an online school one needs;

1.) A good internet connection
2.) Lots and lots of beach and clear water
3.) The blue skies and sun shine.
4.) Diet Coke
5.) A postive attitude.
6.) An upper management that understands one's need to vacation often and in many hot beach places to keep number five.


Anyways for all those in snow and weather which is not condusive to number five, It is time to vacation. Do your job...but vacation and do not...I repeat do not forget the sun screen.

D. Cannell

Posted by dcannell at 1:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 22, 2006

Thanks for the following sites

The following sites link to TADO and as a last posting for this year...I would like to supply a link to a couple of them.

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year.

Sekeirox | Cloudy Tag Thoughts | Firgoa | Virtual High School Meanderings | DigiZen | Stephen's Web | Musing | Ruminate | Swik | Edublog Insights | Xplana | Vida de profesor | E-Learning Acupuncture

See you next year.

Posted by dcannell at 8:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: Greater Saskatoon Catholic School blogs...

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 8:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 21, 2006

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: SCCS Learning Communities...

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2006

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: What does SCCS have to offer...

Website version

Powerpoint version

This presentation will raise some questions feel free to comment and they can be clarified.

Posted by dcannell at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 19, 2006

Staff so busy...

I had to talk to one of my staff about their parenting skills...

Our belief is...

Family first
Faith second
Then cyber school.

rednecksmall.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 2:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School is busy.

The staff is busy at this time of year but very dedicated as shown here in the employee of the month image.


smalll.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 2:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: How about some cyber school stats...

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 2:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2006

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: How do you do physical education cyber style?

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 15, 2006

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: What are some of the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Policies?

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 12:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 14, 2006

God's Inbox

Time Magazine has a great sense of humor.

Evan Eisenberg God's Inbox



godsmailboxsmall.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 3:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: What are Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Hybrid Courses?

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 11:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 13, 2006

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: Saskatoon Catholic School Course Offering.

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 10:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 12, 2006

Google ToolBar Icons

A Google Toolbar Icon is a push button that can be added to the Google Toolbar. The icon can navigate the browser to a website, like a bookmark

Google ToolBar Icons

To install any of the buttons below, simply click on the icon you would like to install.

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School - Cyber Planet

Association of Online K-12 Schooling

Teaching and Developing Online Blog

Posted by dcannell at 2:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SCCS Open House Presentation

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School 150 day system.

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2006

SCCS Open House Powerpoints

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: The Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Registration Process.

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 8, 2006

SCCS Open House Powerpoints

We had an open house at the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School and some of you did not make it by so I have decided for the next couple of days to share some of the amazing powerpoints that were created by the staff to share a little bit about our approach to online K-12 teaching.

Presentation: Why take classes through the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School?

Website version

Powerpoint version

Posted by dcannell at 9:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Quote of the Day

What the teacher says and (what the teacher means)
1. Your son has a remarkable ability in gathering needed information from his classmates.
(He was caught cheating on a test).

2. Karen is an endless fund of energy and viability.
(The hyperactive monster can't stay seated for five minutes).

3. Fantastic imagination! Unmatched in his capacity for blending fact with fiction.
(He's definitely one of the biggest liars I have ever met).

4. Margie exhibits a casual, relaxed attitude to school, indicating that high expectations don't intimidate her.
(The lazy thing hasn't done one assignment all term).

5. Her athletic ability is marvelous. Superior hand-eye coordination.
(The little creep stung me with a rubber band from 15 feet away).

6. Nick thrives on interaction with his peers.
(Your son needs to stop socializing and start working).

7. Your daughter's greatest asset is her demonstrative public discussions.
(Classroom lawyer! Why is it that every time I explain an assignment she creates a class argument).

8. John enjoys the thrill of engaging challenges with his peers.
(He's a bully).

9. An adventurous nature lover who rarely misses opportunities to explore new territory.
(Your daughter was caught skipping school at the fishing pond).

10. I am amazed at her tenacity in retaining her youthful personality.
(She's so immature that we've run out of diapers).

11. Unlike some students who hide their emotion, Charles is very expressive and open.
(He must have written the Whiner's Guide).

12. I firmly believe that her intellectual and emotional progress would be enhanced through a year's repetition of her learning environment.
(Regretfully, we believe that she is not ready for high school and must repeat the 8th grade).

13. Her exuberant verbosity is awesome!
(A mouth that never stops yacking).


And the teacher's last comment of his career.
14. Your child is a waste of skin.

Posted by dcannell at 8:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 7, 2006

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Open House

We invited Bill Gates to the SCCS open house and here is his response. If he keep refusing we are going to stop inviting him.

Thank you for inviting Bill Gates to attend the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Open House, Thursday December 7, 2006.

While Mr. Gates genuinely appreciates the invitation, his many areas of focus at Microsoft greatly limit the number of outside commitments and projects he can take on. Regrettably, he must decline this particular request.

Thank you again for expressing your interest. He wishes you every success with your event.

In an effort to respond more rapidly to requests, we have developed an online executive request form that can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/requests/speakerrequest.aspx.

We would greatly appreciate it if you would direct any future requests to the link above.


Kind Regards,
Jessica Green

Microsoft Executive Speaker Program
Microsoft Corporate Communications

Posted by dcannell at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 4, 2006

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Open House repost

This is an open invitation to anyone who is interested...Dec 7th, 2006 6-8 pm. The address for the cyber school is 2701 Porter Street, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School

Members of the press and invited VIP will be attending between 4-6 pm. An open house mass will occur at 6:30 in the chapel.

The open house is a come and go..we will look forward to seeing you.

The open house format will be a series of mini presentation by the staff.

We are setting it up like a science fair. Our goal is to present ALL aspects of the Cyber School.

• Cyber School Registration Process
• Cyber School Guidance
• Cyber School History overview
• Cyber School Stats
• Filemaker Pro: How we use it at the Cyber School
• Overview of High School Courses:
• Blogs:
• Learning Communities:
• Online Chapel
• Elementary Cyber Planets
• Learning Communities
• The POD
• Association of online k-12 schools (AOK12S)
• Soccer Academy + Academies in General
• Hybrid Courses
• School Web sites
• Parish Web sites
• Types of students at Cyber (Comments and Feedback)
• 150 Day Schedule
• RSS Feeds and News Aggregate
• Phys Ed Overview:

After the Cyber School open house I will make an effort to have the presentations available.

Posted by dcannell at 3:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2006

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School Open House

This is an open invitation to anyone who is interested...Dec 7th, 2006 6-8 pm. The address for the cyber school is 2701 Porter Street, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School

Members of the press and invited VIP will be attending between 4-6 pm. An open house mass will occur at 6:30 in the chapel.

The open house is a come and go..we will look forward to see you.

The open house format will be a series of mini presentation by the staff.

We are setting it up like a science fair. Our goal is to present ALL aspects of the Cyber School.

• Cyber School Registration Process
• Cyber School Guidance
• Cyber School History overview
• Cyber School Stats
• Filemaker Pro: How we use it at the Cyber School
• Overview of High School Courses:
• Blogs:
• Learning Communities:
• Online Chapel
• Elementary Cyber Planets
• Learning Communities
• The POD
• Association of online k-12 schools (AOK12S)
• Soccer Academy + Academies in General
• Hybrid Courses
• School Web sites
• Parish Web sites
• Types of students at Cyber (Comments and Feedback)
• 150 Day Schedule
• RSS Feeds and News Aggregate
• Phys Ed Overview: Donnie

After the Cyber School open house I will make an effort to have the presentations available.

Posted by dcannell at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Association of Online K-12 Schooling

We have changed the name of the AOK12S. It was the Association of Online K-12 Schools, it is now the Association of Online K-12 Schooling, this better reflects what the association is all about. The association spans four continents and the number of members have grown. The association offers blogs, elementary school cyber planets, learning communities at all grade levels, newsletters and much much more.

Check it out at... by the way its free.

The Association of Online K-12 Schooling

Posted by dcannell at 11:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 16, 2006

Geogreeting...Check it out

It always amazes me what people with creative minds come up with. What a great use for google maps.

name1.jpg
name2.jpg

Geogreeting

Posted by dcannell at 9:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 15, 2006

Life Imponderables

Life Imponderables FOR THOSE WHO TAKE LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY
1.. Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
2.. A day without sunshine is like, night.
3.. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
4.. I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
5.. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6.. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
7.. I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
8.. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.
9.. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.
10.. Honk if you love peace and quiet.
11.. Remember half the people you know are below average.
12.. Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?
13.. Nothing is foolproof to a talented fool.
14.. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
15.. He who laughs last thinks slowest.
16.. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
17.. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
18.. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
19.. I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
20.. I intend to live forever -- so far so good.
21.. Borrow money from a pessimist -- they don't expect it back.
22.. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
23.. Mind like a steel trap -- rusty and illegal in 37 states.
24.. Quantum mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of.
25.. The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
26.. Support bacteria -- they're the only culture some people have.
27.. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane and going the wrong way.
28.. If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
29.. A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
30.. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Posted by dcannell at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 14, 2006

Forwarding emails...think about it.

Do you really know how to forward e-mails? 50% of us do; 50% DO NOT.

Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail? Do you hate it? Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from the people who got the message before you, namely their e-mail addresses and names. As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his or her computer can send that virus to every E-mail address that has come across his computer. Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents for each hit. That's right, all of that inconvenience over a nickel! How do you stop it? Well, there are several easy steps.
Try the following if you haven't done it before:

(1) When you forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message (at the top). That's right, DELETE them. Highlight them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever it is you know how to do. It only takes a second. You MUST click the "Forward" button first and then you will have full editing capabilities against the body and headers of the message. If you don't click on "Forward" first, you won't be able to edit the message at all.

(2) Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the To: or Cc: fields for adding e-mail addresses. Always use the BCC:(blind carbon copy) field for listing the e-mail addresses. This is the way the people you send to will only see their own e-mail address. If you don't see your BCC: option click on where it says To: and your address list will appear. Highlight the address and choose BCC: and that's it, it's that easy. When you send to BCC: your message will automatically say "Undisclosed Recipients in the "TO:" field of the people who receive it.

(3) Remove any "FW :" in the subject line. You can re-name the subject if you wish or even fix spelling.

(4) ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual e-mail you are reading. Ever get those e-mails that you have to open 10 pages to read the one page with the information on it? By Forwarding from the actual page you wish someone to view, you stop them from having to open many e-mails just to see what you sent.

(5) Have you ever gotten an email that is a petition? It states a position and asks you to add your name and address and to forward it to 10 or 15 people or your entire address book. The email can be forwarded on and on and can collect thousands of names and email addresses. A FACT: The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and email addresses contained therein. DO NOT put your email address on any petition. If you want to support the petition, send it as your own personal letter to the intended recipient. Your position may carry more weight as a personal letter than a laundry list of names and email address on a petition. (And don't believe the ones that say that the email is being traced, it just ain't so!)

Some of the other emails to delete and not forward are:

1. The one that says something like, "Send this email to 10 people and you'll see something great run across your screen." Or sometimes they'll just tease you by saying 'something really cute will happen.' IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!! (We are still seeing some of the same emails that we waited on 10 years ago!)

2. I don't let the bad luck ones scare me either, they get trashed.

3. Before you forward an 'Amber Alert', or a 'Virus Alert', or some of the other emails floating around nowadays, check them out before you forward them. Most of them are junk mail that's been circling the net for YEARS! Just about everything you receive in an email that is in question can be checked out at Snopes. Just go to www.snopes.com . It's really easy to find out if it's real or not. If it's not, please don't pass it on.

So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses.

Posted by dcannell at 3:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 13, 2006

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School - Innovative, Unique, and First-Class Education

High School
1. Students can start their courses at any time.
2. Students have 150 calendar days to finish a course and can work on the course 24 hours, 7 days a week.
3. Students take their final exams online.
4. Students can achieve a regular grade 12 standing without ever stepping foot inside a brick and mortar high school.
5. Students can easily upgrade marks needed for University.
6. Allows students to experience the independence needed to succeed in post-secondary educational environments.
7. The online courses and classroom allow students from a variety of different situations, the opportunity to contribute actively in class discussions and complete courses.
8. Hybrid courses allow educators in other locations to use the Cyber School courses to expand and enrich their own courses or to offer a course that may not be offered in a particular school.
9. All students involved in Cyber School have access to an Online Chapel and Student Lounge monitored by the SCCS Chaplain and School Counselor.
10. Over 3400 students have taken Cyber School courses.

Cyber Planets- Elementary School
1. Cyber Planets are for students in grades 2-8.
2. Cyber Planets filter and categorize all activities and resources by grade and subject area.
3. Cyber Planets include locally developed technology lessons using video, audio and text.
4. Grade 7 & 8 Cyber Planets include locally developed math resources.
5. Over 1500 students use the SCCS Cyber Planets.

Learning Communites
1. Learning Communities serve as a collection of useful resources for grade levels Kindergarten to grade 12.
2. Learning Communities encompass all subjects; from Physical Education to Aboriginal/First Nations Education.
3. The resources are for both online uses as well as printable copies for classroom use.
4. There are on average 50 participants in each of the over 40 Learning Communities.

Blogs
1. SCCS is now hosting blogs for educators, schools and parishes
2. Blogs allow for a simple way to communicate, via web site and or email, with students, parents and the community.
3. SCCS also hosts image archives and time capsules in blog format.

AOK12S (Association of Online K-12 Schools)
1. Founded by SCCS Staff in January 2005.
2. The AOK12S goal is to provide an online location where K-12 online educators, developers and administrators can gather.
3. This virtual community offers an environment conducive to communication, resource sharing and team building.
4. Currently the Association has members from four different continents around the world.

Soccer Academy
1. The Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division is launching a Soccer Academy in January 2007.
2. Cyber School courses allow students the flexibility in their schedules to accommodate the time needed for intensive training.

Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School - Innovative, Unique, and First-Class Education

Posted by dcannell at 4:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

For all the great moms

My wife sent me this...I don't get it?

For all the great moms (& moms-to-be) I know . . .& all the dads that say "what did you do all day?"

CHILD ACTIVATED ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER - you can have it!
Recently, I was diagnosed with C. A. A. D. D. - Child Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:

I decide to do the laundry. As I start toward the basement, I notice that there are cheerios all over the floor and my car keys are in the cereal bowl. I decide to pick up the cheerios before I do the laundry. I lay my car keys down on the counter, put the cheerios in the trash can under the counter, and notice that the trash can is full. So, I decide to take out the trash. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash I may as well pay the bills first. I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only one check left, my extra checks are in my desk in the office/playroom, so I go to my desk where I find a sippy cup full of juice. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I decide I should put the sippy cup in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the sippy cup a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye --they need to be watered. I set the sippy cup on the counter, and I discover baby wipes that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I Better put them back in the bathroom, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the wipes back down, fill a container with water and suddenly i spot the TV remote, one of the kids left it on the kitchen table. I realize that after school when they go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote as they fight over who lost it, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I splash some water on
the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down, get some paper towels and wipe up the spill. Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: the laundry isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm cup of juice sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the remote, I can't find the wipes, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys. Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail. Do me a favor, will you? Forward this message, because I don't remember to whom it has been sent.


Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming.

Posted by dcannell at 1:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Warning

ATTENTION

ALIENS ARE COMING TO ABDUCT ALL THE GOOD LOOKING AND SEXY PEOPLE.

YOU WILL BE SAFE, I'M JUST EMAILING TO SAY GOODBYE.

Posted by dcannell at 1:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Whatever you do don't use Google.

I don't like the title but I like the message.

Whatever you do don't use Google.

Posted by dcannell at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 6, 2006

Soccer academy

What can you do with a cyber school? Well, because it is possible for students to do courses at a different time then a normal school day it is possible to offer other activities during the school day. Hence the birth of our soccer academy.

Soccer academy link

Here is what 241 cyber school students thought of the idea.

Is the Soccer Academy a good idea?
Yes---56.5% No---8.1% Not Sure---33.3%

If you were a soccer player would this be something you would want to be involved in?
Yes---63.4% No---11.4% Not Sure---23.2%

Our soccer academy will allow students to stay at their home school.
They will not have to transfer to another school to participate.
This is very important---73.6% Not very important---17.5% not important at all---6.5%

Our soccer academy allows players to play with their home school's soccer team.
This is very important---56.1% a little important---30.5% not important---11.0%

The soccer academy happens during the school day, not after school.
This is very important---39.4% not very important---39.4% not important at all---19.7%

The course(s) a player will miss during the day can be done at the cyber school.
This is very important---70.3% not very important---15.4% not important at all---12.2%

What should the next academy be?
Hockey---18.7% Art---9.3% Drama---11.4% Band---6.1% Music---13.0%
Volleyball---12.6% Golf---7.3% Tennis---2.8% Dance---16.7%

Posted by dcannell at 11:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 30, 2006

Spam just getting more and more fun.

This is the report of the email within our school system...its gates are being continouously attacked by the spammers.
Here is the latest Spam blocker stats.
Note in April, 2006, we received 1,000,000 emails with 15% let through as good and we are now over 2,250,000 with 11% let through as good email.
It is now over 70,000 per day.


Monthly Inbound Good vs Junk - Spam Report
Good Email vs Junk Email (All Spam, All Virus, All Phishing, Policy, and DHA)


Oct, 2006
Good Email 247468 (11%)
Junk Email 2085585 (89%)
Sep, 2006
Good Email 155963 (8%)
Junk Email 1790695 (92%)
Aug, 2006
Good Email 121425 (7%)
Junk Email 1617660 (93%)
Jul, 2006
Good Email 126230 (9%)
Junk Email 1220404 (91%)
Jun, 2006
Good Email 156606 (13%)
Junk Email 1071610 (87%)
May, 2006
Good Email 162561 (15%)
Junk Email 949482 (85%)
Apr, 2006
Good Email 148168 (15%)
Junk Email 862631 (85%)
Mar, 2006
Good Email 190617 (17%)
Junk Email 900521 (83%)
Feb, 2006
Good Email 171082 (18%)
Junk Email 772474 (82%)
Jan, 2006
Good Email 137839 (15%)
Junk Email 783556 (85%)
Dec, 2005
Good Email 113539 (21%)
Junk Email 428450 (79%)
Nov, 2005
Good Email 99282 (25%)
Junk Email 302638 (75%)
Oct, 2005
Good Email 7857 (22%)
Junk Email 28505 (78%)



Posted by dcannell at 3:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 19, 2006

Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences

This was a document sent out in our system that I thought was well thought out and should be shared.

The following are a few suggestions that may assist you in the Conferences.

1. Greet parents as they approach you (smile) and shake their hand. If the student is with them also welcome him/her and encourage them to stay for the conference. The information you discuss with the parents should not be new to the student.

2. Begin the conference with something positive about their child. Prepare to discuss strengths and weaknesses, work habits, attitude, and emotional development as well as attendance policy and evaluation procedures. At some point in the discussion, raise your concerns if you have any. Always prepare 1 or 2 key points that you want to cover.

3. If possible, suggest ways that the parent might help their child to improve in your class.

4. Allow the parents the opportunity to ask specific questions about their child’s academic progress or about course curriculum.

5. Listen with enthusiasm. Try not to place yourself in a situation where a parent becomes upset. If such arises, offer to discuss the situation at a later time in a more private location where there is a better opportunity for dialogue.

6. Write down valuable information during the conference. Try to include dates for further reporting as well as the nature of the discussion. The back of your teacher planner has a section that allows you to take notes quickly.

7. It is critical that you remain within the time lines scheduled for the conference. All other teachers are counting on you to do your part in ensuring that parents move efficiently to and from conferences at the scheduled time. When the tone sounds stand, shake their hand and thank them for taking an interest in their child’s education.

8. One sign of our faith is that there is always hope. This hope must also be expressed in a positive statement toward the student and the parent, even in the most desperate of circumstances. A statement such as “the student will fail the class no matter what they do” is not an acceptable statement.

Posted by dcannell at 2:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 18, 2006

We were having a discussion around the pod about...

What is the longest word you can type using only one hand???

Here is what came up.


Trivia -- according to wikipedia
The longest common English word that can be typed using only the left hand (using conventional hand placement) is stewardesses. The words sweaterdresses and aftercataracts are longer and can also be typed with only the left hand, but they are not in all dictionaries.

Posted by dcannell at 4:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 17, 2006

Copyright statement

For all you course designers here is a statement I found in a hymn book while I was in church...it is worded nicely and is something that should be included in all courses.

We have made every effort to trace the ownership of all copyrights. We express our appreciation to those individuals and publishers who granted permission for use of their materials. If any omissions or infringement of copyright has occured through oversight, we apologize. Upon notification from copyright holder, the error will be rectified immediately.

Posted by dcannell at 12:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 5, 2006

Top 100 block sites

Here is a list of the top 100 sites that are blocked by the blocking software we use within our school division. Do you recognized any of these sites. Well, if you only surf at school, you would not.

1860 180solutions.com
552 youtube.com
480 live365.com
473 musicmatch.com
192 adtegrity.net
167 addictinggames.com
84 btgrab.com
76 myspace.com
70 wizteen.com
63 t45ol.com
58 piczo.com
57 xtremetop1.com
54 miniclip.com
48 pulsix.com
46 victoriassecret.com
45 xanga.com
43 jarkey.net
37 hi5.com
35 candystand.com
34 lavalife.com
33 lovehappens.com
29 toplistcity.com
26 shockwave.com
25 lasenza.com
23 parkingspa.com
19 newgrounds.com
19 runescape.com
17 habbo.com
16 msn.com
15 mate1.com
13 bullz-eye.com
13 live.com
13 orkut.com
12 azlyrics.com
11 bebo.com
10 asian-links.com
10 dailyhaha.com
10 fastcoolcars.com
10 freedesktopwallpapers.net
9 celebritywonder.com
9 popularscreensavers.com
9 wwe.com
8 askmen.com
8 deviantart.com
8 freewebz.com
8 teagames.com
7 2flashgames.com
7 cduniverse.com
7 mikefullerton.com
7 sfondideldesktop.com
7 wallpaperbase.com
6 216.73.86.52
6 explosm.net
6 ifilm.com
6 inksling.com
6 kontrabandcontent.co.uk
6 nexopia.com
6 yahoo.com
5 clickzs.com
5 ebaumsworld.com
5 gunsnbuns.org
5 mistressomega.net
5 ridindirty.com
5 webjay.org
4 adultadworld.com
4 albinoblacksheep.com
4 canoe-inc.com
4 clitgames.com
4 fifagame.website.pl
4 flashflashrevolution.com
4 flowgo.com
4 img.artlebedev.ru
4 maidenform.com
4 match.com
4 mousebreaker.com
4 mp3.com
4 myshoutbox.com
4 trackyourstats.com
4 www.artlebedev.ru
3 aarrgghh.com
3 advancedanime.com
3 all-my-sports-posters.com
3 animegalleries.net
3 cockybastard.com
3 facebook.com
3 gaiaonline.com
3 geocities.com
3 gofish.com
3 graffiti.org
3 im.lide.cz
3 lifesite.net
3 minijuegos.com
3 neave.com
3 pogo.com
3 publispain.com
3 spidertattoo.com
3 temptatts4u.com
3 www.best-news.ru
3 www.club-internet.fr
2 11skins.com

I am not sure what this means but it is kind of neat to see the list.

Posted by dcannell at 3:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Recent Trends for Youth Internet Use

A 2005 National Study conducted by the Media Awareness Network found:

94% youth 9-17 are using the internet at home.
43% of grade 5 kids and 86% of grade 11 kids are using instant messaging daily.
86% of youth have at least one e-mail account.
44% of parents don’t know about it.
56% of youth use chat rooms.
33% are going to adult chats.
17% of grades 7-11 kids had intentionally visited porn sites in the preceding six months.
Of youth who reported bullying, 27% reported being bullied online.
Youth who have their own computer with internet reported twice as much time online.

Posted by dcannell at 3:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 22, 2006

Ponder this.

Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred and Wilma Flintstone

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than for the US Treasury.

Men can read smaller print better than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king in history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase... "goodnight, sleep tight."

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired
by this practice.

Posted by dcannell at 11:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This is a repost...different text but still cool

Don't delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it.


I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the human mnid aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod >as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?

Posted by dcannell at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2006

South Park (politically incorrect)

Leave it up to South Park to push the limits.

South Park ADHD Cure

Posted by dcannell at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2006

Student's Excuse Letters

As a teacher you get numerous letters explaining the children's absence from school.
Here are some examples:

Irving was absent this morning because he misssed his bust.

Dear School: Please excuse John from being absent on January 28,29,39,31,32 and also 33.

Please excuse Dianne from being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

I had to keep Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I didn't know what size she wears.

Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father's fault.

Mary could not come to school because she was bothered by very close veins.

Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

John has been absent because he had two teeth taken off his face.

Lillie was absent from school yesterday because she had a going over.

Escuse Gloria. She had been under the doctor.

My son is under the doctor's care and should not take Physical Ed. Please execute him.

Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. he was hurt in the growing part.

My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent the weekend with the Marines.

Please excuse Joyce from Phy. for a few days. Yesterday she fell off a tree and misplaced her hip.

Please excuse Jay Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

Please excuse Blanche from jim today. She is administrating.

Maryann was absent Dec. 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever and sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and aches all over, I wasn't the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be a flu going around school, her father even got his last night.

Please Pedro from being absent yesterday. He had diahra-dyrea-direche- the shits.

Brian was absent yesterday because of a sore trout.

Please excuse Wayne for being out yesterday, because he had the feul.

Please excuse Sarah for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.

If you have any you would like to add to the list sent them.

Posted by dcannell at 8:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 30, 2006

Translated Dutch entry.

The internet is a cool place, yesterday I asked if someone could translate a blog entry that I found that was in Dutch. Pierre Gorissen was nice enough to do the translation. Language is no barrier for the TADO community.

With a web 2.0 smile..

The translation:

As part of the discussion about copyright etc. a number of people (no no links) have expressed their ignorance about the question "what is allowed and what isn't". For that was enough reason to decide to not write about it any more.
But I wanted to store the link to this article in Informationweek here because it contains information that is very relevant to me as a blogger that writes a lot about work related topics. It deals with the topic I discussed in previous posts: who is the owner of the content that I post on this blog. Now that my employer is becoming more interested in blogging (and we're doing a number of blogging related pilots), it is becoming something that could be considered "work as part of my work for my employer". Especially when I use presentations that I created as part of the work for my employer. But if that is the case, the things I post here are no longer automatically "mine", the copyright then belongs to my employer.
It is time for me to check out how to formally take care of this internally before it becomes a problem.
(link by Darren Cannell who got the link from Joanne Tzanis).

Posted by dcannell at 11:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

One Girl's Opinion of School (funny)

This made me laugh out loud it is 2.85 MB long but worth the download.

I am not promoting this concept but it is funny.

One girl's opinion of School

Remember this MP3 is just a joke, so relax...it is just a joke. Don't send me a pile of comments about how it is unbelievable that I would include this...laugh once in a while.

Posted by dcannell at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2006

So you think it's easy?

I like this time of year, not because of all the sappy ideas like;

It's a new year, fresh beginnings
A chance to get back into my choosen vocation.
Fresh face students just waiting to soak up what we have to offer in schools.

The real reason I like it, is that it is one time of year where I have a great answer for all those non-teachers who bug us teachers about the time we have off in the summer.

All you non-teacher parents out there who are celebrating your offspring going back to school remember, you might have one or two maybe even four students in your household. We the teachers of the world on the other hand look after 30-40 of your beloved offspring for five hours a day for ten months. Celebrate all you want but remember you get them back next summer. And who will be laughing then.

We are always looking for good teachers. If you think it is such a good job, get out there, get educated and you see how you feel after looking after 30-40 of your children in a room made for 25 students and see if you need two months off to get ready to do it all again.

In truth I love teaching and would never want to do anything else, but it does make for a great answer to all those parents who bug us about the two months we have off. And it only works for a few weeks while they are feeling so excited about their offspring going back to school. Enjoy the celebration you parents, but remember you get them back in 9 months 30 days.


GroeningCartoonsmall.jpg

Posted by dcannell at 3:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 27, 2006

What I did this last weekend before school starts.


ski.jpg

Ok...I might be stretching the truth a little.

Posted by dcannell at 4:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2006

What? Bill didn't say that!

No, this list didn't originate with Microsoft head Bill Gates. (It's frequently cited on the Internet as having come from his book Business @ The Speed of Thought, but it didn't.) Why it's attributed to Gates is a mystery to us; it doesn't really sound the least bit like something he would write. Possibly, the item the Internet-circulated version of the list generally ends with ("Be nice to nerds") struck a chord with someone who views Gates as the ultimate successful nerd of all time.


Urban Legends

Posted by dcannell at 1:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2006

Bill Gates Speaks Truth

This is a good one to have around to remind our young people that 'things don't come on a silver platter' and that parents 'are NOT banks!'

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3:
You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a BOSS.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

If you agree, pass it on.
If you can read this - Thank a teacher!

Posted by dcannell at 2:18 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 18, 2006

TADO vistitors...holy crow.

TODO does have a world-wide audience.

CountriesUnique VisitorsPercent
United States 5609 37.17%
Canada 5546 36.75%
United Kingdom 550 3.64%
Australia 349 2.31%
Unknown 222 1.47%
India 193 1.27%
Singapore 151 1.00%
Philippines 137 0.90%
Spain 133 0.88%
France 129 0.85%
Hong Kong 113 0.74%
Taiwan 99 0.65%
China 93 0.61%
Malaysia 92 0.60%
Japan 86 0.56%
Germany 85 0.56%
Mexico 82 0.54%
Netherlands 81 0.53%
New Zealand 79 0.52%
Belgium 77 0.51%
Israel 58 0.38%
Austria 51 0.33%
Thailand 45 0.29%
Brazil 43 0.28%
United Arab Emirates 43 0.28%
Korea, 43 0.28%
South Africa 42 0.27%
Sweden 41 0.27%
Saudi Arabia 38 0.25%
Portugal 38 0.25%
Italy 36 0.23%
Kuwait 32 0.21%
Switzerland 31 0.20%
Egypt 31 0.20%
Turkey 29 0.19%
Oman 29 0.19%
Finland 25 0.16%
Indonesia 25 0.16%
Denmark 20 0.13%
Norway 18 0.11%
Qatar 18 0.11%
Czech Republic 17 0.11%
Ireland 17 0.11%
Pakistan 17 0.11%
Chile 16 0.10%
Iran 16 0.10%
Vietnam 15 0.09%
Argentina 15 0.09%
Colombia 14 0.09%
Croatia 14 0.09%
Romania 14 0.09%
Poland 13 0.08%
Puerto Rico 12 0.07%
Venezuela 12 0.07%
Bahrain 12 0.07%
Nigeria 12 0.07%
Barbados 11 0.07%
Mauritius 8 0.05%
Russian Federation 8 0.05%
Jordan 7 0.04%
Dominican Republic 7 0.04%
Trinidad and Tobago 7 0.04%
Hungary 7 0.04%
Greece 7 0.04%
Latvia 6 0.03%
Iceland 6 0.03%
Bulgaria 6 0.03%
Jamaica 6 0.03%
Saint Kitts and Nevis 6 0.03%
Ghana 6 0.03%
Sri Lanka 5 0.03%
Slovenia 5 0.03%
Uganda 5 0.03%
Kenya 4 0.02%
Antigua 4 0.02%
Estonia 4 0.02%
Ukraine 4 0.02%
Algeria 4 0.02%
Peru 4 0.02%
Cyprus 4 0.02%
Saint Lucia 4 0.02%
Malta 3 0.01%
Palestinian 3 0.01%
Lithuania 3 0.01%
Ecuador 3 0.01%
Slovakia 3 0.01%
Bhutan 3 0.01%
Yugoslavia 3 0.01%
Morocco 3 0.01%
New Caledonia 2 0.01%
Bolivia 2 0.01%
Senegal 2 0.01%
Armenia 2 0.01%
Libyan 2 0.01%
Bermuda 2 0.01%
Luxembourg 2 0.01%
Sudan 2 0.01%
Costa Rica 2 0.01%
Belarus 2 0.01%
Guatemala 2 0.01%
Bosnia 2 0.01%
El Salvador 2 0.01%
Cote D'Ivoire 2 0.01%
Botswana 2 0.01%
Tunisia 2 0.01%
Rwanda 2 0.01%
Bahamas 2 0.01%
Brunei Darussalam 2 0.01%
Mozambique 1 0.00%
Europe 1 0.00%
Syrian Arab Republic 1 0.00%
Benin 1 0.00%
Mariana Islands 1 0.00%
Panama 1 0.00%
Macao 1 0.00%
Paraguay 1 0.00%
Bangladesh 1 0.00%
Uruguay 1 0.00%
Azerbaijan 1 0.00%
Tanzania 1 0.00%
Madagascar 1 0.00%
Georgia 1 0.00%
Zimbabwe 1 0.00%
Andorra 1 0.00%
Lebanon 1 0.00%
Uzbekistan 1 0.00%
Guyana 1 0.00%
Suriname 1 0.00%
Belize 1 0.00%
Yemen 1 0.00%
Ethiopia 1 0.00%
Gabon 1 0.00%
Honduras 1 0.00%
Posted by dcannell at 12:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 14, 2006

Suing Blackboard (eh)

I have been keeping track of this attempt by Blackboard to rule the world, I am trying to decide to clap or get angry. A very good business move on their part but us education types don’t really like those business types. Would one e-learning system be a good thing? Seemed to work for Microsoft and their operating system, maybe as an online educator, developer and administrator, I should sue Blackboard for taking away, my right to choose my cyber school’s LMS, and my students’ right to choose what system is best for them. There must be a lawsuit in there somewhere, come on you Americans help this Canadian out eh…we don’t do much suing up here in the North.

I am not against Blackboard, but I am for competition. It will make the LMSs stronger, faster, better.

Posted by dcannell at 1:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 4, 2006

The 150 day schedule.

The Greater Saskatoon Catholic School System has been a frontier in the development of education in the cyber world. Various teachers in the division have created subject curriculums online and ultimately taught these subjects as accredited courses. Having the opportunity to learn online as part of the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School (SCCS) has been very beneficial to the 3400 students who have taken courses in the past 4 years. To continue its role as a frontier the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School System has allowed the SCCS to explore different educational approaches and delivery systems. This empowerment has resulted in the development of the “150 day schedule” to replace the standard dual semester system.

Stage one: Analyze
“Every part's worth does not simply depend upon its role in its localized subsystem; it also depends upon its relationships with the rest of the parts, subsystems, and the entire system as well as its relationships with potential parts that are not yet (but could be) part of the system as well as the past history and relationships of the system!” (Ottenberg 1994)
The “Entry and Exit” system is a subsystem of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School (GSCCS). The “Entry and Exit” system is a subsystem of the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School (SCCS). The Cyber School itself is a sub-system of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School System. This, in turn, is a sub-system of Saskatchewan Learning.

“The mandate of Saskatchewan Learning is to advance the social, economic and personal well-being of Saskatchewan people. This is accomplished through leadership and support programs from Early Childhood Development, through Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12, to technical training and post-secondary education, and public library services. The Department provides responsive leadership to meet the learning and development needs of Saskatchewan children, youth and adults, and to meet the employment needs of the Provincial labour market. “ (Saskatchewan Learning 2004)
The second level of the system is the Saskatoon Catholic Schools (SCS) and is described below: “Saskatoon Catholic Schools has more than 15,000 students in five high schools, 34 elementary schools and two associate schools. The division employs approximately 1,550 teaching, service and support staff. The purpose of Saskatoon Catholic Schools is to assist parents and the local church community in the formation of students in heart, mind, body and spirit.” (Etcheverry 2004) Working with the Saskatoon Catholic Schools system (SCS) is the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School (SCCS) and it is described below:
“The World Wide Web continues to gain popularity as an instructional medium for high school students. Recognizing this, Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School offers cyber courses taught by teachers in our Catholic high schools. Cyber classes create an environment which will motive and inspire students to become knowledge builders. Through the use of technology and the internet, the student will inquire, encourage, discourse, collaborate and engage in active learning with their peers and their instructors.” (Miller 2000)
The Exit and Entry is a sub-system used by the students with the SCCS. This sub-system replaced the normal semester system which is used within the SCS. The semester system was used by the SCCS for the first years of operation. The semester system divided the school year into two equal semesters. Each semester consists of between 90 and 100 hours of classroom instruction. The students attend the face to face classroom for an hour a day for approximately 100 school days. The flexibility of seven days a week, twenty four hours a day availability which the Cyber School offers did not match a system which was designed for an hour a day, 100 school day system.
“This simple fact, along with a number of specific replies, only serves to demonstrate once again that many of us are venturing into uncharted territory and we cannot attempt to use the new technologies in exactly the same ways we have used older methods of reaching our goals. Every new approach to any task brings both challenges and opportunities -- new possibilities as well as different limitations. Our task, first and foremost, must simply be to recognize this and act accordingly rather than attempting to force the new round peg into the old square hole.” (Wade 2004)
The second reason the 150 day calendar system was devised was to solve the issue of low student success with the Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School students who started the courses after the semester had already begun. The success rate of student who started their courses at the beginning of the school year or at the beginning of the second semester was 86%. (Climenhaga, 2004) These students were not the issue. However, the majority of our students were beginning their courses a week or longer into the semester. The first semester began on August 26th and the largest registration spike is shown two weeks later. Second semester started Feb 2nd and largest registration spike is again shown two weeks later. There was never any time during the year in which students were not registering for classes.

The students registering late had a disengagement rate of 40 percent, largely due to the student feeling of not being able to complete the course in the time allotted. A student who started the course online three weeks into a semester was still required to complete the course by the end of the semester. “This was setting the students up to fail.” (Tunison 2001) By eliminating the end of the semester barrier, the main reason for students disengaging would be removed.

Stage two: Design
Based on this research we started to look at different approaches to course pacing.
“There are several course pacing options, including:
Course operates on one timetable with a set of beginning and end dates
Course is completely self-paced
Instructor makes a recommendation after specified trial period and invites/assigns students to join appropriate timetable for completing coursework.
Student picks a timetable at the beginning of the course and may be allowed one switch within prescribed time period.” (Freedman, Darrow and Watson, 2002)
It was not so much the pacing of the courses; it was the beginning and end dates that were causing the disengagement. Or as stated by Freedman, Darro