Moving Up & On

This is the beginning of what I plan to be my mission. As I work with people (teachers, students, community members) I always take them for where they are at. No one can grow, no one can learn, unless you take them from wherever they are (point A) and help them get to where they need to be (point B). They may not make it, or they may not know where they need to be, but if you don’t start where they are, nothing will happen.

This new endeavor will have an audience of one for a while…until I feel I have found my voice, and know who I want to have a conversation with.

Worldwide Conferences at Your Computer

I had the opportunity to participate in a web seminar (web-inar) today regarding 1 to 1 computing. There are a number of schools and states that are starting a program to equip every student with some form of computing device (laptop, PDA, tablet) in order to promote better learning. I hope this concept is one we can bring to Williamsville before too long. This webinar included some high level college researchers, K-12 Administrators, and upper level managment from Gateway and Microsoft. The coolest part is that it took place while I sat right in the computer lab. Using a website called WebEx and a telephone, I was able to listen to the presentors and see their presentation appear on the computer screen. Polls, Q&A, and chat are all handled right at the desktop.

This is a perfect example of how technology brings opportunity that otherwise would be hard to take advantage of. Rather than having the expense of traveling to see such a presentation, the presentation (and all participants) came together virtually, and the same end product was achieved.

“WITS for Kids”

We are going to be rolling out a new web interface for students this fall in the form of WITS. It is the same WITS that staff has used for a few years now, but focused on information that students need. When a student logs into WITS (using the same web address – wits.williamsvillek12.org), he/she will see teacher class notes, an event calendar, schedule and grade information, and more.

This access for students will provide a very consistent look & feel for everyone in the district, and everyone will see the same information (dates, schedules, etc.)

The site will also have a parent information area and student showcase, so we can show off work created by students. Once in full use, WITS will provide some excellent resources and communication tools for our learning community.