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Craig Steenstra
Husband, dad, technologist, adventurer, proponent of life
Husband, dad, technologist, adventurer, proponent of life
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What will the impact of this conference be on students? How will we know? 

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Kent ISD is currently running some online professional learning courses (see flyer for details on one of them). I am wondering if others are doing the same and how that is going. It would be good to swap ideas and experiences. 

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Hey WO people, here is a doc that might help the post-bond decision-making. It summarizes student tech use expectations from CCSS and ISTE: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vKD3Y8_tuHStMgUV99TE371sHIHJRxWbPceB1RQ0XIU/edit?usp=sharing

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This is a troubling, but interesting point of view on the state of teaching in our country. Thanks to +Katie Steenstra for the share. Based on the teacher's sentiments, which are shared by many,  it seems like more of a balance is needed between teacher autonomy and mandates from on high. That is tricky business.

Is it possible to set common expectations for students and let teachers go about it however they see best? I think so, but I also see the logistical problems and fidelity issues. First and foremost, teachers and students need to feel a sense of passion and excitement, and that is not easy with a prescriptive curriculum and tasks too numerous to allow creative planning. There are many schools, programs, and teachers that are finding ways to achieve that, but I worry they will be scrutinized and defied if student test results don't show superiority over other methods. Hmmmm.... Heavy mental music. 
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If you keep an eye on educational technology feeds, you have probably seen calls for all kids to learn how to write computer code. Three years ago I would have scoffed at that as I had no experience, and every time I looked at a page of code my head got dizzy.

Well, my job duties have led me down several paths in which some coding skills were necessary, and I am finding that a little know-how and a little logic can do wonders when trying to problem-solve issues with website design, embedding of various media, and working with learning management systems. Even with my patchwork knowledge, I was/am still a major coding loser with much to learn. So, I have decided to try and change that.

Last week I started using Code Avengers  (http://www.codeavengers.com/), and it is sweet. I am not sure how it compares to other "learn to code" sites, but I find this to be intuitive and well-structured. Check it out if you want to take another step towards understanding all the stuff on your screen, like me. 
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I am helping a district on their k-5 technology curriculum and trying to make it less of a stand-alone thing and more of a seamless integration. If anyone has resources or thoughts on how they do that, I would love to see, hear, or read them.
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I'm not sure if this has been shared in this community, but it is the best one-stop-shop resource for Chrome and Chromebooks that I have found. Thanks to +Dinsan Francis for his work on this. I particularly like the PDF getting started guide: http://www.chromestory.com/Getting_Started_With_Your_Chromebook.pdf?2724fa 

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Best comparison of Chromebook models I have found. Check out the slide show halfway down the page. 
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