Monday, June 24, 2013

Backward Southern Schools? Not so Fast - Horry County Leads the Way

     Say what you will about the schools in South Carolina.  Underfunded, underperforming, under fill in the blank?  While improvements have been noted, the state as a whole is a far cry from the model of reform and excellence imagined by Arne Duncan and the politicians who profess to know better than we educators.

     In a recent report from NEA ranking states, South Carlina teachers' salaries ranked 38th. 

     In terms of the Science and Engineering Readiness Index (SERI), SC students ranked 40th in the country ( 

     Rankings from the 17th annual report card posted by the American Legislative Exchange Council placed South Carolina as the worst performing state in the country.


     With all that said, it makes what is happening in Horry County, South Carolina even more impressive.  Last night, the board of education approved a 2.2 million dollar "personalized digital learning initiative" as part of thier technology plan to put digital devices in the hands of each of their K-12 students, update existing technology and build their wireless infrastructure.  You can read the piece in the local Myrtle Beach paper.

     Of particular note in Horry County is the work going on under the leadership of Judy Beard with the support of Beth Havens at Whittemore Park Middle School in Conway.  Whittemore Park received a Next Generation grant and is working collaboratively with the leaderhip team assembled by Dr. Cindy Ellsberry to implement truly innovative technology programs.  You can read about their grant award here:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Technology Nine Commandments

Since I have had some time on my hands in between jobs, I have had the opportunity to reflect on what I have learned over my 34 years in education about the most effective ways to incorporate technology into today's classrooms to enhance teaching and learning.  As a principal, I made my fair share of mistakes in my well intentioned efforts to try to make the most out of technology.  As a blended learning senior consultant I saw even more mistakes being made, again with good intentions.

My experiences have led to the crafting of a list of dont's and do's when considering incorporating technology programs with kids in education settings.  I hope I don't offend readers as I have put my thoughts, most of them don'ts, into a list of commandments.   I had ten, but deleted one to make it the Nine Commandments.   I didn't want to be accused of infringing on the big guy's intellectual property.  I do not mean for this post to be sacrilegious, just humorous and hopefully thought provoking.

You can find the commandments on this shared Google doc:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Back in the Saddle

I know this blog isn't supposed to be Facebook or Twitter, but I got a job - Woo-Hoo!  Thank goodness -  I was running out of rooms to paint in my house.  Details on the job to follow.....

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rubric Research Data Coming Soon!

Good day fellow mobile enthusiasts.  I am very happy to announce that I am coming down the home stretch on my doctorate and will have more data to share in the very near future.  Seventy subject matter experts from around the globe recently completed an online survey and shared their experiences using the App Rubric, as well as how they are using Apps in their settings.  It was interesting data and further supports the importance of research in the area of mobile technology applications in education settings.  In addition to posting this latest round of data, my hope is to post a link to my dissertation sometime this summer.  Happy surfing....