Texas Leads!: K-16 Educational Technology Advocates

Texas Leads!: K-16 Educational Technology Advocates

Solutions Repository

Posted by texasleads on May 31, 2006

Started compiling a series of responses to frequently asked questions. What makes this unique is that there are responses from folks all around Texas. You can see it in the TexasLeads! Wikispaces at

http://texasleads.wikispaces.com/solutions

Check it out and don’t be afraid to edit and add stuff.

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Real Conversations

Posted by texasleads on May 21, 2006

In the interests of fostering conversations between Texas educators, be sure to visit the Gabbly Chat page for Texas Leads!

You can keep the page open and it will enable conversations. The hope is we’ll be able to have conversations about advcoating for ed-tech in Texas!

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Manifest Your Ideas

Posted by texasleads on May 20, 2006

“One of the forms in which someone or something, such as a person, a divine being, or an idea, is revealed.”
“The materialized form of a spirit.”

One of the things that happens when I walk into a school district, as a colleague and a consultant or visitor, is that I start looking around. I start asking myself questions, such as, “What is the physical manifestation of someone’s idea?” You’re probably saying, “Who asks that kind of question?” Only a crazy person.

Join the TexasLeads Email list to read more and participate in the conversation.

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Transformation is a Choice

Posted by texasleads on May 19, 2006

In this blog entry at the Blog of Proximal Development, the author shares the following about blogging students. Not unsurprisingly, isn’t this the kind of list or situation that everyone enjoys? One that is seemingly self-sustaining, without the need for a prime mover?

And so I see that the community is gradually acquiring a life of its own. I have a feeling that at this point it could probably sustain itself without my presence, without my prompts and contributions. When I log on, when I “walk in” and “hear” all these conversations around me, I know that they are learning, that my students are becoming writers.

Yet, being transformational is a choice. It is a decision we make on a daily basis, to be a change agent. On my way to work this morning, I asked myself what it means to be visionary. I would never consider myself visionary the way Wes Fryer describes, but then, who would? How often have I met people who discounted their efforts as just being in the line of work, not realizing–or perhaps unwilling to realize–that they saw something others missed.

This happens to me all the time. I look at something and don’t really SEE it. I see what my mind is ready or predisposed to see. Others look at the same thing or situation, and see something entirely different. My favorite example of this is Stephen King’s (horror-writer) account of what would happen when if he and Louis L’Amour (western writer, now deceased) were to look at a pool of water. One might see something ominous creeping from the depths, the other a range war over cattle rights.

We find common ground in what we are able to “agree” with each other about, but we become visionary when we see what is not there and share that with others.

In some places, that would get you locked up. On Texas Leads! list, that’s the kind of seeing that’s valued. Join the collective. Aren’t you ready to try and SEE things?
Send a blank email to [email protected]

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A Dance of Co-Creation

Posted by texasleads on May 18, 2006

So, what does a productive community look like? Texas Leads! is about envisioning a productive and reflective K-16 community of ed-tech advocates. Here are a few of the characteristics, although more can certainly be added:

  • Guest bloggers sharing the latest in their areas of expertise. Would you like to volunteer? Let me know!
  • Using the TexasLeads! wiki to archive all sorts of information and keep it current. This could include responses to questions that run the gamut from technology administration to technology leadership.
  • Facilitate responses to the range of questions on the continuum (more discussed below)
  • Identify the principles that we can act from that will change us as individuals and
  • Engage in the conversation that will change the spaces we inhabit.

Texas Leads!, a virtual community of Texas educators where they can find succor and help, something to make this journey a little less difficult. It is a move beyond technology administration to technology leadership, of asking questions that move us on the continuum from “How can we implement more effective content filters? How can I manage online testing in schools?” to “How can I transcend the fear of disruptive technologies? What principles can we act from that will change us as individuals? What conversations can we have with each other about the changes in ourselves that will change our schools?”

I woke up this morning, jumped out bed–and yesterday too–thinking about how much more we could be if only we could recognize the creative power in ourselves and share that in conversation. It is a dynamic, breathless excitement that makes me hurry down the halls, that fills with a thrill I haven’t felt in a long-time.

While I may be having a vision, I know that I cannot do this alone. One quote comes to mind and it reads like this:

“Feelings of personal achievement are often mixed with a sense of awe and humility…experiencing the transformation of energy, becoming aware that the universe actually needs us and that we need the universe, we join in a dance of co-creation.” (Robert Quinn, Changing the World).

Though I’m a terrible dancer, I invite you to join in a dance of co-creation. We may step on each other’s feet, but oh, what fun we’ll have!

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Transformation

Posted by texasleads on May 18, 2006

In his book–entitled Changing the World–Robert Quinn writes about “The Transforming Strategy.” In this strategy, he asks a few questions.

1. Am I envisioning a productive community?

2. Am I first looking within?

3. Am I embracing the hypocritical self?

4. Am I transcending fear?

5. Am I embodying a vision of the common good?

6. Am I disturbing the system?

7. Am I surrendering to the emergent process?

8. Am I enticing through moral power?

While these questions focus on “I,” we can respond to these questions together as we look forward to the creation of the Texas Leads! group. We often hear Albert Einstein quoted as saying, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Let’s take a moment to respond to the questions, to ask ourselves, “What do I envision for a productive community of advocates for educational technology in K-16 schools?”

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Official Listserv Launch Date Set!

Posted by texasleads on May 17, 2006

The launch of the listserv is set for Saturday, May 20th! Invite your colleagues to join the list!

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Welcome!

Posted by texasleads on May 17, 2006

“Over time,” shares Robert Quinn in Change the World, “interactions tend to become patterned or normalized. We develop individual scripts and collective cultures. Scripts structure the individual, whereas cultural structure the collective. These…resemble the shell of the seed. If they crack, we can begin to interact with our environment in new ways, and these interactions can give rise to a new self or a new collective.

It is with this quote in mind that I began the Texas Leads! email group. Other groups are forming that appear to have different needs, that are looking beyond old scripts and cultures. It is time for the shell of the seed to be cracked, and give birth to a new creation. Although the group is only for Texas education technology advocates, I wanted to share its creation with you.

Join us in establishing a new collective.

You can join the listserv and find out more here.

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