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The So Expected Change in the New School Year

I was inspired by this post written by a Philly Teacher, Mary Beth Hertz. The school year just started and all Summer fun we had is vanishing to embrace a new collective of new faces, challenges, and work. All that time we've spent on Twitter, learning and interchanging ideas has reduced and sometimes we "often feel powerless at (our) job," as Mary says.

For some education professionals, as Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto, they've encountered on Twitter, a place that resembles a big noisy teacher’s lounge. Being so far away, in Kitakyushu, Japan, she also believes in the strength of social networks included Twitter, Ning, and Diigo to mention only a few.

But what to do when you arrive at school and discover nothing has changed?

The change was still in your mind and you have fresh memories of what has been said in your PLN (Personal Learning Network). If you feel discouraged that nothing has changed indeed, remember that process like this, first occur in our minds. So, go back and appeal to your social network. Why? Because, in Philly Teacher's words: "A supportive and innovative PLN will help you grow in your career, help you grow as a person and give you a place to bounce new ideas around, ask simple questions or get help when you need it. It can also be a place of comfort and belonging when you feel isolated or alone.

This is the third day of school while our son attends one of the three schools immerse in the Gifted and Talented Program, I've been signing papers where teachers make me acknowledge of a contract among teacher, parent, student and where they tell me about assessments, grading, and discipline. Test/Quizzes and Centers are with the highest percentage of grading, 30 % each. 

Despite what we've been talking about and learning in our PLN on Twitter, we have to say that nothing has changed, at least at our son's school. There is a policy from The Board of Education on Cell Phones and Electronics Devices, which states: "Cellphones, Iphones, beepers, headphones, radios and other electronic devices are not to be used in school. They will be confiscated and a parent must come to school to pick up the confiscated items. Schools are not responsible for lost, damaged or misplaced electronic devices (EBOE Policy Code 5131)" But what really, makes me laugh, as a parent, in this case, is this note about discipline (prohibit behavior), sent out by the Principal: "Use of students' cellular phones and other electronics inside the school, including before/after school hours." (After school hours, really?

I think parents, as teachers are to overcome the strict internet phobia, students need to learn hands-on what is expected of electronics and technology devices like cell phones. We have to be open-minded not only to 'control' students in class but among ourselves as colleagues or administrators. There is a long way to overcome the internet filtering but your PLN is going to be there to help you out and to patronize the aimless call of change in American schools.

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  1. Milton,

    Thank you for your kind words about the post. I hope that things have gotten better at your son's school. I wish I could say they were better at mine! I feel very lucky to have you as part of my Twitter PLN!