Saturday, October 1, 2011

PHASE COMPLETE.

Phase complete.  Sounds official.  Has perhaps many different tones, and as my wife so eloquently expressed this week, life's about phases.

Professionally and personally, my life seems to be in some type of transition from one phase to another. Professionally, I've entered an exciting phase with the new position of  AIC. (Academic Integration Coach).  A new job that I am really enjoying and feeling better about every day.  Most thanks go to Nicole's support and Scott's patience and guidance.  But I digress...I wonder about technology as well.  Are we able to enter the next phase of technology and meet the needs of our students to be engaged, challenged, and become problem solvers?  Personally, the next phase is one that I greet with excitement and pride.

My kid is a senior!  Makes me feel a bit elderly, but yet this phase in his life, and mine, is and has been quite rewarding.  Watching him grow into such a personable, pleasant, and respectful young man makes me swell with pride.  But the next phase, in his life and mine, is for him to prepare to go of to college and begin his own adventures into the world.  How will I handle that phase when the house becomes a bit quieter?  Was kind of surreal, yet satisfying to high-five each other when the first college app was sent in today.  Phase Complete?  On the flip side, we went to preview a house my daughter and future fiance are looking to purchase.  A great starter home and memories of my first home with her mom came flooding back.  This phase in her life is one of the most exciting and scariest!  Feeling all gown up is a phase that we all have gone through (or hope to go through) and from the parent perspective, we just hope and pray that they are prepared to handle all of the big and little things that life throws at them.  Phase Complete?

Professionally, the new job rocks!  Getting to spend the day working and, for lack of a better word, playing each day with all the toys that we are afforded, is awesome!  Making new friends, and working with seasoned veterans has made this next phase of my career one that I hope will remain until retirement!  Phase complete?

Is technology in a phase?  Are we entering a new segment in the use of technology in the classroom or is education as we know it entering a new phase? According to the International Association for On-Line Learning (inacol.org) 'Fast Facts About On-Line Learning', many virtual school show annual growth rates between 20 and 45%. The report also details some information from The Sloan Consortium. The overall number of K-12 students taking on-line courses rose almost 47% from the school year 2005-06 to 2007-08 In addition, the US Department of Education in their study of Internet Use By Children in Nursery School and Kindergarten, founds that 67% of children in nursery school and 80% of those in Kindergarten were computer users in 2003!  Lord knows what that percentage would be now!  Phase Complete?  No way.  I am perplexed, amazed, dumbfounded, and to be truthful, ticked off to think that the percentage of classroom teachers that use computers and other technology in their classroom is not even close to what Kindergartners were doing 8 years ago!  Combine this with the staggering increase of on-line schools, we had better be ready for the next phase or will be left with no next phase to complete.

What is it that makes teachers hesitant to enter this next phase?  Time?  Fear of the unknown?  Lack of control of what students are doing?  (this last one gets my vote).

What type of phase are you in?  Professionally, or personally?  Are you greeting it with a smile or with trepidation?  Let me know...





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