If you are actually considering adopting a dog, you should definitely check out Pedigree's Adoption Website - it has a lot of great articles to help anyone make an informed decision about adopting a dog. They even give months-worth of dog food to those who adopt from a shelter.
Techie /t'eki/Term for a person who possesses greater than average interest in technology, especially the latest and greatest high-tech gadget; not to be confused with their spandex-wearing, oft pointy-eared cousins, the Trekkies.
Techies are insatiably curious. Always seeking to answer “What if,” a techie relishes new experiences and is often the first to test the metaphorical waters. Hand a techie the latest gadget and she will like have it figured out in minutes, no manual necessary (though the nerdy techies will read the manual front-to-back later, to see what they missed). This not because of some freaky techie intuition (okay, maybe a little), but because a techie is not afraid to try, try, try again. Forget learning curve, techies tumble straight up.
Technology changes so fast that it is impossible to stay a techie without continuing one’s education. Whether by taking classes, reading blogs, attending conferences, or just conversing with other geeks (technological or otherwise), techies are always learning. As a result, techies know a lot of stuff.
If only to demonstrate their superiority (arrogance is one of a techie’s less-than-awesome traits), techies love sharing what they’ve learned, Exhibit A: the internet. Techies also like sharing their stuff, see open source software and bitTorrent. Overshare? Yeah, techies are good at that too – no luddite could’ve invented Facebook or Twitter.
This post is part of my Critical Changes series, a collection of observations from an un-jaded newbie in education.
Change 2: Strengthen Vocational and Technical Programs
Call them what you will - votech, industrial arts, applied academics, shop class - we need programs where kids learn hands-on skills, use tools, build things, fix things. When the economy takes a hit, and subsequently school budgets, these valuable technical programs are often the first to go, in deference to traditional core classes. Or in a sad compromise, tech programs are morphed into supposed STEM programs where doing the science/engineering/math on a computer constitutes using technology. However, when the economy goes sour, what a person really needs is a marketable skill, not a comprehensive knowledge of Shakespeare.
In addition to financial and administrative support of tech programs, there needs to be an attitude shift away from high school votech programs being considered as a last resort for struggling students, and from technical & community colleges being considered the lesser post-secondary option for students. Not everyone is suited for a 4-year liberal arts college, and a liberal arts degree is not applicable to all jobs; when last I checked, Harvard does not offer courses in metal-working, but every construction site needs a welder at some point.
My days of wanting to believe like Fox Mulder are long gone; I'm definitely a skeptical Scully these days. When people are spooked by a ghost, I figure their imaginations have gotten the best of them. When friends mention wanting to visit a psychic, I sigh - if the psychic is any good, it's only due to excellent observation skills and logic. There is a very worldly, scientific basis for everything, even if we just don't know what it is yet.
My grandmother's dimes - always bright and shiny - appear in the oddest places. They've fallen out of library books, glistened on wooded trails, and stuck to my shoes; one even rolled across a hallway when no one else was there. The dimes usually appear when I most need my grandma, such as when I'm having a bad day or am celebrating a success, i.e. those moments I used to share with her when she was alive. Today had one such moment.
This morning, there was an inspection on what is supposed to be my first house. It was so bad that the inspector didn't even need to complete it. Contract withdrawn and counter offer in place, I left dismayed, thinking I'd never get a house. More importantly, I'd wouldn't get this house, the one I had come to love. As my parents and I walked back to the car, my mom handed me something she had found in the vacant house - a dime. A grimy, encrusted one.
"I don't know what she's trying to tell you," my mom said, "but she's here."
"It just needs a little shining," I said, looking back at the house.
Perhaps I too am seeing what I need to see, grasping for meaning from cast-off currency. But for now, not only do I want to believe, I do believe.
In this rapidly changing world it is critical for schools to adapt, to change in ways that will better prepare students for their future. So, the question is not whether schools should change, but rather how they should change. Based on my observations as an insider in the education world, but also as a newbie who brings a fresh perspective, I have a few ideas of changes to be made, which I shall henceforth present in an intermittent and seemingly random series of posts; here is the first.
Change 1: Hire People, Not Services
Hiring a service is like renting an apartment: once your lease is up, you’re left with nothing buy an empty checking account, all the while you had to live by the limitations of sharing a resource. Hiring a person, on the other hand, is like buying a house: take good care of it and you’ll likely get a return on your investment, while also being able to make any needed modifications to make the house your home.
School districts often outsource work, e.g. website design, to businesses who by their very nature as a contractor serve multiple organizations. Services are generally prepackaged, with limited customization, as businesses need to be able to serve all their clients while still being able to make a profit. However, rather than paying tens of thousands of dollars for cookie-cutter products, school districts should pay tens of thousands of dollars to hire an employee who has a vested interest in the district and can create products custom to the needs of it’s teachers and students.
- Create a second calendar for just the public events
- Invite that calendar (using the calendar ID address found under Calendar Details) to every public event.
- Accept invitations.