The Masters

I’ll bet when you saw the topic for this blog entry you figured it had something to do with golf.  Go ahead, admit it.  You did, didn’t you?  That’s only natural considering what’s going on in Augusta right now.  Our own Bubba Watson is smacking the hide off the ball and “putting for dough” as Lee Trevino used to say.  You probably also wondered why I’d give a hoot about golf except for maybe dreaming of the fun it would be to fetch golf balls for Pop.  But, like I said, this post isn’t about golf.  It’s about Pop’s pursuit of a masters – degree, that is.  He’s about halfway through with a program in educational leadership and his current course of study is about technology for educational leaders.  Up to this point I hope you’ve noticed that I’m using my best canine grammar and punctuation and not writing the way my brain typically thinks.  I’m only doing this for Pop’s sake since he gets graded on those kinds of things and his instructor has required him to make a blog entry regarding the course I just mentioned.  Even though he’s the one getting the grade, this is my blog and since I’ve been watching everything he does at the computer (I admit to reading over his shoulder) I’m well qualified to convey his thoughts.

Anyway, Pop is supposed to “demonstrate his knowledge of the main topics in this course” by means of a blog, digital video, podcast or wiki.  He figured since I already do a blog that this would be the best method so, here I go.

Everybody knows that a working knowledge of technology is critical these days.  Students and teachers, especially, absolutely have to have a current grasp of equipment and the software they run in order to be effective in the 21st century.  It was amazing for Pop to learn of the existence of the International Standards for Technology Education and the National Educational Technology Standards for teachers and administrators.  Bridging the technology gap is clearly considered important enough to have both national and international task forces and Pop got a good overview of how those standards provide a measuring stick for state departments of education, their districts and their schools.

Knowing the pitfalls of internet activity, an awareness of the nefarious possibilities has to be considered by educational administrators when designing and planning technological implementation and training.  (A disclaimer here:  To my knowledge, “there are no bugs on me” or my computer so you can enjoy this post with the  confidence that you won’t get fleas or a virus.)  That was one of many subjects that had to be taken into account in Pop’s producing a professional development plan after analyzing a local school district’s technology plan and how it implemented the Florida Department of Education’s technology plan.  It was, at times, alarming to note the shortcomings and, at times, considering subjects such as technology access and support, reassuring to see the areas of excellence in the district.  The lesson learned was the importance of vigilance over the potential for stagnancy in technology.

He’s also enjoyed the discussions with his classmates about topics such as ethics and equity.  You’d think that educators would be aware of the necessity for proper ethical behavior involving digital media just as they are in normal daily life.  It is clear that the learning curve is steep for some who are still poorly versed in technological advances.  That includes both students and teachers.  Pop and his classmates concurred that it’s up to the administrators to ensure that high ethical standards are set, maintained and modeled.  Equity, too, is imperative within districts to ensure that all students and teachers have access to the technological media necessary to be globally competitive.  Pop learned that it’s up to the administrators to ensure that the teachers and students have the support they need by maintaining reasonable funding and budgets for those resources.

That’s a really brief overview of this particular course.  Next on the agenda is for Pop and some of his classmates to create a group presentation on how technology should be integrated into education and training environments.  Personally, I think canine utilization would be attention-getting and clever.  All the teachers and students would surely retain more from a presentation involving studious dogs such as yours truly.

I wonder; do they make a cap & gown (and, more importantly, a hood) in my size?