Welcome to my ramblings!

Welcome to my Blog. Here you can find the ramblings of a old high school principal. I've created a number of blogs over the years for a variety of reasons. A large number of them I use with my staff which are password protected from the outside world. This blog is for my fellow educators and anyone else who wants to read the ramblings. I guess my target would be building administrators, future administrators, teachers and educators in general.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mircoblogging ... Plurk vs Twitter

I created both a Twitter and Plurk account years ago but just couldn't get into it. Then one day Kevin Honeycutt came to town and we sat down to discuss the pros & cons of Plurk. Well, from that moment on I've become a big time Plurker! I post almost daily and try to answer others plurks every other day. 

The advantage to Plurk is when I have a training or presentation to give I can turn to hundreds of educators to give me feedback before I do my presentation. I've found hundreds of useful websites and software programs to use thanks to Plurk.

I now, have my Plurk so it post on my blog site and my Twitter site. I did have it posting on Facebook but I didn't think it fit well with the Facebook model.

I strongly urge everyone to explore the benefits of mircoblogging

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Social Bookmarking

I've been a user of social bookmarking for some time. The disappointing factor is I really don't do much with them. I truly see the benefits of having a network who you share your bookmarks with. But for some reason I just can't get into them.  Maybe if I found someone who was very active with their bookmarks I'd catch the fever.

Monday, February 8, 2010

RSS Feeds

23ThingsKansas (Week 5: Assignment)

I've been using Google Reader for some time now. I subscribe to a number of newspapers (CJ Online most used), several ad sources, favorite NFL team and a number of educational blogs. 

Listing of my RSS feeds:

  • Capital Journal
  • PrincipalsPage
  • Digital Education
  • Larry Ferlazzo
  • Techlearning
  • TechCrunch
  • Wired: Top Stories
  • 2 cent Worth
  • Education Week: Leadership
  • Education Week: Technology
  • Lead Teach Learn
  • Leader Talk
  • Making Teachers Nerdy
  • My Superintendent Blog
  • Moving at the Speed of Creativity
  • Parent's Principal (My Newsletter to parents)
  • So You Want To Teach?
  • Successful Teaching
  • Teacher Beat
  • Teaching the Civil War
  • World War 2 Pictures
  • The Totem (Our school newspaper)
  • Daily Steals
  • Kansas City: Chiefs
  • Principal World (My Blog)
  • Techbargains
  • Legendary Collection (My hobby)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Essential Questions

Here at Shawnee Heights we have started a discussion on the "Answers" to our Essential Questions. In truth, only a few courses have good Essential Questions. But instead of spending time writing pretty Essential Questions, we are going to use backward design. Start by looking at the "Answers" - what is it we want ALL our students to know when they walk out of our classrooms.

If you are a teacher, do you know your answers? Are they aligned with state indicators? Do your students understand the answers you seek when you start a lesson? Do you understand that the answers we seek here are the minimum of what we want our students to know - that we need to be prepared to take many of our students to a higher level.

Back to Education


Last week was a busy one and I didn't spend much time blogging. So to kick-start this week, let's just list some of the topics/discussions of the week as it relates to education. (Note: I'm not including behavioral challenges, and there were a lot this past week.)

 What does someone write in and educational blog?
 What is the benefit of College Course vs. AP Courses? What are the drawbacks of doing a College Course instead of AP Courses?
 How can we use computers to watch television? How can we capture what we see on TV? and use in the classroom?
 Do teachers know the answers to the Essential Questions, which they have developed for their courses? If not, how do we go about discussing this?
 How do we deal with students whose parents are ready to drop them from school because they can't get them to come to school? 
 Discussing the use of handheld devices in the classroom.
 What does student engagement look like in a high school classroom?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Originally uploaded by Alan Beam2009
This photo was taken after the family helped me move into my new office at Shawnee Heights H.S. in July 2009. I'm also posting this blog entry from the flickr site to show it can be done.

Week 4 - Flickr

Was very quiet last week. It was a busy one and just didn't have time to post to the blog. Last week (Week 3) we were to write about Webinars. I've done a number of Webinars over the years related to technology, educational training and even people trying to sell me something.

This is about photos on the web. I know there are a number of websites but I've had a Flickr account for a long time. But I really haven't done much with it. So here it is http://www.flickr.com/photos/abeam22. I only have a couple of pictures but will do a better job soon.