Monday, April 30, 2007

Paradigm Shift, Connectivity, School 2.0

There is so much information and so little time. Generally, I give a couple of hours of sleep up in order to find time to read my favorite RSS feeds, search the Internet, and do research for the sake of learning. Most of my posts are actually in the wee hours of night or early hours of morning. Luckily, I make it quite well on five or six hours of sleep.

As I was scanning through some of my usual RSS feeds tonight, I came across a posting at about Stephen Downes presentation “Toward a New Knowledge Society.” The presentation is up for the World’s Best Presentation Contest and after watching it, I understand why. Stephen’s presentation highlights the true concept of connectivity and more. It moves the viewer Toward a New Knowledge Society and brings to light the possibilities of School 2.0 in a surreal way. Kind of reminds me of a Salvador Dali painting about School 2.0. Great presentation!

Aha, it’s a paradigm shift of sorts and we all know that shift happens!

Good luck with the contest.

William Bishop (Bill)

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

School Fundraiser!

Recently our school had a womenless beauty pageant to support the senior class educational tour to Washington D.C. and New York City. The contestants included several of the boys in the senior class as well as some teachers and administrators. Yes, I actually took part in the pageant. As such, no one can say that teachers and administrators don’t care about their students, at least not in our system. As a result of the experience, I have a new found appreciation for all women and what they have to go through on a daily basis. Putting on makeup and wearing the other articles of clothing to look sexy is the pits. Moreover, it didn’t really help any of us!
This picture is from our local newspaper. I’m the blonde on the left, the assistant principal of the high school is beside me, and the elementary principal is to our right.


William Bishop (Bill)

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Embrace School 2.0

Wesley Fryer says…

“Schools need to focus on preparing students for life, not just for academic tests conducted under artificial conditions that bear little resemblance to the real world outside academia. In line with this idea, rather than banning iPods, cell phones, laptops, and other types of technologies schools need to embrace them and find ways to adopt new assessments which can be taken by students with ‘open notes.”

I agree, after all, Confucius said, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Open notes supplies an unsurpassed intellectual understanding that mimics real life learning. The concept is practical and moves beyond standardized tests, which bear little if any resemblance to real world circumstances.

Wesley continues…

“The most challenging assessments and tests I took in graduate school classes were “open note.” The reason they were so challenging is they required thinking and analysis that went far beyond the knowledge and comprehension level. Many schools are fighting against digital culture in banning cell phones and iPods because they remain rooted in 19th century paradigms of education and assessment.”

Once again I agree with Wes. Dewey said, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterdays, we rob them of tomorrow.” The agricultural and industrial ages are behind us. We are currently living in the age of technology and in this age there’s a great disconnect between reality and sound pedagogical practice due to an old school mentality. This mentality comes from an unwillingness to accept and embrace change to promote sound educational practice.

More from Wesley…

“Rather than adopting policies about technologies that are banned, school districts would be better advised to have their teachers craft new assessments. Our goal should not be, “How can we maintain our instructional and assessment paradigms from the 19th century today in our 21st century digital culture?” but rather “How can we craft authentic assessments our students cannot fake and they can take with open notes?” Open notes should include “open devices” like cell phones and iPods.”

Personally, I’m not ready to throw all of the previous methods of teaching out the window, but I am ready to embrace these new technologies and welcome them as additional methods of instruction. We should be looking for ways craft and integrate authentic assessments in our schools that students cannot fake in combination with teaching strategies that work.

Wesley goes on…

“The problem with this proposal is that it is very challenging to write and use authentic assessments. It is much easier to test at the knowledge and comprehension level, and that is why we see so many teachers doing it. When you want to have statistical reliability and validity with an assessment, it becomes much more difficult to assess higher order thinking skills with ‘messy assessments’ that include rubrics and subjective analysis. NCLB also encourages this simplified look at assessment, encouraging school districts, administrators and teachers around the United States to focus almost exclusively on multiple-choice, black and white forms of assessment that can be graded via a scantron.”

Wow! And I thought NCLB was the cure-all for all of the ills affecting K12 education. I am being satirical about NCLB. Although, the intentions of the bill make some sense, it was very poorly constructed and in my opinion seeks to punish schools for the ills of society. Moreover, it does little to help students succeed after they leave the K12 setting and influences schools to teach the test. If life were about bubbling in circles and memorizing facts, then NCLB would be a great bill. Unfortunately, life is more subjective. It’s about using higher order thinking skills to make the best decision based on a vast amount of available information.

Wesley drives his point home by asking the following…

“Why should students have to memorize formulas? Let’s take on an example from mathematics. How many times have you had to use the quadratic formula in “real life” outside of school? If you have, were you prohibited by someone from being able to look up the formula?
Do you think oral communication skills are important in life? If you do (and you should) then why do some schools hardly emphasize assessments which include oral communication? Again, the reason is that many schools are still focused on maintaining their 19th century pedagogic culture rather than preparing students for real life.

Let’s put an end to useless memorization and tradition in schools, and instead ask students to actually apply and use the knowledge and skills they are supposed to be learning in real contexts. That is what we do out here in the business world. It’s time schools stopped acting like the calendar still reads 1899.”

Excellent questions! What Wesley says makes a lot of sense. I don’t believe that we have to dismiss all previous teaching methods, but we should only include methods that are reliable and work. Think about the calculator. Many math teachers were reluctant to integrate the calculator into their classrooms. The old mentality was that students can cheat and won’t learn basic math skills if they use calculators. Are basic math skills important? Sure basic math skills are extremely important. We should continue to teach basic math skill in the lower grades. Students should know how to add, subtract, multiply. This is 19th century teaching that we need to continue to utilize.

In contrast, as students move up through the grades they need to be allowed to utilize calculators, iPods, laptops, and other technologies to prepare them for the real world. How many engineers do you know that perform their job without the aid of calculators, laptops, and other technologies? Let’s put an end to meaningless rote memorization and archaic teaching methods that bore students and increase the dropout rate. Hence, let’s move forward and embrace School 2.0. After all, it is 2007!

Thanks for the great post Wesley!


William Bishop (Bill)

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Heaven: How to get there

I’m not a publicist, but an ex colleague of mine, Emily Head, who taught English in the classroom next to mine for a number of years and a life long friend of my wife has published a book called “Heaven: How to get there.” She published it this past fall and had a book signing a couple of weeks ago at a local book store. My wife and I actually got a copy in December for Christmas. Although, my usual posts are about educational technology and leadership, I thought I’d write a post about her book.

Heaven: How to get there” is a short paperback book and the title says it all. Her book flows and is an easy read. It clarifies relevant Bible passages, answering such questions as 'why do we need salvation?’. I think it’s great when individuals are able to publish, specifically when they publish something as helpful and worthwhile as her book. Congratulations Emily on a job well done. I’m sure your book will help a number of people. I enjoyed your book immensely!

Vickie A. Davis would most likely find the book an interesting read as she has a great blog [in addition to her coolcatteacher blog] called the daily walk with Jesus.

Warm Regards,

William Bishop (Bill)

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On top of things!

The High School Principal, Elementary Principal, and I all went to the Jostens National Renaissance Conference this past summer in Minnesota and it was great. As a result of last year's conference the faculty and staff have been doing a lot to promote academic excellence in our school. At our last academic pep rally, the science department and some of our tech savvy students designed a game called "Are you smarter than a high school student", based on the popular TV show "Are you smarter than a fifth grader".

Our principal was to be the contestant of the game and told the students if he lost he would sit on top of our school all day. Unfortunately, at the last minute something came up and the Principal had to be out of town. Being the good sport that he is and wanting to help our student body succeed, he allowed the Assistant Principal to take his place as the contestant. Moreover, he said if the Assistant Principal lost that he would still sit on top of the school all day. Did the Assistant Principal throw the game? Anyway, the Principal is on top of things today! Check him out...

I'd like to thank Mr. Satcher and all of the individuals who have helped with the Renaissance Project this year! You're all the best!


William Bishop (Bill)

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Web 2.0 and LeaderTalk

Using A Web 2.0 Credo to Help Frame Administrative Actions

Okay, so I overlooked Will Richardson’s post on the 25th, but I’m glad that Steven Downes didn’t. I was mucking about at Steven’s site and I came across the Web 2.0 credo post atWill's blog and it’s great. Actually, the credo belongs to Greg Farr, a principal from Texas. Here it is…

Quote: Our Campus Web 2.0 Credo

* Believing that all Web 2.0 educational endeavors are populist not elitist in nature, equal and full access to technology for learning will be a guaranteed right of all students on this campus. * Every student is entitled to an education that includes on-going opportunities for involvement with and participation in web-based learning communities. * Computer Literacy will be considered of equal value to all other forms of literacy. * Student self-expression, initiative, intuition, and exploration within the Web 2.0 environment are to be promoted with as few outside rules and as little authoritarian supervision as practical for an educational environment.(From Texas principal Greg Farr)

Will said…

I find that a pretty progressive take on how we might start leading with these technologies. The entire post is interesting in the way that Greg struggles with the best way to get all of his staff invested in the uses of Web 2.0 technologies. The only phrase that niggles at me is “computer literacy” as, obviously, it’s not so much about the computer as it is about the information the computer connects us to.

Well said! I just wish that I could get more administrators in my state to adopt the credo or a similar one. If you’re an educational leader or interested in being an educational leader, you should check out the post. BTW, Greg fixed the Computer Literacy bit. Enjoy!


William Bishop (Bill)

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

80 Open Education Resource Tools

Via Stephen Downes I found this and thought it was worth sharing. There are 80 Open Education Resource (OER) Tools for Publishing and Development Initiatives posted at OEDb. Sorry, I’m not going to list them here. If you don’t go you’ll never know. Enjoy!

William Bishop (Bill)

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Did you know?

I had a post about Karl Fisch's video a while back called Shift Happens and I found this today on slide share. Great altercation of Karl's original video! “Shift Happens” by jbrenman.


William Bishop (Bill)

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

21st Century Learning, School20, and K12 Online

I have been an advocate of technology since I first started wandering around the Internet as an undergraduate in the early 90s. For me, using technology to teach just makes good sense. Nevertheless, I was wandering around blindly until I was introduced to APBC’s 21st Century Teaching and Learning Project. Although, I’m still wandering around, I now seem to be wandering around with my eyes wide open. As a result of the 21st Century Teaching and Learning Project, I have blogs, wikis, dsn sites, and more online accounts than I can keep up with. Moreover, my students are using my Spanish blog, Spanish wiki, and moodle on a weekly basis. Although, all of this takes up a substantial amount of my time, it’s all worth it. I plan to do even more in the future.

The past!

This past fall my school became apart of Alabama Best Practices Center’s 21st Century learning program. When my principal came to and ask me to be apart of the process I was a bit reluctant to jump in, and then he told me that it was technology based. Enough said! I told him if it had to do with technology to count me in and I thanked him for the invitation. Looking back I am thankful for the opportunity to be apart of the 21st Century Teaching and Learning Project. It was a real blessing.

At the first meeting Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and notable others presented a presentation about 21st Century learning. The presentation was outstanding and presented a number of current and emerging technologies, but the main topic of the presentation had to do with the way schools are currently run and teaching the Net Generation. Most schools are stuck in a rut or have an old school mentality of the way teaching and learning should take place. The 21st Century Teaching and Learning Project provides an avenue to help teachers keep up with the Net Generation.

What we need for the future?

Nussbaum-Beach says that we have to stop un-plugging our students when they reach the front doors of our schools. After all, students have cell phones, iPods, laptops, and utilize a variety of gizmos and gadgets at home only to have these removed when they come to school. Then they are stuck with teachers that expect them to sit in their seats and listen to sometimes dull lectures without the assistance of technology. Nussbaum-Beach asserts that we have to plug our students back in if we want to create a 21st Century learning environment.

Warlick might say that the old school mentality deals with students being feed and consuming information only to regurgitate it at a later time. In contrast, in 21st Century learning students should contribute as much as they consume. If I’m wrong maybe David will correct my thinking, but I believe that students have to contribute as well as consume if we are to truly achieve School 2.0 and get out of the old school rut.

Richardson would say that we have to connect with our students if we want them to connect with us. If we don’t understand where our students are coming from, how can we connect with them? He points out that at most conferences when he asks about social networking only about 5 percent of the teachers have social networking sites of their own. It’s going to be hard to connect with students if teachers don’t have a clue where their students are coming from.

John Norton would say that if we truly want to reach our students, we must create virtual learning communities. In other words, we must create virtual learning environments (VLEs) or personal learning environments (PLEs) if we are intent on teaching and reaching our 21st Century learners. Moreover, we have to change the way we do business in our schools. School reform as a result of 21st Century Technologies is now more important than ever.

I agree with all of the above! If I over stepped my bounds or put words wrongly in the mouths of any of the persons above they can correct my thinking. What I am certain about is that we have to move forward with School 2.0 and away from old archaic teaching practices. I’m not saying that we should stop lecturing. Good lectures provide a strong foundation for learning, but too much of a good thing can be bad. Also, I don’t believe that we should be using technology for the sake of using technology. However, I do believe that we should be using technology to connect with our students. We should be using technology to promote learning and higher order thinking skills. But ultimately, we should be using technology because our students love technology and they will be using it throughout their lives. It isn’t hard to get a duck to take to water. Just show it the pond!

The future!

Speaking of showing a duck to a pond, Wesley Fryer’s latest post highlights the upcoming K12 Online Conference. In his words…

“Yes, it’s coming again in October 2007 - another outstanding professional development opportunity that can go on and on… The K-12 Online Conference! Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach posted a great summary of the conference and review of what took place last year on her blog, I’d encourage you to read it. Note that Frost and Sullivan just published an article focusing on what a tremendous professional learning event K-12 Online 2006 was!”

Thanks Wes…

I attended the conference and continue to revisit the posts from time to time. The 2006-K-12 Online Conference was outstanding. I look forward to the 2007 K-12 Online Conference with great anticipation. The only drawback is that I have to wait till October. Fortunately, we plan to have an onsite technology conference for our teachers at my school in August and the AETC conference is in June.

William Bishop (Bill)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Audio Books and School20

I like to read, so I haven’t listened to very many audio books on CD or by MP3 for that matter. Nevertheless, today I was rssing around and I came across a few free audio books at simply audio books and I decided to download them. The selection wasn’t that great with them being free, but being the miser that I am, I downloaded them all. The selection ranges from T.S. Elliott to Mark Twain and the readers are superb.

These audio books got me to thinking about how students can benefit from new technologies. For example, at our school we are trying to get a classroom set of iPods or MP3 players to check out from our media center. I plan to utilize these players to create a make shift language lab for my Spanish classes.

After finding these free audio books, I started browsing around and I found another site with a great selection of audio books called LibriVox. LibriVox provides free audio books from the public domain. The only drawback to LibriVox is that the books are read by volunteers like you and me.

Wait! I read well, and with exception to my southern accent, I sound okay doing podcasts. Maybe, I can volunteer and read a few chapters from a book for LibriVox. Better yet, maybe some of the students at my school could read for LibriVox or even create a LibriVox type site for our school. It wouldn’t be that hard. We could use Audacity to record the MP3s and then we could upload them to our school website. Students could take time out of their English classes and take turns reading various chapters from the same book. What a cool collaborative School 2.0 project.

I just wish I had thought of it first. Some schools are already doing this and the ages of the readers range greatly. All students can contribute and learning can be utilized throughout the school. What a concept!

Unfortunately, I noticed that Don Quixote had already been read. Just my luck!


William Bishop (Bill)

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Gen Y and School 2.0

Is Harry Wong promoting School 2.0? I just finished reading an article by Harry Wong, Teachers: the Next Generation and I was inspired by what Wong had to say. According to Wong, Generation Y born from 1977- 1986 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001) brings a new and exciting venue to the teaching field. The baby boomers are retiring by the droves and our schools are being flooded with the young Gen Y faces. These teachers are products of our global economy, where knowledge travels at the speed of light and there is no doubt that Gen Y is a digital generation that loves technology.

In a paragraph entitled, “From Outer Space to MySpace”, Wong explains how Generation Y stacks up in comparison to the previous generations. Gen Y teachers are usually group oriented, output driven, and achievement oriented. But according to Wong these Gen Y teachers also need structure. They want clear rules and procedures to follow, but they also need to be valued as teachers. Alsop, (2006) points out that Gen Y teachers want to be relevant, have an impact, and enjoy a diversity of experiences. These teachers are a far cry from the baby boomers of yesteryear. As such, school administrators and current teachers [most being baby boomers] need to recognize the needs of this new generation of teachers and do their best to facilitate them accordingly for the sake of their schools.

If school administrators want Gen Y teachers to truly be successful in the classroom, they have to redefine the teaching process as a whole. According to Wong, “The newest generation of teachers is perhaps the most intelligent, talented, competitive—and compulsive—group this country has seen. It's a renaissance generation with great potential.” As such, I can’t help but think of the words of Dewey, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterdays, we rob them of tomorrow”. By the same token, if we continue to expect today’s teachers to teach like yesterdays, we rob them of tomorrow and their students as well. Isn’t it time to dig deeper into School 2.0, Classroom 2.0 and Web 2.0 technologies for the sake of our Gen Y teachers and their students? Like it or not, this is the 21st Century and we are living in a global society with information at our very fingertips. Why not use the available technologies today!


William Bishop (Bill)

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Digital Divide: What's going on?

I have been doing some research on the Digital Divide and I decided to create a video to highlight some of my findings. Moreover, I believe that School 2.0 can help close the technology gap if applied properly within our schools. The problem is getting the point across!

Note: HHS students are not allow to browse YouTube. Hence, don't click on the YouTube icon if you are visiting this site from school. However, you may watch the video on this site. Thanks


William Bishop (Bill)

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Finding the Midpoint: 3 Types of Teachers

I was RSSing (not sure that’s a word yet) Crafty’s blog (AKA Chris Craft) and he had embedded a rather enlightening slide show from slideshare about three types of teachers, by Jessen Felix. Very interesting! Here is what Doug Belshaw said…

“I often find it difficult to explain the midway position I want to occupy when it comes to technology. Often people see me as wanting to use educational technology for its own sake. Not true! Thankfully, via Chris Craft, there’s a presentation which explains very well what I’m about”

I find that I am often bias when it comes to technology. I love it! Of course, I do my best to refrain from using technology just for the sake of using technology. The video presents a good middle ground position or a midpoint.

Like Doug said, we need to get teachers to a midway point. Teachers need to reach a midpoint where they can utilize old school teaching and new school teaching (21stCentury Teaching/Classroom 2.0/School 2.0) to promote learning.

Here is the slide show from slideshare. You be the judge!

William Bishop (Bill)

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virtual Games and Learning

Okay, so my oldest daughter and I go shopping today and we end up at Toys R Us. She wants a new video game for her PS2. My oldest daughter is seven by the way. We are looking over the selections and while I am opting for something like “Open Season”, “Over the Hedge”, or “Barnyard”, she is looking at more girly games. Imagine that! She finally decides on “Brats”. Poor daddy!

We get home and she starts playing the game and it has all types of great interaction for someone her age. Of course, I didn’t know this because I was avoiding the game due to its venue. Then I got the usual cry that she need my help to complete a level, so I reluctantly went and helped. I was praying that I wouldn't have to paint virtual finger nails. All of this from a guy that was wearing makeup and a dress in a womanless beauty pagent last week (It was a school fundraiser). Luckily, I just had to give a virtual dog a treat to get the game moving.

Anyway, before I could leave, my daughter started telling me about all of the great virtual features. I was about to excuse myself from the room when she pulled up a cell phone menu. I was impressed. Built into the game was a graphical interface that looks almost identical to the menu on my Motorola Razor. Amazingly, some of the functions were almost identical. Next week she will not only want a cell phone, but she will also know how to use it.

I stayed around a little longer admiring the various virtual functions of the game. There were problem solving activities, socializing activities, and more. Yes, they were all very girl oriented activities. Not that anything is wrong with these activities, there just not for me. I think I’ll go crank my chainsaw to make myself feel better. What’s a daddy to do?

Ultimately, the game made me think of all of the possibilities that virtual games can provide for children, specifically k12 students. Moreover, why aren’t we using more virtual games to teach our students at the k12 setting? Imagine creating virtual games that hinge around education content. We could take educational content and apply it as a theme and use character-focused avatars to progress through an interactive storyline that actually teachers specific content or across the curriculum content. This would be Classroom 2.0 at its best. Dora may actually have some real competition waiting just around the corner. Maybe, Byron Reeves, a professor at Stanford University and a proponent of game-based learning in the corporate sector is on to something when he says,
“Competition is fun and familiar, trial and error is a learning strategy and risk is understood as being necessary for success. The expectations that are being developed in games are the same ones that this generation will bring to work,”

We will just have to wait and see!


William Bishop (Bill)

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CPU Usage 100% AND svchost.exe

This isn’t my normal type of posting, but I am posting this here to help anyone that is having the same problem that I had. A couple of weeks back I installed Microsoft Office 2003 on my desktop (Windows XP OS) and within a day or so my CPU usage went up to 100% just after booting my machine. I temporarily fixed this problem by cutting off the Microsoft Automatic Updates. I couldn’t manually install updates either. I would try to install them and the page would hang up and the CPU would max out. This also happened with Windows Defender when I would try to update the definitions. In the words of Joseph Conrad from his novel Heart of Darkness, the horror, the horror!

First, I looked for all of the usual culprits (spyware, keyloggers, viruses, etc.) but I didn’t find anything. Anyway, I didn’t want to leave the updates turned off, so I searched numerous forums looking for a solution to no avail until today. After Microsoft Hotfixes/Patches didn’t work, I finally found the solution HERE, thanks to a very intelligent individual named Pati610. I wish that I could give Pati more credit, but all I have is her great post from the forum. Was it helpful? To use my student’s lingo, “Heck yeah it was!”

Here is the solution or the fix to a problem that was created by corrupt files downloaded from Microsoft’s Automatic updates that caused my CPU usage to peg out via the svchost.exe.

"1) turn off automatic updates, reboot, then manually go to windows
updates and install the updates, turn on automatic updates, reboot.

or (as in my case)

2) Perform these steps:

1. Click Start->Run, type "services.msc" (without quotation marks) in the
open box and click OK.
2. Double click the service "Automatic Updates".
3. Click on the Log On tab, please ensure the option "Local System account"
is selected and the option "Allow service to interact with desktop" is

4. Check if this service has been enabled on the listed Hardware Profile. If
not, please click the Enable button to enable it.
5. Click on the tab "General "; make sure the "Startup Type" is "Automatic".
Then please click the button "Start" under "Service Status" to start the
6. Repeat the above steps with the other service: Background Intelligent
Transfer Service (BITS)

Step 4: Re-register Windows Update components and Clear the corrupted
Windows Update temp folder

1. Click on Start and then click Run,
2. In the open field type "REGSVR32 WUAPI.DLL" (without quotation marks) and
press Enter.
3. When you receive the "DllRegisterServer in WUAPI.DLL succeeded" message,
click OK.
4. Please repeat these steps for each of the following commands:


After the above steps are finished. Sicne temporary folder of Windows Update
may be corrupted. We can refer to the following steps to rename this folder

1. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following
command in the opened window.

net stop WuAuServ
(note, you might need to reboot before the net stop command will work)

2. Click Start, Run, type: %windir% and press Enter.
3. In the opened folder, rename the folder SoftwareDistribution to SDold.
4. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following
command in the opened window.

net start WuAuServ

Thanks Pati for the great post. All systems are go thanks to you!


William Bishop (Bill)

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Monday, April 16, 2007

School 2.0 at Ning

Well, yesterday I joined Classroom 2.0 at Ning and today I joined School 2.0 at Ning. Both of these sites are the creation of Steve Hargadon. Initially, I thought, what’s the difference in Classroom 2.0 versus School 2.0. Then the light came on!
Classroom 2.0 is set up to discuss what is happening with Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom and School 2.0 is set up to discuss how schools should change to facilitate Web 2.0 learning. Okay, I think I’ve got it! Either way, whether you join Classroom 2.0 of School 2.0, both provide some interesting discussions about Web 2.0 technologies in education thanks to Steve and the caring educational professionals that are signing on.

I guess Steve explains it best with his introductions to the sites…

“Welcome to the CLASSROOM 2.0 social networking site! This network is devoted to those interested in the practical application of Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in the classroom and in their own professional development. Especially we hope that those who feel they are "beginners" will find this a comfortable place to start being a part of the community dialog and to learn more."


School 2.0 goes beyond the practical discussion of applying the read/write and collaborative Web technologies in the classroom. It is, instead, a larger discussions of how education, learning, and our physical school spaces can (or should) change because of the changing nature of our social and economic lives brought on by these technologies. A wiki associated with this site is at those interested in a more focused, practical, and classroom-oriented discussion of the application of Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies, you can visit: Classroom 2.0)”

Thanks for the great Social Networking sites Steve.

I look forward to seeing everyone there. Either site!


William Bishop (Bill)

Virginia Tech Massacre

My heart and prayers go out to all of the families involved in the senseless shootings at Virginia Tech. My understanding is that 33 individuals lost their lives in the massacre. What a tragedy! There is noting I can do or say that will make things any easier for those involved. I’m sure that we will hear gun control advocates ranting and raving about this unfortunate event demanding stricter gun control laws, but the gun(s) didn’t do the killing, an individual pulled the trigger. Most likely, a very troubled individual planned and carried out the killings without remorse.

I have been keeping up with the reports all day and I have heard various takes on the situation. A lawyer was interviewed and suggested that the person that did the killing probably played games like “Grand Theft Auto.” Personally, I don’t see the validity of such games in the first place. I have a much easier time justifying gun ownership than I do allowing such games to be sold in mainstream America. What do they teach our children?

My wife and I were discussing these type games and she said that she had 4th graders that were already playing them. I can’t imagine allowing a 4th grader to play such a game. 4th graders are not mature enough to play them. I’m not mature enough to play them nor do I have the desire. And the really bad thing is that when she asked how they got these games, some said that their parents bought them. I don’t understand this. I just think that these violent immoral games hurt our society and as a result individuals place little or no value on human life. How sad!

Fantasy games even the violent ones are just that fantasy. They do not resemble any form of true reality. I can justify these fantasy games with magic and dragons. I even like playing some of them. But these fantasy games are a far cry from games like “Hit Man” or “Grand Theft Auto”. I don’t foresee anyone turning into a dragon and devouring a class of innocent students. But I also believe in the freedom that our nation was founded on. As such, where do we draw the line? I just don’t have the answers and I’m heartbroken about the entire event.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if we are for gun control or banning violent video games. Neither will bring back the students that lost their lives today. It’s just all too ugly! What an unfortunate day! Once again, my heart and my prayers go out to the families. God Bless Them All!

William Bishop (Bill)

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Classroom 2.0 at Ning

Okay, I just bit the bullet and joined Classroom 2.0 at Ning. This is something that I should have done sometime ago. Well, better late than never! If your not familiar with Classroom 2.0 at Ning, it is a social networking (forum) site set up for the discussion of Web 2.0 applications in the classroom.

I had seen discussion of the Classroom 2.0 at Ning on a number of the RSS feeds that I read (will richardson, vikie davis, david warlick, chris craft, wesley fryer, etc.) but I hadn't joined. Believe it or not, joining the site was rather painless and there are a number of worthwhile posts and discussions going on there currently. Also, you can create a profile page like the ones at MySpace and FaceBook, share pictures and videos, and add friends. Pretty cool! Check out my page at Classroom 2.0 to get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Steve Hargadon is the creator of Classroom 2.0 at Ning. Also, Steve has a number of worthwhile Web 2.0 projects going on and he is responsible for the Infinite Thinking Machine and Both, of these are excellent blogs relating to Educational Technology and Web 2.0 in the Classroom. I hope you’ll take the time to look into Classroom 2.0 if you haven’t already. If you’re already there add me as a friend when you get a chance. Thanks…

In the future, maybe I'll discuss Ning as an alternative to Facebook and MySpace. As for now, I am looking forward to reading and participating in the discussions at Classroom 2.0!

William Bishop (Bill)

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Friday, April 13, 2007

School 2.0: Catch the WAVE!

Leave it to Will Richardson to stumble upon one of the coolest Web 2.0 tools to hit the Internet. I'm talking about Mojiti. Mojiti is a really cool tool that allows you to edit online videos (well add comments and animation) and share them. After watching one at the read/write web (Will's Blog) I decided to give it a shot. I joined Mojiti and I was using this awsome tool within a matter of minutes. I can't think of a better way to highlight important Web 2.0 activities than actually utilizing Web 2.0 tools. As such, I thought I'd test out Mojiti and post my results here. But what topic should I discuss? Should I discuss Web 2.0, eLearning 2.0, Classroom 2.0, Teacher 2.0, School 2.0, or Bathroom 2.0.

Forgive, my feeble attempt at humor! And the WINNER is...Drum Roll Please... SCHOOL 2.0! Now if the embedded html works correctly you should be able to watch the video. Keep your fingers crossed...Here goes...

*NOTE TO HHS STUDENTS: This video is feed from YouTube. You may watch it on my site, but don't go to YouTube. YouTube is off limits for students per school rules! Don't click on the YouTube icon because it will take you to their site. Sorry and Thanks!

Let me know what you think!

William Bishop (Bill)

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Pedagogical Experts versus Content Experts

Pedagogical Experts versus Content Experts

I am choosing to agree to disagree with one of my favorite School 2.0 gurus. In a recent post Wesley Fryer points out that “we need teachers with content knowledge, but today more than ever thanks to the Internet and the wealth of high-quality digital curriculum there, teachers don’t have to be the content experts anymore [but that] teachers need to be PEDAGOGICAL EXPERTS much more than they need to be content experts today.” Well, maybe I’m overlooking the point here, but I believe that teachers still need to be CONTENT EXPERTS as well as pedagogical experts. To remove the content experts and replace them with online digital curriculum and pedagogical experts would be futile to the educational process. It would be like putting the cart before the horse.

However, in Wesley’s defense, I do understand that much more can be done now than ever before with digital curriculum. I realize that with a pedagogical expert in place that learning of specific content can take place. Nevertheless, difficult questions often arise in content areas and an expert on hand is essential to the teaching and learning process. Sure teachers need to be coaches, facilitators, and cheerleaders for students who engage in REAL work as they learn and create knowledge work “deliverables” for prescribed deadlines, but they need to be teachers first.

If we remove the content experts (i.e. teachers) from the educational process, then we are left with coaches, facilitators, and cheerleaders. It’s like having the horse push the cart rather than pull it. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Now, I’m not saying that teachers have to have Doctorial degrees to be content experts, but they at least need a healthy dose of content courses on their college transcript to be considered content experts. Moreover, as much as I love technology (e.g. School 2.0), I’m not ready just yet to turn my children’s education over to coaches, facilitators, and cheerleaders.

In contrast, I am ready to turn my children over to content experts that are also pedagogical experts. It would also be nice if these experts were great coaches, facilitators, and cheerleaders. There isn’t anything wrong with having these additional skills in ones repertoire. As for technology, GOOD TEACHING with technology can make a difference and Wesley makes reference to a number of great resources in his post. For example, the 18 page PDF file from Cheryl’s organization ( is a sobering read and should make educators reevaluate the way they are using technology. Personally, I am just scratching the surface and will continue to evaluate the way that I use technology in my school.

All in all, my favorite thing about Wesley’s post is his satirical news headlines and I won’t disagree at all about the point he is making with these. As a matter of fact, he couldn’t be closer to the truth. Here they are…




Thanks for the insightful satire Mr. Fryer.

William Bishop (Bill)

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Fear Factor: Technology

The following is a great video by Vickie A. Davis, but if you’re like me you’ll have to turn down the audio and pay attention to the video to get the message. It’s not that I have anything against the music; it’s just that I’m easily distracted. Nevertheless, the message is superb, and the shark part of the video is awesome. Great work! What a great message for School 2.0.

Great Job!

Thanks Vickie!

William Bishop (Bill)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Accountability and Ability Rather Than Distrust and Disability

Accountability and Ability Rather Than Distrust and Disability

Over the course of the year I have been doing more and more with technology. As a result, my students are doing more and more with technology. The whole premise of us doing more with technology is a direct result of Alabama Best Practices Center’s 21st Century learning initiative. I have learned a great deal from visiting their sites and by taking part in Illuminate sessions after school. Nevertheless, I have to ask where accountability and ability end and where distrust and disability begin.

Sounds confusing I know, but if you are a K12 educator that uses School 2.0 technologies, you probably know what I’m talking about. About the time educators start using certain technologies they get blocked. Now this doesn’t always happen in my system, but it could. Currently, we block social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo. Also, we block YouTube and Ebay. And of course, we do our best to block any site that is inherently inappropriate for students. Makes sense!

Nevertheless, from a leadership perspective, I believe that we have to start doing less blocking and more instructing. When students are out of line, they know that they are out of line and have to be accountable. I’m sure that all of us have been directed to sites that were inappropriate at some time in our lives, but I hope that most of us were accountable. I remember looking for something in Spanish a few years back and getting directed to an inappropriate site. I exited the site before it even finished loading. By exiting the site I was accountable.

Unfortunately, students often venture into sites that are inappropriate and fail to exit the site. If a system says that students can’t use YouTube and take the time to post signs and make announcements, then students shouldn’t be caught on YouTube, specifically 4-12 students. Students at this age are old enough to be accountable for following school rules and YouTube is clearly marked. No excuses!

However, when dealing with banned sites there may be some exceptions. With YouTube and other type services, individual bloggers can embed video from YouTube into their blogs. For example, Will Richardson at Weblogg-ed has a wonderful video by Karl Fisch “Did You Know?” embedded into one of his post (i.e. The same video I added from TeacherTube yesterday). In actuality the video is not on Will’s site, but is being feed from YouTube. This is where accountability becomes questionable. In such cases, students should ask their teacher if the video is appropriate for school use. Problem solved!

It’s basically like my oldest daughter taking a video to Kindergarten, she would submit the video for the teacher’s approval and then they would watch it. I actually remember her coming home one day disappointed because her teacher told her that they couldn’t watch one of her videos. Upon questioning her, I looked at the rating of the video and it was PG. In Kindergarten, at her school they only allow G rated movies. The movie was the “Neverending Story.” It’s a great movie, but it could also scare some young children. Kudos for her teacher! The Internet should be treated the same way.

We have to teach our students accountability.

Vickie Davis has a great post about the “filter gods” and I played off her post’s title for this post. Replace distrust and disability with accountability and ability! I like what Vickie says about School 2.0…

“So, what should School 2.0 include?

It should include accountability and ability!

Ability to unblock things and accountability for what is done in the classroom.

Right now I see a lot of distrust and disability.”

If we are to truly move forward with School 2.0 we have to teach our students accountability and ability rather than distrust and disability. Think about it! What are we teaching our students and are we creating ability or disability? You decide!

William Bishop (Bill)

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Shift Happens!

I posted this after school today and now I'm coming back in and adding some tags among other things. After watching this video [and please watch it if you haven't] you should understand the importance of technology. More specifically, you should see the reason we have to move away from our old instructional methods and toward School 2.0. In essence, Karl Fisch's Video says it all. I love it!

I first saw the video on youtube a few weeks back, but I didn't add it because my students aren't allowed to use youtube. As such, I waited and sure enough, it got added to teachertube. Thanks be to the divine. I love the video. I get chills every time I watch it. I hope you have the same reaction. Moreover, I hope the video sheds some light on why we have to move forward with technology at the K12 level. Forgive me if I already said that! This video is just so inspirational that I believe that ever educator, non-educator, well the entire world should watch it. Enough said!

What a powerful video. Thanks Karl!

William Bishop (Bill)

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Classroom Seat Time: Now I know!

I just caught up on some of my RSS feeds and I found one of Will Richardson’s posts more than interesting. The title of his post is 91.2% of the time in their seats. Will’s data comes from a recent USA Today article that highlights the findings of the weekly magazine Science. The title of the post leads me to believe that 91.2% of all students are kept in their seats during the school day, but this isn’t the case. The stat of 91.2% is only fifth graders.

Nevertheless, after considering my classes, I can concur with the number. I teach 9-12th grade students and I have any where from 20 to 28 students in each of my classes. Hence, my students remain in their seats for the majority of their 50 minute class time. Off the cuff, I'd say that my students stay in their seats about 85% of the time.

A couple of issues come into play with classroom seat time. First, when students are in their seats they are less likely to cause disruptions or get into trouble. However, Will makes a good point with his article and I have to ask… Is classroom seat time the best practice for academic classes? Based on my years of experience with middle school and high school age students, I would say that classroom seat time is essential, but maybe not the best means of reaching all students all of the time. My students do however go to the media lab on a weekly basis to blog, moodle, wiki, create presentations, listen to podcasts, and to do research. Kudos for me!

As for the study, I am going to assume that being in front of a computer doesn’t qualify as seat time although the students are physically seated. I hope that this is a safe assumption due to the change of venue. Now I know why the majority of my students love going to the media lab.

In the future, I am going to do my best to limit seat time. However, there is a fine line between too much seat time and not enough seat time, at least at the high school level in my classes. I'd say that about 70/30 would be a good number for high school students (e.g. seat time versus tactile time).

Will cited the following blog style comment from one of USA Today’s respondents …

“Perhaps the problem is the fact that the formerly drugged up hippies of the 60/70s is the gerneration that are control of not only the government, but also run the colleges, universities and news outlets. These are also the same peace and free love people who do these studies.”

As an educator, I enjoy good satire, but I much prefer the following responses…

“I agree that an elementary school education should be well-rounded and include the development of skills such as problem-solving, reasoning, science, and social studies; however, in order to develop these skills students need to master basic reading and math concepts. To focus on the former before the latter would be to put the cart before the horse.”

And my favorite is …

“No, You can't problem solve or reason if you can't read and write.”

Well, there ya go!

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