Contest – Funniest ed tech story, useful web site/service for administrators

I haven’t had a contest all summer. I have some books to give away, so here’s an easy one…

Questions

  1. What’s your funniest K-12 ed tech story, vignette, or anecdote? [please anonymize as necessary]
  2. What web site or service would be really helpful to K-12 principals or superintendents that they may not know about?

Rules

  1. Submit your entry by July 31. You can answer one or both questions.
  2. If you include your contact information, you automatically will be entered into a drawing for one of the two prize packs.
  3. Please note that by entering this contest you’re also giving me the right to publish your entry (possibly with your associated contact info). Good luck!

Prize Pack 1

Prize Pack 2

Both winners also will receive a CASTLE mug. Good luck!

5 Responses to “Contest – Funniest ed tech story, useful web site/service for administrators”

  1. At the close of this year, I decided to take on a rather ambitious field trip with all of my third and fifth grade classes. Each class would walk to the public library and receive a tour and, if they completed the registration and acquired the necessary parental permission, their very own library card. The library director gave a very engaging tour and peppered the tour with lots of questions. The children did quite well at explaining the difference between biographies and auto-biographies, defining the Dewey Decimal System and describing at a basic level how it works and using the OPAC to find books within a library or for inter-library loan. To be sure, I floated around the library grinning in the knowledge that these kids really did get it.

    It was not until the final class visited that I had things put into perspective for me. A third grade student looked up at me and said, “Wow, Mrs. Wicksall, we sure are lucky you came to live here in our town. Your house has so many books for us to borrow and you share them so nicely! But, I have a question for you. Where do you sleep? Do you have a bed behind the checkout desk or do you go to the nurse’s office at school and use her cots?”

    It had never occurred to me before that students might believe I actually lived with and owned all of the books. I patiently explained that no one lives at the library. That the library is a place where librarians and library assistants go to work and that everyone that is a member of the library owns the library.

    The boy looked at me with sad eyes and lamented, “Really? I guess I’ll have to stop having sleep overs in my tree house.”

  2. A number of years ago while I was teaching kindergarten, one of my kindergartners who had been working at one of the computers in the classroom came to me crying hysterically. I asked him what was the matter. He told me between gasping sobs that he had lost his first tooth. Most children are excited to lose their first tooth – so I probed further about why he was crying. Eventually he calmed enough to tell me that when it came out, it fell into the computer’s keyboard.

    So, calmly I led him back over to his computer and turned the keyboard over and tried shaking it out. I could hear it rattling, but we just couldn’t get it to shake out. Meanwhile, the poor little boy was getting more and more hysterical as the end of the day was quickly approaching. So, I put in a call to our User Support Technician Kevin. I said, “Kevin, I don’t have time to explain. I have a computer emergency and I need you to get here before dismissal. Can you make it?” He said he’d be right over.

    Kevin came right away. He had a good laugh when I explained what happened. He quickly popped off the keys found the boys tooth and handed it to him with a smile. The boy quickly returned a toothless grin, ran to the coat hooks, grabbed his backpack and ran out the door to his mom to show her his tooth.

    I apologized to Kevin for wasting his time. I knew he was over worked (too many computers for one person to maintain). Kevin replied, “Of all the teachers who have called me with ‘emergencies’ today, this is only one I would say was a real emergency.”

  3. Staying Anonymous Reply July 23, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I got this email from a friend, who told me that he wanted to enter your contest but didn’t want his name attached to his entry. Could be a good example of why technology leadership has to improve!

    Several years ago, I had an assistant principal come in to my room for help getting a website that she had created posted online. It was saved, she explained, on a 3.5 inch disc.

    When I put the disc into my machine, it was completely blank. Literally nothing on it. My AP freaked out completely. “It HAS to be there!” she said. “I spent hours working on it.”

    Not sure how to respond, I asked her whether she had saved her work. “Sure. Like a dozen times!” was the reply.

    Thinking that maybe she’d been hitting “Save” the whole time instead of “Save As” and pointing her work to the A drive, I asked if she knew the difference between the two saving options.

    “Of COURSE,” she snapped. “You use SAVE when you want to save something for a long time and SAVE AS when you just want to save something for a short time. I hit SAVE. I know I did.”

  4. I would like to recommend http://georgetown.edublogs.org/ to administrators everywhere. This blog is maintained by the principal of Georgetown Elementary School, Teresa Reagan. Her school blog is an excellent example of leading by example. She engages her staff, students and community though her own passion for learning and sharing, which is contagious. Her dedication to leading her school into new frontiers of collaborative learning should be a model for other leaders/administrators who are hoping to see the same from their own staffs. When you lead with such passion, your staff will have no choice but to follow.

  5. I know this one is too late for the contest, but it’s a funny story anyway.

    This story was told to me by the teacher herself. She gave me permission to tell the story as long I changed the name to protect the .. guilty. :-)

    This teacher had just received a new interactive whiteboard (A Polyvision board) in her classroom. I stopped in a few days later to work with her to get her started. She even used it for a lesson the next day. When she was done with the lesson she was a bit disappointed that the kids didn’t break into spontaneous applause. I mean, she had worked HARD at that, after all.

    Later that day she was using the “pen” to write on the board – I’m not sure exactly doing what. But, she was into it. In one hand she held the remote for the board to be able to switch between the pen and the cursor, and to change pen colors, etc. In the other hand she held the “pen” and was working hard at writing on the board. However, it wasn’t going well. It was very hard to write on the board. She wasn’t keeping an even pressure, so the leters had gaps in them and she couldn’t fill in the gaps neatly. She recalled that I had said that it would take some time to get used to it, but she felt that her handwriting was just awful and that it was hard to read. Still, with true trooper effort, she plugged away.

    In her last period class she commented that she was struggling with this handwriting on the board, but she felt that she’d get better. The kids watched her for a couple minutes and then one student said, “Mrs Wilson.. aren’t you RIGHT handed?”

    Sensory overload. :-)

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