Using the SAMR Model to Think About Managing Digital Distractions

By |December 3rd, 2013|

In the most recent #luthed chat, the group tackled the topic of “managing digital distractions.” As more schools are exploring 1:1 programs and students are jumping between mediums and technologies as part of their formal learning, this topic is gaining increased attention.  It also resonates with many educators in 1:1 schools because they often discover that traditional “classroom management” methods do not work effectively.  Consider the following four integrating technology changes that inform the challenge of managing digital distractions. I am using the SAMR model of integrating technology to describe how each change in integrating technology impacts the way that we have to reconsider managing digital distractions.

Managing Digital Distractions in the Substitution Classroom

As more schools and teachers are implementing classrooms where each student has a device, the default response for many teachers is to simply use the devices as a substitute for a traditional method or tool.  Instead of having students take a quiz on paper, they do it on the device. Instead of having students take notes in a notebook, they do that in Evernote or a GoogleDocs. […]

20 Ideas for Professional Development in a Digital Age

By |November 26th, 2013|

What is professional development?  It is pretty much anything that helps one develop professionally. At the heart, PD is about growth and learning.  In the field of education, it seems like many quickly think of educational opportunities that mimic what they see in their schools. As a result, they turn professional learning and education into schooling.  The problem with that is that schooling is too limiting.  In this age, there are many other exciting and high-impact learning opportunities for teachers that extend beyond traditional notions of schooling.  When we hear the phrase “professional development,” certain practices likely come to mind, things like in-services and conferences. In the digital age, there are countless other opportunities for professional development and restricting one’s thoughts to just a few options limits our insight into what is possible for our students.  With that in mind, here is a brainstorm of 20 options available to educators today. This is far from an exhaustive list, but it is enough to start exploring the possibilities.  Feel free to suggest others in a comment to this post.

The In-service  Day- For […]

Five Foundations to Exploring Technology in Christian Education

By |November 20th, 2013|

In the November 18 #LuthEd Twitter chat, the theme was “Leveraging Technology in Faith Development Projects & Curriculum.” As usual, it was a lively discussion, rich with different insights and perspectives.  This chat was of particular interest to me, given that I’ve spent close to twenty years researching the social, spiritual and ethical implications of technology in education.  Reflecting upon the discussion and my on work on the subject, there are five concepts that I consider to be especially important as we think about this subject. They are what I see as the philosophical foundations to thinking about educational technology in Christian education. They allow us to boldly but prayerfully engage in digital age Christian education.

1) Technology is Interconnected with Culture - “Technology” is applied scientific knowledge. Or, from another perspective, it is the use of scientific (or some just say systematic) knowledge in applied or practical ways.  This definition includes much of the modern world: the appliances in our kitchen; our means of transportation as well as the system of roadways and traffic laws; the medicine in our cabinets; the entertainment devices in our […]

More Than Do’s and Don’ts: Digital Citizenship Revisited

By |November 12th, 2013|

I participated in a lively #LuthEd Twitter chat last night on the topic of digital citizenship. It was facilitated by Angie Wassenmiller from Concordia University Nebraska and a group of students from one of her undergraduate teacher education courses. They did a great job leading the event with a series of five questions/prompts guiding the hour.  The Storify summaries are starting to come out for those who want a snapshot of the discussion, and Tim  Schumacher (of Concordia University Irvine) already pulled out some analytics. With that said, this is more of a commentary and reflection on the overall topic of digital citizenship from a Christian perspective.

What is digital citizenship?

It is about much more than self-defense and etiquette. When seeking an answer to this question and building a curriculum around it, most people continue to turn to the good work done by Mark Ribble, based on his doctoral dissertation a decade ago. In that original dissertation and his subsequent work, he proposed a list of 9 elements of digital citizenship, addressing topics like: access, commerce, communication, digital literacy, etiquette, law, […]

Toward a Digital Network of Lutheran Educators

By |November 6th, 2013|

Since the conclusion of the 2013 Lutheran Education Convocation, there is a growing movement to help cultivate a stronger digital network among Lutheran educators. So far, I’ve noticed four emerging efforts from these conversations.

A New Google+ Community called Future Lutheran Education – Within a week of the convocation’s end there were over 50 members in this community.  This is a place for anyone to explore current, emerging and future possibilities in Lutheran education. It is open to all, including those who are not working in Lutheran education.
A New Twitter Hash Tag – #LuthEd – This provides people interested in Lutheran education to follow, tag, and connect more easily.  While there are hundreds of active Lutheran educators on Twitter right now, there is hope that this hash tag will make it easier for us to find each other and help us build strong Personal Learning Networks. If you don’t currently have a PLN, consider starting to build it.  In fact, I put together a PLN Challenge on my personal blog recently.  If you accomplish ten or more of the challenges […]

NLSA Exemplary Schools Webinar Series Schedule

By |October 29th, 2013|

NLSA Exemplary Schools Webinar Series
The National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) 2013-2014 Best Practices webinar series is intended to recognize exemplary schools for their use of technology and innovation in the classroom. This series provides a way for schools to share their best practices with other schools and educators.
How to Participate
To participate in the live webinar, simply enter the NLSA Best Practices Series Webinar Room at 4:00 PM CST on the day of the event. No registration is required.
Where to View Past Webinars
To view past webinars, view the NLSA Best Practices Archives or watch the NLSA Best Practices playlist on YouTube. You can also visit Lutheran School Portal for an archive of the webinars.
2013-2014 Webinar Schedule
Some events and times are to be determined.
September – Trip Rodgers
Crean Lutheran High School – Irvine, CA

September 17: Sustainable Competitive Equity

October – Drew Gerdes
Christ Lutheran School – Phoenix, AZ

October 8: Church-School Unity
October 22: Capstone-Service Projects – Scott Schumacher
October 29: Advisory Program – Drew Gerdes

November –  Drew Gerdes
Trinity Lutheran Early Childhood Center – Clinton Township, MI

November 12 – “Jesus Glass” – Seeing the world through Google Glass may be the next big thing, but seeing children and families through Jesus’ eyes […]

Teaching to Fish: The Power of Self Assessment

By |October 29th, 2013|

October 29th, 2013 at 5:00pm CST: If we want to help students become lifelong and self-directed learners, then that means helping them to learn how to learn.  Part of this is helping them take responsibility for the assessment of their own learning.  In this live session, we will focus on this topic of self-assessment, exploring a number of strategies and approaches that can help students develop this important life and learning skill.

Call for Researchers and Practitioners in Lutheran Education

By |July 4th, 2013|

I am excited to draw your attention to the Projects page on the site that will provide a list of pending, current, and recently completed projects related to Lutheran education.  The goal is to leverage teams of researchers and practitioners across institutions that have a shared interest in a specific research question or a practical project (curricular or otherwise).  In recent history, there have been few such team-based on Lutheran education, but is my hope that we can leverage this site as a way to bring together people around important questions and projects that are relevant to Lutheran education.  You will note that I listed a few of my current pending research projects as a starting point and an invitation for others to join me.  If you are already serving on a research or project team or would like help building a team around a question related to Lutheran education, please contact me and I will gladly assist.  Also, if there is a significant question, problem or opportunity in Lutheran education that you think warrants more careful research, please consider sharing your […]

A Case for Missional Lutheran Education

By |May 31st, 2012|

Below is a presentation shared with the Concordia University Wisconsin School of Education faculty.  This is the beginning of a dialogue about how we can intentionally and effectively seek, support, and shape missional Lutheran education around the world.  Of course, in order to pursue such a goal, we must first take the time to build a common understanding of what we mean by missional Lutheran education.  That is largely the purpose of the presentation below.

A case for missional Lutheran education from Bernard Bull

Reshaping Lutheran Education: A Systems Approach

By |April 27th, 2012|

The newest published contribution to the discussion about Lutheran Education comes from a doctoral dissertation that was successfully defended less than a month ago at Fordham University.  Rev. Dr. Jeremy Pekari wrote and defended his dissertation entitled Reshaping Lutheran Education: A Systems Perspective.  Before moving into the review, I should disclose my personal involvement in the project.  I was a reader and member of Dr. Pekari’s dissertation committee.

This “think piece” provides a fresh perspective to the discussion of Lutheran education within the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  Informed by the works of individuals like John Westerhoff, Pekari makes an early and clear distinction between the notion of schooling and that of education.  Pekari points out that the schooling-instructional model of teaching and learning has been the dominant and, in some cases, only model used by many Lutherans to think about education.  This is likely due, in large part, to the expansive P-2o Lutheran school system throughout the United States.

While there are benefits to the schooling model, this is only one of many ways of thinking about education.  In order […]