Tag Archive: MCNC


Great MCNC Conference!!

Happy to be home (missing the nice weather though) from the Middle College National Consortium (www.MCNC.us) Winter Principal’s Conference in beautiful Newport Beach, California. We had a great time with fellow early and middle college colleagues from around the nation. There was a lot of networking, support, and excitement building for helping students attain their college dreams while in high school. Cannot wait to catch up with everyone and share successes at the New York conference!

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This presentation was developed by a small team and given at the summer professional development conference hosted by the Middle College National Consortium (MCNC).  MCNC is a consortium of high schools that provide students with earlier access to college courses in order to better prepare and support them for collegiate success.  There are over thirty members of the consortium nationwide and what a wonderful group of collaborators and professionals!

See this post by on the CELLT website by Thom McCain for more information.  Thom and I, amongst quite a few others, have been working on digitizing lessons that help support students for a career in the 21st century.  Our work has been presented to many folks around central Ohio and in NY with the MCNC conference.  We have been very pleased with the feedback and interest in this curriculum.  We use it as the primary curriculum for our advisory classes at our school, The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University.  Our 9th and 10th graders have been taught this curriculum for the last three years of the school and we have been very pleased with the response.  Our students are writing and reading better, they are better at collaborative work and presenting their work, and they are developing their professional digital footprint.

The presentation at the MCNC conference was given to a packed house of educators and administrators from MCNC schools around the nation.  Our participants developed at least the front page of an ePortfolio that we created with them in a 2 hour session.  The objectives of the session was to give these committed educators a chance to learn about ePortfolios and to get a sense as to how our students develop theirs.  Technically, this session was challenging, but I really think that it gave our participants a chance to see all of the great work our team has been able to do over a short period of time.

To get a sense about these ePortfolios, please feel free to check out mine.

The challenge that I think that doing ePortfolios puts to us, as educators, is asking students to create meaningful online content that shows their growth over time and causes them to deeply reflect about their academic decisions.  The focus is on the student and their work, right where it should be!

Thanks for reading!

For the past two days I have been in Rodondo Beach, California at a conference for schools who are members of the Middle College National Consortium. This has been an amazing conference of principals, teachers, consultants, etc. who all want to design the very best schools in the nation. Their particular focus is on disadvantaged youth who may be the very first in their family to attend college. While this conference has been amazing in many key ways, I have been keeping a list of items that I am eager to research, design, and implement for TCS@ODU.
1.) Get flash drives for all students with a pre-loaded planner, syllabus, important school docs, etc. Students can also be expected to search out on-line (i.e. through Sakai, email, or Google docs) documents that have been shared with those students by the teacher. This could, potentially, save us thousands of dollars in printing, toner, and purchasing costs, if we do this just right.
2.) No more agenda printing for staff and professional development days. We can develop agendas in Google docs and share with the entire staff. The agenda can be displayed to the full staff through the projector. Over the course of the year, this might save us several reams of paper, which is significant environmentally and in our pocketbooks.
3.) Show the staff the connectivism presention on YouTube (see video embedded below). I think that there is some rich fodder for fantastic discussions about how we can, as a staff, encourage our students to use the technology in more meaningful and appropriate ways.
4.) Do mixed group training for technology. All teachers can benefit from each other’s expertise and viewpoints this way.
5.) Have students solve problems in a group as a ticket-in activity, or during the class period.
6.) Research step-by-step instructions. Work with students to develop step-by-step instructions/directions for how to research, how to write, and how to critique research papers.
7.) Do discipline integrated media literacy discussions and trainings with students. Do not compartmentalize the training because you risk students not being able to understand how to apply the skills and techniques that they have learned.
8.) If a student generates a solid question, kick the question back to the class and have them work on an answer as a small group. They can then report back. Students are more likely to remember any answer they come to, and the process for how to solve problems is honored.
9.) Problems should drive the technology. Sometimes we let technology drive technology and that only leads to problems.
10.) I am trying to think through a way of using Google docs, Drupal, and Buzzword to help digitally facilitate the Peer Review process that we use with our school’s staff.
11.) Search for and develop a master calendar feature that students can have on their flash drives, or in their Sakai profile, that allows them to quickly add dates and assignments. This is limited to technology, but there is a lot of promise.

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Currently at 20,000 feet over southern Nevada on my way to the MCNC Principal’s Conference in LA. I am with Greg Brown, our school’s lead administrator. Greg invited me along to learn what we, as a school, can do to help students better navigate digital media. It is also a chance for me to explore my interest in administration. At this point, it is an interest of mine, even though I know it is a ton of work, especially for a small, young, and growing school.  

They’re calling for tech to go away, so more later.