North Carolina to Pearson: We Want Our Money Back!

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Malik (@mrich1911):

We are still having PowerSchool woes. It is very unfortunate that Pearson doesn’t have a PLAN B for system to handle server or database issues. Whatever happened to if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it with the other eSIS system?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

North Carolina officials are trying to get a refund from Pearson because of flaws in the data system that Pearson is running for the state.

Pearson is charging the state $7.1 million for its information system but it doesn’t work.

Here are some of the problems with Pearson’s PowerSchool:


At the Observer’s request, CMS produced a summary of ongoing problems with PowerSchool.

• Transcripts: Cannot produce transcripts for mid-year graduates. System maintenance has wiped out some data for other students.

• Athletic eligibility: PowerSchool cannot generate eligibility reports. CMS created a local system.

• Driver’s license eligibility: Can’t create reports that verify students’ eligibility.

• Graduates and dropouts: Reporting systems on retention, promotion and graduation don’t work; there is no dropout reporting system.

• School activity reports: CMS has created work-around systems because of flaws in reports that track teacher qualifications and student-teacher ratios.

• Enrollment: Monthly…

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LinkedIn vs Facebook

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There is little to compare in between these two social media powerhouses. However, why is it that we spend more time on one than the other? Especially if one can enrich our professional growth versus increasing our virtual popularity. I’ve decided to move my limited online time to my blog and LinkIn sites versus wasting time on evil FB. Don’t get me wrong, FB has it’s place. I know some people actually use FB professionally, but the distractions and privacy issues outweigh the positives for using it constructively.








I’m Baaaaaack! Took break due to…..

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Packrat…MENTAL EXHAUSTION! Instead of blogging, I’ve been hitting the pavement exercising both running and cycling. However, this summer I will work on a life balance and factor blog writing in the equation.

Now that testing and the 2013-14 academic school is finally over, I can do some reflection and planing for the next school year. Some summer projects I would like to work on:

  • Integration of fitness and nutrition with current CCSS math curriculum (especially since it a part of the health literacy component of the 21st century framework )
  • Delve into the hype of Rasberry Pi and make “heads or tails” of it
  • Decide to either use my Edmodo, Moodle or iTunes-U with my classes.
  • Work on a EdTech publication! It’s time to share with the world all of the useful knowledge in my head
  • Either dye or pluck out all of the gray hair from my head due to stress (just kidding)

I am planning to attend to CMS Summer Institute (#CMSSI14) for two weeks. I am a little excited about this conference and of course I will share my excitement here. Enough of my rambling, let me get back to boxing up my classroom…

Pack rat powers, activate!




Who is Ethan Young?

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The other day after a common planning session, one of my colleagues shared this video of a student. You may see him an an ordinary pupil, but he speaks for the millennial masses under the Common Core standards reform. With an open mind, please check out this video and share your thoughts.

Is this an examplar of what Einstein deeply feared?

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“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” Albert Einstein

I do believe that we have arrived to the confirmation of Mr. Einstein’s famous quote. If you don’t believe me, please check out this video and I’ll let you make the determination to see how far fetched it is from reality…

The Quantitative Self Movement

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20131124-203750.jpgMath is everywhere… Believe it or not, Some people are obsessed with numbers with a reason. Let me briefly share my reason to consume myself with personal data from my electronic devices.

Unfortunately, my family background has many medical issues such as cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. With being cognizant of these issue, I am more conscience and proactive in managing my numbers such as blood pressure, heart rate, and weight. Both of my parents did not live to see seventy. So as a personal mission, this is my motivation to live and eat healthy. Motivation to get my hind parts off the couch or out of the bed and hit the pavement/gym towards meeting my fitness goals.

I am not alone with tracking data to meet personal objectives. There is a movement called the quantitative self where individuals use electronic devices to monitor their own data and get meaning out of it. The devices that I am currently using are Nike Plus Nano, FitBit Force and the Withings digital scale/body analyzer. This is by no means a substitute of a real doctor. However, what I am doing allows me to be self informed and aware of my biological performance. So when I go to the doctor, I can have an intelligent, informed conversation about my health.

Before I go, let me recommend a really cool website by Microsoft called HealthVault that allows you to curate your health vitals and make goals which is only the beginning of this quantitative self movement.

21st Century Educator = Hyperconnected Educator?

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As connected educator month closed in October, I thought I would share a few of myhyperconnected thoughts. At this time, an educator can get away with just using their email for communication and a land-line phone to contact parents and community partners. As the technical expectations of the 21st century educator expands, should one look into other avenues to demonstrate their worthiness to be deemed as distinguished.

Is it expected for a distinguished educator to be hyperconnected? I don’t believe it’s essential but an important element. To go beyond and impact classrooms outside of your own, having a PLC, usage of social media and vid/podcasts for communication with parents and the community, being a hyperconnected nerd may be a requirement to demonstrate the mastery of your craft.

 What does it mean to be hyperconnected? If you are reading this blog post from two laptops and/or your app on your phone at the same time, you are technically hyperconnected. Hyperconnectivity is just a buzzword for being overly connected to the Internet. Just like everything else, too much of anything is not good for anyone.

IMHO, keeping it simple with technology should be enough as an educator to meet the demands of being considered a 21st century educator. I know of a teacher (for the record, I am not mentioning any names) that fears technology. Are they still a 21st century educator? Yes, but they are cased in a 20th century mindset. This mindset will be the discussion of future posts.

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