Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Legendary Meeting

July 19, 1969, man landed on the moon. One day later, July 20, man walked on the moon for the first time and my dad got to see it first hand. He got my then 14-day old brother and myself, only a year old, out of our beds, sat us on his knee in front of the TV and told us that when we grow up, we can say that we witnessed the day man first set foot on the moon.

Today, nearly forty years later, my dad, Dr. Gerry Garwood Jr., and my family and I got to meet a legend, Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon. Barnes & Nobles at the Grove in L.A. hosted this book signing event. For my dad, meeting this legendary astronaut was special for several reasons. For one thing, that first moon walk happened on his birthday. Conicidentally, it was also the day he got baptized and publicly professed his faith in Jesus Christ.

About The Book
In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin recounts his exciting near disastrous lunar landing as well as some of his own personal trials and successes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Laptops For All: Are You Ready?

Last week, I wrote an article for Ed Tech Magazine (to be published anytime now), about key considerations when implementing a one-to-one program at your school/district. The two factors that topped my list were: 1) good classroom management software; and 2) professional development. In an effort to keep my article to the 600-word limit, I was forced to trim some of the fat; but as any steak lover knows, fat adds flavor! So, here is a collection of some of the "fat" I trimmed.

In addition to classroom management and teacher training, defining your goals, entertaining key questions, and going wireless should be considered.

Define your goals

What do want your students to do? Is it enough to for them to merely "use" technology for technology sake or are there learning outcomes that require a one-to-one laptop program? Here's a great resource: At the time of this post, one website in particular,, offers 893 lesson plans involving laptops for use in the classroom. Much of the groundwork has been laid, so there's no need to reinvent the wheel.

Questions before you jump in

-What if the laptop breaks down, gets a virus, or otherwise becomes unusable?

-What about extended warranties? What happens when it breaks down?

-In three years when it’s time to replace it…what then? If so, where’s that money going to come from?

Benefits of Going Wireless

One advantage to a one-to-one laptop program is the ability to go wireless. Most traditional “wireless” access points still need to be wired to the Internet to broadcast their signal. For large wireless networks, Ethernet cables need to be run through walls and ceilings; however, in a wireless mesh network, only one node needs to be physically wired to a network connection like a DSL modem. That one wired node then shares the Internet connection wirelessly with all other laptops in its vicinity. Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and Intel’s Classmate computers both operate using mesh networking, a technology which allows each laptop to receive a WiFi signal, then broadcast that signal out to other nearby computers. The more laptops (nodes), the further the connection spreads, creating a wireless “cloud of connectivity” that can serve a small classroom or a city of millions.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Time at Teacher Innovator Summer Camp...

Wanna go to camp? The camp, which starts in July 22, is designed to show teachers how to create and adapt online lessons using tools, provide insight into how teachers can more effectively integrate technology into the classroom, and build journaling and project-based learning skills.

The camp is open for Teachers at the K-8 level and will be under the direction of Michele Douglass, Ph.D., a teacher, district curriculum director and professional development instructor. is even offering selected teachers a full year's use of online curriculum for their classes, a $2,000 stipend, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Portland, Oregon – where is headquartered!

The application process involves a simple personal information form, the creation of a lesson using a template, and faxing a signature form. I've cleared my calendar and I'm gonna give it my best shot. Are you gonna go for it, too? What have you got to lose? is a pioneer in providing premier, Web-enhanced instruction and assessment tools.