What do teachers need?

A new school year starts this month for many school districts. That prompts me to write a blog entry on “Top 10 Things that Teachers Want” in their classrooms. teacher

This is timely, considering the state of our education budgets, increased class sizes, and the growing challenge of students arriving ill-equipped by cash-strapped parents.

So teachers, if ten parents walked up to you and asked what they could contribute to your classroom, how would you answer that? What’s on your shopping list?

Your answers could range from the basics (paper, pencils, etc.) to the pie-in-the-sky (laptop, SmartBoard).

Please use the comments to reply.

Share. Play nicely!

geewhiz was taught to play nicely.

geewhiz was taught to play nicely.

Do you facilitate training or brainstorming meetings? Read the ten groundrules for participants, and see how the simple geewhizkid brain translated them into three rules for preschoolers.
(simplified on vspblog.com)

Get with the program

I am not an athlete. I’m a nerd. In elementary school, I failed the President’s Physical Fitness Test. In high school, the most time I spent on a court or field was in the stands, playing with the pep band. In my job as a technical communicator at VSP, the heaviest lifting I do involves right-clicking …
Thus, blending a bit of my work with my personal story on health and wellness with my passion for writing, I encourage you to read my post on vspblog.com: “Get with the program.”

A fresh voice for vision

A redesigned VSP blog went live this past week with an intro by Liz B and a first blog entry by Vernon D. Liz is the group blog editor and Vernon is one of several guest bloggers from VSP.

All past blog entries from Rob Lynch are still there of course, but going forward, you can expect fresh, timely, relevant blog entries about eyecare and eye health, vision trends and news, the company and its people, and more.

The WordPress theme displays a three-column page design that is already packed with content. Continue reading

Facebook addiction – 25 Random Things About Me

While I went away to exert all my energy to “An Evening in December,” I discovered Facebook addiction.

fbookFacebook helped some of our cast members form an online community where we posted photos, lists, and discussions. One of our cast members, a foreign exchange student, returned to her country, but remains connected to her host family and friends by Facebook. In addition, Facebook has helped me reconnect with former team members and long-lost friends from the past. During the Presidential Inauguration ceremonies, Facebook’s server activity was incredible as eye-witnesses recorded their thoughts during that moment of “where were you when…?”

Of course, there are countless diversions in Facebook: applications and cute things to send to friends to let them know how much you care, causes you can support, groups you can join. Like anything, if you’re not careful and manage your time, you can waste hours on Facebook.

But the killer networking features of Facebook allow you to participate in informative applications that continue to connect your community of friends. For example, I chose to participate in writing “25 Random Things About Me.” My friends then discover facts, trivia, and thoughts about me, and Facebook makes it easy to encourage others to write theirs.

If you’re my Facebook friend, you’ve already seen this. If you’re not on Facebook, here again are…

25 Random Things About Me

1. I do little things to annoy my kids, intentionally. Hey, it’s only fair!

2. I still wonder how my mom and dad raised a huge family before the days of a Costco/Price Club/Sam’s Club/big box store.

3. I played clarinet from 4th grade through high school.

4. Once. At band camp. When I was still a skinny, nerdy freshman, I won a drill-down against the 120-member JFK Cougar marching band.

5. I have seen every episode of the original Star Trek, and can recite the most esoteric lines: “brain and brain, what is brain?” but I can’t remember what my wife asked me to do an hour ago.

6. I can recite pi to 17 decimal places, but my wife won’t let me touch the checkbook. She’s right.
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Jingle all the Way: on hiatus for “An Evening in December”

GeeWhiz goes on a one-week hiatus, to focus 100% on my other passion: Broadway musicals. As a cast member of An Evening in December, I’ll be singing, dancing, and “acting” in 7 performances of a Christmas musical that will play before an audience of 7,000. Continue reading

Geewhiz, I am a geek!

Our Information Technology division is world class! To help the rest of our company know all that they do to contribute to our success, they held a Geek Expo today. I got a pocket protector to show for my efforts.

geek logo by Adrienne

geek logo by Adrienne

Yes, I visited all the booths, learned quite a bit about application architecture, database administration, technology procurement, service levels, capacity management.
But I was most captivated by the PIE. Apple pie. Well, actually one department created a clever TLA (three-letter-acronym) to tell the world that they help us Protect, Innovate, and Empower. Very creative. In keeping with their theme, they wore chef aprons and toques and served slices of pie (and the crust was flakey and yummy).

Oh yeah, like all other attendees, I was entered into a drawing to win a Nintendo Wii, Blackberry Pearl, and other cool geek prizes. Doesn’t it make sense that a winner at the Geek Expo ought to be someone with “Gee” in his name? (hint-hint to the prize ticket puller.)

Tips n Tricks to Power Your Next Project

Good friend and Mind Manager power user Dina Henry-Scott, Sr. Project Manager, was recently featured in Mindjet’s user vignettes.

When asked to complete the phrase “I use MindManager to…” her reply was:

… Plan projects, set agendas & take notes at meetings, brainstorm new ideas for Podcast topics, provide show notes to my Podcast interview guests, map out my life goals, take notes for classes, clear my mind and get my thoughts down on paper … you name it, I pretty much use MindManager to do it.

Brainstorming, thinking, note-taking, idea-capturing, thought-linking, visualization…the list is endless. Apply the practice today and discover the benefits as your team leaps a level in creativity, efficiency, and productivity.

Related Posts

Header photo – time to cool off

With California in the midst of a heat wave and firefighters working round-the-clock shifts without days off, now’s a good time to update the geewhiz blog header photo. I know it offers no real relief, nor does it do anything for our men and women serving and protecting our lives and properties as they spend endless weeks away from families.

But with temperatures hovering near 110 in Sacramento, skies thick with smoke and soot, heat advisories, unhealthy air quality warnings, and more fire weather warnings
I just have to give your eyes a welcome virtual dip in the pool.

That’s Bob in the lead, 50 freestyle.

This blog entry may not make sense in five months, but it serves its purpose to educate first-time bloggers to blog customization features.

Related Post
New winter header photo (December 2007)

Paula on the road

6/27 update: back from a crash just one week to the end, Paula finishes strong and dips her front tire in the Atlantic.

Fellow cycling enthusiast and blogger Paula is blogging from the road.paula

Oh, did I tell you I started cycling to work since May 1 this year? Save a little gas, save a lot of money, get some cardio in before and after work, and do my part to reduce my footprint on this planet’s resources. Oh, my distance is nothing…4 miles roundtrip. And I mean nothing compared to friend Paula who is cycling …across the United States!
Continue reading

I’m using Jott a lot

“I’m using Jott to transcribe this. I’m calling Jott from my cellphone. It’s going to automatically create a WordPress log entry. Isn’t this cool? Stay tuned for more details. listen

Powered by Jott
Now that Jott has automatically created this blog entry from my cellphone, I’m here to post a followup explaining what just happened and why I recommend Jott.
Continue reading

Happy Birthday, class of 76

Celebrating the 50th birthdays of the close-knit gang from the Kennedy High class of ’76, I was amazed.
First, amazed that so many of the core group could get together from all over California to spend an afternoon together.
Second, amazed that Mr. “A” could make a surprise appearance! And does he look as good as ever!

Third, amazed that Mr. “A” could regale us with such detailed memories of the great 1976 Bi-Centennial trip to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New York city, Boston, and other cities I can’t remember. And he remembered so many names, details, and anecdotes!

Fourth, amazed that today proved again how each of us have such a ripple effect on a world beyond our perceived sphere of influence. Mr. A’s ripple in the pool sent many of his “band kids” out to make impacts on families, schools, communities, businesses, churches, and next generations.

I believe you’ll recognize a few faces in this photo album.

Dave, call us to attention.

~GeeWhiz, JFK Cougars, woodwinds, class of ’75