Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Kean University seeks a Program Director to manage all components of an NJDOE 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant called Kean University Learning Adventures.  The program is located at Walter O. Krumbiegel Middle School in Hillside, NJ and is an after school program that runs Monday to Friday from 3:15 to 6:20 pm. There is also a summer component.

The Director is responsible for
·         exercising general management and supervision over the program’s staff (which includes teachers, Kean interns, Kean faculty)
·         implementing the  grant program’s goals, policies and procedures
·         developing and evaluating program activities 
·         completing program reports for the NJDOE and Office of Licensing for Child Care Centers as required to maintain program license
·         working with parents and community partners (such as Boys and Girls Club and NJSPAN).

The Program Director reports to the Dean of the College of Education.  Position requires a minimum of Bachelors Degree with a Master’s Degree preferred.  Experience in Program or School Administration and/or Supervisor’s certification preferred. Technical skills and data entry experience also required.

This is a full-time, 12-month position, which includes health benefits and sick and vacation time. Salary is competitive.
The program  is funded by the Federal 21st Century Community Centers program, administered through the NJ Department of Education

Contact:  Gail Hilliard-Nelson at, 908-737-3866

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Purpose of Education (for purpos/ed)

Do you see irony in the above image?

When considering the purposes of education, I think it is important to acknowledge that we are in a new era of human experience, requiring educational purposes that differ from those of our industrial past.

Numerous thinkers agree that a new era has begun. Ken Robinson calls it the Organic Age, John Seeley Brown the Exponential World, Scott McLoed the Information Age, Dan Pink the Conceptual Age, and Thomas Friedman Globalization 3.0.

So to me, questions around the purposes of education begin with: What kinds of adults do we want our children to become? Thus, the focal point of education is the growth and development of people – not the abstractions or objects that consume so much energy today such as test scores, buses, buildings, budgets, and pages vs. screens.

One purpose of education is to prepare young people to become productive members of society through the acquisition of skills and knowledge that enable them to accomplish work and solve problems. How young people exercise their productive roles will vary greatly – some may seek to preserve, protect, or sustain society; others to shape or lead it. Some may seek its improvement; others may plan to ennoble, enlighten, or entertain it. Still others may endeavor to question or challenge it. Some will commence their productivity when young, others when they are older. Many will change or combine roles over their lifetimes.

Individuals may play various roles, and follow differing timelines in performing them. Education should allow for multiple ways of and settings for acquiring and demonstrating learning, within flexible scheduling arrangements. These ideas form a second educational purpose: to recognize and foster diversity in many forms.

A third educational purpose is to enable young people to understand, appreciate, and function effectively within multiple cultures; those that make up their local, national, and global environments. This involves their empathy, collaboration, and leadership. It can be fostered when learning experiences in the arts, sciences, and humanities are organized in interdisciplinary, problem-solving, project-based contexts; as well as in non-traditional educative settings, especially when it is leveraged by the accelerating capabilities afforded by ever more powerful digital and other technologies.

A fourth educational purpose is to prepare adolescents for their roles as parents. We know too much about how effective parenting can help new mothers and fathers contribute to the lifelong well being of their children to leave acquisition of parenting skills and knowledge to chance.

As human life is prolonged and our environment becomes increasingly stressed, a fifth educational purpose is to develop practices, skills, and knowledge related to personal and community health.

These new era educational purposes require strategies that, as Ken Robinson says, “educate from the inside out,” not from outside in. This education enables individuals to construct a more authentic sense of self, one connected to their personal talents while cultivating their imaginations. It builds self-confidence, self-awareness, self-efficacy, and reflection while fostering divergent, lateral thinking (part 2, part 3) and problem solving in varied social settings.

School is but one educational setting. Relevance and personalization serve to maximize the impact of education for the learner. The new purposes of education are about customization, aiming toward cultivation of wisdom.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Google Drops Notebook - omigosh!

I was profoundly disappointed to learn this week that Google is moving to drop Notebook. I used this app every day, found it extremely useful, and encouraged many other people to use it too.
Over on the Google Certified Teachers discussion group, a couple of colleagues commiserated with me and 2 of them mentioned other services to consider in this realm.
Checking them out led me to two more, for a total of 4! I'm a happy camper again, I don't have to lose the functionality of Google Notebook just because it's on the way to extinction.
Like I said, this is something I use every day, so having a viable alternative is essential.
The ones I found are:
Zoho Notebook
Haven't had the chance to try any of them yet; just did some reading and looking at videos. They all look quite good, with perhaps Zoho Notebook being the most interesting at first glance (at least their video presented a lot of compelling features and uses).
Anyone have any other alternative services to mention? (delicious and diigo are not playing in the same ballpark)
I'll keep you posted on my comparisons of use as I move forward.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Answer to a question (and don't forget the apple pie)

I had to respond in writing to a question about the role of technology in education the other day. Rattling off a response in about 7 minutes, I didn't think too much about it at the time. However, going back over it today, it seemed like a pretty good statement, so I'm putting it here just to have it handy (and for others to see and perhaps comment on).

Technology in education serves as the single most essential element to move our schools from an era of standardization to one of personalization. When deployed and used with care and effectiveness, technology in education enables a level of communication, collaboration, and creativity among all members of the school family that sets us firmly on the course toward achievement of the 21st century skills essential for success in today's and tomorrow's global community. Effective use of educational technology enables us to be more human, more caring, and more wise; it serves as a tool to help make us better people.

Image from

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Could Chrome (+ Gears) Be the Next (Really) Big Thing?

In reading Dan Grabham's blog post over at , it seems to me he's pretty much hit the nail on the head. The combination of Chrome and Google Gears makes Google's dominance of the desktop, not just the Net, pretty much of a lead pipe cinch. Why pay Microsoft for Word(r), Powerpoint(r), and Excel(r) when one can have functional equivalents, and a whole lot more, for free. Plus, with Gears, one can use them from any computer connected to the Net online, and offline too.
Of course, many in the private sector will be happy to continue to pay for the added security represented by Microsoft's propriety software, but those outside of that realm (and increasingly, many within it as well), will come to see those costs as wasteful and unnecessary.
Seems to me that this is going to be really, really huge. We'll see.

Image from

Friday, August 22, 2008

Atlantic Monthly's Slightly Irresponsible Article

The Atlantic Monthly published an article that many have seen in its July-August 08 issue called "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" In it, author Nicholas Carr talks about why he doesn't particularly care for what the Internet is doing to print culture (my interpretation). I don't like the potshot the title takes at Google and I don't especially care for its somewhat alarmist tone. However, I do understand that part of the magazine's and the author's purpose is to be provocative, sell magazines, and generate discussion.

The article has certainly generated a lot of discussion.

A lively listserv I'm on called LM_NET, composed mostly of K-12 school library people, carried a post from Tony Doyle of Livingston, CA on August 20. In it, Mr. Doyle said briefly that he thought the Carr article could provide good support to argue for a Sustained Silent Reading program in a school. I thought Mr. Doyle's conclusion, though surely well intentioned, was off the mark and decided to write to him. My response turned somewhat passionate and I thought it might be a good idea to place a copy of it here.


Thanks for continuing the conversation about this article.

It could be used to strengthen arguments for SSR, and a lot of other things in support of books, but to do so, in my opinion. would be a mistake.

Carr's piece, as seemingly intellectual and well-informed as it may appear (and may actually be), strikes me as little more than an early 20th century farmer telling a city slicker in a newfangled automobile to "Get a horse." In fact, it's more than a little ironic that a symbol of normalcy and stability in the cartoon accompanying the article is a car; itself the symbol of unwelcome modernity in an earlier age.

There were those who lamented the introduction of paper into schools in favor of slates, who extolled the virtues of quill pens over the fountain variety, and who preferred gas illumination to electric lights. And all of their criticisms of the excesses of the new in favor of the virtues of the old were not entirely erroneous. That is not the point.

There were many concerned about education who used to argue that too much reading and writing were detrimental to the skills of recitation and rhetoric and that therefore students should be made to memorize and recite much of what they were expected to learn. While there are virtues to this position, the preponderance of experience and opinion today indicates that those who took this position were essentially incorrect.

So too would be using Carr's article as justification for a back to basics movement for more reading the way it used to be done, as worthy as that may be from a (nostalgic and) purely intellectual point of view.

Where Carr is on the money, in my opinion, is when he speaks about the differences between gaining knowledge from and through print and from and through digital technology (As much as he tries to legitimize his gratuitous attack on Google, it's little more than a straw man here. He's really talking about personal computers and cell phones and PDAs and iPods and the Internet, not just Google.). We would do better to expend our limited energy and resources on working to understand these differences and seeking ways to maximize the benefits to students of knowing how to function effectively in using them both -- not arguing that the old way is better than the new.

When photography appeared in the mid-19th century, there were many who derided it and claimed it would destroy painting. In a relatively short time, it became accepted as a legitimate art form, and though it did not destroy painting, it did change it irrevocably. The printing press did not destroy the spoken word, but it did change it profoundly.

Today's digital technologies are having the same sorts of effects on the print culture. Digital will not destroy print, nor our abilities to think; it will, however, produce profound changes on both. We ignore or deride such changes at our peril. It seems to me our role as educators is yes, learn from the past, but not only from the past. We must embrace the future as well. By doing so, we will more effectively prepare our students for the world that will be, rather than only the one that was. It's not pages versus screens, it's pages and screens.

Jim Lerman

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Can we find our minds?

This article from ComputerWorld (July 31) discusses software being separately developed by IBM and Microsoft that is designed to help people remember the often elusive details of our lives.

I think the article describes pretty well how it's designed to work and it raises lots of hope for me, and lots of people like me I guess, because I frequently can't remember where I parked the car or where I read or heard about something, or someone's name.

Though clearly in a primitive state, this line of development gives us a clear glimpse of at least some aspects of the not-to-distant future -- and also cements further the role that those tiny computers we now call cellphones will continue to play in our lives. More surely than ever, these devices will be our windows on the world, and now apparently, the tools that will enable us to find the minds we have lost.

Coupled with the announcement on the same day of a potential breakthrough treatment for Alzheimer's disease (see articles here and here), it was certainly a banner moment in the development of human mental capacity. If we can somehow make similar progress in controlling our tendencies toward ethnocentrism, jingoism, religious intolerance, greed, hate, and violence then the future looks bright indeed.