Educational Leadership and Special Education Archives

ieSonoma annual event to feature Emily Pilloton, Dan Pallotta, and Adam Braun: June 7-8

By Pamela Van Halsema on May 12, 2015 2:20 PM

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A young woman whose first crush, MacGyver, sparked her love of constrained problem-solving and tinkering and led her to found Project H Design, a nonprofit teaching youth to design and build their future with heart, hands, and hammers.

A Harvard graduate who invented the multi-day charitable event industry with the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Days, events that altered the landscape of options for ordinary individuals seeking to make an extraordinary difference.

A college student backpacking across the globe who asked a small boy begging on the streets of India what he wanted most in the world and whose answer would lead him to found an organization that has built over 300 schools serving over 30,000 students around the world.

What do these three remarkable individuals have in common? Aside from being called to action through their personal life experiences, these innovative leaders will be the featured speakers at an important community event taking place in Sonoma County on June 7 and 8, 2015. The third annual ieSonoma: innovate | educate event is scheduled for Sunday, June 7 at Sonoma Country Day School in Santa Rosa and on Monday, June 8 in Weill Hall at Sonoma State University's Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. Participants may choose to attend one or both days.

Get tickets from www.iesonoma.org

ieSonoma events are intended to provoke attendees' thinking and challenge previously held beliefs about teaching and learning in the 21st century. Over the past two years, some of the best thinkers in the world have shared their ideas for innovation in education at ieSonoma: Sir Ken Robinson and Dale Dougherty in 2013, followed by Sugata Mitra and Nirvan Mullick in 2014.

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This year, three dynamic speakers will take the stage: Emily Pilloton, Dan Pallotta, and Adam Braun. Each brings a unique story about how they have made a difference in their respective industry sectors by embracing innovation and challenging the status quo:

Emily Pilloton is an educator, architect, and humanitarian activist who believes that design and building can excite learning and citizenship. She developed and is now teaching a design-build curriculum called Studio H that engages the minds and bodies of high school students through real-world, built projects. Originally launched in rural Bertie County, North Carolina, Studio H is now based at REALM Charter School in Berkeley, California. Emily will be one of the keynotes for the Monday morning event.

  • dan_pallotta.jpgDan Pallotta is an entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian activist who is changing the way the public thinks about charity and change. He is best known for creating the multi-day charitable event industry, and a new generation of philanthropists, with the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Day events. His 2013 TED Talk, viewed by 3.5 million people, argued that "the way we think about charity is dead wrong." Dan will be the keynote for the Sunday evening event, and will also be one of the keynotes for the Monday morning event.
  • braun.jpegAdam Braun is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases access to education for children in the developing world. His book, The Promise of a Pencil, describes how an ordinary person can create extraordinary change. Adam will be one of three keynote speakers at the Monday morning ieSonoma event.
  • With the three speakers' stories in mind, ieSonoma is adopting "A Call to Action" as its theme this year. ieSonoma 2015 promises to be an important public gathering of education and community leaders who are interested in transforming education and rethinking the way we view the institutions and organizations that play a role in preparing students for success in the 21st century.

    Additional details on the speakers can be found at www.iesonoma.org. A sell-out crowd of 750 on Sunday and 1000 people on Monday is expected for the event.

    About ieSonoma

    ieSonoma is a partnership of educational institutions and the larger community dedicated to exploring the research, theory, and practice of preparing young people for success in a rapidly changing world. In 2013, the Sonoma County Office of Education joined with Sonoma Country Day School and Sonoma State University to spark innovation and collaboration in the local education community. More than 25 other organizations are also supporting ieSonoma through sponsorship of this year's annual event, including:

    Gold: 

    John Jordan Foundation

    Silver:

    Alexander Valley Vineyards, Community First Credit Union, Lake County Office of Education, Petaluma City Schools, Piner-Olivet Union School District, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects Inc., Santa Rosa City Schools, Santa Rosa Junior College, Sonoma Academy


    Bronze:

    Bellwether Farms, Bergin Glass Impressions, CalStateTEACH, Career Technical Education Foundation Sonoma County, Community Foundation Sonoma County, First 5 Sonoma County, Girard & Edwards, Jardesca, Mendocino County Office of Education, North Bay Leadership Council, North Coast Beginning Teacher Program, Sonoma County Department of Health Services, Sonoma County Human Services Department, Whole Foods

    Additional support from:

    The Press Democrat, Vintners Inn, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts

    Call for Nominations for the 2015 Jack London Award for Educational Innovation

    By Pamela Van Halsema on January 13, 2015 8:59 AM

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    "He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars."
    Jack London, The Call of the Wild

    Inspired by London

    Local hero Jack London was a brilliant writer who pursued life with a sense of adventure much like the characters in his books. He took a non-traditional approach to living and learning, and embraced risk to spur his imagination.Tapping into those experiences, he was able to spin classic tales like The Call of the Wild, White Fang and dozens if not hundreds of other stories, novels, poems and plays.

    Here at Sonoma State it is London's rogue ambition and creative fervor that we memorialize in the Jack London Award for Educational Innovation program.  For 28 years, the award has celebrated exceptional programs and the creative people who took risks, energy and time to make them successful for the children of Sonoma County public schools. 

    Call for Nominations

    We now invite nominations for the 2015 Jack London Award.  Representatives from throughout Sonoma County are invited to nominate innovative programs for this honor. Nominated programs may serve early childhood, elementary or secondary education populations either as part of the school day or as an extra-curricular program. 

    Think about  what creative risk-taking is happening in the classrooms, labs, art rooms, playgrounds, gymnasiums and auditoriums at your schools. Have you launched any new and innovative  programs that build student engagement and advance learning? Tell us about them! Our advisory committee reviews all the applications and selects a few finalist programs for a team of judges to visit and evaluate in person.

    Nominations Due February 12

    Apply by Thursday, February 12, 2015; application is posted on our website at www.sonoma.edu/education/jack-london

    Direct questions about the Jack London Award for Educational Innovation to Pamela Van Halsema at 707-664-2132.

    Mary Collins School to Host 13th Annual Symposium: What Does it Mean to be Literate in the 21st Century

    By Pamela Van Halsema on January 12, 2015 10:57 AM

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    What does it mean to be 'literate in the 21st Century?  Teacher educators, Dr. Jennifer Roswell and Awele Makeba will consider this question at the 13th Annual Mary Collins School Symposium on Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 9:00-3:00 PM.  These two engaging presenters will share their work in language arts through authentic contexts, student discourses and multiple viewpoints.  

    About the Speakers

    Jennifer Roswell is the Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario.Her research explores the ways of broadening literacy education, policy and theory so that it meets the challenges of multi-modal, digital and trans-cultural environments.

    Awele Makeba is an award-winning and internationally known storyteller, teacher, recording artist and performer. She is an artist for social change. She currently serves as a Literacy Specialist in Oakland Unified School District.

    The full day of professional development will involve presentations Dr. Rowsell and Ms. Makeba, teacher-facilitated break-out sessions, and a final "rocking chair" session in which the two presenters have a dialogue and address our most pressing questions.  A local, organic lunch is also included.*

    Mary Collins a Partner with SSU for Teacher Preparation

    Mary Collins School partners with the Multiple Subject Credential Program in the training of new elementary school teachers. As a CORE site pre-service teachers observe and ain field experience in the classroom, working closely with expert elementary school mentor teachers for the two semesters they are working toward a Multiple Subject teaching credential.  

    Mary Collins is known for their Constructivist approach to learning and offer specialized learning in the arts and enviornmental education. In Constructivism the emphasis is placed on the learner or the student, rather than the teacher or the instructor. Learning is also affected by the context and the beliefs and attitudes of the learner. Learners are encouraged to invent their own solutions and to try out ideas and hypotheses. They are given the opportunity to build on prior knowledge. 

    ***Bring a friend (2 or more) and receive $5 off each ticket.  Please email us at marycollinsschoolsymposium@gmail.com and we'll send you the discount code!***

    Webinars Explore Making in Schools, Features Panel of Maker-Educators

    By Pamela Van Halsema on December 2, 2014 10:38 AM

    Making in K-12 Schools Webinars: Part 1, Wednesday, December 3 and Part 2, Wednesday, December 10, noon PST

    To join the webinars, go to http://educatorinnovator.org/webinars/

    2 webinars december 3 and 10 for Making in K-12 Settings

    Join School of Education Assoc. Professor Jessica Parker, along with several Bay Area maker-educators as they discuss the role of "Making" in schools.  Set up as a forum, these teachers will share stories from their own experiences in the classroom--from elementary up to high school--incorporating making into the curriculum and both creating and maintaining a culture of creativity

    In Part 1 of the two part series, on December 3, the panel will focus on how to set things up to foster hands-on, interdisciplinary maker projects and events which successfully support student learning.

    In Part 2, on December 10, they will discuss the kind of professional development that they themselves need as educators to implement these programs and adopt a 'maker mindset' as a teacher.

    The Maker Movement

    Making emphasizes learning-through-doing In a social environment. Maker culture emphasizes informal, networked, peer-led, and shared learning motivated by fun and self-fulfillment. Makers encourage taking risks and experimentation with materials from simple to high tech equipment, they set up opportunities to build and tinker and create. Robotics, woodworking, crafting, 3D printing, and machining are just a few examples of projects used in Maker Spaces all over the world top inspire through project-based learning.

    The notion of tinkering and Making has become popular world-wide and is now truly a movement capturing the imagination of young and old, across cultures and disciplines. Maker Media, based here in Sonoma County, has been the hub and helped build this movement around the world with their publications and their Maker Faire events.

    This global community consists of inventors, artists, engineers, and many other types of people with all kinds of backgrounds. This movement is taking many in the direction of successful independent creativity that is allowing for outside the box thinking and knowledge expansion and growth.

    This kind of thinking is a great fit for project based learning and creative problem solving curriculum in schools, as well as creative and artistic development.

    The Maker Educator Certificate Program

    This webinar is hosted and produced by the National Writing Project's Educator Innovator initiative (educatorinnovator.org), and is affiliated with the Maker Educator Certificate Program offered by The Startup Classroom at Sonoma State University. The certificate program offers a selection of mini courses to help educators of all kinds (not just school teachers) learn how to start and maintain MakerSpaces in their own setting, and become part of a network of Maker Educators.  

    To learn more about the Maker Educator Certificate Program visit www.thestartupclassroom.org/maker-course/ 

    Education Graduate Research Fair Thursday Highlights Current Work by Master's Candidates

    By Pamela Van Halsema on November 17, 2014 4:45 PM

    Grad-Research-PosterThe Master of Arts in Education Program at Sonoma State University is pleased to present the Fall Graduate Research Fair on Thursday, November 20, 2014 from 5:00-7:30 PM in Schulz 1121.  

    In this poster session style event, sudents who have just completed the program will present their findings related to their thesis and cognate projects Programs represented range from Curriculum, Teaching and Learning to Special Education to Educational Leadership and more. The Fair provides these students an diverse audience of faculty, local educators and fellow students to share and discuss their ideas and research.  

    For local people contemplating entering the Master's program, this a wonderful opportunity to get a closer look at the kind of in depth work that candidates pursue in the program. The School of Education is accepting applications now for admission to Master's programs to begin in Spring and Fall.  The application window for Spring closes on November 30.  To learn more see www.sonoma.edu/graduate/

    The event is free and open to the public.  

    Why Learn About Being an Entrepreneurial Educator--an #Edupreneur?

    By Pamela Van Halsema on June 13, 2014 11:38 AM

    Guest Blogger Dr. Paul Porter, SSU Professor of Educational Leadership

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    Educators + Entrepreneurialism = Edupreneurialism

    "Edupreneurialism?"  Just another term or something meaningful?  As an instructor in this course The Entrepreneurial Educator, of course, I lean towards the term having great meaning.  For too many years educators have avoided any ties to business, and business has criticized education's graduates.  This artificial separation has led to neither side being able to benefit from the depth and wisdom of the other.  Every business must see itself as a learning organization.  Every school and student must see themselves as a bit more like a business. 

    If we are to truly move to 21st century learning and embrace the concepts of the Common Core, our students (and teachers) must begin to think of themselves not as passive recipients of knowledge but as finders and shapers of their own future.  In the course we explore the concept of every student and teacher seeing themselves as an "economic unit of one,"  not in just a financial sense, but with the belief that each student must, early in their education, begin to see themselves as responsible for developing themselves, for marketing themselves, for discovering their passions and for aligning these passions and interests with the realities of today's world.  This is not a task for a career project as a senior in High School, but a way of thinking that needs to be nurtured at an early age.

    Come and join us in exploring this concept. Begin looking at yourself as an entrepreneurial educator. Our course begins on June 23 and is hosted on Canvas.net.  Enrollment is free.

    Education Specialist Clear Induction Program at Sonoma State University

    By Pamela Van Halsema on June 12, 2014 11:29 AM

    education specialist clear induction program now accepting applications for Fall 2014The Educational Leadership and Special Education (ELSE) Department is pleased to announce that we have preliminary approval from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to offer a Clear Education Specialist Induction Program.

    What does this mean for you? 

    All teachers are initially issued a preliminary credential, which must be "cleared" within a period of time after it is earned. The induction process has been designed based on research that indicates that teachers are more successful, and that they stay in the profession longer when they have been provided support during the early years of their career. The CTC has given candidates holding a Preliminary Education Specialist Credential two options to receive early career support and clear their credentials: Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA), or a university based induction program. Now that SSU has an approved program in special education, you can pick us to complete your induction into the profession of teaching!

    Advantages of the SSU Induction program over BTSA include:

    • The option to clear your credential even if you are not employed as a teacher.
    • A one-year timeline to complete the clear credential.
    • Coursework aligned with our master's degree program in special education; you can earn 12 of the 30-36 units you need for the MA by completing induction.
    • Core induction courses offered in a hybrid format;
    • Come to campus on 5 Saturdays, do the rest of the work online. 
    • (This will account for 6 of the 12 units you need to complete for induction).
    • Supportive professors and rigorous instruction, similar to what you enjoyed as a SSU credential candidate.

    We will offer the Clear Education Specialist Induction Program at SSU for the first time in the fall semester of 2014. Find more information and an application on our website: http://www.sonoma.edu/education/else/clear-induction-es/index.html  We will be taking applications until August 10. We hope you will consider being a member of our inaugural cohort of clear credential candidates!

    Please contact Dr. Jennifer Mahdavi (jennifer.mahdavi@sonoma.edu) with any questions you have about this exciting new opportunity.

    ieSonoma Event June 9 Features Design Thinking in Education

    By Pamela Van Halsema on May 21, 2014 10:00 AM

    Sonoma State School of Education is pleased to be a co-host of the 2014 ieSonoma event on Monday, June 9, 8:30am-12:30pm at Sonoma Country Day School in Santa Rosa.  The event is focused the changing demands of the 21st century and how our community, and its schools, must respond to meet those demands. Two keynote speakers will be featured, Dr. Sugata Mitra and Nirvan Mullick. A discussion on "Design Thinking in Education" will include a panel of experts, including Greg Bamford, Kristen Swanson, and others to be announced.


    Sugata MitraDr. Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, England. His 30 years of research spans a wide range of disciplines, but he has earned the greatest recognition for his creative experiment known as the Hole in the Wall, which showed that children can teach themselves and each other when they're motivated by curiosity and peer interest. This work inspired the book and award-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire. Dr. Mitra received the 2013 TED Prize and was named one of the Top 10 Thinkers of 2013 by CNN.

    Nirvan MullickNirvan Mullick is a filmmaker, creative consultant, speaker, and entrepreneur. His animated short films have screened in festivals worldwide. In 2001, he began an ongoing collaborative experiment called The 1 Second Film, which was one of the first crowd-funded films. In 2012, he directed Caine's Arcade, an 11-minute film that became a viral phenomenon, receiving over 8 million views and sparking a global movement of "cardboard creativity." Mullick subsequently founded the non-profit Imagination Foundation to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children. He has received the Dan Eldon Creative Activist Award and Innovation in Action award.

    Registration is free for teachers and students using the promotional code innovate14 on the registration form, but tickets are limited.  General admission is $40 for non-teachers.  To register, see this registration page

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    About ieSonoma

    ieSonoma is a partnership of educational institutions and the larger community dedicated to exploring the research, theory, and practice of transforming education for the 21st century. The partnership was initiated by SCOE in collaboration with founding partners Sonoma Country Day School and Sonoma State University and is aligned to the Cradle to Career Sonoma County goal of ensuring that every child succeeds academically

    Maker Day in Marin Showcases How Teachers and Students Integrate Creativity and Science

    By Pamela Van Halsema on April 2, 2014 9:11 AM

    The MAKER Movement has taken hold in many schools around Northern California. Over the last several years interest in the grass roots MAKER Movement has grown. MAKER Fairs around the world have attracted hundreds of thousands of people. Now MAKER is beginning to spill into schools and be used by innovative teachers seeking to provide engaging, hands-on, authentic learning experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics.  

    You can find out what MAKER is all about the 1st annual MAKER Day on April 12 at the Marin County Office of Education.See how the future is being imagined,invented, designed, programmed, and manufactured by Marin County students.Meet the MAKERS and have fun with the hands-on exhibits. Everyone is welcome--teachers, kids, families and more-- and it's free! HERE to register.

    GO Green and ride your bike to MAKER Day on April 12. Valet bike parking courtesy of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition!

    The Marin County Office of Education and partners Autodesk, Microsoft, Edutopia, Intel Clubhouse, Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Lego Play-Well, Buck Institute for Education, and Bay Area Science Festival are hosting MAKER Day on April 12, from 10:00-4:00 at the Marin County Office of Education, 1111 Las Gallinas Avenue, San Rafael. Experience the excitement, creativity, genius and the "do it yourself" ingenuity of our students. More info at http://make.marinschools.org.

    The School of Education encourages both pre-service and in-service teachers to take advantage of this opportunity to see how schools are incorporating the MAKER mindset in their classrooms.

    'Taste' of Graduate Study Available to Newly Credentialed Teachers

    By Pamela Van Halsema on January 10, 2014 1:40 PM

    If you just finished your credential in Fall, the School of Education has a unique offer for you to get a little taste of what graduate study in education is like.  This might be just the right opportunity for those teachers who may be waiting to begin a full time teaching position in Fall, but have more flexibilty in their Spring schedule.   

    For the semester immediately following completion of the credential program, students at SSU are classified as a "continuing education student." During that time (and that time only), students are able to enroll in one or two classes leading toward a Master's In Education degree through Open University, with instructor permission. For this unique opportunity, students do not need to apply to SSU or School of Education program for this offer to be valid.

    The fee structure is $280 per unit through Open University.

    Courses are offered one night per week, usually at 4-6:40 or 7-9:40 pm, or on Saturdays, and may have a hybrid model wherein some classes meet face-to-face and other sessions are constructed online through Moodle (or some other platform).

    The spring 2014 course offerings are listed on our web page at http://www.sonoma.edu/education/graduate/electives.html. Not all courses are appropriate for students exploring the program as some have pre-requisites. But many of the courses will be useful for any teaching career and will apply to your MA degree if you apply and are accepted later on.

    The process to enroll through Open University can be found at the Extended Education web page at http://www.sonoma.edu/exed/misc/open-university.html

    Generally, the steps to follow are:

    1. Look over the course offerings and determine if you wish to take any of the courses listed.

    2. Get the REGISTRATION form in the Extended Ed office and secure the instructor approval and department chair approval to enroll in the class.

    3. Pay the fee of $280 per unit, or $840 for a 3 unit class, $1,680 for two classes. (Note, this is significantly less expensive than the normal SSU graduate program course fee structure.)

    4. Start attending classes the week of January 13.

    While engaged in the course or courses, seek advising, review the programs we offer and, if appropriate, apply to that program in the spring for consideration of fall enrollment.

    Note, attending courses as a "continuing education student" does not automatically allow you entry to that program--you must still go through the normal application process later if you decide to move forward with the advanced degree. No more than two courses taken through Open University can be applied toward your MA degree. The instructor must approve your enrollment.

    To see what MA concentrations we offer and connect with one of our faculty advisors, see our Graduate Studies webpages for more detailed information.