Today I had the opportunity to meet with Senator Howard Stephenson to discuss the Engaged Classroom professional development project. We met at Ft. Herriman Middle School, viewed a brief but well-delivered overview of the project by Kelly Dumont, and then watched Jethro Jones work his magic. As he was one of the participants in the program, it was extremely refreshing to see Mr. Jones in action. Clickers, wikis, and Think Before You Post - on the fourth day of school! The students (and I) were highly engaged and I'm excited to see the great things they accomplish this school year.

As for the discussion with Senator Stephenson, I was equally pleased - and quite surprised at how well things turned out. During our time together, he mentioned how far we have to go in keeping up with other states across the nation. Paraphrasing:

We're told that Utah is dead last in the nation regarding the ratio of computers to students we have in our schools. And at the same time, we're first in the nation when it comes to having computers in our homes.
No wonder our teachers seem to have such a difficult time Paying Attention. To be honest, I wasn't startled by this comment in the least. I've known for years how pathetic our situation has been regarding technology in Utah schools. With Senator Stephenson's positive words, however, I remain optimistic about our future. I just hope that I got an accurate read on his sincerity (Senator Stephenson is up for re-election and I'm slowly learning how the game is played).

All in all, it's been a refreshing day.

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