Monday, November 25, 2013

Making the KIS Intranet from Scratch

Seven years ago I was having a conversation with Clay Burell (+Clay Burell) about creating a place to hold all of the forms and documents that our school had, so that teachers could easily find them. It was a great idea, but for some reason Clay couldn't get any traction with the Business Office or the school leadership; Clay was apparently ahead of his time with the idea. Now, seven years later, we have just created a Google Site to do the job. This time things were quite different. Our years of EdTech support and Fish Bowl PD sessions helped build a culture where people understood the value of such endeavors as creating a KIS Intranet to share information more effectively and efficiently. I'd love to share our creation with the public, but we decided it would be best for internal use only, so you need to have a KIS email account to log into the Site. But if you have questions about the process, please feel free to make a comment on this post and I will reply in a jiffy.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Leadership of the Offensive Line -- Another American Football Analogy

Huskies vs. Bisons Blackout
Thanks to Huskie Outsider for the photo.
We never think of the offensive line in American Football as the leadership of the team; instead, we usually think of the coach or the quarterback as the "leader." It is true that the traditional leader of the team is the coach and the leader on the field is the quarterback, but I feel that the leadership style of the offensive line is the model that educational leaders can take a great lesson from in our roles. First, the offensive line is a thankless task.  It isn't about glory or popularity; it's about diligence and hard work. During a game, no one notices if the offensive line is doing its job well, it is only noticed when the job goes wrong -- a penalty, missed block resulting in a sack, blocked punt, etc. Those are the moments that the line is noticed -- during a mistake. Think of all those times we make mistakes as educational leaders; it seems like those are the only moments people really seem to notice us. We should take those moments in stride, like the offensive line does. The offensive line encourages each other; they pick themselves up and move on to the next play a little more wise.

When the offensive line is doing its job well, no one really sees it, because they are supporting the entire team. The line blocks, the line communicates, the line supports -- nothing more, but that is quite a load of work. If we think of our jobs as members of the offensive line, we are more willing to step back and allow others to shine. We become the unsung heroes of the community. Our quarterback, running backs, and receivers gain first downs and score touchdowns and they know that our efforts helped them achieve these goals for the entire team. We should provide the support necessary and communicate with our entire community/team. We should be the offensive line for our students, teachers, and parents.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Facebook Group (or Any Website) on Blogger

Someone (+Jim Mitchell) was very happy with my post about how to put a Twitter Feed on Blogger, and challenged me with his own question -- can you do this with a Facebook Group or Page? The simple answer seems to be yes, but there are some things you need to consider.

Adding a website to a blog post can be done this way.
First I'll go over how you actually make any website appear on Blogger. I borrowed this piece of code from my friends at Getting Tricky with Wikis<iframe frameborder="1" height="600" scrolling="auto"src="" width="100%"></iframe> If you paste this bit of HTML code in the HTML section of the post with the website address, it will make the website appear on your blog in the post. You simply need to copy & paste the code and then replace the URL I have used here with your own. This is a great work around if you want to post something that doesn't have an embed code for you to use, but is on a website. Pretty cool, right?

But with a social media site like Facebook, you need to consider your privacy settings. I believe the group would have to be open to the public. I tried the groups that I am a member of and none of them would appear on my blog, but they are all closed groups. You would need to ask yourself some questions about what type of privacy you want to have and then experiment to see if you can make the website appear in a blog post.

You can also add the code on a Page and make a version of the website on your blog.
You can add another website to your blog as a Page with this method. Step 1.

Step 2 to adding a website to your blog as a Page.