Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Teenage Substance Abuse and Underage Drinking

Over the years when talking with students or hearing them discuss their social activities I have often perceived a student attitude of "what is the big deal about smoking a little weed (marijuana) or underage drinking?" Coupled with the attitude of "kids will be kids" and kids "experiment and taking risks is normal". When marijuana use and underage drinking is identified as an illegal activity, another common response is that "it is just a misdemeanor" which assumes that they are fully accepting that breaking a "small" level law is okay.

Let's watch this video of a teenager coming home from the dentist where he had oral surgery (wisdom tooth removal). He was given legal drugs by a doctor for the pain and  is still under the effects of the drugs. He is with his parents and they filmed his behavior for the humor of it. I think beyond the humor value the video shows how a person reacts when their body and mind is altered by drugs. While the video is humorous I want you to think beyond the humor value. Consider what if this teenager was in the backseat of a friend's car going to or coming back from a party under the influence of drugs...How might that be different...?

Class Activity: 
I. Pre-Video Discussion. Prior to seeing the blog post or watching the video, the class is broken down into small groups (4 to 5) sitting in small fishbowl groups. They will discuss the question, "What is the BIG DEAL about smoking a little weed or underage drinking?"

II. Read Blog Post & Watch Video: Teacher reads the blog post and orients class to the video. The class watches the video and is prompted to see beyond the intent of the original purpose of the video (humor) and views it from the perspective a teenager, their friend in a car under the influence of an illegal substance.

III. Post Viewing Discussion: Teacher facilitates a class discussion in relation to the behaviors observed by the teenager under the influence of legal drugs while recovering from oral surgery (wisdom teeth removed).  

A. Review the original small group notes taken prior to the video.

B. They now discuss their opinions in relation to the video and its impact on a teenager in an unsupervised social situation while under the impact of an illegal substance:
    (1) Mood Swings (Sad, Angry, Violent, Happy)

    (2) Brain Function: Certainty sometimes and other times being total clueless. Does the way he thinks make sense to him? Does he feel at times that there is nothing wrong with his reality?

    (3) Paranoia: Give examples, why is this a concern?

    (4) Potential for Danger or Unsafe Situation: Running Away, Driving, Going with people you don't know, not alert of aware of your surroundings, grab the wheel from the driver, cross the street in traffic, being physically taken advantage of by others, feeling you are superman or superwoman...

    (5) Social Media: captures embarrassing moments or illegal activities that will last forever...consequences to your future. 

IV.  In Class Group Assignment: Form up in the small groups you were in yesterday and draft a group guidance (advice) letter to freshmen cadets talking about the issue of substance abuse  (underage drinking and illegal drug use). This assignment will be turned in at the end of class. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Learning to Write Code (Computer Programming)

I went to a teacher conference at the end of last week and they talked about an area that is key to innovation, and it is called Coding. This area is becoming a lost art. How does one program a computer to do something or solve a problem. Coding. It is about computational thinking, how to see problems and then how to solve or fix problems using technology. It is an area where many future jobs will be available in every field. Lets take a look at this...

There is this campaign sponsored by Computer Science Ed Week, called an Hour of Code, it runs from Dec 9 to Dec 15 so lets take a look.

Location of the Web-sight for the Tutorials: Click on Link below

Coding Tutorials

Homework Assignment
1. Determine Where you will do your Hour of Code? What computer & location will you be using?

2. Which Tutorial will you watch from the above Link?

3. Go to the Website and do the Hour of Code! It is okay if you program with a pair as a team, just let me know. 

4. You need to answer the top three questions by Tuesday (Close of Day on Dec 10th) by making a blog entry with your class period and first name & name of partner if you are pair programming.   

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


This class will be about learning to fold a flag ceremoniously. We often participate in flag appreciation ceremonies and other events where our flag is presented to family members as a tribute to their sacrifice for fallen service members. Proper flag etiquette is very important as a citizen, let alone as a member of a Navy JROTC unit. 

 The above video is a 6 person flag folding detail similar to an American Legion flag Appreciation Ceremony. 

The below video is a 2 person folding detail. While this video lacks the precision of a military unit like the US Army Old Guard or the Marines from 8th and I, it demonstrates the techniques. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

How is the POTUS Doing?

How is President Barack Obama doing as our President? 

1. Form into 5 person small groups.

2. Determine in your groups opinion how POTUS is doing both domestically and in foreign affairs?

3. Use all of the resources you have available.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Why is STEM important...? Imagine if people had not created this technology...?

Before you watch the video, ask yourself the following questions...


What would have happened if someone didn't think this was possible? Some people's big idea was to develop the medical procedures to do this?

Who designed the miniature tubes? Who made the tubes? 

Who designed the machines? Who made the machines?

Who did the mathematical computations to figure out to read and record all of the testing, research, and development to determine the right air flow, temperature, lighting required for this to be successful. 

Just in case you don't think STEM is not important, it is for this family?


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cadets Using PBL (Projects Based Learning) ...What Is It?

Here is a short video about Project Based Learning (PBL), lets take a look at what it is.

Here is a Link To another short video about PBL:

PBL Are You Engaged Yet?

Lets talk about how we might conduct a year long project based learning with a year timeline? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Let Us Grade Homer

Purpose of this Task in Class: To become more familiar with the school-wide rubric (assessment tool) which will be used for you to assess and evaluate yourself, your peers, and that the teacher will utilize to assess and evaluate you. 

Administrative Instructions

  • Provide every student with their own hard copy of the rubric (BMHS Problem Solving / Critical Thinking / Innovation).
  • Have students write their own name and class period on the top of the rubric.
  • Rank the criteria in sequence from (Step 1) Define the Problem through (Step 6) Develop A Plan of Action to familiarize them with the process. 
  • Write the name of "Homer Hickam" on the upper right corner of rubric sheet. (He is the "student" they the "teacher" will conduct a summative assess on from the movie the October Sky. Homer Hickam was one of the West Virginia Rocket Boys who through his passion for space, creativity, and innovative spirit launched amateur rockets in high school. 
  • Have each student split each criteria assessment box in half by drawing a line. See below picture. 
  • Conduct a quick review of the rubric criteria (6 criteria) and assessment ratings (basic, goal, developing, exemplary)

CLASSROOM TASK:  The discussion associated with the assessment ratings is more important than the assessment ratings themselves. 

Step 1: (Your Summative Assessment of Homer Hickam) Review rubric content and scoring criteria by yourself. In the teacher evaluation column grade Homer in each of the six rubric criteria and assign one of the following assessment ratings (B,G, D, or E). (Individual Summative Assessment)

Assessment Ratings: Basic, Goal, Developing, Exemplary (refer to rubric for definitions of each rating for each category)

Step 2:  (Group Collaborative Feedback on Hickam Summative Assessments) Form into 4 person small groups and discuss your grades with the group. Annotate the group grade on the rubric sheet. Taking the BMHS Problem Solving / Critical Thinking / Innovation school wide rubric, in small groups you will grade Homer Hickam's performance in his big idea project.

Steps 1 and 2

Step 3: (Formative Self Assessment on Your Big Idea Project) Remain in your small group seating arrangements. Now that you are somewhat familiar with using this rubric to assess someone else (Homer Hickam) as well as discussing how other in your small group used it to assess Homer Hickam, now you will conduct a formative self assessment of your performance thus far on your Big Idea Project using the rubric. Do not collaborate during this step. Your candid assessment of yourself is key. Your assessment DOES NOT EQUATE TO YOUR GRADE. 

Steps 3 and 4

Step 4: (Group Collaborative Feedback on your Formative Self Assessment) Once your self assessment is done, now you will collaborate and share your formative self assessment (Big Idea Project) per criteria with your small group. Collaborate and give each other constructive input on how each can improve.  

Step 5: (SNSI Teacher Formative Assessment of Student's Performance on their Big Idea Project). Teacher will use the rubric to assess each cadets present level of learning on their Big Idea Project at this time. Their assessment rating score will be entered in the bottom quadrant of the student score box for this evolution. 

Note: If you were absent see the teacher to make up this assignment.

The Rubric is a tool to evaluate and assess student learning and can be used to measure the effectiveness of student centered activities. It assists the teacher in how to navigate the depth and direction 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

High School and Innovation... What Could The Future Hold

Cadet Keen at US Navy  Sub School

As we finished the movie, October Sky, we saw how Homer Hickam, who came from humble beginnings, but had a passion for rocketry. He and his fellow "Rocket Boys" developed the ability to plan, design, and launch rockets. They accomplished this at a time where many of the countries in the world at that time could not accomplish what they did in a poor West Virginia coal mining community. 

As we reflect on our focus on innovation (STEM-Social topics), student creativity (passion and interest), and increased "student centered learning" let us take a look at the future. 

Watch this video about Innovation High  

Classroom Assignment to be completed by the beginning of your class period on Monday, November 18

1. Watch all three videos (33 mins in total): 

Video 1. Innovation High School (above video / 22 minutes)  

Video 2. Watch the video: Invisible Bike Helmet from Sweden  (3.5 mins)

Video 3. Watch the video:  How Gardening Involves Interdisciplinary Learning (7 mins)

2. After watching the videos, make a blog entry (Comments section) commenting on the following: 

A. How Brien McMahon could move more towards innovative learning in the near future? ( Make specific recommendations)

B. What have YOU  learned about innovation so far?

C. What have you learned about yourself from working on your Big Idea project so far...?

Ensure your comment blog entry addresses all three areas listed (A,B, C) above after watching the videos (Videos 1,2,3). 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Invisible Bike Helmet...? Whose Big Idea Is that????

Invisible Bike Helmet

Click on the Link above, talk about innovation and thinking invisible bike helmet!!!!


Having a creative interest in an area or a problem you want to solve coupled with a deep desire to learn how to solve it or improve a process can result in amazing things. 

These two ladies loved riding bikes but didn't like wearing the available bike helmets, but they needed protection if there was an accident or they fell off of the bike. See what they came up with to solve is amazing.   

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let's See A High School Student's Big Idea...Finished Product


This is an example of how a student used biology, agriculture, and economics to develop food for the cafeteria. Think of what your Big Idea Project will look like at the end of this school year...? 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Financial Fallout for an Institutional Lack of Moral Courage

Update from an earlier story we discussed in class last year

As a result of former Penn State Football coach Jerry Sandusky's     (age 69) sexual abuse and assault of a number of innocent children over the past few decades; Penn State has paid $59.7 million dollars to 26 young men who were abused. Sandusky is serving a 30 to 60 year state prison sentence due to his conviction of 45 criminal counts of child abuse. 

There was an earlier report to Penn State authorities from a janitor who witnessed the sexual abuse of a young boy in a Penn State shower room by Jerry Sandusky. It was "looked into" by the Penn State authorities but no legal action was taken with law enforcement. Years later an assistant coach, Jim McCready witnessed a similar act and reported it to authorities and law enforcement was involved. 

Final Comment: There is no amount of money that can buy back an institution's integrity when it was lost due a lack of moral courage from the institution's leaders....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekly Activities October 28 to November 1.

Monday and Tuesday: (Focus) Public Speaking. The assignment is to draft a 2 to 3 minute impromptu on the topic of their cadet innovation project (Big Idea Project). They are to rehearse the content of the speech to include the timing. They will give the speeches in class on Monday and finishing them on Tuesday.

Wednesday: (Focus) Uniform Inspection.  Senior Naval Science Instructor conducts a weekly personnel inspection assessing: appearance in uniform, cadet knowledge, and bearing. This event is a test where they receive a grade.

Thursday: (Focus)  Thinking About Associations: What People and Organizations and Areas of Interest are Related to their Big Idea Project. Prior to the development of a future research plan for their cadet innovation project, the students will be brainstorming what individuals, what organizations, and what other related areas of interest are related to their Big Idea Project. They will graphically depict this brainstorming session with a mindmap graphic. The intent is start to make associations with the people and organizations they can research to determine the potential to network with them in the future. Additionally, I want them to determine what associated areas or interest can be linked to their innovation concept for their project topic.

Friday: (Focus) Assessment of In Class Association Assignment and Initial Research Link. 
Instructor reviews student association brainstorming graphic and discusses student progress on their project at this point. They are also required to provide an on-line link that they have discovered in their initial research.

Monday Back to Public Speaking and Reconnecting

Public Speaking is a critical skill for a Senator Cadet! Whether it is a big project classroom presentation, a job interview at McDonald's, an impromptu speech in English class, presenting your answer and thought process in Math class, or a chance meeting with someone important to your future. Those that can speak in a public setting (as listed above) in a clear well thought out manner with enthusiasm and confidence will stand out and be sought after by many organizations. The picture listed above is of a BMHS student giving a speech as a member of the Center For Youth Leadership (CYLF) at a public event with her state senator in attendance. 

Impromptu Speech

For today (Monday), you will be given the following task: 
Develop an impromptu speech about your "Big Idea" (your innovation project) that is 2 to 3 minutes in length.

You are not limited to but, cover the following areas in your speech

  • Describe your Big Idea
  • What effect does your Big Idea have on others?
Be prepared to give your speeches on Tuesday and the remainder on Wednesday which is uniform day. 


On Tuesday in class with the aid of a computer (class computer or BYOD/ Smart phone), show me a quality link on the Internet that is connected to you Big Idea.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Classroom Activities for Week of 21 to 25 October 2013

Monday: (Focus) Review the BMHS Schoolwide Rubric: Problem Solving / Critical Thinking / Innovation Rubric as a Tool To Guide You In Your Big Idea Project (STEM-S Innovation Project).

Using the BMHS developed schoolwide rubric for Problem Solving / Critical thinking / Innovation (Revision 6/2013) we discussed the use of this rubric to guide our (individual student and teacher) efforts in their year long Cadet Innovation Project (AKA Your Big Idea Project). We discussed the criteria and how the criteria would be sequenced during the project. We also discussed the assessment criteria (basic, developing, goal, exemplary) that they (the student) would use to assess themselves and that the teacher would use to assess to meet their Innovation project expectations.

Tuesday: (Focus)  Getting Connected: Technology Admin for Upperclassmen).

I will select three students to assist in administrative support technology functions required for students to use the class blog (Senator's Cadets) and conduct the higher level of research required for their innovation project. I use a number of Google applications so they need to be connected.

  • Station One: Collect Student email addresses to establish connectivity to them
  • Station Two and Three: Assisting their registration to classroom blog as a member, having them make a test post (comment), and downloading the free App Blogger to their smartphones since we use them in class (BYOD) as additional computers. 
  • Find a quality secondary source from the Internet that pertains to your Innovation project. 

Wednesday (Short Day): (Focus) Uniform Inspection.  Senior Naval Science Instructor conducts a weekly personnel inspection assessing: appearance in uniform, cadet knowledge, and bearing. This event is a test where they receive a grade.

Thursday: (Focus) Welcome Back NJROTC Video and Military Ball Brief. The Commander of Naval Service Training Command and a Powerpoint Brief for our annual Military Ball.
  • Welcome Back NJROTC Video: CDR, NSTC welcomes cadets back and talks about the expectations for cadets in our citizen development program to set the example and discussions on avoiding substance abuse, hazing and bullying, sexual harassment and assault prevention, proper conduct and behavior, and safety in the form of Operational Risk Management (ORM).

  • Military Ball Brief: Educate the cadets about our annual event

Friday: (Focus) Stretching for Stress Management and Team Communication Drill.

Stretching: Due to the weather there will be no outdoor activity, but we will conduct a student led group stretch for the purposes of maintaining flexibility and as a form of stress management.

Team Communication Drill: Each class is broken down into 3 person teams. They participate in a competitive air hockey competition where it is single elimination. Two team members (as observers) direct the third team member who is blind folded to play the game. They are interdependent of one another and need to function as a team to be effective. After a winner is announced, then we conduct a group debrief discussion on the whiteboard. (See picture below)

Safety Brief for the weekend.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


TIME TO ACTUALLY GET STARTED ON YOUR BIG IDEA PROJECT!!! You are going to actually give "birth" to your big idea that is going to have an impact on the world... home... school... state... country...or the globe.


Class ActivityBased on our last class and blog entry, you were tasked to be ready to state your innovative big idea in today's class. 

1. Look at the whiteboard in the front of the class, and you will see five different colored papers with an innovation category (STEM-Social) written on each. 

Innovation Categories and Corresponding Colors: 
Science: Red, Technology: Orange, Engineering: Blue, Math: Brown
Social: Green

2. Take two minutes and confirm what category you are curious or passionate about (this guidance is not new to you). Go to the back of the room and take a small colored piece of paper associated with the innovation category your big idea originates from and return to your seats. 

3. Teacher will groups students by their innovation category (colored piece of paper) into small fishbowl (circular) groups. 

Group interaction: 

Small Group: One person at a time presents their "big idea" to your group and each person provides feedback, not agreement or disagreement to their idea. They rotate until each person has presented their idea and received & provided feedback. 

Large Group (Class): Once small group interaction is done then, they will each present their idea to the entire class which provides their idea to exposure to the potential collaboration with other ideas from other categories. 

4. Each student will write their big idea on their colored piece of paper and turn it into teacher by the end of class. 

The Big Idea Journey has begun, you have taken the first step....

When Was the Last Time You Heard a Reporter Offer a Balanced (Albeit Emotional) Perspective?

Current Affairs Update: We have talked about the Affordable Healthcare Act...the Debt Crisis...the Housing Crisis...the Debt Ceiling...considerable discussion in the media about what is wrong with our country and unfortunately depending upon the political slant of the particular news channel you will often hear the media blame one particular party or another. 

Word / Concept Bank:
Apolitical      News Media   Freedom of Speech    Fourth Estate  Press   Bias    Media Bias

Let's watch a video (with some biases of its own) that talks about the cost of Media Bias on our Elections: 

Classroom Activity / Associated Homework:

1. Form into three separate groups.

2. Watch the first video which is of a MSNBC media reporter getting emotional but voicing what appears to be a balanced perspective of blame towards both parties and the demand for the POTUS to step up and lead the country to start to fix this crisis.

3. Review & Discuss the Word / Concept Bank as a class.

4. Watch the second video on Media Bias which gives a look at how a CNN Reporter (typically viewed as a liberal reports about the Tea Party (grassroots ultra Conservative Republican party group).

5. Discuss your impressions as a group and your HOMEWORK is to make an individual blog entry (minimum of a paragraph) of your opinion whether or not you think their is bias in our news media? and why?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What Does Courage Look Like?

You have heard of the Navy SEALs from SEAL Team 6. We look at athletes who play hurt and still perform as being courageous. These are people who make a choice to participate in the activities that put them in challenging situations. How about a 15 year old girl? Can she be courageous? How many of you heard of Malala?

She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, listen to her message and attitude:

What Is The Message Malala teaches us? What do you think of her message...?

Small Group Discussion: Break up into small 3 person groups and discuss. Be prepared to discuss in class afterward. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Changed the Name..Your Big Idea Project

I called it your Cadet Innovation Project (CIP), but I am not sure if we need a Name Change. We talked about Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Social oriented projects you can choose and develop in order for YOU to change the school, your community, city, state, country, or the World???





Here is a video that talks about Social Innovation and the creation process: 

Here is a video on the importance of STEM Education: 

So What Is Your Big Idea To Change Somebody's World...?

Is it related to: 

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, or a Social Topic...?

Homework for the Long Weekend

1. Watch both videos for background. 
2. Determine your first guess on YOUR BIG IDEA for your Innovation Project and Bring it (Your Big Idea) to class on Tuesday. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What Did Your Group Get Done...? Camouflaged Socializing vs Getting Something Done

As we hear Ashton's words of wisdom, what do you think??? 

  • Do you need to be some other than you are to be successful?
  • Opportunity looks like Hard Work. (Agree or disagree)
  • Being SMART, THOUGHTFUL, and GENEROUS is what...?
  • Is your present state of productivity (getting your work done) the way it is?

What does the phrase WORK ETHIC mean? (Click on the hyperlink)

Think of what Ashton said in relation to the INDIVIDUAL work ethic of each of you during this assignment so far and the GROUP work ethic of your debate group. 

How would you describe your group's performance so far?

Period 2?
Period 4?
Period 6?
Period 7?

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Learning to Debate In Class

1. Watch the Link Above the Picture.

2. Re-watch the Affordable Healthcare Act Video from the previous post.

3. Form up into two debate groups FOR and AGAINST the Affordable Healthcare Act. Two students (one male & one female)  will be the moderators and will structure and run the debate. Debaters Conduct research on Monday night and be prepared to debate on Tuesday in class.

4. Each Debate Team will present an Opening Statement (2 minutes) and two main points (1 1/2 minutes each). Each team will use some visual aid during the debate. There may be an opposing question and answer period if there is time available. 

5. We will also assess the group dynamic of each debate team to determine a baseline for future group work. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What is Going On With Our Government???

What is Going On with our Government...?  Debt Ceiling...Debt Crisis....? Sequestration....Obama-care...Housing Bubble...Hedge Funds....Unemployment and Underemployment....

WORD / CONCEPT BANK: Lets discuss what some of these terms mean

3 Branches of Govt          3 Levels of Govt      Budget     Debt     Deficit     Taxes     
Types of Taxes     Politics     Healthcare    Insurance Companies   Premiums   Uninsured  Underinsured   Pre-exisitng medical condition     

Question: How do people pay for Healthcare? (Use salary or receive a job benefit)

Lets take a look at this thing they call the Debt limit...

Now lets look at Affordable Healthcare or Obama Care...

Now lets take a look at the federal government shutdown...

This video is the stereotypical "Its politics and its boring and I am sure it will just get fixed..."

This video is a more balanced overview: See how it impacts on a family...?

Final Comment:  One of the reasons the citizenry of America are in this situation is because many Americans remain uninformed about what the government they elected is doing or not doing. If individual citizens take a "what is in it for me" attitude instead of "what is best for our country" attitude than this problem will continue to get worse until our country's stability is further eroded. This attitude can manifest itself in the politicians who represent us at the local, state, and federal level. If a politician supports and votes for issues primarily because of "what is best for my political party" instead of "what is best for our country" this will accelerate our national issues at home and abroad. 

Homework: For tonight

1. Watch the Affordable Healthcare Video (9 minutes) with an Adult in your House and Discuss its impact on you.

2. Make a blog entry in the comment section (at end) of this posting that captures the main point of your discussion at home about the video. (Include what period you are in and first name only).  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Who is the worst Leader you ever experienced?

Public Speaking Activity:  Take 10 minutes and think about one of the worst leaders, managers, or bosses you ever experienced.  You will be giving an impromptu speech in class following your ten minute prep period.

What is the best way to use your time to prepare such a short speech? The speech should be 2 minutes long.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN)

What is a Personal Learning Network and why are we talking about it...?

Let us start with a definition from Wikipedia of Personal Learning Network as a start:   personal learning network is an informal learning network that consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a personal learning environment (PLE). In a PLN, a person makes a connection with another person with the specific intent that some type of learning will occur because of that connection. Learners create connections and develop a network that contributes to their professional development and knowledge. The learner does not have to know these people personally or ever meet them in person. 

One aspect is that the learner contribute and derive knowledge in a PLE through various nodes. In this way, the learner chooses which mediums (digital, F2F, P2P,) and social media to build a PLN. Specifically, the learner chooses whom to interact with in these media and how much to participate. Learners enters the PLE with certain goals, needs, interests, motivations and problems that are often presented to the people they include in their PLN. Moreover, the learner will collaborate and connect differently with various members. The learner will establish stronger relationships with some members and have a low level of connection with others. Not all nodes will be equal. Some of the member roles include searcher, assembler  designer of data, innovator of subject matter, and researcher.
PLNs are becoming an important part of professional development in several fields with some businesses creating their own e-learning content and PLEs for their employees. In addition, PLNs have become prevalent in the field of education and are rapidly becoming adopted as centers for the diaspora of field related information (in this regard, they are also often referred to as PROFESSIONAL Learning Networks).
This is one of the best ways of using all available resources to improve and manage your own learning. Any network is about PEOPLE, PROCESS, and SYSTEMS (TECHNOLOGY).
PEOPLE:  Anyone you can interact with to help you learn. Friends, fellow students, family, teachers, mentors and coaches, and subject matter experts (SMEs).
PROCESS: HOW, WHEN, and WHERE do YOU LEARN and COLLABORATE. Is it digital, Face to Face (F2F), or Person to Person (P2P)? Do you learn during school (07:30 am to 2:15pm), at home during homework time, at work, or throughout the day? It isn't all about technology, sometimes you meet people to talk with them about things you want to learn. 
SYSTEMS (What Web 2.0 types of technology do you use?): Internet, Blogs, wikis, social media, etc. How do you use information technology to gain access to info about things you want to learn, to learn faster and more in depth?  Besides texting, Google search, twitter, and Facebook what Web 2.0 technologies do you know?

Developing a PLN will help you now as a student and in your future life as a professional, so lets get started!!  This will also help you in your Cadet Innovation Project....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

So What Do You Think???

It is early in the process, but if you had to pick your choice of topic for your cadet innovation project what would you select?

Also what category would it be in:


Or a Social Cause oriented topic?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Public Speaking Monday

Take 10 minutes to form a 2 minute short speech about the possibility of HOW a teenager could change the world, their country, state, city, school, or community.

Friday, September 6, 2013

CIP 2013: How can a Teenager Who Never Went to Medical School Create A Better Test

Teenager invents a better test for Pancreatic Cancer

Click on the above Link

Cadet Innovation Project....I know you think I am crazy...what can you a teenager do to affect the lives of others, let alone the world. 

After watching this YouTube video, how can you still think that....? Remember it all starts with with YOU being curious about something that you are interested in or something that bothers you that you want to fix.

What are you curious about? What do you have a passion for learning about or a particular challenge or problem you want to fix?

You need to use your imagination...? 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Student-Cadet Autobiography 2013

The key to a successful student - teacher team has to do with the three R's: Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor. The term Relationship has to do with the professional rapport (empathy & understanding) between the student and the teacher. The term Relevance has to do with the teacher ensuring the student understands "how" the curriculum being taught relates to what the student needs and wants to learn. The term Rigor relates to the teacher ensuring the relevant curriculum being taught is challenging and causes the student to reach in their learning.    

To share some things about yourself so your teacher will understand you better and support your self development to learn.   


  • This is an in-class assignment where you will complete a written assignment with the purpose of telling your SNSI about yourself. 
  • This will be a minimum of two pages in length and is between you the student and the SNSI. 
  • Your Autobiography will include the following: 

Friday, August 30, 2013


Small Group Activity: Sit in small groups and discuss (for about 8 minutes) the question: What does the World Expect from You?

Post Activity Class Review of Responses

Pay It Forward

Part of your Cadet Innovation Project is to open your mind to the concept of innovation itself.  What does the term "innovation" mean...? Let's look at a some definitions of Innovation according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary says :

A. the introduction of something new, a new idea, method, or device

B. In technology, an improvement to something already existing. Distinguishing an element of novelty in an invention remains a concern of patent law.

There is a tendency to think that INNOVATION is about IDEAS...well that is only part of it. 

INNOVATION is about applying action and your talents to that great IDEA and through a series of trial and error experiments discovering what works and what doesn't, and refining your idea and innovative concept. 


Sometimes by collaborating with another person or group, your idea (action & talent) combines with someone else's idea (actions & talents) and can results in Innovation as well. Let us look at an example.

Thursday, August 29, 2013



Part of your Cadet Innovation Project is to open your mind to the concept of innovation itself.  Let's look at a some definitions of Innovation according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary says :

A. the introduction of something new, a new idea, method, or device

B. In technology, an improvement to something already existing. Distinguishing an element of novelty in an invention remains a concern of patent law.

There is a tendency to think that INNOVATION is about IDEAS...well that is only part of it. INNOVATION is about applying action and your talents to that great IDEA and through a series of trial and error experiments discovering what works and what doesn't, and refining your idea and innovative concept. 

Sometimes by collaborating with another person or group, your idea combined with someone else's idea results in Innovation as well. Let us look at an example.


Reference Links:
STEM Definition Wikipedia

Background: Being ever a believer is using multi-media to learn, I stumbled upon the movie, Pay It Forward, on television this summer and it got me thinking. Mind you my grandmother, used to call television the "idiot-box" because in the days of no Internet many people spent countless hours sitting in front of it just watching TV shows as participating in life passed them by. I saw a scene in the movie where the 7th grade teacher gave his class the project to 

"THINK of an IDEA to CHANGE the World and PUT it into ACTION."

Scene from Pay It Forward.

I also read a book, Innovation, recommended by a fellow teacher (Mrs. Pavia) which not only talked developing innovations that are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related, but they included the category of Social related Innovations which answered my concern. You see, I am not a STEM-kind of person, but I am a Socially Conscious kind of guy, so that is what I would pick...

Project Organization:  

Phase One (PLAN) Marking Period One:  Brainstorm & PLAN Your Innovation Project

Phase Two (PREPARE) Marking Period Two:  PREPARE Your Innovation Project

Phase Three (EXECUTE) Marking Period Three:  Finalize and EXECUTE Your Innovation Project

Phase Four (IMPLEMENT) Marking Period Four: Implement Your Innovation Project...start changing the world. 

Summer: Think of Your Next Year's Project ...or if approved, how to expand your Innovation Project...


Research the concepts of: 

  • STEM, Social Causes, and INNOVATION.
  • Discuss the concept of "brainstorming" and researching to support it.
  • Familiarize yourself with the concept of Project Management and Program Management.
  • Learn how to develop a Plan of Action & Milestones (POA&M).  

We will work on this periodically throughout the year in class, but you are expected to figure out a way to change the world at the school, community, group, city, state, country, or global level....

The Realm of Possibility is within each of you, what are you going to do with it....Use it or let it atrophy....?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What Leaders Have You Created...?

In our Navy JROTC program we talk about the concepts of both followership and leadership. The belief is you have to learn how to lead yourself before you can lead others. Every leader follows someone in their "chain of command". For example, the Senior Naval Science Instructor follows the guidance and direction of the Principal of our school and the Area Manager. The Principal of the school follows the guidance and directions of the Norwalk Public Schools Superintendent and the Area Manager follows the guidance and directions of the Commanding Officer of Naval Service Training Command. 

Looking at Leadership from a different angle, in the graphic pictured above on this blog post it makes the statement True Leaders Don't Create Followers They Create More Leaders. 

Your Homework Assignment: Based upon that statement, I want you to post an entry (blog comment) specifically stating what "Leader" have you contributed in creating or developing, use their first name only. Describe and explain your contribution to their leadership development. If you have not contributed towards developing any specific leaders in this unit, then I want you to explain in detail why you have not done this. This assignment is due to be completed by Wed (June 12) during your scheduled class period. Use your first name and class period to identify yourself.