Education and Technology

The Writing Center at 826 Valencia

On Wednesday March 6, 2013, third graders from Oakland’s Melrose Leadership Academy traveled to 826 Valencia in San Francisco.  MLA students attended 826 Valencia’s interactive Screenplay program, which is similar to the popular Storytelling and Bookmaking program the students attended last year. Photography Gallery of the Melrose Leadership Academy Field Trip to 826 Valencia Writing […]

Writing Block Interview Project

I am not a writer. I might write well sometimes, but I often struggle to write a simple coherent email. Three years ago, I was struggling more than usual, so I decided to ask other people how they navigated “writers’ block.”  I began interviewing writers about their process and posting their responses on my previous blog […]

Melrose Leadership Academy After School Assembly

When parents toured Melrose Leadership Academy during the current school year, many asked about our after school program. Parents, grandparents and guardians asked if our students learned about different cultures. We were asked if our children were engaged and challenged. Most people wondered if there were enough physical activity. Nobody asked if the parents were […]

Epiphany Riddle

Each year I look forward to January 6. I believe that the new year or the holiday will inspire me. When I started attending church as a young adult, Epiphany was one of the easiest holidays to accept. I believed in sudden realizations, just as I believed in grace and good will towards my fellow […]

Melrose Leadership Academy Oakland PUBLIC School

My two children attend an innovative public school in Oakland. The school, Melrose Leadership Academy, is part of Oakland Unified School District. Many people believe that MLA is a charter school, but is not. Our students learn how to lead… in a district public school. During the annual period known as the “Options Process,” families […]

Every Convention Tells a Story – JEA San Antonio

True story: While I was preparing for my final presentation, a sales person approached me in my hotel lobby. The woman wanted to sell me something similar to a timeshare, “but it was not a timeshare.”  I stopped preparing my presentation while my tea finished steeping.  She continued asking me questions loud enough so that […]

Remember The Audience – Photography Portfolios with Mark Murray

A few hours ago, Mark Murray and I presented our photography portfolio presentation in San Antonio, Texas for the Fall 2012 JEA/ NSPA National Journalism Convention. We have presented together at every JEA Convention since Nashville, Tennessee.  The presentation changes with technology and the city. The students influence or presentation too.  Here is my post from our […]

Melrose Leadership Academy Fall 2012 Dance-a-thon

How do you measure success? It seems that education reformers want innovation, but use outdated test scores to measure achievement. How do you measure parent involvement? Do you measure fundraisers by the amount of money raised or by something qualitatively different? If you are a parent, do you want your children to learn by your […]

Adrienne LaGier Forgette – 2012 CNN Fit NationTriathlete

My friend Adrienne LaGier Forgette was a 2012 CNN Fit Nation triathlete.  Adrienne is a Maryland high school journalism teacher and the mother of twin girls and her road to becoming a celebrity triathlete is unusual. More than a year ago, a co-worker confused Adrienne with another faculty person who was 8 months pregnant. Adrienne and some of her […]

2012 Sonoma County College Fair

When did you learn about college? (Have you learned about college? Across the United States, high school students attend college fairs similar to the 2012 Sonoma County College Fair. While Americans idealize a last second shot, brief discussions change students’ futures. During a basketball game, fans notice the student who misses the shot, but what […]

Melrose Leadership First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for Melrose Leadership Academy at our new school site. MLA has moved from one Maxwell Park neighborhood site to another. Despite the move, the first day was a success. [photoshelter-gallery g_id=”G0000lbW5VV7YBBg” g_name=”2012-MLA-First-Day-of-School” f_show_caption=”t” f_show_slidenum=”t” img_title=”iptct” pho_credit=”iptc” f_link=”t” f_enable_embed_btn=”t” f_send_to_friend_btn=”t” f_fullscreen=”t” f_bbar=”t” f_htmllinks=”t” f_mtrx=”t” fsvis=”f” width=”590″ height=”393″ bgcolor=”#AAAAAA” btype=”old” […]

Melrose Welcome Day

After I posted photos two weeks ago, many people wondered if Melrose Leadership Academy’s new site would be ready for the first day of school.  MLA community members were at the school for the parent work day, but the site was still unprepared. The PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) Board had planned a 2012 Welcome […]

Maxwell Park Elementary Work Day

My children attend a school in our neighborhood. The school, Melrose Leadership Academy, belongs to Oakland Unified School District. Parents and educators have created a supportive community. So far, so good. Nice simple story. Except that everything is a little more complicated. MLA has been continually growing and moving. This summer, we have moved to […]

The New Masters of Educational Technology

Four years ago today, I completed my Master’s Degree in Educational Technology. I submitted my research project and final thesis on August 8, 2008 to coincide with the twenty year anniversary of Marshal McLuhan‘s book “Laws of Media: The New Science.” McLuhan was a popular media or technology critic in the 1960’s. His arguments are still relevant. […]

Backing up the Back up Plan

Several years ago a student told me about photos she took during a trip to Africa (or maybe it was post Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.) I do not remember the photos, because I never saw them. Her hard drive failed. She had not backed up her images. Her photos were lost forever and I was […]

Art as Resistance

“Art at its most significant is a distant early warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen.” Marshal McLuhan The 12th Annual All Oakland Youth Talent Showcase was held at Laney College on Saturday, May 19. Bay Area non-profit Oakland Leaf sponsored this year’s showcase. Oakland Leaf transforms community “through creative education.”  The […]

Oakland May Day Education

As a former Oakland school teacher with two children in the Oakland public school system, I can sympathize with the families who protested on May Day. Five OUSD schools will close next year; communities will be displaced. Children will be forced to attend different schools. If our Spanish immersion public school were closing, I would be […]

Student Journalism on the Edge

Student press supporters often claim that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” At a recent national journalism education conference, I noticed a different version of this quote. Outside the schoolhose gate, students express themselves too. [photoshelter-img width=’590′ height=’413′ i_id=’I0000mQ7qAY_byQI’ buy=’1′] Fourteen year old Malcolm […]

Portfolio Presentation at National Convention

At the 2012 JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, Mark Murray and I presented a photography portfolio workshop. We have presented thirteen portfolio workshops at the last twelve JEA/NSPA national conferences starting in Nashville, Tennessee. (We have also presented at other conferences separately.) At last year’s Anaheim convention, we presented with Jim McNay. Jim is an influential photojournalism educator who helped […]

Photo Story with Dave LaBelle

Dave LaBelle and Bryan Farley teach a photo story workshop at national convention

San Francisco Adobe PhotoWalk

Adobe hosts Photowalks to promote their products and users. At their March 2012 San Francisco Adobe PhotoWalk, more than 200 photographers walked around the SOMA District finding photos. The walk started and ended at Adobe’s San Francisco offices. PhotoWalks are a great opportunity too see differently. When I attend photowalks, I force myself to watch others […]

One Hundred Days of School

MLA kindergarten students celebrate the one hundredth day of school.

MLA 2012 Winter Performance Expo

Melrose Leadership Academy community assembled for the Winter performance expo in Oakland,

MLA Community Bridges Student Dance Expo

Today is the first day of the Melrose Leadership Academy music and performance expo.