Friday, December 5, 2014

To Block or Not to Block.....

This week a conversation came up in a meeting with some parents from my school.  The question was regarding Newsstand on Apple's iPad devices.  The issue is this: there is no way to block it unless you restrict all access to the App store.  This creates obvious problems for school time when students are trying to download the educational apps for class.

Solution: teachers send home which apps are to be downloaded for the next day.  Not a huge deal.  Right?

The reason for the Newsstand restriction IS a good one.  The app allows covers of all magazines and a preview before you purchase them.  Our Catholic school students then have access to the covers and first few pages of magazines which they should not be accessing for free.  The covers are censored.

The educator in me says that if we teach them appropriately they will use it appropriately.  The parent in me says if we restrict it, they will find it more interesting.  The level-headed me says that these are school devices and I can understand the restrictions.

What are your thoughts on this?  I have already contacted Apple regarding the blocking of Newsstand (or even option to restrict) and no answer as of yet.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

12 Days of Christmas and Appreciating Each and Every One

Jessica Johnson shared a Google Doc with me this morning on the topic of the 12 Days of Christmas. It was an idea she received from Melinda Miller and Jay Posick - a way to show your staff that you appreciate them each of the 12 Days before Christmas break.  I love this idea!  They don't have to be big, extravagant gestures, but just a little something to brighten their day. 

A few ideas are candy canes, personalized Christmas cards, letting them wear flannel PJs to school, etc.  I am sure my staff would LOVE this idea, and I cannot wait to get started.

How about our friends and family? Of course you can't buy a candy cane for everyone you know, but how about something simple like 3 compliments a day? Sending someone you haven't talked to in a while a quick note that you're thinking about them. I can guarantee that the person you compliment on their scarf or nail polish will keep that with them all day.  I sent a text to a few of my oldest friends the other day reminding them how excited I am to see them during our annual night out after Christmas, and how fondly I remember our previous ones. 

Who's day can you make today? What small gesture can you give that may turn someone's day around?

"Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day."

~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.