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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 05/31/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Why Twitter and Facebook could be Good instructional tools



Social Media Outposts
Social Media Outposts (Photo credit: the tartanpodcast)

I think Paul Barnwell in his Education Week Teacher Article has some great points:
"If it’s simple—even mindless—to use or create with new technology, then we must question the pedagogical value of what we are doing. That said, I don’t regret using Poll Everywhere and experimenting with class blogs several years back. After all, as educators we must be willing to test out, and sometimes adapt to, evolving opportunities to teach and engage students. I’m still trying to figure out my curriculum, and will continue to test out new programs and technology applications to enhance the course. But until I'm convinced that cell phone and social media applications truly support deep thinking, my students will keep their devices in their pockets and backpacks."

However, his Title "Why Twitter and Facebook Are Not Good Instructional Tools" is entirely misleading. I left a comment there and have pasted it below to further the conversation. If you want to comment, I think you should go back to Paul's original post.

His points that new, shiny, well loved devices don't always equate to excellent instruction are good ones. His challenge that we should do more and be more with our teaching than create distraction and lack of focus are great ones. However, my problem with the article is his complete dismissal of Twitter, Facebook, and Polly Everywhere as "unsuitable" or "bad" also miss the point. Here's my take:

I agree with Epbylon that your headline is misleading. It is not the tool itself but HOW you use the tool. For example, my ninth graders have a 20% time project where they spend 20% of their time on a project of special interest. I have one student in particular @Apps_for_Autism that has almost 300 followers now. She and I have spent a lot of time together talking about hashtags, how to engage in conversation, how to research her topic. She's found a wonderful psychologist to mentor her and shares her findings. 
When we do research projects, I teach students how to find hashtags around conversations and subscribe to those conversations in their RSS reader. I've found this assignment requires a lot of higher order thinking. 
When my students wanted to do a project using social media to bring awareness to human trafficking and the problems. They had a wordpress blog, a Twitter account (we set up twitter feed to send the posts there) and a Facebook page. We tracked engagement levels and things that created likes. What stimulated engagement. Now, this was part of my social media module for 3 weeks but it wasn't just your average "post on facebook." 
It bothers me when people insult tools as if they are supposed to be some sort of savior or demon. It is always WHAT you do with the tools and HOW you use them to teach.
I do totally agree that many have gimmicky uses of tools but there are also some powerful uses of many of the tools you've found not to be suitable for your purposes. 
As a teacher, it is our job to promote higher order thinking and have students use tools in ways that will get us there. I've been able to use Facebook and Twitter in those ways in some instruction but then, there are times of the year that students would get off track or we weren't using Facebook for educational purposes and I'd need to block it. 
To sweepingly state Twitter and Facebook are "bad" instructional tools is like saying that paper is bad and should be eliminated because so many teachers use it for mind numbing worksheets. Websites are modern day paper and can be used in many ways both helpful and mind-numbingly useless. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

I think that social media could be Dr. Jeckyll or Mr. Hyde depending upon the use. With the noted exception of a site like Chat Roulette, I believe that almost any site could be used in positive ways for teaching. We should never settle for the new tool as automatically being good or bad just because of the tool - I've seen silliness on Edmodo where we had to redirect the students back to the task at hand.
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Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/31/2012



  • A collection of top tips for teaching including startres assessment and more with free resources from teachers.

    tags: education news teaching

  • This article goes further on to describe bottom students who don't engage and go to school to get a degree, not an education.

    "Discussion with award winning professors still in the classroom finds another trend. They have experienced the “class of the night of the living dead,” characterized by blank stares and little interaction. These students often ask the professor to tell them what will be on the exam so they can pass the class. Too many young people are going for an expensive education to obtain a degree rather than an education. Standardized learning and other measures appear to be lowering the baseline of education in America. Just-in-time technology and multitasking are creating issues concerning quality of work and time management, which creates stress for students, professors, parents and grandparents.

    tags: education news parenting

  • My Dad sent me this great article about the bell curve for kids and it may not be what you think. Professionalism, grades, attitude, emotional intelligence, these are all important things, according to this author.

    "The top 40% of students have a natural curiosity for learning, and they seek classes, teachers, and experiences that will expand their horizons. The top part of the bell curve will seek out friends and acquaintances who are very studious in their work ethic. They show up on time, follow directions, get along with people and do what they say they are going to do. They will balance class work with outside activities. Many will be proactive in developing internships or learning experiences that will move them to the next level."

    tags: education news parenting

  • IF you have free content for teachers with no log in required to access the resources, you should consider becoming a tes "content partner." It is a great way to share your resources with the world of teaching. They can help you by getting feedback from the teachers and they can give you stats on how your resources are doing. It can help you drive traffic back to your site. Just be aware that quite a few US-based teacher resource providers are starting to join the TES network as they expand.

    tags: education news

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Elearning and global competency #flatclass #globaled 05/31/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 05/30/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/30/2012



  • We'll be able to edit Google Docs offline in June. This is big news as the word processing wars heat up. There are some issues still with Google Docs that make it usuitable for formatting an MLA or APA properly but I would think that would be resolved at some point if Google continues to be serious about education. Publishers still want everything in Word, but then again, Google docs can be saved to word.

    tags: education news google

  • How to improve global competence. This excellent set of articles is written by Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Honor Moorman who is excellent at collaborating and understanding the pedagogy of global collaboration and teaching global competence by living it.

    tags: education flatclass news

  • Poptropica is coming to the DS. I love how these games are writing themselves to seem educational when, in reality, it may or may not be. Sure, kids can read but are they? I like Poptropica but I've found that parents should look into the apps that claim to be educational before buying it.

    tags: education news gaming

  • For those of you who like to follow smart, interesting people, here's another list of educators you'll want to follow. These lists are never comprehensive and I've found always leave out someone important, but they are useful for finding new people.

    tags: education news twitter

  • Principals are succeeding and teachers are failing? This article says that the US department of education is seeing a rise in the number of poor evaluations given to teachers but also less administrators are being evaluated poorly. I find this symptomatic of a shift of blame. I'm not saying all administrators are poor but we have systemic issues. Many teachers teell me that they are evaluated sometimes for just 10-20 minutes A YEAR for an evaluation and that many teachers who are out of controll plan a stellar lesson for that one day. Many feel that administrators don't really know what is happening in the classroom. Likewise, how can administrators be evaluated fairly? Does this measure up?

    tags: education news evaluations admin

  • School districts in sunny areas are beginning to float bonds to install solar power. These projects can have quite a long payback but I do think it is time for us to start looking long term. What happens when the energy cost can be funneled back into education in the long term?

    tags: education news greenenergy sustainability

  • I find the conversations in the UK and the US strangely on parallel tracks. They had "every child matters" and we had "no child left behind" but critics are complaining in both countries that a focus on the minutae of standards is causing the entire child to be neglected. This heart wrenching article goes into the issues in the UK.
    :It had a huge impact on everyone working in education. Schools suddenly had to ensure that they were looking after all aspects of pupils’ lives. Their breakfast clubs multiplied, and they built close links with social services, health authorities and the police. Councils across the country no longer had education directors. Their fiefdoms were merged with child social care to create new children’s services departments. Eventually, in 2007, Whitehall followed suit with a new Department for Children, Schools and Families.

    But today, those changes are unravelling almost as quickly as they were put in place, as a new government prioritises a narrower focus on educational achievement over “the whole child”. Michael Gove, education secretary, recently described the “Every Child Matters agenda” as “meddlesome”, while his department says it is determined to reduce the bureaucracy and regulation it created.

    tags: education news edreform

  • We need adaptive testing that can only be provided by electronic devices. (Why does it take 10 questions to determine a student's ability level when 1-2 will do.) This story out of the UK is worth a read. TES has learned that a leading exam board is trialling the use of portable devices such as iPads, Kindles and laptops in exam conditions.

    tags: education news tablet_computing

  • This activity is for an interactive whiteboard (I believe it uses Smartboard's Notebook program) and is a spelling game based upon the "Draw Something" app that is so popular. It is called "spell something" and could be a fun end of year or review activity when energy is lagging.

    tags: education teaching news spelling

  • Angry birds and the quadratic forumula. There are many fun ways to use angry birds in the math classroom and here's one of them.

    tags: education math teaching news

  • Tomorrow at 10:30 am eastern, I'll be speaking with Dr. Nellie Deutsch in the WizIQ platform as we have a conversation about teaching This will be an open conversation where we interact and talk not as much a formal discussion. I look forward to learning about WizIQ and talking with you.

    tags: education flatclass news

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Elearning and global competency #flatclass #globaled 05/30/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/29/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Elearning and global competency #flatclass #globaled 05/29/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 05/28/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/28/2012



  • We are interdependent on this planet.This is no surprise that they are finding that the pollution in China and India are affecting the climate elsewhere - like here in the US. When I went to Beijing last year, I came home and my hair started falling out. I wasn't sure if it was related but I did find the correlation suspicious. We've seen this for years - we would outlaw chemicals that my Dad could use on his US based farm only for grocery stores to start buying produce and crops grown in other countries with that very same chemical used on the crops. This inconsistency not only hurts the US economy but in the long run hurts the world. We need to be responsible stewards of our planet.

    tags: news environment

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/26/2012



  • This is an activity to help students roleplay and discuss bullying situations. Prepare and plan ahead to create awareness in your school but also note that you should understand the definition of bullying. Every time someone yells at another- it is NOT bullying behavior. Bullying implies unequal power in a relationship and relies on intimidation and is unfair. When two "equal" parties disagree you have a disagreement, usually. I do think that often the term bullying is overused to talk about tough circumstances that may or may not be bullying at all.

    tags: education bullying news cyberbullying

  • June 5 is World environment day. Here are some lessons and resources that you can use to talk to students about maintaining a healthy, sustainable world.

    tags: education teaching news environment green

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 05/25/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/25/2012



  • I wrote this blog post about how to get the most out of your summer break. Here are some tips.

     and am getting ready to make my "goal poster" for the summer. (I have goal posters from the last 5-6 years in my office - love looking at them.) Someone tweeted me that she was getting ready to make her goal poster and I thought I'd share this post with you for those preparing to "get out."

    tags: education news teaching

  • This post has some information on how you can use Pinterest. If you're a company or organization supporting educators and want to dissect that pin and know how to get the word out about what you're doing, here are some tips.

    tags: education pinterest news

  • More cheating scandals begin to brew. When children transferring out of a school drop from 90th percentile to 30th - something is up and that may be test fraud. Read this new york times article and also, if you want to know how to find statistical anomalies that point to cheating - the first Freakonomics book is an essential read.

    "According to The Times, last year P.S. 31′s “math scores were nearly perfect, and 90 percent of its students passed the English test, more than 40 points above the citywide average. To celebrate, staff members tied a sign to the building: ‘School Report Card P.S. 31 is #1 in New York City.’” The school has 550 students, in PreK to fifth grade.

    At P.S. 257, where most of the preK to fifth-grade students are black or Hispanic and poor, “62 percent of the children at the school had a score of proficient or higher on the state English exam.”

    tags: education news testing edreform

  • A nice write up about chrome books to help people understand about these tools. One important piece of advice: bandwidth is essential with cloud based computing - with no cloud you have no computing.

    tags: education news chrome google

  • An index of interactive white board resources that you can use. This list of free resources is a wonderful place to fill out your library for the fall. This would be a great place to spend during planning time as you download and organize resources for your IWB for the fall by standard. (Make folders)

    tags: education iwb teaching news

  • In Flat Classroom and with my students we use a Trello board which is a web app used for Agile development. This app makes sense for schools and for personalized learning projects like the Personal Project done by my computer students. I couldn't track all the little pieces without it. Scrum, Lean, Agile, KanBan - these are all terms for project management systems and I think that as educators implement projects, this is a great place to look to handle large complex tasks with teams of people in efficient ways. Meetings are often a waste of time and should be to do what you can ONLY do face to face.

    This research posted on Educause's website seems to back up this assertion.

    "Gartner predicts that by the end of 2012, agile development methods will be used on 80 percent of all software development projects. Project Management Institute’s research shows that agile project management tripled from December 2008 to May 2011, and can help decrease product defects, improve team productivity, and increase business value.

    tags: education news productivity agile lean kanban

  • When will we see an end to all of these court cases - are these companies really that bad or are they just fighting for existence? I doubt that the 150,000 fine will even pay for the lawyers on both sides not to mention the cost to the federal government. I think these companies should have to start footing the bill for the federal judges and people whose time they are monopolizing.

    "A federal jury ruled Wednesday that Google didn't infringe on Oracle's patents when the Internet search leader developed its popular Android software for mobile devices.

    Wednesday's verdict comes about two weeks after the same jury, with two additional members, failed to agree on a pivotal issue in Oracle's copyright-infringement case against Google. As a result, Google Inc. faced maximum damages of only $150,000 — not the hundreds of millions of dollars that Oracle Corp. was seeking.

    tags: news oracle google lawsuit

  • Ginny Washburne on her Discovery Education blog shares how she doesn't feel that teachers are prepared for data-driven instruction. In my opinion, we should have a good interpretation interface on the back end of the data to help teachers understand the areas where they need to improve. It shouldn't be rocket science to realize that your students don't understand mitosis.
    "Everyone agrees that we are asking more and more of teachers, to “wear several hats” if you will.  One of those “hats” is being able to drive instruction using data.  Do you think you were adequately trained to interpret the data you receive?

    tags: education news

  • There is a growing resistence to standardized testing as parents get organized, this New York Times article gives an overview of some of the things happening.

    "Resistance also appears to be growing more organized. Groups like Change the Stakes are helping to spread information about opt-out procedures and have created a spreadsheet to help parents navigate the field testing landscape.

    ParentVoicesNY has created a boycott form letter that parents can download, sign and then submit to their school. The group also has direct connections with more than 20 schools, according to Kevin Jacobs, a public school teacher who is one of its active members."

    tags: education news testing

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 05/24/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/24/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teach to Last



I woke up at 3:37 am this morning, the last day of school. Now, in the den at 4:32, the word "last" has hit me.


  • What is the last impression I'll leave the kids of this school year?
  • I'm so exhausted right now, how can I possibly last in this profession?
  • I am now one year closer to my last year of teaching (whenever that is) and I wish I could do this forever.
  • I have too much to do -- how can I last?



Reciprocity
As I ponder the word "last", "reciprocity" hits me as an apropos word for today as well. An excellent school year -- one that lasts in the hearts and minds of a student and the teacher is one where both of them learned from each other and gave energy and effort to each other. A great relationship of reciprocity emerged in a great school year.

This year has been another great one but in my exhaustion this week some moments I wonder, "why do I do this?" "Does it mean anything?" "Do I make a difference?" It feels pointless and I feel worthless.

Sometimes I wonder why teach at all -- it takes everything I have -- but then a child comes to me and gives me a hug or says thank you and I remember.

Some great men are carved on mountains and monuments but great teachers carve the future on the hearts of children. We cannot underestimate the importance of what we do in our classrooms.
My Granny Martin always said "sometimes you gotta
tie a knot and hang on" - this time of year is knot
tying time!

Don't give up on yourself or teaching

I'm asking you to suspend judgement on your year and yourself for a bit. Wait until you're rested and have a bit of the spark back in your spark plug.

Don't give up on yourself. Margaret Thatcher said:
"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."
You may have to reinvent yourself many more times before you become the great teacher the good Lord intended you to be. Every year there are some great things and some things I didn't like. There are things I cherish and things that are rubbish. There are things I want to remember and other things I want to forget. Such is the nature of teaching.

The Real Classroom
If you're looking for perfect, go buy the most expensive diamond you can find, go in a dust proof room with the best magnification glass you can find and look at that diamond. You'll find that the diamond has flaws because the only perfect diamonds are fake-manmade diamonds. Likewise, the only perfect classrooms are fake, manmade classrooms on the pages of books and blogs that surgically remove the unsavory aspects of teaching.

The fact that teaching is an imperfect endeavor doesn't detract from the fact that teaching is one of the most important endeavors that the world undertakes.

So many people shake their heads and say, "I could never teach" but I always respond, "Well, I can and I love it."

But I can't let the fact that I'm not perfect make me want to quit. I can't let the fact that I'm exhausted make me want to go to sleep and never wake up. If I want to last in this profession, I have to get ready to REST.


Rest is something
Rest is not doing nothing, rest is most definitely something. I shared a recent infographic on my blog that shows that teachers work 99% of the hours of other professions but in 25% less time. There are many of us that do far more than that.

Here very soon I'm going to be going to the mountains.

  • I'm going to take off my shoes and wade in bitingly cold streams. 
  • I'm going to do some white water rafting in a ducky all by my little self. 
  • I'm going to hear the roar of water falls in my ears and hear the laughter of children sliding down a sliding rock that has a bump at the end that is enough to tear up your hiney if you hit it just right. I'm going to tube down Deep Creek in a wooden-bottomed tube and do all kinds of things that people say a 40 something year old woman can't do. 
  • I'm going to lay down on the ground and take photographs of the tiny little mushrooms that grow up in the dew of the morning and get as close to a flower as I can get and still focus for some incredible macro shots like I love to take. I'll frame some more and hang them in the kitchen.
  • I'm going to sit on the back porch and drink coffee as the kids roll down the steep hill and slide on the grass until their knees are green. 
  • I'm going to rate splashes on a scale of 1-10 as kids jump in the pool and get me soaking wet. 
  • I'm going to find some new music to listen to and play it so loud that no one can hear in the kitchen.
  • I'm going to cook some awesome new food that my husband will love.
  • I'm going to read some amazing new books and make some new friends on Twitter.
  • I'm going to finish writing my second book and get it off to the publisher and continue working on my third.
  • I'm going to lay on the couch under a blanket and watch old episodes of Little House on the Prairie, Andy Griffith, and every old Star Wars movie I own. I'm going to cry watching Chariots of Fire and Secretariat and throw in a few movies where everything gets blown up for good measure.
  • I'm going to redo my workout area to find some things I can do now that my knees are bothering me so I can work out every day and get this weight of the last few months back off me.
  • But amidst all this going to I'm going to rejuvenate my soul.
A teacher who can't read her own body's signals isn't going to be in any shape to teach a child to read in the fall. You need to take a break or you'll break... you won't last.

Build the habits into your summer routine to accomplish your goals

But as you think of your summer remember that you are a product of your habits. I'll be sitting in my den this Saturday, my first official day of summer, making a list of the goals I want to accomplish this summer. Then, I'll plot out my typical day with the habits that it will take to accomplish those goals. 

Rainfall is random but irrigation is an intentional channeling of water towards a specific direction. Your life is like water -- design your habits and they become the channels that direct your life into your lake of legacy. 

For now, be careful out there.

I haven't worked out all this busy, craziness of life. My attitude isn't so great right now. I'm so tired that I feel like I can't go on another second. Yet, I'm putting one foot in front of the other so I can end well. 

I know that you're there too. So, be careful out there. Don't do anything rash. Don't quit your job. Stay away from gossip. The gossipy, negative attitudes of coworkers are like arsenic in the hand of the suicidal during crunch times like the end of the school year. Let those who are poison be around each other. Listen to good music when you can. Get some rest. Keep your focus. 

My oldest son and me at a friend's lake a few years back.
You CAN Last
But know that you CAN do this. Teaching is a legacy. Teaching is a noble calling. 

Great teachers are heroes but poor teachers are scoundrels. Don't let the scoundrels get you down, they will reap the legacy that they've sown but you'll reap yours. The existence of scoundrels doesn't make you any less of an important, incredible, vital person. In fact, it makes you more important than ever because you have to serve as a counterweight to the negative impact of that teacher.

But for now, think about lasting. Rest so you can last. Celebrate these last moments with a group of students that will never be in quite the same relationship with you again. It is ok.This is what we do. We say goodbye but very soon we will be saying hello and wishing we had enjoyed this moment. 

You can spend so much time living tomorrow that you don't take care of today. Today we must finish well and we must rejuvenate so we can last. 

And my friend, you need to last because the world needs good teachers like you. From one teacher to another, what you are doing is important. No one really knows the sacrifices you're making and you're never going to be paid or compensated fairly. You're going to be misunderstood, maligned, disenfranchised, and discussed but you'll never lose your place in history if you do this job well. You are a teacher and I'm proud to be among you. 

Here's to you. Here's to me. May we all teach well to the last and may we last as long as possible in this great, noble profession that needs us.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Elearning and global competency #flatclass #globaled 05/23/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Classroom Window: A Window to the future of teachersourcing



Math Teachers are asked to review their textbook for the first
TeacherView Report Card
There are ideas whose time has come. Amazon is a great site because of the ratings and reviews by readers. Even when I'm shopping in the mall, I look up Amazon on my phone to get the reviews. 


In fact, the new Kensington iPad2 Keyboard Case I'm using to type this post onto my iPad is a result of my husband using those same reviews to find me the perfect iPad keyboard. I can now type and work all the way to church and back (a 30 minute ride each way.) My life is better because real people took the time to say the good and the bad on products.

Where are the rating systems in Education?

But, thus far, education has no real ratings system. Reviews for apps are just hit or miss with many reviews being written by fanboys and fangirls with a bias towards positive ratings (in my opinion.) Right now there is NO mechanism for evaluating educational textbooks used at the K12 level.

In some ways publishers would like us not to connect. Word of mouth or even worse, vendor buddies get the business from large districts. It is time for crowdsourcing to come to the ranking and reviewing systems in education.

Why Classroom Window?


I get dozens of requests to review products or to talk to people about new things that are the next "big thing" and most of them just get deleted. I'm a teacher and don't have time for most of it. There are a very few companies I talk to and just one or two I've done work for (always disclosed on my blog, like TES out of the UK - a great place for free lesson plans and resources.)

But, when Kirby from Classroom Window called me and talked to me, I really liked what he had to say about the vision for the company. It is a very small startup with more energy than money and in the process of reaching out to investors. I am biased towards things with a few characteristics: 1) the people who run it are trustworthy with a good track record of keeping promises, 2) the product helps teachers and will benefit education, and 3) the company is capitalizing on a trend I think is just early enough on the curve to have a lot of growth ahead.



My time is so limited, so I wanted to find a way to work with them and help them with what they are doing. Right now, we are negotiating that in return for my time, I will have a stake in Classroom Window (a fact I will add to the disclosure statement of my blog if we are able to [hopefully] work out the details.)

So, what does this mean for you?

Their first project (besides the basic reviews) is a teacher reportcard on Math textbooks. With the efforts to improve Math education in the US, this is very timely. They've set the ambitious goal of finding 1,000 math teachers who are willing to evaluate their math textbooks. (If you're not a math teacher, you can give them your email and they'll contact you for future surveys.)

They've also set aside money to give the first 1000 teachers who fill out a survey a $10 Amazon gift card.  

We've spent many hours talking about privacy concerns that teachers may have and confidentiality to make sure that teachers don't have any repercussions. We've talked about mechanisms to ensure that publishers don't "game" the rankings.

Will you support Classroom Window

So, I'm reaching out to you to ask you to support this very small company that I think is worth my time and yours. They are a lean mean startup and I like their ambition and think it is an idea whose time has come.


Here are 3 ways you can join in:


Anything that helps teachers help students and helps us move past the questionable nature of current textbook purchasing practices is something I'm in favor of doing. 


What do you think? Will you share in your network? Also, will you give me and the people at Classroom Window advice on how to make this dream a reality?

Thanks. You can expect me to keep you updated at least once a month here on my blog and several times a month through Twitter. I've never done an arrangement like this but since my Dad is a farmer, I have grown up loving to work with entrepreneurs who have big dreams. Just know that my full time job is still teaching and that I still always write everything here on my blog and retain full editorial control over what I do.

Thanks in advance for your advice and participation. Let's make teachersourcing feedback a reality.
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Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 05/22/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 05/22/2012



  • This is a pinch that textbook companies are just beginning to feel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. It has a little over 40% of the k12 textbook market. With textbook money being shifted elsewhere, companies that don't understand how the textbook must evolve are going to have problems. It is a shame because they are so close and could be useful if they'd build networks to connect those using their books. 

    "IN the Speak up 2011 report, students say that 46% of them have used Facebook to collaborate on school projects.




    Interesting report that also shows the flip side where 65% of principals say they will not allow personal devices in the next school year. (What is odd is a study I shared a few weeks  a go on my blog says that almost 50% of students are receiving text messages during class NOW in schools where cell phones are BANNED so really, this is just window dressing.)




    "Students want more control over how they use technology in school, but many classrooms are still making it difficult. That’s according to the most recent Speak Up 2011 report, “Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey,” which reflects the views of more than 416,000 K-12 students, parents, and educators nationwide surveyed on how technology can enhance the learning environment. They survey is produced by Project Tomorrow, an educational non-profit focused on raising student voices in education policy discussions. The theme for this survey focused on individualized learning paths."

    tags: education news

  • IN the Speak up 2011 report, students say that 46% of them have used Facebook to collaborate on school projects.

    Interesting report that also shows the flip side where 65% of principals say they will not allow personal devices in the next school year. (What is odd is a study I shared a few weeks  a go on my blog says that almost 50% of students are receiving text messages during class NOW in schools where cell phones are BANNED so really, this is just window dressing.)

    "Students want more control over how they use technology in school, but many classrooms are still making it difficult. That’s according to the most recent Speak Up 2011 report, “Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey,” which reflects the views of more than 416,000 K-12 students, parents, and educators nationwide surveyed on how technology can enhance the learning environment. They survey is produced by Project Tomorrow, an educational non-profit focused on raising student voices in education policy discussions. The theme for this survey focused on individualized learning paths.

    tags: education news research social media

  • If you want to teach online, here's a starter kit from Edutopia. My sister teaches remotely and it isn't the cushy, relaxing job that many describe. It may have flexibility but it is very hard work with many of the same issues you have in a face to face classroom. Just be aware that if you don't want to work, you shouldn't teach: offline or face to face. Teaching, in my experience, takes everything you have but it gives you far more in return.

    tags: education teaching news

  • Microsoft has a website so.cl and Stephen Downes has joined. I've been at this site before and may actually have a profile but for now it says I can't get in. ;-(

    tags: education news socialmedia

  • A new social network around scrapbooking called Wollage to share memories. This might be a great one for using this summer.

    tags: education news app ird

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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