I've moved the blog!

I've moved my blog to www.coolcatteacher.com as well as all of the posts from this blog. Learn more...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Search tool for Free kindle books for kids

My friend Stephen Windwalker from Kindle Nation Daily has put together a great tool for searching and finding free books on the kindle. Now he has created one for just books for kids. Check out the free kindle book search tool for kids.

I'll be gearing up to involve some more schools in this program in August, so sign our interest form if you think it will be beneficial to your school and students.

I found it interesting that as many iPads as I heard there were this week at ISTE that when it came time to buy books that everyone was tweeting the link for the kindle app. The Brain Rules book written by John Medina was $2.99 on the Kindle and a whopping $12.99 on the iBook store. Unless an iBook has some super fantastic videos or interactive features, it just isn't worth the difference.

- Posted using BlogPress from Vicki's iPad

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 06/29/2011

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

If you're at #iste11 and Serious about Global Collaboration: Today at 5pm

Today, Tuesday, at 5pm in Rm PACC 123, Julie Lindsay will be leading a birds of a feather designed to help schools find each other and begin global collaboration.
Flat Classroom Conference 2009 Doha, Qatar

The audience will be peppered with our certified Flat Classroom teachers - those who have been through our new book (www.flatclassroombook.com) and have proven their ability to collaboration AND CARRY THROUGH via our projects.

The audience will be salted with you... those of you who are ready to REALLY do it. So many teachers complain that it is hard to find classrooms that are ready to collaborate. Here is your chance.

Please join us today. I hope to skype in to at least listen and say hi to some of you.

If you cannot be there, here are some resources for you:
  • Flat Classroom Project - Project for older grades, students must be 13 years and older to join this project. Applications open now for this year. This will run two times next year.
  • Digiteen Project - Projects typically for 12 and up about digital citizenship run by our nonprofit. This will run two times next year.
  • A Week in the Life Elementary Flat Classroom Project - an exciting project for elementary age classrooms to link theirs with others around the world.
  • Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Program. We have another program running this August - December and will also have one during the book launch.
  • Flat Classroom Book website - If you want to know in advance about our book or host a blog or podcast and would like to interview us, everything is there.
  • Sign up to host a Book Club in January - March - Julie and I are working on our schedules to appear at book clubs about our book via Blackboard Collaborate. Sign up now! (Stay tuned on this blog for updated lists to be released starting in October.)
Be part of the global collaborative education movement! Students are the greatest textbook ever written for each other!

Please RT and invite your friends!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 06/28/2011

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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 06/26/2011

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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 06/25/2011

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

Friday, June 24, 2011

My #iste11 sessions will go on without me

Whoever says cheerleading isn't a sport needs to see how much icy hot, how many bruises, and how much sacrifice it is to do this sport.

Last night I printed my boarding pass and zipped up my suitcase and then ran over to the school to get my daughter at 8:30 pm. I picked her up and she fell apart. She's been nursing a back injury for several weeks without telling anyone and tonight the stunt fell on her. With her cheerleading camp supposed to be next week, I have to be the one to take her to the doctor and make the call about whether she can attend as it may mean that she's off the squad (something that would kill her.)
Self-serve Delta missed-flight kiosk, Noplace, USA, Atlanta, GA, USA.JPG

I don't have the answer but I do know who has to be the one to get the answer: me. This is one of the most important things in my daughter's life and she has a spine that she will have with her for the rest of her life.

My Sessions will Go on!
Julie Lindsay is running DigiTeacher along with some help from Barbara Barreda and a visit from Anne Collier. Adam Frey is running the wiki session. I am working on some Diigo experts to present the diigo session.

(If you're going to ISTE and are using Diigo to post to your blog, make lists, do bookmarking groups with your students and possibly save tweets, please let me know by responding to this message in the comments.)

Not Cancelled: Just Modified
So, my sessions will go on without me. It just doesn't look good to write 'cancelled' when you've made a commitment and fortunately, I've got some great friends who will do a jam-up job for these sessions. (Ten years a go, a cancel would have meant a real cancel - we all just have more "friends" now, don't we?)

I'm heartbroken but this isn't about me. I could pretend to be the martyr but I'm not - I quit a great job to be a stay at home mom for these precious babies and didn't regret it a moment. I want them to know that they are more important than any blog, book, or anything.

I guess as with this sort of thing and being a blogger, the biggest sacrifice is my own fear. Will I become irrelevant? Will people still want me to speak at their conferences this next year? (most of my bookings come from ISTE.) Will? Will? Will?

The fact is we WILL have a Flat Classroom book (www.flatclassroombook.com) coming out in January 2012 from Pearson Publishing and I WILL be back at ISTE 2012 signing books and doing sessions about global collaboration. As for the other things, I think the good Lord will just have to handle that for me. If he wants me to speak, He'll put it in the minds of those who've seen me speak before.

I'm not fading out or signing off or checking out on anyone. My commitments for ISTE11 are fulfilled and I didn't renig- so hopefully those who know me know that I keep my word to the best of my ability.

Gotta Do Right
But this is one of those things in life that just happens. You know I can talk to you all the time about having your priorities straight, but if I don't have mine straight then, I'm a hypocrite. I might as well stop talking.

I'm not perfect by any means, but this is my chance to live my priorities to you, my friends.

It is costing me, big time - at least I feel it is. This is MY Pd. I'm going to have to read a lot next week to learn from all of you who are there.

I have a sign by my bed quoting proverbs

"A good name is to be had above great riches." 

The worst feeling is that somehow someone will think less of me as a person for not going. The fact is that if you spend your life trying to please everyone you are living a life on quicksand.

For me, I choose to live a life firmly grounded on a foundation of God and family first. Again, I'm not perfect, but it does give peace when such winds blow.

Life is short. We don't get do-overs. Yes, there are tears on my pillow, the collar of my robe, and this piece of paper with the confirmation number for cancelling this flight with Expedia. The ink is all smeared and I even have the first few characters of my cancellation "S-24" tattooed on my left cheek where I laid down my head and yet, right now, my relationship with my daughter isn't.

It is funny, my daughter's name begins with an S and these first three letters remind me that I'm her mom 24 hours a day - ISTE lasts for but 72 or so. I doubt in five years anyone will remember if I was there or not -- except her.

She knows that she is more important to me than anything else. That, my friends, is priceless.

ISTE11 Family Feud PosterCarry on, learn a lot, laugh a lot. Have a great time! Meanwhile, I'm begging ISTE to let my conference ticket convert over to some sort of virtual attendance! I want to at least see Stephen Covey on Tuesday. I'll get to see John Medina of Brain Rules fame at the Microsoft Innovative Educators Forum in Seattle at the end of July.

I also look forward to a killer keynote I'm delivering in Evansville, Indiana in two weeks. Oh, and I'll actually get to see Chris Lehmann's closing keynote because my flight was leaving during his keynote on Wednesday. (IF ISTE let's me attend virtually.)

But I sure do hope someone will live stream me to watch the Family Feud on Monday - I was really looking forward to that!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 06/23/2011

  • Excited about our workshop this upcoming Sunday at ISTE. It is almost full and it is going to be a lot of fun as well. Here is our public wiki so you can follow the participants as they share and learn. The best way to learn about digital citizenship is immersive and hands on!

    This is modeled as a face-to-face version of Digiteen and received excellent reviews last year.

    tags: education digitalcitizenship digiteacher digiteen

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Organizer HD: a cool hybrid app for the #iPad

Organizer HD is the first of a new generation of hybrid planners that is finally bringing some good life management to my iPad. This handy app imports google calendar and allows tasks and even importing of Tweets on the same page. (Not sure on the Tweet thing.)

I recommended it to my Dad and he likes it.

It is a bit pricey at $9.99 and certainly is missing a few features like recurring tasks (but you can cut and paste them from screen to screen.)

It is something I can use and keep coming back too as I wrangle the bull into a steer that will pull a work wagon.

- Posted using BlogPress from Vicki's iPad

Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 06/22/2011

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

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 06/19/2011

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

Friday, June 17, 2011

Over to you, Pearson

Over to you, Pearson.


Cutting up with my sister, running on no sleep.

Posted using BlogPress from Vicki's iPad

Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 06/17/2011

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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Time to Get Angry about Reading

One third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
Forty two percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
Eighty percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

Jenkins group

Is education killing the future of those it is designed to inspire? Are we lighting the love for learning or dousing the flames of potential greatness?


 When will we wake up?

Reading nourishes my life, soul, and essence. When I have a problem, I find a book. I have an affection for my Kindle. I collect books signed by authors. Books improve my life in very real ways from helping me lose weight, to be a better parent, to being a better wife and teacher. 

 Brian Tracy says:

"Earl Nightingale said many years ago that one hour per day of study in your chosen field was all it takes. One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do."

In the five years since I read that, I've worked to hit that mark - tucking in a quick book or blog during halftime of the basketball game or while under the hair dryer at the beauty shop. Reading is life, success, and love. Judge for yourself if it has helped me contribute to the field of educational technology and teaching.

Death by Numbers
We are just playing death by numbers here. As long as kids are bubbling in the right answers, we think we've taught them something? What if we had a society where everyone read an hour a day? What would that look like? 

If you want to see educators get all snooty, send them to a conference and make them experience death by PowerPoint. I've seen over half a room at ISTE clear out when a speaker droned on. We weren't learning and we (some quite rudely) left.

We vote with our feet. 

Students vote with their lives. 

Our students experience death by numbers. It is a common malady in most schools today. Tests are important but most of us agree that it has gone too far.

Fear Will Only Get Us So Far

Fear often incites us to improve but it is not a long term response. Yes we should be afraid of a future led by people who only have their own minds to pull from. A society that doesn't study history repeats history. Let's learn from past mistakes.

Time to Get Angry
Anger, I think is a better response. 

Like the moment I stood on that street corner my first day at Georgia Tech and the pimply, greasy haired sophomore looked down his bespeckled nose at me and said:

"Humph. You're just a little girl from a small town. You'll never make it here at Georgia Tech. You've never had an AP class and you can't make it here. You're just here to get your M-R-S degree anyway.

I think that by the end of this quarter you'll be standing on this same street corner crying with your bags packed waiting for Momma to come pick you up. You just can't cut it here in the big leagues and you're just small town girl."
I was ANGRY.

I used that as ANGER and at the end of that semester I had a 4.0 in my mailbox. At the end of my time at Georgia Tech I was first in my class. Anger (and a drive to do my best) sustained me. As I sat in the library at 2 am I pictured his face and used it to make me study another 2 hours that I needed. Whatever it took there was nothing that was going to stand in my way.

"I may not be smarter, but I can work harder." became my motto. It still is.

That is what we need now in education: ANGER.

Not irate yelling sessions at school board meetings. Anger at ourselves. Parents who complain their kids aren't reading should know that kids read if their parents read. 

Point one finger at someone else and you have four pointing back at yourself.

No, I'm talking anger at ourselves for not doing better. Anger at a system that is producing people who hate learning. Anger that we are not brave enough to tackle and do what needs to be done. The kind of anger that causes ACTION.

If we know it is wrong DO SOMETHING
Sylvia Martinez recently wrote about the AP tests that are PROVEN to be biased (against women) and that just putting a gender box at the beginning of a test biased the results as we all seek to conform to stereotypes. 

Sylvia tweeted this quote to me as we talked on Twitter:

The decision to do nothing is a decision to do something. 

No Anger, Know Shame then Know Anger
If our fear won't move us forward, maybe our anger will. Because if we don't get angry, eventually we will be motivated by our shame. And in the end, that shame might just make us angry enough to do something.

Change is hard but change is needed here and everywhere.

  • Isn't it time to get angry that almost a third  NEVER READ ANOTHER BOOK -- IN THEIR LIFE?
  • Isn't it time to get angry that  almost HALF of COLLEGE graduates NEVER READ ANOTHER BOOK -- IN THEIR LIFE!

Oh, you say, they are reading blogs, books aren't important. 

I don't care who you are, but books represent some of the highest forms of scholarly work we have and they have value in our society along with the blogs and tweets that carry us forward. They are part of being a lifelong learner. It might not be on paper but it is a book.

I'm asking you to get angry. Reading is important to every discipline, every content area. It is part of what makes us civilized.

What can you do? What can I do? I know at our school, the Kindle kids corner project has invited a love for reading. (We'll be bringing other schools in soon.)

Let's work on this problem together.

Join us for Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Presentation (Starting soon)

I've been writing for days - maybe I've slept 10 hours since Sunday - I don't know. But I do know that global collaboration is important to education, maybe more important than ever.

If you're online in fifteen minutes we have our second class of Flat Classroom certified teachers about to present. They're in the room now and nervous - http://tinyurl.com/fcpcert11-1 is the Blackboard Collaborate Room.

We sure could use some people to observe and ask questions and you can also learn some about constructing global collaborative projects from some of the best. (I'm sure we'll learn from you.)

I don't know how much I'll talk today, I'm so very tired. Been playing old movies streaming via Netflix onto my iPad 2. I'm on Chariots of fire for the second time. Lots of races finishing today. Join us!

Daily Education & Technology News for Schools 06/16/2011

  • Here is the time to grow Keynote that Julie and I did not so long a go. Was listening to it and I think the message is still relevant. It is about change and a willingness to grow.

    tags: education learning inspiration

  • "A new way of learning
    Augmented Reality in School Environments
    - A European Research Project -

    Technological advances in the field of information and communication technologies enable innovative ways to mediate knowledge. Among them, Augmented Reality (AR) becomes increasingly a field of interest.

    Integrated in e-learning systems, AR will provide innovative ways to transfer knowledge in education. This is the purpose of the project Augmented Reality in School Environments (ARiSE). The aim is to create an innovative teaching aid, enabling teachers to develop, with a moderate effort, new teaching practices for teaching scientific and cultural content to school classes in an easy to comprehend way. "

    tags: augmentedreality education

  • T.S. Eliot's masterpiece is now an app. An expensive app, topping at $13.99 but it has literary experts abuzz. It includes the poem, perspectives, sychronized performances from Eliot (at two points in his life) and other readers, the original manuscripts showing the process of editing the document, and lots of resources and readings. Created by Faber digital it is part of "Faber's mission to re-imagine poetry for the digital age."

    If you teach literature or are an edtech professor, it is time to get this on your ipad and put in some serious academic reviews as to the quality of content here. Academicians now have a new place: writing reviews on the iTunes store. We may have an app-full textbook-free future.

    tags: education ipad literature literature_teacher

  • A wordle I made of the upcoming Flat Classroom book - chapter 7 of student choice. If you want to know when the book comes out (we'll only use your email to let you know the publish date) you can go to www.flatclassroombook.com - if you're into social media or doing book reviews, you can apply to be put on our reviewers list. (Sorry not everyone can be selected, but please apply if this fits you.)

    tags: education flatclassroom

  • The DeforestAction project has sstudents create local, national and international entrepreneurial initiatives that protect and regrow endangered forests and create local projects to promote awareness and action.

    tags: education science_teacher globalcollaboration flatclassroom collaboration

  • A ning promoting connections with schools in Asia.

    tags: education globalcollaboration flatclassroom

  • Lovely slideshow by Valerie Diigs on her school's transformation from library to learning commons. She's been featured in several books and in school library journal.

    I think every librarian should be familiar with the learning commons concept to see if there are elements that will work to make your environment more relevant to learners. It isn't whether you like the concept yourself - for libraries to stay funded they must stay relevant. I think learning commons is just one way to do that. Valerie knows far more than me on this topic, so look at what she's done.

    tags: library education learningcommons librarian

  • Why is your hard drive full? Why does it keep filling up? I use this to help me find those pesky video files that keep FILLING UP MY HARD DRIVE.

    tags: education utility

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Disqus Comments for Cool Cat Teacher Blog