February, 2012

Exploring the Educational Value of Pinterest

A Principal's Reflections

After hearing about all the hoopla surrounding Pinterest , I decided to check it out a few days ago. Up until this point I really didn’t have a clue as to what it was all about except that it was a social media tool that functioned like an electronic bulletin board. After requesting an invite, I was all set to go a day later and began to create my first pin board.

How Things Changed With @Evernote

The Web20Classroom

I''ll admit it. I have to be one of the most unorganized people on the planet. I have notebooks in just about every bag I carry. Multiple calendars and I still miss appointments. Slips of papers as reminders with some string of illegible thoughts on them, that, when I find them, I don''t have a clue what I was thinking when I wrote them. I have more than 10 different types of projects going on at anyone time.


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Murky Reef: Great App for 1-2 Science, Math, & Reading


I had recently heard some good things about the new updated version of Murky Reef - Think & Play , a science, reading and math app from Frolyc; and I decided to check it out for myself. Murky Reef is designed for students 6-8 years old and is intended to increase their knowledge base in science, reading, and math, through use of interactive game play and enjoyable characters.

5 Areas of Consideration for Developing a BYOD Policy for Your School or District

The 21st Century Principal

While there is some debate about whether a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy perpetuates inequities and the technology gap, school districts in times of tightening budgets and limited resources are looking for cost-effective ways to increase student access to technology. While BYOD should not be a substitution for adequately funding access to technology for all students, it is a means by which we do not have to ask students to unplug when their walk through our school building doors.


Intent Signal Data 101

Intent signal data helps B2B marketers engage with buyers sooner in the sales cycle. But there are many confusing terms used to describe intent data. Read this infographic to better understand three common areas of confusion.

Supporting Teachers and Students in the Curation of Their Digital Footprint


Today I am presenting a breakout session on digital footprints at the 2012 TCEA Campus Leadership Academy. Below are the slides I''ll use during my discussion with the participants. In addition to the links embedded throughout the presentation, I invite you to visit my Diigo links on digital footprint. The list is constantly growing! If you have any questions or comments after viewing the presentation (or attending it live!), please do not hesitate to post them below.

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Misguided Efforts in Educational Reform

A Principal's Reflections

A few weeks back I passed along an Education Week article to administrators in my District that highlighted the many technology challenges that states anticipate with common tests. Below is a response to the article from Danielle Shanley, my Director of Curriculum and Instruction, as well as her sound synopsis of the misguided educational reform movement.

What Do You Mean Evernote Could Get Better?

The Web20Classroom

Last time I wrote about the way I organize myself completely changed for the better with Evernote. Really, I can''t talk enough about this program and the endless possibilities there are for it. Just look at the comments from that post.) In that post I gave a few resources for learning about Evernote and even fewer with how to use it in the classroom. Well, lots of people have sent me lots of great resources and I wanted to follow-up and post some more.

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You may blog, but do you glog?


Make your interactive poster online and share it with friends. Mix Images, Text, Music and Video. It is fantastic! You can read my original post about Glogster here , but I wanted to blog about this ''oldie but goodie'' for those who may be unfamiliar with this site. I love Glogster because kids simply ''get it.'' It''s just like making a poster. but doing it online. I''ve had students create Glogsters for projects, and I''ve used Glogster for a teaching tool, too.

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3 Favorite Evernote Extensions and Apps

The 21st Century Principal

I have posted on Evernote several times. It is undoubtedly the most versatile application I use. It is the perfect note taking, resource collecting tool available to users. And, I would add that it is one of the few apps that is entirely worth the premium price. (I I say that not as a paid advertiser, but as a highly pleased user.) Here are my favorite Evernote extensions and apps. Evernote Web Clipper This extension allows users to save items found on the web with the click of a button.

The Guide to Accessible Learning for Associations

Speaker: Dan Streeter, Vice President of Learning Strategy & Development at Blue Sky eLearn

In this 45-minute webinar, we’ll share real-world accessibility solutions and hidden tools in the applications you use every day such as Zoom, Microsoft Suite, Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Articulate Storyline 360, and Articulate Rise 360. This webinar will help you evaluate the accessibility of your current learning efforts and learn about the tools needed to ensure your eLearning is in alignment with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (proposed WCAG 2.2).

Have You Been Ignoring or Are You Oblivious to Google's March 1st Privacy Policy Change?


Our district technology director mentioned Google''s impending privacy policy change to me weeks ago, but I was not paying too much attention until this last week. A pretty significant privacy policy change takes effect March 1st (tomorrow). Reactions around the ''Net range from neutral/positive to highly alarmed. Ultimately, if you have personal accounts with Google (Gmail, YouTube, Google Apps/Docs, Picassa, Blogger, etc.), you should educate yourself about this.

Animonths! Shaun the Sheep: Netflix and Home Sheep Home Apps


This post continues Animonths, a two-month focus on animation resources on SpeechTechie. Shaun the Sheep is a terrific series from Aardman Animation, the UK studio that brought us Wallace and Gromit , among other gems. Their productions are great resources for targeting language because they are mostly wordless, providing an opportunity for kids to talk out the story.

The Truly Flipped Classroom

A Principal's Reflections

Several years ago, two high school chemistry teachers from Colorado shifted their teaching practice dramatically. Where previously they had lectured to students during class time, then assigned their students homework tasks meant to reinforce the lecture, they flipped that model around. They created videos of their lectures and asked their students to watch them as homework, then used in-class time to complete the tasks that used to be done at home.

Everyone Needs A Classroom Champion

The Web20Classroom

Recently I became part of one of the most awesome projects anywhere around. Imagine you are 9 years old. You and your classmates are watching and learning about the Olympics, talking about the importance of fitness, graphing the stats of athletes in the various competitions, and discussing goals you have for now and the future.

Increasing Equity and Access: A Canvas Case Study of Virtual Arkansas K-12

Virtual Arkansas, a fully online school, had a mission to provide high-quality courses in rural and urban areas throughout the state. How would they simplify content creation while enhancing learning? Discover 3 key insights to transform your classrooms.

19 Pencils: Save your favorite online content!


19Pencils Tutorial from 19 Pencils on Vimeo 19Pencils is the easiest way for teachers to discover, share and manage web?based based educational content with students. 19 Pencils set out to simplify and improve access to online content in the classroom and at home.

The #Chromebook Classroom

The Electric Educator

This week I spent a couple of days at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA learning more about Google''s plans for the Chrombook. Joining me were 25 educators and resellers from around the country. It was a good crowd of familiar Google Certified Teachers and Apps Certified Trainers. The Google Apps for Ed team ( Dana Nguyen , Jaime Casap , and Cristin Frodella ) were our hosts and were awesome as always! While there are things that I can''t share (NDA and all.),

Technology Alone is not a Silver Bullet for School Improvement.


On Monday, February 13th, the New York Times published a story which profiled Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina. They have implemented a 1:1 laptop program for students which due to its success in improving student achievement has become a model that is being looked at by schools across the nation. The article was intriguing to me in at least two aspects.

Putting the "Style" in Stylus

My Paperless Classroom

Notice, these pens have no point. While most of the tech in my classroom is pretty advanced, one of my favorite tools is my smart board stylus. Running any classroom requires flexible on-the-spot problem solving and this holds true for all things tech. As a SmartBoard user, I have struggled with line quality and alignment. These issues have improved over the years with updates to the software. A source of ongoing minor frustration has been the pens that come with the smart board.

Keeping Students Safe and Productive on Devices

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, we’ll explore the full range of Jamf education products to protect students, including quick and easy tools for IT admins, powerful apps for teachers to ensure student safety anywhere, and parental engagement tools.

Twitter: A Resource For All

A Principal's Reflections

Everyone that knows me is well aware of my professional affinity for Twitter. As I have previously mentioned many times on this blog, it was Twitter back in March of 2009 that served as a catalyst for my transformation into the leader that I am today. Prior to delving into this 140 character world I utilized traditional mediums for communication and professional development, had no idea what Web 2.0 was, and adamantly believed social media had absolutely no place in education.

Safer Internet Day 2012

The Web20Classroom

Teaching students how to use online resources effectively and appropriately should be an everyday occurrence. All members of the education community (students, teachers, administrators, parents, community) are responsible. So understanding what that responsibility means is a first step. Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day 2012. Organized in Europe, it has become a world-wide event to raise awareness and promote education for effective use of Internet resources.

Guest Post: Top Ten Creative Online Activities For Your Children


Top Ten Creative Online Activities For Your Children With the Easter holiday fast approaching and schools up and down the country breaking up, many children are looking for fun activities to do at home. But with the country coming out of a credit crunch, many can cost a small fortune. Whether it is a trip to the zoo or a day out to a football game, it all adds up. With this in mind, many families are tightening their purse strings and choosing activities that are a lot cheaper.

Mobile Learning News and Updates

The Mobile Native

Mobile Devices Drive Creative Instruction Mobile Learning Programs Move Forward (UPDATED) Mobile Learning Resources and Links. BYOT Mobile Learning

Unlock the Power of Formative Assessment

Learn how a thoughtful formative assessment approach can help teachers understand where students are in their learning, inform instruction, and in turn, positively impact student learning outcomes. Get the guide today!

New Kinds of Tools for New Kinds of Learners: Assess This!


Notes from TCEA 2012 Workshop Presented by Hall Davidson , Discovery Education Session PowerPoint posted at [link] Why do we do standardized testing the way we do it? Because it''s easy and cheap. In the last 18 months to two years, a lot has changed. McArthur Foundation says students need to be able to thrive in a Web 2.0 world. They also need to be able to thrive in a mobile world. When students create multimedia, it has a high effect on student achievement.

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My "Paperless" Classroom

My Paperless Classroom

My classroom is a model of connectivity. I can proudly say that I am in my tenth year of teaching and I have been working with a digital projector and a smart board for my whole career. There are many perspectives on technology in the classroom, and I take the position that the technology allows me to meet my students where they are already. If I have to go through a pair of ear buds in order to get into my students minds, I will do it.

A Commitment to Digital Learning

A Principal's Reflections

New Milford High School proudly joined 37 states, 15,000 teachers, and over 2 million students on February 1 for the inaugural Digital Learning Day. This day, however, was not really much different than any other day at NMHS as we have made a commitment to integrate digital learning into school culture for some time now.

My Favorite @Livebinders

The Web20Classroom

''Round these parts lately, Livebinders have been all the rage. Well, actually they have been with me for a while now. I use the for everything. From organizing thoughts to presenting information in workshops. Oh wait. Do you not know what Livebinders are? Well you should read this post I did a while back about them. It''s filled with lots of great information. Then head over and check out my shelf. There you can see all the binders I have created over time.

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The Best Ways to Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, How to Best Use Managed Apple IDs at Your School, hear the real-world experience of Steven Palomo, IT Director at Beverly Public Schools, regarding how he successfully managed his entire tech stack.

Why is Technology Important to You?


You could win some great prizes for your classroom just by letting VideoBlocks know how important technology is to you. ? VideoBlocks , a subscription-based website that provides unlimited downloading of stock video and audio, has announced that it is sponsoring a photo contest for students and their advisors. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000, plus an unlimited subscription to Video Blocks for one year. The theme of the contest is “Why is technology important to you?”

10 Signs You Are a 21st Century E-reader Reader

The 21st Century Principal

The news is clear: the conversion to widespread use of e-readers and e-books continues apace. Textbook publishers and publishers of all types better have plans to offer e-book versions of their products or they will find their audiences limited. Today, I personally discovered a phenomenon about this e-book transition while using a physical book. I actually caught myself trying to change the page in a book using the finger-slide method I use with my e-reader devices.

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Twitter for Professional Learning


On Wednesday, February 8th, I am presenting a workshop on Twitter for Professional Learning at the 2012 TCEA Convention. Embedded below is a LiveBinder containing all of the resources for my presentation. It''s my first ever LiveBinder, and first ever BYOD session. Looking forward to the challenge! Twitter for Professional Learning Please add comments, questions, and ideas below, whether you view the binder online only or attend the workshop in person. Thanks!