February, 2011

Simply Ridiculous

A Principal's Reflections

I don''t know about all of you, but I am really getting tired about the relentless attacks on teachers as states grapple with their budgets. Are they kidding me? Really, educators and other state workers are to blame for out of control costs and spending?

Get Your Search On!

The Web20Classroom

Over the weekend my good friend Gwyneth Jones tweeted about an interesting search engine called Heapr. I am all about search engines so of course I had give it a go. Basically Heapr is a quad search engine. With one search you get results for 4 different searches all on one screen.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Keeping Up to Date: Texas Education Budget Crisis


Letting Your Voice Be Heard ?With With so much information crossing my screen on the Texas Education Budget Crisis, I thought it would be useful to pull together a few places where folks can stay up to date. I hope you do more with this information than stay "in the know" though.

5 Considerations for Using Electronic Books in Schools

The 21st Century Principal

At the top of the 2011 Horizon Report’s technology adoption list is electronic books. This is not surprising since more and more people are turning to reading electronic books.

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

Projects are not Project-Based Learning


A project may look appealing, but is it project-based learning? My answer to that without hesitation is no. The focus of a project is the product , while the focus of project-based learning is the learning that occurs through the development of the project.

Wiki 85

More Trending

Educational Options for a Changing World

A Principal's Reflections

This week we officially unveiled The Academies at New Milford High School to our junior and sophomore students (next week we will roll it out to the freshman and eighth graders). The three academies are Arts & Letters, S.T.E.M.

When We Will Start Our Egyptian Revolution In The Classroom?

The Web20Classroom

It has been an interesting past few weeks around the world. First the govenerment in Tunisia was brought down. Then a similar situation in Egypt. And now people are taking to the streets in Bahrain , Iran and other places.

It's Raining! Why Texas Should Use the Rainy Day Fund


I am home today with a sick pet. While she rests and we wait to go to the vet, I have been reading up on the latest information to cross my screen regarding the Texas education budget crisis.

Must Read for School Administrations Who Want to Be Technology Leaders: Horizon Report 2011

The 21st Century Principal

One of the documents I would recommend as a “must-read” for administrators is the annual Horizon Report, developed ever year by the New Media Consortium.

Custom eLearning: What to Consider as an L&D Manager

A custom eLearning project is an exciting opportunity, but any L&D Manager will also tell you it can be challenging. Inno-versity shares 5 points to consider before kicking off your project. These concepts are critical to addressing the most common pain points which, IF addressed, will ensure success.

Live Interview on Tuesday, February 22nd - John Seely Brown on A New Culture of Learning

The Learning Revolution Has Begun

Join me Tuesday, February 22nd, for a live and interactive FutureofEducation.com webinar with John Seely Brown, co-author of A New Culture of Learning.

Snappy Words: Online Visual Dictionary

Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners

Snappy Words is a free online visual dictionary and thesaurus that requires no log in. Just enter a word into the search box and this cool tool instantly creates a web of related words, definitions, and phrases. Hover over any word in the web to view it''s definition.

Tools 52

The InFocus IN3916 projector

A Principal's Reflections

Earlier this year NMHS had the opportunity to take the new InFocus IN3916 projector for a test drive. Vikki Smith, a science teacher, utilized the device in her chemistry and integrated science courses. The following is her review of the projector.

Sony 210

Why Can't We All Just Get Along.

The Web20Classroom

So, I just realized this is my 400th post. Thanks for reading and all your support over the past 2 years! This is a post that has been brewing for a while now. But after a conversation I had this weekend I think it''s time to get some of my thoughts out there for reflection.

Teachers’ Guide to Plagiarism

This article provides teachers with a step-by-step guide on how to handle plagiarism in the classroom: it examines the definition of the term "plagiarism" and its types with examples, describes common reasons students plagiarize, and provides tips for teachers to detect and prevent plagiarism among students.

It's Important to Talk With Your Friends About the #TxEdBudget Crisis!


Because Texas school districts are already announcing layoffs and program cuts, I think there is a perception among the general public that the state budget is a done deal and there is nothing they can do. That''s far from the truth.

5 Blogs to Read in 2011

The Electric Educator

'Note: This is the fourth part in my series "5 things to watch in 2011" Future installments will include: Five companies to watch in 2011 Five trends to watch in 2011 Five people to follow in 201 1 Next Monday: Five technologies to watch in 2011 Here are five blogs that I''m reading in 2011: The EdReach Network (Collaborative) I''m excited to announce the launch of a new collaborative blog dedicated to giving education a BIG voice. Spearheaded by Daniel Rezac , the purpose of EdReach is to "To take education forward, by bringing voices together." The contributors to EdReach are a innovative and influential bunch. I am humbled and privileged to be one of them! The regular blog posts that appear on EdReach range from the philosophical and reflective to the practical and specific. In addition to daily posts, EdReach produces several podcasts which are worth the space on your iPod. The Blended Classroom ( Jonathan Bergman ) One of the "founding fathers" of reverse instruction , Jon Bergman has some innovative ideas that are spreading like wildfire around the country. He is currently working on a book along with his partner, Aaron Sams, fleshing out the benefits of flipping the classroom. One thing that I really appreciate about Jon''s blog is that not only does he discuss the philosophical and pedagogical reasons for his teaching methods, he also shares practical advice. A lot of his posts are directly related to what''s happening in his chemistry classroom. Jon is very responsive to questions via twitter or on his blog. He is definitely someone you should ad to your PLN. Pursuing Context ( Justin Stortz ) I can''t say that I have ever read blog posts filled with more care and concern for students than those written by Justin Stortz. A 4th grade teacher, Justin shares moving encounters that he has with his students. When you have a day which causes you to wonder "why did I become a teacher?" make sure you read a few of Justin''s posts to reinvigorate yourself. **Update: Justin moved his blog over to Blogger. I''ve updated the link. I Teach Ag Blog ( Danny Silva ) The name of this blog is a little misleading. I haven''t read any posts from Danny about the best way to grow corn or to keep your livestock healthy. I have read about a lot of really cool tech applications though! I would classify Danny as a "life-hacker", that is, someone who specializes in finding little tricks and secrets to streamline life and become more efficient. A lot of the posts that Danny puts up are related to ways to use Google''s products to make your life easier, like how to automate birthday announcements using Google Calendar and Google Groups. If you like saving time and being more efficient, read Danny''s blog! Learning in Hand ( Tony Vincent ) Tony''s blog is dedicated to harnessing the power of mobile devices in educational setting. Tony has great resources for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and netbooks. The last post that I read was on the cool gadgets that he picked up in 2010. It''s quite a list! Tony has a lot of great resources for educators wishing to integrate mobile devices into their classroom including several podcast series. He is also very responsive to anyone who has questions regarding mobile devices in the classroom. I strongly believe that mobile devices are going to become more prevalent in education therefore this is a blog worth following! That''s my list! Add all five of these blogs to Google Reader by clicking here. Check back next Monday for the final installment in my series "5 things to watch in 2011". Thanks for subscribing to my blog. I always appreciate feedback on my posts. You can find me on Twitter (@jrsowash), Google+, Linkedin (jrsowash), and YouTube (jrsowash). 5 things to watch'

Calling All Daring Librarian Superheroes!

The Daring Librarian

Shamelessly I will report on this - Why S hameless ? capitol S) Because, of course, this is the answer to my every fevered redheaded dream to be nominated for a special Superhero lunchbox ! So just even reporting it makes me feel all squirmy & excited & dreaming of it!

Run a Valentine's Day Store!


I found this resource on Karen Ogen''s awesome blog, InTec Insights. Thanks, Karen! Be sure to visit her blog for more Valentine''s ideas. Games such as the classic Lemonade Stand involve a lot of language and executive functioning: planning, ability to modify a plan, etc.

Key Elements for Successful eLearning Projects

Discover how this rapid development process creates engaging, custom learning solutions on a timeline that works for you, why a strong learning culture is important, and how to showcase your Return on Learning (ROL) using data to tell the story.

How to Create and Use Benchmark Assessments to Improve Student Achievement

A Principal's Reflections

The following guest post was submitted by April Davis. Schooling is as much about learning as it is about testing how much we’ve learned. Benchmark assessments are testing tools that are used throughout the year, as opposed to final examinations, which are taken at the end of each school year.

What Is It About #Educon? My Reflections.

The Web20Classroom

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend Educon 2.3 in Philadelphia. For those who don''t know, Educon is an educational conference that us put on by the students and staff of the Science Leadership Academy , lead by Chris Lehmann. Really, it is more the students who do everything. From running the live streaming to the EduConcierge who would tell you the best place to eat and print your boarding passes for you, kids were everywhere doing any number of jobs.

Moving from Web 2.No to Web 2.Go


I spent the week of February 7-11 attending the 2011 TCEA Convention and Exposition in Austin, Texas. The theme for this year''s gathering was "No LimITs", and it was an appropriate theme for my biggest takeaways from the conference. For years I have been hearing and reading about the need to open up Web 2.0 tools for student and teacher use in schools as well as moving toward 1:1 computer/device access for students.

Blogging with Students: Internet Safety & Digital Citizenship


We have entered the Edublogs Challenge , and set up a class blog. I am so excited to be part of this 4th grade team-teaching experience! Wordle Today, we are focusing on introducing the students to why we are setting up a class blog, digital citizenship, and Internet safety.

The Ultimate 12 Step Guide For Choosing The Perfect Learning Management System

Picking the wrong LMS can cost you. Don’t settle for a disconnected, hard-to-use, expensive system that doesn’t meet your needs. Follow these 12 steps crafted by Lambda Solutions' LMS experts, and find your perfect eLearning solution!

Live Interview on Monday, March 7th - Kevin Kelly on What Technology Wants

The Learning Revolution Has Begun

Join me Monday, March 7th, for a live and interactive FutureofEducation.com webinar with Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants.



I recently received a great email from Jen, a reader, that can serve as a post all on its own. I asked her if it was OK for me to post it as such, and she said yes, so here it is! Hi Sean, I''m a new follower of your blog (on Facebook too!)

Lessons in Providing Students Wireless Access in Our School Building

The 21st Century Principal

In an earlier post, entitled “Giving Students Wireless Access to Use Personal Computing Devices,” I described our procedure for providing wireless access for students to use their own personal computing devices. Our school has been experimenting with providing our students with WiFi for about three weeks now. All around our school and in our classes students are using their own laptops, netbooks, and smartphones to access the Internet for instructional purposes.

New Posted Resources 02/24/2011

The Web20Classroom

QR Codes In The Mainstream tags: qrcode favorite A Step-by-Step Guide to Global Collaborations tags: collaboration favorite iPads for Education | Victoria, Australia tags: iPad favorite What is a QR Code? tags: qrcode favorite Creating Content with iPads tags: iPad favorite Student Learning with Diigo tags: diigo favorite 5 Tips For Assessing What Students Know tags: assessment favorite Defining Professional Learning Communities (PLC) tags: plc favorite Posted from Diigo.

iPad 100

Leveraging Learner Variability to Elevate Equity in EdTech

Speaker: Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer & Executive Director, Learner Variability Project

In this webinar, Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer of Digital Promise, will share his insights into the modern boom in neuroscience and learning sciences research. You'll discover how much more we know now about how students learn - and how we can use that knowledge to create EdTech-enabled classrooms that can meet the diverse needs of all students.