October, 2010

What Constitutes Good Instruction?

A Principal's Reflections

As a Principal, one of my most important responsibilities is the evaluation of instruction. In general, the observation process is quite arbitrary.

Adobe's Project Rome

The Web20Classroom

On Sunday Adobe released Project Rome. I was able to get a sneak peak and let me tell you, this is a pretty cool program. Think of it as an interactive portfolio and project manager. Students (or teachers) can use the amazing features of Rome to create highly engaging presentations.

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Educators - Be Careful What You Post Online


I follow with interest the stories of educators whose careers have been damaged or even lost because of an indiscreet post they make online. Or in some cases an indiscreet post someone else makes about them or shares from their profile.

Live in Elluminate with Jim Burke Today - Teaching English and Social Networking

The Learning Revolution Has Begun

Join me today, October 25th, for a live and interactive FutureofEducation.com webinar with Jim Burke , author, teacher, and the creator of English Companion Ning : "Where English teachers go to help each other."

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.

Saved By iPad, Part 1


Fall is an interesting time in the private practice. We focus on social communication groups, and though we go to great pains to match kids well to get some good dynamics, sometimes you just don''t know what is going to happen until they are all in the room together.

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Field of Dreams

A Principal's Reflections

As I write this post I am sitting in the Des Moines airport waiting for my flight back to the East Coast. I was fortunate to spend the last few days here in Iowa as a guest of Scott McLeod who founded and runs the C.A.S.T.L.E. program at Iowa State University.

Why You Need A PLN-An Excerpt From The Simple K12 UnConference

The Web20Classroom

Recently, I had the honor and pleasure of kicking off the Simple K12 UnConference. The "UnCon" aims to provide high-quality professional development to educators that is available anytime. Conferences are usually limited in time and can be expensive.

Cartoonerific! David Lanham is a Bucketfull of AWEsome!

The Daring Librarian

I found out about David Lanham - the amazing & talented artist from the Iconfactory who created the Ollie the Twitter bird (now available to purchase as a collectible toy!)

Wednesday - Jenifer Fox on Children's Strengths, Live in Elluminate

The Learning Revolution Has Begun

Join me Wednesday, October 20th, for a live and interactive FutureofEducation.com Webinar with Jenifer Fox as we talk about the "Strengths Movement" within education, and her book, Your Child''s Strengths.

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.

Talking Tom on iOS devices


Talking Tom is a free iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app that allows children to interact with an onscreen cat. Speak and he will repeat what you say. Pet or poke him and he reacts. You can also serve him some milk, or bore him-resulting in yawns!

Project Vote Smart -- A Just the Facts Library

mauilibrarian2 in Olinda

Project Vote Smart = Democracy in Action! This week, our US History students will be creating websites that summarize and analyze local, state, and national elections (more about this in another post). I will definitely be recommending they consult Project Vote Smart.

Facebook Top 20 Learning Applications

A Principal's Reflections

Check out this video for some great learning applications associated with Facebook. Do you know of other learning applications? If so list them here! Facebook Social Networking

Life-Long Learning

The Web20Classroom

Today I got to thinking. We encourage our kids to be life-long learners. And when they ask why we tell them all kinds of things like it is important to stay relevant in our careers and it is important for humanity to have people who enjoy learning, etc.

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.

Don't Hate the Hashtag: A Social Media Revolution for School Librarians

The Daring Librarian

Being asked to be the keynote at MASL was a huge compliment, and I''m honored to speak to my fellow Maryland teacher-librarians.

Amazing Animation and Ideas - Video from Sir Ken Robinson RSA Talk

The Learning Revolution Has Begun

Thanks to @garymdietz for forwarding this

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FREE App Today: PictoFun!


Thanks to Moms with Apps for today''s specials, including the free and totally language-based app, PictoFun ! PictoFun is a fun app featuring two games, Pictojibe, in which you match objects by association, and Pictomatch, a memory game.

One Man Teaching Math to the World

mauilibrarian2 in Olinda

The power of one -- quite impressive. The Khan Academy is "a not-for-profit organization with the mission of giving access to knowledge to anyone, anywhere." Thank you, Aimee, for letting us know about this website of free, short video lessons of math, with more subjects to come.

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.

Today's Lesson: Facebook. Friend or enemy in the classroom?

A Principal's Reflections

Facebook, the premiere social networking site, is used by hundreds of thousands of students all over the world. While the site has become somewhat of a nuance for most teachers—they distract from valuable study and class time—some schools are embracing the social media site with welcoming arms. Not only are some schools incorporating Facebook into their lesson plans, but they are also tutoring students as young as 6-years-old on how to ''properly'' use the site.

A Level Playing Field.

The Web20Classroom

Access. Equity. When I hear educators talk about access and equity my mind immediately thinks of Internet access.

Collaboration in the Cloud: Projects for STEM Classrooms

The Electric Educator

Below is a copy of the presentation that I will be giving at the fall MACUL conference in Holland, Michigan. The theme for this year''s conference is " Teaching and Learning In the Cloud." My presentation focuses on teaching collaborative skills in STEM classrooms through five collaborative projects. If you have ideas, suggestions, or resources related to my presentation I would love to receive them! Leave me a comment or hit me up on Twitter: @jrsowash.

Thursday Live in Elluminate with Clarence Fisher - Teaching and Learning in a Networked World the

The Learning Revolution Has Begun

Join me Thursday, October 28th, for a live and interactive FutureofEducation.com webinar with Clarence Fisher. Winner one of Canada’s highest teaching awards, the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching, Clarence has been called "one of the.master teachers of the twenty-first century" (by Dean Shareski, no less!). Date : Thursday, October 28th, 2010 Time : 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am (next day) GMT ( international times here ) Duration : 1 hour Location : In Elluminate. Log in at [link].

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!

Use Pinball for connecting ideas.


BBC Pinball is a new and interesting way to do some semantic mapping with your students. It literally has a lot of bells and whistles. Pinball allows you to choose from four different ways to "bounce ideas around" and might just be a good hook for some hard-to-engage students.

The New Facebook Groups Feature -- Know Who Your Friends Are

mauilibrarian2 in Olinda

Our school has an official Facebook page , so we''re always interested in all the Facebook developments. No doubt about it, the new Groups feature holds a lot of potential for collaboration, including the ability to share documents.

Climate is Everything

A Principal's Reflections

This week has been extremely gratifying in terms of the instructional practices I either witnessed firsthand or heard about. Coincidentally they are all coming out of my History Department. Here is a quick rundown: On Thursday, October 21, I observed Nicolette Perna’s American History 1 class where the lesson focused on the major patriots during the Revolutionary War. After a few minutes of notes, the students were directed to get in their pre-selected groups and were broken up into pairs by Ms.

Ancient Rome Was How Big?

The Web20Classroom

Today I came across a very cool site from the BBC. It is called Dimensions and it takes important events in history and current events and shows how big they are over a give area on a Google Map.

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.