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. The feedback a teacher receives really depends on the training a particular administrator has received, District vision, and what books or research have been read.

New Posted Resources 10/30/2010

The Web20Classroom

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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. Plus in the Fall, some kids are brand new, others had no interventions over the summer, and yet more just.change.

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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. It remains to be seen how this Georgia teacher''s case will pan out (unless I have missed a resolution somewhere in my research).

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.

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.

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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. The purpose of my trip here was to learn about the deployment, facilitation, and observable impact of 1:1 laptop programs in various Iowa school districts.

New Posted Resources 10/29/2010

The Web20Classroom

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! The free version has some annoyances (an ad, 3 tease buttons on the side) that you can get rid of by actually purchasing the ad for $2.99.

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 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).

Unexpected Classroom Tech Application

The Electric Educator

Sometimes classroom technology integration is a byproduct of research, planning, and hard work; other times, it happens unexpectedly I picked up the new iPod Touch with plans on integrating multimedia lab reports into my 9th grade biology class. The still/video camera on the new Touch is great! There was another application for the touch that I had not considered, however.

Distributed knowledge in the workplace

Connecting 2 the World

I'm still working on this idea, but both Michael Hanley and Karyn Romeis have blogged about knowledge recently so I decided to post what I currently am grappling with. There are still a lot of questions to answer.

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

New Posted Resources 10/28/2010

The Web20Classroom

Online Teaching Guide tags : onlineteachingguide onlineteaching favorite The (Very) Unofficial Facebook Privacy Guide [DOWNLOAD] tags : facebook favorite The Read Write Web in Education - Sketchup tags : Googlesketchup favorite Useful Sites - Teaching American History tags : history favorite Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here

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.

Monster Exchange


The Monster Exchange is a very cool project connecting kids through the Internet to develop reading and writing skills. The website links classrooms who are willing to participate in the project; kids then create and describe a monster in writing and are paired with a child who reads only the description and then attempts to draw the monster (scroll down a bit for example).

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." Date : Monday, October 25th, 2010 Time : 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am (next day) GMT ( international times here ) Duration : 1 hour Location : In Elluminate. Log in at [link]. The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early.

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!) on Mashable: FaceTime + $50 = Awesome Personalized Avatar & Wired: Geek Artist Making $50 Caricatures Over FaceTime this summer and just had to fearfully indulge in a custom cartoon avatar! I loved his style and he''s got all kinds of geek hipster street cred! My geek greed demanded to be satiated!

Free speech, free will, and will you say no?

Connecting 2 the World

Three issues have made national headlines in the US this month: the bullying problem that has resulted in adolescent suicides, the question of free speech currently being decided by the US Supreme Court, and, today, the case of the University of Notre Dame student videographer who was killed while taping the ND football team's practice in 60 mph (90kph)winds. On the surface, it appears that these have nothing in common.

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.

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.

New Posted Resources 10/27/2010

The Web20Classroom

Free Technology for Teachers: My Seven Edublogging Secrets tags : blogging favorite Google Livebinder tags : google livebinders favorite Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here

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. Pictojibe is the perfect context for teaching the descriptive and word retrieval strategy of association (with a handy context for causals, "Yes, bacon and pig go together because bacon comes from pigs.").

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. Date : Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 Time : 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am (next day) GMT ( international times here ) Duration : 1 hour Location : In Elluminate. Log in at [link]. The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early.

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!

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.

Site Visit & Shift Happens


I had the privilege of visiting two schools that infused technology in the classroom seamlessly. What I expected from the visit and what I got out of it were two different things. You see, all week long I indulged in PBL lessons such as STEM with GPS and students doing amazing projects, projects that I aspired to do when I was still in the classroom but hadn''t quite gotten there. So, when I arrived at the sites, I was expecting those "Oh My Gosh I wanna FB this to the world" type of lessons.

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.

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. And with the integration of Google Apps, Moodle, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and more, this program has the potential to really change the way we think about projects and presentations.

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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.

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. Dot Dash is basically a semantic web, used for "firing out ideas." You can use Drop Zone to categorize ideas, and Snap Shot is basically for describing images.

Live Tonight in Elluminate - Sylvia Martinez from Generation YES

The Learning Revolution Has Begun

Join me tonight, October 12th, for a live and interactive FutureofEducation.com interview with Sylvia Martinez, President of Generation YES , who will discuss the myths of technology integration (like, "we need more PD"), how education reform needs to start from the classroom, that digital citizenship is more than safety and manners, and much more!

American Politics: a study in frustration and poor communication

Connecting 2 the World

We have one more week until the general elections and I'm totally disgusted. So much so that for the first time in almost 30 years, I don't want to cast my ballot. Because I don't see much difference between the extreme voices that I must vote for. If I could, I would attend the Rally to restore Sanity in Washington, DC this week. I see this current situation as a breakdown in communication in the US society.

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