August, 2012

So.You Wanna Make Your Own Books and Texbooks

The Web20Classroom

For many teachers the traditional textbook just doesn''t cut it any more. Between the rapid pace at which information changes and rising cost, many are looking for alternatives. Believe it or not, there are lots of options out there, if you know where to look and you are willing to get your hands dirty. The best part? Kids can create these using any of the tools below. Talk about student-centered learning! There are many ways to create your own digital textbooks.

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Must Have Books for Reading Workshop!


Power Reading Workshop: a Step by Step Guide by Laura Candler This summer, my friend, Laura Candler , sent me her two most recent books on reading workshop. I was excited to receive these materials because we do reading workshop in my second grade class. I expected to find some handy tips and a few printables I could use, but what I didn''t expect was to find two resources that would be my go to guide for planning and preparing each lesson.


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Google Docs and Evernote - when and why I use each one

Educational Technology Guy

This past Friday I attended EdcampCT and had a great time learning, sharing, and meeting new people. I facilitated a discussion about Evernote and one of the questions I got was "why not just use Google Docs for notetaking?" I went on to explain all the features of Evernote but wanted to expand on it a bit. Evernote is my way of organizing lesson plans, lesson resources, notes, web clippings, and more.

Connectedness as the Standard

A Principal's Reflections

I am extremely excited that August is Connected Educator month. In my opinion, being a connected learner, leader, and/or educator is no longer an option. My personal and professional journey in this area is well documented and something that I regularly present on. When I think back to my life as an educator prior to becoming connected, I can honestly say that I was isolated, naive, and definitely not as well rounded as I am today.

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.

MC Assessment = Meta Cognitive Assessment

Baker's B.Y.O.D.

To be a progressive teacher, you find and do what works. Period. The students should be stakeholders in their education and have accountability, responsibility, and be actively engaged in and out of the classroom. Period. I apply the theories and philosophies of Bloom , Bandura , Vygotsky , Maslow , Gardner , and many many many others. I''m a proponent of critical thinking, cooperative learning, metacognition, blended learning, flipped learning. see a pattern? I''m a proponent of learning.

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Questions To Ask For #LeadershipDay12

The Web20Classroom

Once again, its #LeadershipDay. For 6 years educators have been gathering together on this day to write specifically to address technology and leadership. And since I''ve had my blog I have participated. Here are my entries: 2009 , 2010 , 2011 ). The idea is to share some sort of wisdom, question, knowledge, thoughts or ideas related to technology leadership.

ArtKive: the clutter free way to save and enjoy children's artwork!


ArtKive: a free app to ''archive'' your ''artwork'' ArtKive is a free app that allows you to set up your account and add kids by name and grade level. Then, you can add people to your account, if you choose to do so. I added my two children: Jacob and Riley. I added my husband and my mom to my account. This way, I can easily share my kid''s artwork with family. I look forward to printing my kid''s artwork into a coffee-table memory book! Below is an exert from the DailyCandy.

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Prezi interactive presentation tool gets some new features

Educational Technology Guy

Prezi , the zooming presentation tool that makes presentations engaging and fun, has added some cool features. Prezi has added 3-D backgrounds for the presentations, which can add some great images to your presentations. Also added are Fade-In Animations like PowerPoint has to slowly reveal your content or only have it come up once you click. Great for posing questions and hiding the answer. The third new feature is screen blackout.

Voice of the Active Learner

A Principal's Reflections

I was recently sent this video that puts into perspective the new type of learner that is entering our schools. The problem, however, is that the majority of schools across this country and beyond are doing very little to meet his/her diverse learning needs. Times are different and thus learners are different. Isn''t it about time that schools focus more on the learning needs of our students as opposed to preparing them to bubble in answers on tests or ensuring that they follow orders?

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).

5 Things Teachers (And Administrators) Can Do to Make Learning Real in Their Classrooms

The 21st Century Principal

To paraphrase Marc Prensky from his collection of essays From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom: Hopeful Essays for 21st Century Learning : “The easiest, executable solution to our education problems today “is to change what goes on in our classrooms.” We need to move from teacher-centered and teacher dominated learning models to more personal, student-centered learning models. In the process, we will do what Prensky calls “Making Education Real” for our students.

Making a Case for Mobile Learning

The Mobile Native

Guest Post for SmartBlogs on Education Over the past four years, I have had the privilege of teaching in a forward-thinking school district that has embraced the use of mobile learning devices in the classroom. Mobile learning has become the new buzzword in many educational communities. Mobile learning is essentially anytime, anywhere learning. This type of learning could be with a netbook, iPad, iPod touch or even a smartphone.

Connected Educators Month.Make It Last All Month

The Web20Classroom

Kicking off today (Aug. 1) is Connected Educators Month. Through a partnership with the US Department of Education, the idea is to get the word out about what it means to be a connected educator and the importance of being connected. There are lots of webinars, panels, discussions and resources to share. You can learn more about it by visiting the Connected Educators Calendar. And you can even submit your own event there to get the word out about how you are helping other educators get connected.

Launching Writing Workshop: 25 Free #CCSS Lessons with Anchor Charts & Printables


25 Common Core Lessons to Launch your 2nd Grade Writer''s Workshop Fall is my favorite season for several reasons. I love the smell of my pumpkin vanilla candles filling the air, the crisp nip in the air, and the anticipation of returning to school. Though our students do not return until after Labor Day, my colleagues and I returned to school this week for professional development.

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.

Interesting idea - Chromebook + Nexus 7 instead of just an iPad

Educational Technology Guy

At EdcampCT this past week, I was chatting with Greg McVerry ( @jgmac1106 ) about devices, 1-1 and BYOD and he made an interesting comment. Instead of a school purchasing an iPad and keyboard for all the students, what about a Chromebook and Nexus 7 for each student? I like this idea for a lot of reasons. An iPad starts at $500 and then add the case for $50 and keyboard for around $50 and you are at $600 for one device. Then add in any apps that are not free.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

A Principal's Reflections

I have been engaged with social media for over three and a half years now. As I often reflect on my journey, I can’t help but think about the early days and months after I first began to use Twitter and some other tools. There were many times during this early period that I questioned the value of the time I was putting in, or the actual impact any of this was having on teaching, learning, school culture, and leadership.

Working out the Worksheet

Baker's B.Y.O.D.

With two weeks until school is back in session and in preparing for my presentation on Edmodo for the upcoming TeachMeetNJ unconference , I''ve been reflecting on past practices and thinking about how I structure the educational process in my class. Prior to the digital revolution, I used worksheets as the hub for lessons and content. I can hear the gasps of horror right now, but let me explain.

Tips for iPads in Classroom


We are starting our second year of having iPads in our elementary classrooms, our Title I CCJH classrooms, and some of our AJHS classrooms. We''ve created a list of tips for managing the equipment in our classrooms. Tip 1: Team decisions regarding equity Will you break the cart up across your grade level? If so, who will host the cart in their room? Or, will you rotate the cart from class to class? If so, will you do it on a daily schedule or by time slots during the day?

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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.

Reflections On Being A Blogger

The Web20Classroom

Last week on #edchat the discussion turned to blogging and the importance (or maybe not) in and out of the classroom. As always the conversation was a lively one with lots of different ideas on student blogging, administrator blogging, platforms and more. Check out the archive to read and follow all the discussions.) I wrote about how to be come a blogger a while back. Lots of platforms, ideas for use and more in that post. I encourage you to check it out.

From AOL Squatter to Start-Up Sensation: The Eric Simons Story & Claco Launch


a student''s story through a teacher''s eyes. Eric Simons: founder of ClassConnectInc & Claco - As I stare at my blank writing canvas, I contemplate where to begin with the remarkable story of such a talented and inspirational person. Perhaps the beginning is as good of place as any to tell it best. Eric Simons reached out to me via Twitter a little over a year ago. This was the same time I was getting my own feet wet with blogging and social media.

Evernote Clearly for Chrome gets some great new features!

Educational Technology Guy

Evernote , one of my favorite web apps (along with Google''s many apps), has a great product, Evernote Clearly which is a browser extension for Google Chrome (other browsers will be added soon) that allows you to read online with less distractions. You simply click the extension and it hides all the distractions from blogs and articles, allowing you to read with less distractions and more easily.

Connecting Within and Beyond

A Principal's Reflections

The other day I had a discussion with Colleen Tambuscio, one of my teachers, where she was actively sharing some of the innovative ideas she planned to implement during the upcoming school year. Colleen is the architect of our globally recognized Holocaust Education Program. During our conversation, she shared with me her experience with Today’s Meet at a recent professional development program hosted by the Shoah Foundation in California.

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!

3 Things School Leaders Can Do Now to Revolutionize Education in Schools and Districts

The 21st Century Principal

“The educational improvement efforts now in place are aimed at bringing back the education that American offered students in the 20th century (with some technological enhancements,” From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom: Hopeful Essays for 21st Century Learning by Marc Prensky Do Americans really have the stomach to “reform their schools?”


Web 2.0 Sunday!


As usual, I am multi-tasking. Working on my course website, watching TV, and surfing the net looking for more technology ideas. This is what I found today. Tagxedo is like Wordle on steroids. This website does allow you to take websites and create word clouds. You have more options of color and style. It also allows you to save it in a picture format, and post to social media. Check out the word cloud I created from this blog. ScienceBOB What a cool site completely dedicated to Science.

TPACK Webinar.@Nearpod Style

The Web20Classroom

This Tuesday (Aug 21) at 2pm EDT, the folks over at Nearpod are starting their Educator Spotlight webinars and I am honored to be the first guest! Are you using technology as effectively as you could in your classroom? Or perhaps you know you need to try to use it but don''t want to include tech just for the sake of it? This session will introduce you to TPACK (Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge) and how it can be used to effectively integrate new technology in a classroom setting.

Create Amazing Movies & Presentations with @PowToon for Free!


PowToon: Animated Presentations & Cartoon Style Videos PowToon is a brand new DIY Video creation platform that allows your creative side to shine regardless of your technology skills. You can select a pre-designed template and simply drag in the graphics you would like to add or backspace the existing text to add your own flare. It''s easy to use and free! I really love Animoto , and now I can add PowToon to my favorite video creation tools.

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.

Science Niblets - The Science Behind Everyday Topics

Educational Technology Guy

Science Niblets is a cool site I learned about from my PLN on Twitter today that explores the science of everyday topics. The site has articles that describe and explain scientific topics including natural phenomena, biology, technology, physics, and more all related to things we experience in our daily lives. The articles are geared towards the general public and are short and easy to understand.

A Science Resource for Principals

A Principal's Reflections

I am extremely excited that my second book is now available through Solution Tree entitled What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Science. It was a great deal of fun co-authoring this book with Keith Devereaux , one of my Science teachers at New Milford High School. It is our hope that this book becomes the go to resource for principals looking to establish and maintain effective science programs that focus on doing science as opposed to just knowing.

Engaging Students with High Yield Teaching Strategies and Technology

The 21st Century Principal

“Our students must learn not only how to use current technologies, but also how to evaluate which ones work best for particular tasks or projects,” write Howard Pitler, Elizabeth R. Hubbell, and Matt Kuhn in their latest edition of Using Technology with Classroom Instruction That Works , 2nd Edition. In the digital age, that is the crux of our instructional problem: how do we give students the experiences with digital technologies that make them effective consumer-users?