January, 2011

What is the Most Effective Classroom Technology?

A Principal's Reflections

This is the million dollar question! Like most educators in the blogging world I see the inherit value in educational technology. Combined with sound pedagogical practices, the effective integration of technology has the ability to engage learners in a variety of ways.

What Snow Day? Staying Connected No Matter The Weather

The Web20Classroom

snOMG Snowageddon Just a few of the terms I have heard on my local/national media and have seen on Twitter to describe the recent Winter Weather here in the souther United States. From Texas across the Gulf Coast and up the Eastern Seaboard, many students have not been in school since Jan 7. Some before then.) Today is the second day in a row all of the districts in my area are out. And it isn''t looking good for tomorrow either.

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Who Needs Microsoft Office Anymore? Another Way to Pare Technology Budgets

The 21st Century Principal

Let’s face the truth. There’s no reason to spend another dime on purchasing licenses and software for Microsoft’s Office Suite of programs. School systems have too many much cheaper options (like free or almost free) rather than continuing to purchase the popular office suite that most often includes MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, MS Access, MS Publisher, and MS Outlook. School systems can save bundles by using other open source solutions or even cloud-based solutions.

Reflection: The FedEx Project

The Electric Educator

Two ideas have inspired me to try something radically different in my classroom. The first is Google''s 20% time. If you''re not familiar with the idea, Google requires (they don''t suggest or encourage, they require!) every employee to spend 20% of their working time doing something other than what they were hired to do. Some employees spend their 20% time aiding charitable causes, help organize internal parties and events, or join a local club or organization.

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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.

The Mac App Store Opened Thursday.


and so far I am a little underwhelmed by what it has to offer. But let''s give it time. For those who were not waiting with bated breath like I was for this release, the Mac App Store is a new functionality of Mac laptops and desktops whereby you can access an App Store on your computer and download "Apps" (you must be running Snow Leopard 10.6 and then perform a Software Update-click on the Apple in the upper left corner- to access the App Store).

More Trending

Empowering Students to Be Self-Advocates

A Principal's Reflections

Right before the holiday break I was contacted by Dwight Carter , the Principal of Gahanna Lincoln High School in Ohio. He wanted to pick my brain about technology integration strategies that I have used at New Milford High School in New Jersey. Somewhere in our conversation that spanned multiple areas of educational leadership, we talked about how we regularly meet with groups of students in our respective schools.

TeachMeet Georgia 2011 Keynote-The Path To Teacher Leadership

The Web20Classroom

Last weekend I had the honor and pleasure of giving a keynote at TeachMeet Georgia to a wonderful group of educators from all over the southeast. It was a great day of learning and I was glad I was able to make it down. My keynote centered on how educators can move from just teachers to teacher-leaders. A video of my keynote is below. It begins with a great intro from Cybrary Man , Jerry Blumegarten. My remarks begin around the 11.30

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How Would Carl Sagan Do in Your Classroom? Call for Authentic Learning for 21st Century

The 21st Century Principal

Recently, I began reading Carl Sagan’s book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. At the beginning he writes of his school experiences. When I began reading that part of the book, I expected a tribute to some teacher who inspired him to the great heights he reached in science achievement. Instead he writes: “I wish I could tell you about inspirational teachers in science from my elementary or junior high or high school days. But as I think back on it, there were none.

5 Companies to Watch in 2011

The Electric Educator

Note: This is the first of my series "5 things to watch in 2011" Future installments will include: Five people to follow in 2011 Five trends to watch in 2011 Five technologies to watch in 2011 Five blogs to read in 2011 The folks over at Prezi continue to make their presentation product more and more compelling. When I first learned about Prezi I was impressed by the fundamental change it brought to the art of presentations.

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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).

The SLP Apps List


I''ve been receiving a lot of requests lately about lists of apps for various purposes, and a recent discussion on Twitter centered around a need for a list. The SLP Apps List is a new resource for anyone interested in apps for mobile devices (iOS- iPad/iPhone/iPod, Android or BlackBerry) that have clinical applications.

What happens when no one recognizes your genius?

Connecting 2 the World

Okay, so I'm not claiming to be a genius. Let's start there. However, two things happened yesterday to trigger this post. First, I met with my dissertation adviser. He is very good in terms of focusing my work. However, I'm always so depressed after speaking with him as I feel I will never complete this process. I had sent him drafts of chapters (one of which I found out later was the wrong file.not the 71 page completed draft but rather a 3 page draft).

The Road Less Traveled

A Principal's Reflections

Educon was an amazing experience for me both professionally and personally. It provided me with an opportunity to put a face and voice to so many educators from across that country and Canada that have inspired, motivated, supported, and challenged me ever since I discovered this vibrant, connected community of learners in March of 2009. As I have written numerous times, I have grown and learned more in this short period of time than from any other professional development opportunity.

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Learning What I Want To Learning! Creating Meaningful Professional Development.

The Web20Classroom

Last night on #edchat our conversation centered around Professional Development. Specifically, what are some of the roadblocks that prevent teachers and administrators from engaging in PD. Pretty deep huh? There are lots of ideas out there as to why teachers don''t want to engage in PD. Many times the PD, when it is required, isn''t meaningful. When I was in the classroom I was part of a team that helped to decide the direction our PD at the school level would take.

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.

4 Reasons Administrators Need to Get Connected with Twitter

The 21st Century Principal

I have repeatedly tried to sell Twitter to my fellow administrators, but it is an uphill battle. Mention the words “social media, blogging, or Twitter” and it seems they either want to race on to the next topic, or their eyes glaze over and I’m fairly sure they’re not hearing what I’m saying. I’ve been tweeting for almost three years now, and I am continually amazed by what it allows me to do.

First Look: Chrome OS Netbook

The Electric Educator

This past Monday I was surprised to find a square box on my doorstep. Inside was a gift from Google-- a brand new CR48 Netbook. If you are unfamiliar with the CR48 I would recommend reading about the netbook and Chrome OS directly from Google. I''ve been using the CR48 off and on for the past few days and am ready to put down my first impressions. First, what I like: 1. Amazingly fast boot-up time.

Noddy Fun Time


Noddy Fun Time is a nicely-designed and fun site from the UK that would be great for early learners. The five activities on the site can be used to target basic concepts and categories: Pop Pop Balloons- choose a balloon color and shape and hold down the mouse to blow it up. The longer you hold, the larger the balloon will be. Tessie''s Garden- Plant seeds of various kinds and create patterns in a garden. Water them to watch them grow.


iPad LOVE & App LUST

The Daring Librarian

a long graphic for a long post. fitting. I had a great time over break having a lovely Tweetup Lunch with some of my favourite Maryland iPad experts! As I''m still an iPad newbie I thought it only fitting to put it to them: What are Coolest iPad techniques, tips & tricks and most loved and must have APPS!??

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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.

Seriously…Revising Huckleberry Finn?

A Principal's Reflections

The following is a guest post by Linda Keesing, the Media Specialist at New Milford High School. Below are her thoughts on the recent revisions to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Feel free to comment below and she will respond. Linda can be contacted directly at lkeesing@newmilfordschools.org In February, there will be a new edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , minus any appearance of the "N" word. Note that the new book is called a new edition , not a revision.

Leadership Stared Me In The Face Today.And I Liked What I Saw

The Web20Classroom

A colleague and I were doing a workshop at a school today. I was filling in for someone who had been out and the content were we covering, I thought, would be better if we taught it together. And that also allowed one of us to teach while the other floated around the room to help teachers who got behind or need a little extra encouragement. The workshop was just like any other. Participants were very engaged and really enjoyed the content we were teaching.

4 Ways to Get An Administrator Engaged in a Twitter PLN

The 21st Century Principal

Earlier, I posted 4 of my own reasons why school administrators need to get connected to Twitter. Once they are connected, the next question is how to help them engage in its use? Sometimes, this is not an easy task because so many believe that once you have a Twitter account established, then the job is finished. This is simply not true. To foster the development of a Twitter PLN and connections to others, there is more work to do.

5 Trends to Watch in 2011

The Electric Educator

Note: This is the second of my series "5 things to watch in 2011" Future installments will include: Five companies to watch in 2011 Five people to follow in 2011 Five technologies to watch in 2011 Five blogs to read in 201 Reverse Instruction is an innovative instructional strategy that was originally used by chemistry teachers Aaron Sams and Jon Bergman. The basic idea involves have students watch recorded lectures at home and working on homework assignments at school.

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!

The King's Speech


I may be seeming to be going off-format by sharing a movie review, but technology is a broad term, and one that certainly plays a part in The King''s Speech. There is not a lot in pop culture that is so explicitly about communication disorders, which may be just one reason why our profession is not well understood, and I think we should be very grateful for The King''s Speech.

Ingredients for Successful Technology Integration and Learning


1/3 Cup Standards-Based Task 1/4 Cup 21st Century Thinking 1/4 Cup Problem-Based or Project-Based Task 2 Tablespoons Choice 6 Tablespoons Purpose 3 Tablespoons Audience 1/3 Cup Authentic Assessment Combine Standards-Based Task with 21st Century Skills. With mixer running, add Problem-Based or Project-Based Task. Add 2 Tablespoons student choice for technology that best suits their needs in order to complete the task. Transfer to saucepan. Bring Problem-Based or Project-Based Task to boil.

Wait Until I Tell My Mom What I Did in School Today

A Principal's Reflections

Hopefully the title of this post grabbed your attention. As I was walking out of an eighth period class on Monday that is what I heard one student tell her friend. As a Principal it was an amazing way to end the day. I too sat in the same class as those students engaging in that conversation and am still in awe of how a little bit of technology could dramatically transform the learning experiences for our students.

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My BlogTalk Radio Interview

The Web20Classroom

Last week I had the pleasure of talking to Senior Technology Editor for Scholastic Ken Royal on an episode of BlogTalk Radio. It was a great conversation that covered everything from how I got started with Twitter to some of my favorite tools. If you get a chance, go down to the widget and click Episode 2-Best Classroom Web 2.0 and give it a listen. There are some other great interviews there with some of my friends from Iowa and Patrick a principal in Mass.) Then leave me some feedback.

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 the United States Poses No Competition to Singapore in International Education Race

The 21st Century Principal

I stumbled across an article entitled “Singapore Looks at Strengthening School System Further.” The country’s prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, states in the article that while his country performed reasonably well on the latest PISA assessments, they must keep up the efforts of continual educational improvement.

Responsibilities of the Edutech Geek

The Electric Educator

If you can edit the header.php file in a wordpress template, hunt down the path of an image in html, keep track of hundreds of logins for students and staff, know the difference between between gadgets, widgets, and apps, and are the first one to discover great new web-based tools for the classroom, you are an Edutech Geek. With great power comes great responsibility." --Uncle Ben Parker As Edutech Geeks, we have the responsibility to train, share, and inspire those who are not tech geeks.

CAST UDL Book Builder


CAST is a Massachusetts-based organization promoting UDL, or Universal Design for Learning. I first saw their Book Builder presented at a conference a few years ago, and must say it has improved greatly in selection and ease of use. The UDL Book Builder is designed to present books created by educators in a way that is accessible to all, with a screen-reader and skill-building helpers built into the site.

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