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Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis
Teaching students with new tools, enthusiasm and belief that teaching is a noble calling.
Updated: 2 hours 5 min ago
This year's Edublog Award finalists have been announced. To be named a finalist is an accomplishment in itself. Voting is through Wednesday, and I admit that I like the transparency in voting using Listly.
Here's how I use the edublog awards:
- Go through the blogs and add many to my RSS Reader.
- Vote when I have a strong opinion. (Just remember that this year people can see your vote – with transparency comes accountability. Personally, I like this.)
- Follow every finalist on Twitter. Yes, every one. Now, later, I may unfollow if I see that they don't fit, but if they're on one of these lists, to me, they've been nominated and vetted and are worth the follow to give them the benefit of the doubt.
I also want to thank those of you who kindly nominated me this year – I made it in on the shortlist under “Best Individual Blog” and “Best Teacher Blog.” It is an honor – thanks. Meanwhile, I did record a show on Every Classroom Matters with Sue Waters about how the process words and I'll let you know when the show goes live.But I didn't get nominated? Maybe I should just stop sharing.
Also remember this… don't marginalize or minimize your own work if it is nominated or didn't make the short list. While my podcast “Every Classroom Matters” was nominated, it didn't make the short list. That is OK.
Like this blog, I'm in that for the long haul and will keep interviewing regular classroom teachers, exceptional students, and people who have important things to say that classroom teachers need to hear. I don't need a nomination to validate how passionate I am about that. It is important and each download or message I get about the show tells me that.
See this for what it is — one of many awards out there for blogs, websites, etc. That said, I do like how it grows and improves each year and I use it to grow my PLN and find new, great people to follow. Newcomers should always be welcome — and many of them aren't newcomers, they are people who have been teaching and educating a long time who may have just started blogging.Add newcomers to your PLN: Don't Stagnate
The day that your RSS Reader or Twitter stream has no room for new people is the first day you begin to stagnate. Stagnant water is water that doesn't circulate — circulate and add NEW PEOPLE to your PLN that you've NEVER HEARD OF. This is important. Just because you've never heard of them doesn't mean they don't have something valuable for you to learn. This is the only way to avoid the echo chamber danger that happens when only certain voices are listened to.Tribute to my friend Beth Holmes: Be Someone's Beth
I write this post with a heavy heart having just learned that Beth Holmes, former director of the Center for Quality Teaching and Learning in Columbus, Georgia has passed away. I'll never forget Beth because she mentored and encouraged me very early on when I was writing this blog and facing the discouragement that often happens when you undertake something new.
Beth brought me over to Columbus, GA in 2008 to speak and gave me a teaching award from CQTL. It was one of my very first presentations after I started blogging and wiki-ing with my kids. She sat me down at a lunch I'll never forget and told me:
“Vicki, you have something valuable to share and I think you should share it and keep sharing it.”
I say this because Beth is no longer with us but she is through the encouragement she gave me (and many others as evidenced by her Facebook page.)
Each person in the Edublog Awards is important because they are changing lives. Each of you are important because you are educators, parents, grandparents, and education advocates. You're encouraging the legacy of learning for generations to come.
I'm in Virginia at VSTE and am dedicating Monday's keynote to Beth. Without her encouragement, I'm not really sure if I'd be here to give the keynote because I might have quit because I felt so unimportant and small in the grand scheme of education. In everything I write to help people, there's a little bit of Beth – she kept me going when I wondered if it was worth it.
I want to be your Beth. But realize this… you're someone else's Beth Holmes.You win when you share and encourage
So, if you're sharing anywhere– you're a winner. Yes, you are. Thank you for sharing and good luck building your PLN through #eddies13. Voting is open through Wednesday. If' you're not happy with the finalists and someone you appreciate was left off remember that you can nominate in November of each year and no one can nominate their own work.If your favorite wasn't nominated, will you take the time to tell him/her?
You can leave them a message and let them know – if they're not on the list, they might just need to hear from you that their work is important to someone. Be their Beth.We share because we care: that is our biggest reward
If you share — you're a winner. Thank you for blogging, tweeting, liking, and sharing best practices to your circle of influence. All of us have a circle of influence and to them — you may just leave the legacy of a lifetime like Beth left on me.
For when you share — the reward is the legacy and no award can top that.
Written by Vicki Davis, author – Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds – Posted with Blogsy from my iPad Share and Enjoy • Facebook • Twitter • Delicious • LinkedIn • StumbleUpon • Add to favorites • Email • RSS
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter. I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill one only finds there are many more hills to climb.
May you rest in peace. Thank you for climbing the hills that someone needed to climb… May those you leave behind continue to climb and never just sit by the road and pine.
I am reminded if how short life is and how we must all make best use of what little we have to do what we can to leave the world a little better place.Share and Enjoy • Facebook • Twitter • Delicious • LinkedIn • StumbleUpon • Add to favorites • Email • RSS
Thousands of people are talking about science apps based on an article from Mashable. Code.org releases tutorials for teachers to prepare to teach kids of all ages how to program. (They work because my students and I are using them to prep working with our elementary classrooms next week.)
The “20 to Watch” in US Education Technology Awards from the National School Board’s Association are open until mid-December. Research is showing that “tinkering” can help you learn and the shortage of guidance counselors is being partially blamed for kids not applying to college. In World News, everyone’s talking about the new PISA score report that comes out every 3 years that says that Shanghai has the most well educated kids in the world.
Today’s a tad short as sometime between midnight and 5 am this morning something strange happened to my blog here and I restored a backup bright and early and installed additional security software. If you tried to read my blog then, I’m sorry it was down but I’ll work to deal with whatever caused it. Ah, the joys of handling your own server and yet, I still love the power WordPress gives me over my content and how I share even if I have to deal with gremlins.
Have a great day! Be an EPIC Teacher. Learn something new every day!
–VickiTechnology Tips SCIENCE: Apps People are Talking About
- 10 Apps to Get Kids Excited About ScienceMore than 5.4K people are excited about these apps on Mashable.Remember that parents are BUYING apps to help kids in your subject. Why not test them out and recommend them to parents in your weekly emails or your website/blog.
- Learn | The Hour of Code 2013Tutorials to teach students of all ages about computational thinking and coding.
- How To: Screen Record Your iPad – ScreenChamp Finalist 2013 – YouTubeBen Rimes teaches you how to Screen Record your iPad. He’s also competing for a competition and would appreciate your “liking” his video. It is helpful if you’re looking to screenrecord your ipad.
- Seeing the Classroom through Google Glass | EdSurge NewsMargaret Powers won the #ifihadglass contest and is using Google Glass in her classroom with her PreK-2nd grade students and documenting what works and doesn’t. She shares what she’s learned in this practical article that gives a good state of this technology in the younger student classroom.
- 20 to Watch Recognition ProgramNominate someone you know NOW. What a great way to share up and coming education technology leaders: “Do you know educators who are passionate about using technology to transform teaching and learning; who can inspire their colleagues to embrace new tools; and who are curious by nature and always looking for how the next innovation can be applied to education? If so, please submit their names by Wednesday, December 18th for consideration as part of the National School Boards Association’s “20 to Watch” recognition program. The 2013-14 “20″ will be honored in Washington, D.C. during CoSN’s Annual Conference, March 19th, 2014 (www.cosn.org) and recognized during the Technology Leadership Network Luncheon at the NSBA Annual Conference in New Orleans, April 6, 2014. Questions? Please email Ann Flynn.”
- How Tinkering Can Help You LearnTinkering works. Read Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager’s book “Invent to Learn” which talks about tinkering and how to use Maker Spaces to promote it to learn more. Great points from Lifehacker: “Research in the science of learning shows that hands-on building projects help young people conceptualize ideas and understand issues in greater depth. In an experiment described in the International Journal of Engineering Education in 2009, for example, one group of eighth-graders was taught about water resources in the traditional way: classroom lectures, handouts and worksheets. Meanwhile, a group of their classmates explored the same subject by designing and constructing a water purification device. The students in the second group learned the material better: they knew more about the importance of clean drinking water and how it is produced, and they engaged in deeper and more complex thinking in response to open-ended questions on water resources and water quality… it involves a loose process of trying things out, seeing what happens, reflecting and evaluating, and trying again.”
- High School Guidance Counselor Shortage Has College Consequences | TIME.comTime magazine reports on the school guidance counselor shortage. Well, when you cut costs, that is often the thing that goes first. Plus being a good guidance counselor takes time.
- Global education survey puts Shanghai on top – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera EnglishRemember one thing as you look at these scores – not all students are tested in many countries and in many countries only the brightest go to school. In my opinion, these tests have some serious flaws. For example, I don’t play cricket – my scores would be low — I don’t know that I’m so upset about that. While math, science, and reading are important — standards vary greatly between countries — so unless we’re going to prep for PISA scores. Also on another note — comparing “Shanghai to nations makes me wonder – I’m sure there are certain cities in the US that would do very well on such a test. Anyway, I want to look deeper, but I think before we rattle cages and get too upset, the report should be looked at deeply but not only the report – but the test. I remember getting upset that my kindergartener scored in the 60th percentile on “environment” only to see that he missed that a judge was supposed to be a guy in a grey wig (who does that) and couldn’t identify a subway turnstile (we live in a town of 5,000). Since that time, I always want to see the test. Lots of people will be talking about this so look at it and be prepared to answer questions. This is the post from Aljazeera so you can see what other countries are saying about the report. “Asian countries have topped the rnakings in a global education report which evaluates the knowledge and skills of 15 and 16-year-olds around the world. The report by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), published on Tuesday, shows that children from Asian nations continue to outshine their western counterparts in maths, science and reading. The city of Shanghai topped the table in the three-yearly reported which tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries. Children in Shanghai were, on average, the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling ahead of the majority of nations tested.”
The post Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 12/04/2013 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
Kristen Swanson @kristenswanson announces that Edcamp has moved to Twitter for the 12 days of edcamp. Just follow and share your best “gifts” to other educators at the #edcampgift hashtag.
If you need to get started on Twitter Jo-Ann Fox @AppEducationFox has a great post on Huffington about making Twitter your Teacher Superpower (don’t be scared, just try it, you might like it.) In the classroom this week: Laura Fleming @NMHS_lms the Librarian from New Milford (Eric Sheninger’s school) is using Makerspaces in cool ways, Alfonso Gonzalez @educatoral is kicking off the use of Minecraft in his science classroom, and Amal Abouldhosn @hellohomeroom shows a strategy for launching discussions of social media issues.
Meanwhile, there are some excellent resources for building your PLN including the Teach100 blog ranking system (submit your blog), a cool Pinterest board from @edutopia with inspirational thoughts, and Teach Thought lists 197 YouTube Channels for Learning as you build your YouTube subscription list and watch from your set top box.
Some very practical posts including 4 apps to use in a 1 ipad classroom from @edudemic, 9 strategies to motivate students in Math from Edutopia, and another one from Edutopia on 3 Strategies to promote independent thinking. Then, Elliott Bristow @ellbristow has written an excellent post on using Minecraft in schools at The Edublogger.
The fourth episode of Taboo went live this week. Taboo is a new show Rae Pica bodymindchild has kicked off on BAM Radio @bamradionetwork to deal with the topics that no one wants to talk about. I find myself nervous and worried before every taping. This week the show is about teaching when you’re heartbroken. In 12 years I have been truly heartbroken to the point of quitting at least twice but I wanted to be part of the panel. Teachers need to know that this is a real thing that happens to every teacher I know and you can push through it. There’s also a brave anonymous teacher who is hurting who shares his heartbreak as we talk.
In one of the most epic posts I’ve read in a long time, Chris Bailey’s @AYOProductivity 5 minute read has received almost 20,000 shares because he summarizes 100 ted Talks into just over 100 sentences with links to each talk. Students could do this! What a powerful way to write and share. Awesome.
In World News, global citizenship is being discussed in Thailand this week with UNESCO and Terry Freedman @terryfreedman from the UK ponders the qualifications of Computer Science teachers as the UK moves towards educating every child age 5 and up on how to code. There’s a new mayor in New York which means new union negotiations – an op ed in the New York Times kicks off the conversations that will be swirling this winter in that city. Finally, the Edublog Award finalists will be announced this week and I predict the usual conversations to happen, but Joyce Seitzinger @catspyjamasnz points out some great reasons why these awards mean so much to many of us educators.
Meanwhile, in my own classroom, my ninth and tenth graders and I are preparing to teach every student in my whole elementary school “An Hour of Code” next week.
We got back in the swing of things yesterday at school although every fiber of my being wanted to be cooking, eating, and hanging out with family. Most teachers (and students) I know felt the same way. I love to ask kids what their favorite foods over break were and love their answers. Parents don’t realize how linked kids are to good food and how it anchors positive emotions to time with family. One kid glowed at me “My Mom made this awesome macaroni thing that was like — WOW!”
And that is how I feel about all of the amazing stuff educators are sharing — My friends are writing about this teaching thing in ways that are like — WOW!
Be an Epic Educator today! Learn something new every day!
–VickiBEST PRACTICES: Apps, strategies, makerspaces and mindmaps HOT ON TWITTER: Edcamp moves to Twitter in December #edcampgift
- Teachers as Technology Trailblazers: Join the 12 Days of Edcamp!
The 12 Days of Edcamp — there’s a virtual edcamp going on via Twitter – share what you love with others by using the #edcampgift hashtag. Here’s how. This is a great way for connected educators to keep sharing?
- Twitter Is My Teacher Superpower: 6 Steps to Make it Yours | Jo-Ann Fox
Jo-Ann Fox writes a lovely post on Huffington Post about how to get started with Twitter.
- Worlds of Learning | Worlds of Making @ NMHS
Laura Fleming is using Makerspace in her classroom. She’s at New Milford HIgh School — a place led by one of the best principals in the business, Eric Sheninger (his new book is awesome – out in January). Laura is using Mozilla’s Web Literacy Standard and her Makerspace which includes robotics, stop motion animation and “Molecular gastronomy” and more. Wow. I’m fascinated. Take a look.
“Setting up a Makerspace has been a priority of mine from the moment I started here at New Milford High School, and it’s already well on its way to being achieved. Having a school principal who provides the perfect mix of encouragement and autonomy has, of course, been a great help, but it has also been very much a team effort: the school’s tech team and custodians have been very supportive and cooperative, along with a diverse variety of students interested in ‘making’ experiences.
At the heart of the vision for my Makerspace is to develop the space and to provide resources and opportunities that will aid in promoting web literacy. These components encompass Mozilla’s Web Literacy Standard. The standard is make up of three key elements: exploring, building and connecting and focuses on reading, writing and participating on the web. ”
- Day 1 WoW in Science #gbl | Mr. Gonzalez’s Classroom
TEacher Alfonso Gonzalez @educatoral is Using World of Warcraft in eight grade science. He’s transparently sharing what they are doing and how they’re doing it. I’m following what he’s doing and many others are as well. I’m fascinated to see how he’ll doing but if he’s following Peggy Sheehy – she is the one who really knows how to use WOW with almost any subject.
- Hello Homeroom: Digital Media Concept Map
Interesting Digital Concept map from Amal Abouldhosn and her class as they discuss media. She says “my students were born in 1998, so they’ve never really lived on a planet without cell phones or internet.” This is a great way to brainstorm and discuss such topics- especially ones where the students have a lot of personal knowledge.
- Education Blogs: Teach100 | Teach.com
The Teach 100 is a ranking of top blogs in education. Many great blogs on this list – many are group blogs but there are also some single blogs (like me). Excited to be on the list, especially with recently moving my blog – many lists like this I had to start completely over. Lots of great sites here.
- Be Inspired.
A pinterest board to inspire educators of the best of quotes and inspiration. We become what we think so fill your mind with great thoughts. This is a wonderful board to follow from Edutopia.
- Teaching With YouTube: 197 Digital Channels For Learning
Really 197 channels for learning? Well, there are many, but if you’re like me, you’re building a subscription list for your content areas and starting to curate (and perhaps create) some channels. Building a good YouTube stream is becoming part of curation and PLN building – so here’s a great place to start.
- The 4 Apps Needed To Run A One iPad Classroom – Edudemic – Edudemic
If you have one ipad, what can you do to powerfully link your students and teach — here are four great apps and a way to get started.
- 9 Strategies for Motivating Students in Mathematics | Edutopia
How can you improve motivation in Math? Here are some great ideas to share with the math teachers who just say kids “aren’t interested” and “don’t want to learn.” Change something, do something.
- 3 Strategies to Promote Independent Thinking in Classrooms | Edutopia
Nice post by Margaret Regan on Edutopia’s blog with 3 Strategies to promote independent thinking. With some practical examples and use of a word I haven’t heard — “autotelic” or those happiest when absorbed in complex activities. That would describe many of us coder types. Great post.
- Gaming in Education – Minecraft in Schools? | The Edublogger
Great article by Elliott Bristow on the Edublogger about Minecraft in schools and how it is being used. This is a great reference for those of us working to integrate this into our classroom.
The Taboo show talks about things that are hard to discuss. The most recent show talks about how to teach with a broken heart. I know I’ve been broken hearted enough to quit at least twice in my short 12 year career and most teachers I know have been there. This is an important topic with lots of great discussion from one teacher who is there and some who’ve been there. If this is you, take a listen and I hope this helps.
“Even the best teachers feel disillusioned about teaching at times. However, some are brokenhearted and dispirited about what teaching has become, yet continue teaching because they have limited alternatives. Is there a solution?
- You Can Easily Learn 100 TED Talks Lessons In 5 Minutes Which Most People Need 70 Hours For
If you want to learn some very cool things here is a synopsis of watching more than 70 hours of TED talks with links. I love these types of summary posts (any wonder?)
- - 5 reasons schools need computing teachers with expertise in the subject
Terry Freedman from the UK makes some great points about expertise in Computing. This is particularly relevant in the UK where every student age 5 and up is expected to be taught programming in school. (Wake up world.)
“Some Principals and Headteachers think that a good way around the problem of teaching computing is to not worry about whether teachers have subject knowledge at all. “All we need are facilitators”, they say, “while the kids can teach themselves and each other.” This is, as any teacher knows (or should know), easy to say, less easy to do, and not altogether the most desirable thing to do even if you can do it. However, just in case your school happens to be “led” by one of the aforementioned Headteachers, here are some arguments you may want to use. I think that any one of them should suffice, and all of them together make for a cast-iron case.”
Read more… this is a topic that will be increasingly discussed in other countries.
The post Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 12/03/2013 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
“The stance a leader takes with respect to blame is…a key determinant in whether a team, department or whole organization will have a culture of learning from mistakes.”Excerpt From: Ben Dattner and Darren Dahl. The Blame Game: How the Hidden Rules of Credit and Blame Determine Our Success or Failure Educational Leadership: Are we playing the blame game in our schools?
My Get Abstract service sent me an overview of this powerful book that has me intrigued — it has me wondering about education —do we play the blame game to our detriment?
People want educational leadership to help us through hard problems. But what if it isn’t your fault?
The whole melody of education right now is blaming everything but ourselves for where we are right now. The economy. The students today. The teacher education programs today. The parents today and so on… But perhaps we can learn something from organizations that succeed ANYWAY — even with problems.“Companies that accept collective blame for poor performance instead of blaming factors “out of their control” “achieve higher stock prices over the long term,” according to a study of 21 years of annual reports from 14 public companies. Investors appreciate self-examination that results in corrective action. Organizational leaders who consistently blame external factors eventually cause investors to doubt those executives’ ability to navigate the rocky economic terrain.” Excerpt From: Ben Dattner and Darren Dahl. The Blame Game: How the Hidden Rules of Credit and Blame Determine Our Success or Failure
So, this tells us that by blaming conditions, by blaming the modern student, by blaming anything else but ourselves and our own system is detrimental to our long term success. Hear this… if we continue to blame others and not take responsibility we will continue to have problems in our schools, in our homes, and in our lives. Blaming others makes us helpless to do what we can do to improve things. (I recommend this book for superintendents and principals because it gives you the how-to’s on making your organization one that gives credit and improves.)
For example, like the person who blames genetics for being overweight while absent-mindedly spooning ice cream out of a gallon jar while watching a CSI marathon, unless you admit it with your lips and take action – you’ll never get that weight off your hips. There is always something we can do. Genetics is part but not the whole part.
No one wants to hear us blame society for the condition of education. Because let me tell you something, WE ARE ALL INHABITING THE SAME SOCIETY. And yet some are succeeding and some are failing. The fact that some schools are successful — some poorer schools included— means that there are still outliers. There are people succeeding ANYWAY — even with all these things to blame. Why? They are controlling what they can control to make their school a better place.Do the best you can with what you have.
- Aren’t you glad that Winston Churchill encouraged the English people to “never, never, never give up?“
- Aren’t you glad that Abraham Lincoln kept swapping generals until he found one who would get the job done so slavery could be abolished and the US could be reunited under one flag?
- Aren’t you glad that Ghandi was able to make it yet another day without eating in order to bring attention to the oppression of his people – thus saving thousands of mothers from losing their children in escalating violence because he was willing no longer to eat? It wasn’t Ghandi’s fault that people were arguing, yet, he took his people’s burdens upon himself and did what he could do even to the detriment of his own body.
The great heroes of history are those who often took blame for what they did not do — shouldered the burden that was not their fault and did something about it anyway.
It isn’t your fault that the problem is there. It is your fault if it stays there and you attempt to do nothing about it within your sphere of influence.
- I think of William Wilberforce denying his political ambitions to boldly pursue the eradication of slavery in England and her colonies. He wasn’t a slave owner yet he took the blame and set about righting the wrong. He shouldered a burden and went about trying to change things.
- I think of Nelson Mandela reading books and setting his mind free while held in senseless captivity. He didn’t get bitter, he got better. He worked to change things.
- I think of Paul Brand, working with people who had leprosy in India while people told him he was wasting his time.
- I think of Mother Teresa finding yet another dying person in the gutter, bringing them to her hospital so they could be cleaned up, loved, and treated kindly so they could die with dignity. No one was an untouchable to her.
- I also think of that Mama Turtle in the picture above putting one flipper ahead of the other so she can lay her eggs, cover them, and head back out to see. If you’ve ever seen a video of these majestic animals, the mother has tears streaming down her face as she endures the process. It reminds me of being a Mom and being a teacher.
I think of educational leadership emerging through blogs, Twitter, and online media of all sorts who are writing about problems, exposing injustice, and sharing what works every single day. Do you know that even liking something important to education on Facebook is playing a part in sharing best practices? One of the best things we could do for education is for good educators to become social media activists on behalf of the profession they love. Average every day teachers are sending ripples through education on a national and even international level when they write, create a video, or do something profound.The blame we must share in education
We’ve lost the individual beauty of the individual child and tried to manufacture education. This is education malpractice on a global scale. This is wrong because we don’t make widgets, we shape children – these are two fundamentally different things. Productivity, money, and trade are all discrete fiscal things but to even think that test scores can be compared in a meaningful way and that such a thing as a number can actually distill whether that students are creative, self confident, and persistent — all measures that increasingly mark success more deeply than memorization of facts — then we are sadly mistaken.
But here in the US, we’ve lost control of children’s behavior in our society to the point that teachers are afraid, parents are afraid, and no one will tell kids no. In many places we’ve outlawed corporal punishment (which is a good thing) to the point that we’ve forgotten to hold anyone accountable for anything at all. (Just read one of Rafe Esquith’s books and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)
In many schools, expecting homework to be done is a joke. Some kids are so poor, they only have one pencil for the school year. We’ve lost trust but we’ve also lost our expectations that many students can be so much more. Education can be more.
These things are wrong and it needs to stop. Schools should be safe places where mutual respect flows from the faucet of human dignity. We should be personalizing places where students can choose courses of study and have at least one thing they look forward to during their day besides PE.But these problems are so much bigger than me!
Really? You can do absolutely nothing?
- You have no classroom where you can help personalize learning and work to reach as many kids as possible?
- You know no parents that you can encourage?
- You have no Twitter account or Facebook or email where you can encourage people to do the right thing for this generation?
- You have no way to share the nobility of teaching to a world that needs to see that there are still adults sacrificing their lives that a future generation might have hope?
Really. If you’re in education, I promise you, you can do something. And something is better than nothing. This is our time. This is our responsibility. These are our communities. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
Because blame is not a game. It keeps us from doing what we can do right now today. Refuse to play the blame game. Every classroom, every student, every teacher matters.Share and Enjoy • Facebook • Twitter • Delicious • LinkedIn • StumbleUpon • Add to favorites • Email • RSS
The post Educational Leadership: How blame keeps us paralyzed appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
The ongoing discussion of engaging Introverts in education continues with Elena Aguilar’s telling post at Edutopia. Poverty is also a hot topic as the US works to increase college applications from low income students and the PBS tells the story of the heartbreak and heartache caused by poverty in the Philadelphia school systems. School supply drives are important so that all kids can have what they need to learn. Meanwhile, things are tough all over as a UK educator ponders the pressure of testing and the negative impact on teaching and learning and Pernille Ripp shares why she will give the tests (even though she doesn’t like them.) Miguel Guhlin writes an epic post on surviving transition that is for any educator struggling through transitions and tough times – we’re all there at some point in our careers.
I noticed lots of sharing of teacher / former interior designer Erin Klein’s work with classroom design so I share the post that is going around and a 10 minute interview I did with her where she shares why cluttering up the walls is the WRONG thing for elementary teachers to do.
In “Excellence in Teaching” today, there are many things you can watch and read to make you a better teacher. Watch videos from BBC Wales about how Finnish teachers are really educating kids and view some funny gifs trending on Tumblr about great teachers. Teacher Pana Asavavatana from Tapai Emerican School shares how she’s using Aurasma and Chatterpix with her kindergarteners and we have the name and an interview with the teacher who made her own picture a lesson for the world: Julie Culp from Nashville. Justin Tarte has 7 proven strategies that will engage students and Joli Barker shares her 3 steps to a Fearless Classroom. Dawn Casey-Rowe talks about how she overcomes in a tough classroom situation to innovate and create. Project Based Learning Expert, Suzie Boss, finishes up a trip to American School of Bombay in India and shares her reflections over at Edutopia. Meanwhile, a cool new site has emerged, Eduslam, with short, quick easy to implement ideas like the Kathy Cassidy video about how she uses efolios with her young students. Meanwhile, design thinking is being celebrated in schools with a database listing the K12- higher ed schools offering design thinking as part of their curriculum.
Then, as we sharpen your brain, take a look at Mind Tools to improve your career skills and at Info is Beautiful to look at interesting visualizations of big data. I love Lifehacker’s “25 Websites to make you cleverer” and have been tinkering with some of these this weekend.
I’ve got a whole spate of resources for Hour of Code including coding games for the little ones and ideas for all ages as you prepare for the Hour of Code next week. (more on this later).
Then, we close up today’s news with Mia MacMeekin, an educator emerging as one of the best infographic makers I know. (You’ll want to add her to your RSS reader.) Two new research studies on mobile learning will be discussed and shared by everyone. Finally, a great infographic relating the SAMR Model to the Common Core.
I’m back to school today and haven’t had time to add the Twitter handles to this post but I’ll try to come back to it later today. Meanwhile, I wanted you to get all the goodies from this weekend. Lots of educational topics were trending on Twitter over the weekend. It looks like many of us used the weekend to share, retweet, and discuss. Let me know in the comments if you like this format for Daily News – it is still evolving.
Have a great week and remember to keep up the intensity — some of the best teaching happens when others relax (I see it that students have more energy for me!)
Teachers rock! Education is important. Learn something new every day.
–Vicki @coolcatteacherIntroverted Teachers and Students in Education
- The Power of Introverts: An Essential Understanding for Teachers | Edutopia
This book continues to be discussed heavily in education. I love Elena Aguilar’s poignant discussion of the book on her blog at Edutopia. Wow.
“About a year ago, I read Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. I wanted to tell everyone about this book right away, but I also wanted to let what I’d learned sink in. I wanted to sit alone with my new self-awareness, process my experience, and absorb the revelations I’d had — all in true introverted fashion. See, as I’d read Cain’s book, my predominant thoughts were, “She’s describing me! I’m an introvert! And there’s nothing wrong with that!” The margins of my copy are littered with stars, exclamation points, and scribbles that, as I look back, reflect my profound relief and gained understandings.”
This would be a great book for education book clubs to consider. Just make sure you take time to let everyone share and reflect and include even the introverts in the conversation – though they may say less, they may actually have more to say than we truly understand.
- Encouraging more low-income and first-generation students to earn a degree
While not everyone community is as forward thinking as Kalamazoo, Michigan (which gives every child in that community a free college education at a public university of their choice in Michigan), helping children from low income families apply for college is imperative. I love this article because it gives practical advice and discusses the issues as well as some creative approaches. I think that the least communities could do is fund college application fees for low income students… helping kids go to college is a start, but a very important one.
From this AP Article from NBC Latino…
“Yet, nationally, about half of high school graduates from families making below $18,300 enrolled in college in 2012 compared to about 80 percent of those whose families earned above $90,500, according to the College Board.
In Washington, where Duarte lives, only 30 percent of high school graduates go to college – a lower percentage than the number who drop out of high school, despite the city having the highest level of college attainment in the nation, according to the College Board.
Nearly all the students at Roosevelt qualify for free or reduced lunches.
To help create a college-going culture, a bulletin board near the school’s front doors features the names of seniors and the colleges they were accepted to. College acceptances are announced over the intercom.”
- Unrelenting Poverty Leads To ‘Desperation’ In Philly Schools : NPR
This NPR article on the school situation in Philadelphia is heart wrenching. Poverty impacts everyone, especially children. For those who have never seen it, it is hard to understand. I remember in Mumbai, seeing kids with a tiny notebook and pencil down to the nub that had been used the whole school year – kids were erasing unimportant things (if they still had an eraser) to add more to their notebooks. Yes, there are many places that desperately need school supplies and help and Philadelphia is one of the many cities who are really struggling. Take time to read/listen and understand and set up this holiday season to help.
“”Clothing, books, all of the school supplies, backpacks,” Kantor says. “And you see some kids that are really suffering. Some kids don’t ever have a dime. They have one pencil, they have a spiral book, and they don’t have any of the supplies.”
Other teachers say they’ve had to bring in cleaning supplies — even toilet paper.
But lots of nonmaterial things gnaw at Kantor: She says some parents, many of them single moms, seem overwhelmed and disengaged. Kantor says she knows they’re stressed out and tries to reach out by phone, but is too often left discouraged.”
- Secret Teacher: low morale and high pressure leaves no time for inspiration | Teacher Network | Guardian Professional
These heartbreaking words from a teacher in the UK. As the world tries to improve education by the numbers, the world has forgotten kids aren’t numbers. They are precious, individual and unique and deserve education systems that celebrate and encourage that. OK, teachers, it is time to man the media – you are the media now! Are you fed up yet? It might not be you right now, but if you don’t speak, it will be, wherever you teach, such stories impact us all and the profession we care for so much.
“As a teacher, I vowed that I would work hard to nurture my students, to make each and every student feel valued and for them to know that they have a voice, and a place in the world.
However the last two years have made me feel like that insecure 14-year-old again: I have lost my confidence because of the overly-rigid current education system. We are constantly being told we are not good enough and that we are not doing enough: enough intervention, enough rigorous marking, enough sustained and rapid progress.
What excited me the most about becoming a teacher was discovering the hidden talents and sparks of genius in my students. However, it breaks my heart to say this, but I feel that I no longer have time, nor am I encouraged to make these discoveries.
We are so caught up with data and so many progress checks that we don’t give our students the time to shine. I wonder what would happen if the greats of the world like Einstein, Gaudi, Picasso and Martin Luther King were to attend school in 2013, would they be able to cultivate their talents and thrive?”
- Why I Will Not Refuse to Give the Tests | Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension
Pernille Ripp’s poignant post shares why more teachers don’t refuse to give the tests. Unless it is done en masse, it can’t really be done. That said, parents can refuse to have their children take the test without repercussions and in fact, a national opt out movement is brewing.
“If I were to refuse administering these state mandated tests, I would get in trouble. That is an absolute guarantee. And while I have never been one to shy away from too much controversy, the kind of trouble this time would be much bigger than a write up. I could even lose my job for failing to do my duties. To some that may not seem like a big deal, after all, I should be standing up for my students and their rights, my own opinions, I should protect those children that I teach from the tests. But my job is vital to my own children. My job is our health insurance. My job gives us just enough money so that we can pay our bills. I wish my husband had a huge paying job, he doesn’t, and so we are a very dependent two income family. So losing my job refusing tests just isn’t something I can rationally do and in a sense, I am not sure I should be the one refusing the tests anyway.”
- Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org: Keys Changing Hands – 7 Tips for Surviving Leadership in Transition #edchat
If you’re dealing with leadership transitions in your district, Miguel Guhlin has penned a pretty epic post. In it, he is blunt about the ups and downs of working with great leaders, and “hatchet men.” IN the post, he also includes steps to making staff development actually work and his frustration to be asked to read books that no one else read or implemented. This is a great post and one that leaders should read (so they can be visionary) and staff and teachers should read (so they can find wisdom for making it through tough transitions.) Every transition is tough – I’ve been through several myself during my 12 years and even when the leader is a very good one, it is hard to do and endure because so many people take their “eye off the ball” and the ball is learning in the classroom. Drama in the front office should be kept at a minimum so classroom learning can be kept at a maximum.
- Dressing Your Classroom for Student Success
Erin Klein shares her principles for setting up an effective classroom design with tips especially relevant to elementary teachers. Filling the wall full of charts and clutter from floor to ceiling isn’t only a problem with the fire marshal but may actually be making it harder for students to learn. Listen to this awesome conversation to learn more.
- To Foster Productivity and Creativity in Class, Ditch the Desks! | MindShift
Erin Klein is my go-to person for classroom design. Her love for interior design and teaching as well as her passion to pursue the researched based best practices make her a favorite. I interviewed her on Every Classroom Matters not too long a go about her methods, but here’s a great post that goes into it more deeply as well.
- BBC News – Diary of a Ysgol Friars maths teacher in Finland
So, if you want to peek inside Finland, there are 3 videos on this BBC Wales site that will give you what you want. This Diary of a math teacher in Finland gives you a peek. There’s also two other great videos “Let teachers teach, say Finns” and “Finland Classroom Success Secrets.” You can embed these that I can find, so you’ll need to share the links and watch them on the site. These short videos are just under 4 minutes and would be great to share in a staff meeting.
- 23 Defining Traits Of Your Favorite Teacher
Awesome gifs and animations that are truly an inspiration and gift to teachers everywhere. I love this post from Buzzfeed about the great teachers. Some ring true and others are just kind of funny, but underneath it all is is how the teacher makes the student FEEL that counts. And you can’t count that on a test. Enjoy and share.
- Aurasma and ChatterPix: A fun way to bring photos to life with augmented reality! – Ms. Pana Says
Pana Asavavatana, @PanaAsavavatana kindergarten teacher at Taipei American School has created an awesome way to combine Aurasma and Chatterpix to use Augmented Reality in her classroom. I love this creativity but also how many teachers around the world are sharing best practices. Yes, you can use this. Great job Pana!
- CTV News Channel: Teacher’s post goes viral | CTV News
We have name! Nashville teacher Julie Culp used herself as a photography / privacy lesson for her students. Applause, Julie. Great job.
- Cool Ways to Make Meaning with Tag Clouds #teaching | Cool Cat Teacher Blog
This post of mine has started being reshared again. It helps you see how you can use wordclouds with just about anything (including surveys.) A Quick tutorial.
- Life of an Educator by Justin Tarte: 7 proven strategies that WILL help you engage your students…
Excellent post from Justin Tarte that deserves lots of shares. The only issue I have with the post is the use of the word “rigor” which I think is misused and misapplied all over education without questioning if that is actually the word we should use. I’ve heard people say “they’re having fun — that isn’t rigorous.” WHAT? Great post worth sharing.
- Creating a Fearless Classroom In Three Steps
Joli Barker, author of the Fearless Classroom Blog, talks about how to become a fearless classroom in 3 steps. She’s an inspirational practicing classroom teacher and I’ve blogged about her before. Just amazing what she does with technology, writing, and improving her classroom.
- One on One With a Teacher on the Leading Edge
A show I recorded with Dawn Casey-Rowe, an overcomer who is using technology (and kickboxing too). She gives advice on transforming classrooms to demands all teachers face. She shares her thoughts about leading, learning, and embracing education technology.
- In India, a School that Empowers Students and Teachers | Edutopia
I’m a huge fan of the American School of Bombay and visionary Shabbi Luthra – this article on Edutopia from PBL expert Suzie Boss captures so much about this amazing school that uses laptops at a very young age in ways that empower students to learn, create, and share. Shabbi is passionate about bringing the best to her school but also shares expects that what is brought and discussed there will be used. Such a great school – it is well worth attending ASB Un-Plugged when they host it just to see what they are doing. It is hard to find a better school anywhere in the world.
- What’s an EduSlam? | EduSlam
Nice newcomer to the sharing and video scene. Eduslam is recording short, quick videos that can be implemented in your classroom tomorrow. Very cool.
- Digital Portfolios in the Primary Classroom with @kathycassidy | EduSlam
Yes Kathy Cassidy rocks – she recently did a session on Eduslam – Great work. If you want to know what she’s doing with her first grade students and digital portolios, you can take a listen to this quick 7 minute video.
- Design Thinking in Schools: An Emerging Movement Building Creative Confidence in our Youth – Getting Smart by Guest Author – design thinking, IDEO, Innovation | Getting Smart
Fascinating article on design thinking and an attempt to catalog all of the schools using design thinking. I do predict that STEM, design thinking, and creativity are going to become increasingly valued by parents and many who are disenfranchised with a testing environment that is rapidly driving everyone involved to the edge – particularly the students.
“Mapping a global movement. A global movement is unfolding, and in response to the overwhelming interest around design thinking in schools, IDEO and the d.school have created a new directory — Design Thinking in Schools — to highlight the network of institutions that are at the forefront of this movement.
The directory, launched in mid-October, already features a wide range of programs and resources. There’s a mix of learning environments, from charter and district public schools to museums and summer camps. The programs are diverse, including after school “lab” environments and schools that use design thinking as the basis for subject-matter courses. ”
- Mind Tools – Management Training, Leadership Training and Career Training
I play Lumosity to help make me smarter, but if you’re starting out in a job or just want to learn more, Mind Tools focuses on career skills. Very niche site and toolkit layout. The world belongs to those who are lifelong learners. It has never been easier but learning is never truly easy – it requires time and commitment – but the resources are here.
- Information Is Beautiful
Big data visualized. What a cool site that connects art and math. If you explore or write or are just a scholar, this site will give you lots to think about.
- 25 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer
Awesome websites that will have me tinkering all day. Very cool.
- Minecraft-1001 Uses for Minecraft in Schools » Virtually School
Don’t let the title mislead you, but yes, there are many uses of Minecraft in schools.This versatile, compelling but pretty low bandwidth tool gives us so many things Second Life never did – and with minecraft.edu it is affordable for most of us. This list is trending on Twitter which just shows how many people are interested (or how many people don’t read to know it isn’t really 1001
You might just find one way to teach coding in your classroom for the Hour of Code coming up.
- Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners: SAMR Through the Lens of the Common Core
Susan Oxnevad has some more powerful infographics. In this case, she’s linked together many of her posts about developing a digital toolkit and relating SAMR to Common Core. There are some great resources here for technology integrators as well as observing Susan’s style for graphically sharing her information.
The post Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 12/02/2013 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
Understand the Finland education model through video BBC News: Wales
November 29, 2013
November 29, 2013
So, if you want to peek inside Finland’s world class education model, there are 3 videos on this BBC Wales site that will give you what you want. This Diary of a math teacher in Finland gives you a peek. There’s also two other great videos “Let teachers teach, say Finns” and “Finland Classroom Success Secrets.” You can embed these that I can find, so you’ll need to share the links and watch them on the site. These short videos are just under 4 minutes and would be great to share in a staff meeting. People can talk about Finland’s model of education all they want to, but when you read deeper, you’ll find that the teachers are empowered teacherpreneurs with a lot of ability to customize their classrooms but with full accountability for results. Share and Enjoy • Facebook • Twitter • Delicious • LinkedIn • StumbleUpon • Add to favorites • Email • RSS
The post Understand the Finland education model through video [Link] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
When I got up this morning, I discovered that lots are Googley eyed over Google. With some serious book and app deals, many of us (me included) are downloading Google Play Books on our ipads and taking advantage of the deals. Meanwhile, Google Hangouts are becoming popular in the classroom, now that you can set up groups of students and enable Google Plus for some of your students or just educators at your school. I learned this trick in the most useful Google Group I’ve joined, the GAFE Google Group.
Meanwhile, more useful infographics are making the rounds including two Common Core standards wordclouds made by Ben Rimes @techsavvyed, and a Learning Theory infographic that is a must share with your college professors. Infographics continue to be a powerful communication tool and part of writing.
Meanwhile, Suzie Boss (writing for @edutopia) is finishing up a stint at the American School of Bombay in India and captures the essence of that world class school with a student interview and one with one of the geniuses behind their success, Shabbi Luthra @shluthra. I’ve been there and everything she says about the school rings true. In other world news, New South Wales has friction between the Federal and State Governments (sound familiar?) over education funding and Pakistan takes steps to enroll more school children with a goal of 100% enrollment in the next 6-7 years but again, has funding problems.
In personal improvement today, Joli Barker @Joli_Barker talks about how to create a Fearless classroom in 3 steps, Erin Klein‘s @kleinerin work in classroom design is trending, as well as Miguel Guhlin’s @mguhlin epic post on surviving transition. Dawn Casey-Rowe @runningdmc adds another installment in the PD series she’s running on her blog to make a fantastic case for what you CAN do when everything is blocked.
There are two posts on the SAMR model, one an explanation from Med Kharbach @medkh9 and another is an example from Richard Wells @ipadwells. And because I couldn’t resist listing two of his posts, there’s an incredible post from Richard Wells on Project Based Learning and the Ipad along with app suggestions that is worth sharing with your teachers and technology integrators.
Meanwhile, I keep tinkering with these post formats and appreciate any feedback you choose to share @coolcatteacher. Hope my US friends had a Happy Thanksgiving with your families and that you’ll get out and walk or run today to get rid of a few extra calories so your blue jeans will fit Monday. I’m preparing for a private event at St. Simons this Friday and the VSTE keynote a week from Monday in Virginia and so excited to be taking a moment to travel. I’m very excited to see how Edmodo is used in VSTE to help manage the conference and share handouts.
While everyone else seemed to be at the Camilla Walmart, my family and I enjoyed our annual tradition of celebrating Slack Friday. Armed with a remote, we did little but pass the remote around, eat some pretty awesome ribs, watch football, and celebrate Mom’s birthday. Have a wonderful weekend.
Googley over Google The Google Deals and Steals that are Causing Book Lovers to Download Google Play for iOS this weekend
- Cyber Weekend Deals – Android Apps on Google PlayGoogle’s Cyber weekend deals are a serious reason to at least download Google Play for iOS on your ipad. I’m picking up Malcom Gladwell’s book for 3.49 and reading it in the app for just this reason. (You can get the hunger games trilogy for $12.99, the new Dan Brown book for $3.99, David Baldacci’s the Hit by $2.49 and Ender’s Game for $1.99 – I’m literally going to have the book for the next few weeks ready to go on my ipad as I travel to Virginia and St. Simon’s to speak. Yes!) Book lovers must go over this list, but the chromecast stick is worth a look as it is basically a Roku/ Apple TV on a stick for just $35.tags: education news Google deals edu_newapp edu_trends
- Read books on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad – Google Play Help If you want to use Google Play Books for iOs, here’s how you download. With the deals this weekend, you’ll want to do it now.tags: education news books reading google
- How to Use Hangouts in the Classroom – EdTechReview™ (ETR)How to use Google Hangouts in the Classroom. Now that you can segment participation and let certain groups of students and educators participate in Google Plus, this is becoming a popular method of connecting classrooms. I’m setting up Google Hangouts on Air to record and send to the class YouTube channel to share conversations with guests and let those students who missed the day join in. I am also going to use these recordings as part of flipped classroom modules as I learn about using Sophia for flipping my classroom.tags: education news google hangouts globaled bestpractices all_teachers
- Google Group for GAFE Admins – I recommend joining this group if you administer Google Apps for Education. They are helpful and because it is Google, the people in this group know a lot about the offerings from Google for schools.
- Every Common Core Standard Related to Technology | The Tech Savvy EducatorExcellent word clouds created by Ben Rimes over at Tech Savvyed related to the Common Core State standards. This demonstrates how technology standards are related and embedded in the standards, particularly the writing standards. This is one big reason I’m publishing the book “Reinventing Writing.” I think a lot of people know they need to write with technology but just don’t understand how. This blog post is useful to read if you’re having anything to do with Common Core implementation and these charts would be useful to share with your teachers in a quick teacher’s meeting. Great post, Ben!tags: education news common core
- Learning Theory – What are the established learning theories?This infographic with links and information about the many learning theories is one that college profs would love to use. This also demonstrates the power of useful infographics. I’m clipping this to Evernote to keep it handy. Very useful tool.tags: education news infographic learning theories
- In India, a School that Empowers Students and Teachers | EdutopiaI’m a huge fan of the American School of Bombay and visionary Shabbi Luthra – this article on Edutopia from PBL expert Suzie Boss captures so much about this amazing school that uses laptops at a very young age in ways that empower students to learn, create, and share. Shabbi is passionate about bringing the best to her school but also shares expects that what is brought and discussed there will be used. Such a great school – it is well worth attending ASB Un-Plugged when they host it just to see what they are doing. It is hard to find a better school anywhere in the world.
tags: education news asb unplugged best practices edreform bestpractices
- In Pakistan, a New Push for Education by Mujib Mashal on BeaconPakistan is pushing to educate more of its children, amidst financial woes and a struggle for more funding. Their goal: 100% enrollment. Of course, there is a great effort also to build a firewall in Pakistan much like the “great firewall of China.” That said, there are many lovely educators from Pakistan who contribute and connect increasingly online and I wish this country well as well as the many countries working to increase enrollment. “As schools returned to session in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province this fall, the newly elected provincial government – with the help of the non-profit campaign Alif Ailaan – launched an enrollment drive. In its first month, the drive managed to enroll nearly 245,000 out of school children – about 65% male and 35% female – across 25 districts of the province, according to figures provided by Alif Ailaan. But considering Pakistan’s education woes, where more than 25 million children between the ages of 5-16 remain out of school, it is a small step. “In order to provide schooling to all the kids, we need about Rs. 138 billion (roughly $1.2 billion) just in KP – for school infrastructure, classrooms, teachers so on and so forth,” Joudat Ayaz, the province’s education secretary, told me over dinner. Ayaz estimates the number of out of school children in KP between 2 to 3 million, about 20% to 30% of the school-age children in the province. “You can’t do this [reaching 100% enrollment] in one go – you have to do it progressively, over six or seven years.””tags: education edreform pakistan politics news
- Education funding changes ‘untenable’ says NSW Premier – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)Education is an issue around the world as demonstrated in this video from New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell. They have problems with “reneged deals with Federal and State governments.” Education is in flux the world over, lest any one group of educators feel they are being singled out. This is largely caused by the information age. While the industrial age changed how people worked, the information age is fundamentally changing how people learn and those organizations that can adapt and progress will remain. Some towns suffered the loss of factories but kept their schools. What happens when the schools close? Integrate technology, blend learning, or the tightening finances world wide will make it hard for you to thrive in an education landscape increasingly mixed with education technology.tags: education news politics nsw
- Creating a Fearless Classroom In Three StepsJoli Barker, author of the Fearless Classroom Blog, talks about how to become a fearless classroom in 3 steps. She’s an inspirational practicing classroom teacher and I’ve blogged about her before. Just amazing what she does with technology, writing, and improving her classroom.tags: education teaching edreform
- Dressing Your Classroom for Student Success Erin Klein shares her principles for setting up an effective classroom design with tips especially relevant to elementary teachers. Filling the wall full of charts and clutter from floor to ceiling isn’t only a problem with the fire marshal but may actually be making it harder for students to learn. Listen to this awesome conversation to learn more.tags: education classroom design wecm
- To Foster Productivity and Creativity in Class, Ditch the Desks! | MindShiftErin Klein is my go-to person for classroom design. Her love for interior design and teaching as well as her passion to pursue the researched based best practices make her a favorite. I interviewed her on Every Classroom Matters not too long a go about her methods, but here’s a great post that goes into it more deeply as well.tags: education news classroom design
- Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org: Keys Changing Hands – 7 Tips for Surviving Leadership in Transition #edchatIf you’re dealing with leadership transitions in your district, Miguel Guhlin has penned a pretty epic post. In it, he is blunt about the ups and downs of working with great leaders, and “hatchet men.” IN the post, he also includes steps to making staff development actually work and his frustration to be asked to read books that no one else read or implemented. This is a great post and one that leaders should read (so they can be visionary) and staff and teachers should read (so they can find wisdom for making it through tough transitions.) Every transition is tough – I’ve been through several myself during my 12 years and even when the leader is a very good one, it is hard to do and endure because so many people take their “eye off the ball” and the ball is learning in the classroom. Drama in the front office should be kept at a minimum so classroom learning can be kept at a maximum.tags: education edreform leadership all_teachers
- Hacking Your Classroom: Getting Around Blocks & BansDawn Casey-Rowe hits a tough topic that is the number one complaint that teachers have. I had her on my show not too long a go and she speaks from a tough situation with lots of blocks and bans but gets it done anyway. If your complaint is blocks and bans, then take time to read this post to focus on what you CAN do. Dawn is offering a set of PD blog posts that you’ll want to dig into. “This week, we’re going to discuss the white elephant in the room. Tech frustration. Many teachers struggle to bring students the type of tech experience they would like because of systemic blocks and bans, or worse, feel embarrassed as students have more access to tech than teachers do. This is the issue that brought me to the tech world myself. Students continually asked the hard questions about why they couldn’t utilize technology such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and why phones were confiscated when students were using them for educational purposes. I wanted to improve my classroom experience and give my students more, but budget was a concern. Tech access is a problem in many schools. There are legitimate reasons–the desire of administrators to protect students from the darker side of the internet, fear of the unknown, lack of wireless capacity and budget difficulties which cause insufficient numbers of computers or the inability to upgrade existing tech. Some educational leaders have overcome these hurdles, but others are still working to get to that space.”tags: education news edtech bestpractices all_teachers
- One on One With a Teacher on the Leading EdgeA show I recorded with Dawn Casey-Rowe, an overcomer who is using technology (and kickboxing too). She gives advice on transforming classrooms to demands all teachers face. She shares her thoughts about leading, learning, and embracing education technology.tags: education news edreform bestpractices
- Project Based Learning with iPads | IPAD 4 SCHOOLS Richard Wells at Ipads for schools has written a nice post about project based learning with iPads including a great Edutopia video and many app suggestions. If you’re moving towards better use of your ipads, this will be a great post for you.tags: education news edtech
- SAMR – The common truth | IPAD 4 SCHOOLSA nice SAMR chart from Richard Wells that shows a simple demonstration about moving through the model of introducing technology. This helps understand the process using an example.tags: education news ipad
- What Teachers Need to Know about SAMR Model ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning This very useful post is one you can share with educators about the SAMR model for technology integration into the classroom. This excellent blog post from Med Kharbach at Educators Technology is one that will inform you (with great videos embedded) and help you understand what it is intended to do. With teacher evaluation systems everywhere adapting this model, every teacher should read this post.tags: education news edtech
Remember to take a little time every day to learn something new! You rock!Share and Enjoy • Facebook • Twitter • Delicious • LinkedIn • StumbleUpon • Add to favorites • Email • RSS
The post Daily Education and Technology News 11/30/2013 #edtechchat #edreform appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
Happy Thanksgiving. Expect a few posts from me today about things I’m thankful for including apps and books. Infographics are flying around the Twittersphere lately and I’m including the most shared education infographics. A fifth grade teacher is making news as her lesson to teach kids about uploading photos on the Internet goes viral. Richard Byrne @rmbyrne falls in love with Haiku Deck on the web and says it might actually make you “forget about all other slideshow tools.”
Kim Caise @kcaise has a great presentation for you global collaborators and news about an awesome PhotoJournalism scholarship opportunity with iEarn to collaborate with people in Pakistan and Tajikistan. Very Cool. Finally, Brian Page @finedchat shared with me last night a great Harvard Business Review write up on the seriously flawed evaluation systems being used in businesses and now schools. For those of you combating some of the half-cocked counterproductive evaluation systems out there, you’ll want to read and share this post.
For those of you who want to know how I create this daily post via Diigo (thanks Sue Waters @suewaters for the shout out) and some custom editing, the video I created is being shared quite a bit. I’d like to give a shout out to the Eduallstars Chris Kesler @iamkesler and Todd Nesloney @techninjatodd and for interviewing me on their show last week.
Now, I’m heading out to take breakfast to Mom and Dad so we can cook, percolate, and LAUGH OUR HEADS OFF telling old stories and being hilarious. Today is an awesome day. One thing I’d like to say to my dear friends out there.A Quick Note on Thanksgiving not becoming Shopsgetting
Today, you could go out there to the stores and find some deals, while losing out on some great family memories. You can’t buy memories in a store, my dear friends.
If we all shop today then these businesses will keep doing it. Granddaddy Adams always said “There’s enough for everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed.” The sad thing is that when we go out and shop, we’re making lots of great hardworking people who may be “low man on the totem pole” miss out on their own Family Thanksgiving. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to do that. We all have a right to choose, but I choose family both for me and for all of those who would have to serve me if I did venture out. And we wonder why the US leads the world in anxiety and depression. Perhaps it is because we’re always shopping for what we don’t have and ignore what we do have right in front of us. So, put those cell phones down, pick up a knife and carve some turkey.
May the only turkey at your table today be the one on it!
- The cartoon on standardized testing everyone should read: An new take on the Einstein quote “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid” by @simoncooper is making the rounds.
- This infographic on the fixed mindset versus primary growth mindset was shared by Aileen Swenson @MrsASwenson and is approaching 181 retweets at last check. Great chart to read and discuss in staff meetings. Interesting that Aileen admits she doesn’t know where it first started and I don’t either. The way Twitter does pictures now makes it hard to track the origin.
- A mind map for teaching English from Daniel Tay is also making the rounds. Hat tip @edudemic.
A fifth grade teacher wanted to show her students what happens when you put a photo online: This must share with your students. I guess the thing that bothers me most is that the fifth grade teacher’s name isn’t anywhere to be seen – I’m not sure if this is intentional or not because I wanted to give her credit for this here. Guessing we’ll dig deeper. Hat tip to @patrickmillsaps for letting me know about that one. (If you want to show a video, Today Show did a piece.) I made my own riff for my students if you want to use it for your slide deck.Haiku Deck on the Web
On the app scene, Richard Byrne @rmbyrne is all about the new web version of Haiku Deck in this post “Haiku Deck might make you forget about all other slideshow tools.” I LOVE the ipad version and am so excited about trying the web version of this app. The photo search feature is fantastic and I can literally whip up a world class explanation or presentation for my students in minutes.Global Collaboration presentation worth watching iEarn PhotoJournalism scholarship opportunity for educators A Riff on Modern Performance Evaluation Systems
Thanks to Brian Page @finedchat for tweeting this link to me where the Harvard Business Review completely blasts modern performance evaluation systems. At my husband’s company, for example, they require force ranks. Everyone in every department must be ranked from top to bottom with a target of getting rid of the bottom 10% each year. This is a counterproductive methodology that keeps from building strong departments (who wants to work with a superstar?) and causes needless infighting in my opinion. What bothers me most is that this flawed system is moving into education.Share and Enjoy • Facebook • Twitter • Delicious • LinkedIn • StumbleUpon • Add to favorites • Email • RSS
The post Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 11/28/2013 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
I started getting these Visual Deals things popping up all over the Internet, even on my own blog. Spam like that drives me crazy because it is obviously tracking what I’m doing and will slow browsing down as well.
After research, I found that this was coming from a Pinterest add in for Chrome. You can disable it. If you’re a Pinterest person or know people who are, you should share this so they can disable Visual Deals. Surely Pinterest can do better. Share and Enjoy • Facebook • Twitter • Delicious • LinkedIn • StumbleUpon • Add to favorites • Email • RSS
The post How to get rid of the Visual Deals Popup (It comes from Pinterest) [Video] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
He had a point… pic.twitter.com/3Q5ODwk91y
The best tweet of the year. Sometimes a picture is all you need to get the point across. – Vicki Davis Share and Enjoy • Facebook • Twitter • Delicious • LinkedIn • StumbleUpon • Add to favorites • Email • RSS
The post The education cartoon everyone should read [Quote] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
Hi everyone. I have a slightly different version of daily news today because my server was being upgraded last night. Today we have some news about blip.tv removing accounts, a reminder to make your website compatible with mobile devices, and a list of great podcasts (mine and others – just scroll down, you’ll get there) you may want to download as you travel.Blip.tv is removing many users: You may need to download your videos.
I’ve had to go in and download almost 100 videos from 2 accounts of mine over at Blip.tv. This used to be a great place to post your videos as it would distribute them to YouTube, iTunes, or wherever. Now, if you’re not producing an official “show” they’ll probably be getting rid of your account.
You have until December 8 to download all of those videos. I went and downloaded mine and will post them on my YouTube account to archive them. Oddly, I didn’t receive an email notification and had to log in to find out.Test your blog or website on multiple devices
I was testing this blog on my ipad and realized that the videos weren’t showing. To allow videos to show on ipads, you cannot check “use old HMTL” — in other words, you need to use iframe. I’ve gone over the tutorials I’ve posted over the last few weeks on this blog and have re-embedded them. They should work fine now! Remember if you notice anything, feel free to contact me any time with suggestions.Updated List of Shows
I’ve gone through and updated links to the shows for my podcast. There are several shows with inspirational students that I’ve shared with my own students and child. I listened to the podcast with Harry Sansotri @hgsansostri (12 year old author of The Little dudes Skool Survival Guide) with my own son and we talked about bullying. This is one of those you may want to download and listen to in the car as it was a real conversation starter with my own child.
Also, there’s Joshua with Joshua’s Heart feeding hundreds of thousands of people in Miami. Add to it an AWESOME interview with Todd Nesloney @TechNinjaTodd and so many other amazing people who have agreed to have a 10 minute interview. While I keep blogging about each show, that is taking me some time, so I wanted some of you who just download one podcast at a time to have a chance to fill up with podcasts for the travel season.
Below this list, I’m also giving you links to some other great podcasts I listen to give you some variety.iTunes RSS EVERY CLASSROOM MATTERS PODCAST ARCHIVE # Title Participants Release date 036 A Student’s Response to Bullying Becomes a Book
a podcast for parents, kids and teachers dealing with bullying HG Sansotri, 12 year old from the UK @hgsansostri
Author of The Little dudes Skool Survival Guide 11/25/13 035 A Talk with Amazing White House Champion of Change Teacher Todd Nesloney @TechNinjaTodd
2013 White House Champion of Change 11/22/13 034 Exposing Your Students to Inspiring Young People who are making a Difference: Joshua’s Heart Joshua Williams, 12 year old from Miami Florida, 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Award Winner 11/18/13 033 A Smarter, Kinder Approach to Handling Conflict in Educational Settings Bob Burg, author “Adversaries into Allies” 11/15/13 032 Engaging Students Through Competitions Contests and Code Pat Yongpradit @MrYongpradit , Microsoft Innovative Educator Award winner (for his project encouraging girls in STEM)
and student Anh Vo, Kodu Cup Challenge finalist – USA 2013 11/12/13 031 The Global Classroom Project Michael Graffin @mgraffin 11/8/13 030 The Need to Teach Financial Literacy Brian Page @FinEdChat
(Milken National Educator Recipient) 11/4/13 029 NASA Explorer Schools: Bringing Authentic Learning Opportunities into Your Classroom Kaci Heins @spacespartan 10/30/13 028 Using Social Media and Robotics to Engage Students in STEM Lewis Chappalear (finalist for US teacher of the year from California)
Randy Cailor (Georgia USA) 10/29/13 027 Reinventing Your Classroom
(Coplanning with Google Docs as done by two 20+ year Literature teachers) Annice Brave
(2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year) and
Jeff Hudson @jhudson55 10/21/13 026 Why Teaching Computer Programming to All Students Matters Lou Zulli Jr. @lzulli(2 Time Winner of Microsoft Innovative Educator Awards) 10/14/13 025 Staying Relevant, Staying Abreast, and Staying Employed for Life Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti
@traceywilen 10/14/13 024 Google Glass in the Classroom: Possibilities and Challenges Ahead Don Wettrick
@donwettrick 10/7/13 023 Connecting Your Classroom to the World Silvia Tolisano @langwitches 10/7/13 022 Teaching Creativity: Encouraging Learning and Creativity with Mobile Photography Meri Walker @iphoneartgirl 9/30/13 021 Connected Classrooms: Bringing the World to Your Students Bev Berns @B_Berns ,
Kim Powell @powell4thgrade 9/9/13 020 Teach Like a Pirate: Grabbing and Keeping Your Student’s Attention Dave Burgess @burgessdave
Author of “Teach Like a Pirate” 8/20/13 019 Dressing Your Classroom for Student Success Erin Klein @KleinErin 8/20/13 018 Questioning Rigor, Considering Vigor and Other Musings Shawn White @swpax 8/17/13 017 Learning by Doing: Inside the Maker Movement +Sylvia Martinez @smartinezco-author of “Invent to Learn” 8/6/2013 016 Leaning Forward: Moving Your Teaching Practice Beyond Your Comfort Zone +Aaron Maurer @coffeechugbooks 7/22/2013 015 One on One with a Teacher on the Leading Edge +Dawn Casey-Rowe @runningdmc 7/15/2013 014 Achieving Sustainable Classroom Innovation +A.J. Juliani @ajjuliani
Steve Mogg @stevenjmogg
Rosie Esposito @djesposito from Wissahickon High School, Pennsylvania 7/15/2013 013 Learning Commons: How the School Library is Being Reinvented David V. Loertscher
Learning Commons Pioneer and Author 6/15/2013 012 ANew Models: Inside Early College STEM Schools Brenda Darden Wilkerson, William Starzyk, Arlington Vigilance from Chicago 6/17/2013 011 A Look inside the classroom of ISTE 2013 Teacher of the Year Nicholas Provenzano
ISTE 2013 Teacher of the Year
@TheNerdyTeacher 6/6/2013 010 Savvy Use of Edtech in Early Ed Classrooms Karen Lirenman, klirenman
(Kay Bitter K-2 ISTE 2013 Teacher of the Year) 6/4/2013 009 Quest2Matter, Choose2Matter, & #YouMatter: 3 Reasons to Get Involved Angela Maiers @angelaMaiers 5/23/2013 008 Why Computer Science isn’t Just for Geeks Alfred Thompson “Mr. Computer Science” @alfredtwo 5/20/2013 007 Teaching Teachers With Technology: 5 Important Ingredients of Good Preservice Teacher Education Eva Brown @ebrownorama 5/16/2013 006 How Classrooms Change When Genius Drives Learning #geniushour Joy Kirr @joykirr,
Hugh McDonald @hughtheteacher,
Gallit Zvi gallit_z,
Denise Krebs @mrsdkrebs 5/6/2013 005 Encouraging Global Connections and Digital Citizenship Theresa Allen @tdallen5 4/23/2013 004 Gearing Up for Common Core Math Darren Burris @dgburris 4/23/2013 003 How Teachers and Students Are Collaborating Globally Toni Olivier-Barton @toniobarton,
Maureen Tumenas, @bcdtech
Donna Esposito, @djesponsito
Tina Schmidt @MrsSchmidtB4 4/6/2013 002 Creative Approaches to Teaching STEM at the Elementary School Level Kevin Jarrett @kJarrett,Dr. Jeremy A. Ervin @dr_jeremy_ervin 3/12/2013 001 What is a MOOC? Dr. Lee Graham @ak_leegand Colin Osterhout @costerhout 2/10/2013 Some more awesome podcasts
I love listening to podcasts and usually listen each morning as I’m getting dressed. Here are my favorites:
- This is Your Life by Michael Hyatt
- Eduallstars (This is like Larry King but with educators – a longer show but so interesting.)
- Simple Life Habits Podcast by Jonathan Milligan
- Prairie Home Companion’s News from Lake Wobegon (I love Garrison Keillor, the speaker – if my kids hear me laughing, they know why.)
- This Week in Tech
- iPad Today
- Edge of Chaos Podcast with Aaron Maurer
- There are tons of great podcasts on BAM Radio Network (host of my show), Edtechtalk, and Edreach.
If you want to know how to set up your podcatcher, I have a tutorial available for you. (I use iCatcher.) I listen to podcasts while getting dressed in the morning and while I’m cleaning the kitchen on Saturdays. It is a quick way to be informed and stay inspired! Consider setting up podcasts on your mobile device. You are what you think. Think wisely and intentionally.Happy Thanksgiving
Meanwhile, Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve got my college son coming in today from Georgia Tech and about to run to the store to fulfill his very interesting and random grocery list that only a college student would ask for. (I mean who puts hummus, raw oysters and beef jerky on the same list?)
I hope that you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving if you’re a US celebrator. If not, have an awesome week. I’m thankful for those of you who read my blog and teach me so much.
It is always a good time to give thanks!
-VickiShare and Enjoy • Facebook • Twitter • Delicious • LinkedIn • StumbleUpon • Add to favorites • Email • RSS
The post Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 11/27/2013 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
The Daily Education and Technology News starts off as a draft blog post sent from Diigo to my blog each morning. It is automatically sent there from yesterday’s bookmarks using a handy tool in Diigo. In this quick 3 minute tutorial, I teach you how to set up your own Diigo auto post. Just remember to decide the tag that you’ll use for this to set it up.
This is a great tip for IT integrators or bloggers who want to easily share. If you want to go advanced and have several blogs to run, you could, for example, have an ipad blog and post ipad resources using an ipad tag. Then, you could have another blog on writing that receives all of your bookmarks about writing. Remember that when you bookmark you might find something about writing on the ipad and tagging each of them would send that to each different blog. Talk about a way to save time!
The post How to automatically post bookmarks to your blog using Diigo [Video] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
Starting up in today’s technology news, there are rumors flying about an iPad Pro to be released next year, computers are making headway in object and picture recognition, and plans for the Chinese to land on the moon with a probe have US space agencies in an uproar. (Please listen to teacher Kaci Heins talk about how she teaches about space in her classroom.)
On the lighter side, this is a week that many United States educators look forward to. We’ve been teaching so hard for quite some time and we’re exhausted. But, if you’re like me, you might be wanting to tinker with apps and tools. Here are suggestions:
Learn More about Twitter: If you’re still trying to understand Twitter, use the Twitter lingo infographic. If you want to read about Twitter, my go to book for years has been Twitter Power 2.0 by Joel Comm.
Play with New Tools: Then, we’ve got 20 tools that we should all know about (but I don’t) from Edudemic.
Download Podcasts for the Trip: The message on the news this week is “expect travel delays.” If you need some podcasts to listen to, there’s a great one about the STEM crisis (or myth) from PBS or you could find a show or two of amazing teachers and students from my Episode guide for Every Classroom Matters (updated yesterday.)
A New Viral Trend around School Lunches: As you look at your succulent Thanksgiving meal, you might not want to look at the 7,000 pics of US school lunches traveling around the Internet like a moldy piece of baloney thrown across the lunchroom. Take a look at your lunches and realize that appearance might not be everything but if your lunches look awful, you might get called on it sooner than later. It really is upsetting what some kids are eating.
Write a Blog Post to Nominate your faves for the Edublog Awards: Thank you for reading my blog and for the nominations some of you have made of this blog and my podcast, Every Classroom Matters for the 2013 Edublog Awards. These are both precious to me and I want them to be helpful.
Take time to nominate your favorites, especially if your favorite is a newcomer and has been fantastically helpful to you. The Edublog awards have made a difference in the lives of many of us, including me because real classroom teachers don’t have the budget (or time/money) to spread word of their blog like people who leave the classroom do. Please nominate practicing classroom teachers if you know about them and remember, you can’t nominate yourself.
Finally, I’ve set this website to be upgraded to new servers to improve the load times and bandwidth needs. I’m so blessed that so many of you are reading and linking to coolcatteacher.com since my move from Blogger to WordPress around a month a go. It will happen around 11pm Eastern tonight but hopefully the site won’t go down.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I get out of school at noon on Tuesday but will start scrubbing about 30 sweet potatoes as we prepare to feed 80 of our closest family members out on the farm Thursday. I’m so ready to see all my cousins, aunts, and uncles, but can’t help but be a bit misty eyed for the amazing generation that we’ve lost over the last 15 years.
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends. - VickiTechnology News
- Apple to launch 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ in 2014? – Tech News – Digital Spy Rumors of an iPad Pro abound for 2014.tags: education news ipad ipadchat
- BBC News – Computer uses images to teach itself common sense Visual recognition and intelligent identification of objects is making progress. Soon, just a picture of a child could tell everyone that child’s name if simple facial recognition is used. This is more than just facial recognition but is rather, trying to teach a computer to learn. This is an interesting article.”The aim is to see if computers can learn, in the same way a human would, what links images, to help them better understand the visual world.
The Never Ending Image Learner (NEIL) program is being run at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States.
The work is being funded by the US Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research and Google.
Since July, the NEIL program has looked at three million images. As a result it has managed to identify 1,500 objects in half a million images and 1,200 scenes in hundreds of thousands of images as well as making 2,500 associations.”
- China’s moon landing next month is trouble for NASA | Fox NewsYes, it is time to explore space. It may just take a political competitor to wake up the United States to the space-age advantage it has had for decades as the Chinese plan to land a robotic probe on the moon. We need to be talking about space.
“China’s mission to robotically land on the moon next month is sure to stir up lunar dust, but it may also cause a political dust up, too.China is in the final stages of preparing its robotic Chang’e 3 moon lander to launch atop a Long March 3B rocket, slated for liftoff in early December. The ambitious mission is built to first orbit the moon, then propel down to a landing site, after which a small, solar-powered lunar rover will be unleashed.”
The post Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 11/26/2013 appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
I’ve found that many teachers don’t know how to shorten their URLs to put them on presentations or handouts. I recorded a 60 Second Tip tutorial about how to shorten your hyperlinks. If you’re using QR Codes
Note that before you shrink a hyperlink using a QR code, it is beneficial to shorten the link (if the QR code tool doesn’t do it for you) so there is less information encoded and you don’t have an overly large QR code.Test Shortened URL’s because some Schools Block them
Also note that some school’s firewalls block link shorteners because they are easy ways for hackers to hide their links. (Don’t click shortened links in most emails or direct messages, for example.) If you use a reputable QR code shortener like bit.ly or tinyurl.com you should be alright.
This is a must-know skill for teachers and students alike because it helps us communicate more easily.Why use Tiny URL instead of Bitly or other choices?
The reason I use tiny url for links for my students is because I can choose a word or class code as part of the link. I store these in my Evernote lesson planning notebooks so I can use them next year. The links are just easier to see on the board and type in if meaningful words are part of the link.
The post 60 Second Tip: Shorten your URL (hyperlink) [Video] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.