Friday, September 30, 2011

20 Things.....

When students speak out, we should listen! The Mind/Shift blog had a great article from the 'Voices of a Nation' meeting, and the top 20 Things Students Want the Nation to Know About Education.

You can also watch the panel discussion here. Are we asking our students how they learn, what they want to learn, the tools they want to learn with? If not, we should be!

Happy Friday

Thursday, September 29, 2011

iPads in the Classroom - Success Story

This is late notice but there's a great looking Q & A with a district in Michigan about their success with iPads in the classroom. Check the link for more details, the Q & A happens today.

1:1 - I'm Still On the Fence

1:1 programs (either laptops or iPads) are becoming more prevalent in schools, and also VERY expensive. All schools fund them differently.....some with parent money, others with district money and I'm guessing some with grants. I'm Still On the Fence with 1:1 programs and honestly have yet to see it done really well, and be fully supported.

Came across a good article in Edutopia about 1:1 programs, and they have some great resources near the end of the article.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Very soon......

Moms With Apps - Looks Like A Good Resource

Moms With Apps is something that I've been checking out and you can also see all their recommendations here in the App Store, and it Looks Like A Good Resource.

Moms With Apps is a group of developers that make kid/family friendly apps for young children. I was browsing them this morning and there are some great resources for use in lower elementary classrooms.

Should the School Day Be Longer?

I have mixed views on this topic, but you can read/join the debate here.

The NY Times has asked this question to a panel of eight people, and also opened the forum to public comment, check it out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Learning Network - Web Filters

I know there are still many districts across the country who don't allow access to YouTube for their students/staff. Web Filters are a pressing issue with educators/parents/students and there was an interesting article about Banned Websites Awareness Day which actually takes place on September 28th.

With the announcement of the YouTube Teacher channel last week, I'm hoping this will bring awareness and will force educators to teach acceptable use and not just 'shutting off' websites that have significant educational value.

Simple K12 - iPad Webinars

Simple K12 is offering some great looking iPad Webinars that start today! They're offering two more next month and check out their blog post for all the information and how to sign-up.

Today -
- Use Your iPad to Share Resources, Collaborate, and Eliminate Paperwork

October -
- Using Your iPad to Break Free : Don't Be Chained to Your Desktop Computer
- Digital Storytelling Using the iPad

TED Youth Day - Excellent Concept

TED Talks are of course part of my weekly life, they offer such great conversation and insight into so many different areas of life.

Was just reading the TED blog and learned about TED Youth Day which is coming up November 20th. It sounds like an Excellent Concept and make sure to visit their website and stay tuned for more info! Visit their attend page to join an event near you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tech Talk Podcast - Texting, Hacking and More

The NY Times weekly Tech Talk is always interesting and I especially liked this weeks talk on Texting, Hacking and More. You can listen to the podcast here.

Follow the main Tech Talk page here.

Tablet War Intesifies

The Washington Post has a great interactive looking at 14 different tablets now on the market. See the interactive here, and about the new Kindle and very mild threat to the iPad.

National Book Festival Podcasts

The National Book Festival is going on now and they have some great podcasts that would be a nice addition for your daily story time in class. Check them out!

Good Work Comcast

Comcast offering discounted internet access if you qualify for free school lunches, Good Work Comcast!

Schools For Tomorrow - Excited to Read More

The NY Times has a featured section about Schools For Tomorrow and Bringing Technology Into the Classroom. Lots of archived videos and discussions and I'm Excited to Read More.

Doodlers Unite - TED Talk You Should Watch

Yes I know, I'm on a video kick right now. Really enjoyed this TED Talk from Sunni Brown on doodling.

Arne answers questions.....

Secretary Duncan answers questions submitted via his Facebook page. My question....How often do you tell President Obama he should cut military spending and funnel that money to education? I hope it's on a daily basis, but I'm doubtful.


Double-Dutch - I've Been Trying to Teach

I've Been Trying to Teach some of my 4th/5th graders how to double-dutch and I'm going to show them this old-school video on Monday.

The group that I'm working with at recess still can't believe that I know how to double-dutch and that I can double-dutch in a shirt and tie. We'll see, our progress is slow but I'm confident they'll get there!

More to come....

Chrome (Beta) - Just Downloaded and Excited to Try

Chrome is the only browser I use and I Just Downloaded and am Excited to Try the new tab page with their Chrome BETA Channel. Get the download here, and check out the Google Chrome Blog post here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Teach For All - Sounds Adventurous

I heard about Teach For All last year and then read an article this morning about the program and had to check out their website. The program is a spin-off of the Teach for America program and it Sounds Adventurous. If you're a teacher and want to travel abroad, check out Teach For All!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Great Video From a Great New Blog I Follow

The Kids Should See This is a Great New Blog I follow, and they posted a Great Video that you have to watch.

Enjoy the video and check out their blog!

Big News from YouTube

A big announcement from the YouTube blog today about a new teacher page on how to better utilize YouTube in the classroom and for your students.

See the new YouTube page/channel here....

Edutopia - Great Resources

Check out some great resources from Edutopia!

Tech Talk - We Must Show Them the Way

An article in the Harvard Education Letter by way of the Mind/Shift blog really caught my eye. Digital Citizenship in our ever digital world must be presented thoughtfully, thoroughly and We Must Show our Students the Way!

Google +

From the Bits blog.....

Google has opened Google + to anyone who wants to join.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Open Culture - An Amazing Resource

Thanks to the Open Culture blog which is An Amazing Resource for this great video of 'What It Feels Like to Fly Over Planet Earth. Check it out!

Online Learning - I'm Curious What the Future Holds

Technology has obviously changed our lives in so many ways. An area that has mainly been effected in higher education is online learning. It has trickled down to high schools some, but not as far reaching in middle or elementary schools. There was a good post on the EdReach blog about The Coming Expansion of Online Learning and I'm Curious What the Future Holds.

In five/ten/fifteen years, how much more prevalent will Online Learning be in our schools/communities. I like to think it will thoughtfully be rolled out and implemented, but only time will tell.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Google Student Blog

Great post on the Google Student Blog today about one of their Summer Interns. Enjoy.....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Guest Blogger - Elizabeth Calhoon

Telling the Story and Finding the Voice

I’ve been presenting a lot lately on helping our students find their voice. At the recent 2nd annual Rock Star Teacher Summer Tech Camp, I presented the “Multimedia Poetry Slam” and this has started some mini-movements that are fascinating to watch. Woman Extraordinaire, Carol Anne McGuire (her Rock Our World Movement is inspirational - click on Founder for more information about Carol Anne) has shared that students are writing poetry slams at her school, New Village Leadership Academy in Calabases, CA, and in just watching the folks who were gracious enough to join my session and create their own poems, I watched how clearly we all need to have a voice - especially those of us who try to teach students how to have a voice.

I started watching more Taylor Mali (@TaylorMali) - probably the biggest English-y, EdTech-y Geek Crush I’ve ever had. You’re probably most familiar with his “What Teachers Make” poem:

But I’d encourage you to look at all of his performances. It invigorates the teacher’s soul.

My Principal also shared the following video with me, Sarah Kay’s “If I Should Have a Daughter”:

And then, I watched Angela Maiers’ TEDx Talk “You Matter”:

It is growing clear to me that my purpose in life is to empower others - help them find their voices and tell their stories and in turn, have each of us foster and care for our emotional intelligences and empathetic abilities.

So then, my question to you and challenge to you is this: What is your story? Where is your voice? and How will you make the world just a little more connected and better today?

I’m going to jump on Blogger and Twitter - that’s how I’ll start...

Whose Life Are You Changing?

The NY Times magazine always has great articles and very in-depth reporting. Today's magazine had a spread called 'The Educational Experiences That Change a Life.' The piece takes comments from fifteen different people about the change agent in their educational career.

You'll recognize a few of the contributors.....Michelle Rhee and Michael Bloomberg. I particularly enjoyed the comments from Caterina Fake, and her memory of GATE education and her experience in school, very interesting.

Whose Life Are You Changing.....?

School Book - An Interesting Concept

If you read my blog, you know I'm a fan of the NY version. They have great articles, well written, interesting angles, cover lots of areas and keep me quite informed.

There's a new 'column' of sorts called School Book and it looks at 'news, data, and conversation in New York city schools.' It's An Interesting Concept and I like the idea and way to communicate with the community.

You can see the main page here, and also a recent article that caught my attention called Can You Teach Character?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

School Technology Program - Very Exciting

The site has announced a press release from the White House.

"The Obama administration will create a national center to advance technologies that may improve teaching and learning in U.S. schools."

Very exciting and would be great to have federal support/financing like many other countries around the world. Read the entire press release here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

2nd or 3rd Career - Retirement and Teaching

An interesting article in the Business Day section on Retirement and Teaching. Many people are becoming teachers after spending careers in other sectors and for multiple reasons. Retirement savings, lifelong interest or they want to stay busy and utilize their skills.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

iPhone 5 - I'm Ready

iPhone 5 - I'm Ready for it already.....lots of rumors but nothing solid.

21st Century Leaders

Great video from the 21st Century Learning Project.

Extreme Schooling - Interesting Article

A Family's Experiment in Extreme Schooling, read on.....very interesting/exciting!

Reading Rainbow Coming to iPad - Very Cool Blast From the Past

The very popular show Reading Rainbow hosted by LeVar Burton will be coming to you as an iPad app very soon! Read the article here, and this is a Very Cool Blast From the Past and I think will add a much needed boost for language arts content. Stay tuned for more details and an official release date.

Edit Your Videos With You Tube - Very Handy

The Official You Tube Blog has just announced that you can now edit your videos within You Tube, even after you've uploaded them. This announcement is Very Handy and adds a nice editing feature to You Tube.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Great Ideas From Google Student Blog

There was a great post on the Google Student Blog about high school seniors tracking their college applications with Google. They had some Great Ideas about using docs, calendar and gmail. Some of these ideas can be implemented with your school site on a very similar basis. If nothing else, the blog post offered some great conversation starters for your site on what you can do with Google Docs, and I think will allow for some great conversation.

I'm back early to the blog, Apple trip is fun and I've had more time than I thought. Will be posting about the trip later this week, stay tuned!

Off for two days....

'G' Street learning will be off for two days, headed to Apple Headquarters for a workshop/conference. Back on Friday!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More About Homework From the NY Times

There was an interesting editorial in the NY Times Sunday Review about homework. Too much, too little, the article here.

Google Doc Updates - Just Comments

Google announced a great new feature in Docs yesterday. You can allow people to Just Comment on a document, without having edit rights. I like it....and thank you to Google for constantly adding new features!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Delicious Upgrade - I'm Interested To Check It Out

You Tube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen have 'acquired/bought' the once popular social bookmarking site Delicious. They have plans to launch the upgraded version this year and I'm Interested To Check It Out.

Read the entire article here.

TED Talks - More About Boys

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Waking Up Early - I'm All For It

There was a short article on The Choice blog last week about the correlation of waking up early and getting A's in college.....I'm All For It!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bus Tour - See What Arne Has to Say

The Blog is currently following Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's 'Bus Tour' and they have some great dispatches from the 'road.' See the video below where Arne talks about teacher training in Michigan.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Nothing Daunted - A Book I'm Reading and Recommend

'Nothing Daunted' by Dorothy Wickenden is A Book I'm Reading and Recommend.

I checked it out from my local library and it's a fascinating (true story) tale of two east coast women who venture to Colorado and teach in a one-room school house. Much different setting than our schools of today. Enjoy reading....

Students! Google is coming....

From the Google Student Blog, read on.......

Bring on the S.T.E.M. classroom....

More Podcasts I Like

I was looking around in iTunes some more and found More Podcasts I Like. Edutopia has some great Project Learning podcasts on an array of topics, with some just released in July 2011. For me, podcasts have always been a very convenient way to grab some professional development.

You can download and.....

- Listen on the way to work
- On the BART train
- Instead of reading before bed, listen before bed
- During long flights, or short flights
- At the gym or while I run
- Any other ideas......?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Edutopia Podcasts - They Got Me Excited

I was digging around in iTunes yesterday while observing some classrooms and having conversations about integration with teachers and found some great podcasts from Edutopia and They Got Me Excited. This particular podcast is titled Technology Integration, but take a look on the left hand navigation and Edutopia has some other excellent content as well.

Download some podcasts for a class listening center, and also have your class create their own podcasts!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Girls In a Tech World - Good Topic for Discussion

There was a great post on the Google Student Blog about Girls in a Tech World, I think it's a Good Topic for Discussion. Computer Science is heavily dominated by males, and Google has made a great video highlighting female Software Engineers and other women in the CS field. This area of the S.T.E.M. conversation is very important, especially in high school as these students are entering college and thinking about possible majors and careers.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Texting as Poetry - I Like It

There was an interesting article in the Guardian UK by Carol Ann Duffy, who is a poet laureate, and she feels Texting is a form of Poetry.....I Like It.

I taught poetry for years in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade.....short succinct lines of language, that sometimes need deeper thought and interpretation. Texting is very similar, so is Twitter!

Entire article here.....

Also, a great YouTube video about a teacher using Twitter in his classroom!


Something has to on!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Google Apps - Many New Features

The Official Google Blog posted a couple of days ago about Many New Features in Google Apps, read here for all the details.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Guest Blogger! - We Social Network, Why Not "Social Work?"

My good friend, colleague and Middle School Principal, Joe Nguyen is a guest blogger for today. Enjoy!

We Social Network, Why Not “Social Work?”

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Goggle+ have become common words in our everyday vocabulary. Most of us make posting videos, pictures, comments, and indicating that we “like” that our friends have had dinner at a local restaurant on a regular basis. Facebook now has over 750 million active users, roughly twice the population of the U.S. The verbs “tweet, tag, and like” have taken new meaning since social networking sites have hit the scene. In addition to these social networking giants, did you know there are social networking sites for musicians, video game players, knitters, science researchers, churches, and just about any profession, vocation, and hobby? I recently commented to my wife this past summer, as we visited a few different churches in our town, “these churches integrate more technology than most of our schools.” But that is a topic for another article.

Since late this summer (hey, it’s still summer according to the calendar), I’ve been looking at different ways to engage students and staff at my school site in the art of “social working.” What if we could tap into the culture of social networking in what we do to research, plan lessons, teach, assess, do PD, and engage our students? I believe we would increase our efficiency and make the work we do more enjoyable too.

It doesn’t matter if your school uses comprehensive paid systems like Blackboard, School Loop, or the other solutions out there. Principals or teacher leaders can create groups, forums or discussion boards that function like social networking sites. What would be the result if your staff or district shared best practices, links, and resources for students, teachers, professional development, and tools for organizing schools at the same rate they “tweet, tag, and like” on social networking sites. Websites like Edmodo and Schoology offer free service to schools that look and function similarly to Facebook. Check them out.

I welcome your thoughts and ideas and see you in a “friends list” near you.

Joe Nguyen!/eastbayprof

Smarter Than the Teachers :)

If nothing else, read the first two paragraphs.....another reason why there needs to be mandatory professional development for teachers in the area of technology and 21st century skills!

Search - A Skill Our Students Need Work On

Search is a HUGE business/industry/skill that has taken hold in our 21st century lives. Companies have entire departments based around SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it's also a Skill Our Students Need Work a big way.

I was visiting one of my fifth grade classes yesterday, and students were working on U.S. Geography, using Google and another website to find answers based on a Geography Search the teacher had created. After spending ten minutes in class, and also searching on my iPad 2 for the answers, the students were having great difficulty finding answers. After looking at their search queries, I quickly realized they needed instruction on search techniques/skills.

With that being said, here comes AGoogleADay....... this is a great daily activity for students/staff to work on their search skill. I'll be posting some Google Search Tricks very soon also!

Happy Searching

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wired For Mobile Learning?

A great infograph from the Voxy blog, about our new generation being Wired For Mobile Learning....enjoy!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

ISTE Webinar - Some PD That Looks Good

ISTE always has great resources and content, and they have some webinars coming up That Look Good.

They have a Google Doc webinar and a iPads in the Classroom webinar coming up and the descriptions look great. If you join ISTE there are discounts for the webinars they offer, and I would recommend watching them with your grade level or department to discuss implementation ideas and what that looks like at your site.

iPad 2 Commercial - Advertising I Like

iPads in Ireland Schools

iPads are being integrated in Irish schools as well. You can read the article here.

The money we spend for........

- books
- school supplies
- paper
- lost books
- outdated information/facts

.......could be spent on a device for our students?

I'd like to see all of my students have an iPad, and one of my students design a cost effective solar charging station as a STEM project for all my students iPads!