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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tech Changes May Lead to "Reading Divide" -- from Reuter's...

The rapid rise of e-books could lead to a "reading divide" as those unable to afford the new technology are left behind, even as U.S. reading and writing skills decline still further.

At particular threat are African-American communities where many students are already falling behind their majority peers in terms of literacy, said award-winning writer Marita Golden -- and this despite the growing ranks of noted African-American writers, such as Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison.

"My biggest concern is that the technology will continue to widen the gap," she told Reuters. "It won't just be the digital divide but also a reading divide if reading becomes an activity that's now dependent on technology.

"If reading becomes dependent on technology that must be purchased, then I think we may see the literacy divide persist and even widen."

Click here to see full article... 


Friday, March 25, 2011

Why Social Media Can and Is Changing Education - From A Principal...

George is a principal at a K-6 school in Stony Plain, Alberta. Passionate about learning, ed. tech, assessment, and helping others find their passion!  He tweets often and I have found that his material is great!  I encourage you to read his blog post on the above subject (CLICK HERE) and then to also look at some of his other materials. 


Big 6 (tm) -- A great website for Teachers ---

The Big6 in a Web2.0 World, Big6 eNews, 10.4, 2 (Grades 7-12, Higher Ed)

The BIG 6!
Developed by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz, the Big6 is the most widely known and widely used approach to teaching information and technology skills in the world. Used in thousands of K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and corporate and adult training programs, the Big6 information problem-solving model is applicable whenever people need and use information. The Big6 integrates information search and use skills along with technology tools in a systematic process to find, use, apply, and evaluate information for specific needs and tasks.

I just discovered their website and was mesmerized by all of the information that was available and especially the information found at the link below regarding the use of Web2.0 tools and what we should be doing in the Web2.0 world.

Check out the link and the stay awhile to see what all they have to offer!

The “Big6™” is copyright © (1987) Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz. For more on Big6, visit:


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Technology is NOT the answer....

A great blog on the subject of teaching critical questioning by Jeff Delp.... remember that to teach "critical" thinking is not about teaching 'criticizing' someone, but asking questions that analyze, synthesize and hopefully help to create the proper response for each individual. Take a look at the blog. You conclude.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Digital Code of Conduct...

Traits of the 21st Century Teacher!

Mr. Keenan posted these traits of a 21st Century Teacher in his blog. 

After attending in-service this week and hearing the term "21st Century Teacher over & over - it was great to find his blog that puts them so succinctly.   Click on Mr. Keenan's blog link for more great insights!

5 Traits of the 21st Century Teacher

Posted by mrkeenan in 21st Century Learning | Student Learning | classroom practice | professional development | professional learning
One of the biggest questions that has faced our division over the last three years as we began movement toward a modern educational institution, was the question of what 21st Century Learning looks like.  We see videos and lists of traits that these 21st Century Learners possess, and feel the push to provide meaningful, relevant learning to a generation eager to be challenged.  However, it isn’t enough to hear the descriptions of these students set to music, to read articles describing how they are different.  Many educators are now focused on what the 21st Century Teacher looks like, and how they will provide effective, relevant learning for students who truly are ‘of a different era.’  In considering this question with my peers, I have discussed several traits that may not appear on many of the formal documents about teaching in the 21st century, but are ones that play an essential role with teachers as they grapple with changing students and practice.

Here are my 5 traits of the 21st Century Teacher

  1. Driven to Learn - Educators absolutely must be driven to learn in order to teach effectively in the 21st Century.  It is no longer acceptable to teach only from a textbook, to rely on the same worksheets an methods year after year without at least questioning them and researching why they are the best resource available.  There is simply too much new information, too many new strategies, and new learning available to us to ignore the implications it may have for students in our classes.
  2. A Media Creation Expert - Whether posted online or simply used in the classroom, our materials must be highly engaging and effective.  Powerpoint and Word are becoming antiquated as newer and more powerful presentation and editing suites become available to teachers.  It is our responsibility to compete (where necessary) with the quality of video games and media construction in order to hook students into great learning.  As media conscious teachers, we can win student attention by working with them, not against them, for their learning.
  3. A Digital Navigator – Not many teachers would consider themselves digital natives, but we must understand enough about digital content and how it is used to effectively operate in our student’s world.  This means having social media accounts and understanding how they are used, even if you don’t use them specifically for learning.  We must be familiar enough with the new digital landscape that we can help students navigate their journey online, even if we don’t (or can’t) join them.
  4. An Empathetic Mentor – Gone are the days when teachers dole out assignments and send students on their merry way.  A modern educator realizes the plethora of factors impacting students in our current world, and strives to tailor learning where possible toward individualized needs and interests.  This student-centered focus also creates learning opportunities for the teacher to learn with students, developing their teaching and collaborative skills.
  5. A Technology Harmonizer – As teachers of our time, we must realize the implications of pervasive technologies such as smart phones and highly mobile tablets/computers.  In addition, we must find ways to ‘make it work’ with technology, which may include enlisting students to help or (as in trait 1) learn more about the technologies we are using.  One of the keys here is that we work at making the technology work (in the best way we can) so the lesson becomes about the learning instead of the management of machines.
Ultimately it is our attitudes toward 21st Century Learning that will either lead us to assume these traits or not.  I know teachers who cringe at the mention of the term 21st Century Learning, but really the push is less toward ‘technology’ and more toward effective learning experiences for students.  I know I want my children attending schools where teachers attend to the world and contexts of the children they teach.  Otherwise, even if the teachers are using technology, they will not be creating the most valuable learning experiences possible for students who live in and interact with this 21st Century world.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Understanding the FLIPPED MODEL of Education...

The blog of Jonathan Bergmann who along with Aaron Sams pioneered the Flipped Class Model of Education. Their blog (click on the link below) has been lauded as a new way to help students that are at all levels of education in your classroom. 

It is interesting that the use of technology as a tool can be used to help students not only reach mastery of the educational standards, but to want to achieve above the level of mastery and to go deeper into the student. That's where our next scientists and mathematicians will come from - those you have a yearning to go beyond where we set the bar at "mastery"!

Check it out!


Monday, March 14, 2011

100 Most Mispronounced words and phrases....

My wife sent me the link to this website for use in our vocabulary efforts.... Not sure if she meant it for me personally or for use in my classroom. Either way its a great tool for engaging students about how they say the words that they use everyday.  Check it out!

Now that Dr. Language has provided a one-stop cure for the plague of misspelling, here are the 100 words most often mispronounced English words ("mispronunciation" among them). There are spelling rules in English even if they are difficult to understand, so pronouncing a word correctly usually does help you spell it correctly. Several common errors are the result of rapid speech, so take your time speaking, correctly enunciating each word. Careful speech and avid reading are the best guides to correct spelling. - From LoveToKnow Corp.


Great Magnetic Letter game online....

One of my classmates brought this website to our attention tonight in class and we found it a blast to use and hopefully others will enjoy it too, especially when working on vocabulary...   Just drag and place the letters and groups of letters around to make words. Using an interactive white board, the students can do this themselves and feel like they are "teaching" the vocabulary. It's a great tool for "chunking" too.

Thanks Barb, for sharing!!


Bloom's Taxonomy -Digital Version!

This is the introduction to Bloom's Digital Taxonomy. The different taxonomical levels can be viewed individually via the navigation bar or below this introduction as embedded pages.

This is a great Wiki and is full of information on using the high order thoughts that Bloom's requires us to use. I found this while trying to write "google-proof" questions -- it can be done and this website helped a lot!



Sunday, March 13, 2011

100 of the TOP High School Teacher Blogs...

These blogs are organized by area of the country and are from teachers of all disciplines. Some are political, some are simple, some are great and offer many helps to others as we too are ALL educators and continuous learners.

Take a look by clicking on the link here:


3 Ways to Collect & Collaborate on Virtual Corkboard...

What better way to help collect information and collaborate together than by using a virtual "Corkboard". 
There are several services that emulate a method that many people use to collect information away from their computers – the corkboard. These three services give you varied ways to create your own virtual corkboard, and offer an alternative way to collecting varied types of data online.

CHECK OUT THE MAKE USE OF link below for options...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

International Children's Digital Library -- check it out!

A great website for reading and supporting children's literacy!

The mission of the International Children's Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation) is to support the world's children in becoming effective members of the global community - who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas -- by making the best in children's literature available online free of charge. 

Here's a link to their website:


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Internet Safety from --- These are some great tips!!

Whether you're new to connecting with others online, or you're a
seasoned pro who needs a reminder or two, it's important to
remember the importance of internet safety.

Did you know, provides an entire program on internet safety, and it's
ALL available to you for free with your membership to the EdTech UNconference?

This includes your very own Personal Action Plan which you fill out
while you take the lessons.

To open your Internet Safety program, go inside your Technology
Toolbox, under "Technology Tutorials".  You can then choose the
program, "Internet Safety for Teachers".

Feel free to choose whichever topic most applies to you.

If you're looking for a place to start, I suggest starting with the
course "Identifying Dangerous People and Sites".

Talk to you later,

The SimpleK12 Team
Twitter: @SimpleK12
Login to the learning portal now: 

InfoSource, 1300 City View Center, Oviedo, FL 32765, USA

I highly recommend this site and a membership. They are provide great material for new or seasoned teacher and technology in the classroom. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

18 ELEMENTARY MATH Sites for Teachers, Parents and Students

Eighteen Websites for Elementary Math Teachers

5. TCAP Practice Test Sets from TN DOE  -this takes you directly to the samplers

12. Math Test Prep with Lessons by Standard   Great ideas and examples for test prep

13. Math Playground (Use after teaching lessons for practice as well as refreshers and review. Cool graphics and sound appeals to the kids and they learn in the process.)

15. Online Fact Navigator from   Teaches the concepts of multiplication and not just playing games. The site offers a great tool for interactive multiplication table. 

16. BrianPop - Math     All of the items are great, some require a subscription or email address to activate.

17. Numeracy from the BBC website  Organized by age and subject. Check it out!

18. Online Math Games & Activities (Additional Collection)    J. B. Pratt curates this listing of Online Math Games and Activities. He keeps it updated and active. Several great ideas, sites and collections from around the globe. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Copyright Chart for Teachers....

I found that there was confusion among the teachers on what is "fair use" and what is not; plus what constituents copyrighted material and how to use it in the classroom. 

Click HERE for a .pdf chart that was designed to inform teachers of what they may do under the law. Feel free to make copies for teachers in your school or district, or download a PDF version at

More detailed information about fair use guidelines and copyright resources is available at

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Brain Pop - Excellent tool for teaching...

One of my fellow students discovered this website and it's great for teaching younger students and the movies are great for my special education classroom. They can watch the subject movie over and over as well as work on the related activities and other items that supplement the lesson. Give it a try.

BrainPop  BrainPOP  Click on the icon to the left!