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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Writing in today's connected world

Angela Maiers wrote a great article from the Switch and collection entitled "The Reason We Write".

As a writer and educator it is important to practice what we have learned over the years for precision, proper grammar, punctuation, etc. But this article goes further. We need to learn to write for the new mediums we to which we now access. There are different audiences. They are different lengths of time each member of said audience will read what you've written.

Angela has gives some great ideas for all of us who teach writing and language arts to start implementing as we continue those grammatical and language rules. We need to look at the medium where the words will be seen - no longer just paper or bound books. We also, need to continually involve our readers in making the reading relevant.

I for one, will continue to evolve as a writer and as an educator thanks to the continuance of the evolution of our tools and the sophistication of our readers.

Thanks, Angela for helping me to remember.


Today's Classroom. How should it look.

A great blog entry from George Couros on what we should find in every classroom. If only it could happen  quickly.  I will at a least start this check list in mine.

Twitter Chats....11 #hashtags for Educators

eSchool News author Laura Devaney listed 11 Amazing Twitter Chats for Educators on her blog. If you are not familiar with hashtags and Twitter chats, check out Twitter 101  for teachers to get started,  then check out the Twitter Chats listed by eSN....great information and a great way to participate in a professional learning network. I have some amazing educators who share so freely about our profession and their tips and strategies are practical and immediately useful.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Teaching Observation and Patience

My wife discovered this article from the Harvard Magazine about the power in teaching observation skills and the patience it takes for one to learn to "see" all there is in a given object, iPad app or web page or in the case of this article a beautiful painting.   We need to teach these skills more and more. In this fast paced and instant world we should learn to look beyond the obvious as well as to see more than the developer or writer wishes us to see. Look deeply and learn to see more.

I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did.  

“The Power of Patience” by Jennifer Roberts in Harvard Magazine, November/December 2013 (p. 40-41),

Yep! And forever shall it be... "The Best 1:1 Device is a Good Teacher"

In looking at technology in the classroom, especially looking at the future of 1:1 technology, this posting by Edutopia's Andrew Marcinek the Director of Technology & Co-founder, Boston, MA reminds us that the best 1:1 device is a good teacher.

 Hopefully this will forever be the defining factor in education - the human. The technology, while fast and reliable, should never replace the "relationship" that every student should have with their teacher. The long-lasting impact of the teacher, the caring smile, along with the firm commitment to the students learning needs, will last longer than any lithium battery or planned obsolescence of hardware (or the "cloud"). Check out Mr. Marcinek's post at

Teaching With iPad is my latest iPad find!

I discovered a new site "" that I really like. Steve, the author of the blog is an educator with over a decade of experience and the site contains items for the informed, has informational and links appropriate for the iPad newbie as well as those of us who tend to get into a rut. Check it out and follow him on Twitter.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

12 Educational and Productive Websites

12 Educational and Productive Websites  (for use in the classroom or at home)

1.             A classroom version of Pinterest®

2. A site of royalty free and non-copyrighted photos for use in presentations by teachers and students.

3.   A collection of lesson plans by grade level, by technology device which all follow the Common Core Standards.

4.         Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

5.       A personal favorite for attendance and behavior. The site produces great reporting as well as parental logins and views.

6.                  A method of sharing what is on the laptops in the classroom.

7.        A listing of the iPad and iPhone apps that are available for educators and parents arranged by subject and importance.

8.               TED is a great set of curated videos and the TEDed set are just for educators. Especially helpful if you need inspiration, professional improvement or development in a certain area as well as a great site for watching how others do things in their classrooms.

9.         This site is still free (with Login) and is a great cloud location to place notes from meetings, notes from research as well as to place pictures, graphs, etc. for use by the students as they conduct their research. Evernote® is available on your laptop, computer and iPad, iPhone and Android app for continuous access and updating.

10.     A math site by grade level.  Includes math games, logic puzzles and word problems.

11.     This site hosts multiplication table matching games along with a great collection of other math games including money, fractions, decimals and geometry games.  A great site for parents to help students at home.

12.                   IXL Math is a subscription based site, but it is free for a few times each day. This is a great site by grade level and offers several methods of solving math, math sentences, problem solving, etc. A great site for students to do at home.

iPad Apps (from the App Store)

Multipliation+                                 The Apps Gate Inc (Free)   This helps with learning multiplication tables.

Math-Multiplication table             This is another free ap  from Online Science classroom 
                                                            available at the AppStore for iPads and iPhones.

Prezi                                       A great presentation application which is similar to in functionality to power point, but has an easier user interface.

Slideshare                             (Free) another great presentation alternative to power point.

Thanks to my friends from the Middle Tennessee Education Technology Association – Instructional Technology Academy for sharing some of these ideas, apps and websites.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

"What! Only 1 iPad for my Classroom?"

Welcome MTETA ITA Conferees!

Below are the links to the session: "What! Only One iPad?"

Please follow along on Twitter: @MrDDon  or #MTETAITA

Here is the link for  "Only Have One iPad For Your Classroom?" a pdf supplemental resource and reference paper. There are hyperlinks within the supplemental materials which lead to referenced websites, blogs, and other documents or forms. 

Here is the a pdf version of the presentation

Here is the conference website.  

Thank you to or the opportunity to present to you and all who participated in today's conference. 

A shout out to the organizers from Sumner County Schools!