Saturday, November 14, 2009

NCSS Presentation 2009: "21st Century Social Studies"

I highly recommend participants in this session review the resources at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website.

Click here for presentation slides. You may also access the Schaaf Coyote of the Day Pledge of Allegiance audio as presented by Mrs. Schaaf's second grade classroom.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NCSS Presentation Notes: Social Studies—Research and Practice

What Does It Mean to Think Historically... And How Do We Teach It?
Presented by Bruce van Sledright

Who epitomizes the depth of historical knowledge?
  • Historians.
How do they become these experts?
  • It's about reading and literacy practices combined with self-understanding and an awareness of social-cultural context and the individual's role as a citizen.
  • Fundamentally, becoming a novice expert is about achieving se;f-understanding and awareness if socio-cultural content itself (positionality)
Our challenges need to address these isues:
  • School literacy practices: Searching for the "one right idea"
  • Epistomological positions
  • The School and Cultural History Curriculum: Our education is about commemoration, not investigation

NCSS Leadership Conference Notes

Accessing Funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA)
Presented by Beth Ratway

The meeting began with an introduction of the attendees and discussion of how states are connecting internally.

Money is currently available through SFSF, Race to the Top, SIG, i3, ED Tech, TIF, SLDA, and TQP. All of these run through IDEA and Title I.

The types of questions social studies councils should be seeking to answer include:

  • How do standards and assessment impact your work?
  • How can you use data to improve the work of your council?

The currently education landscape focuses on ARRA, I3, NCLB, and 21st Century Skills.

ARRA: 4 Assurances expected of those seeking to procure funding

  • Support effective teachers and school leaders
  • Improve the use of data (Data systems: fully implementing a statewide longitudinal data system, accessing and using state data, and using data to improve instruction)
  • Complete the implementation of high standards and high-quality assessments
  • Turn around persistently low-performing schools, whole-school reform, and targeted approaches to reform.

In addition, states should be focused on developing and adopting common standards, developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments, supporting transition to enhanced standards and high quality assessments.

The key is to find the intersecting nodes for standards and assessments, teacher and leadership effectiveness, support for struggling schools, and _____.

Race to the Top Funds go to state educational agencies, school improvement grants, investing in innovation funds, educational technology, teacher incentive fund, and statewide data system. As social studies councils, the focus should probably be the i3 (Investing in Innovation Fund)Funds (a part of the third phase of funding. For this grant, the interest is in improving student achievement or student growth from high-need students and promoting school readiness. Only LEAs or non-profit organizations can get this in collaboration with an LEA.

Funding focuses on three levels: development of research-based theories ($5 m award), validation (up to $30 m award), and scale-up ($50 m award).

To receive the grant, there must be 20% private sector funding, conduct independent program evaluation, cooperate with technical assistants, etc.

Other interested topics include improving early learning outcomes, supporting college access and success, assisting ELL and disabled students, serve schools in rural LEAs. If applications address these issues, they will receive preference.

All proposals should include partnerships (e.g., with other LEAs, other social studies councils).

Beth recommended the following resource for assessing higher level thinking objectives: Authentic Intellectual Work by Ken Newman (a way to look at depth of knowledge and other educational outcomes)

ARRA grants should be in the million dollar range, the grants should be pretty competitive, and they will probably be due around the spring/ summer.

Legislative Briefing

Presented by Della Cronin

Some of the concepts that appeal to Secretary Duncan are charter school and pay for performance. The interest on Capitol Hill, however, has been on health care, not education. Duncan has stated publicly that NCLB has its good and bad points and noted that we have had a narrowing of the curriculum as a result of the legislation.

There appears to be a focus on preparing children in early childhood as a way to support the overall goal of having all students graduate from high school and increase college enrollments.

There is a bill from Rockefeller that would provide funds to states to support 21st century learning. Senator Kennedy and Senator Alexander introduced a bill that would expand the sample size for the NAEP civics exam and place an emphasis on history assessments. Nothing is currently moving out of the re-authorization process.

There appear to be concerns about equity and access in education. The rural areas and inner-city schools appear to facing the brunt of America's contemporary financial status.

Make sure when coupling terms, we include citizenship (e.g., "College, Career, and Citizenship").

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Online Course Designs: Are Special Needs Bring Met?

Dr. Mark Horney and I would like to to thank the American Journal for Distance Education and the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning for the honor of receiving the esteemed Wedemeyer Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Distance Education in memory of Charles and Mildred Wedemeyer. We hope that our research may continue to open the back doors for students who might otherwise be marginalized.

The citation for our full paper is:
Keeler, C., & Horney, M. (2007). Online course designs: Are special needs being met? American Journal for Distance Education, 21(2).

For an overview of the study, view this video interview between Rosemary Lehman and Drs. Keeler and Horney.

Presentation Slides
Presentation Notes
Data Sheet

Friday, July 31, 2009

Surviving the Desert: A Lesson Plan

Surviving the Desert
Developed Christy G. Keeler, Ph.D.
Geographic Alliance in Nevada

Grade Level: 7-12
Time: 100 minutes separated into two days (plus homework reading requirements)
Overview: Using Grand Canyon as a case study, this lesson introduces students to desert survival issues by having them read about desert survival, evaluate possible hiking routes given Grand Canyon maps and related data, and develop a safety pamphlet for use by those visiting and planning to hike in Grand Canyon region. The lesson concludes by having students compare their instructional pamphlets with actual safety and hiking pamphlets of Grand Canyon.

Connection to National Geography Standards
The World in Spatial Terms
(1) How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information.
(3) How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's surface.
Places and Regions
(4) The physical and human characteristics of places.
(5) That people create regions to interpret Earth's complexity.
(6) How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.
Physical Systems
(7) The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface.
Human Systems
(9) The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth's surface.
(12) The processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement.
(14) How human actions modify the physical environment.
Environment and Society
(15) How physical systems affect human systems.
The Uses of Geography
(17) How to apply geography to interpret the past.
(18) How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future.
• Computers for every six students (with printer access)
• A classroom computer with a projector
• Photocopied excerpts of the book chapters (See “Procedures”—“Before the Lesson)
• Topographical maps of Grand Canyon
• Hiking guides produced and distributed to all visitors by the National Park Service about Grand Canyon (i.e., the information provided at the entrance to the national park)—Enough for each group of six students to have a copy of each circular AND the below trail maps of Grand Canyon (one of each for each group of six)
• Grand Canyon Trail Guide: Bright Angel (
• Grand Canyon Trail Guide: Havasu (
• Students will identify geographic structures of desert regions with specific attention to Grand Canyon.
• Students will identify dangers associated with desert survival.
• Students will prepare cohesive plans for surviving desert climates and physical geographical structures.

Day One
Project a topographical map of Grand Canyon ( and, in their journals, have students propose routes for hiking from the rim to the river, justifying their choices, and stating issues they might face when making the trek.
1. Discuss student responses during their review of the topographical map, focusing on the abrupt elevation changes common in Grand Canyon. Next, in lecture format, briefly explain the geography of the region by addressing the history, geology, flora, and fauna of the region while addressing the broader issue of deserts. The following resources may prove helpful:
2. Ask students what issues they feel may be important when hiking in Grand Canyon, recording their answers on the board.
3. Place students in groups of six and have each group begin to design a pamphlet that could be given to travelers to Grand Canyon who intend to hike in the park’s region. Specific attention should address dangers of the Canyon and safety recommendations. Groups should choose their design and begin input basic information before the end of class.
**Have students use pre-made pamphlet templates (available in the Project Gallery of Microsoft Word) to save time on design, therefore allowing more time to focus on content.
Inform students that for homework they will read information about dangers affecting individuals either hiking in deserts or visiting Grand Canyon. They must come prepared with their homework for class tomorrow.
Distribute copies of the following chapters and book sections to students to read for homework. Provide each student with a different reading to ensure the class completes all readings. Every student in each group of six should have a different reading and both the Desert Survival and Death in Grand Canyon books should be represented in each group. Student must prepare a brief assignment including the following items:
• The name of their reading
• A brief description of what they read
• Five tips for hiking in desert regions or Grand Canyon extrapolated from their reading

The readings include:
1. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey—“Water” and “The Heat of Noon: Rock and Tree and Cloud” [Note: The “Water” chapter includes some inappropriate language. Additionally, both chapters require high reading levels and may include adult content.]
2. Desert Survival: Tips, Tricks, and Skills by Tony Nester—Assign each of the following sections, one for each student:
--“Physiology of Humans in the Desert”
--“Desert Hazards”
--“Anatomy of a Survival Situation”
--“The Basic Skills of Survival”
--“Outfitting Your Vehicle”
--“Obtaining Water in Arid Regions”
--“Desert Survival Shelters”
--“Firemaking Skills”
--“Knife Uses and Safety”
--“Signaling for Rescue”
3. Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Michael Ghiglieri and Thomas Myers—Assign all chapters EXCEPT those on suicide and murder. Assign at least one student to each of the following book sections:
--Chapter One (Falls): Chapter Introduction AND “Falls from the Rim,” “Falls within the Canyon”
--Chapter Two (Environmental Deaths): Entire chapter
--Chapter Three (Flash Floods): Entire chapter
--Chapter Four (Killer Colorado): Chapter Introduction AND “Lethal Errors Made While Running the River,” “River Crossers Who Didn’t,” “Swimmers Who Drowned Elsewhere in the Colorado,” “Swimmers Who Drowned between Phantom and Pipe Creek” AND “Swimmers Who Drown Elsewhere in the Colorado,” “Accidental Swimmers Who Fell in from Shore” AND “Mysterious Disappearances Who Drowned from Camp,” “Lessons of Safety & Survival from the Grand Canyon Colorado”
--Chapter Five (Air): Entire chapter
--Chapter Six (Freak Errors and Accidents): “Rock Falls,” “Venomous Creatures,” “Freak Errors and Accidents”
--Epilogue (Lessons): Entire section

*In larger classes, have multiple students read the same passage, but limit the number of students per passage to ensure an even distribution of readings.
* If there are not enough books for students to take home to complete the readings, copy chapters or chapter sections for each student. In some cases, it is possible to copy two pages on a single side of paper, for a total of four pages per piece of paper. Require students return their reading passages for use with future classes.
Day Two
As students enter the classroom, have each student choose one tip for hiking in desert regions or Grand Canyon from their homework assignment and write it on the board. [For smaller classes, have each student write two tips on the board.]
1. Have students continue on their pamphlets. Halfway through the class period, have students print out their pamphlets. (They will turn these in for grading after class.)
2. Provide each group with hiking guides from Grand Canyon (see “Materials”) and have them review these to identify hiking and survival tips. Each group will create a T-chart titled “Pamphlet Comparisons.” On the left, they will write “Recommended Improvements for Our Pamphlet” and the right will write “Recommended Improvements to Their Pamphlets.” Student groups will complete the T-chart and turn it in along with their pamphlet.
Have a brief discussion about what students learned through this two-day unit.
1. Provide credit based on student ability to actively collaborate with a group to complete the pamphlet and their ability to collaborate in the whole class group for the project analysis.
2. Grade the quality of student responses on their homework assignment.
3. Grade students on the quality of information included in the pamphlet and their T-charts, taking into account the collaborative nature of the assignments.
Extending the Lesson
• Have students replicate this lesson for a national park in another region and ecosystem of the United States.
• Have students evaluate their group pamphlet and create a new pamphlet on their own. The pamphlet should combine content from the original group-generated pamphlet, class discussions and lecture, and official park documents.

This lesson is available at
or in downloadable Microsoft Word format.

Monday, June 29, 2009

NECC 2009: Session Notes

A Ripple Effect: 21st Century Innovations that Matter
Cheryl Lemke

Adolescent learning: peers, school, home, distributed resources, work, networked publics (a networked space where the public meets). —B. Barron, 2006

We need to create environments where we can work and learn peer-to-peer with our students because that is where they go to learn what interests them. Students need to see the value-added that the teacher offers.

94% of adolescents are involved in online gaming. —Pew

Multi-tasking is a myth. Our brains have an executive function that allows us to only think about things serially. Students, though, are faster than adults because they are younger (our brain processing speed peaks at between 20 and 30. When you move from one task to another, there is a slight delay and loss of time. There is, however, background tasking (e.g., listening to music). When students are engaged in difficult to cognitively process content, we should decrease the need for background tasking and multi-tasking. Drill and practice builds automaticity that leads to a greater ability to do background tasking while engaged in processing new content. Our students are giving us their “continuous partial attention” (Linda Stark). : This is a game that allows users to try and keep a country alive. It considers elections, economics, etc.

If you grant students choice, on average, their grades will increase by a full grade.

On average there’s less than 10 seconds of sustained discussion in the average classroom. Instead, there is teach-talk followed by student-talk, followed by teacher-talk. This is a nice tool for working with video, stills, audio, and text/drawings. This is a tool that assists in visualizing data (e.g., Twitter posts about Obama during the Inaugeration, growth of Wal-Mart). is a similar program that allows you to track demographic features over time. This tool is good for teaching students about gaming and gaming environments from a design perspective.

Tammy Worcester
Tammy’s Favorite Technology Tips, Tricks, and Tools

  • Users type in text and the application reads it aloud.
  • Allows you to record your voice. It results in an embed code.
  • Allows users to very easily create music loops.
  • Allows you to shorten multiple URLs into one. This creates a website that would be great for creating webquests or smaller Delicious sites.
  • This is a free online basic version of KidPix. More than one individual can work on the whiteboard at a time and you can email the project to others. The email includes the real-time drawing, not just the finished product.
  • or Allows you to do screen captures and make edits (e.g., adding arrows and text). You can also record voice and screen changes (like with Snapz Pro X).
  • Allows you to download YouTube videos for later use. Just add “kick” in the YouTube URL and choose (from the bar on the top) the format in which you want to download. Then, click the green “Download” button. Next, right-click over the “Down” button to download the video to your hard drive.
  • (Random Name Picker): Picks a name from a list you provide. The application includes an embed code so you can have the program run whenever you wish to use it (e.g., from the class blog).
  • Looks in Flickr to find any images relating to the tag you select. You could create your own tag and hen look at the image (a globe) with just your pictures.
  • Firefox Shortcuts: Use Apple-L to move to the URL bar. To create a shortcut, go to the search box for the website (e.g., Amazon) and right click and create a shortcut (e.g., type az twilight and it will look for
  • “Twlight” in Amazon).

Dr. Christopher Moersch
Teaching 2.0: Challenging the Interactive Generation

  • H-E-A-T (high-order thinking, engaged learning, authenticity, technology use
  • There are three parts to every learning activity: content, process, and product
  • Allows schools to take the LoTi digital-age survey
  • “What gets measured gets improved.”
  • Allows analysis of textual passages.

Tom March
WebQuests 2.0: A Richer Web Improves a Good Idea

  • Allows you to copy/paste from multiple webpages therefore creating a pool of resources related to a personally-selected topic.
  • Allows you to highlight, ask questions, and comment on individual websites.
  • This is an alternative to iGoogle. It provides you with an assigned web address instead of having it just be available after logging in. The site allows you to subscribe to multiple RSS feeds in the form of tabs at the top of the page. This would be good to allow students to take turns reviewing individual webquests.
  • This is an online version of Inspiration.
  • CEQ•ALL ("Seek All")—Choice, Effort, Quality, Attitude, Labor of Love (A taxonomy for this century); Set-up educational opportunities that allow students to make choices, requires hard work/effort, the teacher makes him/herself available for ensuring quality of student work/learning, allows students to feel good about themselves by having a good attitude, and teachers and students must put a labor of love into their work.
Vendor Notes

Global Fever (a vendor that provides curriculum relating to the environment) created a collection of rich resources using ComicLife. Their sample pages all use ComicLife and can serve as excellent examples. Like Thinkfinity, this is a central location for accessing several website. Its function is to bring together government sites intended for use by children.

From Banned to Planned: Cell Phones in Schools
Hall Davidson

Poll Everywhere
: Allows you to have students take a quick poll using their phones.

Suggestions for ways teachers are using cell phones in the classroom are avilable at another resource is

: A tool for creating projects like HyperStudio, but it allows you to add audio recorded directly from your cell phone.

Davidson suggests we rename "cell phones." In some countries they call it a hand phone and keitai ("a snug, intimate technosocial tethering"). Cell phones are different from other technologies because they are both input and output devices.

"Classroom management is less of an issues when engaged learning is taking place."

Qik: This site allows you to broadcast live from a cell phone. It will also allows you to embed code into blogs or Google Earth.

: It allows you to hold-up your cell phone to a song and the phone can decode the name of the song.

Cell phones can read bar codes (bar code readers are freely available online) and they can create bar codes from text/pictures (QR code generators).

Amazon bought a company that does object recognition (e.g., you can take a picture of someone's shoes, send it to Amazon, and Amazon with offer it for purchase).

Davidson has placed Fatherlee's paperwork for using cell phones in the classroom on his website (see above). It includes a letter home to parents, instructions for designing cell-phone educational activities, and a tech-survey for parents to ensure students aren't being charged for their in-class work.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

NECC 2008 Notes

ISTE’s NETS•T Refreshed Roll-Out

We need real world, relevant assignments because we’ve already done well moving from the sage on the stage to the guide on the side. At this point we need to re-inspire teachers.

The new teacher standards include:
Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
Design and develop digital-age learning experiences and assessments
Model digital-age work and learning
Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility
Engage in professional growth and leadership

There is a new tool available through ISTE’s website that will assist administrators in determining the level of technology integration occurring with their teachers.

Check out fact flippers:

Dan Edelson, Getting out of the Classroom with Technology

Volunteer Geography: A variant of citizen science. For example, students can make and share field observations and analyze and provide interpretations of that data. The concept is that students collect data by taking measurements, thy submit the data via a web form, they visualize it using interactive maps, they analyze patterns based on the data and visualization, and they may report back to others in their classes. One problem with this is that students will only be able to see small amounts of data if they are involved during the start if the project. An example of this was students testing soil samples following use of salt on icy roads. Students get to experience the full spectrum of the scientific process. In this case, students used probes and collected data in the classroom and submitted information via a website.

NGS FieldScope allows students to collect real world data. NGS chooses a region to study and invites teachers and students to participate. The teachers must purchase the equipment which costs about $1,000.

Chris Dede, Ubiquitous Computing

Goal: Repurpose common items for educational purposes (e.g., using cell phones for augmented learning).

Cheryl Lemke

We need to recognize that adolescent learning includes the home, school, peers, work, distributed resources, and communities – not just school. Our goal at this point is scalability of using technology tools for 21st century teaching, not just focusing on use in our own classrooms.

She suggests we use research-based methods to develop lessons and units that serve as “sheet music.” The teachers base their instruction on the sheet music, but also improvise.

A good teacher blog including student podcasts is “Learning on the Go.” The teacher sets up her class as a fictional consulting agency and the students solve real world algebra problems. Another teacher uses authentic travel agent activities to teach about Greek history.

SimCalc: (teaches about perspective)

Media multi-tasking: We can only do one thing at a time, but we can quickly move from one thing to another. Kids are better at multi-tasking than adults. When learning, students are distracted when multi-tasking (except for things like music without lyrics in the background).

Universe: (identifies what is going on online in real time using a visual perspective)

Venezuela started teaching critical thinking to their elementary and middle school students 10 years ago. Now, they are finding increased average adult IQs across the country.


Alan November, “Designing Rigorous and Globally Connected Assignments”

This presentation is available from the “Archive of Articles” on This presentation is available at Digital Farm.

Students are connected to everyone in their lives – except their teachers because schools block everything. “Schools are the learning police.” There is more freedom in Chinese schools in terms of the Internet than here. We are so worried about their safety that we block their learning.

Vocabulary of the Web: Students need to learn information resources. This type of information is available on

By adding site:en to Google searches, you will only get sites with an English country code. To get Turkey-based sites, type site:tr.

Adding view:timeline to a search, you can access the most recent information about a given search term.

Type link: to find out how many links exist to that particular site.

Hall Davidson, “It’s in Your Pocket: Teaching Spectacularly with Cell Phones” (How kids use video on a daily basis)

Every classroom should have a student-designated web researcher. The teacher should never have to answer a factual question, they should only have to respond to higher-order thinking questions.

There is a Google feature that allows you to create your own search engine. November believes teachers and students should jointly build search engines. This will give students less stimuli when they do searches.

It would be nice if students could develop resources that teach content and then future students review these tutorials before class. Students, then, are responsible for learning their own content and class time is replaced with problem solving. When there’s not a lot of Internet access, students could have a DVD with all the information at home (because DVDs are more common in the home than Internet connections).

The is a downloadable application that allows you to create screencasts.

Instead of teaching teachers to use technology, November jokes that we should send two of our students to the training and one of the students should be the biggest trouble-maker in the class.

Wikipedia isn’t an encyclopedia, it’s a publishing house. Third grade students were told they would visit the Pitot House and write an article they would submit to the largest encyclopedia in the class. The students wrote and published their Wikipedia article and now they follow the RSS feed for the article and critique what other people write. Organizes donations to small business entrepreneurs. The donors get their money back and they get reports on their projects. You can also talk to the other people who have invested in the same entrepreneurial project. alters voice to text. You can call this service from your cell phone. Another option is
: Allows you to do automatic polls from cell phones (like the classroom response systems)

Terry Cavanaugh, GIS, Google Maps, and More for Literacy Projects

There are interactive maps that show all he locations mentioned in a book (e.g., The Travels of Marco Polo). [Note to self – check out the Bible.]

Gutenkarte ( also makes a map of a text, showing what places are most frequently mentioned. Amazon’s Concordance also does this by telling the 100 most used words in a given text. allows you to map a story using latitude and longitude in a spreadsheet. has 23 stories you can follow on Google Earth. You download the .kmz file and use it with Google Earth. An example is with Make Way for Ducklings. The entire story is mapped as sections are mentioned. Also, people have added pictures of items and informational text from specific locations in the book. Anyone can make a Google Lit Trip. Tells a story using a map – the text is embedded in the map.

Teachers can get the Pro Version of Google Earth by writing to Google and requesting it. It is possible to make a map for each student so they can each map out a story.

A dimensional mouse allows you to move in three dimensions. They are available through Amazon.

Using virtual map pins, students can add quotes from book, write facts about the locations mentioned, and adding multimedia books. This is a means of having students have greater interactivity with books.

In September, cameras will have cameras with embedded geo-tags. Some buildings are going to start putting in geo-tagging points in the buildings.

Tony Vincent, Audio is Great! Video is Cool! IPods Can Do More!

Learning in Hand iPods is his iPod podcast. See
will speak any text into audio.

You can create cover art and lyrics (or primary source text) through going to Get Info for an individual song.


iPrep Press has comic books you can download to your iPod. BrainQuest also has quizzes for the iPod. allows you to combine Notes files

IPrepPress allows you to download a dictionary and many primary sources. Get 100 Words every high school students should know. allows you to download books in the public domain.

iWriter allows you to link stories together as story

iQuizMaker allows you to make quizzes for your iPod. You can also share iQuizzes by going to iQuizShare (

Use monitor mode to make your iSight camera not cause a mirroring effect.

Check out doc imaging and doc scanning on the PC.

Get book making ideas from and check out her handouts on the NECC site

Download handouts from NECC site for Sharon Hirschy about making class books using PPT

CUE 2009: "50 Ways to Use Video Streaming" and "Walk with the STARs"

Check out songs in Discovery Streaming.

Have students listen for certain words during a video and clap or stomp when they hear those words. This helps keep students listening and engaged with the video.

Celebrate students’ birthdays by having everyone look at what happened on their birthdays using the calendar feature. One teacher starts the day fifteen minutes early and shows the videos from the day. The door is closed until school is to start and you cannot view the videos if you weren’t there early.

For the slidesteaching specifics about discovery streaming, visit and go to “The Bird Cage.”

Use gCast to immediately post podcasts from the phone. It uses a 1-888- number. has books you can read online and see the pages.

Use to play Nasa-related games.

Go to suggests where you might want to meet between two people and what type of meals might be available.

X Timeline is a good timeliner creator.

Comics are available for the making from Comiqs, Blabberize, Pixton, …

Brain Blaze, iFlash, Trace, EduBlaster are great games in the Apps Store in iTunes. watch iPod is a mega-VCR is a great way to learn how to use iPods.
is a great place to find live stop watches. allows you to find Flickr images that are sorted and searchable by color.
is a means of creating digital stories quickly using pre-designed characters and backgrounds. allows you to make posters online that are clickable. allows you to put in one or two graphics and have the characters look like they are talking and you can record audio. allows you to make rock videos. You can access it for free as a DEN Star.

CUE 2009: "Web 2.0—Powerful Practices from Experienced Presenters" by Paul Devoto and Joe Wood

Paul Devoto
Joe Wood

Adolescents send an average if 200 texts a day.

Students learn, unlearn, and relearn.

3L’s: They link (into the world via the Internet), lurk (watch others), and lunge (jump right into it)

Teachers are not connecting on social networks while all students are doing it, even if they don’t have computers at home.

Zinch is a social networking site used to network high school seniors with colleges.

The number 14th most downloaded application for the iPhone is Facebook.


Students interact with media more than 72 hours per work, only 10% of which is for education.
Information is cheap today.

Bloom’s taxonomy was modified in 2001: create is now the highest level of the taxonomy.

All children have incredible abilities and we squander them.

None of the top 10 jobs today will exist in ten years so it’s critical we teach students to learn how to learn.
Read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. He states that the future belongs to “designers, inventors, teachers, and storytellers.” He continues by noting design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning will be the most important skills for the future.

“Textperts”=Tech Experts (each class has 4-5 textperts); Texpert selection needs to be skilled at computers, they have to be friendly to others, they have to be responsible academically (complete their other work, Testperts get special chairs and a table. They have to complete all the work just like the other students. Students rate textperts every few weeks. The teacher also asks whether any of the textperts were rude, who was most friendly, and whether they’ve received help from each textpert. This is feedback to the teacher and students receive some feedback (only the positive feedback). This encourages a sense of community and empowerment for the students.

Recommended classroom rules: Help others when asked, share ideas, respect all ideas, have fun, and make it meaningful.

Early finishers help others, finish projects from other classrooms, and have “creative free time” (and they must be creating something).

Google’s employees spend 80% of their time is spent doing their work, and 20% is spent doing something creative.

Apple Remote Desktop allows you to see all your student’s screens and to double-click to take over the screen. It also allows you to collect artifacts of what students are doing.

The fine for using someone’s photo without asking for permission is $1,400.

Creative Commons: Allows users to share work with anyone. When ever you create something, you receive copyright protection. Creative Commons allows you to choose the level of copyright. Google and Flikr all offer Creative Commons sections. You can search in Google for Creative Commons items (can you specify images?). You can go to Commons to access free photos. is a free online typing game.

CUE 2009: "Robert Marzano, March 6, 2009"

Three-to-five years ago, Marzano started studying technology.

Interactive white boards and voting: Students had learning gains of 14%ile-17%ile. The longer teachers use the boards (the more experience they have), the greater the learning gains. The amount of time the technology was used in the classroom also added learning gains, up to 85% of the time at which there was a decrease in student learning. The best conditions for using this technology is an experienced teacher whose used the technology for to years or more who uses the technology about 75% of the time and they have been trained to use the technology. Under these conditions, you could expect an average 30% gain in student learning. Twenty-three percent of the teachers did better without the technology than with the technology (usually this number is much higher in educational statistics). Therefore, weaker teachers require professional development and proper use of interact whiteboard technologies.
Proper use of the technology includes:
  • Keeping a clear focus on the content (not the bells and whistles), and,
  • Keeping track of which students are “getting it” and which are not (response rates can increase student engagement, but can turn students off as soon as a single students is called upon; increase wait time and “thumbs up, thumbs down,” electronic voting, etc. can help increase student response).

Formative assessment, record keeping, and teacher feedback: Providing feedback from classroom assessments to provide students with a clear picture of their progress on learning goals and how they might improve. Telling students whether they are right or wrong actually has a decrease effect in student knowledge of the content. The more information that helps students understand why their answers are correct or incorrect, the greatest learning gains (20%). The same amount of gain occurs when having students repeat a task until they get the answers correct.
Some of the ways to increase content learning is to ensure there is no single assessment to determine if students are learning. The ability to determine what to work on with students based on a state assessment (from class wide results), is nearly zero.
He recommends using data to keep track over time based on a standard teacher-created rubric when dealing with teacher created tests. When using rubrics and student progress tracking there us a =n average if 75% academic gain.
Using electronic record keeping makes this process easy. A key is the teacher must alter their teaching using the data.

Use of the Internet in the classroom is a key area to study, but Marzano does not yet have data to support his theories in this area.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fair Use Guidelines

To determine you are working within fair use guidelines, consider using this checklist:

Thursday, January 15, 2009