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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Public School Rap

Click here for a link to the video.

The music and lyrics were produce in the same style as "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z & Alicia Keys.

Yeah, I'm in public school, in the elementary
I started in pre-school, where I learned my A-B-Cs
I still remember, starting on the first day
How I met some new friends, and I started to play 
Walking down the hall, in line we would stand
If we wanted to talk in class, we raised our hand 
If you have a question, they don't even hesitate
If you have a special need, they can accommodate
Math Reading Science, Art Music, PE
Personalize my learning, with an I.E.P. 
Para Professional, Principal Secretary
Counselor custodian, they are extraordinary
Character education, it is the master key
That will unlock the grown up, I'm growing up to be
I love my teachers, it's going by too fast for me
I'll miss them all when I'm gone, cause soon I'm gonna leave

Grade School, education where dreams are made from
There's nothin' you can't do
Now you're in Grade School
They'll teach you things that are brand new
teachers will inspire you
Let's hear it for Grade School, Grade School, Grade School

Everything starts to change, when you enter Middle School
Who's dating who, everybody trying to be cool
Bodies are changing, there are feelings to rebel
Teachers teaching preteens, they deserve a Nobel
Make a difference, has always been their aim
They don't just make a spark, they ignite the flame
Heroes in plain clothes, if the whole truth be known
But not even Superman, could do this job alone
It takes a community, teamwork and hard work
but who's helping these kids, when they do their homework?
The middle school years, are the most crucial in your life
To be well rounded, electives are rife
More than just your core classes, Reading, Science and Math
With foreign language, drama, band, you choose your own path
Emotional support, and ascending confidence
Learning who I am, I'm thankful for the guidance in

Middle School, education where dreams are made from
There's nothin' you can't do
Now you're in Middle School
They'll teach you things that are brand new
Teachers will inspire you
Let's hear it for Middle School, Middle School

No longer boys and girls, growing into men and women
Still acting juvenile, every now and then
The futures on your doorstep, 4 years to graduate
That plan for the future? It's now time to actuate
I trust the teachers, dedicated to serve
Leadership patience, that's what I observe
That passion to give, it comes from their core
A challenge to be more, knowledge seeping out their pores
Cheering our success, trained to be the best
Judged by our scores, forced to teach to the test
A teachers job description, is not well defined
30 kids in one class, and no child left behind
I'm not here to inflame, shame but to proclaim
If national scores are low, school teachers aint to blame
With diploma in hand, your dreams are within reach
Stay in school and learn, from those who were called to teach

High School, education where dreams are made from
There's nothin' you can't do
Now you're in High School
They'll teach you things that are brand new
Teacher will inspire you
To graduate High School, High School, High School

Majority on Board With Education Technology

From Education Week:

Survey: Teachers, Parents Want More Ed. Tech.

by guest blogger Mike Bock
Both parents and teachers want to see more technology in the classroom, a surveyfrom the Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission suggests, as 82 percent of teachers and 71 percent of parents said greater emphasis on technology would be helpful for learning.
Looking ahead, the survey found that 54 percent of teachers and 64 percent of parents think technology in the classroom will become much more important during the next 10 years than it is right now.
The goal of the survey was to assess the amount of enthusiasm and support for the use of educational technology among teachers and parents, said Jim Steyer, one of LEAD's commissioners. The LEAD Commission, a public-private commission created by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to craft a blueprint for better use of educational technology, will use the data to write a full report on technology that is scheduled to be released in November.
Steyer said the findings, which came from a poll of more than 800 public school parents and K-12 teachers conducted in August, suggests "off-the-charts" enthusiasm for new technology efforts.
"Parents and teachers really do get the importance of education and technology today," said Steyer.
Preliminary data from the survey also shows that parents and teachers often reflect similar stances on a number of technology-related issues, such as whether or not the United States is falling behind other countries on technology adoption (61 percent of teachers and 63 percent of parents think that is the case) or whether or not high-speed Internet at home benefits learning (95 percent of teachers and 90 percent of parents think it does.)
"There was a real alignment between what parents and teachers identify as most needed improvements in education," Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates, the firm that conducted the survey, said during a conference call.
LEAD's findings seem to correlate with the Vision K-20 survey, which also polled teachers about their opinions on educationl technology. My colleague Ian Quillen wrote about the survey, which found that teachers' desire to use digital tools in the classroom substantially exceeded their current access to the technology.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

IPAD is Just Like a Hammer

From the edudemic blog site:

The Secret To Successfully Using iPads In Education

My brother recently built a shelf for my daughter’s room.  It is in the likeness of a boat that she will one day spend sunny afternoons on, cruising around Plymouth harbor.  He used a saw, a hammer, glue and other assorted tools that I couldn’t explain or name.  I am not a carpenter nor am I skilled at building anything with my hands.
However, I do know this.  When my brother started the project, he did not pick up his hammer and get inspired, engaged or motivated.  What was motivating was the final concept, the vision, the challenge and the knowledge that he would eventually create something that could be shared with another person.
What do hammers have to do with iPads?  iPads are exactly like hammers, they are simply a tool.  While the screen may shine and the intuitive nature of the device impress even the most cynical user, they are little more than tools in the classroom. 

30 Hammers Or 30 iPads

Granted, if we were to offer a set of 30 hammers and 30 iPads to a classroom full of students, we all know which tool they would choose.  And while an iPad may be more fun to use at first, may have more possible applications and can provide hours of mindless use, without and end goal, challenge or obstacle to overcome, the shine quickly wears off. 
Tools are not inspiring, engaging or motivating.  Challenges, new obstacles and knowing that you can impact some else’s thinking, perspective or understanding is inspiring, engaging and motivating. 
Collaborating with ones peers, problem solving and ultimately creating something to demonstrate ones capabilities or unique understanding, that is engaging. 

Increased Engagement Myth

Unfortunately, a good deal of discussion and justification for iPad use in the classroom revolves around the dreaded phrase, “increased engagement.”  I wonder what exactly students will be engaged in if there isn’t a particular end goal or challenge in mind. 
Certain they will be engaged with the options that an iPad presents to them.  They can email their friends, update their social networking status, take a few pictures and browse the web, they are clearly engaged in something, but I would argue they are not at all engaged with a challenging process to create and demonstrate their understanding.  

iPads Don’t Teach

Along with the myth of increased engagement, there is an unfortunate misconception that an iPad can teach our students.  Throughout the summer I ran and instructed a number of workshops on integrating iPads in the classroom with EdTechTeacher.  A typical request was for a list of apps to teach history or apps to teach science.  While there are content specific apps that can potentially aid in the process of introducing, reinforcing and reviewing new content, iPads don’t teach. 
What iPads do provide is a unique ability to have students create content in a mobile environment.  While creating content is not unique to an iPad, it provides unique capabilities that otherwise would be extremely challenging or nearly impossible to achieve in a traditional classroom setting without these devices.  Create podcasts and video by recording, editing and publishing to the web, check. Create blog posts anywhere, without being confined to a computer lab, check.  Create screencasts to demonstrate understanding and publish them to the web to share with peers, check.  Create, edit, share and collaborate on documents (with the latest update to the Google Drive iOS app), check. 

How To Actually Use iPads

After numerous workshops, working with hundreds of teachers from around the country on iPad integration, what has become evident is that the greatest benefit of using iPads in the classroom is not use see them as a teaching tool, but instead as a tool for students to demonstrate their understanding in many different ways. It is not that iPads are good or bad, they are simply iPads.  However, they can unfortunately be used in ways that at best wastes the money that was used to buy the devices and at worst degrades the learning experience for the student.  

What It All Means

If we can agree that an iPad is a tool, we can also then agree that it isn’t the best tool for every situation.  Back to the “iPad is like a Hammer” analogy.  When my brother created the boat inspired bookshelf, he likely used the hammer to pound in the railings and nail together a few pieces.  He did not however, use his hammer to paint the hull blue. I would argue that iPads should be used in the same fashion, as a tool that can help students solve specific problems, overcome certain obstacles and create content to demonstrate their understanding. 
Unfortunately what happens in many instances is that iPads are purchased and there is an expectation that they be used in the classroom without any particular end goal in mind. 
In other words, the tool is coming before the end goal or objective. 
As I mentioned earlier, I am not a carpenter and struggle to build things with my hands.  However, I am fairly certain that a carpenter does not start the day by looking at a hammer to figure out what he is going to create.  The same should be said for iPads in the classroom.  Start with the end goal in mind, the inspiration, the challenge and then determine if an iPad can be used to effectively, not to teach new content to students, but to allow them to achieve the end goal. To demonstrate their learning and share that understanding with their peers, a broader audience and even potentially the world. 
Join EdTechTeacher as we will be talking more about iPads and their impact in the classroom during the November 6-8, EdTechTeacher iPad Summit.

Interview With National Teacher of the Year

Click here for a link to the video.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

50 Resources for Teachers

From SaveDelete web site:

50 Excellent Professional Resources for Teachers

As a student we learn a lot of things but as we become a teacher somewhere learning gets a back seat. That is not a good thing because as a human, we need to learn many things in a subtle way.
In this purpose, your colleagues, books andinternet offers personal development thus making us a better and wiser teacher. In summer vacations, we can dive into professional development opportunities through web by accessing great tools for development. Here, we have collected a new suggestion on learning and growing as an educator.
Important Resources
Don’t forget these websites which are overflowing to the brim with articles, resources, and education materials are for teachers.

Education Week Teacher PD Sourcebook:

This sourcebook is filled with incredible resources for teachers, as well as great articles, a directory of helpful sites, and links to PD events.

Educators Professional Development:

EPD bills itself as “professional development for teachers, by teachers” and that’s just what you’ll find here. Listings for local events, conferences, and a monthly newsletter can help you stay in the loop.

Teacher Vision:

Teacher Vision present articles on a large variety of education topics, from learning how to be a better teacher to present your first year in the classroom.

Teacher Tap:

Teachers will find a wealth of great reading material on this site, touching on topics like technology, information literacy, and high-tech learning.

Getting Smart:

All the way through the receiving Smart website, teachers and librarians can study more about high-tech learning and innovative thoughts in education.

This easy site offers teachers articles, books, resource links, and information about professional improvement workshops.

Education World:

Education World has a great professional Development sector on their site, packed with articles, interviews, reviews, and other supportive tools for educators.

Teachers’ Domain:

Teacher’s Domain isn’t just an enormous place to get digital media for use in the classroom. The site also offers access to some useful professional development resources.

Read Write Think:

Study about conventions, read publications, and network with other teachers through the expert development tools presented by this great website.

Common Sense Media:

On the Common Sense Media site, teachers can take advantage of curriculum training videos that touch on a number of key educational topics.

Teachers Network:

Since lesson plans to videos concerning teaching to how-to articles, the Teachers Network site is an outstanding place to start looking for some professional development resources.

Intel Teach Elements:

Intel offers teachers an opportunity to take part in their Teach Elements series which, through videos and reading materials, can help educators to learn more about a variety of critical 21st century instruction topics.

Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators:

Condition you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all your teacher needs, consider this resource. You’ll find high quality tools for teaching as well as some to help you improve your own education as well.

Podcasts for Teachers:

Top to this site to find a list of 40 incredible podcasts for teachers. All the way through them, you’ll study more about education news, how to teach, and the free resources out there for teachers.

Best Books Channel:

One of the best ways to teach you as a teacher is to read books. Fortunately, Education World offers a place to get the best of the best when it comes to professional development and other teaching topics.

Courses and Workshops

These sites can help you find professional development courses and workshops, both for free and for a fee.

Annenberg Learner:

At this time teachers can find information about workshops and courses, distance learningchances, personal development resources, or just rise up some new resources to use in the classroom.

Learning Forward:

Commencing a professional development book club, to e-learning opportunities, to enormous content, this site offers countless resources to any teacher looking to learn.

Teacher Online Education:

In the marketplace for some online courses to help you earn graduate or professional development credits? This site has plenty to present educators.

iTunes U:

On iTunes U teachers are able to get a wealth of professional development courses, as well as those in just about any topic or field out there. Well again yet, nearly all of them are free.

Saylor is a large place to take courses in basic topics, making it perfect for brushing up on college courses or inspirational your knowledge before heading back to the classroom.


The Open University offers teachers an opportunity to get free, useful courses on a wide range of topics.

PBS Teacherline:

PreK-12 educators will get a huge list of courses offered through PBS and affiliate institutions that are designed to help teachers improve their skills in technology and teaching reading, writing, math, and science.

The Teacher’s Workshop:

Top to this website to get out additional about workshops, sign up for a newsletter, get reading material, and even find some sample plans.

Staff Development for Educators:

This company offers teachers online courses, on-site training, workshops, and other helpful professional development resources.

OER Commons:

Top to OER for a wealth of open educational resources, including a large number of articles and courses on professional development.

Classroom Connect:

Top to this site to learn more about workshops and conferences focused on technology integration in schools.

Beacon Educator:

In the course of Beacon Educator, teachers can get online professional development courses that can help to move forward their careers forward and give them more confidence in the classroom.

Knowledge Delivery Systems:

Those in the market to take online courses for professional development should verify this company, geared toward educational professionals.

Field Specific

Appearing for professional development materials that are definite to the area in which you teach? These sites have got you covered.

National Science Teachers Association Professional Development:

The NSTA has an education center, web seminars, and a social network to help science teachers construct their professional skills.

National Council of Teachers of English:

English teachers ought to check out the resources presented by the NCTE, as well as books, articles, workshops, and other.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:

Those in the market for various math teacher-specific resources shouldn’t miss an opportunity on what the NCTM has to suggest. Through the whole thing from high-quality publications to e-seminars scheduled in their professional development section, you’re sure to get amazing helpful.

National Association of Special Education Teachers:

Individual a special education teacher can be challenging, so you need all the support and resources you can obtain. The NCSET is one position to get both, so create sure to check out their publications, resources, and social tools.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities:

All the way through the NICHCY, teachers can study more about effective staff development strategies for working with students who have disabilities.

American Institute for History Education:

Resources on the AIHE site variety from scholarship writing help to web-based distance learning, present a wealth of services for any devoted history teacher to take benefit of.

National Art Education Association:

Get great professional growth resources for teaching art when you visit the NAEA website.

Skill Building

Jobs on construction particular expertise that you’ll use in the classroom by visiting these incredible professional development resources.

LOC Professional Development:

The Library of Congress requirements to help teachers increase their knowledge, so they’ve produced tools to help teachers improved learn how to get students in touch with primary source material.

Teaching Tolerance:

Study new ways to support broadmindedness and understanding in your students, through the great PD resources offered by this organization.


Regardless of what you want to learn about, whether it’s neuroscience or classroom managing, you’ll get academic papers on it here that you can read and use to build your knowledge.


All the way through the CAST website, teachers can be trained more about UDL (UniversalDesign for Learning) using a series of modules, reading materials, and toolkits.


Edutopia present educators several professional development guides, which can be a great way to build skills in topics like project-based learning, technology integration, and assessment.

Groups and Organizations

These groups and organizations propose a number of professional development resources for teachers.

National Education Association:

The NEA is a huge place to seem for professional development resources. The site is home to great articles, resources for teaching, help with grants, tools, ideas, and much more.

U.S. Department of Education:

The USDE proposes teachers assist with building their professional careers through a series of useful articles and resources.


Condition you’re paying those union dues; you may as well obtain all you can from the union. Visit the union website to find professional development resources and to learn more about the ER&D Program.

Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy:

Study the latest research from this organization, which can go far in informing your teaching practice.

Desire to explore the world while working as a teacher? Think one of the programs offered by the Global Exploration for Educators Organization.

AIR Publications:

The American Institutes for Research create a number of useful publications for teachers that touch on topics like leadership, innovation, after-school programs, school reform, and more.


The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s website is full of great resources. Teachers will find a magazine, updates about conferences and webinars, and help with online learning.


Suggest to other teachers and educational professionals through these sites.

College professors know how to join with others and see what research is being done through this academia-only social network. Chatboards:

Looking for a small suggestion from your peers? Top to one of these teacher chat boards on to get answers to your questions, guidance, and support.


On the TeachersFirst site is a resource called OK2Ask. It’s a sequence of short live sessions where teachers can ask questions and get answers to their professional development issues.

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