Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reccommended by ASCD - Online Resources for Literacy 2.0

Online Resources - a Shortened Version of Teachers First Weekly Newsletter - Sign Up Soon!

TeachersFirst Update - August 31, 2009

Special People and Special Occasions

Editors' Choices: Special Occasion Ideas for the Classroom

Globetracker's Mission Begins September 27
Globetracker's Mission Learn more here.

Daily Hooks
Dates That Matter reveals a new piece of history

every day, projector or whiteboard-ready for your

middle and early high school students.

Be Prepared
TeachersFirst offers a

collection of "editors' choice" Swine Flu resources

Getting Organized
Back to School time is the season for organizers:

organize your assignments, your lesson plans,

your closet, and your life! What better time to

take advantage of TeachersFirst's

free membership

and tools to organize your Favorite finds from

our over 10,000 resources?

Munching for New Ideas

Staff Development:)

In late September, you will be ready for

a just-for-you "snack" after school.

Join us for OK2Ask, TeachersFirst's live,

online "snack sessions" for self-directed

teacher professional development and

exploration. Mark your calendar and

pre-register NOW:

Find It, Use It: Exploring the Resources

of TeachersFirst to Plan Effective,

Technology-Infused Lessons; Tuesday,

Sept 29, 2009, at your choice of two

time slots.

Read the details and preregister here.

This Week's Question of the Week

Are you on Facebook? If so, do you limit

your Facebook presence to a professional or

personal side? How do you prevent or

handle potential crossover? Share your

response to this Question of the Week.

Remember to check "anonymous," if you wish.

See what other teachers have to say, as

well. You can always see responses to past

questions by clicking to see the Question archives.

Featured Sites
This week's featured sites include fabulous

finds for many subjects.

May everyone in your classroom work the wrinkles out soon so life is more comfortable.

Your "teacher to go,"
Candace Hackett Shively
Director of K-12 Initiatives

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blogging in Classrooms Gains National Momentum!

ASCD Smart Brief highlights Passage Middle School In Newport News, Virginia for their school wide use of blogging. We are also following suit in Maine. Please read the article and then post a comment to let us know how your school compares.

Virginia middle school to use student blogs as teaching tool
Passage Middle School in Newport News, Va., will be maintaining class-related blogs written by students and teachers in every classroom. Principal Kipp Rogers hopes the blogs help educators assess student writing assignments. The blogs will be created with Edublog software, which includes content filters. Teachers will view every entry before it is posted and will control who is able to view the blogs. Daily Press (Newport News/Hampton, Va.) (8/24)

If you are thinking about blogging with your students, here is a link to a rubric that I think is excellent.

ASCD Smart Brief highlighted an article in EDUTopia about a new program called the Yes Generation.

Teachers can turn to students for technology tips
Teachers looking for tips on incorporating more classroom technology into lessons might want to turn to their students. A program called Generation YES encourages this practice, and one California teacher said students were able to learn digital story-telling methods and become mentors in the classroom. Edutopia magazine (9/2009)

When I went to the site, I took some time to preview it and found it very promising. It builds on student knowledge of technology and encourages collaboration with the teacher when planning to integrate technology in the classroom. The site has free resources, research, and a variety of paid services for educators. The site claims to have coordinated its work with national technology standards. Quite frankly, I do not know enough about technology to be able to recommend this site unconditionally. However, it looks promising and four Maine schools are listed as reference.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Draft Unveiled on Technological Literacy for NAEP

Education Week has published a review of the draft of the new assessment for technological literacy to be used by NAEP. The article was written by Kathleen Kennedy Manzo. It has a copy of the discussion draft embedded in the article and provides an excellent discussion of the purpose of the assessment, the plans to collect data, as well as the limitations of the measurement. Clear and concise. Take a look and let us know what you think.

The Role of Social Networking in Schools

During the summer, a debate has been brewing regarding the role social networking should or should not play in schools. We know many of our adolescent students use this resource on a regular basis. However, some schools block access to outside resources such as NING, Google, Bebo, Twitter, Facebook - just to mention a few.

The issues involved in this are many and specific to the community - school and geographic - teachers work in . Therefore, I have tried to list a limited number of arguments that I believe are well thought out and presented in the hopes that those of you visiting this blog will read these and share your opinions and experiences. Thanks, Darlene

1.) has just published a review of a social network created specifically for teachers. It is called Better Lesson.The purpose of this network is to provide teachers with support - in curriculum, in planning, and in adapting to their roles. As, Erin Osborn, field director for Better Lesson said, "We want people to stay teaching longer than two years." This article outlines many of the positive aspects teacher site for using social networking in their classrooms.

2.) Most Faculty Don't Use Twitter, Study Reveals is an article written by David Nagel and published on Campus Technology. This article reviews the study of higher level teachers and explores the pros and cons teachers site for their choices regarding the use of social networking online. I think this is a well written summary of the opposing views existing in education today.

Take a look and tell us what you think:)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Final Report on Online Learning Published by the U.S. Department of Education

The Final Report Published by the U.S. Department of Education titled:

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in
Online Learning
A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies

Although various sections of this report have been made available over the last few months, the entire document is now available including summaries of key sections. A must read for educators considering technology use in their classrooms.
Go to our site, The Maine Literacy and Technology Pilot, click on final report on online learning under attachments, and download your free copy of the report to share with your colleagues.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Featured Sites from Teachers First!

Here is a link to featured sites from teachers first. This is a great resource. Think about joining! It's free!

Article on Students' Online Search Habits Published!

The Read Write Web published an article based on Norton's survey of students' online search habits.

Norton generated the survey results as follows.
"Between February 2009 and July 2009, Symantec tracked a total of 3.5 million searches that were submitted by users of their OnlineFamily.Norton service. The list of search terms was ranked from those submitted most frequently to those submitted the least. In order to be included in the list of kids’ top search terms, a search term had to have been submitted at least 50 times by registered users of OnlineFamily.Norton."

Take a look and see the patterns of many of your students when using the internet. It is interesting to see the parallel between poor reading habits and our struggling students on the internet.

ASCD Smart Brief Announces National Draft of Technology-Literacy Test Released!

Draft of National Technological-Literacy Test Released
A draft of proposed national technological-literacy exams has been released by the National Assessment Governing Board. The computer-based test, which will be given to a sample of students in fourth, eighth and 12th grades in 2012, will gauge students' ability to use and communicate with technology as well as their understanding of technology's advantages and drawbacks. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (8/11)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Getting Ready for the Beginning of School!

Teachers First is a nonprofit organization that was formed to explore use of technology in the classroom. The founder is an experienced teacher and the suggestions she offers are well thought out, practical (that is to say doable), and support students' learning.
The company offers a free newsletter delivered by e-mail. The majority of the sites are free. Here is an example of their work. The Problem Site

If you want to sign up go to: Teachers First

There are some great first days activities as well.

Good luck preparing for your students and enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2009

How Do We Prepare Our Students for the 21st Century with Today's Budget?

Globaly we are experiencing a recession that may last for a long time so we are all faced with reduced budgets in an effort to make ends meet. However, it has never been so imperative to supply our students with the 2t century skills they need to be a viable part of society. Nationally, many educators are trying to address this crisis through education regarding the purpose of technology.

"The goal of this technology in the classroom is not to create smoke and mirrors," said John Hamstra, principal, "but to assist with instruction and to allow our Junior School students access to the necessary skills to compete in a 21st Century global economy."

"Our kids need to be moving forward; technology doesn't stand still just because you can't afford it," Lisa Gross, Kentucky's education cabinet spokeswoman.

Here is a recent article from the Cincinnati Enquirer. Take a minute to read it and think about how you might support technology in your school.

Schools Step Up Technology Curriculum

If you have any ideas or experience in this area, please post them under comments.