Wednesday, September 30, 2009

AND the Discussion about Social Networking Continues>>>

Courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief

Research: Teachers seek guidance on online education networking
Most educators questioned in a recent survey done by say that they use Web sites and social-networking outlets such as FaceBook and YouTube. The survey found, however, that many educators would like more professional development to use Web resources more effectively. Education Week (premium article access compliments of

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Better Learning with ICT - Online Communities in Classrooms

I received a notice from Wiki this morning that sent me a link to a website called:

Better Learning with ICT - Online Communities in Classrooms

I clicked on the link and was pleasantly surprised.  This site is investigates the use of technology in real classrooms and then provides a video to record the meeting and demonstrate how to implement the technology discussed.  

Take a few minutes and visit this site.

This video features secondary French teacher Marie Guyomarc'h, investigates how to make use of online communities in her classes. 

If you enjoy this video, notice the navigation bar on the left.  You will find grade appropriate information as well as specific content areas.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Teacher: Literacy education must adapt to a changing world

The definition of literacy is being impacted by technology.  Take a minute and read this article.  It poses the question of how to teach critical thinking through analyzing online media.

Teacher: Literacy education must adapt to a changing world
Critical thinking can and should be taught through analyzing online media, and accurate assessments of literacy should start considering the multiple information platforms today's students use, argues Paul Barnwell, a middle-school language arts teacher in Kentucky. A continued reliance on nothing but traditional texts will not prepare students to understand or influence the media of their future, Barnwell writes in this column. Education Week (premium article access compliments of

Free Staff Development

4 Strategies for Technology-Driven Student Achievement
Pull up a virtual chair and listen in as 4 state and district education leaders discuss how they've employed classroom technology to help their students (and teachers) reach new levels of achievement.
Free On-Demand Webinar – View Now.

21 st Century Scholars

Taken from ASCD Smart Brief

21st Century Scholars
Although Bethpage Union Free School District in suburban New York had a 99% graduation rate and a 98% Regents Diploma rate, its educators thought they could do more to prepare students for success after high school. The district examined the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, which provided a useful framework for educators determined to go beyond No Child Left Behind mandates, and established the Bethpage 21st Century Scholars' Program. The latest Educational Leadership reveals the district's journey in establishing this program.

New Research on How Multi_Media can HELP At Risk Students

Taken from ASCD Smart Brief.  Get some great ideas for at risk students.

Multimedia projects put concepts in context for at-risk students
Schools and academia are increasingly coming together to develop multimedia-based curriculum to excite at-risk students about learning. GameDesk, a project created at the University of Southern California, enables students at an inner-city Los Angeles high school to learn art and math skills by developing video games. "We've never forced difficult information on them," a USC professor says of participating students. "They actively employed strategic thinking and problem-solving that is engaging, interactive, creative and rewarding." Edutopia magazine (10/2009)

Free Staff Development Opportunity on Nonfiction

Here is a message from Mary Buckley Library Media Specialist at Mt. Blue HS.

Thank you Mary.

This is a participation opportunity a webcast/webinar for those who are interested in reading/literacy. It will be given by EBSCO/NoveList, a database available to Maine via the MARVEL! website.

I "attended" a webinar in August about NoveList and I think it would be a powerful tool for those who are on the literacy team.

Would you please pass this along, or if I have the names, I will do so myself?


Mary Buckley
Library Media Specialist
Mt. Blue HS
Farmington, ME 04938

Dear EBSCO Customer,
You are invited to join NoveList for School Library Journal's October 1, 2009 free webcast from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The topic is Connecting with Nonfiction: Techniques and Title Tips for Young Readers and Teens, sponsored/moderated by Dodie Owens, Editor of SLJTeen, and Duncan Smith of NoveList.

Join our panel of experienced professionals for a look at the latest trends in children’s and teen nonfiction publishing and a discussion of best practices that can boost your confidence in this expanding area of patron and student interest. The webcast will also include a discussion of distinguished titles in several areas of nonfiction that every librarian will want to know about and have on hand.

Register for this free webcast today at ConnectingWithNonfiction.

Marcie Brown
Technical Communications Manager
EBSCO Publishing
10 Estes Street
Ipswich, MA 01938

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Free Educational Videos

Great free sources for educational videos.

Taken from ASCD Smart Brief

Teachers can mine the Internet for educational videos
The Internet offers a variety of videos that teachers can connect to curriculum topics. The medium engages children on another level -- promoting better attention and information retention. This Edutopia article offers information on tracking down appropriate videos from reputable Internet sources and covers how to manipulate video resources. Edutopia magazine (10/2009)

Monday, September 21, 2009

David Nigel reported in a recent edition of T.H.E. Journal that Google claims their new free program, Google Apps for Education Edition, has quadrupled student and teacher use of the internet. This program is being offered for free and provides a safe environment for students and teachers alike.

I use google for all of my business and educational projects. In my opinion, they are easy to use. The teachers I work with like them and can pick up the format quickly. Teachers have also found them beneficial in the classroom.

Check out the link above and see what you think.

Article from THE Journal on Videoconferencing - A must Read!

school videoconferencing, videoconferencing in k-12 schools, k-12 distance learning, distance education technology for rural schools

Distance Education

Videoconferencing To Bring the World to Students

A city-dwelling student from one school asks a peer living in a rural area whether he gets bored living in a small town. The rural student from another school asks the city kid whether she feels safe where she lives. They aren't on the phone, and they aren't on the same field trip. In fact, they're all several miles apart.

The Berrien Regional Education Services Agency serves Berrien and Cass county K-12 schools with support, a data center, instruction services, special education, and instructional technology. Under the umbrella of instructional technology is a large network of videoconferencing systems that connects 19,000 students from 20 districts to each other and to people and places outside their communities. The 70 schools using videoconferencing range from very small, with as few as 300 students, to those with 5,000 or more, and some teach migrant students during the fall harvest.

The students' backgrounds are varied, but one thing they have in common is that many do not have much awareness of life outside their towns or cities. Videoconferencing becomes an equalizer as well as a window to the world.

The region has a history of being progressive with this technology: the first video conferencing systems were installed in 1999. Janine Lim, instructional technology consultant, is in charge of video technology installation and maintenance. She also troubleshoots connections, and trains teachers how to use videoconferencing, while helping them become comfortable with the technology.

Teaching the Teachers
The effort begins and ends with the curriculum. Lim, who was a teacher herself, warns teachers that videoconferencing isn't done for the fun of it. "I ask them how it matches their curriculum and then we look for suitable programs," she said. She explained there are many resources available to help teachers find programs that will enhance student learning and fit curricula.

For the rest of the article go to: Videoconferencing to Bring the World to Students

Friday, September 18, 2009

Social Networking in Schools: Incentives for Participation *

This is an excellent article for educators thinking about using social networking in their schools for academic purposes. It talks about data and trends as well as providing possible resources available on the internet.

Taken from: T.H.E. Journal


By Patricia Deubel

In July 2007, the National School Board Association published results of three surveys regarding social networking, which included 9- to 17-year-olds, parents, and school district leaders in charge of Internet policy. While it came as no surprise that 52 percent of all districts interviewed prohibited any use of social networking sites in school, an interesting result with implications for schools was that "almost 60 percent of students who use social networking talk about education topics online and, surprisingly, more than 50 percent talk specifically about schoolwork" (NSBA, 2007, p. 1). The NSBA also found that schools and especially parents have strong expectations about the positive roles that social networking could play in students' lives, and both are interested in social networking as a tool.

With this in mind, one has to wonder why social networking has not been leveraged more in schools to enhance the education of youth. A quick answer would have to do with ensuring their online safety, which has posed a challenge to schools, as well as the typical issues surrounding introduction of any innovation. Such issues include factors that teachers can not easily influence or alter: research and policy factors and factors inherent to technology itself, and those factors that they can influence: district/school factors such as culture, factors associated with teachers' and students' beliefs, attitudes, experience, technology skills, and so on, and the technology-enhanced project itself (Groff & Mouza, 2008, cited in Klopfer, Osterweil, Groff, & Haas, 2009, p. 16).

For the rest of the article go to:

Social Networking in Schools: Incentives for Participation

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Google Lit Trips show students the places they read about

Google Lit Trips show students the places they read about

Taken from ASCD Smart Briefs

Educators at a New York school used Google Lit Trips, which combines Google Earth satellite images and literature, to enhance learning. Fifth-graders read "The Family Apart" and were able to use the Google images to follow the path of the Orphan Train, used to move homeless and abandoned children during the 19th century. One library-media specialist said students were enthusiastic about the exercise. "I've never seen them so intent," she said. "This got them to deeper learning." Edutopia magazine (9/2009)

It's Free!

The 21st Century Skills Movement

Taken from ASCD Smart Brief

Since 2002, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills has been the leading advocacy organization in the U.S. focused on infusing 21st-century skills into education. The Framework for 21st Century Learning -- the result of a consensus among hundreds of stakeholders -- describes the skills, knowledge and expertise students need to succeed in work and life. P21 Chairwoman Paige Johnson writes in the latest Educational Leadership, covering the four framework components and describing the types of skills and knowledge needed for student success in the 21st century.

Money is short, but laptops for every student are still a priority in Maine

Taken from ASCDSmart Brief.

What do you think?

  • Despite tight budgets, schools across Maine are expanding a state program to provide a laptop to every student. In 2002, the Maine Learning Technology Initiative was started to create a 1-to-1 computer-to-student ratio in seventh and eighth grades. MLTI provided middle schools with the funds needed for equipment and services. But high schools will receive money only for the installation of a wireless-network setup. Because of that, only about half of the state's high schools will provide a laptop to students this year. Education Week (premium article access compliments of

Monday, September 14, 2009

5 Ways We're Diminishing Learning by Assuming Face-to-Face Instruction Is Best

Collaboration 2.0
Web 2.0 Strategies for Education


5 Ways We're Diminishing Learning by Assuming

Face-to-Face Instruction Is Best

It's interesting that face-to-face instruction is still the measure by
which all other forms of instruction are evaluated. As the standard
model of instruction for decades, it's often assumed to be the proven
method, while other methods have yet to prove themselves. This
assumption is not only misleading, but it might also be helping
to diminish potential opportunities of better learning for our students. More

From Generation YES by Dennis Harper

Back to School Tech Tool Roundup
Back to school means new pencils, new rulers, and new notebooks, right? Well how about stocking up on some 21st century versions of back to school tools? And yes - all FREE!
  • Etherpad - collaborative documents with no login or email necessary. Has a cool timeslider feature so you can watch your document as it changed over time.
  • Scratch - an easy to learn programming language for ages 8 and up. Programming is simply one of the best learning experiences for students. It builds logic, higher order thinking skills, and really, it's just plain fun!
  • Audacity - an oldie but a goodie. A really useful audio recording and editing tool that can be used for any kind of multimedia project.
  • Wikispaces - educators can sign up for a free, ad-free wiki for classroom or personal use.
  • Gaggle Student Email - free email and more. Gaggle has been a Generation YES partner for years, and our schools love the easy to use, protected email for students.
  • Google Earth - if you haven't seen Google Earth lately, take a peek! Google Earth is a super-charged version of the web-based Google Maps. Take a tour of the earth, space, moon, or undersea, or add 3D buildings with SketchUp.
  • Prezi - tired of boring old one-slide-at-a-time slideshows? Try zooming instead. If some of your students have "done PowerPoint" - let them try Prezi. It might make you dizzy, but the kids should pick it up pretty quickly!
  • Zamar - easy online file conversion. Not only does Zamzar convert document and graphic file formats, but also movie formats. It even can save YouTube and other online movies to files for use at a later date.
And if you are looking for a technology class curriculum that is project-based and up to date, check out the all new TechYES TLC - Technology Literacy Curriculum.

Free Journal Webinars - Share with your staff!

Digital Content

Join us on September 16 to hear about authentic views from

the first-ever national study of students, teachers and parents

on the emerging use of digital content in classrooms. You will

also learn what students and parents would deem the "ultimate

online textbook" if they created it.

Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation's leading

education nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual

Speak Up surveys, will present the data findings and

moderate a panel discussion with students, teachers and

administrators from various school districts.

T.H.E Journal Live Webinar

Event Details

Date: September 16, 2009

Time: 12 PM PDT (3 PM EDT)


Julie Evans, CEO, Project Tomorrow


Geoff Fletcher, editorial director, T.H.E Journal

The 'Speak Up' Webinar Series

Attend one, two or all six of these content-rich webinar to

improve your decision-making capabilities


12 PM Pacific/3 PM Eastern

Web 2.0 and Education


12 PM Pacific/3 PM Eastern

21st Century Skills


12 PM Pacific/3 PM Eastern

Top 10 Trends in

Student Learning

with Technology


12 PM Pacific/3 PM Eastern

Internet Safety


Mobile Devices

within Instruction

Virtual Conferene NOW Available

Register for a FREE Virtual Conference & Expo

DECEMBER 3, 2009 | 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST


The award-winning producers of Campus Technology conferences invite you and your team to participate in Campus Technology '09 Virtual Conference—a FREE online event designed to immerse you in the latest, most successful education technologies.

Attend this live online event and enjoy:

  • Expert speakers sharing their views in an effective, interactive way
  • A live virtual networking lounge to reconnect with colleagues and make new contacts
  • Technology product and services demos in the virtual exhibit hall
  • Free content downloads and presentations to go
  • No travel expenses, no conference fees and no lines!

For information on Exhibitor and Sponsorhip opportunities, click here.

Act NOW to Generate Quality Leads without Leaving Your Office!

For information on Exhibitor and Sponsorship opportunities, click here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Online Safety is a Real Problem and is Increasing!

With the start up of school, online safety is in the news again and with good reason. IBM recently published a paper reviewing the malicious trends on the internet. Campus Technology posted this information earlier. Here is an excerpt and a link to the complete article.

Please take the time to read and be aware!

IBM: No Such Thing as a Safe Browsing Environment

Malicious content on trusted sites is dramatically increasing, according to new research from IBM. The company recently released results from its X-Force 2009 Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report, which shows an unprecedented state of Web insecurity.

Five times as many malicious Web links have been discovered in the first half of 2009 as in the previous period studied. This problem is no longer limited to malicious domains or untrusted sites. The report notes an increase in the presence of malicious content on trusted sites, including search engines, blogs, bulletin boards, personal Web sites, online magazines, and consumer news sites. The ability to gain access and manipulate data remains the primary consequence of vulnerability exploitations.

IBM also reports that the level of veiled Web exploits, especially PDF files, are at an all-time high, pointing to increased sophistication of attackers.

Online Safety - A Hot Issue

In previous posts you have heard me mention the free online newsletters provided by T.H.E. Journal. They are excellent and very teacher oriented. The creators of T.H.E. Journal have stepped up to the challenge and are now providing quality free webinars.

I am sharing this opportunity with you below. It sounds like an excellent webinar. I have reviewed several of the series and found some valuable information in them.

This opportunity is timely - given the economic climate in our state. Here is a chance to have quality information for free!

Learning and Safety:

Balancing Engaging Education
and Online Student Safety in School

Date: September 23, 2009
Time: 12 PM Pacific/3 PM Eastern
Sponsored by: Lightspeed

Click here to register

Today’s schools face a daunting challenge: How to open the learning environment so students and teachers can use Web 2.0 tools without compromising user safety or network security. Access to these tools can bring great educational advantages, but can also open up users and resources to safety and security concerns. Finding common ground that students, teachers, administrators, and IT directors agree on can be difficult.

Get a blueprint for achieving balance between safety and learning in this free, one hour webcast sponsored by Lightspeed Systems. Tune in to hear experts from Klein ISD and San Diego USD reveal how they reached consensus between technologists and administrators with a flexible, integrated solution that enables them to:

  • provide students with safe access to valuable Web 2.0 resources
  • monitor user activity
  • ensure users follow Acceptable Use Policies
  • detect and eliminate security threats
  • ensure school resources are used safely and efficiently
  • easily view and share critical information with custom reports
  • consolidate and reduce costs while managing different components

Get keys for putting plans, policies and processes in place that foster a safe learning environment. Come armed with questions for our presenters. T.H.E. Journal Editorial Director Geoff Fletcher will lead an interactive Q&A session immediately following the live presentation.

Register today!