Thursday, September 18, 2014

Student Voice Live - 9/20 in NYC: Calling All Innovative Educators

Guest post by student, Keaton Wadzinski

It started with just a few students and allies connecting over Twitter. Then came the weekly #StuVoice Twitter Chats, Facebook conversations, then Google Hangouts, which all led to the first ever Student Voice Live! in April of 2013.

What caught on so quickly? The Student Voice movement.

Once started, the spark of student voice caught fire, igniting the drive to create Student Voice, the for-students-by-students 501 (c) 3 non-profit dedicated to revolutionizing education through the voices and actions of students.

Event details
Innovative Educators are invited to join in this exceptional work on Saturday, September 20th, at Student Voice Live! 2014 at Shootdigital Studios (23 East Fourth St. New York, NY, 10003). Come to contribute your ideas, support, and passion by registering at If you can’t attend, you can watch via livestream here and follow our Twitter stream @Stu_Voice!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#BacktoSchool List Begone. Google Chromebooks Are the New Kid in Town

If you're still talking about the digital divide, you haven't heard about Google Chromebooks. Chromebooks are not only affordable, they actually save schools, districts, and families money. Chromebooks are only about $225 and last for about three years. That's $75 a year. The devices cost less than your back to school list for the next three years and yet provide so much more.

Let's take a look. Check out the basic list below. With the exception of your child's clothing, the back-to-school list is history. Pencils, paper, sticky notes, calendar, crayons, erasers, notebooks, even trading cards are a thing of the past with Chromebooks. Say "Goodbye back to school list" and "Hello Google Draw, Docs, Sheets, Calculator, and more."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The New “Talk.” When Your Teen Wants to Tweet.

Editor's note: If you're an innovative educator in secondary school, you are likely to have parents ask for your expert advice on teens and social media. You can give them this article directly or use it to get some ideas about how to best approach the conversation.

If you are a parent of a teen, you already have a lot of experience working with your child(ren) to help them figure out how to engage safely and responsibly in the world. You've thought about which (or if) school is the best, which clubs they should join, which friends they should hang out with, which groups they should be a part of, and when and where they can go and hang out safely.

When your child becomes a teen there will be some new places for you to think about your child being a part of. That is because at 13 your child legally old enough to join popular social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more.

The good news is you are prepared to do this. You have experience in making sure your child is engaging safely and responsibly in environments that are beneficial. What you've done in the physical world is exactly what you should do online.

When the time comes, be prepared to "discuss" not "tell" your child how to remain safe and responsible online. It is likely they already know what to do if someone writes something that makes them, or someone they know, feel uncomfortable.  For example, you can block or report them to the space. Also discuss what to do if they find someone is making someone else uncomfortable.

Here are some things to think about when, or ideally before, that day comes.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The hottest posts everyone's reading

Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog. Below you’ll see the top posts along with the number of page views. I hope there's something that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re inspired use one of those icons below the post to share it with others and/or leave a comment.

Aug 20, 2014, 
Aug 27, 2014, 
Aug 17, 2014, 
Aug 31, 2014, 
Aug 13, 2014, 
Aug 27, 2014, 
Jul 15, 2010, 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Teachers Get Your Tech On with PBS Learning Media

As innovative educators settle into the new school year, it's not just new students they see. There's also a new crop of devices, apps, and games about which students are excited. That excitement shouldn't end in the classroom.  

PBS LearningMedia, offers tens of thousands of free resources like videos, images, lesson plans, and professional development tools. And they’ve released some fun new ones just in time for the school year, in a collection they’re calling “Get Your Tech On.” 

Here are just 3 ways “Get Your Tech On” can help as you prepare for a tech-filled school year.

1) Get Social
Overwhelmed by social media? Find free info and how-to tutorials for teachers and students on using digital tools, including how to create use Tumblr, design infographics, build a Prezi, record a Vine, and more.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

5 Innovative Ideas for Students to Give + Get Help As They're #BacktoSchool with @Fiverr

Fiverr is a hot new resource that is catching on like wildfire with innovative educators. But it shouldn’t end there. Back-to-school is a great time to think about what this could mean for your students! If you don’t know, Fiverr is known as, “The place for people to offer services starting at $5.” The services (called Gigs) are generally provided by freelancers who love what they do and want to share and spread their passion.

On Fiverr you can buy and sell Gigs in areas such as illustrating, writing, creating logos, designing business cards, and recording voiceovers. But it’s not just for grown-ups. Starting at just five bucks, Fiverr is also an innovative resource for students.  
Here are five ways Fiverr can help your students:
Get A Leg Up On Language
  • Get Help:
    • Have students struggling in a language course? Maybe they are finding Chinese challenging? Perhaps they need a little extra assistance studying for that French exam? No more paying for expensive tutors or participating in a ho-hum after-school program. Students can take their linguistic talents up a notch by getting help from a native-language speaker with Fiverr.  
  • Give Help:
    • Maybe you or one of your students is bilingual. Think about what services they might offer to other students, their teachers, or even parents!
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