Sunday, March 31, 2013

College is costly: 7 innovative ideas for funding

For some, the hardest part about going to college is not deciding whether college is right for you, the admissions process, or the workload you have once you get there.  For many the hardest part about going to college is paying for it. Regardless of where you go to school, College costs a lot of money.

For students who choose to go to college, here are some ideas for great places to turn for funding.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The hottest posts that everyone's reading

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

Entry
Pageviews
Mar 27, 2013, 2 comments
4288
Mar 20, 2013, 2 comments
2519
Mar 21, 2013, 5 comments
1991
Mar 24, 2013, 10 comments
1898
Mar 26, 2013, 3 comments
1457
Feb 5, 2013
1277
Jul 15, 2010, 24 comments
1271
Mar 18, 2013, 1 comment
1235

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

7 free ways to capture student responses without costly clickers

Most educators are familiar with student response systems (SRS) a.k.a. clickers. Common brands are eInstruction, Sentio, TurningPoint, Activote. Those who use the systems know they run about $2,500 - $4,000 (depending on various options selected) for a class set and allow educators to track student learning, engage an entire class as they collect real-time responses from students, and enable them to quickly assess understanding and achievement. While these are valuable instructional outcomes, clickers are costly and the distribution, collection, and maintenance of devices is rather cumbersome. In many cases using them requires training to figure out how to upload the software, input questions, maneuver from one question to the next and share answers.

Here’s the thing. You don’t spend money and professional development time to purchase clickers. You can capture student’s thoughts and ideas for free using whatever device they have whether it’s a dumb phone, tablet, or  laptop.  

Here are seven free resources you can use to get started.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Skip high school. Go straight to college. Here’s how!

By Rylie VanOrsdol

In my fourteen years of life, I have been public schooled, online schooled, charter schooled, private schooled, Montessori schooled, and homeschooled. I’ve skipped a grade and completed a grade in three months online. After all the learning options I  have experienced, what I have found is that the traditional path was unable to meet my needs.


A recent adventure was collegiate middle school. This school seemed like a perfect fit for me! I was interested in the idea of a college-focused middle school as I love learning and a challenge. The school was a vastly different environment than the traditional-style schools I had previously attended. It was a comfortable and competitive environment which I enjoyed. About half way through the year there was a change in the head of school and staff. Following the change of staff was my change of heart. By the time I hit eighth grade I started disliking the school. This was an unusual feeling for me because I have always loved learning. I didn’t let it affect my grades but I knew something had to change.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The hottest posts that everyone's reading

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

The inner net - tool of con (or discon) nection ?

The problems of our world used to be too big and too distant to know of it widespread existence, but with the internet, our world is small and close for us now to make a difference.

We can now get crowds around a cause.

Connect ignorance to knowledge
The isolated to college
Orphans to their fathers
Donors to non profits
Injustices to those who can stop it.

Now that we have such power, what are you helping your students to connect to?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Facebook, Edmodo, & Schoology. Oh my! Choosing a social network platform for learning

When deciding on a social networking platform to use with your students and/or the school community, there are several considerations to keep in mind.  What are the age restrictions of a particular platform? Which platform is most comfortable for students? What are the teaching and learning goals you have in mind?  What are your school’s filtering settings? What is your district’s social media or internet responsible use policy?

Below is a comparison of three platforms, Facebook, Schoology, and Edmodo. It is important to keep these questions in mind as you consider the pros and cons of each.

The competition:
Facebook vs Edmodo or Schoology

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

10 Do’s and don’ts to using PowerPoint to deliver lectures that don’t suck

Picture a half-full classroom with nearly-comatose students descending into the slow death that takes place while listening to a lecture that is as interesting as the buzzing of a mosquito that one cannot find in order to squash. It’s no secret that some teachers, even doctorates who work as college professors, suck when it comes to lecturing. Don’t let that be you!

We (especially students!) all know that not all lectures are created equal. Student AmberDawn Miley pointed this out in a discussion on Facebook when she said, “Just a thought. If teachers delivered like TED people. A lot more students would be tuned in.” (2012)

So what can educators do to make their lectures more engaging?

Below are two Ignite Presentations from college professors. For the purposes of this post, these presentations make perfect lectures to watch and analyze because they are from trained, experienced educators; they are short; and, they are meant to spark discussion, conversation, and ideas. Exactly the result teachers want for their students.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Birthday to The Innovative Educator! You are 5 today, March 19th.

It was exactly five years ago today that The Innovative Educator took its first step in an effort to publicly become a part of the conversation on learning innovatively. As I shared in my post Why I started a blog and why maybe you should too, this blog was born in great part due to the prodding of blogevangelist Will Richardson who I have since named my Blogfather. It was Will who I would run into at events and conferences who would ask, “Have you started sharing your ideas on a blog yet?” and who would write, “if you want your ideas to resonate with me and to be taken seriously, don’t just talk. Engage. Publish. Converse.” I took Will’s advice and like any proud parent, I can say I’ve learned so much from the experience of giving birth to this new creation that has developed a purposeful and professional digital footprint consisting of more than 1400  entries.

Now, when I'm Googled, it is me and my blog that comes up on the front page. And, there are all sorts of other important footprints that The Innovative Educator has made. Its print is left on the front page of Google searches like: Cell phones, Homeschooling, Facebook, Passion-Driven Learning, Twitter in Education, College myth, Personal Learning Networks, Social media, ADD, Digital footprints, BYOD, and more.

Here are some of my favorite posts of the year:

Monday, March 18, 2013

5 ideas to inspire students to use social media for good

"High School Musical" star Monique Coleman is a youth empowerment advocate who recently provided advice about using social media to do good.  Below is the advice she shared on her site http://gimmemo.com followed by her video where you can hear her for yourself sharing these ideas.  If you like what she has to say, you’ll be happy to know you can connect with Monique on Twitter.  She is co-hosting the March 18th Student Voice Twitter chat on the topic, "How can influential figures and organizations play a role in empowering the student voice?" Use the hashtag #StuVoice and tag Monique at @GimmeMoTalk. The chat starts at 8:30 p.m. eastern standard time.

5 ideas to use social media for good

Sunday, March 17, 2013

3 innovative ways to connect with parents via talking on a cell phone


This piece was originally posted in SmartBlog on Education.

We all know we can use cell phone to make calls, but few realize all the innovative ways simple phone calling technology can help us in building the home-school connection.  If you know how to pick up a phone and dial, then it’s time to pick it up a notch and learn about some free and easy to use resources that will help you coordinate and connect with parents in powerful and exciting ways.  

1) iPadio
Wouldn’t it be great to have a weekly podcast for parents?  While the idea sounds good, when we think of podcasting it often seems confusing and hard to put together. Not so with a phonecasting service like iPadio. All you need to know how to do is dial a phone number and speak. Then boom! Your phonecast is instantly published and can be shared via your website, blog, email, or text.  


Saturday, March 16, 2013

The hottest posts that everyone's reading

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

Friday, March 15, 2013

6 Reasons to Incorporate “Smithsonian Quests” Into Your Classroom


By Ashley Naranjo, Education Technician for the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies

For some time now, the education community has discussed and explored how to get out of the 
standardized-testing rut and make learning enjoyable again. Online games and challenges, real-world work, and point systems have been a few of the ideas kicked around by educators and tech-enthusiasts alike. Earlier this school year, a New York Times article highlighted the benefits of using digital badges to enable students, including those writing their college-admission essays, to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.


A new online program from the Smithsonian called Smithsonian Quests gives K-12 students the opportunity to earn digital badges just by learning more about topics that already interest them. Educators at the Smithsonian have considered all of the points on teachers’ instructional checklists while offering a fun learning experience for students. See if the program corresponds to your own checklist:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Can social media combat the issue of educator isolation?


Feelings of isolation occur with some regularity among educators, especially those who teach in specialty areas and/or small schools. Teachers spend much of their day separated from peers in classrooms that can become silos. However, technology is providing new ways for teachers to connect with peers both near and far.

This is part two of the show on this topic. In part one we 
invited listeners to join BAM radio's Rae Pica for a discussion about overcoming isolation by building a personal learning network which you can listen to here. 

In this show we walk listeners through the process of getting connected starting with the 5 C's of building your personal learning network moving to a discussion of what that looks like in practice.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

7 ways to connect with parents via texting



An abridged version of this article was originally posted in SmartBlog on Education.

Building the home-school connection is important for all school staff, but few realize the power of the tool in their pocket. Even if they don’t have internet access, most parents have access to cell phones. However, in many cases, most simply use their phone as a calling and texting device. It’s time to change that! There is so much more you can do with free and easy to use resources that will help you coordinate and connect with parents in powerful and exciting ways.  


1) LocaModa

LocaModa enables you to connect with parents using the same technology that is viewed by thousands at large-scale events such as concerts, gallery openings, fundraisers, inauguration events, and political conventions. LocaModa allows you to set up your board so you can reach out to parents and their responses are published real time to screens anywhere on any screen via texting or Twitter hashtags.  Go here to learn about getting a free school account.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Say goodbye to bake sales forever

One of the greatest joys of youth is their optimism. Every year school kids across the country optimistically believe they can change the world for the better. From collecting bottle tops to toys to food, children have a never ending desire to give.

Last Oct, the students of Osbourn Park High School shared the same level of optimism when they set out to buy 50 pairs of shoes for a near-by Title I school. The challenge they quickly faced was in how to raise the $500 needed to buy the shoes. In the past, the go-to-options were bake-sales, wrapping paper, cookie dough, and other classic fundraising ideas. A Google search for "school fundraising" shows one the endless fundraising options available to parents, teachers, and students. Every option, however, produces the same results: high time input and low money output.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

John Stossel hated school. Investigates unschooling.

In case you missed it, last week, John Stossel did a segment on unschooling as part of his “Education Blob” special.  In the segment he pointed out that the number of homeschoolers is on the rise nationally, a whopping 75% since 1999. This puts the number of homeschoolers in the nation about equal to those attending charter schools. He shares that the number of families that homeschool today for religious purposes is on the decline as the choice today is more likely to be the result of dissatisfaction with the government schooling system.  He informed viewers that compared to publicly schooled kids, more homeschoolers go to college and once there they do better than the other kids in college.

He brought an unschooled (a form of homeschooling) youth and a parent to the show to discuss how this option works. He asked, "What would happened if children wanted to veg all day?" He also shared that like many students, he hated school and if he had the choice he would have just watched TV all day.  Considering that his profession ended up being that of a TV personality, his instincts to do so, may not have been off!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

More Reading. More Writing. More Engaged Citizens of the World.

By . Cross posted on on The Reading Zone


The hottest posts that everyone's reading

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

Mar 7, 2013
5275
Mar 3, 2013, 1 comment
4278
Mar 4, 2013, 2 comments
3760
Feb 16, 2013, 10 comments
3707
Mar 5, 2013, 1 comment
2574
Mar 6, 2013, 6 comments
2536
Mar 1, 2013, 4 comments
1362


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