Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking back and forward at my New Year predictions for education

Last January I shared my predictions with Tech & Learning about what I thought would be big in hardware and software in 2013.


Here they are:

-->School districts will begin embracing social media as they realize the importance of empowering students to responsibly use these resources for academic, career, and citizenship success

-->Lifting the ban on use of cell phones and other student-owned digital devices in school; providing home Internet access by working with Internet providers to offer special rates and packages to students who qualify for subsidies; going paperless as districts reallocate resources toward digital solutions; customizing learning with digital lectures and learning resources that are available anytime, anywhere.

This year Tech & Learning is running a follow-up article in their January 2014 issue and asked, me to share what I thought about my predictions.  

Here is what I shared.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Common Sense Media names The Innovative Educator as a digital citizenship blog to follow for 2014

How nice to approach the new year being named one of Common Sense Media’s ten favorite digital citizenship bloggers to watch in 2014! I am in the company of some friends already in my PLN like Jerry Blumengarten and Susan M. Bearden and also have the pleasure to discover some with whom I have yet to connect.

Here's what they said about me:
Lisa Nielsen is the director of digital literacy and citizenship at the New York City Department of Education and author of the popular Innovative Educator blog. She has a great ear for what’s happening in the educational technology landscape, and keeps readers attuned to the latest developments. No wonder she was recently awarded the Making IT Happen award at this year's NYSCATE conference. 

Here are the others named as digital citizenship bloggers to watch:

Sunday, December 29, 2013

NYC blazes trails to prepare students for success with new social media guidelines

While some school districts have banned the use of social media because of fears of inappropriate use and distracting students, in an unprecedented move, the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) has reached out to students, teachers, and parents as partners to create guidelines for the appropriate use of social media for personal and academic purposes.  



Saturday, December 28, 2013

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.

Entry
Pageviews
Jun 13, 2013, 
1380
Feb 8, 2011, 
1185
Dec 11, 2013, 
1003
Nov 1, 2013, 
858
Nov 24, 2013, 
781
Dec 22, 2013, 
770
Dec 17, 2013, 
664

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Innovative Educator named blog to follow in 2014

What a nice gift this holiday season to find that Common Sense Media's Graphite blog listed this The Innovative Educator as one of the 11 to follow in 2014.  This blog was in great company with several members of my personal learning network being named as well. Here is the rest of the list:
2.     Richard Byrne @rmbyrne
7.     Erin Klein @KleinErin
8.     Scott Mcleod @mcleod
9.     Darcy Moore @Darcy1968
Here's what they said about me:
Lisa Nielsen, author of the Innovative Educator, has a great ear for what’s happening in educational technology, and keeps readers attuned to the latest developments. No wonder she was recently awarded the Making IT Happen award at this year's NYSCATE conference. Making IT Happen is a program that identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation. In addition to blogging and tweeting, Nielsen is the director of digital literacy and citizenship at the New York City Department of Education.

Check out the post on the Graphite blog here and discover why you might want to consider adding some of these other great people and their blogs to your PLN in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Believe

I dreamed so hard
To end education that is charred
No more bean counting
No more data scrubbing

I dream of meaningful education
Children’s accomplishments are celebrated
I see teachers with real dedication
Learning Styles are elevated

I open my eyes and look around
Educational desolation still rules the land
No change is found
Everyone is still listening to its command

I want to believe
that change can happen right now
And I want to receive
news that real educators are in charge again somehow

Stop speaking of the dream
There's a light, where innovation starts
Take action; join the team
Join us now; embrace it in your hearts

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Teen @CGressmanTHS builds a PLN to spread ideas about the key to giving the gift of learning

High school student Courtney Gressman made a powerful public service announcement as part of her social studies class titled “Learning is NATURAL. The Way We Learn Should Be OPTIONAL.” Unlike most high school students, however, her work didn’t stay locked in the walls of the classroom. Gressman explains, “Our class is a very opinionated group of independent, connected learners. We use tools such as social media to gain knowledge, perspective, and to have diverse conversation where anyone can be included.”

As such, the first thing she did upon the completion of her PSA was to Tweet it.


The PSA was meant to address the problem of lack of student input in education and to show students AND adults that there are different ways to learn and teach. Gressman explains, "One of these ways in my own life is #SandersTHS, my class in which I made the PSA, but I know we could be doing so much more at my school to provide all students with independent learning opportunities so we can truly learn the way we want and need to. We all deserve and want to have more freedom in our education."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The hottest posts that 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.

Entry
Pageviews
Jun 13, 2013, 
1393
Feb 8, 2011, 
1178
Nov 1, 2013, 
1169
Dec 11, 2013, 
973
Nov 24, 2013, 
848
Dec 8, 2013, 
787

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The trick to knowing what social networking sites are right for students


Parents often come to innovative educators for advice about the online spaces their children are or should be using. Is Snapchat ok? What about Instagram? Should my child be using Facebook and Twitter? What is a safe site for my pre-teen to engage socially?

If you consider yourself an innovative educator you may be wondering how you can be expected to keep up with all the different options out there.
Don't despair.  You can!
Common Sense Media (http://www.commonsensemedia.org) allows you to look up any digital product and find out just about anything a parent or teacher would want to know.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Innovative Educator Hosts Tonight’s #SSchat (December 16)

If you are a social studies teacher, librarian or tech teacher who infuses social studies and current events into your work, or a teacher of another subject that incorporates social studies into your lessons, then I hope you’ll join me at 7 p.m. EST tonight for  #sschat. During this conversation the topic will be "Enriching social studies with social media."

For those who don't know what #SSchat is, here's a description:
#SSchat is a collaborative group of social studies teachers who work together to create materials, discuss teaching, integrate technology and problem solve. We learn together and talk about the direction that education is moving, talk to experts, crowdsource materials and share our best lessons. In the last two years a culture of sharing has developed. Imagine if some of the most passionate teachers you know were to get together and share the best materials they have. That’s #sschat.-@ShawnMcCusker, Go Where You Grow.
The following were the questions for the #SSchat:
Q1 Share 1 way social media helped you become a better #SSteacher?
Q2 How has/can social media helped your students make global connections?
Q3 Share 1 cool thing you have done with students in social studies class using social media?
Q4 How can we use social media to increase the effectiveness of #SSteachers?
Q5 What are your hopes or fears about using social media with students?

If you missed it, you can check out a recap on the Storify below:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

3 Step plan for a digital makeover

Who controls your online identity? Google or you?

If your answer is Google, it's time to take control with this three step plan.


Step 1) Analyze your digital footprint.
Know what the internet says about you.  Think about what you like and what you'd like to change.



Step 2) Determine a headline. i.e. Passionate about real and relevant learning.
Who do you want to be known as on the internet? Think of this in the context of a headline. This is important because who you are, your brand, is what you'll use to update your image.

Step 3) Update your digital image.
Create your digital resume, profiles, images, and clean up anything you don't want out there using the sites below.


Once you've updated your image, be patient. Change won't happen over night. Think of it as your digital diet. It takes a little while to the see the fruits of your labor.  It also requires maintenance.  If you've followed these three steps however, in about 30 days, you'll be rewarded with an online presence that puts your best footprint forward.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The hottest posts that 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.

Entry
Pageviews
Nov 1, 2013, 
1809
Jun 13, 2013, 
1696
Oct 29, 2013, 
1319
Feb 8, 2011, 
1108
Nov 8, 2013, 
841

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Create interactive learning modules with ThingLink (limited free-for-educators offer)

ThingLink is a cool tool that lets you create interactive images for anything you can imagine.  In our touch screen culture, this is a great tool for today’s students to engage with content. Teachers can use ThingLink images as interactive learning modules that activate and inspire students with creative and effective learning experiences. They can also use Thinglink images for professional development and parent outreach.  
Below is a ThingLink image that someone used to translate a blog post I wrote.  Using ThingLink to translate writing is a powerful way to update and transform information. This is something teachers and students can do.  For example, imagine how you might do something like this in social studies class to make an image interactive. Keep in mind that you can embed video and polls write into your creations.
The next ThingLink was created by Dana Lawitt at the Kurt Hahn School.  She has it embedded on the school website (you can see that here) to provide students with an engaging an interactive overview of some important items that students need to know. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

5 reasons cell phones benefit a 1:1 environment

Cross posted at Partners in Learning 1:1 Hot Topics


Go into any office today and you’ll notice that 1:1 does not exist. To operate effectively in today’s workplace, at the very least, a 2:1 environment, with a computer and a phone, is required. It’s likely that there are one or two other devices in use as well. This is the world for which we have to prepare today’s students.


Not only is it beneficial to support students with their success in school environments that look like real-life environments, it is also beneficial to schools.


Here’s why:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

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.

Entry
Pageviews
Nov 1, 2013, 
2619
Aug 30, 2012, 
2234
Oct 29, 2013, 
2139
Jun 13, 2013, 
1772
Nov 8, 2013, 
1205
Nov 6, 2013, 
1068
Feb 8, 2011, 
960
Nov 24, 2013, 
832
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