Wednesday, July 30, 2014

“To E or Not to E” That is the question when it comes to textbooks

Most degree programs provide students with the option of using an e-textbook instead of a traditional hard copy. This usually means scouring the Internet for the best deal. It also means figuring out what format works best for you. 

Innovative educators who are taking classes are making informed choices for themselves. However, whether they are in school or not they must ensure their students are college ready. This includes arming their students with knowledge on how to determine what format is best for them. 

Here are some considerations.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Are #EdTech Resources Keeping Student Data Safe? Find Out!


Are you an innovative educator who loves using digital media, but is a little concerned about the safety of student data?

Do you wonder if your classroom tech use is CIPA and FERPA compliant?  

You are not alone.

This is a hot media topic which often gives us cause for concern. Being concerned is good. Being armed with the facts is better.

This came to my attention recently, because innovative educators (in threads like this one) provided me with articles that made them second-guess their use of certain technology resources.

I did some investigating and here is what I discovered.

Saturday, July 26, 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.

Entry
Pageviews
Jun 22, 2014, 
5676
Jul 13, 2014, 
2735
Jul 9, 2014, 
2466
Jun 13, 2013, 
2243
Jul 6, 2014, 
1254
Jul 2, 2014, 
1220

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What type of video games are right for your child?

Family playing video gamesAt their most basic level, playing video games is akin to reading books. Like books, video games can range in quality from trashy novels to informative historical fiction. Like books different genres of video games have varying learning potential. Like books, video games offer different purposes and varying levels of usefulness when it comes to learning. 

To decide which type of games are best for your children, first consider which type of learning you want to support, then figure out which games are best suited for your child's needs. You can check out my latest article on Answers.com here to do that.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

“Corporation” doesn’t have to be a dirty word

I have had the pleasure to be involved with creating partnerships between innovative educators and the companies that provide them with resources. This currently includes companies like PBS, Common Sense Media, Google, and, Microsoft, SMART, and Edmodo. 

Unfortunately, for some, when the word corporation comes up, there is immediate distrust. This is a big PR problem that corporations need to take seriously. Fortunately, many corporations are excited about the opportunity to provide support to those who use their products and the teachers are benefiting in many ways.  


Innovative educator Chris Casal, who has participated in some of these programs, provides this insight into the value of partnering with corporations. This was initially posted in response to some members of The Innovative Educator group who were skeptical about such opportunities:

Saturday, July 19, 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.


Entry
Pageviews
Jun 22, 2014, 
6632
Jul 9, 2014, 
2376
Jun 13, 2013, 
2094
Jul 13, 2014, 
2090
Jul 6, 2014, 
1271
Jul 2, 2014, 
1227

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

7 Strategies to Land A Job You Love in Education and 2 Things You Should NEVER Do

Some people think I’m lucky because I have always loved my work in education. As a result, I’m often asked for advice on how to get a job you love in education. Because this has come up so often, I decided it was time to share. 

Below are seven strategies that have worked for me. Perhaps some of this will be helpful for others.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Don't blame social media if your students are distracted

Editor’s note: This guest post from Chris Casal started as a comment on “Filtering social media in schools because it’s a ‘distraction’” which appeared on Scott McCleod’s Dangerously Irrelevant blog.

Social media is no different than pencil and paper. I doodled a lot in the margins of my physics book. It wasn’t Twitter and Facebook that made me doodle but I doodled nonetheless.
Social media can serve as the new platform for distraction but not a new cause for it. Doodles, passing notes, sleeping in class, all of the “analog” forms of distraction, have just morphed into branded platforms.
The difference? Sleeping in class never led to anything. On the other hand, connecting & engaging on social media might. The doodler who grew up to be a graphic designer may have been distracted in class but is now earning a living born out of that distraction. Maybe the students tweeting in class will develop the next great media platform.
Social media has no intent. It can be used for evil, but it has far more potential for good. Second graders in my school composed 100 tweets for the 100th day of school in @MsGlembocki’s class. Things they loved, learned, and experienced in 100 days. They did the full writing process, including paper drafts, and then used class iPads to publish their tweets. It was amazing to see 30 second graders engaged the entire day in a writing process that covered both traditional methods & social media. They got instant feedback on their writing from around the world. Not a distraction in the least.
@MsKertesz, 4th grade ICT, used Twitter to connect with a class in Liverpool, England. They had weekly Skype sessions, did cross-pond spelling bees, and collaborated on Prezis.
These are just two examples of how social media is used in my building in very positive ways. Our students are excited about the prospect of their own accounts when they get to the appropriate age. I am confident that when they do have their own accounts they will use them as productively and positively as our teachers have.
Nothing beats a good model.
It shouldn’t be blocked. It should be used. Distraction exists no matter what. Don’t censor a whole medium in fear of distraction.



To read more ways we use social media at my school visit http://thecasalos.blogspot.com/search/label/twitter

Saturday, July 12, 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.


Entry
Pageviews
Jun 22, 2014, 
5994
Jun 13, 2013, 
1984
Jul 9, 2014, 
1895
Jul 2, 2014, 
1197
Jul 6, 2014, 
1112

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

15-Year-Old explains the key to developing a #PLN

Alex Laubscher and mentor Mike King at MoCCA Fest
Alex Laubscher is a cartoonist who I met this year when his mother brought him to New York City for MoCCA Fest which is an art festival for illustrators. By the age of 15 Alex developed an extensive network of others who share his love for the zine culture and illustrating.  Alex connected and developed relationships with some of the leaders in his field via Instagram. 

Laubscher has learned to produce and sell his own self-created zines.  He has learned everything he knows about his craft not through school, not through his parents or family, but via the learning network he has created for himself. He has asked for and received some terrific support in this work through his school, but for the most part school has gotten in the way of his success. His parents have been supportive of his endeavors, but by no means are they ones guiding him in this journey. Rather they are their to support him in doing their best to ensure he is safely and happily able to pursue his passion.  

In the following interview, Alex explains his tips for success in creating a professional learning network.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The future is in their hands: Using cell phones for literacy - Free book!

Willyn Webb and I contributed to the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE) Literacy Journal. The journal features innovative ways to enhance learning with technology. Our chapter is called, "The future is in their hands: Using cell phones for literacy learning. Unlike other journals, there is no pay wall to access the journal. It is available free!

Here is what you'll find in the journal:

Table of Contents Forward 
 Editor, Mark Gura Page 4 

 Text Meets Video in the Blogosphere: Complex Informational Content for Today’s Students 
by Dr. Rose Reissman Page 6 

 Using Creative Technology to Engage Struggling Readers and Writers as Producers of Literature 
by Melinda Kolk Page 12 

 The Future Is In Their Hands: Using Cell Phones for Literacy Learning 
by Lisa Nielsen and Willyn Webb Page 21  

 Boosting Oral Language Fluency through Technology Intensive Literature Exploration (TILE), a Learning Centers Approach 
by Kevin Amboe Page 32 

 Learning to Teach with Edmodo: Social Networking-based Activities 
by Kathy D. Shields Page 44 

 Using Online Discussions to Develop Literacy Skills and Integrate the NETs
by Sandra Wozniak Page 54 

 Student Led Podcast Projects Make Common Core Literacy skills Come Alive
by Dr. Rose Reissman Page 64 

 Using Technology To Enhance Reading Skills For English Language Learners
by Kimberly M. Thomas Page 74

Interested? You can check out the journal below.

Scribd.com Version:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/227311233/Literacy-Special-Interest-V1-Number2Read or Download as PDF (requires free registration) scribd

Saturday, July 5, 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.

Entry
Pageviews
Jun 22, 2014, 
4744
Jun 4, 2014, 
2401
Jun 18, 2014, 
2259
Jun 1, 2014, 
1961
Dec 25, 2010, 
1829
Jun 8, 2014, 
1161
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