All posts tagged: usa


Sharon Rosenblatt: The ADA Enters the Digital Space in its 25th Year

by Sharon Rosenblatt Guest Columnist, USA The Internet allows us all to relive our glory days. If you celebrate Wayback Wednesay, Throwback Thursday, or Flashback Friday (with their associated social media hashtags, of course), some of the images, videos and memories might time travel you back to 1990. If that’s a year that’s near and dear to you, perhaps you would fondly remember looking forward to an episode of a new cartoon called, “The Simpsons”, or maybe you waited with anticipation for the first imagines to come from the Hubble Telescope. Probably more than care to admit were synchronizing hand motions to Madonna’s “Vogue” or jamming to MC Hammer. But do you remember where you were when President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act? That was the equivalent of disability advocacy going quadruple platinum. And it’s still rocking our charts twenty five years later. So strike a pose, because ‘U Can’t Touch This’ blog from taking a ride on a nostalgia rocket.


Tasha Candela: Have a Chat Through Remind!

by Tasha Candela Expert Educator Columnist. USA Our main office looks like a Salvation Army store.  It is loaded with everything from coats, hats, sneakers, ipods, necklaces, and binders.  Students walk by, on a regular basis, and do not bother sorting through the overflowing mess of stuff to locate their missing items. I am not sure if they do not believe their goods are in the heap or if they simply do not feel like digging, but the mountain grows every day. Wouldn’t it be nice to send a text to an individual student to notify him or her of a forgotten personal item?  That way, the student would have some relief and the teacher would not have to add the item to the lost and found.


Tammy Dunbar: Never Have a Subpar Class with Digital Sub Plans!

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA It’s three in the morning, your nose is ridiculously stuffed, your throat is sore from all that coughing and you are convinced you are coming down with the next big flu. You definitely aren’t feeling well, but even so, you are struggling with the same decision most every teacher dreads: should I put in for a sub? Unless you are unable to crawl, you ultimately decide against it because being at work sick is much easier than making sub plans. Or is it? With a connected classroom, Microsoft Office and proper training, sub plans from home are now relatively simple to create and share. One method is to create a PowerPoint that walks the sub and the class through their assignments screen-by-screen. My class is very used to starting lessons with a short PPT presentation to get them into the topic and then lead them to the actual assignment. Since we have done many of these together in class, the next logical step was to create a PowerPoint …


Tammy Dunbar: Have You Tried App-Smashing?

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA The choice was easy: either take a bucket of cold water to the head (for which I would definitely be holding my breath) or create a video response that might be breathtaking. For many years, I have enjoyed trying different ways to combine creations from various digital applications and software and put them together to make memorable presentations. This ALS Ice Water Challenge was my chance to do some real app-smashing. App-smashing is combining content from a variety of apps and software to create something both visually engaging and exciting. How much more interesting is a presentation when it includes elements like specialized graphic art or humorous video clips? (Or Mrs. Dunbar doing her best Betsy Ross impression?) App-smashing requires creatvitiy and problem-solving skills in order to figure out a place where all your creations can come together. And best of all, app-smashing can be done across platforms. Back in the early days of home computing, working across platforms was not easy. I can still remember the thrill …


Tammy Dunbar: Making Digital Connections in Learning

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA “Does anyone know where Emily is?” I asked. The young ladies at Table One quickly informed me they had connected with her online with Lync that morning before school. Emily was in Merced, 60 miles away, staying with her aunt while her parents were on a long weekend trip. The big writing assignment had to be done today, and everyone was present and accounted for in Room Nine except Emily. In the past, such absences would mean a a lower grade. But perhaps Emily had taken her new Panasonic 3E – which every student in our district is receiving through our #goingdigital2015 project – with her to Merced? “See if you can get her back on Lync,” I asked her table group. Within five minutes, there was Emily, smiling at me on the screen through Lync. After explaining she hadn’t known until late last night that she was going to be absent, she asked what we were doing in class. I reminded her that it was the day …


Tammy Dunbar: Share Your Ideas at Educational Conferences!

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA Standing alone in front of the room, I could feel all those eyes looking at me. Could I hold their attention and keep them engaged? Would they take something away from my lesson? Would they be inspired to continue their learning after they left? This was not my classroom, where facing 34 bright, shining fifth-grade faces is something I do every day. This was a large meeting room at a conference center with more than 80 educators in attendance – and, as we all know, teachers can be the most difficult audience of all. Yet there I was, poised to share some ideas I had used in my classroom with roughly 80 of my fellow educators. Educational conferences can be amazing, invigorating events – you discover a wealth of new instructional strategies, learn about exciting technologies to enhance your lessons and collaborate with incredible educators offering ideas you’ve never before encountered. But have you ever considered presenting at an educational conference?


Doug Bergman: STEM- No Longer an All-Boys Club

by Doug Bergman Expert Educator Columnist, USA Congratulations to hundreds of girls around the country who have just been recognized by NCWIT( National Council for Women in Technology) at the national and state level for their accomplishments and participation in Computer Science. In my state of South Carolina, 5 of the 12 awards were our Porter-Gaud girls! We are very proud! I am so honored to be part of a Computer Science program that values having females as integral members. In my first year teaching at Porter-Gaud there were exactly ZERO females in my advanced classes. I think one reason why females have not been attracted to Computer Science is because it is oftentimes seen as an all-boys club. What girl wants to be the only one on the class? I can see that. And traditionally, for whatever reason, the public face for Computer Science has been seen as predominantly male. Although if we dive deeper, we find that females have played a significant part in getting us to where we are today—they just don’t …


Julie Hembree: Learning 21CLD Collaboration Skills Through Reading

by Julie Hemree Expert Educator Columnist, USA Sometimes the lessons of teamwork come from situations where you least expect it. Athletes who play team sports like football, soccer or baseball know that your team is only as strong as your weakest player. It takes a team to lose and it takes a team to win. On the other hand, a reading incentive program isn’t usually considered as a collaborative model. Battle of the Books however, it not your typical reading program, and has everything to do with authentic teamwork skills. The Oxford dictionary defines teamwork as the “combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.” Of all the 21st century learning design skills, I believe the ability to work effectively in a collaborative team rises above all others. In a traditional school, teachers most often assign students to complete individual tasks such as worksheets, reports or assignments for a singular grade in the gradebook. While this model has value, overuse of this style of instruction sets students up for failure in …


Tammy Dunbar: Manteca Unified’s Going Digital 2015 Has Started!

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA The quad area before school usually looks a little crazy: students speeding around the benches, yelling to friends across the quad, tossing footballs (hoping to avoid the alert eyes of any yard duty personnel nearby). But last week on Thursday, things looked much different. Students were still gathered, but there was no yelling or running. Many students were quietly seated on cement benches, some standing happily with their heavy backpacks, others animatedly chatting without an increase in volume. What happened? Last week on Wednesday, our Going Digital 2015 project in Manteca Unified School District finally brought 1:1 devices to our campus. We are the fourth school in the district to receive our devices; all devices will be deployed to all students by the end of February. This amazing work in progress started with our visionary superintendent Jason Messer. Next came an upgrading of our infrastructure by Cisco, staff development for all teachers (often by their fellow teachers), training for our students in digital citizenship, device care and responsibility. …


Scott Bricker: The Coach’s Corner- OneNote, My Match Made in Education Heaven!

by Scott Bricker Expert Educator Columnist, USA With the creation of one simple program, Microsoft has helped me save a small forest! In my nearly 20+ years as a Teacher, Basketball Coach, Life Coach and Student, I was the self-proclaimed “Notepad Guy.” You know, the person that carries around one or more 8.5 x 11 inch notepads, with those adorable, equally spaced lines for me to take meticulously organized notes on the meeting, or doodle randomly when I get distracted. It was so great to be able to flip back and forth between the pages weeks on down the road, and when I was done, I could just add the notepad to the stack in the back corner of my office while I watched that pile grow to be a gigantic eye sore in my office.