Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog Entry "More Important Stuff" & Tech Tuesday Links 2/22/11

I’ve heard the argument that the really important stuff you learn in life doesn’t come from a classroom.  That will be at the forefront this week at Paint Valley Local Schools.  You see, last Friday, Paint Valley lost three of their students in a one car accident on the way home from school.  Two of the three were brother and sister.  This tragedy affected more than these families involved but the entire community.  Hundreds of community members, students, parents, etc. filled the Paint Valley gymnasium on Sunday to gain comfort from the professionals assembled and each other.  Classes will go on this week, the science fair will take place.  Tests will be given and homework assigned.  But how much learning will take place?  There are times in life when the most important stuff can come from what’s going on outside the school walls and have it embraced and dealt with inside the brick and mortar we call “school”.  So as you start your teaching this week, say a little prayer for the teachers, administrators, and school personnel at Paint Valley Schools so they’ll be able to teach their students that it’s okay to grieve.  And as you send your child out the door to go to school this week, hug them a little tighter then you ever have before.

More information available at

Tech Tuesday links for 2/22/11 -

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Is In the Air & Tech Tuesday link for 2/15/11

Valentine’s Day was the coolest holiday I remember in elementary school.  It was so much fun buying cards and then designing your box so it would be the most awesome one in the class.  Valentine’s Day parties were incredible because it was when the teacher gave you permission to eat as much candy as you could.  Do you think there was any coincidence that the parties always happened at the end of the day just before the teachers sent us home to our parents?  I doubt it.  My nephew has the added advantage of having his birthday fall the day before Valentine’s Day so his first Valentine’s Day preschool party was quite a blast to him I’m sure.  I think most of us reflect back on that time fondly.  It was especially nice comparing it to the hormone-induced time we spent in middle school and high school without those Valentine’s Day parties.  And they wouldn’t have been appropriate anyway.  Can you imagine the fights that would break out when you gave a girl in your eighth grade class a card when she had a boyfriend?  Times were simpler in elementary school.  I’m glad to see that the schools I work with still honor that Valentine’s Day tradition of partying, passing out cards and designing boxes.  Do any of those things have anything to do with the curriculum?  It would take a pretty inventive teacher to find a way to tie it in.  But that’s not the most important thing.  We have to remember to take some time to let kids have fun and make the memories that will stay with them a lifetime.  Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you enjoy it as much as your students do.

Tech Tuesday 2/15/11 link -

Monday, February 7, 2011

Reflections on the E-Tech Conference

Last week, I attend the 2011 Ohio Educational Technology Conference hence no blog entry.  This was my first trip to the annual conference and I was quite impressed.  Not only were there a multitude of sessions but the number of conference participants was staggering.  It was great to see so many people from the education world learning how to improve and use technology in their interactions with students.  My favorite sessions of the three day conference addressed the use of Twitter and Skype in the classroom.  I’ve previously blogged about my experience with Skype so I’ll focus my comments for this blog on Twitter.  I enjoyed how one presenter showed how she used Twitter to connect with professionals in the science industry and eventually bring them into her classroom virtually and in person.  Two other presenters showed how they have built their individual professional learning network through the use of Twitter.  They shared a wonderful wiki that lists educators using Twitter to connect with other educators.  At you can search by subject area of teachers as well as topics such as RtI.  If you are new to Twitter or haven’t created an account, it is worth your time to get started.  Twitter has opened up an immense amount of resources that I have at my fingertips daily as well as the most current information about anything I choose to follow.  It is a resource that no educator should be without.  If you need assistance in setting up and/or using your Twitter account, please contact me.

Tech Tuesday 2/8/11 - free download of student math tools – create online quizzes and manage results - Google forms for use in the classroom – Great IPad resources  - 100+ free internet resources for teachers - sites for educational resources - Science/Math of Basketball’s 3 point shot