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Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 10.20.21 AMMike Lee at Ed Shelf has provided this nice list of  schedule organizers, homework reminders, collaborative groups, and study aids.

  • iStudiez – This iOS and Mac app for high school and university students keeps track of your class schedule, assignments, grades, and cumulative GPA.
  • inClass – Also for high school and university students, this iOS app keeps track of your class schedule, assignments, and notes in text, video, or audio form.
  • Piazza – A free website for university students to gather together, ask questions, receive class announcements, and engage in group discussions.
  • StudyRoom – Another free way for university students to gather together, ask questions, and collaborate online. Offered as an iOS app as well.
  • StudyBlue – Create flashcards with text, photos, and audio. Share them or track your score as you practice. Available as a web, iOS, or Android app.
  • Slader – Stuck on a particular problem in your textbook? Get unstuck by using this free website for high school students to find answers and explanations.
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Hi Cyndi Danner-Kuhn,A child’s imagination is a wondrous thing. With the right tools, you can ignite it and get a brilliant display. Some common activities include writing digital stories, videos, posters, etc. How about… creating a video game? From envisioning a virtual world to crafting characters, building a video game involves multiple subjects and skills. And the final result? Loads of pedagogical fun. Here are six notable video game creation tools for your students’ toolkits.

  • Penzu – Start by chronicling their creative journey with this digital journal. Works on both web and mobile. Free and paid classroom accounts are offered.
  • Dora’s Great Big World – Safe, immersive worlds like this one can serve as examples. This one includes games on literacy, math, and science.
  • Cat Physics – Thanks to Angry Birds, physics-based mobile app games have surged in popularity. Check out this teacher-approved game for inspiration.
  • PrimaryWall – Designing a whole new world means lots of details to track. Use this online sticky note service to help record and organize your thoughts.
  • Cloudup – Built by the LearnBoost team, this social file sharing service can also help you keep track of files, videos, music, and other digital assets.
  • Kodu Game Lab – Finally, put it all together into a PC or XBox game using this tool. Its simple visual programming language can create powerful worlds.
Enjoy these new additions!- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf

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In just 30 years, Finland transformed its school system from one that was mediocre and inequitable, to one that consistently produces some of the world’s best students, while virtually eliminating an achievement gap. And they do it without standardized testing.

This interview with Linda-Darling Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, is excerpted from Dan Rather Reports’ show on Finland’s education system, Finnish First. Part One looks inside Finnish schools to examine the practices behind the so-called “Finnish miracle.” Part Two asks, What can the United States learn from Finland’s success?

More information about Linda Darling-Hammond is available at The full episodes of Finnish First are available for download from iTunes at….

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If they haven’t been tossed already, textbooks at Mooresville Graded School District sit unused, piled in corners of classrooms. Desks are no longer neatly arranged in rows, and students rarely sit quietly and listen to extended lectures.

Results of this transformation are off the charts—the graduation rate for African-American students was 95 percent in 2012, up from 67 percent five years earlier. The overall graduation rate is the third highest in the state, and 88 percent of 2012 graduates are attending college, compared with 74 percent in 2007. Mooresville has accomplished this while keeping spending in check—among the state’s 115 school districts, it ranks 100th in spending per student at $7,463.

Read the full story, CLICK HERE

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Mandatory Assessment – Student Motivation Video: TCAP Baby! – Funny

by on Mar 14, 2013 in school technologyThe other day I got together with my fellow elementary teachers to film a funny video to help motivate our students to take the TCAP assessment test. The video took off and went viral which caused our school’s website server to crash so I had to move it to YouTube today. Here it is…

Published on Mar 13, 2013: parady of Call Me Maybe for the Annual Colorado State assessment for students called the TCAP. Made by the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers of Bethke Elementary School, Timnath, CO.

OK, this is amazing, of couse only elementary teachers would do this, but wow, how cute and the fact that it went viral and crashed their school server is I know scary, but wow, what a compliment.  Koodo’s to Brad and his teachers. We all should take a lesson from this.

Maybe I can get my pre-service teachers do do something along this line. Hmmmmm!

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Grant helps Idaho schools plug into online classes

Idaho will launch a pilot program in the fall, becoming the first state to partner with the Khan Academy to provide free, online access to math, physics and history classes. The program, to be implemented in 47 schools, is funded through a $1.5 million grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. “Idaho has the students, the schools and the determination to succeed in showing the nation how to innovate within our public education system,” said Jamie MacMillan, the foundation’s executive director.

Read the full story, KBOI-AM (Boise, Idaho)/The Associated Press (2/28)

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Wow am I honored to have been featured on Cat Flippen‘s blog,  Ctrl+Alt+Teach! Rebooting Education with Digitization blog, This story first ran on Feb. 26.  I requested permission to re-post on my blog since it was about my class and my students.

I am speechless, which is quite odd for me!!

I recently received several pingbacks to a number of posts in Ctrl+Alt+Teach. As I am always looking to learn from others, I make an effort to visit the page of every pingback I receive. I was surprised and thrilled to find that six of the pingbacks came from reflection post assignments for the “Technology for Teaching and Learning” course at the Kansas State University College of Education, which is a prime example of a teacher ed tech class that is blogging as a means of learning and sharing.

After a quick Google search, I came across the Wiki for the course, which is incredibly detailed and organized and is almost fully available to the public.  Cyndi Danner-Kuhn (@cyndidannerkuhn), the professor whose website The Ed Tech Place is a must-visit that is full of useful information, not only requires that her students develop their own blogs, but also has a terrific blog herself: Technology Bits, Bites and Nibbles.

According to the DED 318 syllabus, “Technology for Teaching and Learning” is a required course for teacher candidates, including undergraduates. That fact along with the many topics and activities in which the students must learn, participate, and create made me excited to see such a great introductory course for instructional technology beyond just Powerpoint and incorporating social media for PLN building. The course also introduces some essential educational technology tools such as VoiceThread, Google Apps, QR Codes, Creative Commons, screencasting, and response systems that I firmly believe will empower the future teachers in this course to be ahead of the curve when they enter the classroom.










Many teacher colleges in the country have yet to make this leap, so I applaud Kansas State and @cyndidannerkuhn for this amazing course, especially in their undergrad teacher program. I am personally encouraged to see teacher colleges embracing the realities of the digital educational revolution!

So, I would love to surprise these teacher-students with some traffic to their blogs! If you have a moment, please visit the following (unfortunately, comments are turned off for their blogs):

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post or have thoughts to contribute, please subscribe to Ctrl+Alt+Teach and connect with me on Twitter.

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See on Scoop.itTechnology in the Classroom , 1:1 Laptops & iPads and MORE

Cyndi Danner-Kuhn‘s insight:

“There’s no competitive advantage today in knowing more than the person next to you. The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you can do with what you know.”


– Tony Wagnersome cool web tools that you can use to add animation to your videos and render them much more interactive – See more at: cool web tools that you can use to add animation to your videos and render them much more interactive – See more at:

See on

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Occasionally, we have to toot our own horns and as educators we are pretty about doing it.  So here is my toot, I have had about 10 of these teachers/administrators in class when they were undergraduates at Fort Hays State University or Kansas State University.  I also had the honor of doing the professional development in Inman shortly after their iPad program began. So, I feel close to these teachers and this school and very proud to watch their success.  It really is

If you are thinking about a 1:1 technology program, Inman is the place to go visit or talk with about HOW to make it work.  To begin, watch this series of short videos (all under 5 minutes).  It will show you how this iPad 1:1 program  has succeeded from all points of view.  Also check out their website where they share what is going on, have discussion and help each other.

I also think it is important to mention the fact that the Superintendent, Kevin Case, is intimately involved.  In fact, I would say he knows as much about the iPad as the kids do.  He became the “principal teacher.”  He models what he expects, in other words, he does not expect his teachers to do anything he does not know how to do himself.  So he is not the kind of administrator that locks himself in his office and does whatever administrators do in their office.  He is out there in the trenches with the kids and teachers.


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The launch of teachem, a free teaching platform that allows anyone to turn YouTube videos into online classes. This is great tool for universities, teachers, companies, or experts of any kind to share their expertise in their own private school. Below are a few examples of classes that can be created from the platform.
The Presidential Debate
Steve Job’s Standford Commencement
Teachem – Another Way to Comment on Educational Videos

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Join Steve Hargadon, Tuesday, September 4th, for a live and interactive webinar with Ron Wolk, to discuss his book Wasting Minds: Why Our Education System Is Failing and What We Can Do About It.

Currently Chairman at Big Picture Learning, and the founder and former editor of Education Week, Teacher Magazine, and Quality Counts, “Wolk draws on three decades spent in the school reform trenches to question the common assumptions about the U.S. education system. Instead of calling for more reform efforts, Wolk makes the case for a new schooling strategy where students break free of the failing assembly line approach to learning and receive the individualized instruction they deserve.”

Wolk “insists that the dominant reform efforts have not closed the student achievement gap, reduced the ‘scandalous’ dropout rate, or even improved schools. Wolk asserts that simply introducing new practices and reforms to the existing education system will not work—the system is broken beyond repair.” (Quotes from the ASCD press release).
Date: Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page.
Recordings: The full Blackboard Collaborate recording and a portable .mp3 audio recording will be available after the show at
Mightybell Discussion and Resource Space:

Ron’s autobiography:  “In September 1981, I started Education Week. Since then I’ve spent virtually every waking moment reading about, thinking about, and writing about education.

“Over the years, I visited hundreds of schools—some so bad they made me weep, and some so good they made me weep. I attended countless meetings, often with the brightest people in the field, and I learned from them. And, from the editor’s seat at Education Week and Teacher Magazine, I had a ringside view of the education reform movement in its first 20 years.

“For most of my professional life I’ve had one foot in journalism and one in education. I spent the 1960s at the Johns Hopkins University, first as editor of the Johns Hopkins Magazine, then as assistant to President Milton S. Eisenhower.

“I also served as vice president of Brown University from 1969 to 1978 where I was responsible for external affairs and institutional advancement.

“Both of those jobs were so gratifying and rewarding that I came to believe with John Masefield that ‘There is no earthly place more splendid than a university.’

“Between my stints at Johns and Brown, I served on two national commissions; The Carnegie Commission on the Future of Higher Education under the leadership of Clark Kerr, the former and brilliant President of the University of California; and then National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, established by President Lyndon Johnson in the wake of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. Milton Eisenhower led that effort and he summoned me from California for one of the most interesting assignments of my life.

“I left Brown in 1978 to take over the presidency of Editorial Projects in Education. My predecessor and dear friend, Corbin Gwaltney, hired me for the Johns Hopkins Magazine job and taught me a great deal about creative journalism.

“As chairman of the board of EPE during the 1960’s, I worked closely with Corbin and helped create and launch the Chronicle of Higher Education.

“After nearly 20 years at EPE/Education Week, I retired and moved to Rhode Island, fully intending to leave education reform behind. But that was not to be.

“As the new century was beginning, I succeeded Ted Sizer as chair of Big Picture Learning in Providence, which was led by Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor—two of the most innovative and daring men I’ve ever worked with. Under contract with the state, the duo designed and launched the Metropolitan Career and Technical Academy, a one-of-a-kind high school that became the model for some 70 schools established by Big Picture in the U.S. and abroad. Tom Vander Ark of the Gates Foundation dubbed the Met his ‘favorite high school’ in the country and Gates made multimillion contributions to Big Picture’s work.

“When I took over from Ted Sizer, I had already become disillusioned with the school reform movement and deeply pessimistic about the future of public education. Working with Big Picture and the Met, I saw that imagination and hard work could help the neediest kids educate themselves, and I began to hope again that we can create public schools that work.

“The old cliché is that pessimists see the glass half empty and optimists see the glass half full. I am neither. Regarding public education, I am an idealist: I see the glass as it is and can’t accept the fact that it is not full.”

Visit Teacher 2.0 at:

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Paul Rallion has co-authored two books: Middle Schoolin’ and Turning Point. He hold a master’s in education and is a National Board Certified teacher.

Do you need more ways to stimulate student-teacher discussions about teaching practices, and reflection of their own philosophies of education? These books are sure to be of interest to the staff and students of your education program:

1) “Middle Schoolin’, 50 Stories about the Challenges, Humor and Rewards of Teaching,” is based on interactions with students, parents, administrators, and other teachers. We now offer 250 questions (5 for each story) for education courses: These questions promote higher level thinking and include references to the works of: Freud, Piaget, Skinner, Vygotsky, Dewey, Freire, etc. and theories such as: constructivism, cognitivism, humanism, behaviorism, etc. The book includes 25 teaching strategies that have worked for us in most situations.

2) “Turning Point, Free Education for the Willing,” is an inspirational story of a middle school student who goes from careless and low-achiever to Valedictorian. Read how the tough events that almost took his life brought him back to change it, as well as his school culture.

Some great discussions and alternatives to handling certain classroom situations can emerge from reading them, hence their value in teachers’ reading groups.

To purchase and preview these books please visit Paul’s website:

On Facebook, please visit, “Like,” and share: