The Weekly Lowdown #31

7-9-12 Gadgets for EdGeeks: Peer Pressure Hits the Adult World: Why Not Use Blackboard…Everyone’s Doing It?

I just went rogue and decided to use Lore instead of Blackboard as my course management system. I’m loving it so far. Read to learn about what makes Lore so attractive and why we need to question every educational tool that comes our way!

7-11-12 Inspiration: The Listserve

The Listserve is an e-mail lottery. “One person a day wins a chance to write to
the growing list of subscribers. It could be you.” (Taken directly from The Listserve’s website). I just signed up and i’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get chosen to share my thoughts with a list of over 20,000 people!

Okay everyone – I’ll be taking a week or two off from EdGeeks so I’ll see you in August!

Thanks for reading and happy July.


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Lowdown #30

You have probably noticed that I’ve slowed down a bit this summer. I’m beginning to teach grad school so I am focused on that but will continue to write as much as possible during the summer months, coming back in full swing in September. Thanks for reading.


7-2-12 Gadgets for EdGeeks: Wallwisher

I recently stumbled across Wallwisher and my brain was immediately flooded with ways to use this tool to support learning. Make sure to check out my first wall and contribute an idea or respond to someone else’s. Thanks!

7-5-12 Gadgets for EdGeeks: EdSurge – Helping us ask the right questions so that we can choose educational resources that actually promote learning

I’ve been an avid edSurge reader for quite awhile now and I felt it was time to share out about the edSurge Instruct newsletter for teachers. If you aren’t signed up yet, you’re seriously missing out.

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Lowdown #29

6/25/12 – Gadgets for EdGeeks Google Search Education Lesson Plans

Screenshot of Lesson Plan Topics and Levels

Google is more than just Gmail and as a super picky lesson planner, I must admit I am quite impressed at these Google Lesson Plans for Search Education. They are incredibly teacher-friendly and can offer non-teachers in the field a template for organizing lesson/unit plans when building curriculum.

6-27-12 Inspiration: 5 Ways to Keep the Learning Flowing Throughout the Summer

The summer can be a tricky time for parents. Many of the parents I work with find themselves asking, “Should I continue academic stimulation over the summer or does my child need a break?” This piece offers some simple ways to keep the learning flowing throughout the summer, while ensuring that your child gets the downtime they need.

6-28-12 Inspiration: Are Children the Forgotten Audience in Education?

Running into an inspiring student from my past really pushed me to think about the lack of student perspectives in our educational conversations. I’m looking for feedback on this piece so please engage in some conversation with me and help me figure out how beest I can begin to solve this problem.

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Lowdown Slowdown #28

Woo! It’s been a long two weeks filled with 2 cities, 2 conferences, 2 sicknesses, getting better and learning a lot. If you’re catching up now…here’s what you may have missed:

NMC Summer Conference Although my time at the NMC Conference was cut short due to a near-pneumonia experience, the day I spent there was quite thought-provoking. Make sure to check out:

One Teacher’s Concern Regarding Common Core State Standards

Flipped Class Conference 2012

Thanks to all of the individuals who made me think over the past few weeks! Lot’s of learning. Now I’ve gotta slow down a bit:)

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Weekly Lowdown #27

6-4-12 Gadgets for EdGeeks: Goalbook Makes IEP Writing a Little Sexier

Nowadays there aren’t too many ed tech projects out there focused on special education but Goalbook is working hard to revolutionize the collaboration process behind the IEP. Being a special education teacher, I am intrigued by their mission and look forward to watching them grow.

6-6-12 Home-School Connection: What Ever Happened to The Editing Process?

So many kids are being asked to pump out enormous amounts of writing each month but are NOT being asked to go back to edit and revise their work. We need to teach our students how to be reflective thinkers and writers who see value in reworking a product to make it stronger.

6-7-12 Inspiration: The Coming Weeks! 

I’m getting ready for the NMC Summer Conference. Cannot wait to meet the entire NMC community:) Countdown is on!

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Weekly Lowdown #26

5-29-12 Guest Blog: 5 Tips and Tools for the Tech Terrified Teacher

This piece was featured on EdVoices last week. I have recently become interested in the teachers who are terrified of technology. I am wondering what we are doing to support those teachers in making the shift from tech terrified to tech competent.

5-30-12 Gadgets for EdGeeks: NMC Horizon EdTech Weekly App

In a few weeks I will be attending the NMC Summer Conference at MIT in Boston. I am so excited to meet the folks at NMC. This piece features their EdTech Weekly App, which I have been most impressed by.

5-31-12 Inspiration: Paraprofessional Possibilities 

The purpose of this post is to bring your attention to the role of the paraprofessional in the classroom. The piece was inspired by my two favorite paraprofessionals who I refer to as Superman and WonderWoman in the post. To all of the paras out there, thanks for all you do!

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Weekly Lowdown #25

5-14-12 Inspiration: If you eat marshmallows on the morning of the test, everything will be okay

I’ll keep it short and sweet…no pun intended:) If this photo is not enough to inspire you to engage in the conversations surrounding standardized testing, I don’t know what will.

5-16-12 Guest Blog on EdGeeks: Flashcard Learning

Isabell Collet, creator of Flashcards Guru guest blogs for EdGeeks! She shares helpful tips to support teachers and parents when using flashcards with children. Thanks Isabell!

5-17-12 Guest Blog for EdVoices: Dear EdTech Entrepreneurs

EdVoices is one of my go-to resources for fresh perspectives on education. I am so grateful that they share my work in their technology section. If you don’t check EdVoices everyday, you are missing out. This week, my letter to edtech entrepreneurs was published. Thanks for featuring my work this week EdVoices!

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The Weekly Lowdown #24

5-7-12 Gadgets for EdGeeks: MentorMob as a tool for Differentiation

While I have been using mentormob for quite some time now, it just recently dawned on me to try using it with my students as a research tool. Last week, I taught three fourth graders how to use mentormob playlists for their research. Both the students and the parents were incredibly engaged and excited about how specific their playlists were to their interests. What I found is that this tool allowed me to differentiate with ease and efficiency. Thanks mentormob!

5-8-12 Guest Blog: My Ideal Classroom (Emma Savino, School Psychologist)

I always love when Emma Savino write for EdGeeks. She is so eloquent and can offer such valuable perspective into the field of school psychology. This week, Savino shared about the importance of making a place for social and emotional learning inside the classroom. She proposed two models for using support staff effectively to make this happen in the classroom. Thanks Emma!

5-9-12 Inspiration: An NYC 4th Grader and a California Parent Demonstrate the Power of Writing

Over the past few weeks, parents, teachers and students have been writing in to EdGeeks to share their feelings on standardized testing. This week, I published two pieces: one from a student and one from a parent. The student piece was an original poem written by a fourth grader in public school in NYC. The second piece was submitted by a concerned Californian parent. The parent’s piece is actually the letter she wrote to her son’s school requesting to opt out. She wished to share the letter as a sample with other families who were interested in opting out but didn’t know where to begin. Thank you to all of the readers who have submitted and to all of you out there who are thinking of doing so:) You inspire me!

5-10-12 Guest Blog for Edutopia – Collaborative Team Teaching: Challenges and Rewards

A special thanks to Edutopia for having me as a guest blogger. My piece this week discusses the Collaborative Team Teaching model and the co-teaching environment. Show your love by reading, leaving a comment and/or sharing the piece in some way. 

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The Weekly Lowdown #23

4-30-12 Home-School Connection: EdGeeks Goes Back to School

Visiting P.S. 165 and speaking at a local PTA conference reminded me of the importance of human-to-human interaction. So much of my life has been moved online, that sometimes I forget how much you can support people by making them feel comfortable in person. The parents at P.S. 165 were curious, caring and excited to be learning new information about education. Thanks again P.S. 165 for a great visit!

5-1-12 Gadgets for EdGeeks: EducationOnAir – A free and simple way to learn and share about EdTech

Google’s EducationOnAir conference was this Wednesday and it was a pretty unique experience. Using Google Hangouts, teachers were able to teach and learn about EdTech for free. I particularly enjoyed Kern Kelley’s session on Digital Portfolios. It was great to see a student participating in the session. While I found some of the sessions were different than I had expected, and I did have a few glitches with Google Hangouts, all in all it was a unique experience and I’m hoping for more events like this in the near future.

5-2-12 Inspiration: NY EdTech Mashup

The NY EdTech Mashup was on Monday and the turnout was quite impressive. There were well over 200 attendees. It really is magical when you look around the room and realize that there are experts in so many fields who share a common goal of reinventing education for the 21st Century. I’m looking forward to the next meetup in June. If you’re not a member, join!

5-3-12 Gadgets for EdGeeks: If You’re Not Using Figment, You Should Be

Figment is bringing writing into the 21st Century. It is an online community of young writers who wish to write, read, and share their writing. The best part is that there is an educator feature! Teachers can set up private groups where students can share their writing, interact, and offer feedback to each other. For teachers who are hesitant to bring tech into the classroom, Figment is a great start because it is built off of a component of your day: the writing workshop.

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The Weekly Lowdown #22

4-23-12 Gadgets for EdGeeks: Skillshare – Revolutionizing learning by bringing it outside of the classroom.

Often, we have this idea that learning is something that happens in a classroom with a certified teacher in the field. Skillshare is redefining where, how and with whom we expect learning to happen. It is a marketplace where anyone can teach what they know to anyone who wants to learn about it. I went to my first Skillshare session last Friday and loved it! I’ll be going again soon.

4-24-12 Home-School Connection: More teaching, less talking pineapples. Submit your work to show that you are pro-learning!

It has been quite a testy week here in NYC. Grades 3-8 were tested in ELA and Math…or at least most of them were. A brave group of parents in NY decided to take a stand for their children and opted out of standardized testing even though the policy and consequences are unclear in our state. Read to learn more about the families who opted out and how you can support the movement toward more creative and innovative learning in the classroom. 

4-25-12 Home-School Connection: A Call to Action: Submit your work to show that you are Pro-Learning

For students, families and teachers who are not ready to opt out of high stakes tests, but want to bring creative learning back into the classroom…EdGeeks is calling you to action! Submit a piece of writing or art that captures a moment when you felt that high stakes testing impeded your learning or teaching and we will publish it on EdGeeks! Submit all work to Take a stand and show that you are Pro-Learning.

4-26-12 Inspiration: Penny Conference: If we could redesign learning for the 21st Century, what would it look like?

Last Friday was the first ever Skillshare Penny Conference. Skillshare posed the question: If we could redesign learning for the 21st Century, what would it look like? A wide range of inspiring and innovative individuals spoke about what they are doing to reinvent learning. I cannot wait for next year’s Penny Conference!

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