Showing posts from September, 2011

Friday Freebie: So, What Did You Learn Today?

Okay, this week's "Friday Freebie" is coming to you on a Sunday. Forgive me! It's been a busy week...

I've seen many teachers and presenters use some form of an "exit slip" with learners after a lesson. To "exit" a class, participants must write down something they've learned. It's a nice way to see what "take-aways" your audience is leaving with.

Today's Friday Freebie, Memiary for Education, does just that in an electronic format. The site can be found at (this is not to be confused with, which is their site for non-educational uses.)

The idea is simple. Create an account in a few easy steps and then start recording what you learned "today" by typing in up to five items. You can also look back and enter what you learned yesterday, or look forward and type in what you want to learn "tomorrow." If you're a teacher, you can easily convert your account to a tea…

A Custodian Who Cares...

Okay, today's blog entry has nothing to do with technology, but it has everything to do with education and loving children.

Yesterday,  I witnessed a wonderful ceremony at our elementary school. The entire school - students , teachers, and support staff - gathered together in the gymnasium to surprise one of their custodians, Art, who is retiring today after almost 25 years of service to the district. Art is a faithful and hard-working employee with a great sense of humor, and he will be sorely missed. It was a beautiful ceremony. His family was there, the kids presented artwork and letters they had made for him, and Art was almost to tears.

Later in the day I ran across Art and he confided in me.  "Dr. Rios," he said,  "I'm worried about something. Every morning when I open the school and clean, I sprinkle a little holy water in the hallways to make sure the children are watched over. Who's going to sprinkle holy water when I'm gone?" Art is a dee…

Friday Freebie: Remind101 - Mass Text Messaging for Teachers!

This year, we added board policy that restricts teachers' use of text messaging with students to those that have a need to contact students outside school hours for extracurricular activities. We did so on council of the Texas Association of School Boards and the policy is really intended to protect our teachers. Personal, one-to-one contact with students, especially when it can't be tracked or recorded has the potential of being misconstrued. I would never want one of our teachers to be accused of anything inappropriate when no harm was intended.

While I support our new policy for the sake of our teachers, I was upset about losing the communicative power of text messaging. Studies show that students use cell phones for texting more than talking, and to disregard this is a waste of a powerful communication tool.

Well, this week's Friday Freebie may be the answer to my prayers. It's a great site that allows teachers to mass text message students without ever seeing the…

Hi! My name is Roland, and I'm a Digital Hoarder.

I recently got my iPad2 at work to replace my original iPad. I was excited about the built-in camera and the accelerated speed and couldn't wait to move over all my apps, music, pics, and video. As soon as I got home, I hooked it up to my computer and prompted iTunes to restore the profile from my original iPad to my new toy. As soon as the sync started, I left to go to the gym.

When I returned, there was an error message in iTunes that I did not have enough memory on my iPad2 for all the files. I was a bit puzzled until I turn the iPad2 over. In our rush to order the iPad's we ordered 16 GB models. My original iPad had 64 GB. Well, it's too late to return the iPad2, so I knew I had to clean house. That's when I made an horrible self-discovery - I am a digital hoarder!

I had apps on that iPad that I used once and never used again. I even had some apps that I'd never used at all! And yet, I found it was hard to delete them.

I was reminded of the television…