Showing posts from June, 2012

Free Textbooks Online at CK12 Flexbooks!

While at ISTE I stumbled upon the CK-12 booth on the exhibit hall floor. As soon as I saw the booth, I knew who they were. I'd visited their site before. I even created an account. But for some reason I never got around to sharing this great resource with others. My guess is "life" got n the way. Anyway, my apologies to you, my readers, because this is one heck of a site!

CK-12 is a collection of FREE (yes, that's right, FREE) online textbooks. The majority of the textbooks are in the math and science arena and are geared towards 6-12 grade students. But, there are also a few in other curricular areas. And, they are tied to a slew of state and national standards for you! Now, free online books alone would make CK-12 a terrific resource, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

CK-12 are editable and customizable! Since all the material posted in the CK-12 library is posted under Creative Commons licensing, you can create your own books by grabbing a chapter here,…

Going Global Goal - My Thoughts Confirmed at ISTE!

Some time ago I posted about my new goal for technology in our district - that of "Tearing Down the Walls" of our campus and using technological tools to connect our students to others outside our building. That theme resonated loud and clear at this year's ISTE conference.

On Monday I was fortunate to hear Alan November speak about "global empathy." Alan stressed that we need to teach our students to take a more global perspective when looking at issues. He stressed the importance of students needing to know how to search the internet for sites created in other countries to gain different view of important ideas. (By the way, it as easy as entering a text string and then sites:followed by a countries two character code and here's a list of country codes.)

My favorite quote from Alan during his talk was "we should connect students to real people on the ground when things happen rather than letting them get filtered information." (See this great vide…

ISTE Keynote: Sir Ken Robinson

Okay, I thought getting to the keynote address at a technology conference twenty minutes early was a good idea. When I got there, I was redirected to the "overflow" room clear on the other side of the convention center and that room was filled to capacity! I guess Sir Ken Robinson has quite a following!

Here are a few highlights from his keynote address at the 2012 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Diego. He was joined by a panel made up of Shawn Covel from Qualcomm, Marc Prenksy who created the term "digital natives", and actress and teacher Mayim Bialik. This blog entry is really just a list of quotable quotes I culled from their talk. I will try to expand on some of these great ideas in later posts. Please pardon any paraphrasing.

Sir Ken Robinson -

"Ten years ago there were no iPads, Smart Phones, or social media networks. Ten years ago if people 'tweeted' they were discouraged.""Education lies at …

Taming the Monster - Classroom Management for the Connected Classroom

I'm attending the TCEA "Tots and Technology" conference in Galveston, Texas. It's a fantastic two-day conference geared to elementary teachers with a focus on integrating technology in the classroom. As a former secondary teacher and administrator, this is a great way for me to find ways to help the elementary teachers in our district. God bless 'em, they get to work with PK-5 grade students every day!

The keynote speaker this morning was Gail Loveley ( Her focus was on "Training the Monster - Classroom Management for the Connected Classroom" - how to manage a connected elementary classroom and make technology "a little less daunting."

Gail started by outlining "excuses" why we don't use technology:

not enough staff developmentwe don't trust our studentscan't rely on them, always breaking downtoo dangerous for students to use"we learned without them"students are already experts with techn…