Wednesday, September 29, 2010

TeachMeet KY

I received this in an email and wanted to pass along a great opportunity to attend a TeachMeet Conference in Kentucky.  If you are near by and wanted to go to a free conference where you can get some great ideas and resources, then this would be a great place to go.

When:  Oct. 22, 2010
Time:   8:30 a.m. to 3;30 p.m. Central Time
Where: National Corvette Museum - Bowling Green, KY
Purpose:  To share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching with technology.
Who:  Teachers, Administrators, Educational Leaders

Presentations will include:
- "The 21st Century Learner" by Dr. Tina Rooks (Turning Technologies)
- "Virtual Field Trips and Google Maps" by Dr. Alice Christie (Arizona State University)
- "Google SketchUp in the Math Classroom" by BGHS Students and Drew Fulkerson (Bowling Green High School)
- "Turning Point Meets SKYPE" by Jonathan Stovall and Jonathan Carrier (Bowling Green City Schools)
- Using Twitter in the Classroom
- Developing a PLN (Personal Learning Network)

All educators are encouraged to sign up via Google forms to present and or attend at this conference. 
It is a casual environment with outstanding networking and practical solutions.

Please click the link below to register to attend and/or present:

A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet

 I came across this wonderful resource the other day. A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet has been shared on several blogs.  I noticed that she has my blog listed on her blog roll and I am honored.  The website does a great job of organizing information for Elementary, Middle, and High School teachers.  Click on any of those grade levels and you are taken to a page of topics, categories, and subjects which you can click on to take you to various relevant resources.  The main site is also a blog with valuable resources for across the curriculum.  You can also find a Facebook Page to help stay in contact with the latest updates to the website.  There is also an archive going back to 2007, so needless to say, there are plenty of resources to search through.  I am sure you can find something that you like.

Weekly Core Subjects Resources

I have been trying to think of a new weekly post for this school year (it has taken till October to figure it out), but I thought it would be great to share resources related to specific content areas, especially the core subjects.  Below you will find a resource for the four core subjects - Math, Science, English, Social Studies.  Not that other subjects are not important, and not that I won't add on as the year goes on, I just wanted to start with these four to start out.

Social Studies
101 Great Sites for Social Studies Classes - A very valuable resource for all social studies teachers.  Links with short descriptions of the website so you know what you are getting into.  They are broken down by subject and topic area and split onto four pages.  A great starting point for finding primary sources and resources for your classroom.  Share with the social studies teachers in your district.

Biology Corner - Shared through my RSS feed on the Educational Technology Guy, a great resource for teachers.  I even had a teacher in my building tell me they thought it was a great resource.  The site has loads of lessons and worksheets available to download.  There is also a blog with useful tips and tricks for teaching biology.  A handy resource for science teachers.

Neotake - An eBook search engine.  You can search for a title of a book or an author and get both a list of results as well as images.  It list a price and the format (site available) for the eBooks.  You can narrow down your results as well.  Seems like a useful search tool for finding eBooks, considering I think this will be the future of student textbooks this might be a useful site to keep handy.

Plus Magazine and Tools - Shared through my RSS feed on Free Technology for Teachers, this is a great resource to share how mathematics is used in the everyday world.  On the site you can request to receive free posters, listen to Podcast, and play puzzles related to math.  A very useful site for math teachers to explain how math is not just something you need to care about when in school.

Hope you find one of these resources useful!

Education and the Deflated Balloon

The other day sitting around the house, watching the news, reading about Education Nation, I started thinking about the state of education.  I know this is a Educational Technology Blog, but I am still an educator, so read along as I digress into some education politics for this post. 

Right now, education is like a deflated balloon.  The reason the balloon is deflated is because there are all these pin holes.  At these holes you will find politicians, entrepreneurs, superintendents, our President, our Secretary of Education, Philanthropist, Entertainers, Teacher Unions, and the Private Sector (I am sure there are more, but I will leave it at those).

At the main hole, the part where air really needs to be to inflate the balloon, are Students, Teachers, Parents, and Schools.  As much as we try to blow up the balloon to reach its full potential, we can't.  As much as we try to work together, our power can't seem to inflate this balloon.  We can't get out what we know will work in education because no one REALLY hears us. 

Meanwhile, those same people at their pin holes in the balloon are trying to inflate the balloon as well.  Some are working together, some are not.  Some are blowing at their own pace believing they have what it takes to get the balloon to inflate.  Some of those people have bigger pin holes because they feel they have the answer for education, so they create a larger hole to try to get more air in the balloon.  Either way, what they are trying to do is not working either.  As hard as they try, they continue to get resistance, they continue to struggle to inflate this balloon.

What we really need for these people to do, is to patch those holes. Allow those in the school systems to improve education.  You patch the holes (provide funding, improve teacher education, improve teacher tenure, improve curriculum, improve school to work initiatives, provide resources, etc.) and let educators take care of education.  Let those involved in education provide the helium to inflate the balloon that we patched working together and watch education soar in America.

What are your thoughts?