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The Library Link: CCSS – How can I help you? Let me count the ways…

29 Aug

The Library Link: CCSS – How can I help you? Let me count the ways….

Follow this link to Karen Landsman’s post that reiterates the sentiment mentioned in my blog post about the value of the school librarian.  She is instrumental in ensuring we are addressing the many facets of the Common Core.

Nonprofit Hopes To Get Kids Excited About Computer Coding : NPR

5 Mar

Nonprofit Hopes To Get Kids Excited About Computer Coding : NPR

For an interesting perspective on the outlook of computer coding in education, click the link above.  The last quote of the article is, “he’s convinced that in the 21st century, learning to code will become as useful – and frankly, as necessary – as learning to read.”

Below is a video from

Why AppleTV & iPad beats Interactive Whiteboard….Every Time

5 Feb

Why AppleTV & iPad beats Interactive Whiteboard….every time. | Ryan Orilio.

Why AppleTV & iPad beats Interactive Whiteboard….every time. | Ryan Orilio

Ryan Orilio has outlined a detailed argument that highlights the benefits of the Apple TV versus an Interactive Whiteboard.  I cannot agree with him more.  The number of uses an ATV has far outweighs those of an Interactive Whiteboard.  We have one active ATV/projector/speaker setup currently in our building as a pilot this year. We will continue to examine its upside and drawbacks, but at the halfway point, the configuration looks very promising.

They CAN do it!

31 Jan


Check out the detailed description of the creation of a product to demonstrate 1st graders’ learning. She is very adept at describing the many steps in the workflow of the students’ creations. This project includes the basic knowledge of the butterfly life cycle, but the understanding of digital citizenship, too.

Click here to go to the Langwiches Blog. Pictures are included in her post for a more thorough description.

First Grade Workflow Fluency
January 31, 2013 21st Century Learning, 21st Century Skills, Featured Carousel, iPad 5 Comments

As first graders are learning about the butterfly life cycle, we wanted to stay away from usual activities such as coloring in a pre-printed coloring page. INSTEAD of such an activity (created by others) and a quiz about recalling the different stages of the life cycle as assessment, we decided to have students built on their knowledge and fluency of creating a collage and CREATING a visual of their learning. The digital visual was to become an artifact for their student portfolio.

Our first graders are working weekly on a Hebrew visual dictionary on the iPad PicCollage app. They are very comfortable with the app itself. We were ready to spill over from Jewish studies into their General Studies class and push them on their workflow (fluency) with the iPad.

we reviewed the stages of a butterfly
showed students a National Geographic video of the life cycle
modeled the creation of a PicCollage Butterfly poster by breaking down each step
embedded digital citizenship (images copyright issues)
emphasized the workflow of :
choosing appropriate tools/apps (critical thinking)
navigating to website ( workflow, information literacy)
searching for images (information literacy, critical thinking, creativity)
saving images (workflow)
switching apps (workflow)
browsing for images> importing images > editing images > adding text (workflow)
designing (creativity)
saving (workflow)
emailing final product (workflow, communication)

I was impressed by our 6 & 7 years olds to get to work, able to follow along the workflow path, some having a little trouble with spelling some of the words, but ALL comfortable with tapping, swiping, switching between apps, pinching in and out, editing, saving images and simply knowing that these images will be waiting for them in their Photo Album to be used in another app.

This activity was NOT about using the iPad app, it was about creating a visual of their learning. It was about workflow, skills and creativity.

The emailed collages, will be placed on student blogfolis with a written or audio reflection of their creation or learning process.

Interested in other “upgraded” activities for first graders and a butterfly unit? Take a look how last’s year first grade students created an ePub iPad book for the world as the culmination of their unit of study of butterflies.

Are Kids Really Motivated By Technology?

8 Jan

Read this:

Are kids really motivated by technology? | SmartBlogs SmartBlogs.

Then Listen to This:

2 Pi: Rhymes and Radii

Jake Scott takes the time to understand his students and know what motivates and inspires them.  The technology he uses capitalizes on his understanding of their interests.  This, I think, is a perfect example of how technology can be leveraged in education–better yet, how it should be leveraged in education.

Rock On 2Pi!

Free Technology for Teachers: Three Approaches to Classroom Blogging

2 Jan

Richard Byrne is a prolific blogger.  He has curated a blog that provides free tech resources to teachers, then spends time explaining how to use many of them.  His most recent post outlines three approaches to classroom blogging.  The techniques put the students in the driver’s seat.

Thanks to Justine Thain for alerting me on this post!

via Free Technology for Teachers: Three Approaches to Classroom Blogging.

Learning2learn from Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

26 Nov

I hope you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving!  It is by far my favorite holiday–family, friends, food, and football!

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano’s blog,, is packed with content, how-to’s, and an abundance of justification and ideas to adjust instruction to our learners’ needs.  Below you will find a presentation she created to reinforce the concept that 21st Century Learning is really about learning, the act of learning how to learn, and not just technology.


Grovo – Free Tutorials

20 Nov

Introduction to Blogger | Blogger Setup | Grovo.

I’ve been looking for a resource like this for a long time.  Grovo is a free resource filled with video tutorials on virtually every online tool.  The link above will lead you to a series of tutorials that will teach you the basics of creating a blog on Blogger.  There are 13 different videos ranging from simple to complex, and the total time it would take you to view all of these videos is approximately 14 minutes.  Grovo provides opportunities to read along with the video through a transcript button, and engage further into the content through an “engage” button that provides definitions and links to topics included within your video.

Some videos include lesson quizzes and links to related videos.  All include downloadable cheat sheets that include all the how-to information you might need.

This resource in absolutely incredible.  In the past, most tutorials like this have been available for a fee only.  The fact that these are catalogued, searchable, and voluminous is amazing.

The next time you are wondering how to do something new, belaboring the fact that you need to attend a before or after school training, or furiously scribbling step-by-step notes as a presenter is sharing “how-to” information, rest easy knowing that the tutorial you are looking for is most likely available at your fingertips and at your leisure.  Here’s to learning!

California: Not Afraid of Change

6 Oct

20121003-193909.jpgClick this link to see something amazing. California is enacting a law to allow self driving cars on their roads. Are their risks? Yes. Are the rewards worth it? That is yet to be determined, but we won’t find out unless someone starts. Good for you California.

Click this link to view a self driving car demonstration.

Hooksett in the News

3 Oct

Our district is in the news. Listen to or read this article to hear Sam Evans Brown’s report on our and Oyster River’s progress on implementing a BYOD policy. Oyster River representatives provide interesting insight into the practice after living through it for three years already.