Saturday, December 31, 2011

Across the World from Teachers First!

Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) uses microblogging or blogging tools to share responses about everyday life from any corner of the world. The XW1W FAQ page explains it all. Make today's instant communications an instant learning experience.

How to champion students' social-emotional learning in 2012

I am thinking this type of an approach can be taught to our students and employed as they communicate with people around the world!  It is a frame of mind.  See what you think.
Educators in 2012 should resolve to become champions of students' social and emotional learning, writes Maurice Elias, director of the Social-Emotional Learning Lab at Rutgers University. This involves teachers making students' "needs and rights" the priority and protecting their dignity through high expectations for the adults who work with them, Elias writes. Elias' blog (12/27)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Exciting News!

We have begun to work on our project with the Sinarmas World Academy.  

Alison Prescott,

  Jane Ross, 

 and myself skyped on Tuesday night - 8pm here, 8 am there.

This was our first step towards planning collaborative projects between Alison's first grade in Winthrop, Maine and a first grade in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Stay tuned!!!  More to come after Christmas break.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Do students understand potential consequences of social media use?

Educators in schools across the country are working to teach students about the potential consequences of their use of social media, which can affect college acceptance, but some say students are not getting the message. 

"The disconnect happens because of their age and level of maturity. We're constantly dealing with students who are inappropriate in what they say online," said high-school principal Franklin Caesar. 

Now, some schools are beginning digital-responsibility lessons earlier, while others are seeking a formalized curriculum. Education Week (premium article access compliments of

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Update on Collaboration with Sinarmas!

We are happy to announce Alison Prescott and I will be teaming with two primary teachers from Sinarmas - Jane and Daniela.

Our first meeting will be by skype on Tuesday night.  

Stay tuned!! Great things are happening for our kids!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Plans with Sinarmas!

Bruces Ashton, Principal of the Elementary School at the Sinarmas Academy in Indonesia, and I will be skyping this Friday - 8pm here - 8 am there.

Our discussion will focus on how we can have some of our primary teachers collaborate using the ipad!!

I have just posted Alison Prescott's Masters' paper on technology and literacy on page 5 of this blog.  Take a look.  She will be one of our key teachers in this process.

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 28, 2011

How to teach students about global hunger

A great guided inquiry lesson.  It provides a framework that can be used in many contents. Enjoy:}
This blog post describes a classroom lesson that can be used to mark World Food Day, which occurred on Oct. 16 and is intended to raise awareness about global hunger. Students are asked to develop a working definition of the word, and then, using online resources from the World Food Programme, they can consider hunger as a solvable problem and work on potential solutions. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Learning Network blog (10/14)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mass. school opts for an all-digital library

Following is an article on the changes brought about by converting print to digital.  Notice the increased collaboration.

Officials at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., two years ago replaced the school's 40,000-book library with electronic resources, converting print titles to digital formats and allowing students and teachers new full-time access to resources online. The library itself was also redesigned, complete with LCD screens that preview new book titles and space for students to learn and work together. "It's become a much more open and collaborative space, instead of just a place where users come to check out materials," Tom Corbett, the library's executive director, said. T.H.E. Journal (10/19)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

High-tech library in Chicago is designed to boost student literacy

  • Here is a great article on the connection between technology and literacy.  The article confirms many of 
  •  the conclusions the Maine Literacy and Technology Pilot, 3 year study recommended.  Take a look and see what you think.
  • A new digital-media project at Chigago's main public library is aimed at exploring how such technology can affect student literacy. "YOUmedia -- a Digital Library Space for Teens," is a 5,500-square-foot room at the Harold Washington Library Center that houses laptop computers, music keyboards, recording equipment, video cameras and other devices designed for use by teens. The experiment is based on the research of cultural anthropologist Mizuko Ito, who studied how students interact with media and their peers. USA TODAY (10/10)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Facebook Back in the News for Educators, courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief

  • New app aims to turn Facebook into a study tool
    The Facebook application seeks to turn Facebook into a study tool for students. The app diverts students away from their wall and news feed and asks them, "What are you working on?" It then connects students with live group-study sessions on their chosen topic. The tool also could prove useful for educators, providing a way for them to hold "virtual office hours" for students, the tool's CEO and co-founder, Michael Koetting, says. blog (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Monday, September 12, 2011

Creating a 21st century school

This article from Edutopia, courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief, speaks clearly about what skills are necessary for the 21st century.  The post confirms many of the findings of the literacy and technology team!!  Enjoy!!
  • Creating a 21st century school
    The writer of this blog post offers a framework for schools or districts seeking to offer students a 21st century education. Ken Kay, who is CEO of a group of school leaders dedicated to that mission, recommends schools focus on the 4 C's -- critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity -- and offers seven steps for integrating these skills into the educational culture. Kay also suggests that strong leadership is a key component to achieving such a vision. Kay's blog (8/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Friday, September 2, 2011

Great New Tools for Classrooms!! Take a Look:) Let us know if anyone is using them. We love suggestions:)


Glogster EDU
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All-new Blackboard CollaborateTM 11 is here! And we couldn't be more pleased with all the positive feedback. Here are just some of the resources to help you learn more about the wide spectrum of collaboration choices and powerful new capabilities:
  • Hear CEO Michael Chasen talk about all-new Blackboard Collaborate (View video)
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Take a look. Then sign up for a free 30-day trial and see for yourself how Blackboard Collaborate can help you build a better education experience - for everyone!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Blog from BPI!

To My Readers,

As we move forward as a nation, implementing the common core, many educators are not being informed about the process or resources available.

Common core will dictate extensive changes in the classroom.

In an effort to support educators, I have created a new blog where I will post information and resources as soon as it becomes available.  

I will post information applicable to all grade levels and content areas.
Please don't hesitate to sign up as a follower and share your thoughts with us.
Together we can make a difference.

Why Social Studies Matters Courtesy of ASCD Express

In keeping with our focus on cultural literacy, here is some information from ASCD Express on the importance of Social Studies - something we see being reduced nationally.  Take a look and see what you think.
Social studies, which includes history, geography, and civics, among other fields, is an integral part of a well-rounded education. In fact, many top-achieving nations around the world, like Finland, South Korea, and Japan, recognize the importance of social studies by giving it proper weight in the K–12 curriculum.

In the United States, however, social studies supporters fear that the narrow focus on reading and math in policy debates will further sideline social studies, potentially cheating students not only of their past, but also of the knowledge they need to fully exercise their role in the civic life of the nation.

Yet advocates of social studies are trying to hold the line. For example, nonprofit groups like the National Coalition for History are urging legislators to oppose cutbacks to Teaching American History grants, the only federal program that funds K–12 history education.

And the National Council of Social Studies, whose voices appear below, has a 90-year record of supporting educators in the social studies.
Two books from ASCD:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Unexpected lessons from global education

  • Here is a great article on lessons form around the globe - one of the areas we have focused on with our literacy and technology grant.  It has some surprising insights.  See what you think!
    There are valuable lessons we as educators can learn from elite education systems that produce high test scores. But what about the lessons we can learn from developing nations? In a recent ASCD Express column, Douglas Reeves, ASCD author and founder of the Leadership and Learning Center, suggests we direct our attention to the education successes of Oman, Zambia, and beyond. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story