- Google Alerts – Monitor the Web for interesting new content
Another small change. Google alerts NO LONGER allows RSS delivery. This is a big deal for many of us who use the service to monitor our brand. Big yuck. I hope they don't discontinue this for Google news. IF you want to monitor your school's name, go to this site and set up the alert and send it to email.
- Wichita teachers union balks at lesson-plan requirements | The Daily Caller
There are many who don't understand this one point. I used to have someone who required me to have beautiful lesson plans. They were detailed. I spent more than an hour a day on them. So much time so that sometimes I felt unprepared when the kids actually walked in the door. When those detailed plans were removed and I was allowed to focus on the content created for the students to use and then keep a grid (I keep links, etc. to what I'm doing) – THAT Was when real innovation happened in my classroom. Things like wikis, blogs, etc. happened after those super-restrictive requirements were taken off my shoulders. I had the wrong audience when I had those detailed lesson plans – my audience was the principal at the time. Now, I still have plans but I keep it in a grid in a book and then keep copies of what I use with students in dropbox and other places. I do far more now than then because my focus is the students. Lesson plans aren't bad. However, if you spend your time making the LESSON PLAN itself pretty and perfect then likely you're not spending your actual time PLANNING, printing, collecting, and creating what you'll be doing with your students. Also, when you do things like #geniushour and 20% time projects, you no longer have a lesson plan but a project plan which is an entirely different thing altogether. Don't fault teachers for this. Teaching is the hardest job everybody thinks they can do and few really can.
- Google Apps update alerts: Print Google Forms in a fillable format
Google just announced you can print Google forms in the way that makes it simple for them to fill in the form online (or for you or your staff to enter them.) This is great.
- Protecting Your Child’s Privacy Online | Consumer Information
New guide for parents from the Federal Trade Commission about protecting children online. It says that parents should get a “plain language notice” about information will be collected before they want to use features on an site or download an app that collects their personal information. I'm very curious how this is going to happen since often parents aren't involved in the app installation process for their children. Review the parent guide to understand the current rules.
- Revised Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule Goes Into Effect Today
The revised COPPA act went into effect on July 1, 2013. Take time to read up on and know this act. It includes mobile devices – geolocation information, photos, videos, and audio recordings. This is going to influence MOBILE PHONES big time as well as app makers. It says they have to have actual knowledge that they are gaining information from kids under 13. What about my under 13 child who has a mobile phone. Verizon knows the age – is this enough to trigger problems. I don't have a smartphone for him but he does have an iPad mini. So many questions here that we'll need to review and understand as part of BYOT programs, etc. The biggest issue is I doubt many app makers are compliant right now.
- The modified rule, approved by the Commission in December 2012, widens the definition of children’s personal information to include persistent identifiers such as cookies that track a child’s activity online, as well as geolocation information, photos, videos, and audio recordings.
- It requires that operators of websites or online services that are either directed to children under 13 or have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under 13 give notice to parents and get their verifiable consent before collecting, using, or disclosing such personal information, and keep secure the information they collect from children.
- A Must-Have Guide To Becoming A Better Blogger | Edudemic
An excellent set of infographics about blogging that I'll be using with students in the fall. Great set of discussion tools.
- National Novel Writing Month
I think every literature teacher should participate in National Novel Writing month in November. It is a great free program that is gamified and electrified by students writing together. Sign up now and plan this into your writing curriculum. You set the goals for your student writing.
- The Importance Of Leading-Up | Big Is The New Small
As I read this article on leading up, I'm curious if this is encouraged in schools. Leading up is when a person exerts influence on leaders one or two levels above him or her. We need teachers who can lead up. Is it encouraged? I'm not so sure.
- Chemicals found in phones are a no-no for kids – Cincinnati Business Courier
I saw this on Fran Drescher's Twitter account from the Cincinnati Business courier and am quite floored by it. Am I the only one who doesn't know this? How about all of the little kids I see where parents are handing them their ipad and smart phones for play purposes. I jusst need to know more but it is based on a study presented at the Pediatric Academic societies meeting in DC. Of course, they recommend hand washing. But pregnant women should be careful – a 10x increase in maternal PBDE's is associated with a 4 point IQ deficit. Of course, we also have the age old question here of causation or correlation. I do think we need to know more and also if the equipment we're purchasing to use with young children has PBDEs in them. If you know more, please leave comments. It does say that some manufacturers are voluntarily phasing these out. “Small children should not touch electronic items such as TVs, mobile phones, computers and other products, according to University of Cincinnati researchers. Chemicals found in such items and in many other products, including older carpets and furniture, can cause behavioral and cognition problems, they have found.”
- Hashtag Immortalizes Father's Devotion After His Death
My friend Beth Kanter, nonprofit fundraising pioneer, is honoring her late father by asking for people to donate to the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation. She has created a hashtag #oceanloveearl. IF you want to support or know more about this movement, here's the information on Mashable
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