Great teachers are heroes in a world that has a lot to learn. @coolcatteacher

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 12/04/2013

Thousands of people are talking about science apps based on an article from Mashable. releases tutorials for teachers to prepare to teach kids of all ages how to program. (They work because my students and I are using them to prep working with our elementary classrooms next week.)

Ben Rimes @techsavvyed shows us how to screen record from our ipad (useful for #flipclass) and Margaret Powers @mpowers3 talks about how she's using Google Glass with her K-2nd graders.

The “20 to Watch” in US Education Technology Awards from the National School Board's Association are open until mid-December. Research is showing that “tinkering” can help you learn and the shortage of guidance counselors is being partially blamed for kids not applying to college. In World News, everyone's talking about the new PISA score report that comes out every 3 years that says that Shanghai has the most well educated kids in the world.

Today's a tad short as sometime between midnight and 5 am this morning something strange happened to my blog here and I restored a backup bright and early and installed additional security software. If you tried to read my blog then, I'm sorry it was down but I'll work to deal with whatever caused it. Ah, the joys of handling your own server and yet, I still love the power Wordpress gives me over my content and how I share even if I have to deal with gremlins.

Have a great day! Be an EPIC Teacher. Learn something new every day!


Technology Tips

SCIENCE: Apps People are Talking About

COMPUTER SCIENCE: Tutorials to help you teach kids of all ages

#FLIPCLASS HOW TO: Yes, you can screen record your ipad

Classroom Stories



AWARD: 20 to Watch Nominations for the National School Board Association

  • 20 to Watch Recognition ProgramNominate someone you know NOW. What a great way to share up and coming education technology leaders: “Do you know educators who are passionate about using technology to transform teaching and learning; who can inspire their colleagues to embrace new tools; and who are curious by nature and always looking for how the next innovation can be applied to education? If so, please submit their names by Wednesday, December 18th for consideration as part of the National School Boards Association's “20 to Watch” recognition program. The 2013-14 “20” will be honored in Washington, D.C. during CoSN’s Annual Conference, March 19th, 2014 ( and recognized during the Technology Leadership Network Luncheon at the NSBA Annual Conference in New Orleans, April 6, 2014. Questions? Please email Ann Flynn.”

    tags: education news technology all_teachers bestpractices

RESEARCH: Tinkering helps you learn

  • How Tinkering Can Help You LearnTinkering works. Read Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager's book “Invent to Learn” which talks about tinkering and how to use Maker Spaces to promote it to learn more. Great points from Lifehacker: “Research in the science of learning shows that hands-on building projects help young people conceptualize ideas and understand issues in greater depth. In an experiment described in the International Journal of Engineering Education in 2009, for example, one group of eighth-graders was taught about water resources in the traditional way: classroom lectures, handouts and worksheets. Meanwhile, a group of their classmates explored the same subject by designing and constructing a water purification device. The students in the second group learned the material better: they knew more about the importance of clean drinking water and how it is produced, and they engaged in deeper and more complex thinking in response to open-ended questions on water resources and water quality… it involves a loose process of trying things out, seeing what happens, reflecting and evaluating, and trying again.”

    tags: invent2learn makerspace education news tinker

TREND: Guidance Counselors Needed: Can you Work for Free?


  • Global education survey puts Shanghai on top – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera EnglishRemember one thing as you look at these scores – not all students are tested in many countries and in many countries only the brightest go to school. In my opinion, these tests have some serious flaws. For example, I don't play cricket – my scores would be low — I don't know that I'm so upset about that. While math, science, and reading are important — standards vary greatly between countries — so unless we're going to prep for PISA scores. Also on another note — comparing “Shanghai to nations makes me wonder – I'm sure there are certain cities in the US that would do very well on such a test. Anyway, I want to look deeper, but I think before we rattle cages and get too upset, the report should be looked at deeply but not only the report – but the test. I remember getting upset that my kindergartener scored in the 60th percentile on “environment” only to see that he missed that a judge was supposed to be a guy in a grey wig (who does that) and couldn't identify a subway turnstile (we live in a town of 5,000). Since that time, I always want to see the test. Lots of people will be talking about this so look at it and be prepared to answer questions. This is the post from Aljazeera so you can see what other countries are saying about the report. “Asian countries have topped the rnakings in a global education report which evaluates the knowledge and skills of 15 and 16-year-olds around the world. The report by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), published on Tuesday, shows that children from Asian nations continue to outshine their western counterparts in maths, science and reading. The city of Shanghai topped the table in the three-yearly reported which tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries. Children in Shanghai were, on average, the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling ahead of the majority of nations tested.”

    tags: education news PISA testing

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere