2013-02-27 Weekly IT Update

This Week

Beauty – Bullying

Sequestration – Arne Duncan Interview

I Don’t Have Time – Technology

ClassDojo – Fun Classroom Management

This American Life (Part 2) – Harper High, cont.

Contest of the Week 1 – Not Edutopia?

Contest of the Week 2 – Yes, Edutopia


“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or self-confidence.” – Robert Frost


Beauty – In this spoken word poetry, Shane Koyczan created a video for YouTube about bullying and some of the experience he, and others, go through in school. It is about 7 minutes but the message is strong and should be taken to heart, especially in this day and age of rampant bullying both in and out of school as well as cyberbullying. Take a look at: http://youtu.be/ltun92DfnPY  (P.S. This has trended as one of the most popular YouTube videos in the past couple of days)

Sequestration – Arne Duncan was interviewed on ‘Face the Nation’ on the 24th and during his 5-minute interview he talks about education cuts and how up to 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs. It also talks about cuts to services that will be nothing but detrimental to an already ailing profession. It does end on a note about gun control but I am posting this for the message about the sequestration, not the issue of gun control. You can check out the video here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57570957/education-secretary-not-rocket-science-to-stop-dumb-sequester-cuts/

I Don’t Have Time – In a blog post entitled ‘Why “I Don’t Have Time for Technology” Is No Longer Excusable’, principal Bill Powers writes about the need to somehow fit time into schedules to get to know current trends and methods. His blog is located here: http://edudemic.com/2013/02/i-dont-have-time-for-technology/ and he points to two other blogs, one titled “I Don’t Have the Time” (http://edge.ascd.org/_I-DON39T-HAVE-TIME/blog/6485399/127586.html ) and the other titled “Professionals Making Time For Learning” ( http://www.thenerdyteacher.com/2013/01/professional-make-time-for-learning.html ). Both bloggers make some valid points about taking the time to learn and update skillsets. Take a look if you get the time! 🙂

ClassDojo – Recently, I was visited by Kathryn Bott about a recently revamped iPad app called ClassDojo. In her description she stated that she was easily able to set up her classes on the app and that it made for a much more interactive experience between her and her students. Basically the app will acknowledge good behavior while encouraging classroom participation. You can have both positive and negative behavior categories (multiple categories under each so you can easily reference WHY you gave the behavior). Most importantly, each student has a customizable ‘character’ which they can see how their progress is. Check out a quick article about it here: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/02/using-class-dojo-to-motivate-your.html and find the app for download here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/classdojo-for-teachers/id552602056?mt=8 It appears that it will be available for Android systems soon as well.

This American Life (Part 2) – To complete the story of Harper High School in Chicago, Ira Glass and team return to their previous stories of the school to give us some resolution on how things turned out. From 2011 – 2012, 29 students of the school were shot resulting in the death of 8 of them. You can check out the second part of the story here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/488/harper-high-school-part-two and if you missed it last week you can check out the first part of the story here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/487/harper-high-school-part-one . If you’ve ever wondered one of the easiest ways to listen to Podcasts, check out the App called Stitcher available on all types of devices at: http://stitcher.com/  I have used it for years and it is, by far, one of my most used apps as I listen to it on the way to work every day.

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