Saturday, November 14, 2009


Today five members of the TN LC gathered at Gresham Middle School with a wonderful group of teachers to teach them more about integrating DE Streaming into their classrooms. The first quarter was lead by Sally. She helped guide the teachers through the basics of DE Streaming with the help of Carole. Tina began the second quarter with the teachers adding The Builders to their playbooks. The second half began with Tim sharing some exciting plays built around the advanced search function, Web 2.0 tools such as Voicethread and Animoto, and HTML embed codes. The fourth quarter ended our day with information on the DEN, becoming a STAR, and door prizes.

Thank you to Gresham Middle for hosting us for the day. The school has a lot of charm and history while still providing the students with the tools to be successful. I was impressed, not only with the facility, but what the teachers did to help bring a sense of community to the school. Below is an Animoto of the chairs that the art teacher worked on with her students--they are now placed throughout the library for students and parents to enjoy for a long time to come. Thanks again!

Monday, October 26, 2009


On October 24th approximately sixty educators gathered at Lake Forest Middle School for A Day of Discovery in conjunction with the Fall Virtual Conference (you can check out the archives here). What a fantastic day!

It began with a keynote from Discovery's own Justin Karkow. The attendees then had the option of attending one of three breakout sessions. One strand was designed for administrators, instructional coaches, and library media specialists. In the second strand educators had the opportunity to learn the basics of DE Streaming, how to use Promethean Boards effectively in their classrooms, and all about the DEN. The final breakout room ran the Virtual Conference sessions. And just in case the attendees felt like they needed to practice what they had learned or just needed some time to decompress, a computer playground was opened for them.

The day was fantastic! To top it all off Discovery sent a film crew in to document the day. The video is fantastic and captured the day beautifully. Hope to see you at our next event!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NSBA's and T+L's "20 to Watch" 2009

I just returned from the National School Boards Association Technology + Learning Conference in Denver, CO where I was very honored to be named one of NSBA’s “20 to Watch“. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the other winners including Dyane Smokorowski of Kansas and Robert Miller of Port Orange, Florida.

Brian Nichols, principal, of Newport News Public Schools and I had a great discussion on co-teaching practices. Knox County has just embarked on an endeavor to expose children who receive special education services to more of the general education curriculum, and co-teaching is the model we are using. Brian's school has been using the model for some time, and I am excited at the prospects of what we can do together.

Michael Baker, On-Line Learning Coordinator, South Side Area School District, Pennsylvania, is certainly passionate about what his district is doing, and we discovered that we have many personal PLN connections.

Eighteen of the twenty were at T+L, but with all we were doing, we still didn't have the opportunity to connect as much as I would have liked. I hope to continue the discussions we started in Denver and begin new ones.

Monday, October 19, 2009


The Discovery Educator Network's Fall Virtual Conference is right around the corner. What's a virtual conference you ask? The conference is one where you can attend from home in the comfort of your favorite loungeware of pajamas via webinar, or you can choose to attend one of the live events hosted by one of the Discovery Educator Network's Leadership Councils.

The experts from Discovery Education will be bringing more tech knowledge than your brain may be able to handle in one day. Check out the virtual sessions here or register for a live event near you. One more thing, prizes! Dress as your favorite Discovery Channel personality and have a chance to win a Flip Camera. "See" you there!


The next wave of We Are Teachers Microgrant opportunities is here for classroom teachers. The microgrant provides $200 and a Flip Video Camera to the recipients. Applications are being accepted until October 31st. You have until Halloween eve at 5PM CST to get your grant in. What is the topic this round you ask? Special Education. Project ideas will be posted for community voting which ends on November 17, 2009. Winners will be announced on November 19th. Good luck and happy grant writing!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Our county is looking at adopting TransMath from Cambium Learning and Sopris West as an alternative to those students who have struggled in mathematics during their elementary years. The program is being piloted in four of our middle schools this year, and over the past two days we have been through training on the program.

The program looks as if it provides alternatives to the traditional models of mathematics instruction, but also appears to be a highly scripted program. Does anyone have any experience with this program? Thoughts, comments, and suggestions are highly appreciated.