Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

     ....and what a year it has been!  I continue to be amazed at the pace of change in respect to technological innovations.  What the future holds without Steve Jobs remains to be seen.  Sure there will be continue to be breakthroughs, faster processors, and smaller devices, but what about the cool factor?   As the owner of an IPod, IPhone 4S, IPad and MacBook Air, I can't imagine anything being developed in the near future that will be cooler than each in these devices in terms of the "jobs" they are designed to do.
     On this New Year's Eve, I felt compelled to post the Think Different commercial produced by Apple that captured Steve's vision.  I could watch it over and over.  Enjoy it and as you consider your New Year's Resolutions, remember to resolve to increase the technology experiences being provided to students in our schools.  Our kids deserve to have access to the same stuff we got this year for Christmas, no?
      Thanks to everyone for following my blog this year.  Since its launch in April, it has had over 9,600 page views, well over a 1,000 a month.  We should go over 10,000 page views in the next few weeks.   Please continue to pass along our link to folks interested in our work. Happy New Year to all and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Digital Christmas Story

You have to check out this video!

What would happen if Jesus were born in today's digital age?  While the story would remain the same, how the news is spread would definitely change.  Hats off to the creative folks who put this video together.  It truly captures how digitally connected we have become in almost everything we do.  Have fun with the video and have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Talk About Your Virtual Field Trip!

Going places you'll never be able to go to.  Seeing things you might never see.  Ah, the power of technology!  Although I agree with the TV commercial saying you "have to get out there", for some of our kids, and us for that matter, there are so many things we will never have the chance to experience and far away places we will never see, unless of course we hook up with Darren and Sandy Van Soye who are embarking on a 400-day around-the-world journey to raise geo-literacy in K-12 students.  They start their journey in January.  I think our kids would love to follow their travels, and heck they might even learn something along the way.  You can check them out at:

Monday, December 19, 2011

So What is a Digital Native?

I can't believe only 9,000+ people have viewed this video.  In You Tube terms, you might as well not even exist.  I think it captures the essence of today's learner and also challenges us to think differently.  The post is less than a year old, but check out the cell phones, or should I say cell phone-asaurus in one of the images.  Things are changing so darn fast.  Are you?

Check it out at:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

IPad 3 and/or Mini IPad Releases

Have you heard about the New IPad 3 scheduled for release early next year?  There is a lot of talk about the IPad 3, as well as possible release of a smaller IPad.  I'd be first in line for an IPad Mini.  As much as I like working with IPods in our classrooms, I hate having to pull out my glasses to read the screen or enlarge the text to the point I can't read a whole line of text.  Check out the latest rumors at:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Goodnight IPad - A Modern Twist on Goodnight Moon

Once in a while I have to post something just because it's cute.  This video is not only cute, but speaks volumes to how tuned in, turned on, plugged in, connected, and logged on all of us have become, most notably, our children.  It's a remake of one of my favorite children's stories, Goodnight Moon.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Have you checked out YouTube for Educators yet?  You can choose from the hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube EDU created by more than 600 partners like the Smithsonian, TED, Steve Spangler Science, and Numberphile without having to worry about your system's filters which is some cases block content that you and your kids would really like to get access to.  Check out the mindshift article here:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Leap Pad or IPod?

$200+ for a $99 plastic toy that you have to insert cartridges in to expand?   And people are paying it, left and right.  I really do love capitalism, don't get me wrong.  I'm just mad at myself for not buying a case of them on Black Friday.  To all of those parents willing to fork out over $200 dollars for $99 toy, consider an IPod.  Invest in a OtterBox to protect the screen and go wild at the App Store downloading dozens of free apps.  You'll even find 11 Dora Explorer Apps with the most expensive being $2.99, much cheaper than the $19.99 plastic cartridge variety.  Okay, Apple, I want 10% from every IPod you sell as result of this post.  Okay, I'll take one ITunes download.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Smartphones Lead to More Study Time

A recent study from online student assistance site StudyBlue, found students with access to smartphones studied material for classes approximately 40 minutes more per week than students without access to a smartphone. This figure was tabulated from the combined data of nearly one million StudyBlue users over the Fall 2011 semester.   Check it out at:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

eKids - The Key to Transforming Education

Eureka! It was so simple and so right in my face that I completely missed it!  What a fool I've been!

For years now, we've been, as John Mayer sings, "waiting for the world to change."  One of the reasons technology integration continues to move at a snail's pace is folks charged with "driving the bus" aren't necessarily the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to their own use of technology, and many lack the vision in terms of how technology could transform education.  Can we really expect folks who grew up with rabbit ears on their TV's and phones connected to the wall with a wire to envision what the 21st century world and classroom might look like?  Who really "gets it?" The kids, of course.  What if we trusted them drive the bus, even if they aren't old enough to get their license yet?  Surely you have asked a kid in your classroom, or maybe even your own kid, for tech advice.  Maybe it's time we felt comfortable asking even more of them?

Check out this article about a school system outside of Cincinnati piloting a program entitled, eKids (eLearning Kids in Demand):

Sunday, December 4, 2011

BYOT Comes to East Tennessee

Having attended college in Greeneville, Tennessee, (and I loved every minute of it!) I would hesitate to characterize the area as either forward thinking or innovative. That being said, check out the article in the Kingsport Times News about a number of BYOT taking place in their schools.  The BYOT wave continues to build momentum.  When is is coming to a neighborhood like mine?  I stopped holding my breath months ago....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Apps for Mobile Devices

Well, EmbedIt finally decided to cooperate last night.  The website allowed me to embed my article that was published in the most recent copy of the Journal of Special Education Technology (JSET).  The article is entitled, Evaluating the Effectiveness of Apps for Mobile Devices, and outlines the rationale I used to develop the IPod App Rubric being used by so many of you around the world. Reading the piece may help to improve inter-rater reliability when more than one person is rating the same app.   If you would like to read the article you can find it here: