Monday, January 30, 2012

What Do You Mean, Not Everyone Loves BYOD?

I came across this article about students in Temecula, California being allowed to use cell phones in their classrooms, with teacher permission of course.  I continue to be encouraged to read about innovative school systems who are taking a leap of faith to take advantage of the technology many of our students are carrying around in their pockets.  I think, given the current economic times, BYOD makes a lot sense.  Apparently not everyone agrees.  You have to check out the reader's comments at the bottom of this article.  It's kind of shocking, but also enlightening to realize BYOD might be an uphill battle, one worth fighting, though.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The State of the APP Market

There's nothing like a professional conference to get you re-energized.  I just returned to the East Coast after presenting at the NAEYC Conference in Chicago.  What a great organization they have out there in the Chicago Metro Area. Hats off to Gail Conway and Brian Puerling for their roles in organizing the event.  I would highly recommend attending anything they put together in the future.  As part of my presentation in Chicago, I included a recently published article (January 2012) from the Sesame Street Cooney Center which examined the content of the education category of the ITunes Store.  It makes for a most interesting read. The thing that struck me the most was how many app developers are targeting preschoolers and toddlers.  There is so much work that needs to be done in order to identify the most effective ways to use mobile technology with our youngest students.  I'll be sharing my thinking about technology and early childhood education in upcoming posts.  For now, check out the article below:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Greetings from Chicago!

I'm presenting a session on Leadership Issues related to Mobile Technology at the Chicago Metro Area NAEYC Conference this morning.  Over 5,000 folks are here sharing their passion for early childhood education.  I'll post my presentation on their conference website in the coming weeks and I'll share a link if you are interested in reviewing the presentation.  Once I get back East I'll have some cool posts of new learning this week.  Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BYOD with a Bullitt (As in Kentucky that is)

Bullitt Kentucky Schools- another school system jumps on the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) train.  Recognizing the need for students to have cutting edge technology while trying to work within increasingly tight budgets for schools, Superintendent Keith Davis is encouraging parents to send their kids to school with their own computing devices.  You can check out the story in the Courier Journal below:|newswell|text||s

Monday, January 23, 2012

Apple Does It Again - E-Textbooks

Does it come as a surprise to anyone that Apple is leading the way again, this time with E-Textbooks.  With a son in college and one on the way, it could not have come soon enough.  Textbook companies have been making money hand over fist for years.  If I weren't such a capitalist, I would scream foul, but they were only making hay while the sun was shining.  The days of $200-$300 textbooks may be a thing of the past.  Not only will folks (school systems, students, and parents) save tons of money, but the books themselves are SOOO much cooler and can be easily updated as knowledge changes.  Thanks Apple for getting this ball rolling.  Now all we need is for the powers that be to do the right thing, not only financially, but more importantly educationally.  You can read two takes on the Apple E-Texts below:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

One-to-One Making a Huge Impact

Check out this story about River Dell Regional High School in Oradell, New Jersey.  Recognizing the need to engage kids in ways they are used to doing outside the classroom, this school, under the visionary leadership of Lorraine Brooks, Principal, committed to becoming a digital school.  Their tech director notes, it's not about the device , it's about the learning.  They really seem to get it and their rise in student achievement is remarkable.  Check out the story at:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Can anyone really compete with the MacBook Air?

A number of companies have launched, "ultra-laptops" intended to go after the MacBook audience.  Really?  Anyone out there that owns a MacBook Air knows it about so much more than the "fashionista" factor.  It's not just how thin it is, it's the speed, operating system, software, and intuitiveness. As an Air owner, you'll have to pry my fingers off mine before I would consider the new HP, Dell, or Vizio laptops.  To the latest release of look-alikes - good luck catching up with Apple.  It's a tall order.   You can read the Business Week article here:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

BYOD in Texas - Yee-Ha!

BYOD (Bring your own device) or BYOT (Bring your own technology) is catching on across the country.  Maybe it should be BYOMAD (Bring your own more advanced device).  Chances are, the devices kids are being allowed to use in school are superior to the technologies that currently exist in their classrooms.  Is this BYOT movement a result of the current economic conditions impacting school budgets or the result of forward thinking district administrators?  Who cares?  It makes sense and I'm hoping more school systems in the coming school year see the benefits.  Here is a link about a school system in Texas that is saving $150,000 by allowing kids to bring their own technology into their schools. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What does the future hold? 2012 Trends

Blogger Audrey Watters presents her thoughts about education tech trends in this post on MindShift.  Mobile, anytime, anywhere learning tops her list (and mine too!).  Glad to see my personal assistant, Siri made the list as well.  Audrey truly nails each of the trends and their potential impact in our schools.  Thanks for sharing your insights Audrey! You can check out her post at:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Apps for ADHD? Could you repeat that? I wasn't paying attention...

As a person with ADHD, unmedicated for most of my life until I finally figured out the saying better living through chemistry was really true, I was encouraged to run across this piece from fellow blogger Vicki Windman.  Vicki is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South in Michigan.  After years of failure in elementary and middle school, I have been fortunate over the years to learn how to use my ADHD to my advantage, but many of our kids with ADHD may not be as lucky.  If you work with kids with ADHD, you'll want to check out Vicki's post and look into some of her recommendations.  Thanks Vicki.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

IPads and Differentiation

Welcome to post 100 of I Teach Therefore IPod.  When I started this blog in April during a Tammy Worcester PD Session at the MSET Conference (a big shout out to the best Tech Staff Developer out there!), I never thought nine months and 10,000 page views from 76 countries later I would still be at it.  I've been inspired by the reach of the blog across the globe.  It's been a great example for my students about how one person's thinking can plant a seed that grows around the globe.  The app rubric that brought many of you to this site is being used in over 190 school systems, universities and agencies allover the world.  It's kind of freaky when you think about it.  Anyway, I'll continue blogging as long as you continue reading.  Thanks for following....

Now, today's post - A number of schools in the Olympia area of Washington State have adopted the use of IPads in some of their classrooms.  Are you frustrated with your district or school's progress in the adoption of the latest technology.  Be glad you are not in the North Thurston Public Schools (see article) - They are not using IPads "because they don't work with the district's technology system." Really?  At any rate the article highlights the work in several other districts.  My favorite part is where one teacher discusses how well the students take care of the IPads, something they originally worried about.  We have had the same experience with even our fourth and fifth graders. The treat them as if they were gold - they kind of are to them.  Her quote from the article - "They put them back where they're supposed to.  They never put French books back where they're supposed to."

Here is the link :

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Celebrate Good eTimes - Digital Learning Day!

Is your state one of the 27 who are celebrating Digital Learning Day on February 1, 2012.?  While my home state of Maryland is not (don't ask me why), we'll be celebrating technology at my school like its 2012.  Every day is a celebration of digital learning at our school.  IPod, YouPod, we all scream for IPods.  You can check out the press release from the Alliance for Excellent Education at: