MSM 471: This is Getting Out of Hand! Tinkering with Conferences.


I just got over my passion for chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts.

  • I won’t lie, it was a Rocky Road.

My bank called to let me know that I had an outstanding balance. 

  • I told them “Thanks, I used to do gymnastics”. It was nice of them to notice and say. 

Whoever came up with the word dentures really missed an opportunity to call the substitooths. 

I have a friend who just went to work in a factory making plastic statues of Dracula. There are only two of them at a time. 

  • So, she really has to make every second count. 

I have a friend who can communicate with vegetables.

  • Apparently Jack and the Beans talk

Did you hear about the dog who gave birth to puppies on the side of the road?

  • She was ticketed for littering.

Did you hear about the man who was shot 200 times with an upholstery gun?

  • He’s now “fully recovered”

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Middle School Science Minute: Tinkering vs. Engineering

I was recently reading the February 2020 issue of “Science and Children,” a publication of the National Science Teaching Association. 

In this issue, I read the Editor’s Note Section written by Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn.  The title of the article was “Tinkering vs. Engineering.”

Tinkerers see possibilities beyond the prescribed or conventional use of things.  Engineers work within a framework of solving problems, with imposed limitations and within guidelines.  But whether we use the term tinkerer or engineer we need to encourage students to think creatively as they design solutions.

Reports from the Front Lines

  •  Conferences
    • Apple
    • Educational?
    • MoodleMoot Global Online 2020 
      • Interesting keynote comment, predicting the return of the “Guru” to education.  Imagine a world where the teacher develops and fine-tunes a curriculum and then travels from institution to institution or multiple institutions at the same time and the students follow the guru to the various institutions . . . 
    • Badges
      • Gamification king - Moodlemoot global 2020
  • Experts
    • District
    • Outsiders
  • Failing
    • Formula 409, Edison and the Lightbulb Story, Post-IT Notes

The Twitterverse

Catlin Tucker @Catlin_Tucker

Offline Choice Boards: How Are You Integrating Offline Learning into Your Online Class? – #edchat

Emily Fɾαɳƈιʂ @emilyfranESL

My teacher bookshelf Vs Betsy DeVos’ bookshelf — and she’s making the decisions on how we should teach

#GetAbook #GetEducated


You can send books to the Secretary of Education at Secretary of Education DeVos, 400 Maryland Ave SW, Washington D.C. 20202  

Matt Miller @jmattmiller

30+ digital escape rooms (plus a step by step guide for creating your own)

30+ FREE digital escape rooms you can use TOMORROW!

Step-by-step instructions for creating your own.  A planning template to get you started… #ditchbook

Jack Berckemeyer @JBerckemeyer

Larry Kudkow announced that getting kids back to school is easy! You can social distance kids it’s easy! Has he been in a middle school classroom with 28 kids? Shake head back and forth – repeat several times!

Look for your host, Todd Bloch, to have a middle school topic all ready to go at #mschat!  Make it a strategic part of your personal professional development.  



To support educators and parents during extended school closures, ISTE and EdSurge have curated a list of free tools and resources as well as an Educator Help Desk where experts will answer your online learning questions.


Lumi H5P Desktop Editor

Edit your H5P content on your desktop with the Lumi app.  Don’t need to be connected to the internet to work on differentiating your online content.

Moodle Tool Guide

This online chart tells you which tool to use for which desired outcome, the level of difficulty, and how Bloom’s ties in to the activity.

How To Protect Yourself

Web Spotlight:  

8 Ideas to Engage Students Online

1. Sort It Out

2. Online Fishbowl

3. Expert Group Investigations

4. Collaborative Annotations

5. Google Map Adventures

6. Spotify Playlist

7. Scavenger Hunts

8. Online Discussions

A New, Antiracist Canon – Suggested Texts

A word of caution: “A New, Antiracist Canon” is a list of texts designed to highlight the work and voices of BIPOC artists, as well as to help teachers address some of the tough questions of history, justice, and racism. Some texts contain violence, sex, and offensive language, including use of the N-word. Educators should carefully preview any resource before using it to ensure it is appropriate for their classroom, school, and population. They should also ensure they have antiracist training and experience, as well as administrative permission, before selecting more mature texts for their curriculum. To learn more about how this list was developed and what antiracist education is, please see the Letter of Explanation.

University cheating might be up — but don’t just blame students

As universities and colleges shift classes online during the COVID-19 pandemic, some experts are warning instructors to change their teaching approach in order to curb a perceived rise in cases of suspected cheating.

“There’s so many things [instructors] have to adapt to and they’re not sure how to do that. They tend to rely on the solutions that worked in the classroom setting,” said Skidmore. “You have to develop assessment strategies that are better suited to an online environment.”

Random Thoughts . . .  

Personal Web Site  

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