MSM 151 Praecaveo Probo Magister!


While eating in an expensive restaurant, a patron overhead the gentleman at the next table ask the waitress to pack the leftovers for their dog. It was then that his young son exclaimed loudly, “Whoopee! We’re going to get a dog.”

A preacher was standing at the pulpit giving his Sunday sermon when a note was passed to him. The only word written on the sheet was IDIOT. Looking up at the congregation, the preacher smiled and said: I have heard of men who write letters and forget to sign their names but this is the first time I will see a man sign his name and forget to write the letters.

On Our Mind:

Feedback from our Listeners.

From our Listeners:

Shawn & Troy

This is a LONG OVERDUE note of appreciation for the fabulous job you do with your MSM podcast.  I’ve been subscribed to it via iTunes since you started and wouldn’t miss it.  Congratulations to you both on 150 shows, wow that’s a real achievement!  I’ve listened to you getting better and better over the years until now you are very professional.  The jokes are a fun touch.  My limit is knock knock jokes.

Why do I like your podcast so much?
1. It’s a conversation between yourselves and us the listeners
2. It guides me to news items and sites I wouldn’t otherwise get to but not only that, you explain their value and where they can be useful.
3. You have an opinion and are prepared to express it.
4. You discuss the professional literature, highlight reports and books you’ve read.  This I really like.  I’m presently ordering Rework by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
5. The feedback from Twitter is good. (I’ve found you and now follow you myself)
6. Love the app recommendations.
7. You finish up every podcast with all your contact details.  So why did I take so long to get around to this email …………. that’s why I’m ordering Rework!

All the best from the land of fire and floods — Australia.  Hopefully the plague that has hit Texas in funding cuts this week will not come to you.

Thank you again


Graphics programs aren’t simply for just editing your photos—they can have whatever fun application you can think of. For a fun, geeky project, here’s a simple papercraft toy you can make with a printer and simple household tools.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


From the Twitterverse:

*EdWeekTeacher Living in Dialogue: Teachers Beware: They are Coming for Our Pensions
*krbiles RT @shannonmmiller: How are you using @Edmodo? Educators from around the world share their ideas @lionirons42
*DanielBeylerian Teachers’ Status? RT @CSCorganization: Apparently current gen. of kids better w/ their technology than actual life skools
*cfanch @heymsvalasquez think I’m going to write a blog post about our new collaboration evals @funkdaddytweet came up with. He gets the cred tho
*Larryferlazzo RT @brainpicker: 10 games that make you think about life
*Learngamer Test prep-Essay, write concise introduction & conclusion, bulk of your time should be answering the question. Make it fun
*shighley From my alma mater Test-Taking Cements Knowledge Better Than Studying- Hmmm
*markbarnes19 Free Technology for Teachers: 42 Tasks – A Free Task Management Tool
*Orange23 “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you can’t always be sure of their authenticity.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
*edmodo Edmodo Blog: More Inspiration: 7 brand new ideas from teachers
* drmmtatom “Alone Together”: An MIT Professor’s Book Urges Us to Unplug via @fastcompany #fhuedu610 @MSMatters INTERESTING
* The Choice 2.0 Technology Integration Checklist via @educationweek #fhucid @msmatters
* Snag Films Introduces an #iPad App #fhucid @msmatters


Success of College-Readiness Intervention Hard to Gauge

Stubbornly high college remediation rates have revealed a painful equation: High school completion does not equal college readiness. That disconnection has prompted national leaders to focus like never before on figuring out how to ensure that high school graduates are truly ready to succeed in college. In that quest, a California program is often cited as a role model.

“We’ve gone from a system [of state tests] that looks backward, asking how well we did, to one that looks ahead, asking if we have really gotten students ready for college,” said Douglas McRae, who helped design the state’s tests in the 1990s. “That’s a big mindset shift.”

One part of that work is in carrying out new common academic standards that were written to reflect college-level skills and have been adopted fully or provisionally by all but seven states. Another part lies with two big groups of states that are collaborating to design new tests for those standards. Leaders of those efforts cite the EAP as a model as they endeavor to fold elements of it into work they hope will ultimately make college remediation unnecessary: aligning K-12 study and tests to college expectations, creating a feedback loop to inform learning, and providing supports to students and teachers.

Predictions for 2011

  1. Textbooks are dead! For real this time!
  2. Assessment will be comprehensive and constant!
  3. 1:1 becomes BYOT!
  4. Facebook will be encouraged!
  5. Students will surf away (kind of)!
  6. The end of testing is nigh!
  7. Students forced to use phones in class!
  8. Content will be free for all, all the time!
  9. Students will learn outside of school!
  10. All data become compatible—globally!


Reform Symposium

This worldwide education conference will take place on January 8 (and 9th depending on your location), 2011.  The conference is free to attend from the comfort of your home or anywhere you have Internet access!  The Reform Symposium offers the opportunity to connect and learn with educators and professionals in the field of education worldwide. Over 2,400 educators from 59 countries attended our last conference in July! This year the conference will focus on interactive presentations that help teachers with creating engaging classrooms and lessons, building relationships with students, improving literacy, working with interactive whiteboards, and much more!  We look forward to 2 keynote speakers, 18 presentations, an open discussion on classroom management, a panel discussion on parental engagement, a mentor program, and an open lab for hands-on support in helping you continue your professional development in online educator communities.  You have never attended a conference quite like this one!  Join us by registering below for the conference and start connecting and participating now! View the linked video for help. If you need more help with the room links, registering and more please visit us all day in the Open Lab where someone will be available throughout the entire conference to help you!

Web Spotlight:

Doodle for Google:

Welcome to Doodle 4 Google, a competition where we invite K-12 students to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see. At Google, we believe that dreaming about future possibilities leads to tomorrow’s leaders and inventors, so this year we’re inviting U.S. kids to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, “What I’d like to do someday…”
Whether students want to find a cure for cancer or take a trip to the moon, it all starts with art supplies and some 8.5″ x 11″ paper. And, one lucky student artist will take home a $15,000 college scholarship and $25,000 technology grant for their school, among many other prizes.
Registration closes at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on March 2, 2011, and entries must be postmarked by March 16, 2011 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT). The winning doodle will be featured on our homepage on May 20, 2011.

Qwiki’s goal is to forever improve the way people experience information.
Whether you’re planning a vacation on the web, evaluating restaurants on your phone, or helping with homework in front of the family AppleTV, Qwiki is working to deliver information in a format that’s quintessentially human – via storytelling instead of search.
We are the first to turn information into an experience. We believe that just because data is stored by machines doesn’t mean it should be presented as a machine-readable list. Let’s try harder.
Think of asking your favorite teacher about Leonardo Da Vinci, or your most well-traveled friend about Buenos Aires: this is the experience Qwiki will eventually deliver, on demand, wherever you are in the world… on whatever device you’re using.
We’ve all seen science fiction films (or read novels) where computers are able to collect data on behalf of humans, and present the most important details. This is our goal at Qwiki – to advance information technology to the point it acts human.
Currently, Qwiki’s technology has been applied to describe millions of popular topics – but soon we’ll do much more. Our team needs your help in reaching our goal: join our private alpha now to help test Qwiki and shape the future.

Events & Happenings:

Calendar of Events:

NMSA News:

Other News:

  • ISTE Eduverse Talks are the recorded sessions held on ISTE Island every week. Join ISTE in their Second Life conference location for their weekly talks on education.
    • The ISTE Special Interest Group:  Virtual Environments is holding meetings on Mondays from 4:00 – 6:00 pm (SLT) on ISTE Island.
  • The Ohio Middle Level Association will hold their annual conference February 17 – 18, 2011.
  • Second Life:
    • Regular Tuesday meetings are scheduled. See the board on the ISTE Island for up to the minute details.  Check frequently this week as the ISTE Annual Convention is this week.
    • Video: Educational Uses of Second Life