MSM 170 Football Fields, ISTE, Tweet Me.

Jokes You Can Use:

What goes up and never comes down?
Your age

1 egg takes 5 minutes to boil. How long do 10 eggs take to boil?
The same 5 minutes.

How many times does a tailor have to cut 100 yards of cloth to get 100 equal pieces?
99 times. You don’t cut the last piece, it is already there

What side of the teacup is the handle on?
I really don’t know the answer

Which is heavier? 1 pound of hay or 1pound of metal.
They both weigh a pound

Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers, Peter piper picked. If Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peckers, how many pickels did Peter piper picked? How many Ps are there in THAT?
None…T..H…A…T…..there are NO P’s in the word THAT

What has 100 eyes and cannot see?
A potato

Two Indians standing on a bridge. One is the father of the other ones son. What is the relation between the two Indians?
Mother and Father

What has NO legs and CAN run?

On Our Mind:

ISTE 2011 (#iste11)
The problems with skipping a show

Eileen Award

Gabe Walker & Michael Cohen


BBC – Witness

Witness – history as told by the people who were there. Five days a week we will be talking to people who lived through moments of history to bring you a personal perspective on world events.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

In this podcast, I look at the ELA Reading Common core for grades 6-8 and see how they apply to science.  This is the first in a three part series.  It focuses in on Key Ideas and Details.

From the Twitterverse:

*MSMatters Shawn & Troy “Treating students as only test scores is the worst form of identity theft.” -Dr. Stephen Covey at #iste11
*deangroom DeanGroom If ya cant build a community, build a creepy treehouse and pretend its a community. After all, its all about you anyway.
*pernilleripp Pernille Ripp Did you know Banana Republic offers a 15% discount for teachers? I didn’t
*chubbuch Chris Hubbuch Attended a powerful session yesterday on improving our presentations. Reminds me of this via @geraldaungst #edchat
*carolynstarkey Carolyn Starkey Updated LiveBinder: School Librarians and the Common Core State Standards: Resources #aslachat
*kbkonnected Karen Bolotin 45 recorded sessions from #ISTE – via @dsmacdonald I’m listening to @dmantz @livebinders right now. Awesome…
*scottmerrick Scott Merrick #iste11@scottmerrick… for ustream archive of our fine 1st annual SIGVE Machinima Festival. New faces there! Thx, KC!
*web20classroom Steven W. Anderson RT @dataliberation: We’re happy to announce The Data Liberation Front’s revolutionary new product, Google…
*sccsdtechjodee Jo Dee Weltz Adam Bellow: ironic we get our “PD” from Twitter and YouTube, yet we block it in our schools #ISTE11
*cyberteacher Stephanie Madlinger RT @adambellow All new FREE eduTecher apps available now for iPhone, iPad & Android! Check out & enjoy! #education #iste11 #edtech #edchat
*elemenous Lucy Gray Mobile Learning Finds (Apple iOS) (weekly): – Hipstamatic Combination Chart Chart…
*kjarrett Kevin Jarrett RT @isteconnects: New Post: Web 2.0 Tools Smackdown: Ideas and Resources from EduBloggerCon 2011 #ebc11 #iste11
*courosa Alec Couros “9 Presentation Apps for the iPad”
*gret Greta Sandler Webcasts and Keynotes from #ISTE11 by @rmbyrne #edchat
*edmodo Edmodo Recovered from #ISTE11? EdmodoCon2011 – Call for presentations opens tomorrow! August 10th, Global virtual conference –details to come.

Don’t forget to join the conversation on MiddleTalk and Twitter at #midleved this Friday at 8:00 pm EST.


University of the People

University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first tuition-free online university
dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education.
The University embraces the worldwide presence of the Internet and dropping technology costs to bring tuition-free academic programs within reach to millions of people around the world.
With the support of academic leadership from top universities and a student body comprised of students from over 115 countries, UoPeople has become a tuition-free higher education global leader.
Currently, University of the People offers the following four undergraduate degrees: Associate (A.S.-B.A.) and Bachelor (B.S.-B.A.) degrees in Business Administration and Associate (A.S.-C.S.) and Bachelor (B.S.-C.S.) degrees in Computer Science.
It should be noted that unless and until University of the People receives state licensing, it will be unable to grant degrees to graduating students.

What’s the Best Way to Grade Teachers?

By Kristina Rizga| Wed Jun. 29, 2011 11:35 AM PDT

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, because we do know that while poverty accounts for much of students’ achievement gap, within a school, teachers make a bigger difference than any other variable.
Elden’s suggests that education reformers spend more time talking with teachers to avoid unintended consequences like firing teachers who want to work with the most challenging students. Hire teachers from diverse backgrounds and varying viewpoints to develop these systems, not just policy wonks or teacher union reps, she says. “Realize that schools are deeply collaborative communities and setting up competition will not always be the best thing for the kids.”

First Digital Only Textbook:

CINCH, is a cloud-based curriculum for K-12 math and 7-12 science. It makes all course materials, which include ebooks, presentations, assessments and animation clips, available from any device with a browser. Students in a class can also participate in Facebook-like conversations that stay with the text. “We’re trying to meet students and teachers where they’re at digitally,” Stansell says.

The many health perks of good handwriting

Not only does it help the brain develop, it can also improve grades and confidence
Emerging research shows that handwriting increases brain activity, hones fine motor skills, and can predict a child’s academic success in ways that keyboarding can’t.
Handwriting can change how children learn and their brains develop. IU researchers used neuroimaging scans to measure brain activation in preliterate preschool children who were shown letters. One group of children then practiced printing letters; the other children practiced seeing and saying the letters. After four weeks of training, the kids who practiced writing showed brain activation similar to an adult’s, said James, the study’s lead researcher. The printing practice also improved letter recognition, which is the No. 1 predictor of reading ability at age 5.,0,5764943.story


ISTE Online:

Free PD for you.  What happens at ISTE . . . goes social:


Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational games and exercises via smartphones and tablets. Our apps are super simple and take seconds to load and run. Teachers control the questions and games on their laptop, while students respond and interact through their smartphones/laptops. Run it as an app or on any web browser.
Currently free. No mention of what prices will be once it is out of beta.

Weaving History

Create ‘factlets’ — places, people, events — and string them together into ‘threads’ at the click of a button.Automatically visualize the results temporally and spatially, search by any attribute, automatically import Wikipedia articles and much more …
Very bare bones currently. It’s reliance on Wikipedia could cause some problems for schools (but maybe not).
Potential to be exciting and useful for students and teachers.

Web Spotlight:


You sing the lyrics, it figures out the tune.  Even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket, sing into the mic and it comes up with the music to go along with it.  Anybody can become a musician with this app.  Think of it as your answer to the kid who says, “You can’t make a song out of that!”  Now you can.

ISTE 2011

Led by Scott Meech

Kenilworth School District has been piloting it with 8th graders.
No spike in behavior issues, let the kids bring ’em in as an expansion of current policy.
As they refreshed the teacher devices, they moved those into use for student use.
They put all the stuff in the cloud  and got rid of individual student folders on the drive.
Kerns High School did a tech initiative:  What devices?
Kenilworth SD used them mostly with executive functioning.
Use for RTI:  Pushing notifications to the kids who need the executive functions piece.
Jim Gates:  Statewide video conference on BYOD (PA)
Even through allowed to bring devices in, students didn’t want to.
Fear of being stolen
When allowed, it changed the dynamic, expectations changed lesson design and desire to bring it to class.
How did you get past the IT wanting control?
We don’t control other things (paper, magazines, etc.) why control this?
How would you start?
Approach:  How do we want the kids to use this?
3-5 years out we will probably be talking about how in the world were we worried about this stuff?
Return on Investment:  Are we at the tipping point where it is more expensive to manage it rather than allow it  and educate on how to use it?
School didn’t get rid of all technology that they had, they are using the BYOD for executive functions (time management, calendars, etc.)
What about renting/subsidizing devices?
The opening of iOS will open the use of these in education.
The kids will get around a filtering system.  It comes down to learning respect for the system and responsible use.
How Paul R. Woods got it in his district:
Install wireless first.
Students can bring in their own machines, but they must allow the school to put their proxies on their machines.
If kids try to get around it, the network locks their screen and they have to see the building tech person to get it unlocked again.
How did you get teachers on board?
First year:  bring your device in and allow our techs to look at it.
Following years:  pick an electronic textbook.
The school bought the licensing for all the books on all the devices.
The best way to get teachers involved is to let the kids use it and then let them ask the teachers that don’t use it if they can use it in their classroom.
BYOD is a better way to sustain a 1 to 1 program.  District provided computers are an unsustainable way to provide tech.
Find schools that are doing this successfully and then going to the IT department.
Get administrators on your side before going to IT department.
There is some risk going forward:
3-2-1 Rule:  Save in 3 different spots.
Create a safe place to fail in to create buy-in with your staff/admin/tech.  Cloud storage for $1.00 per year.
@paulrwood on Twitter.!/paulrwood
Scott McLeod (
UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE)

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.

Ohio Middle Level Association:

Michigan Association of Middle School Educators

  • 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