#EduWin Weekly #003: The Social Networking Impact

This week we talk to Don Goble and the majority of the conversation surrounds recent #EduWin tweets that celebrate the successful impact of social networking in education from an event in St. Louis to student twitter accounts.

Show Host: Scott Meech and Michael Walker

Show contributors: Don Goble




Give us some feedback! Email eduwin@edreach.us to send us a note. Or leave a comment below. 

EduWin Weekly #2: Authentic Audience!

This week on EduWin Weekly: Michael Walker and Scott Meech talk with Tim Berndt about his use of Twitter with students and their successful #eduwin tweets.  He has another example of students using an authentic audience and getting in contact with some very interesting people!  We follow up on this with some more #Eduwin moments focused on authentic audiences.

Show Host: Michael Walker and Scott Meech

Show contributors: Tim Berndt

This week’s highlighted EduWins:

LOVE IT when students teach ME new things (scaling) in Autodesk Inventor. #edinaPLTW #eduwin http://t.co/4hjFPQnA
Tim Berndt
This is my #eduwin working with an amazing 1st grade teacher who understands the power of blogging w/ young students http://t.co/YgCZFumD
Elizabeth Greene
Today's #eduwin students are now teaching the willing teachers how to set up websites with Google Sites, even with some advanced features 2
Ken Shelton
Sounds like an #eduwin for this high school student http://t.co/vsrZTpni
Brendan Murphy


Give us some feedback! Email eduwin@edreach.us to send us a note. Or leave a comment below. 

EduWin Weekly #1: What’s this #EduWin thing?

This week on EduWin Weekly: Michael Walker and Scott Meech kickoff the first show with an interview of Judi Epcke about her weekly Edu-Winners Circle. While the first show included a lot of history regarding the history of EduWin, there was solid depth into several interesting #EduWin tweets.  We hope you enjoy the concept of this show as we try to highlight all of your EduWins!  This week we highlight @salinalong, @patberkshire, and @jenroberts along with several of our own.

Show Host: Michael Walker and Scott Meech

Show contributors: Judi Epcke

This week’s highlighted EduWins:

@. how about our 8th graders hosting our own "town hall" on bullying!
Total #EduWin: @ used #GoogleDocs to create this awesome virtual museum for students to use: https://t.co/iDNDR1mH #gct #TCSC
Jay Blackman
The short story of how another short story morphed it's way through our class yesterday. http://t.co/iuJC0x1T #EduWin #googlect #engchat
Jennifer Roberts

Give us some feedback! Email eduwin@edreach.us to send us a note. Or leave a comment below. 

iCreate vs. iConsumption

Many argue that the iPad is the premiere consumption device at this time but it isn’t very good at creating. Is that accurate? I tend to believe that the iPad is an amazingly creative device and the user is the only limit for the device. Creating on the iPad is different but it is an effective creation device. The very nature of the device itself and how we interface with it provide for a uniquely creative environment. Effectively creating on the iPad requires a different workflow from traditional computers. Once users get proficient with that workflow, the iPad’s truly becomes unlocked!

This was my presentation for the K12 Online Conference this year. Please push my thinking, advance upon my logic, or simply disagree with a positive conversation. Hopefully, my point comes across to think differently.

Need a New Year’s Resolution? … Try a Personalized Professional Development Plan!

Happy New Year everyone and good luck with those New Year’s resolutions.  I have a dozen resolutions myself, but I don’t want to change too much!  If I could get every educator to commit to one resolution, it would be to create a “Personalized Professional Development Plan.” While many dibble and dabble with online tools and social networks, I don’t think enough of us have a plan for organizing our learning with these tools.  Here is my framework for what I call the Lifelong Learning Approach that has helped many teachers.


Now, one of my many resolutions is to regularly publish material to help others build their plans based upon the Lifelong Learning Approach.  The Lifelong Learning Approach is a flexible framework that allows individuals to emphasize different aspects of the framework for themselves.   While I do believe in the Lifelong Learning Framework as is, the most important excercise is to simply reflect upon how you are using digital tools to learn.  I want everyone to create their own personalized framework!

Open Letter to Tech Experts … not working in Education! An Open Letter from EdReach #3

Dear Tech Experts (who do not work in education),

I love to read, listen and watch so many of you who review, discuss, and share the latest in technology. Your blogs and shows are so popular that you don’t need me to give you free advertising. Let’s just pretend that you know who you are!  Yes, I am one of your devoted fans who are an educational tech geek!

I write to you today because I want to challenge you and your thoughts on education.  Too often your posts, podcasts, and videos dip into educational topics and get it all wrong!  While I know that you are an expert in education because you attended school at some point, please know, that doesn’t actually make you an expert.

I challenge your understanding of how technology is implemented in schools and why technology isn’t disrupting education as much as you might expect.  Education is much more complex than your discussions tend appreciate.  Take a look at this discussion on TechCrunch sometime as I think it oversimplifies the discussion.  When you talk about education and technology, please understand there are fundamental differences with the private and business world.  Too often assumptions are made and half-truths are shared.  The wrong questions are asked and too often the answers are overly simplified!

Who am I to criticize?  I am a Director of Technology who loves his job and is working very hard every day to improve education.  I am focused on disrupting the establishment so to speak and am not one of your stopgaps.  Education may be the most over regulated industry and every person in our society is an expert by virtue of attending school sometime in their lifetime. We have so many experts and yet we have very few issues that we can all agree upon.  Fascinating …

Let me ask some questions …

How do you define a successful school? What is the purpose of our public school system? What specific criteria does a great teacher have to meet to be successful in today’s classroom? How do schools successfully provide open access to technology for students while at the same time dealing with government regulation? How do schools balance technology within a society that is based upon fear? How does schools balance implementing technology well within what many agree is the most litigious society on the planet? How do you properly assess student’s to get a holistic understanding of their needs?  What should every child know upon graduation?  Should every child go to college?  Is school for everyone?

Try to ask those same questions the next time you are at a work party, family gathering, or among others you know who generally disagree with your some of your fundamental principles.  How do you reform something that has so many passionate people involved with so many questions that we do not have answered?

Wait … I am just getting started …

Let’s take a look at a common question that educational technology experts are trying to answer.  What is the perfect one to one device for schools? Why? What platform? Tablet or laptop? What company? What does a one to one device need to do? What types of software would you put on it?

Can you answer those questions without defining what you want students to do with it?  What are the really important questions you need to ask before you go one to one?  What does one to one look like in a math class? Social studies class? Foreign language? Does this device help meet state mandated curriculum? Common Core standards? How do we assess the technology’s impact?  What criteria are you using to assess the impact?  What is the perfect device for all of those classroom environments?  Is there one device?  Are the expectations for a device the same as your average businessperson?  How many applications are on your typical “worker” laptop?  How many do you think we have on our student laptops? Why not turn everything over to the cloud?  Are cloud-based applications ready to replace installed applications?  How do we deal with licensing and user names?  How do you successfully teach in an over lapping online environment when student work can now apply for more than one class?  How do you assess when your work can apply across the curriculum with digital tools?  What kinds of responsibilities do teachers have when their classes are interacting with others online in formal and informal learning situations?  What is the value of informal learning with technology in comparison to formal learning with subject matter?

Just implement technology right?  Just do it Nike!  Students will be taking their official standardized assessments online by 2014.  More questions … How are we going to fund enough devices for kids to all take the test?  If you can’t afford one to one, how do you schedule that with labs or laptop carts?  How are we going to provide enough bandwidth for all school districts to successfully implement these tests properly?  Will the assessment company be ready for thousands or even millions of students to take these assessments during the same window of opportunity?  Does anyone else see horror stories coming about student’s tests failing in the middle so they have to start over from the beginning?  What platform is the test going to work on?  What device?  Will it have flash or be all HTML5?  Can these assessments be standard if they are done on different technical platforms?  Will schools have a built in blame factor because students had to take the test on 10 year old lab computers that could barely handle the assessment tool?  Do we need to emphasize keyboarding even more because kids have to type their answers?  Do we have to make sure that kids work daily on the “test device” so they are ready enough so that the device doesn’t impact their test scores?

Surely, these are easy questions and we can overcome all of this!  Are there other questions to be answered still about one to one?  Who owns the device? Filter or no filter? While you force open the online learning environment because you know it is best for learning, are you ready to deal with the difficult question from parents when their students are exposed to something very inappropriate online?  What are the legal ramifications for schools that are different than the work environment?

We haven’t asked enough of the technical questions.  Do you set up a wireless network the same in schools as you do in an office building?  Are there different requirements because of log-ons, network folders, and privacy requirements?  Is there a bigger impact between schools and businesses when it takes 2 to 3 minutes for students to log on to their device?  How long are classes?  How do you provide students proper access when they may be using a dozen different technology devices in a given school day including computer lab computers, laptop carts, interactive whiteboards, slates, iPads, iPod Touches, digital still and or video cameras, microphones and recording devices.

How do you provide access to the Internet for students at home? Who is responsible if their device is broken? What if your required software doesn’t work on your device or platform? How do you provide licensing for all of those devices properly? How do schools deal with the myriad of different licensing schemes that have been created with new platforms such as the iPad?  Can we provide teacher’s with apps in a personal account or does it have to be a school account?  Do we manage the devices or give free control to the user?

I have heard so many times, “Can’t I just buy the app for you, for the school?”. Is it really that easy?  How are those simple questions different in the business world and the education environment?  Speaking of donations, can’t you just drop off your 5 year old computers so students can use them at school?   Why are you getting rid of it again?  Who is stuck with recycling it after another year or two?  Certainly schools can use it even if you only have one technician for every 500 devices.  Are your technicians trained to fix everything from interactive whiteboards to sound system equipment in your auditorium?  Just get rid of the old technology and force your users to learn and stay up with the times. How do I tell the department heads that all of their previously made curriculum will not work with the new platform?

Let’s get bigger picture again … What do you do if some of your parents will not let their students use a district provided Internet connected device? What if some of your parents require paper copies and they refuse to let there children use the Internet? How do you encourage teachers to learn online and use social networking when many states have implemented rules and laws against their use under penalty of losing their teaching license?  How do you encourage teacher’s to engage in online learning when they are clearly set to a much different standard for behavior than most everyone else in society?  How do you share student and teacher work online so that it helps improve learning without setting up students and teachers for criticism and ridicule when mistakes are made in a rather unforgiving society?  How do you manage online information for children under 13 and CIPA and COPPA laws? Where do FOIA laws and rules apply for teacher machines and student communication?  How long do we need to archive any digital communication?  What is FOIAble period?

Please know that I love my job and I love trying to solve these problems and improve learning for kids. I know that we can and we will but please stop implying that reform is easy and that people are trying to prevent improvement simply because of old age or stubbornness.  I wake up every day excited to take on the challenges that we have but they are challenges that I think are unique.

As you criticize schools and why education has not been “disrupted”, learn more about educational technology. School networks and device requirements are unbelievably different from the business world.  I challenge any of you to come visit and hang out with me for a week to get a better understanding of our environment! Start asking tougher questions before you challenge your understanding of the status quo.

Let’s ask some more questions … How do you balance innovation with remembering that the experiment is with your kids and not lab rats? While business can lose profit, schools lose something much more valuable when something goes wrong … Time! How do you reform schools within a system that has several norms that clearly conflict with other core values? I wish we could provide a learning environment that allows students to master something during a school day before they are expected to move on to another subject or class?  Can schools work like that? What would you have to change to do this properly? How do you provide for the vast difference in user ability when you are working with highly gifted to severely disabled? How do you provide for the least restrictive environment while providing for what’s best systemically?

Once again, I am working very hard to provide our teachers with the means to disrupt the traditional learning environment. While I am confident that we are moving forward exponentially faster, many roadblocks inhibit us and yet too many critics simply criticize without answering the fundamental questions! Yes, schools can improve but stop pretending that schools are not better than they were 10, 20, and 30 years ago.  Schools are vastly superior in so many ways.

Can schools afford to fail when trying to innovate?  What happens when a business fails to innovate? What happens when a school does?

Questions like these are important.  I just wish I had included all of the important questions, as this is just a short list.  Questions like these are what EdReach is all about.  Education can answer these questions and many schools are answering them already.  Education just needs a better platform for sharing those best practices and success stories.

Tech gurus from all walks of life … I challenge you to continue talking about educational technology.  I challenge you to value our discussions on EdReach as much if not more than media outlets such as Tech Crunch.  Join the discussion with educational technologists as we have joined yours. Spread the word, partake of an EdReach podcast, comment on our podcasts and blogs, and help be part of the answer.

Heck, do we even know what the web is doing to our thinking?  Do we really understand the impact that it is having on education?

Dear Educators: An Open Letter from EdReach #2 – #EduWin

Too often, news and media outlets jump on the negative stories in education or miss the real story entirely.  The wrong questions are asked.  The wrong message or story is told. As educators, we are tired of letting that happen. We are proud to be educators.  Educators worldwide are making a difference.  Everyday we have success.  Everyday we are making a positive impact on students’ lives. Students are succeeding everyday.  It is time to celebrate that positive impact!  It is time to take control of the message.

Educators everywhere, it is time for us to share the positive message and the positive stories that are happening everyday.  To do just that, we propose EduWin. Eduwin was born from an idea raised in a session led by Scott at EduBloggercon 2011 about education and the media.  This discussion focused on how educators need to take control of the “message” and influence the media to shine a bright light on what is right with education.  All agreed that we cannot delay. It is our duty as leaders in education to do our part to refocus the “message” toward the positive events and outcomes we observe every single day.  Let’s face it, there are too many competing interests in education that are focused on their own agenda and or bottom line.

You can support this crusade by sharing one success a day.  Share one “#EduWin“.  Simply “tweet” about one positive education based occurrence you experience per day via: http://www.whatisyoureduwin.com/.

The EdReach Education Network itself is a reaction to the negativity and “bad press” education receives.  We have a simple mission, To take education forward, by bringing voices together.  EduWin is an easy way to help us achieve our mission! We want to see EduWin become a trending topic everyday.  Think about how easy and valuable EduWin can be for education.  EduWin is a very  new idea, but we hope  it will take on a life of its own!  Help us with one Tweet a day and EduWin will be a tiny spark to ignite an overall movement that focuses on the positive occurrences and successes in education today.

We are fired up!  We are proud to be educators.  We are proud of the impact that we are having on students’ lives.  We are proud of our colleagues and of all the educators we work with online.  Daily, we are changing people’s lives in some positive way… let’s celebrate that together.

Think about it … Today I scored an #EduWin by… http://www.whatisyoureduwin.com/


Judi Epcke and Scott Meech


Dear Educators: An Open Letter from EdReach

My fellow educators,

There are many “technologies” that provide unique learning opportunities simply because of the uniqueness of the technology itself.  We need to understand the fundamental differences of certain technologies from their traditional partners before we can truly implement these learning experiences effectively.

Blogging isn’t just digitizing student essays.  The fundamental uniqueness of blogging provides students with a much richer and deeper learning experience. Blogging is fundamentally different because it provides an authentic audience, digitized text that can be searched and discovered, the extension of the writing into a conversation, and content is now archived and portable.  Is blogging just digitized student essays?

Podcasting isn’t just the recoding of a conversation.  Well done podcasting is similar to blogging as it extends the conversation, provides an authentic audience, becomes searchable and discoverable, etc.  Is podcasting just the recording of a conversation?

Digital Storytelling isn’t just adding music and voice to pictures.  Well done digital storytelling is about the writing process and making writing come alive in a multimedia format.  Once you digitize your story, you can then reach out to your community as blogging and podcasting.   Is digital storytelling just pictures with music and or your voice?

Flipping your classroom is so much more than providing your students with access to online video tutorials.  The concept is much more embedded in providing students differentiated experiences, extending beyond the classrooms more effectively. It allows teachers to much more easily engage their students in small group and or one on one.  Is flipping the classroom just proving your students with video tutorials?

… Do we have any more examples? …

“Technology” tends to replace older forms of technology for a reason and it isn’t just marketing!  While I am sure some of you can provide numerous examples of innovation that made things worse, I am simply asking us to investigate what makes the technology unique before we make a judgement on whether it is important or not for your classroom.  When implementing a new technology, let’s make sure we investigate why this new technology or methodology is unique.

Are there unique learning experiences that are provided by technology?  Are they important enough to invest money into?  Are they effective enough to systemically make an emphasis upon?

Dear Google and Apple: An Open Letter from EdReach

Dear Google and Apple,

Both Google and Apple have done wonderful things for education and I am sure that we don’t know the entire story on how much your companies truly do.  I am not writing to request money. I am not requesting anything for just myself.   I am requesting your help on something that could do a lot of good for education. For the betterment of education, can you please get along?  I don’t mean on every issue  as I do realize that you are competitors in many ways.   I just want to see one major issue fixed!

Just in case you don’t know, the iPad and Google Education Apps don’t play nicely together.  The iPad is a fantastic device that is revolutionizing technology.  Google Education Apps has become many school district’s central tool for their online learning platform.  While there are some apps that try to ease the problems of using Google Education Apps on the iPad, these “work around apps” still miss the mark in so many ways.

While its nice that both companies are reaching out to other companies such as Facebook and Twitter, wouldn’t it be nice to pick up the phone and call each other to get this problem fixed?  Also, I do understand that their are some benefits to both of your companies competing as well.  Yes, I know that Google has a vested interest in the Android platform which means that you really don’t have as much incentive to develop for the iOS platform. Apple doesn’t have a lot of incentive to help Google develop their suite of apps as it certainly is a major competitor to the iWorks platform.  Can’t you see though, the marriage of the iPad and Google Education Apps is probably the single greatest factor for schools not wanting to adopt the iPad or Google Education Apps completely?

If both companies truly care about education, you can find a way to bring the two together. Can Google or Apple turn a blind eye to the bottom line and do what’s best for education? The iPad and Google Education Apps are the best at what they do and not having them play nicely is putting a damper on education.  Let’s have an #eduwin and bring these two giant companies together for the betterment of education.

With much love and respect,

Scott Meech

The iPad 2 and Apple TV … Ed Tech Industry Killer?

What would you rather get for your classroom, an iPad 2 and Apple TV or an Interactive Whiteboard? Are your teachers asking for Interactive Whiteboards? Hold on to that discussion and don’t answer until you know all of the possibilities!

I think we now have the ability to put together a very highly effective digital classroom with the combination of iPad 2’s, a digital projector, and an Apple TV. All of this can be done at a fraction of the cost of most 21st century classrooms that have combined the use of Interactive Whiteboards. I just don’t know why you would ever want to purchase them anymore.

Maybe we can get rid of the need for document cameras, scanners, clicker hubs, and still or digital video cameras as well?

Perhaps you don’t know about the new possibilities of this fantastic little black box called Apple TV. Check out this post on IEAR.org that explains how you can setup an Apple TV to allow your iPad 2 to become truly wireless.

Now, if you are looking for the rationale on why you might want to go with this new setup, here is mine!

1. You are not locked into a finite space for interactivity with a “computer” and the ability to share with a large audience. One-way to look at it in my opinion is that you are providing your students with a portable Interactive Whiteboard anywhere you want them to interact with the device.

2. As we all know, there are many apps that provide a robust learning experience that are completely interactive and much better than teacher created Notebook files. We just need everyone to understand and learn the benefits of the workflow provided w/ an iPad. For example: Lets give you an example with “Cells”. Students start with iCell App, take a screenshot, mark it up with Doodle Buddy, go back to the iCell App, take a screenshot, mark it up with Doodle Buddy, etc. Perhaps you are using the iPad camera to add images or videos from materials in your classroom as well. Once you have a collection of marked up screenshots, add Replay Note to the mix and you have fantastic possibilities. This is just an example on the fly! This can all be displayed now in real time, at intermittent times of the project, or at the final display of the project.

3. The iPad w/ Apple TV allows your iPad to function as a document camera, still camera, video camera, scanner, e-clicker hub, and Interactive Whiteboard. I argue that you can replace all of that equipment now! How much money is that in savings, $1400 at least? We can add several more of the other devices to that total as well; I haven’t worn a watch in years!

4. The iPad continues to be functional for classroom experiences when you turn off the projector. I have yet to figure out how to do that with a Interactive Whiteboard effectively. I am seeing very little impact from the Interactive Whiteboard software beyond classroom use other than screencasting. The ability to screencast and or record as a document camera through the iPad is so much easier with an easier workflow anyway.

5. The quality of the Interactive Whiteboard software and the lessons provided are over rated. However, with the use of Splashtop on the iPad, you are can still effectively function with the Interactive Whiteboard software.

6. The vast amount of other uses an iPad provides including an e-reader, executive functioning with email, calendar, tasks, reminders, etc.

7. The iPad / Apple TV set up is completely portable. I have yet to see a Interactive Whiteboard get carried under someone’s arm comfortably.

8. Apple TV allows you to use a computer as a media server. When you combine Apple TV’s, you can now pull content from one shared space effectively without a complicated setup for teachers to navigate. Teachers can navigate the Apple TV menu with little to no training. Loading content into photos, video and music is ridiculously easy compared to most media server setups. Additionally, this still allows that computer to be used. For example, we have set our Library Checkout Computer as the Shared Media Resource. You just keep iTunes open and I can pull content to multiple destinations via Apple TV. Previously, our schools had a laptop dedicated to a front “TV” to show slideshows. There is a savings of $900 for my district!

9. Professional Development on an iPad / Apple TV set up in comparison to an Interactive Whiteboard is drastically different. I would love to debate this one with anyone at any time. I have so many examples of very elderly to my 2 1/2 year old who are effectively learning with an iPad. It is painstaking to watch teachers sometimes as they struggle with learning how to use Smart Notebook. You have to remember, teachers are not taking home their IWB and in general, the majority of them do not practice using the software without it attached to the board. However, provide them with an iPad that can mirror and they are using it all the time for the myriad other uses it provides! They are providing their own professional development with the device as a result.

10. We want to see students at the center of the learning. IWB’s continue to be teacher-dominated devices. Teachers appear to be much more comfortable handing over an iPad than they seem to be with bringing the kids. You have to remember, their classmates cannot see what is happening because the students are in the way, etc. Two fantastic colleagues from Illinois, David Sladkey and Scott Miller are two of the best IWB professional development people I know. One of their main lessons is to help teachers to come up with a schema for bringing students to the board. It doesn’t appear to be difficult for teachers to do that with handing over the device to the students.

11. I simply laugh at the savings that you can get from simply using an iPad 2 as a video conferencing tool in comparison to the unbelievable amount of money that has been spent on this technology in other forms. Simply turn on Skype on the iPad 2 and away you go …

There are so many other facets and reasons that I have missed … Can you add to this list? I think you can … I just can’t see the benefits of any other setup for a classroom that even compare at this point! For me, this is all a no-brainer.

MacReach Show #22: The EdReach ADE wrap-up!

This week we talk heavily about the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute as EdReach has four ADE’s; Meg Wilson, Kelly Dumont, Chad Kafka, and Scott Meech.  Additionally, Apple released Lion right in the middle of the Institute and we can’t wait to download it!  Kelly has already downloaded it and he talks about the best aspects of upgrading.  We were all inspired by the experience as we talk about all of the inspirational presentations including Ray Zahab and the Impossible 2 Possible experience, Chris Tully and his story, and much more!
This week’s app challenge was to brainstorm 9 great word fun apps.  We hit that number and more!
  1. Words with Friends
  2. Boggle
  3. Chicktionary
  4. (Bookworm)
  5. Scrabble with the Tile Rack (CK)
  6. TypeDrawing? ($2.99) (CK) — from Bill Seng
  7. ProPrompter? ($9.99) – prompter for when recording videos / i-Prompt Pro (Free)
  8. WordFoto
  9. 7 Little Words / Whirly Words = 2 more!
  10. IEAR community
Don’t forget, we talk “Quick Mac Tips & Tricks” to end the show as usual …

Celebrate Success and Take Ownership of the Message!

I get excited about education a lot!  One thing continues to bother me though and that is the continued lack of a cohesive effort to celebrate success in our schools.  We have so many people embedded in reform that we end up putting out more of a negative message than may be productive.  EdReach.us is focused on combining our voice to give everyone a bigger voice! As our About Us page states …

We all want one thing- to take education forward. As much as we may argue, we still want what’s best for our future thinkers and creators that are sitting behind little tiny desks and also behind great big board room tables.

Education has never gotten the voice that it’s truly deserved- just check any Online newspaper and look for the education section. Keep looking- because you won’t find it there.
But you will find that section here.

With this in mind, when I was at EduBloggerCon in Philadelphia recently, I submitted a session that was focused on education, media, and the messages we want to be sent.  The question I had was, “Why isn’t education on the front page of the news?”.

For me, the answer in so many ways comes back to what EdReach.us is all about!  While I have been perseverating over the issue for quite sometime, a colleague of ours who was in the session wrote up a nice piece about the conversation and one great idea that came out of it, “#EduWin“.  I asked Candace if we could cross post it and she has agreed.  Thank you Candace for this well written piece!  #EduWin (more about the author at the end of this post)


… One of the discussion topics (EdubloggerCon) I chose to join this year was entitled Why isn’t education on the front page of the news? (Let’s talk about strategies to push this important discussion to the forefront in a positive and meaningful way). The gist of the discussion was that yes, we can convince local news to cover a unique event at our school, but that’s the end of it. No one will ever hear positive stories about learning in today’s schools in higher venues. When will positive stories about the bloomin’ good ever gain national notice?  It is much easier (and generates ratings) when the media cover:

a. stories of education failures

b. stats of comparisons to other cultures– limited to the first sentence of the Executive Summary

c. stories of the high cost of education to taxpayers

d. all of the above

Fortunately, this EBC group was pro-active in approach and did not linger in the weeds of  woe-is-us-nobody-likes-teachers. We brainstormed. We generated a very do-able, very positive, and very realistic strategy to make the voices of winning education stories resound beyond the local news: the hashtag #eduwin.

Here is how it works:

  • Every time you see a change in a student because of something that clicked, write about it in a tweet or a blog post, hashtagged #EduWin.
  • Every time you see another teacher do something that works, share it, hashtagged #EduWin.
  • Every time you see a tweet from another educator  about the way students are LEARNING, retweet it or share it on Facebook, hashtagged #EduWin.
  • When you’re having a bad day, set up a Twitter search or do one on Google (when they get Real Time working again), looking for items hashtagged #EduWin.
  • When you hear people griping about the state of education today, share a story you saw hashtagged #EduWin.
  • When your class does projects, shoot some video and upload the clips of kids talking about what they did to YouTube, hashtagged #EduWin (cute kids or kittens can’t hurt…)
  • When a parent volunteer wants to be helpful, ask him/her to take some pictures of the good things going on in your class (maybe from the back or close-ups of hands so there is no concern about identifiable pictures) and share them on Flickr or Facebook, hashtagged #EduWin.
  • When your kids make glogs, Voicethreads, or other online projects that shout powerful evidence of learning, add the hashtag #EduWin to the very best examples (and resist the urge to put the hashtag on ones that could be appreciated without context)
  • When you give awards to your students, us the title EDUWIN on the awards.
  • When that one non-reader finally recognizes the sight words, clap and say “#EduWin!”
  • Collaborate every day with teacher colleagues on the digital storytelling of E#EduWin.

As an FYI, one of those in the discussion asked whether the tag is Ed-U-Win or eduwinor edUwin or edu-win. It is read as any and all of these, but written simply, #EduWin.  For through #EduWin, you win, our kids win, we all win, and edu wins.

Now you have to pass it on. #EduWin. You’re it.


Well put Candace!

Original Author:

I am a 27 year teaching veteran and the Director of K-12 Initiatives for a non-profit learning and technologies company. I am in charge of TeachersFirst.com, a free, ad-free teacher resource site in its twelfth year of continuous service to teachers and students around the world. I am a teacher, first and always. Thus the title of my blog.

Candace Hackett Shively

Help Children in Minot

I have been privileged to get to know some educators recently who work in North Dakota and the stories of the flood are really heart-breaking. I am also amazed that the story has not really gotten more media attention frankly!  People can really use our help … educator type of help!

Let’s face it, educators are some of the most giving people in so many ways.  No matter what we are hearing from many states with regard to unions, contracts, and money, we know that we give of ourselves a lot.  How many of us spend our own money on our classrooms and our kids on a regular basis?  Well, let’s see if we can spread the word to help some children in Minot, North Dakota as well.  Even if you can’t send money yourself, see if you can help spread the word and get this in front of some of our colleagues.  Let’s see if we can make a difference!

“Help Children in Minot: Minot, ND was hit with record-breaking flooding and needs your help. So much was lost, including school supplies for the thousands of students living there. Every dollar counts, so please donate what you can to help a child in need.”

Minot Donation Page

Can we help them?  I think so …

Mobile Reach #5 – Xoom in Schools

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Show Host: Scott Meech

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke on Twitter @JEpcke, Tammy Lind @TamL17, Chad Kafka @chadkafka

Special guest: Kimberly Bannigan

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Subscribe to the EdReach Podcast Feed.

The complete show notes are now on the EdReach Wiki.

Call us on our comment line!

If you’d like to leave some feedback you can call us on our very own EdReach Comment line: That’s: (443) 93REACH.


Mobile Reach #4 – Alternative Devices Anyone?

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Show Host: Scott Meech

Show contributors: Tammy Lind, Judi Epcke, and Jim Klein

Subscribe to The EdReach Podcasts on iTunes

Subscribe to the EdReach Podcast Feed.

The complete show notes are now on the EdReach Wiki.

Call us on our comment line!

If you’d like to leave some feedback you can call us on our very own EdReach Comment line: That’s: (443) 93REACH.


The future of Ed Tech is “Bring Your Own Device” … BYOD

The future of Ed Tech is “Bring Your Own Device”, (BYOD), and schools will more than likely move away from providing devices for students sooner than later.  While BYOD is far too radical for many school districts at this time, it is inevitable that this is the future.  The sooner districts embrace this future and begin to plan for it, the more effective this transition will be.

Today, while attending EdCampChicago, BYOD was a hot topic.  I repeatedly heard, “my school bans student owned technology and it won’t change anytime soon.”  While the technology may be banned, it has not prevented BYOD!  The sooner we can stop pretending that we have truly banned student owned technology the better.

The effort to ban personal mobile technology is simply not cost-effective when you consider hidden costs such as human labor, the ongoing negative impact upon school culture and the prevention of effective learning in the 21st century.  Instead of dealing with these issues proactively, banning continues to prolong the inevitable.

We all know technology changes rapidly but I am not sure that we really have a good perspective on those changes that have taken place in our lifetime and in our schools.  We are judging the change within the change itself and that is really tough to do.

How are we going to continue to truly ban all of this “student owned” technology in schools?  Take a look at the latest iPod Watch. Take a look at sites like Advanced Intelligence and think about the ability to hide technology.  Will clothing be the future one-to-one device?  Isn’t it time to stop pretending that we can really ban it?

True BYOD will never be a solution for schools that continue to focus on standardization of hardware and applications.  Reasons for one-to-one devices have morphed over the years as we do not need devices to do it all.  Please keep in mind that BYOD does not proclude “targeted purchasing” of technology within a school system.  Schools will continue to need specialized equipment for specific learning needs.

Let’s face it, human beings tend to take better care of something they own versus something they rent. It is time to give our students ownership over their learning through the use of their own devices.

I plan on taking a closer look at BYOD through my Sunday posts over the next several weeks.  Please let me know what your thoughts are on the BYOD movement, if you have a successful model, issues to consider, and anything else that is important to consider.

While there are many issues surrounding effective use of technology in the classroom,  I am convinced that the issues surrounding BYOD are really at the core of ineffective integration of technology in the classroom.  The lessons we can explore surrounding this issue can really paint a picture of the entire ed tech movement. As Jim says, “It is time to give up control of Ed Tech.”

Mobile Reach Show #3 – Here’s a Story … a Digital Story!

Mobile Reach LogoSegment One:  True Mobile Learning 

  1. Ways to easily move your content around on Mobile Device? Do you have suggestions?
  2. More Schools Piloting Secure Mobile Devices:  http://www.eclassroomnews.com/2011/05/12/more-schools-piloting-secure-mobile-devices/
  3. Mobile Learning Study released – Thoughts on this organization anyone?


Segment Two:  iOS Updates

  1. Nomad Brush: http://www.nomadbrush.com/
  2. iKeyboard http://www.macstories.net/news/ikeyboard-promises-a-better-typing-experience-on-the-ipad/

Segment Three:  Android Updates


Segment Four:  App Reviews

  1. AudioBoo (Android & iOS)
  2. 17 Digital Storytelling Apps for Kids – on teacherbootcamp.edublogs.com
  3. iPad–Photopuppet Lite http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photopuppet-hd/id421738553?mt=8
  4. Sock Puppets http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sock-puppets/id394504903?mt=8
  5. Toontastic: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/toontastic/id404693282?mt=8
  6. Storykit: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/storykit/id329374595?mt=8
  7. StoryRobe: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/storyrobe/id337670615?mt=8
  8. Puppet Pals (iOS–Free) TL http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/puppet-pals-hd/id342076546?mt=8
  9. Playtime Theater: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/playtime-theater/id411289693?mt=8
  10. Site all about Digital Storytelling on iDevices by ADE: http://sites.google.com/site/digitalstorytellingwiththeipad/
  11. Rumors of a Voicethread App coming soon!



Members of Mobile Reach:

Mobile Reach Show #2 – Getting a Groove on!

Mobile Reach LogoHey … Mobile Reach Show #2 had a nice groove as we had our fourth key member Tammy Lind join us this week!  Tammy, Judi, Chad and I had a lot of fun as we talk about the world of Mobile Learning.    We might not have intro music yet but we did feel a good vibe as we worked together as a whole team for the first time.  Based on this nice start, I know that we will be hitting our stride soon enough.

One Correction to the Show is the mention of someone to follow by Tammy Lind – Should be: science_goddess

Segment One:  True Mobile Learning / Blog Watch / Tweets / News 

  1. Chrome Notebooks for Ed announced
  2. Geohistorian Project: http://www.rcet.org/geohistorian
Segment Two:  iOS Updates  / Blog Watch / Tweets / News
  1. Adobe Nav for Photoshop ($1.99),
  2. Adobe Eazel for Photoshop ($4.99)
  3. Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop ($2.99).
  4. Guitar Pick and Drum Sticks:  http://appadvice.com/appnn/2011/05/guitar-picks-drum-sticks-garageband-preorder
  5. Power of Collaboration:  Moms with Apps – http://momswithapps.com/about/

Segment Three:  Android Updates / Blog Watch / Tweets / News

  1. Blackberry Playbook.
  2. No “education” store right now?
  3. DeForest–WI School Using Google Chrome OS with admin/kids–using with senior class now and others in Fall.
  4. Netflix is out on Android!!
Segment Four:
  1. Google Docs App for Android
  2. Thinking Space
  3. Evernote
  4. Dinosaur Chess (SM): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dinosaur-chess-learn-to-play/id405842432?mt=8
  5. Splashtop Remote (CK) – remote control desktop ($4.99 for full version)
  6. Keynote Remote


A big thanks to the team again this week. If you would like to continue the conversations you can find Judi Epcke on Twitter @jepcke, Chad Kafka @chadkafka, Tammy Lind @TamL17, and Scott Meech @SMeech.

Don’t forget to follow EdReach on Twitter as well and subscribe to all of the great podcasts and posts through EdReach.us, iTunes, and our RSS feeds.