Sharing… A Crucial Innovation in Schools

A long time ago (no not in a galaxy far, far away)  I attended a session by Mark Prensky he had said something along the lines of the following.

We are All Learners

We are All Teachers

I added these questions and an additional statement. My contributions are in italics.

We are all learners….What did you learn today?

We are all teachers…What did you help someone learn today?

We are a Community… What did you share today?

I think if more people used these thoughts and statements to guide their thinking and learning our schools would be far more successful.  Imagine if everyday, you shared something you knew with another teacher…and understood that you had something to learn as well.

At the MACUL Conference recently Rushton Hurley  ( made the following comments in the sessions I attended.

Isolation is the most cancerous part of education


There is something cool happening every day, every teacher does it, maybe accidentally, but it happens sometime during the year.


The key to defeat the cancer that is isolation is to share…. Share with your fellow teachers, but not just in the teacher’s lounge. Share on Facebook, create a web page, a webmix, share on twitter. Administrators, make time available for teacher’s to share their successes and recognize the teachers who are stretching their skills and seeking new ideas.

Simply Symbaloo

I’ve compiled a collection of the best webmixes from Symbaloo and created a page to share them. The site is organized by the following categories

  • Elementary Classroom Examples
  • Fun Sites for Kids
  • Future Projects
  • Middle School Examples
  • Subject Area Examples
  • Symbaloo Tutorials
  • Tech Tools and Resources for Teachers
Add your favorites in the comments below…

Highlights from Technically Speaking….

Here are a few highlights from my school site Technically Speaking….

Smart Board Resources


This site is a treasure trove of interactive activities for use with your Interactive White Board. Activities are organized by subject area and include activities for: Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Brainteasers, Art, Music, Holidays and Teacher Tools. The best part is they are free!


Check them out here:

Dr. Suess and Berenstain Bears By Grade Level

Here’s a resource listing Dr. Suess and Berenstain Bears books by grade level. 

 Check it out here:


 Check out the site Technically Speaking here:

Keynote Thoughts- Leslie Fisher, The Technology Time Machine

These are my thoughts from this mornings keynote by Leslie Fisher.

Look I’m Learning….ipads in Pre-K classroom

Taking a look at technology through the ages, starting with a punch card machine.

New tech tools and toys

Cubify- 3d printer, 7 different colors of ink
Polaroid Z340- digital camera with printing, saves to an SD card.

Sage on the stage, guide on the side tools

Jetjaw allows people to take a survey and create charts and graphs

Wufoo- click and drag form creation and create custom reports

TodaysMeet free colaboration tool for participants., allows interaction between speaker and participants learn more about books such as people, places. Can also serach within a storyverse for books that mention similar topics. creating the story of you adding text and pictures, can then print a paper copy

Scoopit pages used for sharing with other teachers.

Time to Call The Differentiator

Writing objectives for higher order thinking skills can be hard.  Yet teachers know that higher order thinking skills are a key  to our students improving.  The Differentiator is a web app that allows you to easily create objectives using Bloom’s Taxonomy.  This will allow you to more easily write objectives that require higher order thinking skills. You can also include content, resources, products and groups in your objectives.  All of this is done by clicking on the desired choice.  Check it out at:

I found this on the following blog:

Tell Me a Smorie…

Smories are original short stories written and read by children.  They were thought of by a pair of sisters who enjoyed reading and recording stories for each other.   The website is super simple.  Its just a collection of pictures of the children who have written recorded the stories.  Clicking on the picture takes you to a video of the story being read. Above the child is the text of the story that scrolls by as the story is being read.

This sounds like a great resource to use as a listening center or a computer activity.  The site is safe for students to use.
Check it out here:
EXTRA:  Kindergarten teachers may want to pay close attention to the companion site: Walphabet for humourous (non Youtube) videos about the alphabet.  Check it out here:

Send Your Kids to the Lab…the PBS KIDS Lab that is…

Looking for a cool place for educational games for kids?  PBS has a site called PBS KIDS Lab which has many games for students to play and learn. But that’s not all.  There’s a collection of activities for classrooms and home use.  The lab includes online games, games for mobile devices, Interactive White Boards and Augmented Reality.  Check it out here!

Thoughts on Failure…

” Failure is not an Option”

“FAIL, First Attempt In Learning”

You’ve probably seen this video circulating recently…Best Motivational Video Ever

Go ahead take a few minutes and watch that one, its quite good and help makes my point.



I think we have been looking at the quote “Failure is not an option” as a negative, when really failure is a necessary step to being  successful.   All of the people mentioned in the video failed before they did something great.  Even one hit wonders fail many times before achieving success.

What’s this have to do with schools and teaching?   I think schools and teachers need to allow their students to fail more often and recognize that failure is an important step towards to success.   Now I don’t mean let students fail by giving up on them, but allow them to try new things, make mistakes when practicing  (grading homework and not allowing students to retake tests when they’ve worked to learn the material, come to mind here).  Schools need to allow teachers to fail as well.  Without failure there will be no innovation and in this world of doing more with less, innovation is going to be absolutely critical.

What do you think?

Have you ever found success before failure  (looking success up in the dictionary doesn’t count!)?

Awesome Apps for iPads

Appitic is a gigantic directory of iPad apps for education.  There are over 1300 different apps listed on this directory.  These apps were selected by Apple Distinguished Educators and have been tested at different grade levels and using different educational strategies. There are seven primary categories that further broken down as well.  The primary categories are:  SPED/Autism, PreSchool, Themes, Multiple Intelligences, Blooms, NETS (National Educational Technology Standards) and Teachers.  Check it out here!

Living Math Book List

Living Math Book List is a website that collects books and stories that can be used to introduce, teach or review math concepts. Everything from Addition to ratios to weights have books or stories that can be used for teaching. Using the site is simple, on the right hand side of the page their is button marked Search Categories. Click on this button and the box below lists all of the math concepts they have books.   When you select a topic it lists the books and includes a link where you can get the book from Amazon.  A neat idea would be to build a school or classroom library that includes books that teach the hard to learn math skills for your particular grade.  

Check out the site at: