Sunday, June 26, 2016

14 #EdTech Blogs to Make Up Your Summer Reading List

Blogs are a great choice for summer reading because not only are they current, but they also invite you to connect with others and join the conversation that is of interest to you. EdTech: Focus K-12 makes choosing those blogs easy with their 2016 honor roll featuring the 50 top K-12 ed tech blogs.

This year the blogs are divided into four categories:  Tech Gurus, Community Corner, Classroom Leaders, and Admin-All Stars.

To help you get started I am sharing the blogs and people I connect with and read most often in each category.

There are 14 with which I connect regularly. Each selection is a valued member of my personal learning network. Take a look and see how my picks stack up with your current or future favs.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Hottest Post Ever That Everybody’s Reading

This week’s hottest post is the hottest post ever on The Innovative Educator garnering more than 17,000 views in one week.  The post shares secrets to success for getting your principal to say yes from former @NYCSchools Principal Jason Levy (@Levy_Jason), who now advises principals and superintendents on how to develop a compelling vision and strategies to succeed with educational technology. It’s no wonder that this post is so popular with the innovative educators who read this blog. You are the ones who are often excited about trying out new resources and strategies and usually need the principal's thumbs up to do so.

There are several other posts that round out the top including one that explains why reading may not be as important as you think and another that shares some good ideas for saving time.  If any of these posts look of interest, check em out below and share with others.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

4 Steps to Apply to World #MakerFaire NYC & Attend for Free!

If you've ever had the opportunity to attend a Maker Faire, you understand what a fantastic experience it is. Last year when I attended many teachers lamented that the ticket price put attendance out of reach for them and their students. Don't let them happen again this year. Don't just visit the Maker Faire. Be a part of the experience and apply within the next month (application closes July 17th) to participate in one of many ways.

Read on for details!

The Important Stuff...

How To Apply:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Protected Tweets? 8 Messages You're Sending

What makes Twitter unique is that unlike some other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, which are generally designed to stay connected with those you know face-to-face, Twitter is a place where one goes to connect with others with whom you may have never met, but share an idea, passion, or interest.  

People on Twitter, or Tweeps, can find each other using a specific hashtag, or perhaps they are all fans of a celebrity or a product. Followers of that celebrity or product can find one another. You can also be added to a list of others like you, for example, I am included on lists of #EdTech bloggers. You can experience the magic of the global connections and network Twitter provides only if your Tweets are unprotected. Protecting Tweets is just not something you do on Twitter. Even this guy who wrote a piece for PC Magazine on why he protects his Tweets doesn't do so any longer. 

Since connecting over ideas, passions, and interests is the primary purpose of Twitter, when someone has an account preventing them from doing so, some red flags go up to those who come across your account. 

What People Are Thinking When You Protect Tweets?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

4 Tools to Stay Connected with Families this Summer

The end of the school year doesn't have to mean a disconnect between schools and families. Use social media and cell phones to keep the conversation going.  My fav four tools for doing this are:
  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook
  3. Remind
  4. Instagram 
Remember that if you go this route, send home a reminder to parents with how they can stay connected. Ideally you will give them one place to visit which links to rest.  

Wonder how these tools can help you and the families of your students? Here are some of ideas:
  • Twitter
    • Tweet summer book or game recommendations.
    • Tweet a question families can reply to so you can get to know them or their children better i.e. favorite book or game.
  • Facebook
    • Post back to school supply list.
    • Recognize student accomplishments in summer programs.
  • Remind
    • Remind families when school starts.
    • Remind families of first day of school tips.
  • Instagram Whether or not families speak English, they can understand a picture. 
    • Share a picture of something you are reading.
    • Share a video of you trying to learn something. The sillier the better.  
If this is of interest to you, you may enjoy watching a recording of my June 16th webinar moderated by Common Sense Education. 

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In the webinar I give real examples from real teachers who are using these tools to stay connected with families. I also get great ideas from the nearly 200 participants who joined us from around the globe. You can view the webinar at:  You can access the presentation I created for the webinar at

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