Leadership – Education – Technology – Other Interesting Stuff

An eye for an eye? From The Washington Post we’re given a visual of what the death penalty results have been since 1977. Read all of the explanations for a clear understanding of the data.

While I thought I went for the large pizza for one reason, it appears there may be another. 74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza To view and use the interactive data, be sure to use Chrome.

Informing Communities by Infographics in the Street  Andrew Vande Moere shared this story about a community project that combined citizen participation and public data visualization. My wondering was how effective (and cool) this would be to do at a school, district office or college campus.

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores: Originally from Floating Sheep, Nathan Yau expanded on the questions and the maps to take the visuals to new places. One topic of personal interest has been food deserts in metropolitan areas. I wonder how these maps might provide even more insight at a more local level.

Game on! Many of us have watched sporting events or game tapes and seen the interaction. Some of us have watched the commentators draw the lines on the screen to explain the movements of players. How many of us have done the same is it relates to classroom interactions? While I have collected that data for teachers before, my hand-drawn arrows on the paper would have been so much more dynamic with a tool like this. Be sure to watch the clip about halfway down the page.

And you know me and assessment…Kathy Schrock has a great page of resources about using Infographics as a Creative Assessment, which includes videos, books, sites, examples and many other resources.

CC image courtesy of Ian Kennedy on Flickr

CC image courtesy of Ian Kennedy on Flickr



Since 2006, I have been an advocate of teachers having students use cellphones (i.e. smartphones) in class as formative assessment tools. This post from Rowena Coetsee offers handfuls of ideas.

What if you offered an online experience for parents? A webinar about schedule changes that include a chat for parents to discuss it? An online chat during lunch (a brown bag) for parents who missed the meeting last night about the new report cards? Or what about a Twitter chat about using Twitter in the classroom?

These 8 Free Collaboration Tools for Educators are not only good for classroom use but should be considered for their potential for educators collaborating as well. Social Folders was particularly intriguing to me. If you’ve used it, let me know what some of the benefits are from your perspective.

Perspective 1: Formative Assessment Practice

Some of you know I blog for work. About 2 ½ years ago NWEA started a blog focused on formative assessment, which has since expanded to include other topics (assessment literacy, Common Core and early learning). Our perspective on formative assessment in this blog is that of formative assessment as a planned process involving all the players on the classroom learning team (teacher, student and peers). This practice of embedding formative assessment in the moment within instruction is going to prove to be critical pedagogy as we move to Common Core within the US.

One of my professional goals this year is the use of analogy so please check the posts on calling an audible and curling.

Perspective 2: Focused within Content

For years Paige Keeley and Deborah Ball have provided numerous content-specific uses of formative assessment (science and math, respectively) The International Reading Association asked me for a post to include in their In Other Words blog. My topic there is prediction as a formative assessment strategy. Prediction is a key component of reading comprehension and also has ramifications in other areas, including data conversations. Check out the post and tell us how you use prediction as formative assessment.

Perspective 3: Actionable Data

It’s a lot about how we use data – formatively or summatively – that helps clarify just how “actionable” it is. Most data can be used formatively and although that is true, some data has a limited shelf life, meaning it can on be used formatively for a short while. Data gathered by the classroom learning team on a continuous basis makes that data highly actionable, by all team members.

You may want to check out Ed Table Talk on January 14th to see where a conversation on “actionable data” goes.

After you check out these other perspectives, come back and add yours to the list.

TeachThought is such a great resource. When I first bookmarked this post, 464 Digital Learning Tools to Sift Through on a Rainy Day, there were 434 digital learning tools – today there are 530. This list comes from Dale Borgeson and is one of the most extensive collections I have found.

Then if you are interested in iPad apps for education, check out these lists:
 *  100+ iPad Apps for education by Tim Bedley
 *  TCEA’s iPad Apps and iBooks – organized by level or content and indicates free or $
 *  For those of you using Pinterest, check out Mrs. Malespina’s Great Apps and All Thing Ipad board
 *  and finally (for now anyway), Chris Beyerle’s curation of BYOD Apps and Tools for the Classroom

I have to get myself one of these devices!

  • From the Northern Ireland Curriculum site, this book, Assessment for Learning – A Practical Guide, is one of the growing number of resources available to teachers focused on changing their practice to get better at formative assessment
  • Personally, writing success criteria is one of the aspects of using formative assessment I am working on continually. This article shares some nice examples and makes me think about collaboration on rubrics.
  • Asking better questions and asking questions better is a big piece of eliciting evidence from your students. This is a nice infographic describing 6 types of questions to share with students as you support them in learning to be better askers.
  • Megan Valois’ blog about Why I spend way more time on formative assessment… is a fun perspective on a pedagogy change that makes a difference.

2 Art Resources

Because we recently found some family art treasures, I’ve been perusing the Web for history. Came across these 2 sites to share.

Haring Kids: Experience the art of Keith Haring. This site contains art-based educational resources for early childhood through high school. I was intrigued by the Morphs. The site includes lesson plans.

National Gallery of Art: Always a popular site, this is a home to a treasure trove of resources for classroom use: lesson plans, printables, videos and more.

Connected Educator Month

For those of you wanting to know more about PLNs (Professional Learning Networks) – what, why, who, how – or using Twitter or moving from lurking in an online community to sharing, this is the month to jump in and discover. The US Department of Education is celebrating online communities of practice for educators. This event occurs annually during the month of October and engages educators across the world. Last night I was in a webinar of 20 people and 8 came from countries other than the US. What an opportunity to learn!

If you have tried anything new this month related to technology in education (yours or your students’), here are a few sites to help get you started.

Connected Educators: Learn more about the initiative and the resources. Find the event calendar for the month here. Sign up and be amazed with the email of daily opportunities to learn and interact with colleagues from around the world. The event calendar is here.

common sense media: If you need to narrow the focus of your participation this month, zero in on Digital Citizenship Week, October 21-25.  Learn more about how to engage your stakeholders in being “smart” online.

Edutopia has compiled a great resource list for the month to support novices through experts in the rapidly expanding world of PLNs.

For example, paper.li is a great way to find the latest news on a topic of interest to YOU. Imagine having a personalized newspaper delivered to you daily or weekly. One of my favorites is #Satchat Daily compiled by Brad Currie, a connected middle school dean. You might also be interested in his #Satchat Twitter chat for school leaders every Saturday morning 7:30-8:30 AM EST. Or you might be interested in the topic of assessment literacy and look for the Assessment Literacy Digest, which is a relatively new paper.

Or if you already spend time on Pinterest for more personal and fun interests (I like doors and travel, myself), consider expanding to look at things related to our profession. Follow Edutopia, for example. And by all means, check out a couple of my favorite communities – Powerful Learning Practice (PLPnetwork) and edWeb.

Oh, and hit me up on Twitter – @kdyer13. Looking forward to connecting with you!

Take a minute and share here what you are doing for CEM.

Glad to have you as part of my PLN!

In doing some research this fall, I came across 3 science resources.

Next Generation Science Standards: I was in a workshop last year when a teacher started talking about NGSS – an acronym new to me then. This site is an everything-you-want–to-know-about-NGSS. The story of the evolution of science standards along with questions is found on this site.

Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth: Business class, preparation for summer break or talking with students and parents, this site from Johns Hopkins provides reports, articles, fact sheets and suggestions.

Garden.org: Sponsored by the National Gardening Association this site offers free, plant-based materials, grants and resources. NGA resources expand knowledge in a variety of areas to include science, social studies, leadership, problem solving and team building, to name a few.


4 Common Core Resources

With all the talk and the press about Common Core State Standards, we’ve been exposed to many resources. Here are 4 that I go back to often.

Periodic Table of Common Core Standards: The authors describe this as a “tool that could help you pull the big ideas of the standards into one place.” What I love about this infographic are the visual cues.

Five-Minute Film Festival: Digging into the Common Core: This is a new favorite blog for me. Amy Erin Borovoy’s Five-Minute Film Festivals are well-organized and easy to use. On the topic of the Common Core, she provides 10 videos ranging in length from under 2 minutes to over 12 minutes, all designed to help explain CC. Be sure to listen/watch the Common Core Blues – you might smile.

Achieve the Core: A personal favorite, this site has free resources for educators. The professional development section has solid and easy-to-implement resources.

engageNY: This site provides a wealth of information – implementation resources, curriculum resources (I know, NY focus), professional development kits and more. The video, Teaching is the Core, allows us to hear lots of teachers’ voices and hear about student engagement.

For some reason I really want to take a quantum physics course – have for a while now. It seemed like a MOOC might be a way to do that. One thing I discovered and explored was this massive list of potential courses. And while I haven’t found the course for me yet, I have encountered some interesting information about MOOCs.

In this article by Greg Thompson, MOOCs (massive open online course) are talked about as independent study for advanced students, an additional tool for K-12 educators – watch the Scott Garrigan video;

Learning online is changing, almost daily it seems. MOOCs are not as simple as converting an existing course. The “sheer scale …changes key dynamics,” says Michelle Fredett. The student body is different (and not just larger). Assessment changes. Planning is important, as is reacting to the data. Check out the right-hand navigation bar beside this article for additional articles about MOOCs.

My youngest is about to finish college. After 2 on-campus experiences she switched to e-learning . This allows her to work full-time and go to school. And according to the data, she is not alone. “The number of college students taking at least one online course nearly doubled, from 23 percent to 45, over the last five years according to the 2013 College Explorer, a new report from market research company re:fuel. Students taking online courses are also enrolled in an average of two per term, according to the report.” (She is taking 3 each term.) The data in this article (below the fold) is pretty interesting and makes me wonder what it looks like for high schoolers, teachers, principals…

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