Thursday, October 06, 2016

30 Resources for Stopping Bullying at YOUR School
What are YOU doing to stop bullying at your school?  

Bullying comes in many flavors. It can be angry gangs on the playground. It can be a punch in the shoulder or repeated namecalling in the school hallways as students move between classes. It can be "cool" girls making fun of others to add to their feeling of superiority. It can be "macho" boys intimidating their gay classmates. It can be a class of students standing around a special needs student calling him "Stupid." It might be kids (or parents) waging anonymous online wars against a classmate who "rubs them the wrong way."

Fortunately, the anti-bullying movement is actively engaged in a fight against this aggressive behavior in our schools and in the general public (online or not). The U.S. government has taken a stance against bullying and supported with the website and grants for fighting this problem. The most important thing is to be informed of what can be done.

Here are some resources that I have found you might find valuable in building your program:

Stop Bullying Songs:

Bullying Stories

 Stop the Bullying Programs

Stop Bullying Websites

Stop Bullying Articles

Stop Cyber Bullying

NOTE: This is based upon a posting I did on Stopping Bullying back in 2013.  After talking about it in class today, I realized that it shouldn't languish in old posts.  It needed a rebirth. I have added some resources.  
Do you have other stories of success, programs for fighting bullying or ideas about how to combat this unfairness?  If so, please provide your ideas in the comments below.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Learn from Educational Podcasts on your iOS or Android Phones

Ever wanted to listen to a radio show but you can't because you have a wonderful online class session to attend?  Ever want to follow radio shows just like they did in the 50s?  Ever want to listen to those incredible TED talks but you don't have time to sit down to your computer?  Ever want to share your ideas or your students' ideas with the world through the spoken word?

Podcasting is your answer.

Podcasting is to the internet what Tivo is to digital TV and what VHS was to analog TV.  It is a way to capture events/shows/ideas and then play them back so that you can listen to them any time.  

The greatest quality about Podcasting is that it is mobile.  I started podcasting my classes in about 2006.  We would audio record classes and students would listen to them later.  Students could listen to the class while they were driving or walking or just lying around.  

The biggest issue with podcasting is that people just don't seem to know how to make it run on their phones.  I see students walking around campus with earphones plugs into both sides of their heads.  Are they listening to podcasts about the upcoming profession?  Probably not. They should, because it can give them that special edge that they might need to succeed in their professions.

One misconception that many people have is that you have to be on wifi to listen to podcasts.  Not True!!!  You can download podcast episodes to the app on your mobile device and then listen to it later.  I like to listen to podcasts while I am gardening and working in the yard.

Here is how you listen to podcasts on your phone or mobile device:

  1. Download and install a podcast app. (Apple, Android or ??)
  2. Sign up to get an account.
  3. Subscribe to podcasts that pique your interest.  Here are some of my favorites:
    1. TED Talks 
    2. Every Classroom Matters - Vicki Davis -   The Cool Cat Teacher
    3. This American Life
    4. Tech Talk Roundtable (Concordia EdTech Podcast)
    5. Moving at the Speed of Creativity
  4. For each podcast, open the settings and set it to your specifications. Some of the settings include:
    1. How often to refresh
    2. Maximum number of episodes you on your phone at once.
    3. Should your player delete episodes after they have been played.
There you have it!!!!   You are a podcast listener!!!!

But which podcast players should you use?  How do you go about doing this?  
Here are some videos that can address some of your questions.   If you have any others, please post them in the comments section and me or one of our readers to answer.

Listening to Podcasts on your Desktop

What if you don't want to listen to it on your phone?  If you want to listen to it on your desktop, I would suggest using iTunes.  Sure this is an Apple product, but it runs on both platforms and is easy to use.

If that doesn't fit your needs, here is an article about How to Listen to Podcasts in Windows 10.

What do you think?  Don't wait, go right ahead and download an app to your phone or mobile device and listen to some of your favorites.

Here are some places to find leading podcasts in Education:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Finding and Using Education Hashtags on Twitter

I have already written about finding and using Education Hashtags on Twitter, but I have just found a few more important resources that I think you would want to use.
  • Using Twitter to Grow Your PLN (Education-related hashtags)
    A quick intro into using Twitter to expand your PLN. This page talks a lot about "chats." These are Tweetchats. Remember that you can search on those #hashtags at anytime to connect with other educators in your area of interest.  Edutopia is a website created by George Lucas and dedicated to showing "What Works in Education."
  • Education TweetChats & Educational Hashtags
    I wrote about this earlier, but no list of Twitter resources would be complete without this from Cybraryman.  This is a calendar of Tweetchats that are occurring all week long but remember that you can also use the hashtags to connect with other educators at any time.
  • Grade Level #Hashtags:  2ndchat, 5thchat, 12thchat
    This has been noted through the previous resources, but please remember that if you are teaching 5th grade, you can just use the hashtag, #5thchat, to connect with other educators.  It's a great way to learn from practicing teachers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Back from ISTE 2016 and Lovin' It!!!

I had a WONDERFUL TIME at ISTE 2016.  This was my 25th ISTE/NECC and they just keep getting better.

Learned a great deal.  Made incredible connections.   Assumed the presidency of the ISTE Global Collaboration PLN from Julie Lindsay - Thanks Julie.  Had GREAT food.  Met a bunch of dedicated and visionary educators.  Made new friends and contacts.

I will be writing about this over the next week or so.  There is much to share but right now I am in prepration for Fall Semester at UNI and getting ready to ride my bike across Iowa in our annual RAGBRAI ride.

Until that time, I would like to share wonderful Infographic about the attendance of ISTE 2016 "By The Numbers."

Take a look at the photo of the crowd.  Recognize anyone?  Yes, that is me sitting in the front of the row with the blue shirt.   Must have been a slow day at the office . . .Well, anywho, I look forward to sharing what I learned and learning what you did as well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Latest Update Video for the Schindler Education Center Renovation

Click the link in the text ------->
As many of you know, our Schindler Education Center at the University of Northern Iowa is undergoing a massive update.  We are really excited about the process and periodically the UNI PR people release a video about what's happening.

Unfortunately, I couldn't embed the video into this web page so you will have to click on UNI Schindler Education Center video

You can see that the Lobby now has a gi-normous hole in the floor for the new stairs to emerge.  You will see a huge door cut into the curved brick wall that was in the lobby.  This door leads to the IRTS lab.  There are many more changes coming up and I look forward to moving into my office for the Spring 2017 semester.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Using Twitter Hashtags to Connect with Other Educators

Ever wonder how to connect with other educators who have the same interests as you?

You're a 2nd grade teacher in a small school and you have some 2nd grade questions.  Where do you turn?

You're a high school social studies teacher and you want to look for new ways to engage students in your subject.  Where do you turn?

There is a whole world of resources out there for the connected educator.  You can read articles or follow blogs but you will get the most out of direct interaction.  Twitter may be your resource.

I will assume that you know something about Twitter and Tweetchats.

What astounded me was when I found a directory Education Tweet Chats that was posted by Cybrary Man.    Not only are there hundreds of chats listed, it is organized by the day and time when they meet weekly.  It is an unbelievable resource.

Moreover, the hashtags that are used for the weekly tweetchats are wonderful ways to find other people with similar interests during the week.  You can use these hashtags to find others with your interests, or share ideas/resources that you think others in your field will enjoy.

Did you know that there are hashtags for each grade?  If you are a 2nd grade teacher and you want to see what other 2nd grade teachers are posting on Twitter, you just need to search for #2ndchat

If you want to connect with other Social Studies teachers, you just need to search for #sslap (Social Studies Teacher-Like-a-Pirate) or #sschat (Social Studies Teacher Chat).

What do you do?  How do you use Twitter to connect/discover with distant colleagues?
Which Tweet Chats do you find the most helpful?

Please share your ideas and hashtags with our other readers.


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Using Blogging in the Classroom
Reading Blogs
Blogging is today's newspaper, book, magazine, and thinking pad all rolled into one.  The beauty of a blog is that it provides the creator with a true freedom of expression.  It allows us to create freely and express ourselves in ways that weren't available 20 years ago.

This form of expression is ripe for the classroom:  
  • Many teachers at all levels use blogs to provide a painting easel for students to create. 
  • Some teachers use them to share information about what is happening in their classrooms (a much more direct form of communication than sending newsletters home each week. 
  • Many teachers use blogs to share their projects or ask advice of other educators.   The opportunities are endless.
Here are some examples:

Student Creations
Sharing What's Happening in the Classroom
Sharing Ideas with Other Educators
The best way to learn about blogging is to read blogs. Select at least 3 blogs concerning your educational interests to follow throughout this class. You can select from the list above, or you could look for suggestions at 52 Education Blogs You Should Follow ( or you could Google it by entering the term, Blog, and then your area of interest, Universal Design for Learning.

Following Blogs
Once you have found the blogs you want to follow, you need to find a way to get to them easily.  Yes, you could bookmark them in your browser and then click on them daily.  BUT, there IS a simpler way. 

It is possible to use a Feed Reader to check your blogs daily and inform you when something new has been added.  There are many of these feed readers, but to make it simple, I am going to suggest using Feedly.  

Here is a short video on how to install Feedly as a Chrome Extension.