Tag Archives: iste

Tweet For Ed Funding: Not Everything Is Free!

Yours Truly Facilitating The Indiana Team’s March To Capitol Hill

Welcome to a short midweek post dedicated to political action in education. I firmly believe that educators must proactively support technology in education. It is my hope that when students enter a school they walk into an environment that is engaging and promotes 21st Century standards along with the important core curriculum. Please read on and I invite you to help the people at ISTE as they support technology in the classroom. As always you can follow me on Twitter at (@mjgormans) and also read about free resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Please read and consider… Thanks – Mike

I have been a long time advocate for students and the educational needs of the classroom. At the same time I understand that budgets are limited, in fact, that is the reason for both my Blog and Wiki! Both of these publications are my attempt at making teachers aware of free and inexpensive resources. While these are important, it is a reality that hardware, infrastructure, professional development, internet access, and their maintenance to support student learning is not free. For this reason I have met with legislators in my state capitol in Indiana and I also had the opportunity to lead a state delegation to Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill last year at NECC09.  (See picture above.)

Being a member of the ISTE ESEA Reauthorization Advisory Group, I recently recieved an email from Hilary Goldmann, who is the hard working Director of Government Affairs for ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). She reports that ISTE is asking educators to contemplate taking some necessary action in order for all schools to at least maintain the current technology programs they have in place. At the present time the 2011 federal budget eliminates funding for Enhancing Education Through Technology, or EETT, which is the only dedicated funding stream for educational technology. On Wednesday, May 12, educators, parents, administrators and students from around the country and across the world are asked to speak out to support funding for ed tech. ISTE is suggesting that you take a moment to send a tweet, write a blog, update your Facebook status, start a Ning thread, or communicate by whatever means you have access to online to voice your support for dedicated ed tech funding in the 2011 federal budget. Below are some suggestion for ways you can make a difference.

Sample short messages for Tweets and social networking: (Sample of key Legislatures  included)

  • @TomHarkin #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • @DavidObey #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • @ThadCochran #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • @RepToddTiahrt #EETT Support innovation in learning & teaching. Fund #edtech at $500m
  • Our schools need 21st century education, #EETT. Fund #edtech at $500 m
  • No funding for #edtech? No prep for 21st century. Fund #EETT at $500m
  • I support #edtech. I vote. Fund #EETT at $500m in 2011
  • As a principal/teacher/parent I know our kids need #edtech skills. Fund #EETT at $500m

Sample blog topics:

  • How has ed tech improved the way you teach?
  • How has ed tech improved the way students learn?
  • What would you do with additional ed tech funding?
  • What will your students lose if EETT funding goes away?
  • Why is it important to have up-to-date technology in classrooms?

Please take a moment to reflect and consider any action. Perhaps you desire more information. Please click here (good information for you to be aware of) for details on the 2011 ed tech funding plans. You can also read about educational technology advocacy at the ISTE site Thanks for taking the time to read and consider.  Not all of ed tech resources are free and inexpensive, but as I find them I will be sure to let you know. Thanks for your time and please consider subscribing by RSS or email! Have a wonderful week and continue that journey toward 21st century education. – Mike

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An ISTE Webinar Packed With Free Education Resources… And I’m Your Host!

I would like to invite you to join me as I host an ISTE Technology In Practice Webinar entitled; 21st Century Education and Technology Integration: No Cost and Low Cost Investments with Rich Results for Students on Wednesday, May 12 at 4:00 PM EDT! If the length of the the title is any indication of the resources shared, and it is, you are in for a a landslide of free resources. I am excited about sharing what I believe is over  two hours of resources in the hour time slot! Check out the link to this webinar at ISTE Webinars. By the way, I am available and can provide a staff of educators with their own webinar. I have enjoyed giving live presentations at NMSA, CELL, Alan November BLC09, ICE, and  NICE  to name a few. While I sometimes travel to different schools to provide in-service, I entertain the idea of facilitating a webinar that just might fit your school’s needs and budget. As always please follow me on Twitter@mjgorman) or email me  at (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us).  Now, please give me the opportunity to present a little more about why I am so excited about my up-coming ISTE Webinar

First, it is an honor and a privilege to be invited by the professionals at ISTE (International Society For Technology In Education) to present one of their Technology In Practice Webinars. In fact, it is an honor I take very serious and have spent months trying to get the presentation just right. I feel whether I present in person, or on-line, it is my duty to deliver a presentation with motivational enthusiasm that is not only engaging and entertaining, but allows people to walk a way with new knowledge they can implement tomorrow! After all, isn’t that what is expected in the 21st Century classroom?  Not only that, participants must be able to access resources presented, along with access to myself, after the webinar is over! I plan on making sure that all is accomplished.

The Webinar entitled, 21st Century Education and Technology Integration: No Cost and Low Cost Investments with Rich Results for Students will cover the following areas. First, a quick philosophy of 21st Century Learning and a practical approach to addressing curricular standards while transforming educational delivery to the digital natives of today. This will transition into four different categories of resources available containing thousands of resources. Last, it concludes by applying this transformational thinking and integrating it with important lessons teachers already do. It is a goal that participants discover new and exciting ways to connect with today’s digital learners using free resources.  It is my intent to provide insight into ways of interconnecting local, state, and national standards while relating them with real world issues that are authentic and relevant.  I realize this is quite a bit for an hour, but I guarantee an hour well spent!

Thanks for joining me for another journey in 21st Century Education! I hope you are able to participate in the webinar, if not please continue to visit this blog for cutting edge ideas and information. Remember, I am always willing to assist with a conference, webinar, or in-service. I am honored to have you as a member of my professional learning community and look forward to future networking! Again, follow me on Twitter at @mjgormans), subscribe to this blog by email or RSSl, email me at mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us, and if possible join me at the webinar! Next posting: I have found a secure teacher facilitated blog spot for kids! … read about it  in the next post! Until then… have a wonderful end to your week! – Mike

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Alan November’s BLC 10 : A Conference? … More Than A Conference!

In this post I want to share with you one of the most amazing conferences I have ever attended, or presented at. I am sure you are aware of Alan November, an outstanding student centered education leader who advocates for effective educational transformation. Alan is probably best known for challenging educators’ thoughts about what’s possible in the world of teaching and learning  Take a moment and as you read this post, I am sure you will want to make  the trip to Boston, an awesome city, this summer! Have a great week! – Mike

The website  for the BLC10 states  “Get ready to have your brain tickled with ideas from around the world.” I guarantee that not only will your brain be tickled, but your enthusiasm will be ignited, your knowledge will be compounded, and your journey toward effective learning will be empowered.  At BLC10 you will learn and network from representatives all around the world including some of the most prestigious leaders in the field of education. This conference program features hands-on pre-conference workshops, keynotes and over 90 main session workshops, all in an intimate setting allowing for real discussion that will build your learning community.

BLC  first started as a ‘jam session’ of ideas between friends and education colleagues and now in its eleventh year it has grown into something truly special. My first venture to Boston for this conference was the summer of 2009. After completing studies involving administration, supervision, and technology at Johns Hopkins University I had the opportunity to attend and even present at BLC10. Little did I realize what an eye opening experience this would be. It was after this conference that I first started this Blog. While it is still small in scale, reaching about 300 people a day, I still remember the day I decided to start this blog. It was a wonderful presentation at BLC by by Liz Davis and Lisa Thumann that gave me the inspiration. I was also engaged by Benjamin Zander’s startling new perspective on leadership. His  stories, music and concepts allowed me to explore opportunities I had never considered .  As stated in BLC09’s write up , his presentation was not a speech, it was an experience!  Take a look at this list of outstanding speakers and educators that were a part of last year’s conference. It is these people, and others I met, that facilitated my new ventures this year such as  producing an ISTE  Webinar this May 12, participating in enjoyable podcast (mar 4) with Bob Sprankle,  Cheryl Oakes, and Alice Barr at their Seedling’s website, presenting at numerous conferences through out the country.

This year’s world class event which will take place at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel from July 11-16, 2010, has another great line up in store. One of this year’ s Keynotes includes Rahaf Harfous , a New Media Expert and Member of President Barack Obama’s Social Media Team. Harfoush is the author of Yes We Did (2009), a book about the grassroots groundswell inspired by the Obama campaign. She is the Research Coordinator to the critically acclaimed Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything and a contributor on both Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing your World and Everything I Needed to Know About Business I Learned from a Canadian. Another keynote will include  Michael Wesch, an  Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography, at Kansas State University in  Manhattan, KS. He has been dubbed “the explainer” by Wired magazine.  Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He has also won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities. Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Professor of Learning Research and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Laborator will be a real treat for educators. Mitchel will explore how new technologies can engage people in creative learning experiences. Resnick’s research group developed the “programmable brick” technology that inspired the LEGO MindStorms robotics kit and the PicoCricket artistic-invention kit. Perhaps my favorite of Resnick’s efforts is the awesome MIT computer program,  Scratch, a big hit with educators and students across the world.  A very special presentation will be made by Adora Svtak. Called a “tiny literary giant” by Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, Svtak is the world’s youngest teacher and the published author of three books. She explores new technologies and their possibilities in education through her teaching and speaking. Adora’s daily video conferences with students from around the world have earned her Berrien RESA’s “Best Author and Expert” award for distance learning two years in a row.

Make sure you check out this list of great pre-conference workshops from some of the best people in their fields. You may find yourself spending the day in the MIT labs, working with digital photography in Boston, working with Web 2.0 technologies, creating a digital story, or spending the day with Alan November exploring the idea of leadership and managing transitions. It is an awesome line up of workshops so be sure to check out this link of outstanding opportunities. These workshops are all followed the next three days by general sessions presented by some of the very finest. Best of all, there are opportunities that allow you to be part of the conversation, as you build your own learning community.

Take a moment to view the conference information provided. Here, you will find a wealth of information about the BLC10 along with the registration form. Boston is an awesome city to explore, the Boston Park Plaza is a majestic and inviting hotel, the Boston Common is right outside the door, and you will be surrounded by an amazing group of educators  assisting and networking with you as you grow to become a true 21st Century Educator.

I have learned that even after  over 30 years of teaching, I am looking forward to having still another opportunity to professionally grow this summer at BLC10.  Take a moment to look over the conference information and perhaps I will have the opportunity to network and learn from you this summer in Boston. Please feel free to follow on twitter (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. You are also invited to subscribe by email or RSS to this Blog, and  also feel free to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki. In the meantime, take a moment and consider expanding your learning community in Boston this summer at BLC10. Have a wonderful week! – Mike

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Tagxedo: Exciting New Word Cloud Generator Rich With Features!

Welcome to another informative mid-week post. Today I  want to introduce you to Tagxedo, a brand new Word Cloud Generator that has just been released in Beta. I first learned of it after receiving an email from its creator, Hardy Leung, several days ago. I was very impressed and feel it needs to be added to a list of Word Cloud Generators I created a few month ago in my Welcome Back Wordle Blog which generated almost one thousand reads.  If you have never read it, be sure to take a look. Take a moment to learn the features and future plans for Tagxedo. As always please feel free to follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans), I will keep you up-to-date and will be sure to follow back! Now let’s learn about a new site ! – Mike

Update from Tagxedo Creator Hardy Leung – I just want to clarify that, since Tagxedo was beta-released a whooping 3 days ago, it has been upgraded many times, and the latest version already supports the “future plans” of using either image or words as shapes. Also, you can now save to both Jpg or Png.

I often get emails from people who wish to have their site reviewed. I always take the time to check out these inquiries and pass on worthy findings to you. I am very excited to share with you this just beta-released word cloud application called Tagxedo. The website proclaims, “Tag Clouds with Style”, a mission I feel was accomplished. You will discover that this cutting edge program is an outstanding free application very similar to our good friend,  Wordle .  The creater of  Tagxedo emphasized to me that Tagxedo has a few extra qualities  not found in all Word Cloud Generators. After visiting and experimenting with the site I agree that Tagxedo does offer some awesome features.

So what  makes Tagxedo stand out? Some of the features that Leung pointed out to me include; highly interactive (no server round-trip), fast cloud generation time, custom shapes and themes, powerful layout engine (very nice shape hugging), and  lots of fonts (including custom user fonts and fonts from Font Squirrel). Most importantly, the interface allows the user to save “word clouds” as PNG image files and it also saves a History View (allowing user to see all “versions” and pick the one they like).

As you explore the site be sure to read the FAQ page which includes directions and future plans for the product. It is school friendly, due to the fact that it does not require a user log-in. Tagxedo is new and powerful, but the interface is still somewhat under construction.  In fact, two features that will arrive soon are the ability to use images as custom shapes and the ability to use specific words as custom shapes. The on-line gallery provides an idea of the capabilities that reside within Tagxedo. Please take the time to check out all the features of Tagxedo. As you do, I am sure that you will want to share Tagxedo others!

Thanks for stopping by for another post. Please be sure to subscribe via email or RSS. I encourage you to share this post with others and please return again. I will always keep you up-to-date on Twitter at (@mjgormans). A reminder that I will also facilitate an ISTE Webinar (21st Century Education and Technology Integration: No Cost and Low Cost Investments with Rich Results for Students) on May 12, 2010.  You are also welcome to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with great resources to facilitate educational transformation. Now, take a moment and discover Tagxedo and remember to reply!  Thanks – Mike



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Win An Online Learning Award Presented By ISTE And Global SchoolNet

In my mid week blogs I like to make you area of resources, sites, and opportunities available to educators intent on bringing Twenty-first Century skills to their classroom. This week I would like to introduce you to ISTE’s SIGOL and an amazing opportunity! First, ISTE (International Society For Technology In Education) is the largest educational oragnization of its type in the world and is famous for conventions that number over 18,000 attendees and for its well known NETS standards. In fact, I will be facilitating an ISTE Webinar on May 12, 2010. Please consider this an invitation to join me! SIGOL (Online Learning Special Interest Group) is one of ISTE’s  longest running and most exciting special interest groups. The other long time sponsor, Global SchoolNet, is excited about you taking part!  As a SIGOL member, I invite you to consider an opportunity to be awarded for the hard work you may have actually already done! Please take a look and, as always,  feel free to follow me on twitter (@mjgorman), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. Also, you are invited to explore a wealth of free resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki! Enjoy your week and please keep reading to learn about this awesome opportunity.


Have you and your students been involved in an original, online learning activity?  Perhaps you have created a class wiki or blog, communicated with other schools, teleconferenced with an author, created an awesome online project, or initiated a creative use of educational technology on the web. If so, I  encourage you to enter the 2010 SIGOL Online Learning Award competition. Since 1991, ISTE’s Online Learning Special Interest Group (SIGOL), has recognized creative teachers for their pioneering use of the web to provide innovative learning opportunities for school-aged students K–16. Read about past recipients. Any activity performed between February of 2009 and June 1, 2010 is eligible. The last day for submission is March 31, 2010.  The awards, which will be announced shortly after, in April of 2010, include great professional development opportunities. This link provides more information about this exciting award.

The first  place winner receives a $500 cash award, free conference registration worth $277 to ISTE’s annual conference and exposition in Denver Colorado, June 27—June 30, 2010,  a one year ISTE membership worth  $92 and a priceless invitation to present the project at ISTE’s annual conference. There are also two other great awards for both second and third place winners. While membership is not required, I recommend membership in  ISTE, an excellent organization supporting technology integration and Twenty-first Century skills,  and SIGOL which can be joined for free after paying registration for ISTE membership. Also take a look at the outstanding work being accomplished by the people at Global SchoolNet. It is a great site that wants to include you in  some real neat online classroom projects! Please take a moment to read about this prestigious award offered by ISTE, SIGOL, and Global SchoolNet. Perhaps you are already facilitating a potential winner! As you consider, take the time to pass this posting on to others who may be interested!

Thanks for joining me for another week of 21st Century opportunities in education. Perhaps I will be learning about your unique web and online program when you present your winning entry at ISTE2010. Hope to see you there, and also online at SIGOL, a great ISTE community and Global SchoolNet, a place to connect your classroom to the world!. As always feel free to follow me on twitter (@mjgorman). I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. Also you are invited to explore a wealth of free resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  Enjoy your week! – Mike

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