Tag Archives: washington

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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Free STEM And PBL Resources From Discovery Education and Siemens

What an appropriate time to  celebrate the NSTA Conference with a tribute to an awesome collection of  STEM resources! For those not familiar with STEM education, imagine the power in combining Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math into a program that brings cross curricular understanding with real world application. Those familiar with Daniel Pink even understand the importance of a fine arts contribution to STEM. Now combine the outstanding and first rate resources of Siemens Corporation and Discovery Education. Welcome to a posting that highlights a great web site based on STEM, PBL, and 21st Century education!  Don’t miss any part of this posting, including the conclusion which includes what may be the best free professional development opportunity for STEM educators this summer! As always feel free to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans) and I will be sure to follow you back and we can learn from one another! You are also invited to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! Please enjoy and share this post with others! Have a great week! – Mike

I have been working with STEM education and Project Based Learning for over ten years! I have presented on this topic at  regional and national conferences along with facilitating in-service at various schools. When I first visited the Siemen’s STEM Academy I was amazed at the resources already collected in the short time this website has been online.  It is evident, as stated in the website, “Siemens is committed to supporting the next generation of scientists, engineers, and business leaders through multiple educational initiatives.” Additionally, Discovery Education has a reputation of delivering not only a diverse and highly engaging streaming service, but also a commitment to programs that are transforming classroom instruction across the nation.

The first thing you may notice are links to some STEM activities that have been well known for their past success. This includes the  Siemens Competition which allows high school students to gain national recognition as they explore Math, Science & Technology with challenging research. Visit Siemens Science Day where elementary students can make slime, create creatures, or forecast a funnel cloud. The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge empowers students in all grades to participate in the only national challenge to develop and share environmental ideas that just might just change the world. The Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement encourages advanced placement students today to advance innovation for tomorrow.

Perhaps you want to check out the Professional Development Webinar Page featuring upcoming webinars such as;  Getting Started with Project Based Learning with Jennifer Dorman on April 8,  7 PM ET and Layers of Learning with Google Earth with Brad Fountain May 4, 7 PM ET. Take a look at the outstanding archive of ready to watch webinars including;  How Math Can Solve Everyday Problems, Using Technology To Create New KnowledgeTop Ten STEM ResourcesSTEM Connect with Michio Kaku, Live Green Webinar #1Live with Mr. Wizard!Summer School – Science Week, The Science of Hurricanes and Go Wild: Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Talks About Environmental Education in the Age of Technology. There are more webinars planned for the future!

Another important area to visit is the Resource Page.  It contains quality information and lessons that will assist teachers in the implementation of STEM lessons and 21st century learning.  Teachers can share their favorite lesson plans, tips, tricks, ideas, presentations, websites, videos and other STEM related resources that may prove useful for others who want to expand their classroom materials.   Subjects include Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics,  and Integration. Once again, this site is relatively new and while there is over one hundred resources available already, it is bound to grow! One example, check out this entertaining video that teaches students major concepts about rocks? (You may need to sign up to view)  Be sure to visit the STEM Blog packed with current and cutting edge  STEM ideas and news information. Blog content is contributed by Discovery Education’s Patti Duncan and Lance Rougeux.  At the Blog you can learn about National Lab Day and take time to view this video including a message from the President. The Blog links to some great STEM related resources such as this ESchool News Article on STEM education resources. This Blog will prove to be a valuable resource as you look for information to use and share with others while investigating the growing STEM movement.

Are you looking for what may be one of the best free professional development opportunities for educators interested in STEM this summer? If  you are looking to bolster STEM learning in your classroom, want access to top STEM scientists, thought-leaders, and innovators, and want to network with like minds across the country, then apply today to attend the Siemens STEM Institute The application deadline is April 16, 2010. The Siemens STEM Institute is described as ” a one-of-a-kind immersion program that promotes hands-on, real-world integration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the classroom.” You, or a colleague you pass this on to, could be one of fifty teachers selected as a STEM Fellows to attend this all expenses-paid, week-long (Aug. 1-6) professional development experience. The event will be hosted at the world headquarters of Discovery Communications, located just outside of the nation’s capitol, in Washington D.C. The week will be filled with guest speakers at the forefront of STEM, field trips to leading institutions where Fellows will observe real-world applications of STEM subject matter, and opportunities for networking and collaborating with peers from across the nation. In addition to broad-based STEM applications, each Fellow will be assigned to a thematic working group that will provide additional deep-dive exposure. Take a look at an agenda that any serious STEM educator would want to be a part of!

It is time you take a moment and discover what Discovery Education and Siemens have created to facilitate our student’s success in the Twenty-first Century! As more educators understand the value of STEM education, Discovery Education and Siemens will join that necessary and important partner, which is you and your students!  Take a moment to register for free and explore the world of STEM education and real Inquiry – Project Based Learning!

Thanks for joining me on another journey dedicated to learning in the Twenty-first Century! Please share resources you find that promote STEM education! It truly is an exciting time to be an educator!  As always feel free to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans) and I will be sure to follow you back and we can learn from one another! You are also invited to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  Please enjoy and share this post with others!  Have a great week! – Mike

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Free And Engaging Resources At Smithsonian Website – Podcasts, Simulations, Lessons, Oh My!

Smithsonian Education – If you have been to the Smithsonian in Washington DC you may have been overwhelmed by its size! I guarantee you will be equally impressed with its website. In this review I will cover the area of the Smithsonian Website geared for educators. From the Education Page there are many options including Art and Design, Science and Technology, History and Culture, along with Language Arts. Take a moment and look at the unique lessons provided in each of the areas. Such interesting titles as Making Friends with Franklin , Every Picture Has a Story , How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are , and The Music in Poetry are just four selections in a large collection of lessons and projects. Easy to use data bases allow teachers to access more than 1,500 rich Smithsonian educational resources and align with grade, subject and specific state standards. The Smithsonian’s new student web links has a wide range of activities, web sites, puzzles, hand outs, and engaging facts. The Idea Lab is filled with interactive activities, videos, and simulations involving the massive Smithsonian collection. Smithsonian in Your Classroom Magazine includes lesson plans based on primary sources you can view. In keeping with the spirit of Heritage Months, the Smnithsonian offers these thematically arranged teaching resources from across the Smithsonian. The resources have been selected for their relevance to classroom curriculum and national education standards. They include Black History, Asian Pacific Americans, American Indian Heritage, Women’s History, and Hispanic Heritage. There are even lessons about podcasts in the classroom. In the spirit of virtual field trips there are live and archived conferences that allows kids to interact, view sessions, watch a multi media event, and even ask a curator. The Smithsonian is a great resources, its yours, and its free. Bring its national treasures, collections and resources into your classroom today!

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