Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Digital Learning Day 2016 - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What are we doing for Digital Learning Day 2016?  Hopefully, we are doing the same things we do EVERY day!  In 2016, EVERY day should be a digital learning day.  Our digital tools should be so much a natural part of our day-to-day work that the most wonderful thing about DLD is that it is just like every other day.

Digital tools are not the novelty they once were.  With a 1:1 program, our students are just as comfortable pulling out their digital devices and logging on to complete a task as those of us from the previous generations were pulling out our paper and pencils.  Do we really need to create a forced celebration or static digital event to commemorate DLD?  I would hope not.  I would hope that as citizens in a digital world, these events were commonplace.

For those who disagree... prove me wrong!  Here are some resources:

Digital Learning Day 2016 Logo

Monday, June 22, 2015

Join me at ISTE 2015

The time has come for one of my favorite events of the year... ISTE 2015!  This year, the conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA.  Some folks might think that going to a conference isn't real "work!"  Well, to them I say, "You've never seen ME at a conference!"  I get teased unmercifully about how rabidly I go at a conference... and ISTE especially.  I chomp at the bit to get an early start, which is totally against my nature, and I go until I can barely put one foot in front of the other in the evening.  A couple of years ago in San Antonio, TX, my group was worried about me because I had not returned to the hotel by 7:30pm.  Now they know better.  It's just MaryAnn in ISTE-mode.

ISTE is the place where I go to recharge my professional batteries.  I am like a big old sponge, soaking up everything I can hear.  I truly am a lifelong learner and this is my biggest chance of the year to learn something new!  So if you see me in Philadelphia, don't say I didn't warn you.  Don't get in my way or you may get trampled!  Come join me, and let's learn something together!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Farewell to a friend... Gone too soon!

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that as of April 3, 2015, InfuseLearning will be no more.  Released as a free tool, they came to the realization that they could not live up to their own expectations for technology you could count on in a classroom.  Here is the announcement in their own words:  Closing Time.

In leaving us, the do suggest some alternative free tools for formative assessment in the classroom.  This Pinterest Board lists several tools you may want to consider.

Join me in wishing the folks from InfuseLearning best wishes as they move on to their next venture.  It's folks like them, who truly believe in bringing exciting, new tools into the classroom, that will make the future of education bright!

We will miss you!

And.... curtain.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Yesterday, the FCC passed a strong ruling to recognize broadband as a Title II communications service.  This is exactly the net neutrality ruling that many of us were hoping for, helping to ensure an open, free Internet.  Big cable companies wanted to limit what we could do and see online, but despite their lobbying efforts where they spent millions of  dollars, WE WON!

Use the hashtag in the picture to help celebrate and take part in this grass-roots movement to keep the Internet accessible to all!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Jumping back in the #CDL_MOOCEd pool

I've done this before, but life always tends to get in the way and my eager beginning attitude wains with time.  I end up dropping out and slinking into the shadows to disappear from my MOOC-mates.  Not this time!  I vow to stay tuned in and turned on to this new opportunity to connect with like-minded educators from around the world.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, take a link over to NCSU's The Friday Institute Coaching Digital Learning-MOOCEd page and register.  It just started today, so it's not too late to join in!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hit the top of RBTHOTS! Create with these apps!

I love reading my daily inbox.  I have subscribed to so many newsletters and blogs that I always find something worthwhile in there to pass along.  Today's find was from Richard Byrne, techno-geek extraordinaire!  (... and I use that term with the utmost affection, Richard!)  He shares in his blog about "Three Free(ish) iPad Apps for Creating Narrated Stories."  Go ahead!  Take a minute to read his blog.  I'll wait here....

There is nothing more powerful than allowing students to create... something... ANYthing!  Apps make that creation process easier for the beginner.  Yes, there are paid versions of these apps, but the FREE versions allow you to use enough of the features to determine if you really think it's worthwhile to purchase the app.  You may also decide to continue to use only the FREE app, and there is nothing in the world wrong with that!

The bottom line is... the creation process the students go through using these apps to make a narrated story using either illustrations or imported photos, will deepen their knowledge.  Some students find it very difficult to write about what they have learned, but they can TELL you about it all day long.  Let them narrate their stories.  Then show them how that is similar to writing.  Have them transcribe their speaking into words.  Before you know it, you will have "created" a classroom full of writers!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Real World Examples of What We Mean When We Use All That Edu-Techno-Jargon

We're all guilty of it.  We get together and start throwing around the latest edu-speak.  We know what we're talking about.  Shouldn't everybody else?  This, above just about anything else, is why some parents don't want to talk to us.  They don't know what we mean!  We talk about things like Bloom's Taxonomy of Higher Order Thinking Skills... or worse yet, the alphabet-soup of HOTS.  Anyone in education knows immediately what we're talking about.  But for the person in the conversation not "in the club," not "in on the joke," not "speaking our language," it can be very intimidating!

So as I was just reading through my inbox this morning, I came across an article that not only puts what we mean when we're using that terminology into layman's terms, it gives real-world, practical examples of apps you can use in the classroom with kids to accomplish some of these famous higher order thinking skills!  It even shows you what the finished products students create might look like.  So take a few minutes and read this article, by Kathy Schrock, the quintessential guru of all things educational technology:  6 Apps That Target Higher Order Thinking Skills.  You'll be glad you did!