Monday, February 29, 2016

60 Second Tour of - Kid Safe Search Engine

Parents and teachers rejoice! The best safe search engine for our kids is the new Not only are search results safe, they are from selected sites and prioritized by readability and depth. Icons are nice and big and image searches won't return any random inappropriateness. News and video results actually contain quality content that kids can understand and use.

A couple of disclaimers: Kiddle looks like a Google product but IS NOT owned or operated by Google. It runs off of Google's safe search. Also, it is not completely fool-proof. Some reports of questionable returns have popped up across the web. Thanks to Karen Bosch for sharing this article about that.

Let's just call Kiddle "the safest search engine yet". Always, always supervise searching and help kids evaluate the usefulness of search results.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's Time for an Educational Jailbreak

Coding, Maker Space, Video, Photography, Graphic Design, Sound Engineering, and countless other great educational innovations have suffered far too long in the educational prisons of the world. It is time we break them out and truly integrate them into the core curriculum.

Coding is math. Video editing is story telling. Making is practical application of all kinds of "core" skills. They have to move though beyond being viewed as clubs, fun Friday activities, or just stuff hippies do to avoid integrating fully into society.

The education establishment has this terrible tendency to bottle up and lock away approaches to teaching and learning that don't look like something it experienced in the classroom twenty years ago or worse isn't obviously a part of subject areas measured by state assessments.

My former district took away specials like gym and art and made them test prep time. Recess was all but eliminated for more reading instruction. So much for educating the whole child.

This has to stop.

We can lament this all we want and nothing will change or we can begin to focus on the pedagogy and develop sound ways that coding builds success in the algebra classroom and that iMovie Book Trailers build excitement for reading and a demonstration of literacy. That is how we break down the prison walls that are keeping great innovation on the fringes of education and not at its core.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Help Your Students Evaluate Credible Sources

Here is a Google Slides deck to guide your students through the evaluation of credible sources. To use it, simply access the slides here and then ask students to make a copy under file.

There seems to be some controversy out there about the value of Wikipedia. The way I approach it and explain it to students on that slide is that needs to be used with other credible sources but typically it can be very valuable. Taking a look at the history of changes in the Charge of the Light Brigade is a true eye opener as to all of the work the nerds who write these articles really put into accuracy and detail. I guarantee whoever wrote the Encyclopedia Britannica's article on the Charge of the Light Brigade did not do this much work.

The rest of the slides are pretty self-explanatory and we have a lot of fun with sites highlighting the plight of the Pacific Tree Octopus and whale watching on the Great Lakes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CUE Rock Star Black Label TOSA Camp: Teaching Kids to Learn Like Pros


Here are links and resources for my Day 1 session at the CUE Rock Star Black Label TOSA Camp.

Why Wait? Teach Kids To Learn as Young Professionals and Transform any School Experience Now.

Jennifer Magiera: Power To The Pupil

Business Insider: Most Impressive High School Graduates - Design a Cell Phone

Ottawa Area ISD - Future Prep Skills 4 Success


Bentheim Elementary 5th Grade Production Company Logos

Creativity Apps




Adobe Photo Shop Color Effects
Adobe Photo Shop Mix

Pixlr Express

PegLight 2

Genius Hour: Hamilton Community Schools Genius Hour

Genius Bar in Your Classroom 



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

75 Days of Flocabulary for Free? Yeeaaaah Boooooooy!

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="197"] What time is it? Time to sign up for a 75 day free trial of  Flocabulary.[/caption]

Here is something guaranteed to chase the winter blues out of your classroom. Check out full access to for the next 75 days for FREE!

Flocabulary is fabulous for building academic vocabulary in all of the core academic domains through high quality animated rap songs whose lyrics and concepts stick with kids.

Beyond the core subjects Flocab is expanding with some great coding and computer science videos as well as a life skills series featuring financial literacy and social emotional learning.

There is also no better way to cap a Friday than with the weekly "Week in Rap" and "Week in Rap Jr." current event videos.

Get your 75 Day trial started with this code.