Category: Web Tools

Oct. 18, 2011

The Pro-D Flip

Since writing my 3 Keys to a Flipped Classroom blog post, I have been reading many great contributions to the discussion around flipping classrooms. Last week I was commenting on Lisa Nielsen’s thoughtful post Five Reasons I’m Not Flipping Over The Flipped Classroom and something occurred to me…

I have flipped my Professional Development!

I’ve done this with my blog and with Twitter.

Professional Development for me used to be about going to sessions on specific days and then trying to ‘bring back’ what I’ve learned and incorporate it into my daily practice. Sometimes this was very challenging, I would get inundated with new information and find it very hard to […]

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Apr. 27, 2011

So Much to Write…

And so little time.

How often we run into this time crunch in the world of writing and the teaching of writing. We don’t have the students write because there’s not enough time to get the laptops out, or there is too much required work to get done. And how often we don’t post a comment, or, gulp, a blog post, because, well, we’re too busy. But I say just do it. Make time for writing. Get kids writing often. And get them in digital spaces so they can read and comment on each other’s work. Regularly. Engagement, improvement in […]

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Jan. 24, 2011

Simple Tools for the Digital Classroom

The hardest thing for teachers to do is make the transition from paper and pencils to online media: Not enough computers, not enough knowledge, not enough time and a whole new way of doing things. We work with hundreds of teachers in the same situation and we offer this advice:

  • Take small steps.
  • Find a couple of tech-savvy kids in each of your classes to help.
  • Explore the digital world on your own.
  • Seek out people in the school or in professional development spheres to mentor you.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Don’t be afraid if you don’t have […]

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Jan. 16, 2011

Simple Communication Tools for Schools

This is a follow up to my blog post at the end of November urging educators to improve communication with their students and their families. I contend that publishing basic class information gives parents a window into your classroom and helps students get digitally organized. It’s now easier than ever as a plethora of tools exist to help people publish without a lot of technical steps. Creating and maintaining a class web site also does not have to be a time consuming chore.

Now that holidays are over and schools are back in session, perhaps now is a good time to explore […]

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Nov. 29, 2010

One Simple Thing

One thing teachers can do immediately to benefit students is to communicate electronically with students and their families. There are many options for doing so, and depending on how much autonomy you have within your school, you might want to explore a variety of tools to find the best fit for you and your classroom.

As a former teacher and current learning consultant and parent of two school-aged children, my experiences tell me that clear and regular communication with families is really important. This may seem like a no-brainer, but in this day and age, it’s even more essential. Busy […]

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Nov. 4, 2010

Student Ownership in Digital Classrooms

Young Writers Project teaches a Master’s Practicum in Digital Learning. It’s yearlong, and we supply teachers with a customized digital classroom site, built in Drupal, that we refer to as a “creative management system.” The Master’s class focuses on having the teachers learn by doing; we help them fold the site into their curriculum as they go, and they reflect on what happens and what they learn on a private space on another of our sites,, that mirrors their school digital classroom. Teachers can see and feel what it’s like to be a digital classroom student.

I love this class. […]

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Nov. 3, 2010

Digital Writing and YWP

So let me jump into your first question: Who is this guy?

My name is Geoffrey Gevalt and I am a new NL guest blogger. For 33 years I was a journalist; I believed it a calling, a profession, really, that was affirmed by the First Amendment and that necessitated long hours, low pay, dogged and sometimes unsuccessful journeys and greasy food consumed late at night and washed down with beer. I was lucky enough to work with superb editors and writers and along the way I picked up a few  awards as both a writer and editor. For […]

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Sep. 2, 2010

Free Wolfram Alpha Back-to-School Webinars for K–12 Educators

I just had the opportunity to sit in on the first of a few Wolfram Alpha webinars targeted toward educators. The session was focused on how this tool can be used in the classroom. While advanced users probably won’t get too much out of it, it’s a great overview for beginners. One part I was a bit excited to see was the Widget Builder. This tool allows anyone to build widgets that utilize the power of Wolfram Alpha.

If you think Wolfram Alpha is just for math and science, think again. There are many different ways to use this […]

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Feb. 21, 2010

Bringing Outsiders Into the Learning Process

This past Friday, during a workshop I was giving in New York City, I was teaching participants how to podcast using Aviary. One of the district trainers noticed that the company is based in NY and not far from where we were that day. Everyone was so thrilled with the tool we were using that we thought it might be a great opportunity to bring someone in from Aviary to talk to us a bit about their product and the background of its development.

Using the support form on their site, we sent a quick email and asked if someone might […]

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