Thursday, September 30, 2010

Social Activism of Yesteryear Versus Social Media of Today

Please take some time to read this New Yorker magazine article by best-selling author Malcolm Galdwell (e.g., Tipping Point and Blink): Twitter, Facebook, and Social Activism.

The article addresses social media of today as opposed to activism of the past. What is your response to the article? How might the ideas in this article be used in the classroom to provoke discussion?

Photo from

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Professional Organizations’ Facebook Pages

If you use Facebook, you might want to receive feeds from your professional organizations, or if you prefer, save the URLs in your bookmark folder and access the pages without using a Facebook account. Here are examples of five professional organizations with Facebook pages:

National Council of Teachers of Math at:
If you check out any of the Facebook pages of a professional organization, let us know your response. If you know of other organizations with Facebook pages, share with us this information.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reminder: Free Technology for Teachers

If you have not already bookmarked or created a feed to Free Technology for Teachers, which describes free to use online sites, offers free lesson plans, and categorizes access by an index of subject areas, such as science, math, and so forth, it is time that you have. This is a site worth checking regularly, and it has over 25,000 readers, not surprisingly! New posts appear almost daily. Educators find this site an indispensable resource. Once you have time to explore, let us know what you find of value.

Free Technology for Teacher is maintained by Richard Byrne, and his site has won numerous awards. If you don't find what you are looking for the first time around, check back later. This is not the first time I have posted a blog about Free Technology for Teachers. Just wanted to post another reminder about a blog chock full of resources.
Image credit: banner on Free Technology for Teachers

You Don't Have a Blog Yet, What Are You Waiting For?

Ideally, teachers should maintain a website. Even more ideal, they need a blog. Check the 20 Top Teacher Blogs from Scholastic's Instructor magazine to see what other teachers are doing. Let us know what you think of some of the blogs listed, and tell us of other teacher blogs you follow or find useful. Use the Index on this blog, Computers in the Classroom, to find other postings about blogging.

Teachers' Websites

Let's share examples of excellent teacher websites you have explored. Based on one student's contribution to our class's online discussion, I found an excellent model created by a teacher who has been a student at Saint Joseph College. Please take some time to explore Mercier's Magic. There's plenty to explore here. When you first open the site (be sure to have sound on), you will find her current school year site, but under the Home tab, you will see accessible sites from prior years.

Not only does Ms. Mercier group her content by subject area and audience (e.g., parents), she also provides throughout the site links to wonderful websites for instructional purposes. She uses Weebly to maintain her site. Feel free to explore Weebly as a mean to create your own student-centered website.

Ms. Mercier works with to create customized pages of recommended sites for students. Here are fast links to some of her Symbaloo pages:
multimedia , math, and writing.

To create your own customized resource pages for your students with Symbaloo, open an account, and then you are set to build your pages of recommended sites by discipline, subject area, or general area of interest, using Symbaloo's database of recommended sites.

Ms. Mercier also maintains a blog through Weebly, allowing her students to post comments. In addition, check her Twitter account.

Webbly, Mrs. Scelia is a site designed by another Weebly-user teacher. Ms. Scelia started this site August 2010 to provide resources to her young students.

Let us know what you think of the websites these teachers maintain.

Post your recommendations of teacher websites worth visiting by providing the URL's.

Photo of Ms. Mercier from Mercier's Magic. Photo Ms. Scelia from Webbly, Mrs. Scelia
Logo from Weebly.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Twitter Tweets Archived with Library of Congress

Even if you don't tweet on Twitter and therefore don't need to worry about your 140-character pearls of wisdom, The Library of Congress archives Twitter Tweets, maintaining an electronic record of Twitter's content. The Library of Congress blog explains the archive: How Tweet It Is!: Library Acquires Entire Twitter Archive. Using the archive can be a valuable source of information, but what about privacy rights? Take a look at the blog posting How Tweet It Is!: Library Acquires Entire Twitter Archive, and reflect on what it means for the Library of Congress to maintain this archive. Moreover, what might be the value of the archive in the school setting? Do you think students using Twitter realize an archive of their Tweets exists with the Library of Congress? Does it matter to them to know their pearls could be archived? What about maintaining historical records of tweets? How might this archive be of value in the school setting? When referencing the blog posting, also take some time to read comments posted by others to gain a perspective on how others are reacting.

Image from: How Tweet It Is!: Library Acquires Entire Twitter Archive

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Award-Winning Teacher's Blog and Website

A California middle school teacher, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, maintains a blog with helpful tips for middle school teachers and a website for her students. Her blog and expresses her enthusiasm for teaching at this level and offers insightful professional development ideas. Her website for her students is available at:

On her website for students, you will find links for her 7th grade students and another for her 8th graders, as well as a link to a page where she archives students' podcasts, under the title of Bulldog Radio. Check both her blog for teachers and her website for her students. Let us know what you think.

Image is the logo Heather Wolpert-Gawron uses on

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