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Showing posts from June, 2013

#ISTE13 GEMS Series

If you were at ISTE 2013, then you were amazed by the quality of speakers, vendors, and ideas! After listening to the final keynote speaker @adambellow, I was inspired to "be the change" that I can be. I realize that I am a little fish in the big "Ed-Tech" pond, but I do hope to make at least a ripple! Three years ago, I began this blog with a simple idea - share free resources with as many educators that will listen. I hope this same message holds true today! Either you are still listening or I enjoy listening to myself! Either way, I would like to launch my new July series titled #ISTE GEMS. This series I would like to share some of the best ideas that I received from you! Thank you! Matt

#Remind101: A Safe and Secure Way to Text Students and Parents

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I love asking for suggestions on story ideas because I always get the best information from you! An amazing science teacher and former colleague of mine, Jen Kieffer, sent me information about Remind101 . She uses it to communicate with large groups of students and parents via a single text message. Not a bad idea in the mobile and fast-paced digital age! This is a free site, which you can sign up as a teacher to send text messages to students and parents. Before you tune me out, the best part is that you do not have access to your student's cell phone information and they don't have access to yours! You can use Remind 101 to send out a blanket text to any student or parent who signs up for your class. Send out homework reminders, project reminders, class events, etc. with a simple text. How does it work?  First you have to create a Remind 101 account by using an email address and password. Next you set up the name of your class or group. You will also be prompted t

Have Your Students Create Temporary Webpages with #DinkyPage

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Several years ago, I read Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat . It made me think about how technology and collaboration is changing the way we educate, communicate, and do business. It inspired me to create a new high school course called International Business, where the primary focus of the course was to teach about globalization and inspire collaboration. My students were asked to collaborate by creating a business idea through a Google Site. My students loved the project; however, it did pose a few frustrating logistical and technical issues. Many of us would like for our students to create webpages, but we may lack the patience or technical knowledge necessary to create one. A few days ago, I was talking with a colleague of mine and he introduced me to a sited called Dinky Page . It is a free and easy-to-use web-based program that students can use to create basic webpages. It is very user-friendly and takes very little effort to learn. When you create a page, you

#SummerResolution Series: Twitter

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I never realized the power of social networking in education until a few years ago when I joined Twitter. It is a perfect place to connect with people who share common interests, like educational technology. Many educators are skeptical to use the social network because they don't understand it; however, it has become one of my most favorite and powerful professional development tools. This became a reality to me when I was asked to present at PETE&C this past February. Just going out on a limb, I sent out a tweet stating that I was presenting and for my followers to stop by and say hello. I never realized how many of my followers would actually do so. In fact, I made some valuable face-to-face connections with that I never would have without the help of Twitter. How can Twitter help?  Many of my friends think that I am really smart and know so much about educational technology; however, the truth is that I am getting all of these resources from other educators across t