Common Core, what’s the fuss?


Common Core for Elementary School

If you’ve ever heard of Common Core and you want to find out what all the fuss is about, take a look at the Teaching Channel.  This online resource is available to everyone and offers a variety of videos to help breakdown the Common Core and what it means to education.  You can find a quick tutorial on instructional strategies or a much longer video segment meant to provide a deeper level of knowledge.  Whatever you choose, there is plenty to learn on the Teaching Channel.




And I’ll make a video for that!

The past few weeks I been trying out some new tech tools.  Some have been super user friendly, others not so much.  The one I am totally hooked on is Screencast-O-Matic.  It is a super easy way to create short videos that capture not only your computer screen, but audio as well.  You can easily edit the videos and publish them to numerous places.  I have found this tool to be useful in my doctoral program but also in my professional career.  Just the other day, I was giving a presentation and was able to provide a take-home tutorial for the whole process.  If you haven’t tried it, you should!

Teaching Mindfulness

What if we have the tools to change education by connecting with students and helping to ground their minds and their behavior? How many of us would be willing to step out of our comfort zones in order to make a difference in the chaotic lives of many of our students?  Could meditation be the answer? Take a look at this KQED blog post and let me know what you think.


Trending Now

Chances are, if the headline says trending now I’m not that interested.  So how do I stop my inbox from filling up with nonsense rather than what I am really passionate about?  The doctoral class that I am currently taking has taught me a few things about managing information.  Creating your own Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) system can really help.  You can subscribe to what really matters to you and leave the rest behind. There are many online tools that can help.  Take a look at my PKM and see if you feel inspired to create your own.




I Love the Super Bowl!


Super Bowl Sunday is my favorite day of the year.  I’m not a sports fan and I never watch the game.  Super Bowl Sunday is the day each year that most everyone goes inside, eats some chips, cracks a beer, and watches a very long football game.

I have the city to myself. If I want to stop by the mall or pick something up at the grocery store, the aisles and parking lots are empty and the crowds are gone.  I can do a weeks worth of errands in a few short hours.  For those that don’t watch football, Super Bowl Sunday is still a great day. We just appreciate it for different reasons!

Where on the map?



As we learned this week in our online modules, the traditional classroom is changing.  The industrial model seen in most United States’ schools may not be gone quite yet, but there are options.  High school students living in rural Iowa are now being offered Advanced Placement (AP) courses that would have been inaccessible if not for a new online program offered through the University of Iowa.  This program offers free AP courses to students whose high school does not offer such courses.  Rather than miss out on the AP experience, students can log onto and participate in high rigor online courses that will prepare them for college. Talk about leveling the playing field for our rural kids!<>


Stop Cyberbullying! There’s an app for that?

cyber bully

The playground bully that once tormented children at school has evolved.  Thanks to social media, bullies can find their target anywhere.  One actor, Quinton Aaron, is working to put a stop to cyberbullying.  He and a designer have created an app that parents can use to monitor their children’s social media accounts.  The app sends special alerts when key phrases are used in online messaging.  It acts as a buffer, never letting nasty comments post to a child’s account.  If you’re interested in finding out more about this app, take a look at .