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A Few of My Favorite Things

As I get ready to leave Scholastic, I've begun to look back at some of the things I've done, and decided KenR2 that sharing a few of my favorite things would be appropriate. While I have been on many onsite visits at conferences, my school visits have been an academic hug for a digital chalk pusher like me. Please take a look at three of my visits with some amazing administrators, staff and students. The 1st two were done with my own simple Canon and a two mics, but the 3rd I just interviewed and directed. I enjoyed all, and hope you will, too.

New Milford High School, NJ Visit with Principal Eric Shenniger, Students, and Teachers:

Carmody Hills Elementary School, Maryland visit with Principal Roletta Alfred, Students, and Teachers:

Stanwood Elementary School, Hempfield Area School District visiting Assist. Supt Barbara Marin, Students and Teachers:

Getting Smart with Tom Vander Ark: Podcast

When I called for positive education voices, Tom Vander Ark agreed to share. You'll find out about his book, TVA Getting Smart, as well as his predictions for 2014. I recommend this one as a faculty meeting, administrative council, professional development discussion starter. Listen to another voice for positive education and education technology change.

Enjoy and learn by listening to Getting Smart with Tom Vander Ark:
(Embedded player requires Flash) 

MP3 Link: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/753/show_2753779.mp3

ITunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

Teaching with Tech: Josh Stumpenhorst Podcast

Josh Stumpenhorst (@stumpteacher), Chicago 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher, talks classroom Superman5technology  with Ken Royal at the Royal Treatment. Listen to a fresh voice with new ideas for enhancing student learning and projects by using technology. Great teaching advice for veteran and new teachers, as well as district and school leaders.

If you would like to voice your own positive education voice, please check the directions and how  at DO SOMETHING: Positive Voices Wanted to submit your own. Join the campaign to hear fresh voices! It's easy to do.

Listen to Josh Stumpenhorst: Teaching with Technology.

Embedded Player (requires Flash):

MP3: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/674/show_2674679.mp3

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

Principal Dave Meister: Leadership Podcast

DaveMeisterListen as Principal Dave Meister (@phsprincipal), Paris High School, Paris, Illinois shares specific examples of education and technology leadership during a Ken Royal interview. Leading by example takes a bit of courage, but the rewards are exciting. This interview is part of a Positive Education Voices campaign. Educators DOING!

Here's how to voice your own: DO SOMETHING!: Positive Education Voices Wanted

Listen in your choice of media: embedded Flash player, MP3, or at iTunes:

 MP3: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/645/show_2645387.mp3

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

DO SOMETHING!: Positive Education Voices Wanted

Let’s DO SOMETHING!

I said something a few weeks back that I just can’t shake. As a young teacher, I confronted a KenR2Superintendent with 10 things we should be doing. He looked at me and quietly said, “What are you going to do about it?” He was right, and I never forgot it. I’ve been sitting too long thinking rather than doing. While it lasts, I have a vehicle and place to post, which may help the cause—a little.

The idea involves simple recordings (podcasts if you will) edited together in a newsworthy way. I’ll supply the intro and do the segue/transitions. (Note: audio only)

I'd like to do a lot of these show and tell interviews—have one posted as a new show each day. Figurin’ those PLN and EdChat talks can also be great sparks, as well as great educator resources—to take the discussions beyond just the 140 Twitter character posts each evening. I’ll post them here, at Scholastic, as well as at the Radio Royal Treatment—with everything going to iTunes, as well as archived. Transcripts can be available if necessary, too.

Here's how:

Record answers to fit the script below (you can be creative), saving as MP3 or Wav files works well, but I can work around most any clean, audio format. No worries about Ahhhsss and Ummmmms; I’ll edit it those out. Natural talk is the key, and what you want to say comes out just right in every conversation you have. ;>) Take each of the parts as a separate take, or all together. Make them short bits though. I’ve discovered that most will listen to a short bit, and rambling is a sleeper. You can refer to the topic during your responses, as well as to me (Ken)—as if I’m actually with you. Want these to sound like we’re in the same room, or having the conversation. 

I know that I don’t have to tell you that a sense of humor is great, and pauses for effect OK. YouSendIt is free online, and will send larger files easily, but any way they get here is fine.

Any tech difficulties, we can figure them out. And, any suggestions for the idea, or additional “talkers” would be welcomed! Twitter is a wonderful contact place for this: @kenroyal ( https://twitter.com/kenroyal)

1. Choose one, or a few points you’ve been trying to make—get across—to educators and administrators. Three is always a nice, odd number. ;>) No ankle biters here; we'll leave the grumping to others! I’m looking for positive, specific suggestions, proposals, for education and education tech how tos.

2. Tout Things YOU ARE DOING to make things happen. Be as specific as you can to make your point.

3. Promote yourself—URLs and name drop. There's nothing wrong with educators branding themselves.

4. Misc. – Something else? This could be a future look/trend/hope…

Kensington: There's A Lock For That!

Brian Baltezore, Senior Product Manager at Kensington tells Ken Royal that there is a lock for that iPad, too. The Royal Treatment covers pioneer device lock company Kensington as it keeps up with tablets in the changing school and work environment.

Listen to the interview:

MP3 Listening: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/323/show_2323443.mp3

iTunes Listening: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

Empowering Writers

Dea2 Dea Auray, Co-Founder of Empowering Writers shares some K12 writing philosophy with Ken Royal at The Royal Treatment. Teaching students the skills they need to be great writers just doesn't happen without strategies for an organized game plan. Auray shares how you can empower your classroom of writers, as well as become a better teacher of writing across the grades and curriculum. In this year of Common Core changes, you can't afford to miss listening to this episode.

Listen to Empowering Writers (Embedded player requires Flash) :

MP3 Listening Link: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/323/show_2323443.mp3

iTunes Listening: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

Accelerate: Standard Deviants Resources

SamGenovese_as_Hiro copy
At the recent ISTE 2011 Conference I had a chance to demo an Biology module by a group of very cleaver, dare I say deviant, education resource producers from a company called Cerebellum. It was fun learning, and fully packaged for teaching the things that used to take me binders full of resource gathering. Beyond that, the pre lesson, actual lessons, and post lesson activities and assessments were anything but traditional. I do know that any teacher could teach biology by using it, and students would love the irreverant style. I did make the comment that students would most likely want to create their own videos and characters after experiencing the lessons. Afterward, I interviewed spokeperson Sam Genovese (image above as "Hiro the Dog Eater") from Cerebellum, who also acts in some of the video resource scenes. You may learn enough about Standard Deviants Accelerate to give it a try.

Q: How is Standard Deviants Accelerate different from other online resources?

Ans: We had a few goals when creating Standard Deviants Accelerate:

1)  Save teachers time.

2) Make it intuitive and easy to use, because no teacher should have to use a personal day to learn a new online program.

3) Make it a comprehensive subject-based learning resource that is flexible for teachers and students alike.

4) Create new and unique Standard Deviants video, audio, and testing materials that are only available on SD Accelerate.

Q: How will teachers benefit from using this platform?

Ans: Accelerate will save teachers time. Grading rubrics are provided for relevant assignments, however we know that each classroom has different needs, so we made the rubrics editable via simple click-and-type. Additionally, Accelerate pushes performance data to teachers for struggling students. This frees teachers from constantly having to log in to get time-sensitive data about students in need of more help, thus providing teachers have more time to teach.

Q: Can you explain the methodology in the structure of the subjects’ material?

Ans: Differentiated instruction, RTI and creative critical thinking are the backbone of Accelerate's methodology. 

A quiz taken at the end of a module is informed by smaller quizzes taken at the beginning of the module.  It really gets interesting with the critical thinking questions, though. Accelerate will push either a foundational or an enrichment critical thinking question to the student based on that student's unique performance on prior assignments. This type of instruction happens dozens of times over the course of an entire subject. 

Accelerate's approach to RTI is to literally send red flags to teachers when students are underperforming, so as to allow the teacher to respond in a timely manner. 

Students are asked time and again to approach the material from creative angles and think for themselves.  This makes the subject matter relevant to their lives, makes it real and makes it totally engaging.

Q: Why should this be used in the classroom?

Ans: For teachers, Accelerate is about flexibility and saving time.  Sure, there is a logical pathway to how Accelerate's lessons are organized and presented, but the entire system is designed to allow teachers to manage their classrooms in the ways they see fit. Teachers can have students submit assignments electronically or as printouts; additionally, Accelerate can be used directly in the classroom or assigned as homework or as a long-term assignment—the teacher is in control.

For students, Accelerate is a dynamic learning environment that provides not only Standard Deviants video programming, but also assignments with twists that really make the students engage with the material.  I mean, where else are students going to be asked to explain mitosis in rhyming couplets?

College Readiness: Complete Student Preparation

An Andrew Vreeke, President and CEO of SureScore gets the Royal Treatment from Ken Royal about life-long student college readiness preparation. If you thought that college preparation was only for juniors and seniors, Vreeke has a game plan that may cause you to rethink and game change. Find out more about SureScore, and quite possibly how planning for students is moving beyond the playground.

Listen to the Interview (Embedded player requires Flash):

MP3 Listening Link: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/292/show_2292267.mp3

iTunes Listening: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

1:1 Online Instruction: Alternative Eds New Look

D EDUCATION 2020 041 The Royal Treatment talks with Gene Storz, Chief Learning Officer, about Education 2020. Hopper pic Joanne E. Hopper, Ed.D. Director of Education Services St. Clair County RESA, Marysville, MI, and Al Vigh, Frontiers Program Director for the Wyoming Public Schools will join us to share how they are using 2020 in their districts. Here's a new look to alternative education. Background: Education 2020 (e2020) is a provider of one-on-one online instruction in core and elective courses for students in grades 6-12.

Listen to the 1:1 Online Instruction discussion (embedded player requires Flash):

MP3 Link: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/258/show_2258907.mp3

iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

Bring Your Own Tech to School

Crawford_Jeffrey Mr Jeff Crawford is Manager of Networking and Security at East Grand Rapids Public Schools, MI. Listen as he discusses Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) in schools with Ken Royal at The Royal Treatment. Hear Crawford's 1:1 philosophy, and learn how his district handles BYOT student devices, and more. The right solutions involves more than the right hardware, and your idea of 1:1 may change completely. Teachers are the key.

Listen to Bring Your Own Tech (Embedded Player Requires Flash):

MP3 Listening: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/202/show_2202825.mp3

iTunes Listening: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

Discovery Education Outreach & Techbooks

Scott_kinney3 Learn about new-age teaching, education collaboration, and Techbooks. Scott Kinney, Discovery Education's Senior VP for Global Professional Development, Policy, and Education Outreach gets The Royal Treatment. Find out about the global Discovery Education Network, and how to join.

Listen to the interview (embedded player requires Flash):

MP3 Link: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/191/show_2191267.mp3

iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

Cameron Evan Talks Teaching Innovation

Evans Cameron Evans, Microsoft's National and Chief Technology Officer US Education, talks innovative teaching with Ken Royal at The Royal Treatment. Learn about innovative teaching programs, what innovative teachers are doing now, including gaming, and how to get involved in your own student and teacher innovative projects.
Listen to my interview with Cameron Evans:

Embed Player (requires Flash):

MP3 Audio Link: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/149/show_2149307.mp3

iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

 

Phil Mickelson Talks Teachers Academy

Phil Phil Mickelson, tees up some education talk with Ken Royal at The Royal Treatment. Phil Mickelson, professional golfer and science education fan talks about the ExxonMobil Teachers Academy that he and his wife, Amy, began more than 6 years ago. The Mickelsons are a class act, with a passion for helping science and math teachers bring experiential lessons and techniques back to their classes, schools, and district. Phil goes from Royal St. Georges to The Royal Treatment, and it's just par for the course with this class act.
Listen to the interview:


Embedded Player (requires Flash):

MP3 Podcast Link: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/2/124/show_2124365.mp3

iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

Illinicloud CDW-G at ISTE: D'Orio Cloud Search

Scholastic Administrator Executive Editor Wayne D'Orio collects cloud-tech stories at ISTE. CDW-G's VP, K12 Education Bob Kirby, and Director of Sales, K12, John Pellettiere led a round table discussion of Cloud-using administrators at ISTE. IlliniCloud is one of many success stories. IlliniCloud worked with CDW, a leading provider of technology solutions, to supply affordable access to virtual servers, online storage and high-speed network connectivity across the state of Illinois - technology that, until recently, was out of reach for most K-12 schools there. Sharing data center resources and costs among schools across the state helps each school district to focus more on advancing the use of technology in the classroom for the direct benefit of students.
Watch the Interview:

Extron iPad Controller App: ISTE

There's an App for that. Extron provides an easy way to control classroom multimedia by using an iPad. The new app was given The Royal Treatment at ISTE. Looks simple to use.

Watch my Extron booth visit:

Toshiba THRiVE: ISTE

Toshiba's THRiVE gets The Royal Treatment at ISTE. Kelcey Kinjo, product manager at Toshiba, hits on some of the THRiVE's features, including a user-replaceable battery—a big education-upkeep benefit. While the new back plates make a fashion statement, this new 10-inch screen tablet from Toshiba is making some education waves for those looking for classroom-tablet alternatives.

Watch my ISTE visit with Toshiba as the new THRiVE gets The Royal Treatment:

Gaggle's Andrea Keith: ISTE

I've been following Gaggle from the start, and enjoy hearing about their new and safe student resources and Internet options. It has developed into a safe and robust, one-stop for using Web 2.0 technology with kids. It offers, student e-mail, apps, safe texting, communication, teacher and student collaboration, as well as learning tools.

Watch my Gaggle Interview at ISTE to learn more:

Qualcomm's Kristin Atkins: ISTE Interview

Qualcomm's Kristin Atkins, Director of Wireless Reach, talks about tablets, wireless initiatives, and the D.C. Wireless Conference during our interview at ISTE Philadelphia.

Watch the interview:

ELMO at InFoComm: TT-12 Interactivity

I gave the new ELMO TT-12 document camera The Royal Treatment at InFoComm. This doc cam (visualiser) has more positions than a yoga instructor. It doesn't need a computer, and has its own audio and recording capabilities. It also can be seamlessly connected to ELMO's slate.

Watch the video interview and demo to see if the TT-12 is the right match for your interactive classroom, school, or district:

Luidia's VP Jody Forehand: InFoComm

Jody Forehand, Luidia's VP of Product Planning, gets The Royal Treatment during an interview at InFoComm. Learn about Luidia and eBeam, as well as their interactive role in the education marketplace. With Luidia, its about doing what they do well, and having great partners, including HP, Chief, Hitachi, and Claridge for support. Forehand talks about how to outfit new and old classrooms for education interactivity. Watch the Interview:

Canon Security Cameras: InFoComm

Info10 One of my InFoComm stops was at Canon, where I checked out security cameras. I interviewed Canon's Chuck Westfall about cameras suitable for school and district use. Westfall gave me a little lesson on types of cameras and their technologies, as well as a look at three devices designed to guard and keep districts safe.


Please watch my Security Interview at Canon with Chuck Westfall:

Education Clouds Cleared: Berj Akian Interview

Berj In this episode of The Royal Treatment—Taking Learning to the Clouds—Berj Akian, Founder and CEO of ClassLink, helps define, more clearly, the meaning of Cloud Computing in education, and in today’s classrooms. Akian will also share the ClassLink solutions, including ClassLink LaunchPad.
Listen as Berj Akian clears up Cloud Computing:

MP3 Podcast Link: http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/1/743/show_1743511.mp3

ITunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-royal-treatment-blog-talk/id414014159

Embedded Player (requires Flash):

The Heart of Teaching: Karen King

Teacher Karen King is not new to helping others, and has a knack of getting her students, as well as the community involved in local and global good deeds. She has just been awarded AFT's Everyday Hero award for 2011, and when you hear what she's been up to, you'll wonder why Oprah hasn't called her yet. From weekly soup kitchen duty to Kosovo to Haiti to Liberia, Ms King's students are discovering the world and learning that they can make a difference.
Watch my interview with Ms King:

Lisa Dabbs & Joan Young ASCD Presenters

Lisa Dabbs and Joan Young presented at ASCD 2011. They spent some time talking with me, sharing their presentation, Beyond the Classroom Walls, as well as a bit about the importance of online and in-person collaboration. You may know Joan as Joan Mancini Young, author of Super Sight Word Songs and Silly Songs for Sight Words. 
Watch my conversation with Lisa Dabbs and Joan Young:

Steven Anderson Web20Classroom ASCD Scholar

View my conversation with Steven AndersonASCD Scholar—better known in the Twitter-Education World as web20classroom. Anderson shares Words of Web 2.0 online wisdom, and provides daily collaborative encouragement for teachers and administrators.
View my ASCD interview with Steven Anderson:

Angela Maiers: Teaching Every Day Matters!

I discovered some teaching sunshine at ASCD 2011—and it was Angela Maiers. You just don't meet and interview Angela Maiers—you sort of pleasantly collide with her! More video from ASCD—Soon!
View my short run-in with Angela Maiers at ASCD 2011:

Exceptional Needs Education: Autism & Disabilities

This episode of the Royal Treatment—Exceptional Needs Education: Autism and Disabilities shares how two different organizations have made it their business to help students with autism, students with disabilities, as well as their families. In this professional development talk, we’ll hear philosophy, and also specifics of what help, technology, and software is actually available for children and their parents today. Joining us are Lauren Stafford, who was Academic Supervisor for Instructional Design, and is now the Visual Learning Solutions Vice President at the Monarch School for students with Autism in Ohio, and Chris Vacek, Chief Innovation Officer at the HeartSpring School for children with disabilities in Wichita, Kansas. This Royal Treatment is truly a professional development for all teachers, as well as special education professionals.
Listen to Exceptional Needs Education: Autism & Disabilities:

Ed Tech Innovation: Kyle Berger Interview

Kyle In this episode of the Royal Treatment—Ed Tech Innovation —Kyle Berger, Executive Director of Technology Services for the Alvarado ISD, Texas, shares lessons on how technology leaders can think more outside the box to make things happen. Berger discusses his community outreach Internet kiosks, operating a successful, two-year, 2,000-student 1:1 program, creating district partnerships for disaster recovery, the bring your own device concept and its part in the future of 1:1 programs, and more. Listen to ideas from a true education future-thinker and entrepreneur. It may be the best professional development lesson you hear this year. (Note: All Royal Treatment shows are archived, and transcripts available for purchase.)
Listen to Ed Tech Innovation:

EdTech Over the Pond

In this episode of The Royal Treatment—EdTech Over the Pond—Steven Anderson, District Instructional Technologist for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, USA, meets the UKs Joe Dale, an independent consultant working with CILT, Links into Languages, The British Council, The BBC, and host of the TES MFL Forum. Together they share EdTech possibilities to try, as well as Web 2.0 ideas that can be modified, or translated to work for educators and students in classrooms—whichever side of the pond you find yourself.
Listen to the Discussion:

Education UnConferences

Education UnConferences shares what an UnConference is, as well as what one can do for a district. Hear about a specific UnConference for new teachers called ntcamp. Guests are Principal Patrick Larkin, Burlington High School, Burlington, Mass, Principal Eric Sheninger, New Milford High School, NJ, and Professor Andrew Marcinek Montgomery Co. Community College Instructional Technology Specialist. Listen to the discussion:

SMART Audio Gets Heard: The Royal Treatment

SMART Audio gets The Royal Treatment. Steven Yao is interviewed by Ken Royal. Sound systems are becoming standard equipment for ALL students in classrooms. It gives all students an equal opportunity to hear everything a teacher says.
Watch the Interview:

StrataLogica: World at Teaching Fingertips-Royal Treatment

StrataLogica (Herff Jones) has a new kind of map that gets The Royal Treatment. Ken Royal interviews Don Rescigno. Seeing and interacting with globes was so 20th Century! Here's reality at your teaching fingertips. Watch the Interview, and see the interactive geography show:

Dell Flips Its Lid! The Royal Treatment

Dell's Duo and new Latitude get The Royal Treatment. Ken Royal interviews David Fritz, and gets the "Flip" scoop.
Watch the interview:

Samsung's "Sliding Slate" Gets Royal Treatment

Samsung's new "Slider Convertible Slate" gets The Royal Treatment.
Watch the Ken Royal interview to find out more:

RM Slate Gets Royal Treatment

RM Education's RM Slate gets The Royal Treatment at FETC. Ken Royal talks to RM's Christy Smith.
Watch the interview:


Special Needs Assistive Technology

0615cw02 Today’s Royal Treatment—Special Needs Assistive Technology, is the first in a series of Scholastic On Air shows with special education professionals. Find out what assistive technology is, a bit about assistive tools that work, as well as a few common sense tips from special needs experts. Joining us are  Laura Nazzarine, Director of Special Education, West Clermont School District; Ohio, Mary Beth Sonnier, Technology Facilitator, Calcasieu Parish School Board, Westlake, LA; and Anissa Fontenot who is with Region V’s Louisiana Assistive Technology Initiative, Lake Charles, LA.
Listen to the Conversation:

Planning School and District Tech

 Today’s Royal Treatment is a tech tale of two districts. Joining us are Assistant Superintendent M.E. TP Steele-Pierce, PhD, and Principal Tonya Schmidt of the West Clermont District in Cincinnati, OH, and from Massachusetts, Principal Patrick Larkin of Burlington High School and Library Media Specialist Dennis Villano. These educators will share how they learned more about the tech that’s out there, and how they determined what was the best fit for their districts. Listen to the conversation:

Listen to Scholastic's On Air Royal Treatment at royaltreatment

Small District Big Innovations

Lead Superintendent John Carver, Principal Deron Durflinger, and Library Media Specialist Shannon Miller of the Van Meter Public Schools, Iowa, get the Royal Treatment. Find out the Van Meter philosophy—how they meet tech-era needs of students and staff, as well as how to create a building climate for change, and how technology plays into that. Listen to the conversation:

 


Listen to Scholastic's On Air Royal Treatment at royaltreatment

Best Classroom Web 2.0

Steven Anderson Steven Anderson, District Instructional Technologist for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Winston-Salem, NC gets the Royal Treatment from Scholastic Professional Media Senior Technology Editor Ken Royal. Anderson, also known as @web20classroom on Twitter, shares the Best Classroom Web 2.0 Resources, and offers tips that will put even the least tech-savvy educators at ease. Learn from Steven Anderson, a trusted online resource, education technologist, and presenter. Listen to the conversation:


Listen to Scholastic's On Air Royal Treatment at royaltreatment

Computer Science Cool?: Alfred Thompson MSDN

AlfredtAlfred Thompson, Academic Developer Evangelist for Microsoft gets the Royal Treatment from Scholastic Professional Media Senior Technology Editor Ken Royal. Thompson discusses why computer science is cool, technology for kids and teachers in classrooms, as well as what the future holds for education technology.
Before his career at Microsoft, Alfred was the Technology Director and a computer/technology teacher at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua NH.  He is a graduate of Taylor University in Upland IN where he got his start in computers, and received his MS in Computer Science at Rivier College in Nashua NH. I must add that his well-rounded computer science career began at Brooklyn Technical High School. Listen to the conversation:

Listen to Scholastic's On Air Royal Treatment at royaltreatment

Marzano: Whiteboards, Responders, 1:1, and PD

Marzano I had an interesting conversation with education researcher and author, Dr. Robert Marzano. He’s written about education strategies, and decision-making based on research for years. His Marzano Research Laboratory is interested in researching and discovering ways to make teaching and education leadership better. We talked about his 3rd party interactive whiteboard research, which was funded by Promethean, as well as his thoughts for the short term—3–5 year future of technology in the classroom. I enjoyed his fair and honest assessment of his own research, as well as what we should take away from it.

“After playing around with different study designs we used a meta-analysis approach—over different subject areas. In our 2-year, 4, 913-student, 123-teacher, and 36-district study, we found, that in general, the average effect was that we had a 16-percentile improvement in student achievement in the interactive whiteboard classrooms,” says Marzano.”

Marzano finds one part of his findings doesn’t get as much attention as it should, and that has to do with the importance of good teaching. “But let’s qualify this, an average effect that people don’t focus on enough is that 24% of the time teachers did better without the technology. So the 2nd part of the study is what explains the differences, and because we used video, we can say here’s why,” says Marzano.

More research needs to be done—so what’s next? “We need to rewrite the book on teaching strategies… the ones that many of us have written about for years, just won’t work anymore. For instance, classroom brainstorming used to be done on paper… but you couldn’t do anything with it. It was difficult to move those thoughts around, and debate efficacies—like you can with interactive technologies,” says Marzano.

Administrators struggling with budgets don’t necessarily have the funds it takes to make technology happen in their districts. “Sometimes I get asked whether interactive whiteboards are worth it from a financial standpoint—I don’t come from that perspective, but my heart goes out to administrators having to make those decisions. I know that they are not small ticket items. If money weren’t the issue it’s pretty much of a no brainer—three technologies—interactive whiteboards, responders, and 1:1 computing get good results for teachers,” says Marzano.

Professional development is an important finding. “Don’t forget, these technologies have to be used in the right way. What to do and what not to do with them. In my research, a huge piece for an administrator to understand is that their needs to be training to get the best out of classroom technology. Envision it as a another leg on the stool,” Marzano concludes.

Find out more at Marzano Reasearch, or more at the Promethean site.

Higher Ed Wants What K12 Has

David David Martin, co-founder of SMART Technologies, as well as the father of the interactive whiteboard, believes that the changing needs of today’s corporate workforce has been influenced by tech-savvy higher ed students, and it may be due in great part to K12 use of interactive devices. The band seems to be playing a different tune—could the whiteboard world be turned upside down, and higher education wants what K12 has?

It seems teaching and learning interactively at the K12 levels is beginning to create a demand for the same creatively interactive higher education tools. Until recently, the need has been simply to present in a lecture-like fashion—without all the bell and whistle tools K12 educators love for keeping their students actively engaged. According to Martin, that is changing, and the need for interactivity beyond K12 is causing the whiteboard, and other interactive marketplace suppliers to offer more than the stripped down versions at universities, and in corporate board and meeting rooms. The software and functionality desired is trending more to what K12 has demanded from the start.

For those of us following education technology, and technology in general, a trend that trickles up is a good sign. That’s progress. I know that the struggle continues to get educators more of the right tools for today’s kids, but knowing that there’s more of a K12 connection with the Higher Ed and corporate tech worlds is important. When the threads that tie P20 are tightened, and strengthened, education wins. Look for more of these upside down technology trends.

WildLab Kids: Phones in NYC Parks

Central_park I talked with Jared Lamenzo, president of Mediated Spaces about their WildLab project in Brooklyn, NY. Wildlab, funded by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, uses cell phones and an iPhone app to support science curriculum for kids. According to Lamenzo, “the iPhone app helps learners ID birds, and includes information on birds' ranges and songs. Students submit their GPS-tagged sightings from local NYC parks, and the data goes to the classes' online account—they can refer to their findings later in the classroom.

At the end of the program, students submit their sightings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in studies about species abundance and climate change. So far, students have collected almost 10,000 sightings, and over 500 students have participated. It’s no wonder the NYC Audubon Society, and other organizations are interested.

I asked Lamenzo if students BYOT, (Bring Your Own Tech) for the projects. He said that WildLab brings the phones with them to the schools, and kids use them as "field tools" rather than phones (note: social networks are blocked). Larenzo is working with scientists on more protocol-based science apps.

They’ve partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension to develop a horseshoe crab app. “In the field, it was like playing a game on space invaders under moonlight with 300 million year old living fossils,” says Lamenzo.

Now this is what I’ve been talking about—using cell phones as learning devices. Kids in parks collecting data, returning to class to analyze, joining parallel studies with other students, with the ultimate goal realized—these students are scientists adding to the knowledge base of other scientists. How cool is that!

Jared Lamenzo concludes, “I think programs like ours can show that phones can be used constructively. It turns out learners are quite respectful of the phones and the data collection, especially since they know it goes to scientists.”

ViewSonic Education: More Than Finches

Viewschool2 ViewSonic products, with their colorful Australian Gouldian finch logo, was something I was very used to seeing in large department store chains and warehouse stores like Costco, but my thinking began to change after a booth stop at the recent InFoComm show in Las Vegas. There I saw an education set up that could rival any whiteboard solution. It wasn’t a case of where had ViewSonic been, but rather that I hadn’t been looking in that K 12 direction.

ViewSonic is more than pretty finches and displays.

Today I found out more about ViewSonic by interviewing Adam Hanin, vice president of marketing, and Melinda Beecher, senior manager of national channel marketing for ViewSonic Americas. “We have always played a role in education, but now we’re looking to do it in a bigger way,” says Hanin, a lifelong K 12 marketplace expert. Beecher, who thinks of her own children using technology, wants educators to know—ViewSonic has ways to “outfit classrooms for the needs of tomorrow.”

Back2School

A short look at the ViewSonic online site will give you a broader understanding of their products. ViewSonic’s ViewBook computers, with Back2School pricing http://www.viewsonic.com/back2school/ ,and their eReaders are two K-12 options that need more sharing. If you’re like me, you might not have looked beyond their displays to other products.

Look into ViewSchool

Check out ViewSchool at http://www.viewsonic.com/viewschool/ where education tech and district leaders can go to learn about tech ideas and solutions, and get the best discounts for purchasing them. If you don’t know what you need, ViewSonic can match needs with designed programs and partners to make an interactive classroom happen. Check out the options at http://www.viewsonic.com/.

Twitter Yields Scholastic Interviews ISTE10

Tweets net educator Interviews for Scholastic Administrator at ISTE10.

So, who showed up after we tweeted invitations?

ISTEc John Carver, superintendent of Van Meter schools in Iowa stopped by with Shannon Miller, library media specialist, and Principal Deron Durflinger. All did individual interviews with me.

Carver is an ambassador for his district, and also for Iowa, too. His philosophy is fresh and is clear from top to bottom and bottom to top. He is carving out new technology territory in his district, with his staff, and for his students. ISTEa

Miller has proven to be one librarian to follow on Twitter. She shares more than URLs for useful student  resources. My recommendation is to follow her (@shannonmmiller) to get valuable how tos that go beyond the four library walls.

ISTEb Durflinger is a Van Meter principal who really gets that administrators need to model for teachers, just as teachers need to model for kids. He uses social media as professional development and even for hiring new teachers. The entire Van Meter crew knows the power of PLNs (Personal Learning Networks).

ISTEe
ISTEfTwo Richardson ISD, TX educators stopped by the booth, too. Principal Megan Timme and  Lauren Sanders, who teaches students with learning differences, were in search of more 3D technology at ISTE10. Sanders is actually working a 3D technology pilot—glasses and all—in her classroom. 

  
ISTEhGayla Power, Denver Public Schools Teacher Portal and Schoolnet administrator shared how controlling all district data, and providing all stakeholders—exactly what they need—is not that difficult if you’re using the right management tool.

ISTEd David Ligon stopped by as well. Ligon has moved from an administrator of technology direction in his Gilbert, AZ district to a technology and grant writing role. That seems to be, in this economic climate, a great fit that needs duplication in other districts throughout the country. To find a technology expert as well as a grant writing expert in the same person is a brilliant stroke, and probably not a common occurrence.

I look forward to more conversations with these educators, as well as others Scholastic Administrator tweets up at future conferences. Look for the my interviews soon—at the Scholastic Administrator. Follow me on Twitter @kenroyal.

ISTEg

Social Media's Education Value

Ken&Cam Scholastic will give a year's subscription to Instructor Magazine, FREE, to educators and administrators, who stop by Scholastic Administrator booth #1428 between 12 and 1pm on Monday, June 29th, to talk with me about social media at ISTE10 in Denver.

The Big Red Dog's Scholastic Administrator, will be hunting more than clay and crayons at ISTE 2010. I'll be there in search of answers from teachers and administrators about the use of social media in education. This includes questions about Twitter, Facebook, as well as PLNs (Personal Learning Networks). Help teach the old dog new tricks by showing up at the Scholastic Administrator booth 1428 at ISTE10, from 12-1pm on Monday, June 29th.

I'll be asking the questions, and video recording your short interview answers. Help me find out... What do you think of social media in education? Do you prefer Twitter, or Facebook? And also share your take on PLNs.

Follow me @kenroyal on Twitter to find out more, and get involved in additional education and technology conversations from classrooms to the clouds.

Energy: What You Need to Know

Energy3 As a former science teacher, I really appreciate the new What You Need to Know About Energy website. The National Academies not only presents the information wonderfully, but they've really paid attention to way the research is shared, especially at the K12 level. Educators and Students can dig as deep as they need, with beautifully mapped research trails, so young researchers will be successful without ever getting lost. The interactivity at the site will not be lost on classroom scientists either. The timing is perfect for this sort of energy research site for students. I hope this is only the beginning, and that there will be more from The National Academies.

I had a great conversation with Stephen Mautner, executive editor of the National Academies Press and the Office of Communications, as well as Terrell Smith, senior communications officer at the National Academies about this MUST BOOKMARK resource.

Here's What You Need to Know about Energy—a FREE resource from the National Academies share by Smith and Mautner:

One of the best parts of our job in the Office of Communications at the National Academies (advisers to the nation in science, engineering, and medicine) is that we have access to the top scientists and engineers in the country—or even the world. When we have questions, the people who have answers are never far from reach.

For the past year or so we’ve had the fun challenge of creating a resource that encapsulates the most important information people need to know about the topic of energy. As editors (not scientists), we came to the table with our own set of questions about this complicated subject and had the opportunity to share those questions with a team of experts in the field of energy. We got to hear firsthand what the pros and cons of various energy options are—and the problems we’ll face if we maintain the status quo. In the course of asking our questions, we also learned what the experts believe is important for people to understand about energy. The result of this dialogue is the website What You Need to Know About Energy—a primer about the nation’s energy situation.  

We designed What You Need to Know About Energy to be easy to navigate, so visitors can explore the story of energy on their own. There are four main sections, covering how we use energy, our current energy sources, the cost of energy (in terms of the environment, national security, and sustainability), and energy efficiency. The landing pages for each section highlight interesting or surprising facts that we think will pique visitors’ interest and encourage further exploration. Those who want to know more can dive deeper into the content, right down to the scientific reports published by our institution, which are written for experts in the field.

The site also includes several special features, including:

One of the other things that makes this site special is that, unlike many other resources about energy, What You Need to Know About Energy is not advocating any particular energy resource or policy. Its goal is to offer a balanced picture of the status of energy and some of our options for the future, so visitors can participate effectively in the conversation about this topic and make informed decisions about our energy future.

Developing this site was very rewarding. We learned a lot about energy and hope that we have effectively passed that knowledge on to others. For those who prefer a more traditional format, a free 32-page booklet that complements the website is also available in print or PDF form. There’s also a short video that captures the main ideas of the energy story. And this summer we will be working on a section just for educators that will offer guidance for how to use the site effectively in the classroom. If you have ideas about how to incorporate the content into lesson plans—or any other feedback you’d like to share—please e-mail us at EnergySite@nas.edu. And stay tuned for the launch of What You Need to Know About Infectious Disease in the fall!

Principal Rolaetta Alford: Education Entrepreneur

Maryland principal3 If I could gather a group of educators to answer the how to get technology question, I would include Principal Rolaetta Alford, of the Carmody Hills Elementary School, Prince Georges County, MD, as one of the first to share.

It seems that, lately, I'm not only talking with compassionate educators and administrators, but also with education entrepreneurs. I mean that last part in a good way. Education entrepreneurs, like Alford, know that the things they need for students, teachers, and school community don't come knocking at the door without an invitation. And that's why Alford goes after them. She is not at all bashful about it either. You can see the gleam in her eyes when she talks pilot programs, and I'm certain that her brilliant smile will help attract more. Using her technique, isn't a bad idea.

As I Followed Rolaetta Alford, through the school day, it was obvious she hadn't forgotten her teaching experiences. Alford went from parent and student hugs in the hallway, praising individual students and introducing teachers, correcting line behavior, greeting parents, running an assembly, and making time to be interviewed by me. She was all over the place. If anyone needs a refresher in how to lead a building, visit Carmody Hills--just for a day.

Lex2 The classes are a mix of traditional and technology. I talked with 2nd-career fourth-grade teacher Evelyn Adams, who went from sharpening pencils to Turning Technologies responder software to Lexmark Multifunction daily quiz scanning. I chatted with a language arts teacher using netbooks as journals, a math teacher discovering technology with the help of his students. and a third-grade teacher using Interwrite/eInstruction whiteboards and online options, like Study Island. Then, and I'm seeing this more and more, a kindergarten teacher gave me a lesson in technology use with 5-year olds. Even the assistant principal shared that IEPs using technology help them decide correct placement by organizing and keeping track of what's been done, to better decide what needs to be done.

Netbook Kids

Sometimes the coolest things happen when you least expect them. I was observing a science lesson, Netbook1b where students were creating presentations using their netbooks. I decided to video interview a few students. At the end of the short interview, a student looked up at me from her desk and said, " I just recorded the whole thing." She had. Using her netbook, the student-observer switched from her research work, fired up the onboard camera and video, and recorded the interview I'd just done with her classmates. She even had grabbed some still images. It was a great case for students using technology seamlessly, rather than as only for paint-by-numbers too. The technology is certainly a part of each day for each student and teacher at Carmody Hills.

Just before leaving, I asked its leader, Alford, what she was going to go after next, and she didn't skip a beat. "Apple iPads! I want them for my kids," she said. Look out Apple, Rolaetta is looking for a conversation; I'm betting on Alford.

There's a new breed of administrator out there, and they mean business! 

Please look for my Carmody Hills Video Coverage at Scholastic Administrator!

Note: This post written and published, at altitude, from a US Airways jet.

Martin Evans Talks School Technology

KIdsbus2 Bunnell Elementary School Assistant Principal Martin Evans, of Flagler County Public Schools, Florida talked school tech, which included how he's using Turning Technologies with me.  Like most administrators, Evans wears many hats, but during our conversation his education technology passion was quite apparent. Please listen to my interview with Martin:

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in The Royal Treatment are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.