Upstate Technology Conference- Badges for Motivation

  Badges are a great way to encourage students to engage in a healthy level of both intrinsic and extrinsic competition. For more information on the research on the use of badges in education, check out this blog post "Badges in Education" For a tutorial on how to create badges and one way to issue them using Google Keep and Google Docs, view the video below.  If it does not load...
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Rapa Nui: The lessons of Easter Island

Rapa Nui: The lessons of Easter Island
Even since European explorers stumbled upon Rapa Nui on Easter Sunday 1722, outsiders have been struck by the island's barren landscape. Early European accounts suggested that the 2000-3000 people living on the island at the time of discovery were impoverished and only possessed simple stone tools. In contrast to the apparent primitive nature of the inhabitants, Easter Island also featured hun...
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Educational Leaders: 5 Technology Impacts

Educational Leaders: 5 Technology Impacts
Educational Leaders must consider the impact technology is having on our schools as they continue to make staffing decisions, plan curriculum and develop school culture.  What worked in schools a decade ago is just not working anymore.  Here are 5 ways that Technology is impacting education. We are competing with technology for student's attention. The "Sage on the Stage" model is no longer va...
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Strategic Planning for Technology in Education

Strategic Planning for Technology in Education
In reviewing the need and importance of strategic planning, I was reminded of the work I did in graduate school in my Technology Infrastructure class on systems security and disaster recovery.  The COSN module on strategic planning emphasizes the importance of both -- as well as the vital step of matching technology purchases and plans to the needs of the students and the district. In a dramat...
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Advocate for Technology in Education: 5 Ways

Advocate for Technology in Education: 5 Ways
 How do we advocate for educational technology in schools? When thinking about educational advocacy, it is easy to get caught up in the “why” technology is so important to education and have a cogent discussion but leave the conversation without any true action to implement. Educators have to focus on what can be done and actually recruit and impassion other stakeholders to complete advocacy ta...
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Using Google Keep to Provide Feedback

Using Google Keep to Provide Feedback
Using Google Keep to provide feedback to students! Google is always introducing something new and innovative to help teachers.  This latest time saver integrates Google Keep with Docs to provide feedback quicker and easier than ever.  Intrigued?  Check it out in this week's Technology Tools in 2 min. You can also check out how Stephanie Filardo uses #DocStickers to give stickers and stamp joy...
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Technology Leadership- Top 5 Considerations

Technology Leadership- Top 5 Considerations
#1 The Hierarchy cannot drive the decisions.   “The best decisions have to be the driving factor, otherwise- good people leave.” (Steve Jobs) As experts discover more about effective technology leadership, they all seem to echo that a good leader doesn’t always have the best ideas but they find the way to get the best from the people they work with every day.  Clayton Christensen also talks a...
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Personalized Learning- 10 Reasons to Proceed with Caution

Personalized Learning- 10 Reasons to Proceed with Caution
According to Carol Ann Tomlinson, Educational Leaders need to proceed with caution when attempting to implement a personalized learning plan in their districts and schools. In the March 2017 issue of Educational Leadership, Tomlinson makes a call to leaders to Celebrate: But not too fast!  Henry County in Georgia, a model system in Georgia for personalized learning,  would also caution leaders to ...
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Blended Learning and STEM- Where do we start?

Blended Learning and STEM- Where do we start?
STEM education and Blended learning At first Blended or Personalized Learning and STEM may seem like 2 different initiatives; however, they don't have to be.  With the right leadership and plan, Blended STEM can be very powerful. Why Blend? Blended learning is not just another educational fad. It is a fundamental redesign of instructional models with the goal of accelerating learning toward col...
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Oroville Emergency- What’s the Dam problem?

Oroville Emergency- What’s the Dam problem?
The Oroville dam, the highest dam in the United States, after a major break in its spillway, has reached its emergency level for the first time since it was built. With a height of 235 meters, it was inaugurated on November 14, 1967. It is a loose material dam of more than 61 million m3, being the second longest dam in the United States of its kind. For more historical information, check out th...
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GSTA 2017: GIS for Engagement

GSTA 2017: GIS for Engagement
GIS or Geographical Information Systems are now available for public educators through sites like ARC GIS. Check out the presentation from GSTA 2017 below to see how you could use GIS in class.  The GSTA session attendees also created the map below during the session. .embed-container {position: relative; padding-bottom: 80%; height: 0; max-width: 100%;} .embed-container iframe, .embed-cont...
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GSTA 2017: Top 10 from GaETC 2016

GSTA 2017: Top 10 from GaETC 2016
I sincerely hope that you found at least one or two things in the session that you can use immediately in your classroom.  I will make and upload screencasts on how to use each of these things and continue to update this post in case your brain is overloaded from GSTA and you forget how to use anything we went over!  Please also email if you need anything!  I would love to assist you as you ENGAGE...
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Will Trump support Tech in Schools?

Will Trump support Tech in Schools?
As the national focus on technology integration and STEM in schools grows, it will be interesting to see if the new Education Secretary, President Trump and the new US Administration continues with the National Technology Plan which was released mere days before the recent inauguration.  NPR  details more of these cuts, a proposed 13.5% cut to education, will affect a wide range of students from a...
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What is under Yellowstone?

What is under Yellowstone?
For the first time, scientists have started to investigate what lies beneath the Yellowstone Supervolcano in Wyoming. The goal is to finally see what fuels the famous thermal features in the National Park, such as the Old Faithful geyser. The exploration of hydrothermal vents at Yellowstone National Park is just one place where they are being studied.  Underwater hydrothermal vents are also of int...
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Giant Snowballs are washing up on the Shores in Siberia

Giant Snowballs are washing up on the Shores in Siberia
Here in Georgia, we cannot seem to get rain to end the 2016 drought; however, in Siberia- they are covered up in Giant Snowballs. So who made these colossal mounds of ice? Well actually- they occur naturally.  At first glance, these giant snowballs appearing around the Gulf of Ob in Siberia look like part of an elaborate prank or sci-fi movie set, but these strange objects are completely natural...
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Salmonella and Backyard Chickens: Are your pets in danger? What you need to know…

Salmonella and Backyard Chickens: Are your pets in danger?  What you need to know…
As a concerned member of the University of Georgia Veterinary community, the recent report  by NPR on the outbreak of Salmonella in Backyard Chickens is concerning.  Not only can the birds themselves have health concerns but they could be vectors for the spread to other pets, children and adults.  Here is what you need to know: In October 2016, the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, G...
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GATE Conference 2016: The Heart of a Teacher

GATE Conference 2016: The Heart of a Teacher
The GATE 2016 annual conference was held on October 27-28 at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in Young Harris, GA.   The president of GATE, Dr. Alicja Rieger, welcomed all of the conference presenters and attendees by reminding us all that "only by coming and working together can we get the educational system to move forward". Throughout day 1, the presentations were anchored on the theme "The Hea...
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Welcoming Web 2.0 into the Classroom

Welcoming Web 2.0 into the Classroom
Web 2.0 in the classroom "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." "Buckminster Fuller It really hit me that we are living in a new reality when we visited my grandmother’s house over Christmas.  She has a phone on the wall in the kitchen with a cord attached (gasp).  My oldest, who is eleven, was f...
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