Thursday, April 29, 2010

10/20/30 rule for power point

We all love power point. We have all seen the impact it can have, both good and bad, over our groups we present to.  I was reading a blog the other day and found a great rule to live by for power point (

Here's the rule


10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font.

It's that easy.  10 slides will limit the length and depth of your conversation, 20 minutes ensures that at least SOME of you important information will be attended to, 30 point font will break you from trying to put your ENTIRE speech on a slide.

Don't get me wrong I love presentation tools like keynote, power point, prezi etc.  but misusing them can lead to horrible presentations.

Find out more about powerpoint and what  hate about it here:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

36 rules of life


I got this from: I laughed so hard...

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
2. Don’t worry about what people think, they don’t do it very often.
3. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.
4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.
6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
8. A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.
10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
12. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.
13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.
14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.
15. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.
16. A balanced diet is a muffin in each hand.
17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.
18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
19. Junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.
20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.
23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.
24. Someone who thinks logically provides nice contrast to the real world.
25. It ain’t the jeans that make your butt look fat.
26. If you had to identify in one word the reason why the human race has not achieved it’s full potential, that word would be ‘meetings’.
27. There is a very fine line between ‘hobby’ and ‘mental illness.’
28. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
29. You should not confuse your career with your life.
30. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
31. Never lick a steak knife.
32. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.
33. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
34. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
35. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that deep down inside we ALL believe we are good drivers.
36. Your friends love you anyway.


Check out:

This is a great online tool for remembering information, research and collaboration.  I can think of 1000+ great uses for this for education and for presentations.  Very cool!


Free Posters -

Free Posters -

Download, print, enjoy!

I love FREE!!!

Build a tower, build a team

There is a great movement happening with team building.....

When completing a task as a team a great deal of time is given to orienting oneself to the task and identifying common variables.  Then a great deal of the time is given to creating roles and responsibilities of team members included in the task.  What was fascinating to me was the competition that goes into an activity called the marshmallow challenge. (details at: ) What was fascinating is the effectiveness to which kindergartenrs performaned as related to the average business students.  WOW!

I don't want to give away the results of the below video but I'll quickly talk about what I learned.  First of all an effective team has a facilitator, so quickly determine who will do that.  Secondly, try out things and don't be afraid to fail.  Third, change reinforcing patterns (systems theory) and quickly listen for feedback and working towards a common goal.  The final thing I learned was the impact high stakes has on students or in this case competitors performance.  The higher the stakes, the lower the performance.  WOW!


50 websites for education

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Why NOT to be afraid of technology!!

Nick is hysterical and does a great job of helping teachers learn about how NOT to be afraid and does it in a culturally relevant way.

Watch the video and follow nick at:

Social Media for School Leaders

This video came across my google reader and shows just how much of an impact social media can have on communication within and around a community.

WOW!  THis is cool!

Teens, Cell Phones and Texting

Teens, Cell Phones and Texting - Pew Research Center

Interesting data on Teens and Cell phone usage. The texting numbers are astounding!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Youtube in the classroom

Below is a great video that came across my twitter feed about tools that teachers can use to personalize youtube to meet the needs of both teachers and learners.  It's a great video!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What is Wallwisher?

So there are many cool resources for working together on a project or gaining support for a task or idea.  I found this one really cool and has limitless possibilities for collaboration.  Check out .

What is it?  It's a website that create a public wall that you can then point people to to make comments either publicly or anonymously.  Very cool!  Check it out!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What to do with a powerpoint?

Ever wanted to take your AMAZING powerpoint and make it more accessible for students? This is a very cool resource!

authorSTREAM Online PowerPoint Presentations and Slideshow Sharing

Something else to consider is uploading it to slideshare. This weite is a searchable database of presentations. Check it out at:

If you are really bold, video yourself and upload it to

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Images that changed the world.

Jonathan Klein

Powerful presentation on imagery and it's take on wars, violence and global movements. PLEASE BE ADVISED SOME OF THESE IMAGES ARE QUITE GRAPHIC.

He states that: "We bring to each inmage our own values and our own beleif systems, because of that that image resonates with us."

So what image resonates with you? Type a link to an image in the comment field below. Let's build a database of powerful images.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cuts, Cuts and more Cuts

As I was sitting last night in my doctoral cohort we were discussing the necessary evil of Riffing teachers and making cuts. I began to wonder if there is a better way to handle these situations. Everywhere I've worked I have seen staffing changes made through "bottom line thinking." Are these thinking models best for kids? No, not any time! Is it a necessary part of our job as educational leaders? Yes, and not a fun one at that! I think the art behind this is understanding how to make a cut in staff or in budget that has the least impact on student learning and achievement.

When we see professional athletes talk about the business side of playing football or any other sport, I often think of the business side of education. We don't spend much time in conferences and professional development finding new ways to keep teachers and creating creative budgeting because these topics aren't sexy and don't sell books. Where I am in my career I certainly don't have all the answers, but I'd love to be a part of the conversation.

The Fun Section: About an UnFun Topic:
Thinking about that I have some book ideas if anyone wants to write about these topics:
School Budgets that work, The Art and Science of Keeping Teachers, Budgeting by Design, Too Wong Foo - the Budget and You, Bottom Line thinking: Is you crazy? (that topic still in development :-)), 50 ways to improve administrative behavior, The ultimate school leader, How to budget for learning.....and so on...

A video from about California's budget cuts.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020

This is a fascinating post about what will leave our schools in less than 10 years. As an educational leader and coach it is imperative that we prepare our teachers to understand where education is heading.

What will change in 2020: (for details, click the link above)
1. Desks
2. Language labs
3. Computers
4. Homework
5. Standardized tests
6. Differentiated instruction as the sign of a good teacher
7. Fear of wikipedia
8. Paperbacks (no not money)
9. Attendance Offices
10. Lockers
11. IT departments
12. Centralized Institutions
13. Organization of education by grade
14. Education school classes that fail to integrate social technology
15. Paid/Outsourced Professional development
16. Current Curricular Norms
17. Parent Teacher Conference Night
18. Typical Cafeteria Food
19. Outsourced Graphic Design and Webmastering
20. High School Algebra
21. Paper

What is interesting about his post is the lack of comment on teachers. So I where do the teachers fit in the 21st century classroom? Comment below, I have an idea!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The future of work

Interesting video to think about when educating students. Are we preparing them every day in every way to be successful in the future of what work will look like for them?

I'm not sure.....but I'd like to hear what you think!

What skills are necessary to teach kids at school to help them be more successful in life after school. After all this video states that college is the new high school. Thinking like that will make the middle school, where I teach, the new primary grades!!!!!! How can we help kids think at a higher level?

Does Homework Work?

Does Homework Work? - National - The Atlantic

Ooohhhhh! Interesting article. What d you think? does homework work? Or is it a waste of student's time?

I see value in some of the things I do, but I could be pushed to eliminate most of it, if not all of it. Or possibly make it optional? What do you think?

12 Resources All Social Studies Teachers Should Try

Free Technology for Teachers: 12 Resources All Social Studies Teachers Should Try

Great resource. By the way, you should subscribe to this blog!

Monday, April 5, 2010

18 Interesting Firsts on the Internet | The Committed Sardine

18 Interesting Firsts on the Internet | The Committed Sardine

Cool information I never knew people were keeping track.

Understanding the Digital Generation

The book Understanding the Digital Generation by Ian Jukes, et. al. was shared with us "Committed Sardines" last month. In it there were some interesting quotes, ideas, and concepts about how to be prepared for our digital students.

Information and quotes found in the reading:

-"If digital technology continues to distract young susceptible minds at the present rate, the traditional developmental stages will need to be redefined."

- "A redefinition will also highlight a growing concern over whether important cognitive milestones are being delayed or missed entirely as kids grow up in a digital culture."

- Students are currently underdeveloped in the face-to-face interpersonal interaction.

- Students excel at multi-tasking with the detriment of other high level thinking tasks.

- Trying to multitask while trying to learn a new task "goes against our biology."

- "Essentially trying to do many things at once means we have to interrupt the brain from doing one thing to switch to do something else." This does no concrete new knowledge.

- We also need to continue to develop single task skills as well.

- Concerns with student's ability to stay and follow with a long and complex argument

- Digital generation has made students less likely to work their way through a document and more challenging opinions and arguments. Everything seems surface level.

- Students have what is called Butterfly Brain.

- Lack of physical exercise.

- Need to teach a balance of fun, work, activities, relaxation, reading, math, etc. But then again how are the lives of our parents, are they balanced?

- There's a gap between teachers knowledge and students desire. Referred to as the "Crisis of relevance." How do teachers make what they learn in school relevant?

- Brain research tells us making connections is the key to effective instruction.

- The different experiences of students today is vastly different that even the kids of 5 year ago, let alone the teachers educating them.

- Teachers and Parents have an "outdated idea of what growing up is like."

- We all need to appreciate the magnitude and speed of change that is altering modern life.

- Consider the change in dining practices. Ask your students how many of them all sit around the table for dinner, tv and phone off, talking about their day. Those days are over.

- We have a "fast-food mentality," both literally and figuratively. Everything even eating is at a break neck pace.

- Fascinating data: A week in the life of the average school aged child...
.5 hours with dad
2.6 hours with mom
2.2 hours doing homework
.5 hours reading for pleasure
25 hours watching television, playing video games, and interacting with digital devices

- Parents today spend 40% less time with their kids, than 30 years ago.

- Digital generation finds their role models and learns their social skills from the digital world.

- "They haven't just adopted social media, they've internalized it.

- Mark Presnsky describes students today as operating at "twitch speed."

- Death of patience

- Reading is a "delayed gratification medium" that our kids struggle with.

- Children today are bombarded with visual stimulation.

- Kids today "don't care how things work," there is little wonderment in the actions of the world around us.

- Kids use rapid fire trials and error learning styles.

- Because we are not digital natives (we are digital immigrants) we complain about the skills students don't have, and not appreciate the new skills we have yet to develop.

- Students brains today are "neurologically wired different than our generation."

- Our brain changes based on 2 factors
1. Input or experiences we have
2. intensity and duration of those experiences.

- Brain cells operate on a use it or lose it basis, as a result our intelligence is not fixed, we're not born smart or unintelligent.

- Daniel Pink stated that we live in a left brain society, schools have focused on that left brain. The role of the right brain has been undervalued in recent educational practices. The procedures in the left brain are items that could eventually all be automated tasks.

- Human Brain project: We are processing the very same information completely differently.

- Brainbow is a project that maps the flow of information in the brain.

- John Medina's book Brainrules states that: we remember more than 2500 pictures, with 90 percent accuracy, 72 hours after exposure. we remember only 10 percent of information given to us orally after 72 hours.

- F-pattern reading - fascinating way kids read

- 60% of learners are now visual learners or visual kinesthetic

QUESTION: "If teachers continue to do things in the classroom that we already know don't work, then who here really has the learning problem?"

Two questions that will change your life

Great video and Post based on Daniel Pink's new book called Drive.

I don't need to ask a question here. But I'd love to hear what is your sentence?

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

Are you happy?

So, I saw this video for the first time over the weekend. I was moved by it but what was more important to me was how many other people should see this.

As educators, if we are thinking about middle scholers and all the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of an 11 - 14 year old. Maybe this video isn't such a bad thing to show and discuss. What do you think?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why Twitter is effective for educators...

ISTEK and My One Year Twitter Birthday | Teacher Reboot Camp: "grahamstanley"

2010 - the year of the Personal Learning Network? | blog-efl

2010 - the year of the Personal Learning Network? | blog-efl

Graham Stanley asks great questions here and also asks one profound question of educators and educational leaders today: Is 2010 the year of the PLN?

It's hard to say it isn't. Through Twitter I was introduced to Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) then I found Shell Terrell(@ShellTerrell), then I attended a webinar by Sir Ken Robinson (@SirKenRobinson ), The list goes on... What happened next? I began seeking more connections, more earning opportunities. This blog as grown and grown to a point where I am just ecstatic about all the networking and new ideas that have bubbled up.

I think this quote found on Graham Stanley's Blog sums it up the best for me:

"It's interesting to see comments made by educators who have recently discovered the point of this social network, such as these words in a post atWhat's New in the World :

"I have found more resources and got more useful advice for professional development in 3 months on Twitter than in the previous 5 years without it. ""

Who is in your PLN?

Friday, April 2, 2010

What makes an educator a "change agent?"

See posts and comment away at:

Maybe we need more "Childish thinking"

Here is a 11 year old girl speaking on creativity, bold ideas, trust and "Childish Thinking."

I love what is said here about adults trusting students. There is something scary about handing the keys to the classroom over to our students, but why not give up control. Let the students drive. Sure you may end up in a place you never intended, but how cool would it be to open up to a world you never imagined. Watch this presentation, get inspired by this brilliant mind and see that she is just as brilliant as the kids I see every day. The difference, our school system doesn't trust our kids.

So think bold, be creative, love the unknown, hand over the keys, you might just be inspired......

The way progress happens is that new eras improve on generations that came before you.