Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

Monthly Archives: January 2012

Things Every Teacher Should Know About Bullying

I’ve written about bullying before, but this is obviously something that does not go away easily, and when I came across this eye-opening infographic from USC’s Master of Arts in Teaching, I felt compelled to share.

In an effort to support this year’s Bullying Awareness Week theme, the infographic below, “School Bullying Outbreak” shares facts about the methods, consequences and preventative measures related to bullies and bullied victims in schools.

Some stats that really caught my eye were:

  • Children who bully by age 8 are 4 times as likely to have a criminal record by age 30.
  • 81% of bullying acts aren’t reported to adults.
  • 1 out of 4 kids are bullied every month in the US.

All in all, the numbers are shocking and the acts are unacceptable.

Things to remind students to do when they are around bullies…

  • Speak up against bullying. Say something like, “stop it.”
  • Walk away. Act like you do not care, even if you really do.
  • Tell an adult you trust. They may have ideas about what you can do.
  • Stick together. Staying with a group might help.

Things to remember…

  • You are not alone.
  • It is not your fault. Nobody should be bullied!
  • Talk to someone you trust.
  • Do not hurt yourself.
  • Do not bully back. Do not bully anyone else.
  • Do not let the bully win.  Keep doing what you love to do.

Suggestions from stopbullying.gov


13 Must-See Sites to Learn About Chinese New Year

Gong Xi Fa Cai! 恭喜發財

Chinese New Year (CNY) occurs this year on the 23rd of January. In preparation for the wonderful festivities, here are 13 great sites to help your students gain a better understanding of the significance of this holiday.

  1. PBS Kids – Games, stories, coloring activities and more from PBS.
  2. CNY Crafts and Activities – from Enchanted Learning, learn how to make tangram puzzles, a lion dance toy, and a plethora of printable materials.
  3. History.comVideos, articles, fun facts, and of course the history of Chinese New Year.
  4. Apples4Teachers – Find out which animal you are, have fun with crafts, play some CNY computer games, learn some Chinese proverbs from Confucius, and cook up some great Chinese food.
  5. EdHelper – Lots of activities, worksheets, printables, and lesson plans.
  6. Chinese New Year books – a good list here for ages 3 up to adults.
  7. Lunar New Year in Taiwan – learn about how the Taiwanese celebrate the holiday.
  8. The Chinese Calendar – Learn about what the Chinese calendar looks like, how it’s calculated, when it started and what is so strange about the year 2033.
  9. Jackie Chan’s CNY Activities – Learn how to say “Happy new year!” and “May prosperity be with you!” in Cantonese and Mandarin. Print out some coloring pages, or enter a drawing contest.
  10. CNY Activities for Kids and Teachers – Some basic facts about Chinese New Year, along with some links to lesson plans and other activities.
  11. From the University of Victoria, this site offers some basic facts about CNY along with traditional food, decorations, taboos, and superstitions.
  12. The British Council offers up this story site that has cute little cartoon character animations explaining CNY.
  13. The Holiday Spot – Lots of great information here with links to CNY historytraditionszodiacsfestivals,musicquizzes, and much more.

Xie xie! 谢谢

Student Study Techniques

I came across this great infographic from Learning Fundamentals and thought it very pertinent not only for students trying to focus their attention for learning, but for everyone who lives in a connected world.

Three Creative Commons Photo Sites You Should Know About

Grabbing images from Google is one of the easiest things there is to do. You simply search, copy, paste. A no-brainer. However, when using someone else’s photos, how do you know if you have permission? Students need to be taught about copyright and how to find royalty-free images that are ok to use in projects. Below are four great sites that I use with my students.


Pics4Learningas the site says, “Is a safe, free image library for education. Teachers and students can use the copyright-friendly photos and images for classrooms, multimedia projects, web sites, videos, portfolios, or any other project in an educational setting.” It’s easy to use and all of the copyright information is available in a simplistic bibliography underneath any chosen photo.


flickrCC is a good place to start for Creative Commons images. The panel on the left of the original displays the first 36 photos matching your search term. Click on any of these thumbnails to get a slightly larger image and the attribution details displayed in the right hand section. Right-click the image and ‘save image as’ if you want to use this size, or click on the link in the attribution text to go to flickr and chose a different sized image. Don’t forget to include the attribution text in any work you produce using the picture.

Flickr Storm

Flickr Storm is similar to flickrCC. You simply run a search, click on a thumbnail and the photo appears on the right. Make sure to have your students click on the advanced search feature which allows them to limit their searches to Non-Commercial and Share Alike photos. One nice feature about Flickr Storm is the “Add to Tray.” You can add several photos to your tray and then when you open your tray, all the photos are there in large sized format along with the attributions.

Beyond Flipping the Classroom

I was listening to a Radiolab podcast yesterday (which, by the way, if you’re looking for a great podcast to brighten your commute, I’d highly recommend it!) and Google’s concept of 20 Percent Time came up (technically, Google did not create 20% Time, they are just the most prolific utilizers of the idea).

What it is

20 Percent Time is simply taking 20 percent of your day, 1 day a week, 6 days out of a month, however you want to break up the time, to work on something you are passionate about. To give you an idea about the power behind 20 Percent Time, here are a few Google items we have today because of it: Google News, Google Art Project (my personal favorite), Google Sky, Adsense, Orkut, Google Talk, and let’s not forget, Gmail. It got me thinking: What if our students were given the chance to take 20% of their time at school to work on what they love? To learn about, nurture, enhance, create, strengthen, develop a part of themselves, that would otherwise, be pushed aside to make room for the onslaught of ever-expanding curriculum. As a teacher, I’ve quasi-dabbled with this idea in the past, specifically, when I relinquished control, and have seen amazing results from giving students more power and ownership of their learning. Students were excited beyond what I had ever seen before in my lab. They exuded an air of motivation and self-direction.

Going Beyond

20 Percent Time, however, goes a step beyond that. It goes beyond flipping the classroom. When I relinquish control in my lab, I am still telling the students what they will be learning – it’s just they who dictate the method of their discovery. 20 Percent Time gives students the freedom to choose what it is they will be learning for that particular amount of time. Something that would be very difficult for many educators and institutions to abdicate. Katherine Von Jan, CEO of Radmatter and Edu-Innovator ponders:

Maybe if we asked and then gave kids permission to do some of the things they’d love to do throughout their academic careers (K-12), we wouldn’t be so lost and confused in college or in life. And maybe if we start pursuing what we’re passionate about we would actually solve the world’s most impossible challenges along the way.

Patrick Green, Apple Distinguished Educator, Tech Coordinator and blogger at Through a Green Lens, applies 20% in his life and states:

“20% Time” can mean setting aside time to focus on the things that you WANT to do and SHOULD do in your job, but that tend to get pushed aside for the urgent things. 20% Time for me, means changing my priorities and booking out blocks of time to spend on those important things that otherwise would stay on my to-do list for months and possibly years.


20 Percent Time is something that educators can dabble with as part of a new year’s resolution. You may want to begin small and test out how it could fit in your classroom and school. Pick a certain time during the day, call it “20 PT,” or “Passion Time,” or  “Self-Directed Creativity Time,” whatever sounds good to you. Depending on the age of the students it may take a lot of direction and guidance at first. You may want to try it on yourself for a few weeks and see what kind of results you get. That way, you’d have an idea of how best to integrate 20 Percent Time into your classroom.

Learning More

Below are 2 videos that explain the benefits of 20 Percent Time. In the first, fast forward to the 9th minute to hear Larry Page describe Google’s early explorations with 20 Percent. The second video you’ll watch Shannon Deegan explain how Google’s 20 Percent Time fosters innovation.

Image Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/53941041@N00/4977883190
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