Saturday, January 26, 2008

Classroom 2.0 EduBlog Links

Andrew Garcia posted a list of links to blogs shared by members of Classroom 2.0. (If you haven't heard, Classroom 2.0 is a social network for educators who are using collaborative technologies.)

The edu-bloggers on the list include teachers of most subjects and grade levels, as well as instructional technologist. Keep your eyes open for the next version of the list, in the form of a directory.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Visualizations: Telling a Story with Data, Making an Impact

There are many new tools available to support the visual communication of information and data. To provide an overview, I've posted two videos that I recently revisited.

The first clip is of a Swedish professor, Hans Rosling, presenting at TED 2006. In this 20 minute presentation, Hans illuminates information and breaks down myths through the use of a variety of visual communication and information visualization tools:


The next video is the reincarnation of a short presentation that was initially developed in a PowerPoint format for a faculty meeting by Karl Fisch, the director of technology at Arapahoe high school in Colorado. The story behind the presentation is just as interesting.


Information from the Shift Happens wiki:

"Did You Know? originally started out as a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting in August 2006 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, United States. The presentation "went viral" on the Web in February 2007 and, as of June 2007, had been seen by at least 5 million online viewers. Today the old and new versions of the online presentation have been seen by at least 10 million people, not including the countless others who saw it at conferences, workshops, training institutes, and other venues."

Shift Happens Wiki

This Wiki provides background information about the "Do You Know" presentation, including a section that discusses ideas for people who'd like to use the video for workshops, presentations, or activities in the classroom. The Wiki also has links to the sources behind the presentation, as well as related presentations. There are also links to edubloggers.

Karl Fisch's blog: The Fischbowl

"A staff development blog for Arapahoe High School teachers exploring constructivism and 21st century learning skills. The opinions expressed here are the personal views of Karl Fisch - and various other teachers at Arapahoe - and do not (necessarily) reflect the views of Littleton Public Schools."

Scott McCleod's blog : Dangerously Irrelevant
"Ruminations on technology, leadership, and the future of our schools"

Scott collaborated with Karl Fisch on the second version of "Did You Know". He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Iowa State University. Scott McCleod is also the director of CASTLE, the Center for Advanced Study of Technology Leadership.

CASTLE is the organization behind School Data Tutorials website. It looks like a very useful resource for people involved with data-driven decision making in their schools!

School Data Tutorials

"The tutorials on this site highlight many of the Excel skills that are helpful when working with building- and district-level data. These tutorials are targeted at data managers, principals, guidance counselors, teachers, and other school personnel who have the responsibility for collecting, analyzing, and reporting K-12 performance data."


I'm a school psychologist, so I think about data quite a bit. With RTI, additional data will be generated about student performance and progress. Information and data visualization tools and techniques might play an important role as the RTI model is implemented in the schools.

If you are a school psychologist, educator, or administrator who is involved in RTI, share this resource with your teams!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cool Cat Teacher's Blog

As I mentioned on an earlier post, there is a discussion in a Classroom 2.0 forum where everyone is encouraged to share links to their blogs or links to blogs that they'd recommend to others who are interested in topics related to education, technology --- really, the future of our children and youth.

I learned that a top "edublogger" is Vickie Davis, otherwise known as the Cool Cat Teacher:

"Teaching content with new tools, enthusiasm, and the belief that teaching is a noble calling!"

Unlike my blogs, which serve mainly as storage places for my ideas and resources, Vickie brings up topics related to education that provide others with an opportunity to examine important issues at a deeper level. Schedule some time to visit her blog!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Kevin McGrew's "Recent Literature of Interest 1-16-08"

If you are a school psychologist, you probably know that Dr. Kevin McGrew is an advocate of CHC, the Carroll-Horn-Cattell theory of intelligence. Kevin is the director of IAP, the Institute for Applied Psychometrics. He is also a visiting professor in the educational psychology department at the University of Minnesota.

Kevin posts an up-to-date list of recent professional articles and related literature on his IQ Corner Blog.

Anyone interested in topics related to psychology, special education, or disabilities most likely will find the list interesting.Kevin McGrew's Concept Map of CHC and Reading
Kevin McGrew's Concept Map of CHC and Math

Kevin McGrew's Slideshow: "Beyond the CHC "Tipping Point" - Back to the Future"

Kevin McGrew's IQ Brain Clock
It will be interesting to see how RTI, UDL, and CHC will intermingle in the coming years!

Edublogging, Classroom 2.0, support and resources for educators...

I'm a member of Classroom 2.0, "the social network for educators using collaborative technologies". As of this morning, there are 5,244 members. Classroom 2.0 has smaller groups that members can join. It also provides a variety of resources, such as the Classroom 2.0 Wiki that is divided into topics. Members of Classroom 2.0 are encouraged to contribute to the Wiki by posting video clips, lesson plans, resources, and links.

A common thread among the members of Classroom 2.0 is the fact that they all understand that good teaching and effective technology integration are important components of the "engaged learning" mix.

From what I've seen so far, Classroom 2.0 can play a very important role in supporting teachers that are just beginning to broaden their technology integration skills. It also is a good support network for people who are new to teaching. New teachers have easy access to a range of experienced educators who are willing to share their wisdom and teaching-learning strategies.

For those of you working in the schools who might not work directly in a classroom, Classroom 2.0 is worth joining. I'm sure that administrators, curriculum specialists, school counselors, school psychologists, special education coordinators, media specialists, school board members will find that Classroom 2.0 is a great resource.

I recently started a discussion topic on Classroom 2.0. to encourage members to share links to their blogs. I was amazed at the response and plan to spend some time taking it all in.

I'll share some of the highlights and specific examples of interesting uses of technology by Classroom 2.0 members in some of my future TechPsych posts. I will also post some information on my Interactive Multimedia Technology blog.

Today, I'm highlighting a a post from Kevin, a sixth grade teacher who recently spent two weeks with his students, immersed in a variety of technologies. His post includes links to all of his resources, a plus for busy blog-readers!

Wow! Two Weeks of Tech with Students!

Of the many things covered in the post, I especially liked the story about the creation of a PeaceBuilders Pledge website. The students used the MakeBeliefs Comics site to create comics that highlighted the concepts in the PeaceBuilders Pledge. (If you are a school counselor or school psychologist working on school-wide positive behavior supports, this is something to consider for your school.)

Peacebuilders "is the research-validated violence prevention youth program approved for the federally funded Safe and Drug-Free Schools Act. It is a comprehensive programs launched in organizations that shifts the entire climate to a peaceful, productive, and safe place for children, teenagers, parents, staff, and faculty."

I have so much more to share, so check back soon, or subscribe to my blog!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Response to Intervention, Universal Design for Learning: Resources for Implementation

If you are a teacher, a school psychologist, a speech/language teacher, or any other professional who is working in a school that has adopted RTI (Response to Intervention), or is planning to do so, now is the time to consider adopting Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Universal Design for Learning is a "Tier 1" support, as it is geared for all students. Your efforts are likely to pay off!


If you aren't very familiar with RTI, the chart below shows how the model is applied to academic and behavioral systems:

Response to intervention (RTI) is the practice of:

(1) providing high-quality instruction, intervention, and support matched to student needs;

(2) using learning rate over time and level of performance through data collection/analysis and accurate progress monitoring;

(3) make important educational decisions (data-driven decision-making, etc.)

Most schools who have adopted RTI use a team problem solving approach. Although it might vary from place to place, most use the three-tiered model of prevention and intervention for all students, including those who have special needs. Although RTI was initially designed to support students with academic difficulties, it also works well with school-wide positive behavioral support efforts.

According to Jim Wright, the creator of the web-based Intervention Central, "....To implement RTI effectively, schools must develop a specialized set of tools and competencies, including a structured format for problem-solving, knowledge of a range of scientifically based interventions that address common reasons for school failure, and the ability to use various methods of assessment to monitor student progress in academic and behavioral areas. "

If you aren't familiar with UDL, it is an approach that integrates technology, differentiated instruction, and best practices in regular classrooms to support all learners, including those considered "at-risk" or who have special needs.
  • Multiple and flexible means of presenting information to students
  • Multiple and flexible means of providing ways for students to respond to learning
  • Multiple and flexible means of engaging students
Steps to consider:
  • Educate yourself about UDL
  • Educate yourself about the National Technology Standards for Teachers
  • Educate yourself about using a team problem-solving approach to implement Response to Intervention and UDL
  • Bring together key people who serve your school (or schools), for a series of discussions and workshops. Getting everyone's perspective is important.
      • Who are these people?
        • Curriculum specialists, special education coordinators, reading support teachers, instructional technology coordinators, and assistive technology consultants, school psychologists, speech/language teachers, OT's, and media specialists.
UDL Resources:

The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model has been piloted in a range of schools in the state of Indiana. PATINS stands for Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students.

Daniel McNulty's is a Universal Design for Learning consultant for the PATINS program. On his PATINS-Rapid Fire blog , you can find a variety UDL-related tips, as well as links to resources.

Here are some links to UDL lesson plan links, created by real teachers:

Although some of the information on Daniel's blog is geared for educators in Indiana's pilot classrooms, he has links to cool applications that meet the guidelines of UDL. Some would work well in UDL classrooms that have interactive whiteboards or displays, such as the online
VisuWords program, an interactive graphical dictionary:
VisuWords Screenshot

Daniel McNulty links to Tina Jone's on-line assistive technology overview course. Classrooms that provide a UDL environment are in a good position to help students with disabilities access the general education curriculum, as support for assistive technology is "built-in".

The concept of UDL was developed by the folks at
CAST, the Center for Applied Special Technology, who provide an excellent on-line resource for educators that supports UDL implementation in the classroom. The resource is Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. CAST is involved with the CITEd Research Center, which provides supports instructional technology integration to support learning for all students. CITEd provides information about ways to implement UDL in digital environments, also discussed in a previous post.

Additional Resources

Response-to-Instruction and Universal Design for Learning: How Might They Intersect in the General Education Classroom?
Response to Intervention (RTI): A Primer for Parent
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association RTI resources and link
National Center on Response to Intervention
National Association of School Psychologists: A Problem-Solving Model for Improving Student Achievement
Intervention Central
RTI Wire
Positive Behavior Support

RTI and BPIS Article

If you are new to this blog, you can subscribe to it via email or through an RSS feed by clicking on the appropriate link on the side of this webpage.

If you are interested in topics such as interactive multimedia technology, the use of games in education and social skills development, engaged learning, interactive whiteboards and displays in the classroom, the use of virtual worlds and virtual reality in education and related fields, and exploring the possibilities of new technologies, take a look at my Interactive Multimedia Technology blog.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Link to post: Chill in an on-line tropical paradise from Unity3d

Take a moment to read my post on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog about a free on-line virtual tropical paradise. If you work with young people who have stress and anxiety, or need tools for calming down when agitated, this application might be worth a try. I'm planning on using it with some of the students I work with who have autism spectrum disorders.

This application would be great on an interactive whiteboard or display to teach a few lessons about landforms and tropical climates!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

CITEd's Multimedia Instruction of Social Skills Resources

I recently came across a great resource for integrating multimedia technology to support social skills development. The Multimedia Instruction of Social Skills website was developed by the CITEd research center, and provides links to research, tips and strategies to use in the classroom, and a link to a variety of online resources and products.

Multimedia instruction can be used for teaching and learning activities that touch on a variety of topics. Multimedia tools can play an important part in universal design for learning (UDL) and efforts towards RTI (Response to Intervention).

Here is a list of some "quick links" from the CITEd website:


CITEd is the Center for Implementing Technology in Education.

"CITEd supports leadership at state and local education agencies to integrate instructional technology for all students to achieve high educational standards. CITEd provides this support through identification of best practices, innovative online technical assistance tools, professional development, and communities of practice."

"CITEd is funded by the U.S. Department of Education,
Office of Special Education Programs and is a cooperative effort of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), and the Education Development Center (EDC)."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Links to Edubloggers, Classroom 2.0, blogging psychologists, and more

In the years that I've been studying about computers and technology, I've noticed an increase in the number of educators, of all ages, involved in blogging and social networking on the web.

Communication and knowledge sharing now easily transcend borders. In many cases, communication transcends print and words, as educators use pictures and videos to communicate ideas and experiences.

Here is a short list of some of the websites and blogs that I've found to be interesting, as well as useful to educators, school counselors and school psychologists, and related services professionals, instructional technologists, school administrators, and education-minded parents:

Classroom 2.0

"The social networking site for those interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in education."

Classroom 2.0 Wiki
"This site is devoted to building resources for the classroom use of Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies. Hopefully, it provides you with a good overview of the technologies, some ideas for lesson plans, and then points you in the direction of more detailed resources."

Ewan McIntosh's Blog
"Social participative media, education and the future"

Bill MacKenty
"Technology strengthens, deepens, and broadens our learning". Bill is a supporter of effective technology integration as well as the use of games in education.

John Rice's Education and Games Research blog
"Discusses topics related to academic research and media commentary concerning the use of video games in K-20 setting". John has an interesting blog roll.

Edutopia Spiral Notebook Blogs
"Original, creative, practical, and sometimes unusual advice and ideas to get you started-or keep you going!"

Janet Clarey's Blog (Janet researches learning theories, methods, and technologies)
Janet's Women Edublogger's blogroll

Sheryl Nussbaum 21st Century Collaborative
"This blog will be used to explore, exchange, and create ideas around 21st century collaborative learning and virtual learning communities and how these communities can be used to help teachers prepare their students for success in the 21st century".

Ryan Lanham's Leading as Enabling "It's about learning, identity, enabling, hoping, and making sense of these things".

Eliane Alhadeff's Future-Making Serious Games
"The best of serious games that challenge us to play at building a better future"

Blog from USC-Berkeley's Digital Youth project:
"The project has three general objectives. The first objective is to describe kids as active innovators using digital media, rather than as passive consumers of popular culture or academic knowledge. The second objective is to think about the implications of kids innovative cultures for schools and higher education, and engage in a dialogue with educational planners. The third objective is to advise software designers about how to use kids innovative approaches to knowledge and learning in building better software."

Marcus Specht's Blog: Marcuspecht's Blog
".....information about my recent projects, research works, and interesting things I found in the virtual and real world...I am currently Associate Professor at the Open University of the Netherlands in Heerlen. I am working on the TENCompetence Project for lifelong competence development, the Prolearn Network of Excellence and do national and international research projects in learning, knowledge management and contextualized information services."

Karen Janowski's Blog: Ed Tech Solutions: Teaching Every Student
" passion is to remove the obstacles to learning for all students. It is important to make the curriculum accessible to all learners and provide opportunities for struggling learners to demonstrate what they know using principles of universal design." For those of you who are interested in Universal Design/UDL, accessibility, or assistive technology, be sure to spend some time visiting Karen's links.

Kate Ahern's Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs blog
"Resources and ideas for teachers of learners with severe, profound, intensive, significant, or complex special needs"

Ira Socal's SpeEdChange blog

"Blog on the topic of assistive technology, mind mapping, project management, visual learning, collaborative tools, and educational technology."

Ladonna Coy's Technology in Prevention blog
"My passion is virtual learning and social media focusing on using Web 2.0 technologies for prevention and social change."

Dr. Julie Wills: RadTeach
"When a neurologist becomes a classroom teacher..."

Ken McGrew's Intelligent Insights on Intelligence Theories and Tests blog
An attempt to share contemporary research findings, insights, musings, and discussions regarding theories and applied measures of human intelligence. In other words, a quantoid linear mind trying to make sense of the nonlinear world of human cognitive abilities."

Rebecca Bell's Notes from the School Psychologist blog
"I loved school when I was little. I loved it so much I played "school" on the weekends. I work with kids who hate school. This is my blog."

Andrea Gaggioli's Positive Technology Journal
"Mind, brain, and emerging technologies"

Rich White and Greenbush
EduSim blog

What is the Edusim?

is a free opensource 3D virtual world specifically for your classroom interactive whiteboard. Edusim is a powerful way to engage your students by bringing a 3D virtual environment that allows direct haptic manipulation of the 3D virtual learning objects directly from the interactive whiteboard surface. Edusim is extendable allowing multiple classrooms to connect their interactive whiteboards for collaborative learning session. (view quick start videos here) "

More to come!