Student collaboration and authentic voices have been part of my educational strategies since I started teaching, using whatever appropriate technology I could find.
Along the way I have have wonderful experiences at the cutting edge of development in the online world. Before there was an Internet, I was education editor at VIEWTRON, the first online service in the U.S. with color and graphics. Earlier, I helped develop online content for students through PLATO at Indiana University, where I also learned a great deal about instructional systems design. I was at the first NECC (now called ISTE) as a young grad student.
As an ed tech consultant since 1994, I work with schools and school districts in designing visionary ed tech plans, professional development programs, and parent outreach through technology. This includes many schools and districts in Florida and the southeast and even working with the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates in fall 2006.
For about 8 years I led the ed tech office at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the nation's fourth largest district. There we pioneered use of interactive technologies with ELL students through a co-development project with Jostens Learning Corp., who matched the $5 million provided by the Florida Dept. of Education. We had computer take-home programs in Title I with fabulous results. After Hurricane Andrew, I co-authored a FIPSE grant for professional development that had tremendous impact on teachers, Project Infusion.
While a VP at ePals, the social learning network, I helped teachers and students discover powerful ways to collaborate on global project-based learning and simple pen pal exchanges. With users in 200 countries and territories, ePals provides many opportunities for teachers to join existing projects or create their own powerful connections. It's great to tell teachers and school districts about something free too...not everything from ePals, but many great things.
Earlier in my career, I also was editor of the Heller Report, Internet Strategies for Education Markets, as the Internet first came into education in the 1990s.
I've written 13 books and more than 100 articles about technology in education, including one on professional development in technology published by NSBA and several that survey the state of ed tech in education for MDR. The most recent book, Digital Trends in Education Marketing, was published by MDR in 2013.
My first job was a high school language arts and journalism teacher a rural district in Kansas, where my students produced a page in the local newspaper each week, along with their own newspaper in the school. I also taught in an experimental high school in Kansas City, Kansas, and in Shawnee Mission. And for a year, I worked at Phi Delta Kappa, the education society, a terrific think tank of the leaders in educational thought.
I have two degrees from the University of Kansas, was editor of the award-winning college newspaper, and two graduate degrees from Indiana University. My doctoral majors were Educational applications of print, broadcast and computer-based media and Public policy.
Tips on Using ePals in the Language Classroom Tuesday, August 13, 2013 – 5PM Eastern Time
In This Session Open the doors, let the world in! As a teacher of French, Saray Gutiérrez found that having her students collaborate with students in schools in the French-speaking countries of France and French Polynesia brought increased language practice and promoted cultural awareness in powerful and engaging ways. Students learned the importance of diversity,…Continue
Did your mama talk to you about sexting, cyberbullying, and watching what you post on Facebook? Parents today have a whole new set of challenges and issues, raised by technology at school and home. Learn how you can help parents understand the real issues, fears and challenges and support them in being great parents in a 2.0 world. Resources for schools and families will be shared, and the core presentation is based on presentations at school PTA meetings, Wired Safety, and Wired…Continue
By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, eSchoolNews
In what could be a huge sign of change in how students learn, New York City Public Schools has begun implementation of communication and collaboration software from ePals and Microsoft—education technology tools that not only will connect students to other classrooms across the world but also will connect teachers to parents, regardless of the language they…Continue
We invited teachers to show us how ePals has opened the world for their students. Applicants each submitted projects that they had successfully implemented in their classrooms, examples of student work, and a video application, telling us what ePals brought to their teaching and to their students’ learning. Outstanding entries came from all corners of the world, inspiring us with amazing projects, successful collaborations, and enthusiastic students.…Continue