Robert Barker
  • Male
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • United States
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Robert Barker's Colleagues

  • Keren Taylor
  • Katherine Bolman
  • Tye Norbraten
  • Steve Schiff
  • SMART Technologies
  • Dilip Barad
  • Jeanne Sbardellati
  • Linda Denker
  • Frank Lovejoy
  • H. Chung
  • Alyshia Olsen
  • Jack
  • Pam McLeod
  • Pam Allyn
  • Matthew

Robert Barker's Discussions

Student Privacy

Started this discussion. Last reply by Sherry Ingram Nov 2, 2009. 12 Replies

Student Run Website

Started this discussion. Last reply by Andrew Brown Jul 13, 2009. 8 Replies


Started this discussion. Last reply by Wesley Fryer Aug 29, 2010. 18 Replies


Robert Barker's Page

Profile Information

School / Work Affiliation
John Liechty Middle School
About Me
I'm an English/History teacher for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. My passion is getting students to develop a love for reading. My other passion is integrating technology into the classroom - especially finding ways to use it to explore student-initiated topics.

Robert Barker's Blog

Essays From The Middle School Frontier, Part 2

Posted on January 5, 2009 at 11:00pm 0 Comments

Adapting To Learned Helplessness

The sixth graders. are. killing. me.

Okay, they're not killing me. They're...challenging me.

That's it. They are a challenge.

Here is an interaction I had today:

The setting: During class. Silent reading time. Several students are

taking AR quizzes on the laptops for only the first or second time.

Student: Mister!

Me: That's not how you--

Student: Mister! Mister… Continue

Essays From The Middle School Frontier, Part 1

Posted on January 5, 2009 at 11:00pm 0 Comments

I originally published these essays on my school's google group, but thought they might fit in with the spirit of Classroom 2.0.

Round Holes and Square Pegs

a mid-year reflection for public consumption

During my first year of teaching it was not uncommon for my

then girlfriend to come home at the end of the day to find me

sprawled face down on our bed, a kind of slain snow angel, shoes still

on, my "I'm serious about my profession" red tie… Continue

Getting Back In The Water

Posted on January 5, 2009 at 5:15pm 9 Comments

If anyone has ever watched the disturbing, but motivational and strangely moving video "Did You Know," then you may be like me at this tail end of the winter break: a bit scattered.

Two versions of Did You Know?

1. Version 1

2. Version 2

Mid-way through my fifth year of teaching, a lot of my… Continue

Comment Wall (9 comments)

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At 6:49pm on September 22, 2009, Keren Taylor said…
Hi Robert, I bought the book, now I have to read it! We've had some challenges in these past months with staffing, fundraising, resources...but a few grants came through and we are hiring, so I hope to have my head out of water in the next few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes!
At 11:59am on July 13, 2009, Mark Cruthers said…
Hi Robert,

With your passion for Technology Integration, I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's virtual classroom and authorstream's power point presentation platform. Both are web based platforms, have a bunch of features and free basic service. Here’s a public class recording conducted by Nellie Deutsch on Technology Integration.

At 9:13pm on April 24, 2009, Jack said…
Hey Robert,

Our Brainyflix video contest just ended, and I wanted to thank you for helping us get the word out. We got 800 submissions from across the country!

That said, MIT was really happy with the results and will let us run another contest, so we're going for it! But this time, we're gonna have kids create Brainypics flashcards - which are images and sentences paired up with a one of our SAT/ACT words. The contest ends May 22nd, and there'll be iTunes and a cash prize like last time. To boot, we'll double the payout if the kids can hit a certain goal. More details at

Do you mind passing my message along to students and your colleagues again?

At 12:01pm on January 8, 2009, Kara Norris said…
Hi! Nice to meet you.
At 9:39pm on January 6, 2009, Pam Allyn said…
Hi Robert! We would love to reach out to Southern California! I was in fact just there last week! I have some great people on my team who specialize in middle school literacy and travel easily. We are also experimenting with some cool ways to keep in touch between visits via videochats, etc. If you think your school might be interested in having us come out, please let me know and I'd be happy to make contact with whomever you think might be best. I am really glad you reached out and I really like your blogs I've read so far. So wise and funny and intuitive! I'd love to know more about what you are doing with your students in the technology/literacy area. I'd love to connect you with my team; maybe one of these days via Internet for sure. Thanks so much for writing.
At 8:04pm on January 5, 2009, Jack said…
Sweet! Thanks, Robert!
At 5:46pm on January 5, 2009, Mark Cruthers said…
Hi Robert,

With your interest in Education Technology integration, I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's virtual classroom and authorstream's power point presentation platform. Both are web based platforms, have a bunch of features and free basic service.
At 9:28pm on December 30, 2008, Jack said…
Hi Robert!

Hope you're enjoying the winter break. I was wondering if you, your educator contacts or students would be interested in participating in a nationwide Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. We'd really like to get more students involved from California!

You can view contest details at Please let me know. Thanks!
At 1:58pm on December 26, 2008, Alyshia Olsen said…

I'm sending out messages to everyone I know right now, and this classroom20 network is no exception. (I've also sent this out on other Ning networks you may be a part of.) My name is Alyshia Olsen; I am a 20 year old college student from Olin College of Engineering. I am a part of a group of 6 Olin College students (we're in Needham,MA, and engineering students) who has taken a year off to work on an education related project. I found you when I searched for middle schools on classroom20, and since our project is specific to middle schools, I thought you might be interested! Our project is called AlightLearning, and this is our "short" project description:

Under the assumption that within ten years, the landscape of modern education will have fully integrated what we now define as new classroom media: video, online collaboration, open source curriculum and other web tools, we hope to pioneer a web software tool that acts as a platform for this new media, bringing the power of the web and its tools to students, teachers and parents in a secure, comfortable and innovative environment. Our goal is to have our free software at a pilot middle school by April 15th, 2008, continuing to develop and coordinate with our users to create a product that other schools want to pilot and use at their schools, while allowing individual teachers to implement this tool in their own classroom.

Our project, titled Alight Learning, is currently trying to win an idea competition on You can find us at We would love your support in the form of a vote within the next couple days, but more importantly we'd love your feedback and comments. Our description on Ideablob is short, and even the one above hardly gets at many of the issues we would like to take a stab at solving, but at least it's a start.

Feel free to email me back, check out, anything you like!


Alyshia Olsen


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