I am excited about #EdProdChat

#EdProdChat is starting real soon and I can see this will be a tremendous way to find out about great products to use in your school.  This much needed forum will give teachers a chance to interact with the designers of products that are used in classrooms.  It will also benefit the developers who will get real feedback on their work.  Both parties want students to learn and it will lead to better products being used in classrooms throughout the world. We are not endorsing these products but showcasing them because we feel they will be valuable additions for student learning.
When I wrote educational activities for the utility company I developed not only a teacher review network but one for children as well as industry personnel. The final product was successful because of the input from all these points of view.  
Please join us on #EdProdChat
First chat will be on Thursday, September 18th at 8pm EST featuring a project based learning App called WeLearnedIt.  Hosting will be WeLearnedIt CEO Adam Bellow @adambellow
The weekly #EdProdChat schedule of weekly chats will begin on the first Thursday of October (Oct. 2nd) at 8pm EST
Please sign up on REMIND using the class code: @edprod 
I am looking forward to #EdProdChat  because this constant learner loves finding out about wonderful products that will benefit students.

Students should be the real lead learners

I think it is wonderful that so many principals are adopting the title “lead learner.” It is definitely a role they need to assume.

However, the real lead learner should be each student as they follow their pathway to discovery. I feel it is everyone’s duty to allow children to lead their own learning and to model being a “constant learner” for them.  Show them that they can succeed if they put their minds to the tasks they face.


Let’s guide children but step out of their way as they lead their own learning. Make sure they are not afraid to try new things and learn from their mistakes. Give them the reins but be there if needed.


My Learning from Mistakes page

securedownloadHave your students set their own learning goals at the beginning of the school year.  Periodically have them review these goals and make any needed changes.  A good time to do this is once a month around a holiday period (October-Halloween, November-Thanksgiving…).

My Goals Page

Please make sure to listen to your children/students and find out what they really want.  Our job as parents and educators is to guide them on their way to learning.

My What Students Want Page







#satchat Live at #ISTE2014 and reaching the world

When the “Jersey Boys” (@wkrakower, @ScottRRocco @bradmcurrie ) asked me once again to guest moderate #satchat Live at ISTE I was honored. I came up with what I thought was an appropriate topic and questions for this special event “Starting a Tech Revolution in Your School or School District.”

My questions

I posted the questions.

This past year I have been asking students, parents, teachers and administrators wherever I have been about the actual use of technology in their schools. In the Stone Age district of Florida where I live when I questioned students and teachers if they ever did a Voice Thread, blog, a mystery location call, flip their learning or even connect they look at me as if I am talking a foreign language. I was also taken aback when I asked about tech use and a student replied: “We only really use technology when taking standardized tests!” Luckily I am moving to a new area in Florida where they “get it!” Are you ready for me @dennisdill @MLMRobertson @DianaLRendina and @professorjosh?


In the dark ages I made signs by hand!

In the dark ages I made signs by hand!

When rock star and my good Twitter buddy and one night roommate, @thomascmurray, who recently testified in Congress on our behalf (ed tech), agreed to guest moderate we were set for a special live show.

@cybraryman1 @wkrakower @thomascmurray

@cybraryman1 @wkrakower @thomascmurray

So, there we were facing an enthusiastic audience of over 60 educators at such an early hour, on a Google Hangout with Scott and Brad (on his vacation) and a very active Twitter feed ( over 5,000 tweets in an hour).

Those present at #satchat Live at #ISTE2014 participated in a very lively and worthwhile discussion on technology. I have to especially mention the outstanding participation of @ugafrank and a guest appearance by awesome ISTE13 Keynotter @adambellow as well as contributions of @2footgiraffe
@plnaugle @ncarroll24 @JennRegruth @lparren @ StJMagistra @Kitty_Tripp @SandraTrach @LaurieBarron @elissamalespina @jdferries 
@janwells. @JoAnnJacobs68 @noApp4Pedagogy among others. 


@stringer_andrea a moderator of #satchatoc tweeted in from Australia that she wanted to see my cape

The infamous cape!

The infamous cape!

@ScottRRocco still in New Jersey led the GHO (google Hangout) while @bradmcurrie on vacation was still able to pop in and out. We all missed a live showing of our dear friend @casas_jimmy who chose to tweet in from his hotel room.


My Google Hangout page


I made sure to mention my good friends in the conversation: outstanding student leader @zakmal of #stuvoice in the student section, @thenerdyteacher in the teacher part (love his idea of presenting “pilot” project to administrators), @joemazza (#ptchat & parent camp) for his leadership in the parent piece and @NMHS_Principal for his efforts and book Digital Leadership ( so happy I caught up with,
hugged, spoke to and heard his presentation in his whirlwind one day appearance at ISTE. Best of luck Eric on your new position).


What makes ISTE so special was meeting and talking with so many members of my PLN (Personal Learning Network). So wish I could meet everyone but that would require traveling to the four corners of the world.

I will definitely keep in mind all that we discussed as I serve on the Advisory Board of #sxswedu

Please check out my good friend & co-presenter at ISTE @s_bearden amazing new app Tweechme. @kcalderw (airplane delayed but still managed to be there and followed up our #satchat discussion moderating a live #nt2t GHO with @wkrakower’s technical assistance & even I chimed in)

Thanks everyone (those present, tweeting in and watching the Google Hangout online) for making this Live #satchat at #ISTE2014 a very special discussion.




My PLN #YouMatter a lot to Me!

I wish I could meet and thank all the members of my PLN (Personal Learning Network) in person. Yes, it is I who should thank you because not only do you keep me young but you keep me motivated to learn and try to make the changes in education needed to help facilitate the learning of each and every child.

Kevin Hooeycutt, Angela Maiers and me.

Kevin Hooeycutt, Angela Maiers and me.

In my new role as Social Media Storyteller for PRwithPanache! I will try to get businesses to build better relationships with those in education. We need to work together because it is all about the learning of our youth and grown ups. It is important to keep a running dialogue and listen to all parties.


As a new member of the Advisory Board of South by Southwest Edu #sxswedu I will strive to represent not only students and front line educators but parents and community. We should be working as an educational team.


@coolcatteacher @cybraryman1@NikkiDRobertson @kevinhoneycutt @elissamalespina @wkrakower @AngelaMaiers

My #YouMatter page http://cybraryman.com/youmatter.html




You are all winners despite not being on Bammy Short List

The Bammy Award Finalists 2014 has just been released and I congratulate all those selected however there so many deserving people who were not on that short list and they are all winners in my mind 

We should not forget all the frontline educators, students, parents, advocates out there trying to best facilitate the learning of all students each and every day.  Okay, you won’t get a Bammy trophy to place in your office or classroom or use as your avatar.  You are a winner when a student says how much you mean to him or her, a parent thanks you for helping their child, an administrator pats you on the back or a colleague smiles and says thanks for your help. 

Years ago I was honored each year at graduation with a plaque or teacher of the year trophy but after a while I told them “Enough!”  My wife won’t let me throw out the awards I have received over the years.  The most meaningful of all and the ones that I really treasure were from my students, who on their own gave them to me.  I will not part with those as I do all the letters students wrote to me.  

Please keep doing what you are and don’t be upset if you were not shortlisted or recognized for all that you do.  Years, later you will be surprised as I have been when former students or colleagues contact you and thank you for your efforts.  

My #YouMatter Page 


Get Fit with and without Technology

walk may 24 2014Look around at our society and you will immediately see the fact that we are not as fit or healthy as we should be and this troubles me.  We talk so much about tech but neglect health, fitness and nutrition without which we do not function as well as we should.  I will never forget my good friend and assistant principal who passed on too early.  He did not heed his doctor’s warnings and even my suggestions on improving his condition.  This man stopped whatever work he was doing and helped anyone who came into his office.  He was so concerned about everyone but himself.  

As educators we should be setting a “healthy” example for our students.  Now, we can employ tech to measure our health and fitness. Over a year ago on a promotion I picked up a free app Walk Tracker.  I like the fact that periodically it indicates the distance I have traversed, my pace and calories exerted.  It keeps me focused because I believe in sustained activity at a varying pace. 

Helping me keep fit this year is the #500in2014 challenge group. My personal goal is have 500 miles by ISTE14 in June.  I have a link to add your mileage for #500in2014 on My Exercise page 

I am happy to see some of my PLN members using FitBit Fitbit® Official Site: Flex, One and Zip Wireless Activity and Sleep Trackers  I feel it is a good start to making you more conscious of your fitness and health.  

My friends and PLN members have mentioned about other devices they use which include the following:

Nike+ FuelBand SE. Activity Tracker & Fitness Monitor. Nike.com

MapMyWalk, CardioTrainer, RunMyRoute

Today I found an interesting article in USA Today Finally, fitness trackers measure up It will be interesting to see how the latest activity trackers work out!

Jawbone: UP24 | Activity Tracker with Bluetooth Sync | Live Better 

Misfit Wearables Misfit Shine

Withings Pulse 02 

Garmin Vivofit 

Samsung Gear Fit 

Adidas MiCoach 

TECH NOW: Here’s the skinny on the latest fitness bands

Save of the Day: Optimize your workout with this watch

Whether you use these devices or not the main thing is that you start moving, become fitter and healthier.




An Early Gathering of Giants #ntcamp (July 24, 2010)

It is amazing to me how far we have come as educators on Twitter.  Connecting online and in person has changed the educational environment in many good ways.  I have learned so much from the 13 edcamps and TeachMeets I have attended.

ntcampjab On the heels of the first edcamp in Philadelphia Andy Marcinek @andycinek on an #ntchat I participated in four years ago at this time proposed the idea for a New Teacher Camp.  Most of the organization and planning was done by Andy with the able assistance of @geraldaungst.  I had the honor of giving the opening speech. 

I will attempt to remember many of those in attendance (please let me know if I left anyone out), who came from near and far, as it was a real Who’s Who of Twitter Educational celebrities:

@web20classroom (NC) @tomwhitby (NY) @kylepace (MO) @pammoran & @paulawhite (VA) @shannonmmiller (IA) @NMHS_Principal (NJ)

Many of the organizers and participants in the inaugural edcampPhilly were in attendance including: @dancallahan @mbteach @kristenswanson @aleaness @hadleyjf @butwait @rkiker  @jasontbedell 

I remember distinctly @meenoorami asking me if she should start a chat for English teachers. I said I would help her and #engchat was born. 

How can I forget my fun talk with @smallbutfeisty and @DaretoChem

In four years there has been an explosion of the edcamp movement.  I was upset I missed the inaugural #edampPhilly but thankful I participated in the second such event #ntcamp in Philadelphia.  Many thanks to the organizers of the edcamp movement as it has helped bring teachers together to connect learn and share from one another.  Please find or organize an edcamp in your area.

The EdCamp Wiki lists all the edcamps http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/

My EdCamp/TeachMeet page: http://cybraryman.com/edcamp.html


I am inspired and you can be too!

The motto for this year’s #tcea14 Convention & Exposition was “Get “Inspired.”  There are so many ways that you can get inspired.

During the past few weeks I attended some outstanding events that not only engaged me but re-energized me.  I met so many of my PLN that it would be impossible to list all of them.  I love you all and appreciate you.  #youmatter a lot to me.

#FETC14  – Florida

I only had the opportunity to spend one day at #FETC14 but it sure was jam packed with great experiences:

I took part in a fun app session delivered by @adambellow @kathyshrock @lesliefisher and @HallDavidson. Attend stimulating sessions at conferences or go to an edcamp where you can share what works with your students or learn from others.

I was fortunate to join @tomwhitby and @adambellow for a luncheon conversation.  Then we bumped into @rushtonh and I was able to have an enjoyable talk with him. Spend time with your PLN.  It is incredible the sharing and learning that takes place in these informal get togethers.


I really enjoyed hanging out with my fellow #edchat moderators: @blairteach @kylepace @tomwhitby and archivist @jswiatek. Educational chats on Twitter are great opportunities for professional learning.  Take advantage of the incredible chats available.

The extremely well attended TweetUp gave me a chance to meet so many of my PLN.  It was nice to renew acquaintances and make new ones with great educators like @s_bearden @kristenswanson and @thomascmurray.

#TCEA14 – Texas

@tomwhitby and I had a fantastic time during #tcea14 and it was really special when we tweeted side by side while moderating Tuesday evening’s #edchat on: What would be the effect of building collaboration and reflection time into your work schedule?

Take part in chats and build your PLN.  Share your thoughts and learn how others feel.

@kenroyal  I definitely got the royal treatment from Ken who introduced me to so many of his friends in education.   It was so much fun hanging out with him.  It is amazing the connections that you make as you build a Twitter or Social Media Family.

@myclassflow Learned about this interactive lesson planning method that will engage students. Attending sessions gives you to opportunity to see first-hand technology that can help deliver your lessons.

I had a fantastic barbecue dinner with @PaulRWood, @shannonmiller, @TomWhitby, @woscholar et al. was nourishing for body and mind.  It is amazing when educators get together and then discuss intellectual topics that stretch the mind.

EdTech Karoke was a wonderful opportunity to let your hair down and enjoy yourself.  Always enjoy talking with my buddy @kevinhoneycutt. Once again I came across @stevedembo and we both stated that some day we would have to just sit down and talk.  Having fun and learning is great for us and our students.


I was honored to address the LIB-SIG group thank you @_MichelleCooper. The message to all educators should be to continue to do what you are doing but embrace technology and listen to #stuvoice.

Conferences and edcamps are invaluable as you get a chance to meet members of your PLN (Personal Learning Network) like @mattBgomez  @djakes @duncanbilingual @ipadSammy @RafranzDavis @TechNinjaTodd to discuss educational topics in person, groups or during sessions.  It is now wonderful that you can go to meetings and actually know people as a result of your being a connected educator.

Tuskegee Airmen at Fantasy of Flight – Florida

Thanks to @DennisDill and @MLMRobertson  I was able to accompany their students to a special presentation by three Tuskegee Airmen at the Fantasy of Flight.  These gentlemen gave an outstanding session explaining the struggles they faced and how they triumphed.  It was wonderful that they encouraged the students attending to get a good education and work hard.  My tweets caught the attention of @DianaLRendina who was attending the same presentation with her class.  It is always nice to meet members of my PLN.  Great also to connect with @KKStephens82 the Operations Manager of @fantasyofflight Take advantage of such learning opportunity field trips in person or virtually.

Take part in activities that will inspire you don’t wait for them to come to you.



This past week’s #edchat topic on reflection got me really thinking.

We need to stop periodically and really analyze what we are doing especially in the way we are educating our students.  At the same time we should also get feedback from our students, colleagues, or staff members as well as parents on what needs to be improved.  Then, we have to come up with a plan to get accomplished what we have discussed.  I like the use of the word “we” because it should be a joint operation. 

At this time I should reflect back on all the wonderful opportunities I had this past week or so getting to know members of my PLN at #FETC14, #TCEA14 and at a special Tuskegee Airmen event.   I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of educators, parents and students in my network.  It is I who should thank all of you for keeping me young and energized.  There is a lot of work that needs to be done to improve our educational system and world.  It is not an easy task.  We need to stop, reflect and come up with ways each of us can improve education.  It is important that we listen to all parties.  Let’s all Be the Change that is needed. 

In 2014 I plan to…

Periodically reflect on what I am doing in all phases of my life and attempt to make adjustments.  I feel this is also a good practice for our students to do as well.

From My Resolutions and Reflections  page http://www.cybraryman.com/resolutions2.html

Each year I had my students write their learning goals or resolutions for the year on the first day of school. I had them review and update them periodically throughout the school year. (Thanksgiving, 100th Day, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day…) I kept their resolutions (on paper & online) and returned them at the end of the school year.

Share helpful things with my PLN.  One of my followers criticized my sharing of my pages. I have asked numerous members of my PLN about this and they said continue all your sharing.  I plan to keep sharing my pages. I never state “the best sites” but I try to provide many and let you choose the best ones for your use. 

Continue to be a constant and connected learner.  As far as technology is concerned I am mostly self taught.  I taught myself how to make databases and spreadsheets ( those were the days you had to write the formulas). I also learned basic html to make my original website. I enjoy trying out new things.  I sincerely appreciate my PLN (Personal Learning Network) who help me learn so many new things.

A connected educator is a constant learner not afraid to try need things and one who is able to reach out to
learn, share and collaborate with a global network consisting
of students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members interested in education.

Plan to eat better.  I was not happy with the cholesterol results from a physical exam I took. I have started trying to eat either an apple or pear every day and less meat and more vegetables.  I am cutting down eating junk foods and unhealthy snacks.  Luckily I have excellent self control. One year I decided to give up eating chocolate which I love.  of course, that was the year our family went to Hershey, Pa.  Yes, I gave up the free bar of chocolate I got from the Hershey Chocolate Factory.

My Nutrition page http://www.cybraryman.com/nutrition.html

Try to get fitter.  I do have lapses in this area but compared to most of my peers I am doing quite well.  I work out regularly in my community gym.  I have also tried to walk more.  I always walk at a fast clip and plan my walks around errands.  I average a 12 minute mile.  It is hard to keep up this pace.  I gave up running to avoid wear and tear.  Years ago I did the marathon distance but preferred doing 13.1. I do wonder about the comments of many who say that it is easy for me to maintain my weight.  They have no idea how hard I work at exercising and trying to eat well.

My Exercise page http://www.cybraryman.com/exercise.html

    Train — like an athlete.    Eat — like a
    nutritionist.    Sleep — like a baby.    WIN —
    like a champion.

Hope you have a very Happy and Healthy 2014