I can, I shall – I did! #1000in2014

I just completed another 500 miles in 2014.  After doing my first 500 I decided to do it again.  I want to see you and your students also set goals but keep at them and reach what you have set out to accomplish.

Set goals, design mission and vision statements but focus on what you have done and reflect periodically making the necessary adjustments. This is a follow up to my previous blog post “Setting Goals and Reflection

There were days that I was at first not motivated to get outside and do my walk/jog/run morning activity but I persevered.  The following chats, etc. helped keep me going:

The Breakfast Chat #530   I look forward to this spark chat (5:30-5:45am EST - Mon-Fri.).  It gets my Twitter day started.  Luckily I don’t need or like coffee as I am wide away when I arise (yes, I do sleep a few hours).  After the chat I would hit the road.  It was dark before we set the clocks back.  I got to see students waiting for their school buses at 6:15am, horses grazing and then the beautiful sunrises. I try to make it home to prepare coffee for my wife when she gets up.


On Saturdays I try to get my usual minimum of 4 miles in before the very stimulating #satchat for educational leaders (7:30am EST/PST).


Sundays it is easier as #sunchat starts at 9:00am EST.

My Walk Tracker Pro app also was a great help to keep me motivated as it tracked my mileage and spurred me on to complete my miles in less than 13 minutes.


One of my heroes is @Principal_EL and it was a tweet by him in January that alerted me to the #500in2014.  He set out to accomplish this feat but got injured along the way. It definitely slowed him up but he did not give up and is back on track. Also have to give shoutouts to @Vroom6 who also came back from an injury.  And I could not leave out @WonderingWinter who had to put up with the climate of Vietnam to complete her #500in2014

Here is an update on the progress of the original 52 of the #500in2014

13 have completed 500 miles in 2014

4 have completed 1000 miles in 2014

I wonder if this is the same percentage of people who make New Year Resolutions and then keep them.

I am worried as we are not in shape physically, mentally or educationally.  It is easy to make resolutions, mission or vision statements but living up to them should be our goal.



Setting Goals and Reflection

Too many people make resolutions and set goals but do not follow through.  I set my educational goals each school year and also had my students make their own learning goals.  I kept copies of their goals (now it is easy to do this with all the devices we have available) but the key that helped keep them on track was to have them periodically review them.  I had my students reflect on their goals at least once a month.  I did this around the holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, December Holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa..), New Year’s, Valentine’s Day…)  It takes persistence and diligence to achieve what you set out to do.

My Goals page

This past January in my Twitter feed I saw tweets about #500in2014. Investigating, I found out it was walking, jogging or running an accumulated distance of 500 miles in the calendar year. I have always set fitness goals so this was perfect for me. After this Medicare recipient reached the 500 mile plateau I set a new goal of 1000 miles.

Google doc for the #500in2014 challenge

I use an app on my iPhone called Walk Tracker Pro (Running, Cycling, Walking) as it periodically tells me the time of the workout, distance I have traveled, my pace and calories burned. My goal on most walks is to do a mile in 13 minutes or better. This every five minute notification keeps me on “track” and gives me the opportunity to speed up if necessary to reach my goal. During my walk/jogs I have plenty of time to reflect on a lot of things. Once again set a goal and review it!



I am disappointed that only 52 educators signed on for #500in2014 and only a small percentage of those will reach the goal of 500 miles in 2014. I am a strong advocate for educators to promote good health, proper nutrition and exercise. We need to lead by example and model for our students.  

9 have achieved the 500 miles  

1 is on the verge of accomplishing the goal  

6 have the potential to reach the goal  

So far 2 have surpassed 1,000 miles

2 have the potential to reach the goal 

My Health page
My Exercise page
My Nutrition page 
My Track page

Since I live in Florida, after spending most of my life in the Northeast, I have found the best time to work out is the early morning hours. The Breakfast Club chat #BFC530 (a fifteen minute spark chat 5:30-5:45amEST/MST Mon-Fri) gets me up early and moving so I can then catch some really nice sunrises ( I even saw a lunar eclipse). I used to be at school at 6 am (to do the early morning programing when teachers called in sick)  so getting up early is easy for me. I make it a point to say good morning and have an awesome day of learning to the students I see at 6:10 am waiting for their school bus.


On Saturdays I try to either get my workout in before or after #satchat (School Leaders chat 7:30-8:30 am EST/PST). I wish more of our administrators would set fitness, health & good nutrition goals and model the importance of exercise and good health. I feel health, wellness & eating properly are the most important subjects we need to stress with our youth and staffs. The 9am EST Sunday morning #sunchat is at a great time as I can do my usual hour workout & shower before this stimulating chat starts.

Hopefully you have set educational goals for yourself and have your students do their learning goals.   It is important that you periodically revisit the goals that you have set, reflect on them and make any changes. 

My Resolutions and Reflection page

Please don’t exclude anyone…

I was brought up to give of oneself and help others.  I am always willing to assist as can be evidenced by all the sites that I share.  I do this because I know as a former classroom teacher and later as a teacher librarian how hard it is to teach.  I have  been criticized by some for sharing such much but on the other hand so many people have thanked me.  I do not gain anything monetarily from my website.  In fact it costs me money to sustain it as well as he countless hours and years I have put into the site.  I just want to help in any way that I can. 

I was fortunate to have a very varied teaching experience and will always be thankful to my first PLN who helped me get started with my teaching career. 
When I was excessed because of seniority to a new school I will never forget coming in to the crowded teachers’ room and only finding a couch to sit on.  I was immediately informed that I could not sit there as it was reserved.  Some welcome!  I made sure to always welcome and help the new staff members.
I cannot tell you how many times when I approached my administrators with a new idea or technique they turned it down with the statement: “We don’t do that here!”  Be open to change and don’t exclude new approaches.
When I coached track I made sure in dual meets to include everyone who worked hard.  I was criticized because I allowed a “slower” runner to compete.  I stood my ground because he had been at all the practices and tried his best.  At an awards banquet after we won the NYC Championship (arranged by a staff member who got the community to pitch in) a mother grabbed me and gave me a big hug.  She was so appreciative that I had allowed her son to compete even though she knew he wasn’t the greatest athlete.  She said it was really hard raising him as a single mother and I was responsible for changing his attitude and building his confidence.  
Don’t exclude #stuvoice.  Listen to your students and make sure you know how each child likes to learn.
The best curriculum I ever wrote was done collaboratively and we opened the door to anyone who had ideas.  In my writing career producing educational materials for the utility companies I learned so much because I listened to all parties: children (my best reviewers), educators, parents and utility personnel.  
Don’t exclude anyone who wants to help.  

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