Monday, March 31, 2008

Project-Based Learning

Visualize, Visualize, Visualize: Designing Projects for Higher-Order Thinking, Pearl Chen and Diane McGrath, 12/04-1/05, pp. 54-57

Taking the Plunge by Diane McGrath and Nancy Sands, 4/04, pp. 34-36

Building Better Projects by Diane McGrath with Mark Viner and Allen Sylvester, 11/03, pp. 32-39

Read the articles here.

Research Windows

Research into Practice, John W. Collins, 12/04-1/05, pp. 58-59, 64

Ethics in Ed Tech Research, Rob Kadel, 6/06, pp. 34-35

Gimme an R! Common Terms in Ed Tech Research, Rob Kadel, 11/04, pp. 34-37

Technology and Teacher Retention, Rob Kadel, 3/07, pp. 30-31

Does Your District Need a Technology Audit? Howard Pitler, 4/07, pp. 26-27

For Tech Leaders

As I See IT: Digital Principals, Kimberley Ketterer, 12/07-1/08, p. 28

Kimberley motivates administrators and leaders to begin using the digital tools they require their teachers to use. They can model appropriate use.

Hand in Hand: The Mature Family, Marilyn Brooks, 5/06, p. 64

As I See IT: What’s the Big Deal about ROI and TCO? Don Hall, 9/05, p. 48

Security Code, Red or Ready? Don Hall and Pat Kelly, 3/05, pp. 28-30

Teacher-to-Teacher Mentoring, Kathleen Gora and Janice Hinson, 12/03-1/14, pp. 36-40 (letter 3/04)

Read the articles here.

Media Matters

Wikipedia: Ban It or Boost It? Doug Johnson, 10/06, pp. 26-27
Blogging and the Media Specialist, Doug Johnson, 3/06, pp. 24-25
Substantive Searching, Joyce Valenza, 11/04, pp. 38-43

Read the articles here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Curriculum Nominations

Business Ed
Simulations as Action Learning Devices, Dan Smith, 2/08, pp. 30-31

Computer Science/ICT
Fostering Student Innovation, Norman Slverman, 10/05, pp. 29-30
Role-Playing the Web, Janet Mannheimer Zydney, 9/05, pp. 30-31
Trash or Treasure? Evaluating a Web Site, Kathy Schrock, 12/05-1/06, p. 34

Early Childhood
Digesting a Story, Stacy Bodin, 5/06, p. 37

Foreign Language
Improving Students’ Language Learning, Lyn C. Howell, 3/06, p. 32

Dynamic Human Anatomy, Ken Felker, 6/07, p. 35

Language Arts
Improving Student Writing through E-mail Mentoring, Mary Burns, 2/05, pp. 38-43
Electronic Read-Arounds, Rick Monroe, 5/07, pp. 36-37
Piquing into English, Melissa Cole, 5/08, p. 36

Create Accessible Ethnic Math Games, Sheri Lenzo, 10/06, pp. 32-33
Dynamic Visualizations by Margaret L. Niess, 12/07-1/08

Quality Images in the Classroom, Savila Bannister, 2/07, pp. 34-35
Research, Deconstructed, Leslie Yoder, 12/07-108

Physical Education
Activating Your School: Movement-Oriented Learning, Pete Rognli, 4/07, pp. 32-33

Students as Environmental Consultants: Simulating Life Science Problems, 9/04, pp. 22-25
Virtual Dissection, Douglas Toti, 9/05, p. 29
River City: The MUVE, Cathleen Galas and Diane Jass Ketelhut, 4/06, pp. 31-32
Changing the Face of the Traditional Lab Report, Jared Mader and Ben Smith, 9-10/07, pp.32-33
iPods in Science, Jared Mader and Ben Smth, 2/08, 28-30

Social Studies
Beyond Show and Tell: Using Spreadsheets to Solve Problems, 10/03, pp.27
Making History Come Alive, Howard Levin, 11/03, pp. 22-27
Lewis and Clark: An Online Odyssey, Gail Lovely, 11/03, pp. 28-31 (letter, 2/04)
Kids Galore Helping Kids in Darfur, Wendy Drexler, 11/07, pp. 32-33

Special Needs
Signing Science, Judy Vesel, 5/05, pp. 30-31, 34-35

Find links to these articles here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Feature Nominees

Here are the nominees for the best features. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my choices below.

December 2007-January 2008

  • Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society by Mitchel Resnick
Many recent U.S. educational reforms have been targeted at improving students' performance in core areas (math, science, reading) in relation to other countries in the world. In fact, many writers in L&L over the years have bemoaned the lack of science and technology education in the United States. But the renewed focus on achieving national standards and satisfactory educational progress has left behind an important part of teaching: creativity. Mitchell discusses current and emerging tools that help foster creativity in the midst of content area teaching.

November 2007

  • A Global Challenge by David Gibson and Susan Grasso
  • More Than Money Matters by Nancy Flynn
Financial issues are always important to schools, and many have had to look to the private sector to supplement their educational offerings. Nancy offers ideas to help you ensure that you don't compromise your educational goals for the almighty corporate dollar.

September-October 2007

  • The New Gold Rush by Ferdi Serim
Online learning is one of the new innovations that is supposed to revolutionize learning. Ferdi addresses the potential and the pitfalls of this delivery mechanism. He also provides a rubric for assessing the fitness of different online learning initiatives for your own school, district or educational system.
  • The Threat of Security by LeAnne K. Robinson, Abbie Brown, and Tim Green
In the bad old days of technology use in the classroom, teachers had to sneak computers into the classroom and use them without the permission of their school leaders. L&L (then the Oregon Comuting Teacher) was formed to help those teachers share their experiences and best practices. Now, many teachers are finding their use of technology bring hampered in a new way: by policies that protect the school/district from liability but also prevent teachers from fully utilizing technology.

April 2007

  • It's Magic: An Educator's Vision of the Future by Annemarie Timmerman
Annemarie's exploration of a classroom in the future makes for compelling reading and forces the reader to create their own vision of the future. It is grounded in today's realities, and like any prediction, it is probably not going to turn out to be perfectly accurate. After all, how many of us thought we'd be driving flying cars that ran on trash instead of gasoline by 2008? But her article shows the realities of the choices we make now in education. What legacy are we leaving for future educators? How will the lessons we learn now improve teaching and learning in the future?

March 2007

  • Social Justice: Choice or Necessity? by Colleen Swain and David Edyburn
Colleen and David use examples of technology use that would have been considered perfectly acceptable when computers were first being used in classes. The computers were rewards for students who were farther ahead, and programs that provided intellectual stimulation to gifted students were often the only time the classroom computers were turned on and used. However, it is now obvious that these uses of computers reinforce the status quo and increase the divide between the haves and the have-nots. They offer tools to help teachers ensure that technology integration in their classrooms is equal and helps all students further their education.

November 2006

  • 4 Steps to Techonlogy Integration by Vanessa Domine
Vanessa provides and easy-to-follow method for addressing standards in your teaching. Her knowledge of the standards and of ways to ensure that students address

September 2006

  • My Space or Yours? by Joanne Barrett

Joanne covered a topic that was--and still is, actually--a huge topic for debate in both schools and homes. Social networking is a reality for students, and the smart educators will harness the power of the tool to engage their students. In addition, they will teach their students lessons about safety on the Internet that will serve them throughout their lives. The accompanying sidebars provide a broader perspective on the issue.

April 2006

  • Designing the New School by J.V. Bolkan, Jennifer Roland, and Davis N. Smith
The influx of staff-written articles gave us a unique opportunity to explore a local school district that was building replacement buildings and apply the lessons they learned to a larger context that could help other school districts plan their own building projects. It was interesting learning how much research had gone into designing even the smallest details, such as the lighting in the classrooms.

March 2006

  • Avoid the Plague: Tips and Tricks for Preventing Plagiarism by J.V. Bolkan
Plagiarism is a problem in schools. Many have thought that it is a bigger problem now than before the Internet brought easy access to previously written papers. But plagiarism existed before the Internet, and it will continue to exist after we laugh at the primitive nature of the Internet as it exists now. Jeff addresses these concerns and gives real-world examples of how teachers are addressing them through technological means and through simply teaching ethical computer behaviors and crafting assignments that do not lend themselves to easy plagiarism. This article ties somewhat with our earlier digital citizenship series.

February 2006

  • Get the Word out with List Servers by Laurance Goldberg
  • No Data Left Behind by Edwin Wargo
Edwin provided a description of tools that would help address one of the most pressing concerns in education at the time: data-driven decision making. The new requirements of the No Child Left Behind legislation were leaving many school personnel in a tough position. They had to prove their effectiveness and that they were using data to make their instructional decisions, but they were still learning how to sift through the data they had.

November 2005

  • Computer Tutors Get Personal by David L. Johnson
David Johnson describe innovative programs that take repetition and practice from drill and kill to second-order adaptive tutors. He focuses on multiple intelligent tutoring systems and includes the history and real-world examples of each.

April 2005

  • Are You The Copy Cop? by Doug Johnson and Carol Simpson
This entry in our copyright theme issue was a long time coming. It did a good job in laying out the reasons copyright violations happen in school settings and how media specialists and technology coordinators can help prevent them. It was grounded in the classroom, while addressing the larger picture.

October 2004

  • Digital Citizenship by Mike Ribble and Gerald D. Bailey

September 2004

  • Digital Citizenship by Mike Ribble, Gerald D. Bailey and Tweed Ross
These companion pieces address an important and often overlooked part of technology education. In addition to providing tools and ideas teachers could easily adapt for use in their classrooms, they also ensured that L&L continued to speak to technology educators, not just educators who use technology.

March 2004

  • Statistics for Success by Robert Kadel
Statistics can be a challenge to understand, mainly because many of us just shut down when we are confronted with the realities of gathering and using data in decision making. But Robert explained how to understand data and analyze it. His examples of how to understand what the results of student assessments are telling you about your students' progress made things uch ea

February 2004

  • What a Concept! by Regina Royer and Jeff Royer
Regina and Jeff did a nice job of presenting the results of their research in a way that would allow classroom teachers to begin using handhelds in the classroom in a meaningful way.

December 2003-January 2004

No Special Equipment Required by Walter Kimball, Libby G. Cohen, Deb Dimmick, and Rick Mills

This piece did a good job of outlining the built-in features that ake technology accessible to students with special needs. So much of the literature on special needs focuses on tools that simply are not useful to the rest of the class rather than the methods that allow students with special needs to fit in and use the same technology as the other students in the class.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Now we all know that the bulk of any magazine is the editorial—the words. But what entices you to open the magazine when it arrives in your mailbox and then to dive into particular articles? The art.

Please let me know which have been your favorite covers of the past five years? Which feature article designs have made you read the article even when you decided you didn't have the time to read anything but the blurbs?

Here are links to the designs.

ISTE in Action

What do you think of the relatively new focus on ISTE news and views? And, how has this focus on what ISTE is doing on your behalf changed your opinion about the value of your membership and of the magazine?

Which entries in this section have been the most interesting? Which have you shared with your colleagues and associates? And, which have you used to justify renewal of your ISTE membership to your employer (assuming that your employer picks up your tab)?

Read these pieces here

Products and Services

For the products & services section, I'd like to focus on reviews and buyer's guides rather than new product announcements.

What product reviews swayed your decision to purchase for your school or district? Which buyer's guides were most useful in helping you choose between products in a category? And, of course, our favorite question: why?

Read the reviews here

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Member Profiles

These staff-written pieces profile members in the four different categories: individual, special interest group (SIG), ISTE 100 (corporate partners) and affiliate (partner organizations).

Read the profiles here and vote for your favorites. I'm planning to feature all SIGs, but I'd love to feature the best profiles in the other three categories.

Student Voices

The Student Voices section was created in volume 28 to help share some of the great work done by students, particularly those involved in the Gen Why program.

The column didn't appear after volume 31, but we captured some fun stories while the column went on. And maybe we encouraged a few kids to pursue a career in tech writing.

Read the articles here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Upcoming Articles?

This is where the current L&L staff can nominate articles in the final issues of volume 35 (April and May 2008).

List any outstanding pieces in the comments section, then please email me a manuscript or PDF to read for possible inclusion.

Media Matters

The rise of technology in the media center led us to create a column to serve the needs of our media specialist members: Media Matters. For most of the column's history, Doug Johnson, also an ISTE board member, shared his unique take on ed tech and the media center.

Read the columns here and pick your favorites.

Blogger's Cafe

This column is new, but that doesn't mean there isn't a best so far.

Read these pieces here and vote on your favorite in the comments.

Mining the Internet/Connected Classroom

One of L&L's oldest columns, Mining the Internet wound down during the early 00s. Judi Harris and Glen Bull continued to share the job of writing the column, and they worked to not only end the column on a strong note but also to introduce us to some new voices through their ever-expanding stable of co-authors.

Glen Bull continued the legacy through the Connected Classroom column, which he writes and edits.

Read the columns here and vote on your favorites in the comments section.

Project-Based Learning

As part of the continuing evolution of ed tech, project-based learning took center stage in the early 00s. L&L took advantage of the expertise of Diane McGrath, former editor of the Journal of Research on Technology in Education and long-time PBL guru, to feature PBL almost monthly.

Read the articles here and let me know which are your favorites.

Voices Carry

This column feels like my baby, even though I think I left the magazine before we worked on a single column. With my education in political science, I always found the advocacy angle of ISTE's work the most fascinating. I also firmly believed we weren't doing a very good job of sharing that work with the grassroots membership.

So I worked with the rest of the magazine staff and Hilary Goldmann to conceive the column, which ran bi-monthly and helped keep all ISTE members up to date on U.S. legislation that affected educational technology.

Read the columns here and let me know which are your favorites.

As I See IT/For Tech Leaders/Hand in Hand

L&L evolved in a really interesting way through the years. Times changed, and many of our original contributors had been promoted out of the classroom into the position of technology coordinator. In addition, ISTE folded its publication Educational IRM Quarterly into L&L, and L&L needed to serve those readers. So the For Tech Leaders column was born.

In the planning for volume 33, we decided to make some changes to the tone of the magazine, and we worked with the For Tech Leaders column editor to revamp his column as a first-person piece speaking to the needs of the tech coordinator and information systems manager. Don Hall, the sole columnist at the time, came up with the title As I See I.T.

Hand in Hand was also created to serve the needs of technology leaders, but rather than focusing on the technology management side of the coin, it supported those leaders in charge of integration into instruction. After the first year, the Hand in Hand column was folded into As I See IT and written by Kimberley Ketterer.

Read the articles here