Archive for March 2009

Privacy in classrooms   Leave a comment

This is real and not a hoax …. something worth noting for sure:

Reuters is reporting… Canadians find vast computer spy network
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Canadian researchers have uncovered a vast electronic spying operation that infiltrated computers and stole documents from government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

The alarming part of this article for me is that spying can take place in a room from a computer……
“The network they found possessed remarkable “Big Brother-style” capabilities, allowing it, among other things, to turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of infected computers for potential in-room monitoring, the report said.”

Teachers and students now have a another level of privacy concerns in classes around the globe.

Caio, Steu


Posted March 31, 2009 by Jack in 1

K12 means cloud computing and smart objects?   Leave a comment

The New Horizon Project (2009) was released ….

It was full buzz concepts like ….
…….Collaboration environments (increasing since professionals are expected to work across geographic and cultural boundaries)
….Cloud Computing …the emergence of large-scale “data farms”)
….Mobiles (cell phones)
….Geo-stiff.(good ole GPS)
…..the Personal Web. ( desire to reorganize online content rather than simply viewing it)
…..Smart Objects. (aA smart object “knows” something about itself — where and how it was made, what it is for, where it should be, or who owns it, for example — and something about its environment.)

But the only this I really can apply to a k12 class that I ever taught were the challenges identified ….

…There is a growing need for formal instruction in key new skills, including information literacy, visual literacy, and technological literacy.
….Schools are still using materials developed decades ago, but today’s students come to school with very different experiences than those of 20 or 30 years ago, and think and work very differently as well.
….Teachers are expected, especially in public education, to measure and prove through formal assessment that our students are learning, including collecting and measuring data. But, exiting systems are not capable of managing and interpreting real time information flows on the scale that is anticipated.

The challenges I can relate to 100%.  I also get that collaboration environments (Project Based Learning) work to help students assimilate knowledge … but I don’t see the other technology trends impacting K12 classes …. do you?

Cheers Jack

PS – read the report here:

Learning Games – thousands of K12 games in all content areas

Ed Tool Directory

Earn Extra Cash – Help K12 Education – work from home part time

Green Education Resources – resources for ecology and project learning

Radio Show – looking for teachers   Leave a comment


I am hosting s radio show discussing innovative ideas being used in K12 classrooms around service learning and project based learning.

More specifically, I want to interview some K12 teachers or organizations that work with K12 teachers/campuses in those two approaches.

I’m eager to meet a few folks who can donate 10-15 minutes being interviewed over the phone for the show episodes.

Personally, I’m a big believer in service and project learning since I used them when I was a teacher so I’m hoping to find current K-12 teachers who can volunteer a few minutes to spread the word (your successes) – you’ll be helping other K12 teachers!  🙂

If interested, please go to this link (click here) … complete the (confidential) form and I’ll call you.

Wishing you the best life has to offer,  Jack

Jack Harrington

Posted March 26, 2009 by Jack in 1

Teaching is supposed to be fun….   2 comments

….. where has all the fun gone in teaching?

My classes were rigorous …. I had the students working.

….today these digital kids have so much energy … I figured ou tthe hard way I have to use energy to my advantage or else they’re a fast moving train that’s ’bout to run me over.

I was talking to a teacher friend the other day and we were reminiscing …… we had both been reading and talking to other folks …. all we were hearing ….from many different sources …..was about the pain of teaching ……

This fella and I have similar tastes in learning … we made the kids do the work. We like to be a guide for students …..

…being the sage in class just doesn’t work for us…. apparently it’s not working for a lot of teachers nowadays.

I want my students leaving class exhausted … so I use every tidbit of conversation to fire up critical thinking … once that fire is burning ….

…all I have to do is stoke it with questions.

Students will get to the learning opportunity with the appropriate guidance.

…and when I’m giving that kinda guidance …. teaching is fun!

If you want some free scoop (research and step-by-step guide) on an effective critical thinking technique then click this link ….

Wishing you the best life has to offer,

Posted March 26, 2009 by Jack in critical thinking, students, teacher

Classroom WIP   Leave a comment

Several weeks ago when I introduced teacher WIP, I got a bunch of emails telling me some interesting stories about classroom projects, some good and some scary ones too.

Teaching, my opinion, is a conundrum.

There is no recipe that fits all  teachers or every classroom of a certain subject.  When I read some of the efforts underway to improve education, they strike me as efforts to homogenize classes not improve scores ….. or better yet improve learning.

For me, WIP is the one global aspect of every classroom, because classes have work in progress.
Here are two excellent WIP examples…

– teacher presentation
When I’m delivering a lesson I tweak it from class to class.  No presentation is perfect  and being aware of what didn’t work in last class period, can bring a lot more learning to this class period.

– teacher tools
When I first started teaching the older, experienced teachers brought me lots of worksheets and paper resources.  AS time and classes went by, I found out how much student attention rebels with those so I had to expand my horizons on resources to produce more effective lessons.

…..more on WIP later.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Ed Tools Directory

Education Learning Games

Green Education Resources

Posted March 22, 2009 by Jack in teacher lessons, video games, WIP

Two ideas to enhance your success   Leave a comment

….. through a stroke of synchronicity, a few weeks ago, I reconnected with Greg Nath whom I met while getting my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. He is making the offer to fatten your wallet possible! I like his idea because while you earn some extra cash, you are also helping improve K-12 education. Nope, he’s not asking you to purchase anything and there are no hidden fees.

The second idea is for enterprising folks who want to put their product or service to K-12 teachers, K-12 administrators, K-12 students, or K-12 students.

Check it out at

Happy Friday, Jack

Posted March 20, 2009 by Jack in education, educators, educators network

Successful Teaching Tools &Techniques For 21st Century Students   Leave a comment

San Diego, CA (ER) March 10, 2009 – Statistics show that more than 50% of new K-12 teachers are leaving the profession in their first five years. One contributing factor is student behavior.  Teachers without the materials and classroom management skills necessary to sustain engaging lessons end up with classes full of behavior problems. Teachers want to make a difference not babysit students. ER offers a substantial remedy with its’ Education Rebel ezine.

Read the entire press release.

Posted March 14, 2009 by Jack in press release