Sunday, November 29, 2015

Promoting Literacy is EPIC!

Have you heard of EPIC!?

Photo from

EPIC! for Educators is a FREE online program that provides teachers access to thousands of free books for children 12 and under. There are a variety of genres that will appeal to all students. A collection of audiobooks are also available for younger children who can not quite read on their own yet.  Many books are can be accessed in Spanish for ESL learners. In addition to the online website, there is a free downloadable app available for iOS and Android.

EPIC! for Educators allows teachers to create up to thirty six profiles for individual students and track how long students have read. EPIC! also creates challenges for teachers to read with their students and provides a certificate for achievement when that challenge is met. The program recommends books based on previous ones read and all books are 100% safe.

The program also provides printable fliers for parents to purchase the program for $4.99 a month.

EPIC! Creations Inc.,. (2015). White iPad Educators. Retrieved from

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cyber Safety

How can administrators promote and model safe online interactions?

Administrators can promote and model safe online interactions by developing a plan to educate students and their parents on the dangers of online, social interactions and how to respond to them.

Based on the Norton Online Family Report, 62% of students claimed they have had a bad experience online and four out of ten students described their bad experience as cyberbullying or receiving inappropriate photos (Steinberg, 2012).  Cyberbullying is just one of the dangers lurking on the Internet today. According to Hinduja and Patchin (2015), in their 2015 CyberBullying Data, based on a random sampling of teenagers, 34.4% have been cyberbullied at one point in their life. Digital citizenship education would help teach students the appropriate ways to use the Internet and communicate online. Sites like Common Sense Media and Netsmartz Kids are perfect starting points when administrators are developing a digital citizenship curriculum. It is important, with the advancements in social media today, that our students are education on appropriate online social etiquette.

It is important that administrators have developed policies that address cyber safety and that the school community is educated on these policies. Educating the parents of our students is extremely important especially since most of them did not have experiences with technology growing up. I agree with Steinberg (2012) that is concerning that a quarter of young people claim their parents have no clue what they are doing when they are on the Internet. It is important for administrators to not only develop a digital citizenship curriculum for the students, but to share and promote the curriculum with the parents. According to Steinberg (2012), the process of learning online social norms is an ongoing process and needs to continue at home. Administrators can create videos and post them on the school's social media site, or they can create a blog to encourage learning and discussion outside of school. For families with little or no access to the Internet, informative fliers, similar to the Family Tip Sheets (Common Sense Education, 2015).

 Administrators must take the lead and create a school environment that promotes safe and appropriate digital learning.

Cyber Safety, Digital Learning, and Digital Citizenship Resources

Common Sense Media

Netsmartz Kids

Think U Know

Cyberbullying Research Center


Common Sense Education,. (2015). Family Tip Sheets | Common Sense Media. Retrieved 23 November 2015, from

Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. (2015). 2015 Cyberbullying Data - Cyberbullying Research Center. Cyberbullying Research Center. Retrieved 23 November 2015, from

Steinburg, S. (2012). Why Digital Citizenship Must Be Taught in Schools. All Things D
Retrieved from

Thursday, November 12, 2015

NETS A: Digital Age Learning Culture

Digital Age Learning Culture:

In this article, Technology Leadership for the Twenty-First Century Principal, Flanagan and Jacobsen (2003) discuss how the role of a principal has been impacted due to the push of technology integration (p. 124). The article looks deeper into the leadership components it takes a principal and his/her staff to successfully implement technology integration across the curriculum.

Flanagan, L., Jacobsen, M. (2003) "Technology leadership for the twenty‐first century principal",Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 41 Iss: 2, pp.124 - 142.

In this article, On School Educational Technology Leadership, Davies (2010) explores principals who take a leadership role in technology and develops an organized method of technology integration that focuses on teaching and learning (p. 55-56).

Davies, P. (2010). On school educational technology leadership. Management In Education24(2), 55-61.

In this article, Technology Leadership Among School Principals: A Technology- Coordinator's Perspective, Wang (2010) looks deeper in to an elementary school's attempt to integrate technology and why it was not successful (p. 51). The principal did not take a leadership role during the process. In reference to the International Society to Technology in Education's Standards for Administrators: Creating a Digital Age Learning Culture, the principal did not promote or model technology for his staff and was not involved until later in the process (ISTE Standards Administrators, 2009). 

Wang, C. (2010). Technology leadership among school principals: A technology-coordinator's perspective. Asian Social Science,6(1), 51-54. Retrieved from

ISTE Standards Administrators. (2009). Retrieved from

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Learning Strategies and Performance In a Technology Integrated Classroom (Review)

In the article Learning Strategies and Performance In a Technology Integrated Classroom, Debevec, Mei-Yau Shih, and Kashyap (2006) discuss the how a student's use of technology plays a role in their efforts to learn (p. 294). The article focuses on student initiative to use technology, attendance, enhanced performance on tests, and how much of a role does technology play in their learning (Debevec, Mei-Yau Shih, & Kashyap, 2006). After completing the study, Debevec, Mei-Yau Shih, and Kashyap (2006) determined that most students utilized technology to prepare for lessons and exams, that students who accesses course content outside of the classroom attended class although the information was available online, and that learning is enhanced and performance is maximized as a result of proper technology integration (p. 304-305). 

This article is from the Journal of Research on Technology in Education. The journal is a peer-reviewed technology journal provided by the International Society for Technology Education. The journal focuses on the evolution of educational technology around the world.

Debevec, K., Mei-Yau Shih, & Kashyap, V. (2006). Learning strategies and performance in a technology integrated classroom.Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(3), 293-307. Retrieved from