Creativity v Delivery, Sir Ken Robinson

I have attended the ISTE annual conferences for 10 years but 2012 was a special year for me. I had volunteered to work at the conference’s keynotes that year. When I found out that I was assigned to work at the keynote panel moderated by Sir Ken Robinson, I felt like I had won the lottery. My reward for being on the set-up team for the keynote was sitting in the VIP section to see and hear Sir Robinson.

Sir Robinson was the featured keynote that launched the panel discussion with a candid criticism of the culture of the American education system. Sir Robinson argued for greater individualization of education experiences for students by saying that “Sometimes I hear people say ‘we can’t personalize education for everyone because we can’t afford that.’ I say ‘we can’t afford not to.’”

Sir Ken Robinson IISTE 2012

ISTE 2012 Sir Ken Robinson Keynote Panel Moderator

Those words jumped out at me because I use Edmodo, a free and secure K-12 social learning platform where teachers can personalize and differentiate education for their students. Yes, as teachers we have a tool that is available to us.

Educators have much on their plates, but integrating Edmodo into their instructional strategies is not “one more thing”. It is a tool to help educators go beyond the demands of education today and create a collaborative, creative environment in their classroom.

Sir Ken Robinson is a frequent presenter at TED Talks. In his presentation on “Teaching Creativity v Delivery”, he addresses the role of the teacher. He says “Teachers are the life blood of the success of school…” He continues stating that there is not a school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teaching is not a delivery system; it is a creative profession. Teachers are not there just to pass on information, great teachers “…also mentor stimulate, provoke, engage…”. He continues with “In the end, education is about learning…if there is no learning going on, there is no education going on…”

In the end, education and learning are personal and that is where Edmodo becomes the digital tool of choice. Teachers who have integrated Edmodo into their teaching practices have discovered that they can use this tool to engage their students. It allows teachers to set-up a collaborative environment where students become involved in activities where authentic learning takes place.


Edmodo, Where Learning Happens

Edmodo is a one-stop shop for classroom digital needs. Built in tools can aid a teacher in retrieving student’s digital work, polling/quizzing students and assigning work. It brings a social learning environment right to the classroom. Edmodo allows the teacher to provide a personalized learning environment for their students giving them a tool to differentiate instruction, create an environment for group collaboration and be creative. Edmodo can be used to individualize and personalize teaching. Edmodo provides a large selection of apps that can be used by students to learn creatively. My favorite creative apps are GoAnimate! and Pixton.

In addition, Edmodo provides a parent connection. Every student is assigned a parent code so that parents can connect with the teacher on Edmodo, check grades, assignments and posts to the class and their child.

Edmodo offers many more built-in tools, too many to list them all here.  A few of my personal favorites are a digital library, “digital backpack” area for students to store files, a calendar and small group work areas.

Edmodo can be the cornerstone for creative, individualized instruction for the classroom. It allows teachers to be creative in their instructional strategies and go beyond “delivering” information.


Click on photo below to view video “About Edmodo”

About Edmodo

About Edmodo

Additonal Getting Started Videos: 

Welcome to Edmodo

Creating Edmodo Accounts

Group Management and Safety

Questions? Need more information?

Contact Carmella Doty , Twitter #carmellad


Day of Discovery FETC Jan. 27,2013

Day of Discovery

Day of Discovery FETC Jan. 2013


Day of Discovery for FETC conference in Orlando, Florida today was another great networking and learning experience brought to educators by Discovery Education. The event took place at the Wonder Works.

Steve Dembo kicked off the day with his presentation: 22nd Century Skills…Today! Bringing Future Tech into the Classroom. He asked the question “Why is everyone focusing on the 21st century? That skill set is over a decade old. Rather than looking back, we need to look to the future and identify technology trends that educators need to know about.

” Have you  heard the expression “Everyone can have their 15 minutes of fame”? Steve said that it needs to be changed to “Everyone can have their 15 people to share their fame.” You don’t need a large audience on the Internet but you need an audience to share with.

Steve then talked about companies who are looking to hire people that have a positive presence online. People seeking employment need to sell themselves online today and in the future. Ask yourself – when someone looks at your resume, does your voice come through? Have you done a Google search and seen what is online about yourself? What would employees find online about you? What can you do to express your voice when seeking employment? Steve showed websites of people promoting themselves. He showed and discussed Eric Shenringer’s blog. He is a principal in New Jersey that has an Internet presence for himself and his school. Parents, teachers and students follow his blog and comment on it. This has greatly improved community communication at his school. The Internet allows your voice to be heard beyond the resume.

Steve continued to talk about how teachers can work with students to develop a positive digital image of themselves, a personal portfolio. Kids are sharing everything already over the Internet. What is interesting is that what they share has a lot to do with school. Over 30% of their sharing is about school and assignments. Steve shared samples Twitter messages from kids: “If you are in my reading class I need help with the project”, “This is what I listen to when I do Algebra homework”, “Just finished my homework”.

Steve went into Bloom’s Taxonomy Revised pyramid with Creating on the top. He said that it should be Publish on the top. Publishing is sharing what you create. Creating is no longer enough, it needs to go one step further to Publish.

Blooms Taxonomy Revised Pyramid



QR codes were discussed next. You know those square crazy square design you see now in ads, magazine articles and books? They are really URL links to a website, photo, music on the Internet. It takes less than a minute to create a QR code today and have become widely used. An app called AURASMA can turn anything into a QR code. Take a photo of the object using AURASMA and you can link it to the Internet like a QR code.

Steve’s closing words were “You can not predict the future classroom but you can invent it.”

Today’s Edmodo code is zxo1hs. Take a look to see what people have shared. See what the “collective brain” contributed to Edmodo.

Thank you Steve for an inspiring Keynote.


Well, I am getting ready to head out to Montana next week to the DENSI2012. It has been an interesting summer so far with record heat in the Washington DC area. It has been Hot-Humid-Hazy with Code RED days.  I have been checking the weather in Montana and it looks like it will be better than the Washington DC area. Looking for a change of weather in the middle of the summer.

Mashups, Social Media & Mobile Devices in the Classroom

I had the opportunity to attend and present at the LI Technology Summit on October 15th. We did a presentation on Mash-ups, that  can be viewed at where you will also find resources. It was a fun time because I got to present with my sister who is an educator in New York. Since we were in Long Island and it is historically know for its ducks, we gave out rubber ducks to the participants.

Rubber Ducks

Long Island Ducks

The keynote speaker was Eric Scheninger. He is a principal at a high school in New Jersey. He is using Social Media as a principal and teachers and students are using personal mobile devices in his school. He gives “shout outs” on Twitter to teachers and students when he observes them doing something good. It has become a “Badge of Honor” to get a “shout out”. He keeps his school community informed and in the “loop”. He has students, parents and community members that follow him on his school Twitter account, his website and Blog. He has written a book about how to use Social Media for the administration, teachers and students.  Take a look at his Twitter, Blog, website and book – interesting. 

Below are links for Eric  
Article from USA Today –
Book –
School twitter account – @NMHS_principal
Website –
News report and video –
Principal Blog –

Apple – I was there teaching with the MAC PLUS

I was leading a webinar this past Wedneday from home and my husband was upstairs in the house when he learned of Steve Jobs passing. He waited till I signed off with my students and ran down the stairs to tell me the news. I went directly to and turned on CNN on the TV. I just had a feeling of lost, like I lost a dear friend. We all knew his time was coming but still felt the loss when it actually happened. People who are dying will wait for the moment to make the journey for various reasons. I think that Steve Jobs waited till the Apple Press Conference and announcements were made on Tuesday to let go on Wednesday.

I  called a friend of mine who is a MAC person and we shared our stories. We were one of the first people to get MacIntosh computers for our classrooms. We were both teaching Computer Arts, him in middle school and me at a high school. We had bonded over our new Mac Plus machines. When the Mac Plus came out, it was a big deal to us because suddenly we could do all these great multimedia things we had not been able to do before. We both had the Mac Plus computers in our classrooms along with the Apple IIGS machines so for 1986 we had the “best” for teaching computer arts. We were out there as tech ed leaders, or at least we thought so at that time.

Cover of BYTE Magaizine with Mac - 1984

Cover of BYTE Magazine Mac 1984

I have been using Macs and all things Apple since those days in the late 1980’s. Steve Jobs has been called a modern day Edison. You have to wonder if he had lived another 30 years, what would have come out of his mind? For what ever reason, it was his time to pass on and leave us wondering what could he have done if he lived a longer life?

He may not have changed the world for everyone but he changed my world. He had the vision to bring Graphic Design to the computer. Other companies created the software but he created the machine. Maybe it was the time he spent at Pixar that helped create his vision.

He knew what we wanted when it wasn’t even in our mind – iPod, iPhone, iPad.  He geared Apple to the consumer, he gave us great designs, reliable products, ease of use and made us happy. Jobs not only geared his equipment to the consumer but he always kept education in his vision. Apple has always been there to promote their products for educational purposes.

I worry about Apple, the company, now that Jobs is gone. Will it still be the same? Will it be as cutting edge? Who will be the next Edison in our lifetime or will there be another? Apple will be okay for at least a few years because Jobs laid out his vision for the coming years. But what comes next?

I found a good history of Apple and Steve Jobs:




DEN Summer Institute 2011

I had the opportunity to attend the DEN Summer Institute 2011 in San Diego this year. I want to thank Discovery for this wonderful exciting week of learning and networking. I love San Diego and I loved the University of San Diego. A special shout out to Tony for helping to arrange for the DENSI 2011 at this wonderful location. I have never been to such a beautiful campus. If I attended school at University of San Diego, I am not sure that I would have ever graduated and just keep going to school so I didn’t have to leave. When we first arrived and went to the dorm apartment, I could not believe that there was no air-conditioning until I went to sleep the first night with the window open. It was so cool that I had to use a blanket. What a change to the heat back home!! What a treat to have such wonderful weather.

The first night we had a visit from Danny Forster from Discovery Channel show – “Build it Bigger” I had the opportunity to speak with him and ask him questions about his show during dinner. Danny gave a presentation later that evening about his latest projects including the 9/11 memorial in NYC. Check out his website at .

There was so much that went on for the entire week, that it would take a week to write about it in this Blog. We used Edmodo to collect comments, documents and more during the week. I came home and spent time going through Edmodo and collecting resources from the week. I created a wiki to share with others. I did not capture everything, just some of it. The wiki can be found at

Thanks to Porter Palmer for collecting resources in Scoop it

ISTE 2011

Well, I can’t believe it is all over, that is ISTE 2011. It was a great conference and so good to see old friends and meet new ones. I went home with my head full of great ideas and ready to work on new things. Oh! What fun it was.

On the last day of the conference, I attended the closing keynote speaker and then met some friends to catch a bite to eat before we hit the road to drive home. We went across the street to the Reading Market and left the Market around 5:30pm. We walked in front of the Convention Center and saw all the lights out. It was so sad to see it all closed down so quickly and it all became a memory in an instant. Yes, all the excitement was over but not forgotten.

Now I am looking forward to ISTE 2012. I will be saving my dollars to pay for the plane trip across the country to San Diego and searching for a place to stay that will not cost a fortune. In these hard times, our school district has cut out the luxury of helping with travel expenses so you have to go to plan B to attend ISTE. The last ISTE conference that was in San Diego, some of my family members traveled with me. They had such a good time in San Diego that they are already planning on making the trip with me so I hope they are also saving their dollars to join me.

If you did not attend ISTE 2011, don’t miss the next one, it is worth the trip for any educator. If you can only make it to one conference in a year, make it ISTE

Horizon Report K-12 2011

Coming to a school near you!

I attended a Webinar earlier this week sponsored by COSN. The Webinar was to announce the release of the Horizon Report 2011 for K-12. For those who are not familiar with the report, this is a quote from the Executive Summary

“The NMC Horizon Report series is the most
visible outcome of the NMC Horizon Project, an
ongoing research effort established in 2002 that
identifies and describes emerging technologies
likely to have a large impact on teaching,
learning, research, or creative expression within
education around the globe. This volume, The NMC
Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition examines emerging
technologies for their potential impact on and use in
teaching, learning, and creative expression within the
environment of pre-college education.”

This is a MUST read for K-12 teachers and instructional leaders. It identifies the most important technologies in K-12 divided into 1 to 2 years, 3 to 4 years and 5 years. Here is the link to the report.

Spring Virtual Conference Maryland LIVE!!

Here we are at Walker Mill MS, Capitol Heights, Maryland taking part in the Discovery Spring Virtual Conference Maryland. A small but great group has gathered here to network and learn today. We are in the Media Center where there are brand new computers for everyone to use while watching the streaming WebEx Discovery Events. Renee Henderson arranged for this great LIVE event. Carmella Doty and Selena Ward assisted her. Thanks for all that participated to make this a  successful event.

Watch the PhotoPeach slide show from the event at

Sign In Table

Virtual Spring Conference Links

The Discovery Virtual Spring Conference was great. The Maryland Leadership Council sponsored a LIVE event at Walker Mill Middle School in Capitol Heights, Maryland.  Here is a list of links shared by presenters and participants during the session. Enjoy!

Links from Discovery Virtual Spring Conference

April 30, 2011

Complied by Carmella Doty at Maryland LIVE site

1.       Back channel links and resources from the Virtual Conference from Porter Palmer

2.       Tim Childers posting from Virtual Conference – Project Based Learning

3.       Jan Abernathy – Creative Cougars grade 5

4.       Lodge McCammom – Friday Institute

5.       Cisco killed the Flip one day before they released their best camera yet

6.       Time, Differentiation and Online Publishing Dr.Lodge McCammon

7.       USDA Sports Awards  Competition and Awards

8.       This event will be archived. Look for the archived webinars at and ****

9.       Tim Childers Project Based  sample – Music/writing/mass media production – cross curricula

10.   The four videos Lodge is sharing (including that first one) are the top row of this link:

11.   Deanna Duray, welcome to 1st grade video:

12.   Powerful and Free Tools for Teachers:

13.   From Colleen Barnes –

14.   Voice Thread Examples: Heros – Class projects

15. Tech Professional Development Wiki