Redefining/designing an Urban Educator in a 21st Century World through the Habits of Mind.
Web 2.0 Tools for Today’s Educator
Last week, I took advantage of the opportunity to join the webinar, Web 2.0 Tools for School with Brad Fountain. This was a great webinar that refreshed my memory of tools I had once found useful and forgotten about, and presented me with many great “new to me” web 2.0 tools that are surely classroom friendly.
Of course, we are all familiar with SymbalooEDU thanks to the DEN and the great promotions they reward to their STAR members. If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, perhaps its because you aren’t yet a STAR Educator. It’s a great way to get connected to Tech Educators and Discovery Evangelists. Be sure to check it out! Apologies for the digression! Well, as I joined the Webinar, not only was Symbaloo explored, but also LiveBinders. Both sites are essentially Live Bookmarking Sites where all of your favorite sites can be organized, categorized, or shared. As I embarked on the Web 2.0 Refresher Webinar, I thought it might be nice, to put what I was learning to action. I created this LiveBinder for all of you to check out and explore some of the great 2.0 tools!
- E.ggtimer: This is a great site that allows you to create a countdown or countup! All you need to do is type the url e.ggtimer.com/#minutes once the URL loads, your web browser will navigate to a live timer on your screen!
- Avairy: If you choose the “tools” tab there are 6 great tools for you to check out. Image Editor, Color Editor, Audio Editor, Effects Editor, Vector Editor and Image Markup. The newest edition is the Music Creator. All tools are free and easy to use! The bird theme brings the experience full circle!
- Great Summary: Just what the busy teacher has been waiting for! You simply copy and past the url with the text you want summarized as well as tell it the number of sentences you would like the summary report composition to be. Then, the program analyzes the text using a mathematical algorithm to report back the gist of the information in the text! Talk about a time saver!
- Qwiki: Looking for a complete research report on a topic? Check this site out! This is the information knowledge database requires a simple topic and will immediately search for information! Wait! It gets better! It doesn’t just spit back a list of websites to find more information, it actually reports it to you verbally and pairs it with images! Talk about differentiating content and providing your visual and auditory learners with the tool they need for their next research project!
- Go!Animate: Create your own animated videos! It’s simple, the free online tool has themes, characters, voices and backgrounds. You add the characters, props, backgrounds. Mix around the facial expressions to match the movements. Play around with the scenes, audio tracks, sound effects and more. You can upload some of your own! It is all run by a timeliner. You can even create your own characters! Bring those cartoons to life!
- Posterous: One stop shopping! A simple blogging tool that can be done sitting at your desk, on your couch, or on the go! It’s as easy as sending an email! Create an account, send an email to your Posterous account! It’s that simple! The subject becomes the title of your blog, the attachments are embedded, and the body of your email is essentially the text of your blog entry! Can it get any easier than this? LOVE IT!
There are lots more tools out there to explore! Be sure to check out the Web 2.0 for Today’s Educator LiveBinder as well as the SymbalooEDU Mix Web 2.0 in Education for more cool tools that you may have forgotten or perhaps haven’t yet Stumbled Upon!
Perspective, Mindset, Motivation: Beginning a Motivation Movement towards Success!
As an urban educator, I often find myself repeating the same motivational speech to my students “Don’t give up on yourself! You can do this! You have what it takes to succeed but you have to want it! Put forth your best effort!” No matter which way you say it, your message is the same “I believe in you, you have to believe in yourself.” It all comes down to providing students with the encouragement to feel success. But how much encouragement is too much?
At some point does chanting “believe” turn into badgering and children begin to resent you? The new craze with The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother has fascinated me. I wonder how we can find a delicate balance between Tiger Mother’s thinking and the western way of thinking. When Tiger Mother appeared as the cover story of the January 20th TIME Magazine I quickly picked it up. Amy Chua states “Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America.” There is definitely truth in this considering had it not been for rote repetition I might never have learned my math facts. I am grateful for this each time I am out with friends and it is time to determine the tip when settling the bill. I am one of the few that can figure it out without relying on the tip calculator on my cell phone.
Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia supports Chua’s comments. He states, “It’s virtually impossible to become proficient at a mental task without extensive practice…if you repeat the same task again and again, it will literally change so that you can complete the task without thinking about it.” The article continues to provide the rationale for how this enables the brain to make room for higher order thinking. “The parts of the brain associated with motor skills become less active, allowing brain activity to shift to the areas associated with higher-level thinking and reflection.” However, I grapple with this. We know all children require multiple exposures before anything is truly owned knowledge. The number of exposures multiplies depending on the emotional and academic needs of a child. Students who do not practice, or complete their homework, or lack the motivation to put forth effort are that much farther from “believing” they are able to do it! Chua states, “It might sound harsh, but kids really shouldn’t be able to take the easy way out. If a child has the experience, even once, of successfully doing something she didn’t think she could do, that lesson will stick with her for the rest of her life.” This is what we as educators must provide. The opportunity for children to feel success at something. It’s almost as if taking a bit of a forbidden fruit, once you have a small little bite, from that point on you are just going to continue to seek it out. That’s the ticket to helping students “believe in themselves.”
Jeff Howard, the founder of the Efficacy Institute believes that there is no such thing as a kid that doesn’t want to succeed. I truly believe that we all as educators believe this. This is why we went into teaching. This is what motivates us to be their biggest fan on the sidelines or right there on the field waving our pompoms and chanting “I believe in you!” What limits them from believing in themselves is that strong character quality of confidence. Giving a child the opportunity, the hope, and belief that they can succeed just that once is all it will take for them to want it more and ultimately seek it out on their own.
In today’s educational climate, we discuss the idea of embracing digital tools to engage our students, and yet barriers remain to accepting this techno-constructivist theory. It is time we reassess our philosophy not just about how we teach, but how children learn. I am not talking about learning in the digital age, but more so about the way in which we view children and their ability to learn. A recent article in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of The Education Week Teacher PD Sourcebook “Changing Mindsets” Debra Viadero discusses this same point. She discusses the theories around academic achievement; innate ability (entity theory) vs. that of the effort based ability (incremental theory).
The Innate Ability Theory focuses on the bell curve and the uneven distribution of intellectual ability in human beings. The core belief in this theory is that intellectual ability comes with birth; therefore, your IQ is fixed and determines your productivity and output. In the Innate Ability Theory intellect is stable throughout one’s lifetime, and experiences, actions, and incidence have little to no impact on altering level of intellect.
The Effort Based Ability Theory is based on the assumptions that achievement is heavily dependent upon access, opportunity, effort, and confidence.
Teaching in an urban educational environment presents a major challenge, to teach students that the Effort Based Ability Theory stands true. Students who find success, even the smallest amount of success, discover doors open to continued success despite environmental factors that create barriers.
Which of these theories do you believe in? As an educator, our beliefs about academic achievement are transparent to our students. The cheerleader teacher certainly believes in the latter, and therefore, your students will, through osmosis (or so we hope) begin to view achievement as an effort based ability. Viadero states, “The problem, though, is that many kids decide early in life that more effort isn’t, well, worth the effort.” Is this really true? She asks how we motivate kids that believe that effort isn’t worth it?
There is no silver bullet for convincing students about the role effort has in their success. However, thanks to Stanford University psychologists Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. and Lids Sorich Blackwell, Ph.D., we have some tools that may help. These psychologists have created “Brainology.” Brainology uses brain science to persuade middle school students that intelligence is malleable rather than a fixed trait. This program teaches children how the brain works, and how it stores knowledge. It provides strategies for coping and relaxing in stressful situations to help the brain absorb and store new knowledge…all through a cartoon based program. Perhaps Brainology can begin the Movement towards Motivation.
Professional Learning Communities: An Agent for Change in School Turnaround
It is no mystery that a key to a solid school structure is dependent upon a strong leader. For the past seven years, I have been a member of a school that has experienced a change in leadership both in its Superintendent as well as its Principal. Throughout this journey, it has been evident that when a leader is willing to empower their staff, treat them as professionals, and provide them with the opportunity to plan for change, change can and will happen.
One year ago we were faced with a challenge, a challenge that had taken life many years in the past yet hadn’t received the attention it demanded. However, with a new Superintendent willing to take a risk, and a school principal willing to advocate for the needs of her school, stakeholders began to stand face to face with the elephant in the room and no longer look beyond it. How did this all begin to unfold? The principal. Beginning with the first day of school, she began to treat her staff as professionals, ask them questions, engage them in discussions that had purpose, help them believe that they were partners in the leadership process. She built capacity. Collectively we all knew that we needed to raise student achievement. We sat through data meetings, book talks, staff meetings, grade level meetings, the lunchroom and always came to consensus with the means. We needed to ensure and require a high level of learning for ALL individuals within our community. Not just the learning for our students but the learning of those educating them. But it was a means without an end, because without the right resources and support from the decision makers, we were never going to have the means to support the end. What was the agent of change?
It all began with the adoption of a practice known as Professional Learning Communities. Richard Dufour and Robert Eaker’s work focused on reculturing a school to function like that of the business world. Professional Learning Communities is a mindset that must be taught. The structure, culture and structure of a school building need to be redefined. These three norms must apply:
1. Developing and Applying a Shared Knowledge
2. Sustaining the Hard Work of Change
3. Transforming School Culture.
More simply stated the school Structure, Culture, and Instructional Practices must be developed. A promise to believe that learning is for all vs. teaching for all. Educators must work towards a collective capacity vs. individual development.
The community must embrace a collaborative culture vs. that of teaching in isolation. The principal must relinquish control and conform to the practice of sharing leadership vs. that of charismatic leadership and work to develop a collective capacity vs. that of individual development, build self-efficacy vs. dependency. Instruction should be focused on results vs. a focus on activities and Assessment for vs. Assessment of.
Again, in theory, this all sounded great, but would it take shape? Having a leader that made a valiant effort to adopt a promising practice that would transform the culture of her school building was the lynchpin that began this change. By building capacity, empowering her staff, and believing in this important work, we are now one year into a Redesign Effort that was built on the belief of a PLC. The plan for redesign came from the voices of the teachers in the trenches and their recommendations and plans for change placed the student and instruction at the center. It is my belief that developing a professional learning community is the key to redefining the role of the educator in the decision making process for school turnaround and student achievement.
Brockton Public Schools Educator Participates in Annual Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council Symposium
–Five-day event equips educators with tools to be leaders in educational technology–
Silver Spring, Md. (July 19, 2010) – Marybeth O’Brien, a fourth grade teacher at Huntington Elementary School in Brockton Public Schools, along with 75 other educators from across the country, recently spent five days at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. participating in the Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council Symposium July 11-16. The event was hosted by Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications, whose networks include Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.
O’Brien is a member of the Massachusetts Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Leadership Council. As one of more than 20 state councils nationwide, the Massachusetts DEN Leadership Council supports educators’ efforts to integrate educational technology and digital content into curriculum through a variety of activities, including professional development workshops, networking events and regular communications on emerging technology and best practices. In addition, the Massachusetts DEN Leadership Council authors a blog that serves as an information clearinghouse on state-specific education issues. Together, these activities assist teachers across Massachusetts, regardless of their familiarity with technology, as they implement the new high-tech tools available to improve student achievement.
During the recent Symposium, participants heard from renowned speakers such as Peter Reynolds, founder of FableVision—an educational resource company dedicated to helping all learners discover their true potential—and Chris Dede, a professor of learning technologies at Harvard University. Educators learned new leadership strategies and presentation methods to encourage and support their peers as they work to integrate the latest educational technologies into classroom activities. In addition, O’Brien had a unique opportunity to network with the members of other Leadership Councils from across the nation, sharing ideas and best practices to help their peers improve student achievement.
“We’re pleased that the annual Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council Symposium brought together top educators from across the country for a unique opportunity to grow their educational technology skills,” said Discovery Education Director Lance Rougeux. “Discovery Education is committed to nurturing and empowering today’s educators, and Marybeth’s enthusiasm for integrating digital media and technology in the classroom, and for sharing her skills with peers across the state, supports Massachusetts teachers as they seek to help each student reach their fullest academic potential.”
For more information about the Massachusetts DEN Leadership Council, visit http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/massachusetts/.
For more information about the DEN, visit http://community.discoveryeducation.com.
For more information about Discovery Education, visit http://www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
Photo Caption: Discovery Education Director Lance Rougeux (left) with Marybeth O’Brien at the 2010 Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council Symposium in Waltham, Mass.
Photo Credit: Discovery Education
MassCUE Technology Leadership Symposium
The Massachusetts Computer Using Educator’s Organization, held its annual Leadership Symposium at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. Charles Fadel, co-author of “21st Century Skills–Learning for Life in our Times”, author of various articles and Global Lead for Education at Cisco Systems, presented a keynote address that focused on the premise that “technology is an enabler not a panacea”. He believes that technology is “pre-eminent mechanism to profoundly improve the human condition”. For me this translates into understanding that we as educators so often teach in isolation and lack the time to plan and develop lessons that will advance our students in the global world. Web 2.0 tools offer educators with the forum to discuss and shape their teaching practice. This conference was a great way for tech leaders to showcase the improvements that technology offers the education space.
A few great offerings to explore on your own are:
http://www.ted.com/: TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year’s TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize
http://mathtrain.tv/ a free educational “kids teaching kids” project from Mr. Marcos & his students at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, CA
http://www.epals.com/ connect to other classrooms globally…become pen pals using the internet!
www.startaconversation.wikispaces.com This space has been created by Joanne MacDonald and Susan Skeiber to continue conversations about teaching and learning in th ever evolving digital age!
GOT TIME for a Conference?
Brockton Public Schools is sponsoring a Technology Mini Conference of which will focus on 21st Century Skills. This conference will provide educators with the opportunity to explore a variety of technological modalities that aid in enhance the teaching and learning process for our Digital Natives. Hello HollyWood East…calling all amateur video producers…Our event will begin with a Live Video Conference sponsored by Tandberg that will explore the art of Clay Animation by Marybeth O’Brien, a 4th Grade Educator. All participants of the conference will have a hands-on approach at learning Clay Animation through this Video Conference…not enough and want more? The conference will then provide participants to explore a variety of technology tools and best-practices ranging from Video Conferencing, Claymation, Interactive White Boards, Student Response Sytems, Discovery Education, Web 2.0, FrontRow, RM Education and so much more! Activity sessions will adequately accommodate the needs of all professionals along the Techno-Constructivist Spectrum! Come one come all, register for the conference at : http://www.brocktonpublicschools.com/page.cfm?p=2412
March 6th, 2010
9:00 am. – 2:00 pm
Mary Baker Elemetary School
Quincy Street, Brockton Ma.
Economic Stimulus and Advocacy: A message from Don Knezek
The following message was sent to members of ISTE RE: Economic Stimulus and Advocacy
Don Knezek is the CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education. His message to members is copied and pasted below!
As you can imagine with a new U.S. President being sworn in, a new Congress seated and the passage of an historic economic stimulus bill, it has been a busy few months for ISTE and our advocacy efforts. The coming months, however, will become increasingly important at the state and local levels as the stimulus funds are disbursed. I’m writing to make sure you have the information you need to participate in state and local deliberations and make wise spending decisions.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009, directs more than $100 billion to education. This is the largest one-time federal infusion of funds for education ever and it is up to us as a community to spend these funds wisely. Collectively, we will be accountable to show that these dollars were spent quickly to meet short-term economic goals with long-term school improvement and reform benefits in mind.
To quote Secretary Duncan, “Our goals are to save jobs and improve education… balancing the need for a speedy release of funds with the need for aggressive and thoughtful school improvements and reform to improve results for our children.”
ISTE worked closely with the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress to ensure that the ARRA included a dedicated funding stream for classroom technology and professional development through the Enhancing Education Through Technology program (EETT, Title II Part D of NCLB). In addition to the EETT program funds, ARRA also includes opportunities to invest in classroom technology and technology professional development via the State Stabilization Fund, Title I and IDEA. ISTE encourages all members to collaborate and work closely with your district and state leaders to leverage these dollars to ensure our students are educated in 21st century classrooms by teachers who have the skill and training to teach well in them.
Below is a short description and timing information as we know it now on the major K-12 education programs in the ARRA. Be sure to regularly check the Department of Education’s website as this information is continually updated: www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/. (Our upcoming webinar, “So the Stimulus Passed, Now What?” will provide additional information about ARRA as well; find details about the webinar in the bulleted list below.)
State Stabilization Fund: The Department of Education is preparing to disburse State Stabilization Funds within two weeks of receiving a state’s approvable application. The application should be up on the Department of Education’s web site by April.
Title I and IDEA: Fifty percent (50%) of Title I Part A funds and fifty percent (50%) of IDEA Part B funds will be released to the states by the end of March. States will not need to complete a new application to receive the funds released in March.
Enhancing Education Through Technology: All of the EETT funds are now slated to be dispersed in the fall of 2009.
State Incentive Grants or “Race to the Top” fund: States will submit an application to the Secretary of Education to receive these funds. More guidance from the Department of Education will be forthcoming. These grants will help states to drive significant improvement in student achievement.
Innovation Fund: Local partnerships will submit applications to the Secretary of Education to receive these funds. More guidance from the Department of Education will be forthcoming. These applications will reward partnerships that have made significant gains in closing achievement gaps to serve as models for best practices.
As you develop your plans for investing the stimulus dollars, do make use of ISTE’s resources.
Check out L&L and its unparalleled archive of best practices. Visit the ISTE bookstore, browse the titles and excerpts. And be sure to peruse the digital age stories posted on ISTE’s 30th anniversary pages. You’ll find phenomenal creativity, optimism and efficiency at work in classrooms all over the world and shared through numerous ISTE channels. Be inspired by your peers!
Reach out to your colleagues coordinating IDEA and Title I programs. Take them to lunch. Understand their priorities and constraints. Perhaps a program you had in mind could really enhance learning opportunities in a special ed or high-need classroom. Check out ISTE’s Special Interest Group for special ed, SETSIG, or search on NECC program content for sessions and workshops that expand your familiarity with these issues.
Team with ISTE in providing professional development to your teachers and administrators. ISTE’s offerings include a breadth and depth of services, from books and webinars to the rich offerings at NECC, June 28 – July 1. We’ll also work with your school or district to customize professional development.
As you’re developing plans and proposals for ARRA funding, be sure to keep ISTE’s widely adopted educational technology standards in mind. Learn more about the NETS for students, teachers and administrators.
Meanwhile, we’re also working with U.S. policy-makers on the FY10 budget and various pieces of legislation aimed at innovations in student learning and teacher preparation. Our board of directors recently authorized our policy agenda for the start of the Obama Administration and the new Congress.
You might also want to bookmark our policy forum on ISTE’s community ning where Hilary Goldmann, ISTE’s director of government affairs, has been posting updates several times a week.
Join Hilary Goldmann and me on Thursday April 2nd for a free webinar exclusively for ISTE members titled “So The Stimulus Passed…Now What?” We’ll be featuring guest panelists David Byer of Apple and the Chair of ISTE’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, Deborah Rigsby of the National School Boards Association, and Davis Brock of Elmore County Public Schools in Alabama. Sign up for the free webinar here.
Let us know how we can help! There are lots of venues for feedback and discussion – from submitting questions for the webinar panelists, to calling or writing us, to commenting on our new blog, ISTE Connects.
And finally, keep us posted on how your school and district are using the ARRA dollars. Complete the short survey here. This information will be a great resource for ISTE members and also for policy makers as we learn from each other and are accountable for this investment in education. Watch our website and blogs for feedback channels, and please contribute to this important and evolving conversation.
Thank you, as always, for your incredible expertise and commitment.
Don Knezek, CEO
The International Society for Technology in Education
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
1710 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036
180 West 8th Ave., Suite 300, Eugene, OR 97401-2916
1.800.336.5191 (US & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l)
firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.iste.orgISTE® is a registered trademark of the International Society for Technology in Education.
Think you have searched to the end of the WWW?
Think you have searched to the end of the WWW? Think again! Stay up-to-date on the newest web applications by visiting www.GO2WEB20.net For two years running, this online index is one of the largest sites bookmarking recent applications that hit the web! Check it out early and often to be on the cutting edge! You may just stumbleupon something new.
Transform any Computer into a Tablet PC
Any teacher who has had access to a StarBoard, Promethean Board, or Interactive Whiteboard, etc. is lost when it malfunctions or for whatever reason is no longer accessible. Tablet PC’s may be used in a similar manner. True the functionalities and application tools may not be as top-notch, but any port in a storm. Well skrbl.com has answered your prayers!
Skrbl is an easy online whiteboard that allows for multi-users to work together to sketch, text, share files, upload pictures and more all via URL.
Create a FREE account and begin your brainstorm for the next writing assignment! Upload a diagram and have students label the parts.
Go to: http://skrbl.com/more.aspx to learn how easy it is…here is a mini tutorial found on the site!
Use file menu – ‘email invite’ to email an invite to your skrbl whiteboard, your guests get a link to click on, OR give your skrbl URL to your friends.
To write a note – just click on the blank screen and start typing.
To edit a note click on an existing note and edit.
To switch between drawing and text mode click on the or button.
To upload a picture or a file use the File menu.
The file menu also shows you a list of pictures and files you already have online.
To manage your whiteboards, pictures or files, go to your ‘My skrbls’ page.
Click and drag to move a note around the skrbl board.
Simple and easy online multi user whiteboard, start skrbl, give out your URL & start working together. Sketch, text, share files, upload pictures all in one common shared space. There are no new tools to learn, nothing to download, nothing to install. Brainstorm on our simple whiteboard to start thinking together, everyone sees the same screen, everybody gets on the same page.
TGIF: Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act
There is a vital need for advocacy in the area of Geography Education. A poll conducted in 2006, National Geographic-Roper ASW poll (PDF) , identified a “lack of basic geographic knowledge among 18-24 year-old Americans—the most recent members of our educational system: 37% of young Americans can’t find Iraq on a map. One in three young Americans can’t place the state of Louisiana on a U.S. map…after Hurricane Katrina. Three in four Americans think English is the most commonly spoken native language in the world…it’s Mandarin Chinese by a landslide.” (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foundation/policy_initiative.html)
Despite the fact that the NCLB Act names Geography as a core academic subject, the federal budget does not currently appropriate funding towards Geography Education. In response to this issue, National Geographic, Geography professionals, and congressional leaders, have established an alliance and grassroots campaign, The Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act, to notify lawmakers of the need for funding for Geography Education. The Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act was introduced to Congress on March 1st, 2007. It has remained at that stage of policy making. Please take a moment to make your mark and let policymakers know that this is an important issue in education:
1. Visit http://MyWonderfulWorld.org
2. On the Web site’s left-hand index, select the link to “Notify Your Lawmakers”
3. When prompted, just enter your Zip code and the Web site will walk you through the rest!
(Please customize your email by noting how long you have been teaching, why geography is important to you, and how workshops and institutes have helped you and your students, etc.)
To learn more about TGIF initiatives visit:
National Geographic’s Advice on how to get involved:
What You Can Do To Help
1. Support the TGIF legislation.
a. Write to your Senators and Representatives and tell them that teaching geography is fundamental. Ask them to support reintroduction of TGIF and to co-sponsor the bill, and to support the inclusion of TGIF in the No Child Left Behind reauthorization.
b. Check this page frequently for the latest updates on the bill.
2. Get active in your schools.
a. Download My Wonderful World’s self-assessment tool (PDF) to find out if your school is ‘geography ready.’
b. Download My Wonderful World’s PTA Action Kit (PDF) to approach school administrators, teachers, and parents and ask them to make teaching geography a priority.
4. Visit MyWonderfulWorld.org for more geography resources and information, and join this National Geographic-led campaign.
5. Tell your friends and community members to support geography education and refer them to this site.