School Life

Jordan D.



3rd grader, Jordan D. attended work with her father on Take Your Child to Work Day. Since part of Dad’s job is blogging on behalf of our team, we asked Jordan and her sister to write their own blogposts. This is Jordan’s first blogpost ever. We hope to see many more from here on.

Today I went to work with my father. Today we fixed a computer. My sister came with us. We had so much fun. We went to lunch with my mother. We came back. My father had to help Mark and friends put boxes in a truck. Me and Kaleigh got stuck in an elevator. We came back up and we found our father looking for us. The End.

As many of you may remember, Lee Kolbert wrote an entry on September 2nd about a very rousing and motivational speech given by Dalto Sheman, an amazing student in Texas.   At the time the post provided a link to the video that was not viewable within our district’s network.  Someone recently reminded me of this young man so I thought I would re-post with a version than can be viewed from school!  Well worth sharing with your students!


If you are looking for an EASY and very cool way to promote community amongst your interest groups, I have found TabUp to be an outstanding resource. If your school district or community group does not provide you with your own web presence FREE TO YOU, and you would like to create a private, semiprivate, or open destination for communication, TabUp can provide just what you are looking for.

With features like a shared calendar, forums for discussion, links to various web resources, and the ability to make this modrated or invite only ALL FOR FREE, I can’t think of a school group, sports team, or common interest group that would not find some use for this service. Please take a look, and add your thoughts to this page. The page is not intended to be a primary source of new information, but rather a living example of another great FREE tool available to educators and community groupsI will be automatically notified of any changes or additions, and will be sure to act on valid suggestions.

I followed a link the other day from Gary Stager to a video of a 5th Grade student interviewing Vice Presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden and was nearly bowled over when I recognized the name of the school where the student was from. “Hey! That student is from Palm Beach County! K.E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary to be exact! Pretty cool! A nationally-known writer and speaker on educational technology topics points to a video from one of our very own.

After looking into the actual link on YouTube I realized that this interview was already an Internet sensation, and the interviewer, 5th-grader Damon Williams, was already attracting widespread acclaim. With well over 300,000 (!) views on YouTube Damon was already well-known around the world.

And you know what? It’s well-deserved. Be sure to watch the whole video to get Damon’s closing words on this interview.

(The video has been moved over to our District’s dedicated video service so you can watch this even in places where YouTube is blocked.)

If you wold like to add a little personality to your Edline page, possibly lighten up the presentation of some of your content, or try and inject some creativity into your project based learning. I recommend checking out Go!Animate. You’ll find this web based publishing program at and it does require an email to create an account, but the service is free and FUN!! Here’s an example of something I put together in about 15 minutes, and I am still learning the interface. Your students will amaze you!!
Get Creative!!

As information technologies have advanced rapidly, things like Google, blogs, Blackberry, i-Phones, and social networks have become ever more prevalent, and being “connected” has taken on a whole new meaning for many people. For more and more people the thought of being “offline” for even a few minutes is a real cause for concern. I read recently an entry form the creator of one of my favorite “social bookmarking” pages (which is currently in invite only beta to participate) His thoughts are that this prevalence and that the ubiquitous nature of technologies and sharing of information will only continue to grow.

This brief article is definitely worth a read.

Some unintended results have come from all of these advances. Some people find that keeping afloat in this massive wave of information is a challenge. Here’s a link to listen to some very tech savvy individuals mull this over at a session of the Churchill Club that took place earlier this year. (MAY NOT WORK FROM WITHIN OUR FIREWALL)

I will leave you with one more look at the same general trend towards a possibly “techno-centric” future. This is brought to you by the ever sharp Colbert Report

Review your experiences, and what you know of your students’ experiences, and let us know your thoughts…pro…con… or otherwise.

In this time of elections and monumental decisions you might find yourself evaluating your stances on any number of topics. If you would like to revisit some of the things that may have crossed your mind in the past, you might want to check out the poll archive at This archive encompasses many subjects of interest to teachers and dates back to June 2006. Please comment on any of the results that you find intersting, or suggest other topics that we might want to explore ourselves!

When you have 20,000 employees, 165,000 students, and several thousand school buses acting in the complex dance of opening schools for the very first day of the year, that last thing a school district like ours needs is a complication like an impending tropical storm. But as you can see from this screen capture of the approaching thunderstorms associated with Tropical Storm Fay, we hardly got our wish this year did we?

Weather radar as Tropical Storm Fay approaches South Florida.

 Sitting here in the office and watching the rain we’re all thinking about you out there in the schools, and reminiscing about what organized chaos it can be on the first day of school. Throw in lots of heavy rains, extra long lines for parents dropping off students, and a general uncertainty about whether school will even be in session tomorrow, and you’ve got some very unsettled conditions to say the least.

But you know what? Out there in our schools the guidance counselors and administrators and teachers and even the custodians and office staff are all doing their part to get through a very messy day. So hats off to you, and if you’d like to share your experience of starting school on a day like this please feel free to add your comment!

By the way, did you know that you can embed interactive weater maps right into your own web page–even the ones our teachers are provided through Edline? The interactive service below from Weather Underground can be copied and pasted right into an Edline page if you sign up for the service. (It’s free.) A fun way to add some added value to Edline, perhaps by adding a weather service for a city or country your class is studying, or maybe, as in this case, as a way to keep your readers informed of what a storm is doing.