Sunday, January 30, 2011

Conferences: What's the point?

Before you freak, hear me out. I'm just so tired of conferences. I go to these things and I spend most of my time learning and sharing, learning and sharing. It is exhausting. I feel like there is only so much sharing and learning a person can do. Your idea and my idea, your idea and my idea. What's the point?

Conferences are a huge tease. They seem to say, "Come over and we can hang out and have a great time. I will show you amazing thing that will revolutionize your classroom" When I get there, they do show me some amazing things. I get very excited at what I see. Then, I realize I can' have it. My district isn't set up for this, school policy doesn't allow for that or my department would burn me in effigy. I'm not sure I can handle listening to the amazing things happening in Iowa, New Jersey, Philly, etc. without going crazy. I'm all for new ideas, but why do people need to rub in our faces. What's the point?

The only thing that keeps me going is the concept that frustration can breed innovation. Is all of this frustration I face on a regular basis going to prepare me for the next big idea? I just want tea change to be a little easier. This frustration seems to cause more pain than innovation. What's the point?

Wouldn't it be easier to just shut my classroom door and bury my head in lessons? Why endure a barrage of great ideas that will never happen for me or my students? Why spend hours discussing what I want with people who already have? What's the point?

All of this knowledge is just breeding frustration. I want what is best for my students and I need to walk them through a mine field of bad ideas and policy to get it. What's the point?

What is the point?

Oh, I'm an educator and I give a damn.

That's the point.

See you at the next conference. :-)

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Thursday, January 27, 2011

#EduCon - Prologue

The hour approaches where I will be boarding a plane and heading to another conference. I will not be presenting at this one, despite m best efforts, and I’m kind of glad. I feel like I will have a better time learning from others. I will not have to worry about my presentation, my tech needs or if my fly is down.

I’m excited to see my friends and share stories that are hard to pass along on Twitter. I look forward to meeting new educators that share my passion for learning and change. The think I like most about these education conferences is that it is what I make of it. I know I will learn because I want to learn. Even if I have trouble finding a great conversation to attend, highly unlikely, I know that I will be surrounded by others that have loads of information to share.

I truly believe that teachers are a rare breed. We have something that connects us no matter what grade, country, state or subject we teach. Our passion for learning and growth is unmatched by any other profession as far as I am concerned. We are a group of Nation Builders. #Educon is another avenue to fine tune my skills to help me prepare my students for the world ahead. I can’t wait to get down to Philly, have a cheese steak and learn.

Look out Philly!

- @TheNerdyTeacher

P.S. – A new post in my Everything I Learned series is coming soon. Keep an eye out for it. It is very Nerdy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Storybook Web

Storybook Web is great collection of activities for young children aged 5-8. The site uses popular stories by authors Scoular Anderson, Debi Glioro, Mairi Hedderwick and Frank Rodgers. There are many interactive activities that parents can do with their children as they watch and listen to authors read parts of their books and answer questions on how they are inspired to write. The site has writing activities for students that really allows them to connect to the story and the author.

Storybook Web is a great site for parents to use with their children to support their love of reading and writing. More and more computer sites are becoming interactive because kids want to play and learn at the same time. Storybook Web does a great job of combining these two elements into one site. This site is worth saving in your bookmarks for hours of reading fun with your kids.

Thanks to iLearnTechnology for the find. 

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Blogger's Cafe: One Semester Later

Friday marked the end on the first semester at my high school. With next week Final exams and EduCon, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on my Blogger's Cafe. 

You can find my initial posts on the Blogger's Cafe here. I'm going to approach this reflection in a couple of ways. First, I want to think about how the students used the blogs. Second, I want to think about how I used the blogs. Looking at both of these things will really allow me to see if the Blogger's Cafe is worth continuing. 

I was very happy with the way students took to the Blogger's Cafe. A students convinced their parents to donate some comfy chairs for students to use and a student promise to bring a mini fridge for snacks and drinks for the bloggers of the day. Kids were excited to blog and looked forward to their turn. That was true during the first week of the semester and during the last week of the semester.

I really liked the fact that the kids did not request grades for blogging. From the first day I told them it was a class expectation to blog when it was their turn and that was that. I think it was easy because they are Freshmen and do know any different. I think that is good in some respect. Start with the Freshmen and build up over the next few years. This scaffolding could pay of in the long run as students become more proficient in using tech tools. 

There are some students that struggled with blogging at first and has some trouble accessing the Kidblog and posting in the right spot, but their partners would help them out and they improved over time. It was great to see other students take active role in helping their peers who were having trouble with blogging. It created a good learning environment for the classroom. 

I did have one parent that expressed some concern over the regular class blogging. Her child has some difficulty with spelling and some sentence structure. The parent wanted me to excuse the student from blogging because the student might be embarrassed by their poor spelling and grammar. I thought about it, but considered how much more harm not blogging could do. I assured the parent that the student could always use spell check and edit posts at home if they felt there were too many errors. It would actually help the student in the areas they struggle in. The parent never responded to my email, but the student kept blogging and improved over time. 

Overall, I think the students took to the blogging and the responsibility of maintaining the blog for students who missed class and needed notes. From this perspective, I feel the Blogger's Cafe was a success. How I used the blogs in class is another issue.

The blogs were set up to allow students to take class notes and share them on their hour's designated Kidblog. The setup doesn't allow for much flexibility. Kids type and I talk. It feels very bland. From a communication standpoint, it was a success. Absent students and curious parents had a place to go and keep up with class. Besides that, I feel I haven't explored the uses as well as I would have liked. 

I think it would be cool to offer student the chance to do some video blogging. Having students recap the week in video form and posting that on the site would be interesting. I'm not thinking about grading the students for this. I just need to make it part of the class expectations. I think kids could have a ton of fun with this project. Besides that, I'm not sure where I can go with in class blogging. It will be a focus of mine for the second semester. 

When I thought about the Blogger's Cafe for the first time, I wasn't sure where it was going to go. It had the potential to be a catastrophic failure, but I had great support from my Admin staff and a terrific group of students with supportive parents that made all of this possible. Although the Blogger's Cafe has not been perfected, it is worth trying in your classroom. 

I'll keep you posted on any changes I make with the Cafe and I hope you will share suggestions on how I can get the most out my idea. 


The Nerdy Teacher Tracking Code

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Times Machine

Times Machine

This could be such a fun tool in class. Times Machine is a full collection of the New York Times dating back to 1851. Students can research any date they want and share their findings with the class. Important events in history could be discussed by reading the newspaper itself. Students could research events that happened on their birthday and compare them with others. Classes could review the difference in print ads from various decades and create their own. There are so many possibilities for this site in the classroom it would be a waste not to take a look around. (Update: You need to be a subscriber to the print edition to gain access to the papers. Most libraries subscribe to the NYT, so talk to your local librarian about setting up a school account.)


Edcamp Detroit

Last May, a bunch of teachers organized an event called #edcampPhilly. The event was an unconference. The cool thing about an unconference is that all of the sessions are run by the people who show up. The schedule is loose to allow people to talk about whatever they want. #edcampPhilly was a huge success and edcamps started to appear all over the country. I attended one in New York City and Kansas City to see how they worked and meet some friends that I've been working with online for a few months. After seeing how they operated, I'm proud to announce that #edcampDetroit is open for registration! After tons of planning and organziation, we have a location (Wayne State University's College of Education), a date (Saturday May 7), Sponsors (Click the link to see. More are being added every day) and a price (Free!).

I have spent a ton of time this past year attending conferences and learning many great things. Despite some of the awesome sessions I attended, I always seemed to learn the most from talking and sharing with other teachers around me. The purpose of an edcampis to connect the teachers directly. Teachers have so many great ideas and practices, but they are not often given a chance to share them with others in their own school. Edcamp is a way to bring these teachers with great ideas together from all over to help the students in the classroom.

I would love to see a strong showing from my District at this event. I think I teach in one of the best districts in the country and would love to show everyone the amazign things that our teachers do each and every day. This conference is not a tech conference! This conference is about sharing ideas that work. Best practices for teaching various subject matter. Administrations isues could be addressed. There are countless topics and many conversations that can be had because we all work so hard at our jobs and it would be just greedy not to share with other teachers eager to learn.

We are limited in space (250 Max), so please click here to register. Space is filling up and will get jammed after we spread the word in March at MACUL, so sign up sooner than later. Maybe our district would even give us conference or workshop hours for attending (cough cough hint hint). Please pass this conferecne along to any other teachers you might now. A ton of work goes into putting on a free conference and I would love to share it with some of the best teachers I know. Thanks in advance.

Here is a video #edcampPhilly put together that does a nice job explaining #edcamp.

Monday, January 17, 2011

48 Hours Off Twitter

I decided to take the weekend off Twitter to hang out with the wife and get caught up on some work. I hope nobody felt left out during this long weekend. Now, I did not completely unplug. I stil checked the stream from time to time and was still connected to my email. I thought about the complete unplug, but with #edcampDetroit starting and various other ventures starting, I needed to stay connected to email at the minimum. I also have my grad classes to think about as well (see previous post). I wasn't sure what was going to happen over the weekend, but I wasn't really shocked by the end result.

Nothing happened. Essentially, the Twitterverse kept going and the Internet, as far as I can tell, did not collapse. There were times when I wanted to bounce some ideas of friends, but I waited and thought on them some more. It really forced me to go back to the way things were a little over a year ago when I was not connected to a PLN. That was a lonely time. I love having people to share my ideas with outside of my house. I'm sure my wonderful wife loves hearing about all of my tech and teacher related ideas, but the need for more than one sounding board becomes apparent after a day.

I know others have done similar experiments and have had similar experiences. I think it is good for me to unplug from time to time to really focus on my work. The one thing Twitter can do is get me thinking about other projects I would love to start even though I have a few in the works already. The biggest downside of unplugging from Twitter is missing all of @tgwynn's jokes. Bear Down buddy!

When was the last time you unplugged from Twitter?

The Great Textbook Debate

This year, I volunteered to look at some new textbooks for our Freshmen English classes. Our current text is about 20 years old and we were thinking about an upgrade to newer texts that are geared specifically toward the current state standards. The rationale at the time was that these new texts will make it easier to be aligned with the new state standards and we will not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes curriculum review time. After using one book for the first semester, I have already made up my mind and have a recommendation. No Textbooks at all.

This might seem shocking to some of you reading this. You might say, "Nick, you teach English. How the heck do you teach English without a textbook?" That is a wonderful question. I would teach it the same way I taught this semester. The only only time students used a textbook in the first semester was during the short story unit. After reviewing the stories covered, many of them are available for free on the internet. For three weeks, students read from the text and answered questions I created on the class blog or discussion board. Students did not answer any of the questions from the text. These books were better suited a 15 pound paper weights.

The rest of the semester was spent reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Black Boy and Of Mice and Men. Second semester is going to focus on a research paper, Romeo and Juliet and a poetry unit. The poetry unit is where is the other demo textbook will come in. However, looking at the poems that are going to be used (Shakespeare, Dickinson, Frost, etc), most of those are available free on the internet. That is all the textbook is going to be used for the entire second semester.

For around 6 to 7 weeks of an entire school year, I use a textbook. As many of use know, textbooks are not cheap. For an entire school district, it looks like we would need to be around 1,000 books. That price, including all of the extra workbooks, lesson plans, etc. is going to cost a fortune. I can not in good conscience suggest we purchase new textbooks. The money that would be spent on new texts could be diverted to other purchases that would have greater uses in the classroom.

Later this week, I will explain what I would like to see happen with the textbook money.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grad Class Blog Posts

As part of my current grad class, I need to post at least three time a week and comment on the blogs of the other students in the class. I love the idea of commenting on other blogs. Kelly started the Blogging Alliance to encourage communication and commentary. It helped grow my blog and I think it will help these new teachers who are starting out in the blogging world.

I do have a problem with the three times a week requirement. Blogging is not about quantity, it is about quality. I would love to provide everyone an insightful remark three times a week, but sometimes there just anything to write about. I feel what will happen is bad and uninspired writing. There are tons of great articles I can read and write about, but when I feel forced to write, I have a hard time writing.

I want to apologize in advance for any posts that do not have the same feeling as my others. I will try to provide the same spark as I usually do, but we will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Project PLN: The January Issue

Here is the January issue of #ProjectPLN. We wanted to know what everyone was going to do in the new year and you did not let us down. We had many great submissions and we are excited to share this great issue with our PLN.

Goals for the New Year

Our February issue is going to focus on passion. What are you most passionate about? What keeps you going during the school year? Please share all of your great stories with us and the rest of the PLN. Please contact us @ProjectPLN and

Keep Teaching,

Nick and Kelly

#edcampDetroit Registration is Open!

You read that right, #edcampDetroit registration is open. Like all edcamps, attending this amazing conference on Saturday May 7th at Wayne State University is free! Click here to go directly to the registration page! We are very excited about bringing #edcamp to Detroit because we know there are many educators in the area that are dying to get together and share the wonderful things they are doing in the classroom.

Don't know what #edcamp is all about? That's ok. Here is a great video put together by our friends in Philly. They were the first to start edcamp and now there are #edcamps across the country and Canada.

Ed Camp from True Life Media on Vimeo.

As you can see, there is so much that can happen at an #edcamp. It all starts with you. Please sign up and come ready to share with the great educators from all over the area. We are also planning some exciting joint sessions with #edcampBoston, so stayed tuned for more info.

If you are interested in sponsoring #edcampDetroit, please contact us at or send us a tweet @edcampDetroit.

Please check out for more details on the event.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why I love Free Rice!

Free Rice is an amazing site that is free for everyone and helps people in need. Free Rice is a non-profit organization run by the United Nations World Food Program. Their website,, says they have two goals:

1. Provide education to everyone for free.
2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

For every question a person gets correct, the site donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Program to help end world hunger. They have different categories to test student knowledge. They have Art, Chemistry, Foreign Language (French, German, Italian and Spanish), Math (Pre-Algebra and the Multiplication Table), Geography and Language Arts. This is a great thing for students to do at home instead of staring at Facebook or playing mindless computer games. Kids can form groups and see their rankings compared to other groups around the world.

Free Rice could be set up to have different classes in the same building as a group and they could compete against each other over a set amount of time with the class with the most grain accumulated winning a prize. This could work had as a great school fundraiser where students can compete, help others in need and, most of all, reinforce basic concepts in various subjects.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Reform Symposium 2011 for New Teachers

I'm excited to be back and presenting at the Reform Symposium this Saturday January 8th. This is going to be another great conference that is not only going to help new teachers, but truly be helpful to everyone in education. I will be presenting on the importance of Mentoring at 10pm EST. My presentation is entitled, Mentoring: Everyone is a Sidekick. I'm going to use a few buddy cop movies to help explain the way mentoring works or should work in education. Here is an interview done by the amazing Greta (@Gret).

I always get excited to present to other teachers and educators. I'm lucky to be presenting with such a great host of people and I really think their is going to be some exciting learning taking place on Saturday. Please find the time to stop by and share in the fun. I hope to see you there.

Improving Huck Finn and other stories

Warning: Do not dare change any of the words of this post or suffer the penalty of being given the stink eye or worse, an unfollow on Twitter and defriending on Facebook.

I’m sure many of you have hear about the new edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that is going to be released with the “n” word replaced with slave and the word injun removed. If you have not heard about it, stop reading and go to this post. This is my honest to God response, “Are they out of their fucking mind?” Despite the tech stuff I do to keep busy, I am a certified English and Social Studies Teacher. I have taught Huck Finn for the majority of my 10 years in the classroom. Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors and one the best satirists this country has ever seen. The thought of changing the text of this book bothers me deep down. As an author, the only thing that is left after you are gone are the words you left behind. Those words are considered sacred. I could care less if it is a dime store trash novel from the 50’s or a piece of classic literature; someone wrote those words and should be the only one allowed to alter them.

On the other hand, once I thought about it, I saw the other side of the coin. In today’s society, we have to be very careful about the words we use and the words we let our innocent children read. I’m an expecting father and I have to start thinking about what my son is going to have access to. So, if we are going to censor Huck Finn because we want to make it more accessible to readers who are easily offended, I suggest we look at some other texts and make some important revisions. Here are some off the top of my head.

To Kill a Mockingbird - I’m teaching this right now, but I’m going to replace all of the inappropriate parts of the story so my students are not going to be offended. First, the “n” word is gone. That will be replaced by African American. It doesn’t matter that the term did not exist at the time the story is set. That is not important, so save your fingers the stress of typing a comment. Also, Boo Radley will be confined in his house not because he stabbed his dad in the leg, but because he did not clean up his room like he was asked. We cannot have violence like this in stories. It sends the wrong message to students. Dill will be replaced by an imaginary kitty cat that Scout and Jem will play with. We need to get rid of Dill because he is based on Truman Capote and we know what he is all about. We cannot let kids learn the back story to a story. They might draw conclusions about the writer and the reasons the story was written. There really isn’t a place for that in the classroom. Tom Robinson will not die in the story, he will be given work release and be able to see his family on every other weekend. The important part is the speech that Atticus gives in the courtroom. Oh, the speech will be shortened to accommodate the readers who have short attention spans. It will look something like this, “Tom didn’t do it. You know he didn’t do it and it is racist if you convict him.” That’s essentially what he is trying to say. Also, Boo doesn’t save the kids at the end because Mr. Ewell never attacks them. Frankly, it is too scary and the we do not want kids accepting help from strange guys who stare at them from houses. Once we finish with the book, it can go from 31 chapters to about 16.

Romeo and Juliet - Children that do not obey their parents and commit suicide is not appropriate for school. Suicide is very serious and the taking of one’s life should not be endorsed in writing for students. It doesn’t matter that Shakespeare was commenting on young love. Kids are not smart enough to understand the meaning of the play and teachers, like me, cannot be trusted to impart that information to these students.

Fahrenheit 451 - Well, this should just be banned outright. Fire is not something to be played with.

The Holy Bible - Have you read the Old Testament? There is blatant incest and terrible violence. God even dabbles in Genocide when he wipes out Sodom and Gomorahh, not to mention the entire planet when he sent the flood. I think we should remove all of the violence and hate in the first part of the book and replace it with some pretty pictures like the ones they have in church. People like pictures.

I think we can all come together as a society and agree that these books, and many more, need to be changed so the wrong message about our past is not passed onto children. If there is one thing I have learned as a History teacher it’s that you do not learn anything from History. I hope all of you can agree with me on that.

Editor’s Note:

All comments will be “edited” for content. Comments need to be acceptable to all readers.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The "value" of work

As some of you might have seen on Twitter last week, I was checking essays on Huck Finn. They were not the best essays in the world, but they were not the worst. The students need to work on their analysis and I decided to spend the next few days helping them in that area. Today I had them review their essays online and see the comments I made. I discussed what the analysis should look like and gave them an opportunity to fix their essays with more analysis. They had class time today and they will resubmit Tuesday. A girl raised her hand and asked how many points it was worth. I told her not to worry about it and focus on improving her writing. She was adamant about knowing the “value” of the redo. I asked her if she would try harder if it was worth more points. Her response was bothersome. “I don’t know. Work is worth points, that is what school is about.” I felt terrible when I heard this. I told her not to worry about points and focus on the writing. She was clearly disgusted at my response and I got the teenage eye roll in response. I want to me annoyed with her attitude, but is it her fault for feeling that way? Isn’t it our (Schools in general) fault for creating this culture? #Barf

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Top Eleven Nerdy Teacher Moments of the Year

Here is a list of 11 things that happened the past year because of this silly blog. They are numbered, but they are not is a particular order. They all had a major impact on me in some way and I'm excited to share them with you. It is crazy to think that this blog has been around for only one year. I feel like I have have been doing this for a real long time and the new friends I have made feel like old buddies. I truly look forward to the amazing things 2011 hold for me.

11. EduCon
EduCon has not happened yet, but I feel like it it going to be the culminating event of my blogging year. Most of my new friends are going go be there and we are going to get together and share more ideas and have a good time. I've got a bowling outing planned that weekend where my team, No Pins Left Behind, featuring @Tgwynn and @Ejulez will be kicking some butt!

10. #ProjectPLN
I had an idea about collecting blog posts month to month and releasing it as an online magazine. I shared that idea with @KTenkely and #ProjectPLN was born. We have collected various posts from all over the world and have shared them with others. I never thought that this would be something I would get involved with, but an idea was in my head and I had to see what would happen. I would not be able to make ProjectPLN happen without Kelly. She is one of the hardest working people in all of education and I'm proud to call her a friend. Project PLN will be making an appearance at ISTE11 at a Poster Presentation, so keep an eye out in June. #ProjectPLN is always looking for people to submit articles for each issue. Contact us at or @ProjectPLN.

9. Blogging Alliance
@KTenkely's Blogging Alliance was a brilliant idea. She saw that connecting edubloggers would be a great way to support bloggers from all over the world. As a novice blogger, it was so cool to have the support of other people. I really felt like I was part of a community of teachers that all wanted the same thing. The Nerdy Teacher was not the first time I tried blogging. I had tried it in the past, but felt like I was speaking to a void. The Blogging Alliance made bloggers feel heard and that is what got me over the hump. I'm not sure The Nerdy Teacher would still be around if it weren't for Kelly and the Blogging Alliance. It was also nice to have a collection of blogs I could read every week. I still read those blogs and share the great resources I find with the teachers in my district.

8. Van Meter
I've been working with Van Meter this school year and it has been super exciting. Kids have been blogging and sharing ideas with kids from another state. It is a really exciting thing to see kids passionate about learning. Shawn has been amazing to work with and Shannon and the rest of the Van Meter crew were so wonderful when I visited. Van Meter is a great community and I am really lucky to get to work with them on the various projects we have come up with. They have a great admin staff that are working hard to create an amazing learning environment for their students. If you have not connected with the Van Meter crew, do so quickly because you do not want to miss out. We will be gearing up for the huge Romeo and Juliet project and I can't wait to see what the kids produce.

7. The Nerdy Teacher Blogs for Lifetime
In one of the most shocking bits of information to hit the blogosphere in recent years, I was asked to blog for The Balancing Act. I was asked to provide a short posts providing parents with helpful education tips. I thought this was a gag or something, but it turned out to be the real deal. I've been happy to work with The Balancing Act and look forward to working with them in 2011.

6. EduBlog Awards
I could go on about having the 3rd most powerful new blog in the world, but that is really not what this is about. The EduBlog awards are cool because it collects blogs nominated by other teachers. It I'd an honor to just be nominated because it's by my peers. It was not something I ever expect and am truly humbled by.

5 a. Organizing #edcampDetroit
I heard about #edcamp on Twitter and was really excited about what it was about. I really wanted to attend, but had to chaperone prom. :-( #ntcamp was at the end of July, but I was working at a summer camp. Double :-( After hearing rumblings of people starting their own #edcamp in their neck of the woods, I thought that Michigan should have their own as well. #EdcampDetroit was born and we are kicking it into high gear. Registration open 1:11:11 and you can find more details by following @edcampDetroit or checking out

5b. Going to #edcampNYC and #edcampKC
I knew if I wanted to organize an #edcamp, I would have to attend one or two and get a feel to how these events run. I took the opportunity and flew to Iowa to visit Van Meter and drive down to KC later the next day. #edcampKC was an awesome event and I met some great people. Well done KC.

#edcampNYC was an equally awesome event. I met some of my Twitter friends from the East Coast and ate some Ox Tail for lunch. :-) Above all, I had the chance to see how #edcamps work and I was not let down. KC and NYC did an amazing job and #edcampDetroit has much to live up to.

4. #140 Character Conference
I was asked to sit on a panel for the #140 Character Conference when it came to Detroit in October. I had no idea what to expect when @ShellTerell asked me help. It was an amazing event that connected me with so many great people. It was also a great chance to speak to non-educators and show them what some teachers are doing out there. The panel went well and at one point, I was a trending topic on Twitter in Detroit! It doesn't seem like it should be a big deal, but I never thought something like that was ever possible when I started a year ago. It was a cool event and I hope to go back next year.

I went to ISTE10 in Denver to meet some of the great people I have been talking too for the past 6 months. It was an amazing learning experience from the start. Because I went to ISTE, I connected with @Shannonmmiller and the Van Meter crew. We have now been working together on some exciting projects and will be starting on our Romeo and Juliet Project soon. Because I went to ISTE, I now have a Blogger's Cafe that my kids enjoy. Lastly, I will be attending ISTE11 in Philly and presenting two poster presentations. I'm excited for the chance to share some of the great things I have learned this past year with other teachers. Maybe I'll be able to impact a teacher the way many of you have impacted me.

2. #edchat
I never thought something like #edchat would have such an impact on the way that I teach. I stumbled upon #edchat one night and sat on the sidelines until the very end were had a dropped a couple of comments into the discussion. I was shocked to have people actually respond to my ideas and RT them to the rest of the world. I was still new to Twitter and only had a handful of followers. I didn't think joining the conversation was going to be a big deal. Because of a couple of simple comments, I have met some amazing people from all over the world. @mbteach, @web20classroom, @amandacdykes, @ShellTerrell, @Kylepace are just a few people that have had a huge impact on me this past year and it was all because of #edchat. If you have not participated in #edchat, what the heck are you waiting for?. #edchat has been a major influence on my teaching this year and I can't wait for another year of chatting.

1. My first post

It all begin with this first post.

I've decided to create a blog. I'm a 30 year old English teacher that is currently working on my Masters Degree in educational technology. I spend tons of time helping other teachers in my building incorporating technology into their teaching and thought it would be nice to share these new concepts with the world out there. Also, I'm sure this blog can help me with my Masters Program.

If you have any thoughts or ideas you would like to share, please feel free to email me or post a comment. Let's see where this thing takes us.

I'm still helping teachers in my building, but now I get to help teachers from all over the world. I've been lucky to present at some online conferences and have one coming up in a week in a half for New Teachers. The only this blog hasn't done for me is help me with my Educational Technology Masters Degree. Hopefully my class this semester of Blogging and Wikis will teach me a thing or two. :-)

I cannot wait to see what 2011 has to offer, but I know it will be a great year with the support of my friends and my amazing wife @JenniferPro.

Have a great year and teach the crap out of those students!