2014 – Finalists & Winners

Friends, just had to share this today….my company, Balefire Labs, won the Cool Tool Award for Best New EdTech Product or Service for 2014 from EdTech Digest! We are beyond excited!

EdTech Digest

EdTech Digest Awards Program 2014 | Spirit of Innovation

Spirit of InnovationFor so many reasons, the education technology space is moving forward with great momentum and robust spirit. A confluence of factors — the right time, technology and people — has made for a superlative year. With top talent and quality in so many corners, it wasn’t an easy selection process, but we are shining a spotlight on some of the best and brightest tools, leaders and trendsetters pushing forward today’s education revolution for the benefit of future generations. There are now thousands of startups, apps and companies working in edtech, more than ever before. The introduction of new methods, ideas, products and frameworks for learning, the willingness of investors to power such ingenuity through, or for startups making a go of it to boldly bootstrap their own efforts — and the real results that come of it — all converge to…

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What I’ve Learned about the Common Core State Standards and Educational Apps


Today I wrote a blog piece for Balefire Labs about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and educational apps. Over the past few months I’ve been doing a ton of aligning apps to the CCSS and I wanted to share what I’ve learned.

Once I published that piece I thought I should also share it here to see what your experience has been. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started doing the alignment, but, I confess, now that it’s done I have to say that I really like the new standards. I’d love for you to read my piece and chime in on what your experience has been and whether or not you agree with what I learned from the experience.

Here it is…. Continue reading

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How Can We Encourage Co-Creation in EdTech?

It’s been a long week for me. I’ve been working on the next big thing that we’re launching next week at Balefire Labs. I won’t give it away here, but suffice it to say that only something really cool brought me up for air and inspired me enough to write about it.

Most of you know that I think the distinction between “content” and “creativity” educational technology resources is pretty bogus. I’ve written about it before (here, for example) so I won’t rehash all of that with you today. Continue reading

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How Does Google Autocomplete EdTech Terms?

Did you all see the image online about each state’s biggest stereotype, according to Google’s autocomplete feature in search? If you missed it, here’s the image from the Huffington Post.

state stereotypes map Continue reading

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Can Video Games Make You Smarter?

Have you guys heard about the YouTube channel ASAP Science? Every week they post a short, animated video about some scientific concept. It’s a bit “pop-sciency,” but I like it a lot. The videos are entertaining and cite scientific research about whatever the particular topic is. I’m not saying it’s instructional, but just that it’s fun and nice as a supplement. Continue reading

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30 Minutes Off the Grid

How many of you, like me, feel lost without your phone? Honestly, sometimes I feel like my iPhone is just an extension of my arm. It’s with me everywhere I go (yes, I even take it in the bathroom…too much information?) and I just feel, well, weird, without it. Continue reading

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What Are Students Doing Online?

I thought this was a really fun infographic to kick off the week.

I’m an Early Adopter and Big Talker. Which ones are you?  Continue reading

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The Single iPad Classroom

There are some really great suggestions here for folks with single iPad classrooms….definitely check it out!

Elementary Ed Tech!

Both of the schools I serve have “Single iPad Classrooms”.
The teachers all have iPads, and, on one campus there is a mobile cart of 30 iPads that is shared on a check-out basis.
Teachers have had their iPads for a while, so I thought it would be interesting to find out how they are getting these in the hands of students. I created a survey in Google Forms (what did we do before Google Forms???).
Below I have summarized the responses.

If you have a system for individual students to use the iPad, can you please explain it?

• Name on a list
• My system is calling on a student and letting him/her play specific apps or use it for free time.
• I open a single app, and assign students
• Rotation schedule for centers
• I have student practice spelling words, high frequency words, math facts…

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2013 – My blog in review!

I thought this was a pretty fun report created for my by WordPress. Thought it might interest some of you other bloggers!

Want to give a special shout out to the top five commenters on my blog this year. Big thanks to: Continue reading

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things 2013

best of 2013It seems so hard to believe that a whole year has passed since my last “favorite things” post. But for me, it’s been a pretty insane year, filled with an amazing number of ups and downs, tons of work, and the chance to meet many new friends and colleagues.

So, here we go…these are a few of my favorite things from this past year: Continue reading

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