One of our keynote speakers at the TIE Conference in South Dakota was Kathy Shrock! I don't think this woman ever sleeps with all that she is doing to help educators implement technology appropriately in the classroom. This session was focused on Telling Stories digitally.


Research states that facts and figures only activate the part of the brain where we make sense of words. But, when listening to a digital story, a recent article reports "not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are, too". To get their point across, the business world is shifting from bullet points to stories. How can we do this in schools? Presenting content using storytelling can be captivating, compelling, and can help students grasp the content. This presentation will include the research to support this pedagogical shift, various examples of content presented this way, and an overview of the process and tools that can be used to create these rich digital stories.Digital Storytelling - Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything


In addition to teaching online, Kathy writes, speaks, blogs, tweets, and conducts professional development workshops, presentations, and keynotes nationally and internationally. She is known for her practical presentations dealing with pedagogically sound practices for the embedding of technology seamlessly into teaching and learning. Her passions are online tools to support classroom instruction, the role of emerging technologies in the classroom, infographics, tablets in the classroom, copyright and intellectual property, and gadgets of any type! You can find her on Twitter (@kathyschrock), Skype (kathyschrock), Google+, and on many other social networks!

She currently maintains these Web sites:

Kathy has written hundreds of articles dealing with technology and education and has authored several books about edtech topics. In addition, she has received numerous awards for her work, including a People's Choice Webby, the ISTE and MassCUE Making IT Happen Award, the NCTIES Service Learning Award, has served on the ISTE Board of Directors twice, and has worked with the US Department of Education on several educational technology initiatives


The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) has teamed with the Pearson Foundation to capture and share exemplary 21st century learning practices that are improving schools, student learning and opportunities in classrooms and communities across the United States.

In addition to identifying, documenting, sharing and celebrating the 21st century practices of exemplar schools they are reporting on the broader common features– the Patterns of Innovation– that emerge across exemplar schools and appear to be at the heart of their effective transformation into 21st Century Learning Environments.

The 5 essential ingredients they have thus far identified as contributing to exemplar schools' success are:

  • Student Voice
  • Engaged Community
  • Distributed Leadership
  • Climate of Achievement
  • Evidence & Research

The implementation of the P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning is found threaded across each of these areas.

The Patterns of Innovation report  was developed by Christopher Brown of the Pearson Foundation, with input from the P21 Exemplar Working Group and staff, and designed by Collaborative Communications Group.

If you are not already using this sight for you and your students, I highly recommend this real world resource for your classrooms! You can even have them set up an rss feed to have the news pushed to you or your students.

CNN Student News - March 31, 2014 -

As educational gaming moves from a future technology to a practice found in more and more classrooms, educators are recognizing game-based learning’s (GBL) potential to engage students and help them prepare for future learning. By ensuring that games meet certain requirements, educators will find themselves on the path to choosing an impactful game that goes beyond the typical drill-and-practice or end-of-unit reward game.

Dan White, founder of Filament Games, a member of the advisory board for Games for Change, and a founding member of the Games Learning Society at the University of Wisconsin, states, “Good games look a lot like inquiry-based learning tools and project-based learning tools, with constructive exploring principles.”

White provides us with 7 ways to evaluate education games to help make sure students are truly learning: 7 ways to evaluate educational games | eSchool News | eSchool News

Do you seek exciting new ways to engage and connect with learners? Are you committed to sparking curiosity and empowering students to create? If so, ISTE 2014 is for you. Part idea incubator and part collaborative workspace, ISTE’s conference and expo brings educators of all types and grade levels together to share discoveries and develop solutions for their greatest challenges—all while connecting to a global network of

education resources. ISTE 2014 (International Society for Technology Education)


As a professional development provider and technology integrationist and coach, I see this conference as the ultimate site to build my capacity!

  • Verizon's Innovative Schools Program will be there to share best practices and emerging strategies in mobile learning.
  • Lisa Fink from, one of the Thinkfinity Community partners, will be presenting.

  • If you need to convince the "powers that be" to allow you to attend this amazing technology education conference, ISTE has provided you with the resources. ISTE 2014 - a PDF of the conference website, a letter to your administrator, a powerpoint about the conference, and videos from the 2013 conference.
  • ISTE 2014 is for every educator at every level. They offer a multitude of professional development opportunities for the entire education team. Visit  ISTE 2014 to learn how this conference will benefit teachers, tech coordinators, network administrators, staff developers, media specialists, and administrators.

SymbalooEDU is bringing a Digital Learning Day contest to your classroom!

Have fun on Digital Learning Day and enter to win!           

The mission: Get your students SymbalooEDU certified! If you are a SymbalooEDU Certified Educator, you will have access to the Student Certification. If not, tell us at and we will send it to you! The teachers that sign up the most students and best video will win a Digital Learning Day package from us! Make it your Digital Learning Day activity to gain the most votes for your classroom! Have fun! Win prizes! Top 3 winners will win an ice-cream party for your SymbalooEDU certified class, 6 months free of SymbalooEDU premium, and special edition t-shirt for every winner! We will write a blog post featuring your class on the SymbalooEDU website and monthly newsletter! Want to enter the contest? Click here for more information!

The one guaranteed constant in educational technology is change, and the pace of that change is definitely accelerating. So T.H.E. Journal paused to survey the ed tech trends on the horizon. They assembled a distinguished panel of five experts and asked them to consider 10 topics related to instructional technology and predict whether each topic will be HOT ⇧, LUKEWARM ⇔, or LOSING STEAM ⇓ in 2014. They compiled their responses to come up with an overall trend line. There was unanimous agreement on some topics and less consensus on others, but taken together, their responses paint a compelling picture of what to expect from ed tech in 2014.

So, I thought it might be fun to have our own poll here in the Thinkfinity Community and let you, the educators, be the judge of what's hot and what's not!  I selected 5 of their 10 topics for us to vote on.  Check out the poll and let your voice be heard.

Read more at "The 10 Biggest Trends in Ed Tech."



I wanted to wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas!!


I was trying to think of a way to include our Thinkfinity Content Partners and so I typed Christmas as the keyword and this is just the first page of 71 lessons and resources related to Christmas. See what you and your families might share and learn from these resources while on the Holiday break.


Christmas Content Parnters.JPG

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