Wednesday, February 12, 2020

US Education Department Launches School Safety Resource Site

The U.S. Department of Education this week launched, a website intended to serve as a one-stop clearinghouse of resources for K-12 administrators, educators, parents and law enforcement officials to address safety and security in schools.

The commission was established as an executive order by President Donald Trump after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

" was created by the federal government to provide schools and districts with actionable recommendations to create a safe and supportive learning environment where students can thrive and grow."

The site has resources on bullying, cyberbullying, threat assessments, school security personnel, physical security, training, mental health and much more. It has tools to help schools create an action plan, as well as finding resources they need. 

This is an excellent resource for all schools to use to help keep their students and staff safe. 

September is National Preparedness Month - get yourself, family, home, school and business ready

Free toolkit "How to Identify Effective STEM Activities for Children”

Baylor University recently published the toolkit "How to Identify Effective STEM Activities for Children” that helps parents and teachers know what to look for in a STEM lesson and offers 9 examples of quality online resources. You can access the full resource here:

In it, they discuss the best ways to engage students in STEM, how to get them interested, how to introduce STEM to students, and have resources for finding STEM activities and lessons. 

Check it out. 



Thursday, January 16, 2020

Ozobot launches new learning management system


After being voted Best of Show at ISTE 2019, Ozobot Classroom (patent pending) officially launched at the 2020 Future of Education Technology Conference.

Ozobot Classroom will make it easy to integrate coding and computer science with Ozobot’s robots into lessons for any subject and any grade level—with features that include an interactive educator dashboard, single-click classroom setup, interdisciplinary lessons with live lesson insights, and more. Ozobot Classroom is also the first learning management system that allows educators to get powerful real-time insights into student progress for both on-screen and off-screen activities.

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Setting up your Ozobot Classroom platform is so easy with our single-click class setup, which automatically pairs your students up with bots so they can get started right away. While setting up, Ozobot Classroom will take teachers through an interactive teacher training that will step through platform setup and how to use the platform with students. Using boosted Bluetooth connectivity, teachers can seamlessly connect to up to 18 robots (patent pending). 

NEW Ozobot Evo Classroom Kit

Tracking students’ progress is simple using the platform’s live lesson insights. Teachers can instantly view student activity in real time, even when students are working offline. Ozobot Classroom also offers a core coding curriculum that is designed to take students beyond basic computer science. The curriculum includes 9 lessons per grade level for K-5, covering five computer science concepts: Sequences, Loops, Advanced Sequences & Loops, Conditional Statements, Functions and Variables. Users can then advance to hundreds of STEAM lessons across all subjects. Core coding curriculum for middle school and high school students is coming soon. FAQs What does the Ozobot Classroom kit include? The Classroom kit comes with 12 or 18 robots, one Ozobot Classroom license and accessories.

You can get more information and pricing here:


America’s Education is Under Threat, Canon USA - How to be Cyberstrong (Free tips and resources)

The education sector has become one of the most sought after targets for cybercriminals. Long imagined to target banks or high-tech facilities, cyberattacks are beginning to now focus on schools and education centers. Recent targets in New York and Texas might seem less likely but they have become one of the most vulnerable.

According to Canon USA’s Office of the Future survey, cyber threats are abundant and increasing, but what is most surprising is that employees or other organizational insiders are the most likely cause of cyberattacks. In order to combat this, Canon U.S.A. urges all school administrators take into account the below 5 Canon CyberStrong tips.

1.       BE ALL IN - Discuss your organization’s regulatory compliance obligations and any security policies that need to be monitored or enforced. Remember: Security is everyone’s responsibility.

2.       ASSESS YOUR RISKS - Organizations should be aware of their risks, i.e., how their habits and behaviors can lead to problems. Go in with your eyes wide open and you will be able to better see where strategies can be defined.

3.       THINK LEAN - Employ a lean mindset (build, measure, learn). Define the goals you want to meet. Measure the results qualitatively and quantitatively. Learn and continually monitor the process.

4.       CHECK YOUR CULTURE - Some organizations develop a culture that makes process improvement efforts difficult. Redefine the way your employees conduct themselves online. That takes more dedication and guidance from leadership.

5.        REFINE YOUR PROCESS - Without good processes in place, productivity can be impacted. Building good processes from the onset will help streamline your cyber culture.

And here is a Cybersecurity and Cybersafety Resource I put together:


Thursday, January 9, 2020

"Don't be a Troll" meme contest - calls on students to help combat internet trolling

The “Don’t be a Troll” meme contest calls on students for help to combat the insidious and out-of-control trend of internet “trolling.” Students are tasked with creating original memes about why people shouldn’t troll. Winning entries will be publicized and the winners will get prizes for themselves and their schools! The deadline to enter is Jan. 31, 2020.

The contest, organized by Impero Software, is a way to promote empathy and digital citizenship, and to bring attention to the issue of online “trolls” in a creative, fun way.

For the “Don’t be a Troll” meme contest, students are asked to:
Create a meme about why students shouldn’t troll. They can use their imaginations! It can be clever, funny, or serious (Please keep it clean).
Write a paragraph about the message their meme is conveying about why students shouldn’t troll (1000 characters max).
Submit their meme and description along with contact information and through Impero’s online form by January 31.

Impero will select 2 winners by February 11, 2020. Impero will award a $100 Amazon gift card to each winner and a $500 Amazon gift card to each winner’s school! The winners’ profiles and memes will be published on Impero’s web site and social media channels and Impero will share the memes for educators to use as part of teaching digital citizenship.

For more information about the contest or to enter, visit
· Here is a link with information about the contest

· Here’s a recent blog from Impero with facts about trolling.

Character Tree - online resource that helps teachers and parents teach character development

The Character Tree Logo

The Character Tree, a new character development online resource for first and second grade students that provides appealing online video lessons to teach children about positive character traits. Teachers and parents can sign up for free access to The Character Tree for the 2019-2020 school year by visiting:

The Character Tree uses engaging discussions, real-life examples from history, role modeling and hands-on materials to emphasize positive character traits such as kindness, bravery, hope, leadership, gratitude and perseverance. The subscription, which is free for the 2019-2020 school year, provides access to 32 videos suitable for first and second grade students. The videos feature adorable puppets asking and answering questions, as well as discussions about historic figures such as Rosa Parks and Jane Goodall. The lessons are standards-aligned and each comes with a teacher’s guide and printable resources for students.

For more information about The Character Tree and to subscribe or view video samples, visit


Etude - advanced document reader that helps students comprehend what they are reading

Etude is an advanced document reader, the first of its kind that incorporates the use of artificial intelligence into textual analysis. Several public school districts and hundreds of students have already begun using the product, which has been proven to significantly improve the efficiency and comprehension of students reading large blocks of text. 

Etrude is designed to improve the user's efficiency and comprehension in textual analysis through the use of artificial intelligence. It has been shown to improve the academic performance of students significantly, reducing reading time by 33% while increasing performance by a letter grade. 

It does this through the use of two tools: a smart summarizer and a smart search. The smart summarizer takes a large section of text and highlights the key information within the document itself, skipping the hassle of fully analyzing the entirety of the document. The smart search acts as almost a Google-search for a document; it allows the user to ask a specific question and see where in the document the question is answered, avoiding the trouble of scouring for a specific sentence.

The website is; on the website, you can find a video going more in-depth about how it works. 

Check it out. 



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