Monday, September 18, 2017

IBM Foundation launches free online software to help K-5 teachers prepare math lessons and help students learn.



The IBM Foundation has launched a free, online software to transform the way K-5 teachers prepare math lessons and help students learn.
The software, called Teacher Advisor with Watson, uses Watson artificial intelligence technology to help teachers instantly find math resources. Teacher Advisor then dips into its library of 1,000+ videos and lesson plans, all based on national standards and vetted by top educators. Sign up takes 30 seconds.
It is free and IBM promises it will always be free.

It makes it easier to find lessons, standards, activities and much more and includes a lesson planning tool. For now, it is only for K-5 math instruction, with credible content vetted by educators.

There is also instructional context support available to help teachers implement the content in the classroom. 
Take a look and sign up for free. 


Press Release:
Elementary School Teachers Help Students Tackle Math 
With Help From the IBM Foundation & Education Leaders

TeacherAdvisor.org Offers 1,000 Top K-5 Math Lessons, Strategies, and Videos

ARMONK, NY –13 Sep 2017: As the new school year begins, elementary school teachers across the United States are now able to access a new, free online tool designed to provide elementary school teachers with targeted math resources for their kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms.

Today, the IBM (NYSE: IBM) Foundation announced the availability of Teacher Advisor With Watson 1.0, software that uses Watson artificial intelligence technology and has been trained by some of the nation’s leading math experts, with feedback from more than 1,000 teachers across dozens of US states.

Faced with the pressures of limited time, higher academic standards, diverse student needs, and the responsibility to teach many subjects and multiple grade levels, elementary school teachers have expressed a critical need for easy-to-use, well-designed math resources and ongoing support. Even with the best resources, many teachers lack dedicated coaching and struggle to target effective teaching strategies that help students improve their proficiency in math, a linchpin academic subject.

Teacher Advisor With Watson was designed to help address these challenges by providing elementary school educators with access to more than 1,000 high quality math lessons, top teaching strategies, and videos, all powered by Watson’s ability to deliver targeted recommendations. This resource will allow teachers to make more informed decisions on the best approach for their students. Teachers seeking to master new skills or prepare instruction for their students at multiple skill and grade levels can easily:
  • Access quality math resources designed to meet diverse classroom needs
  • Understand the academic prerequisites and standards mapped to each lesson
  • Apply teaching techniques to help bring lessons to life
  • Type in a math concept and get targeted recommendations
IBM’s technologists worked closely with the American Federation of Teachers, national education leaders, and math teachers to develop this free online resource. Hosted on IBM Cloud, the tool offers high-quality, vetted teaching material from a range of education experts and non-profits, including UnboundEdStudent Achievement PartnersIllustrative MathematicsCPALMSEngageNYAchieve, and AFT’s Share My Lesson.

The tool uses Watson Discovery Service, which can quickly analyze content for relevant concepts and deliver the most relevant material based on a teacher’s query. With more training and teacher use, Watson’s expertise and ability to provide targeted recommendations will continually increase.

“This innovative tool, built together with teachers, was a true team effort,” said Stanley S. Litow, President Emeritus of the IBM Foundation and a former deputy chancellor of the New York City Public Schools. “We collaborated with the American Federation of Teachers and education leaders to create a free unique resource to help teachers hone their skills and get coaching assistance–all with the goal of helping to educate America’s young learners more effectively. Through Teacher Advisor, IBM continues its commitment to innovation and STEM education.”

“Many educators must meet the demands of teaching with little support,” said Jennifer Ryan Crozier, President of the IBM Foundation and VP of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs. “Teacher Advisor will save teachers time, continually deepen their expertise, and help them meet their diverse student needs. We’re excited to collaborate with education leaders and teachers to help them do what they do best–unlock a child’s passion for STEM learning.”

“Teachers shoulder endless challenges and responsibilities—mastering content, standards and curriculum, and meeting the diverse needs and abilities of each of their students,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Too often, teachers are expected to do all this single-handedly, but Teacher Advisor could help change that. The AFT worked hand-in-glove with the IBM Foundation to hone this tool and see how it empowers teachers and benefits students. This effective public-private partnership is a testament to what can be achieved when educators are entrusted with innovative technology to support powerful learning.”

"Teacher Advisor empowers teachers by providing expert advice to help them deliver high-quality instruction that meets their students’ needs," said Michael Cohen, President of Achieve, Inc. "Watson's ability to learn and to learn how to learn is important in its own right, but it means that this exciting innovation will develop and become smarter over time."

“Time is of the essence for teachers,” said Sheena Lee, an elementary school teacher at Umana Academy in Boston, MA. “With a classroom full of third through fifth graders who have had inconsistent education in their lives, I need to help my students learn math in different ways, at different levels. Teacher Advisor With Watson offers a one-stop shop for the most trusted resources, enabling me to decide how best to meet my students where they are.”

Foundation funding partners include the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation of New York.




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Monday, September 11, 2017

A Message from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum - watch ceremony live online today

National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Remembering the victims


On September 11, 2001, and in the days that followed, our nation came together in a spirit of unity and resolve as we struggled, with profound shock and overwhelming grief, to comprehend the single largest loss of life from a foreign attack on American soil.

This morning, we stand together at the 9/11 Memorial to remember the nearly 3,000 innocent men, women, and children killed in the attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and aboard Flight 93, which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The annual commemoration, centered on the reading of their names, will begin at 8:40 a.m. I invite you to share in this sacred day of remembrance by watching the ceremony live on our website and joining with others on social media in observance of the anniversary, using #Honor911.

Among those reading the names today are children of the victims, some too young to have a memory of the morning that changed their lives forever. They know all too well the imperative of remembering those who were killed. Many have chosen to honor their loved ones and recognize the courageous actions of those who risked their lives to help others, through their own acts of service.

One of them is Jerry D'Amadeo who was just 10 years old on 9/11 when his father, Vincent Gerard D'Amadeo, was killed in the North Tower. Jerry honored the memory of his dad by working with children affected by the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Last year, as a participant in the names reading for the 15th anniversary of 9/11, he reflected that "sometimes the bad things in our lives put us on the path to where we should be going — to help others as many have helped me."

I am always moved when I meet young people like Jerry, who are dedicated to volunteering and public service as their way of commemorating the lives of those who were killed. We were lucky enough to have Jerry join the Museum staff as a member of our Visitor Services team. Every day, he facilitates meaningful encounters with the history presented here, forging a personal link between that history and visitors from around the world.

Our staff is keenly aware of how vitally important it is to convey the significance of 9/11 to young people who will inherit a world defined in so many ways by the events of that terrible day. Later today, our educators will host a webinar about 9/11 that will reach nearly 100,000 students in all 50 states and in schools around the globe — one of many educational programs we offer throughout the year for school children to instill a deeper understanding of the relevance of 9/11 in their lives.

We do all this in tribute to those whose names we will speak out loud today in a powerful act of shared commemoration. Throughout the year, we pledge to follow the inspiring example set by Jerry and others like him to remember the enormity of what was lost, uphold the promise never to forget, and pay attention, as Jerry observed, to "where we should be going" — through actions and commitments that affirm a positive legacy of service.

With sincere respect and warm regards,
Alice M. Greenwald




Alice M. Greenwald
President & CEO




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Remember 9/11 Sixteen Years later



I was in EMS for 22 years before retiring due to a back injury. One of my most memorable experiences was responding to New York City as a Paramedic in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I will never forget that experience. What I saw and did are still with me, as is a type of asthma from breathing the dust. My Experience as a Paramedic on 9-11-01 




As the years have gone by, I've noticed that people are not remembering this terrible event like they did the first few years after. I know that my EMS, Fire and Police colleagues all do, as do the brave men and women of our armed forces who fight every day against terrorism.

I've also noticed less being done in schools lately. Most of today's students weren't even born when 9/11 occurred. Please teach them about it (facts only please) and make sure they understand what it means.



Yesterday, this photo was taken showing a rainbow leading right to the WTC site and the Freedom Tower!





United We Stood, United We Stand

Today is a day Americans will never forget.
It is a day of remembrance, a day of reflection and a day to be proud.
It is a day we honor and remember the thousands of lives lost, the survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks on 9-11-2001.
It is a day we pay tribute to and reflect on the sacrifices of the public safety workers and the men and women in our military who serve us and protect us 365 days a year.
It is a day Americans can be proud of the way we came together following the attacks on 9-11.
United We Stood. United We Stand.


Here are some more resources about my experience on 9/11 and 9/11 in general:

My Experience as a Paramedic on 9-11-01

Remembering 9/11 (from 2009)

Great collection of sites about Osama bin Laden, terrorism, and the wars in the Middle East from Larry Ferlazzo.

http://www.history.com/content/9-11/102-minutes

http://makehistory.national911memorial.org/

http://www.national911memorial.org/site/PageServer?pagename=New_Home

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1921566_1932073,00.html

http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2008/08/13/the-best-sites-to-help-teach-about-911/







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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sept is National Preparedness Month - Here are some great resources to get prepared for emergencies



It's National Preparedness Month, and start of the Hurricane Season. With all of the crazy weather we have seen, it's good to be prepared. Just look at Texas and now Florida.

It is important to consider three scenarios when planning for an emergency: 1) an escape route and meeting point if everyone is in the house; 2) what to do during a school day; and 3) how to handle an emergency during the weekend, when family members might be scattered.
Although many people are familiar with the concept of developing a family plan for emergencies, most fail to take the time to sit down and actually come up with one. One great resource is the FEMA-sponsored website: http://www.ready.gov/. Check out their kids section too: http://www.ready.gov/kids

Schools need to be prepared themselves, as well as teach their staff and students how to be prepared.

Each household, business, and school should have an emergency plan, emergency kits and people trained in emergency preparedness and response.

I started my training in emergency preparedness while on my trail to Eagle ScoutEmergency Preparedness is a required merit badge and the Boy Scouts emphasize emergency preparedness among the scouts. I am also a paramedic, special operations paramedic and FEMA trained in Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Management. Here are some of my favorite resources for learning about Emergency Preparedness.




Ready.gov is the US Government's web site for information and resources on emergency preparedness and response. There are resources for making a plan, an emergency kit, and how to stay informed. Information is included for individuals and businesses.


The Boy Scouts of America, who train all their Scouts and Adults in Emergency Preparedness, has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security to provide resources for the public on getting prepared. The site has planning resources, how to make an emergency kit, and other resources.



American Red Cross

The American Red Cross website also has information for creating an emergency plan and how to prepare for different emergencies. They also sell emergency kits (they are very good and a decent price). You can always make your own using their lists though. There is a full section on preparing schools and students. The Preparedness Fast Facts page is an excellent, one stop resource.


Emergency Management Institute Logo

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Emergency Management Insitute
The FEMA EMI offers free, online courses for anyone to take. The courses are well done and there are plenty of downloadable materials to help you. If you pass the test at the end, you even get a certificate.

Here are a list of the courses that I think all educators should take: (I've taken these, and more)

IS-7   A Citizen's Guide to Disaster Assistance
IS-22 Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
IS-55 Household Hazardous Materials - A Guide for Citizens
IS-100.Sca Introduction to the Incident Command System for Schools
IS-362 Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools


Education Administrators should also be involved in community emergency planning because schools are on the top of the list as emergency shelters and field hospitals and the building administrators know their buildings.


You can even join your local Community Emergency Response Team. These are teams of citizens that are specially trained to help out in major emergencies, sort of like the reserves. Find out more here. Here is a list of CERT's by State: http://www.citizencorps.gov/cc/CertIndex.do?submitByState


Emergency Preparedness is everyone's responsibility.  Share these resources with your students, colleagues, and family.






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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Teacher Resources - education and edtech - all free

Teacher Resources - education and edtech - all free and very useful

General:


EdTech Resources:




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