Some highlights from ITEC, Day 2

I've been hanging out with the folks from the University of Northern Iowa Instructional Technology program a lot the past two days (from left to right: Dr. Leigh Zeitz, Magda Galloway, Rob Galloway (check out his picture of Woz!)). UNI is the only one of Iowa's three public universities that has a table here at ITEC. Rob and Magda joined me and Jen Sigrist, a curriculum coordinator for the Ankeny (IA) Community School District, for lunch at The Funky Pickle. We had some great chats about the educational technology scene across the state. As a newcomer, I appreciated hearing their insights and experiences.


I ran into Dr. Dennis Harper of Generation YES again. He and I talked with some of the GenY kids from the Nevada (IA) Community School District about cyberbullying. They were very respectful of their teachers and talked about how much trouble they'd get into with their parents if they ever engaged in hostile or harassing online behavior of their teachers or other students. It was a fun conversation with some really, really nice kids.

I then sat in on a session that updated us on the progress of the winners of last year's Iowa Learning Technology Commission grants. Apparently the Iowa legislature allocates the princely sum of half a million dollars per year for K-12 educational technology initiatives. This depressingly small amount is divided among 5 or 6 districts each year (out of over 300) through a competitive grant process. It was a little disheartening to hear how little legislative support there is for digital technologies in Iowa schools. We've got a lot of work to do...

I concluded my day by co-facilitating a session with Greg Davis, Associate Superintendent of the Des Moines (IA) Public Schools. He showed Did You Know? 2.0 and then we had a lively discussion with a packed room about possible futures and teachers' and administrators' obligations to prepare students for those futures.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less